A meat stretcher if there ever was one, soup is a wonderful thing to have, especially when the weather turns cooler, and gray in the fall of the year. Brightly colored, home grown veggies, a bit of meat, some broth, and some sort of starch (either bread, noodles, rice, or potatoes) can really brighten up the evening.
We especially enjoy soup. El Husbando is a fan of the homemade chicken noodle soup. Me, nah, not so much. I like the bean soups, and tonight's offering, kielbasa soup...vegetable beef soup.
Kielbasa soup is something I've found to stretch an already inexpensive piece of meat, by the use of potatoes (creamed, and chunked), cabbage, and chicken broth. Just mash/cream about 2/3ds of the potatoes after cooking, sautee the cabbage with some onion, and brown the meat (and then stir it together with the cabbage to meld the flavors. Put all of the above in a pot with a generous amount of chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Stir it all together, gently...and you have your soup. I cut my kielbasa links in half lengthwise, and then do it again (quartering them)...then dicing into smaller bits. That stretches the meat pretty far....the cabbage and potatoes act as a generous filler. I am also making a loaf of homemade crusty artisan bread (h/t JoAnn at Creamer Chronicles for the recipe! Hi JoAnn! We love us some bread!), and I have a pumpkin spice cake finishing its cooling on an antique low cake plate on the counter. I'll be topping it with homemade cream cheese frosting after dinner. That recipe is courtesy of Ree over at Pioneer Woman. I took her pumpkin spice muffins and made it into a 9inch cake. One layer. But really, do I *have* to make a 2 layer cake every single time? I don't think so! Frost it with that homemade cream cheese frosting, and there ya go. Cake and coffee for dessert, after a filling meal of soup and bread.
We have some company this evening. A friend of ours from Tulsa comes in every couple of weeks, to do some work one of the surrounding towns. To save him some money, and also to give him a little company and a home cooked meal (and I love to cook for company--they'll eat and not complain about the cooking, lol--which gives me an excuse to try out new recipes!), we have him to dinner when he is in the area. It is nice to have a little company of an evening, and it keeps him from having to sit in the hotel room eating take out food. So I think it works out well for both of us.
Anyway, I do hope you all are having a wonderful evening, and enjoying the company where you are!