Wednesday, September 15, 2010


*** Announcements***

I have officially started my AMAZE me AUGUST weekly party starting every TUESDAY.  The party only ends when the next one starts, so please go HERE my Amaze me August Page on TOP to enter and join in the fun. Show me what you got girls, I look forward to all the AMAZING things you will be sharing.

Can't resist sharing with you guys a very dear recipe from childhood. This has always been one of my MOST FAVORITE soups (ciorbas) of all time. Ciorba is what you call a thick kind of soup in Romanian, and Ciorbas are always a bit sour. The sourness coming from the canned tomatoes, and sour cream at the end, but often during the cooking process we add something called Borsch, or some juice from pepperoncini, or pickles, or something like that. 

Ok so quickly want to say Hi to all my dear friends, who I finally got to see this weekend. After not seeing them it seems all summer long. It was so nice to catch up with them, and wish my little football player a Happy Birthday. This little boy is the most solid kid at 2 you have ever seen, and CUTE as a button. His little smile and dimples melt my heart. So while celebrating with my friends, I had several of them tell me how they enjoyed my blog. Who knew, not me, and I blushed a bit. It's a great feeling though, and I was really happy naturally. 

One friend in particular gave me some very helpful advice on my cooking posts. While she says that she loved it, and wanted to follow along she had a hard time, going from recipe to recipe, as I  had to many at one time. Sorry guys if you have been experiencing this problem. I was just trying to document how I cook, and this is how I do it. Very much all over the place, doing several things at once, and of course not being a recipe kind of gal, I have been struggling with creating actual RECIPES.

However I will try my best to break it up for you guys, and make it as reader friendly as possible. My whole goal in posting these is that you may experience my love and passion for food, and not be scared. After hearing my friends advice, I wondered if I actually am scaring people with the amount of info I am giving, so  from now on I promise to take it slow, and even if it kills me, I will try to explain in the traditional kind of recipe kind of way. 

I often buy these large hams, as they are WAY less expensive than buying small quantities of diced ham, which I love to have for eggs, in the mornings. We love bacon around here, but have given up on eating it, hardly ever, and just use ham instead, or this delicious uncured turkey bacon, but anyway. 

Here is how I dice it up, and what I do with that bone when I'm done. A quick call to my mom, and she is joining us for dinner, and bringing over FRESH HOMEMADE BREAD, oh yeah, I know, 
Dinner is served ladies and gents. This is Romanian Style all the way, so come on read up and PLEASE do try this yummy meal. 

Ciorba de Fasole~~ The BEST Bean soup EVER

  • A large Ham Bone, or a couple small Ham Hocks, or make it Veggie and skip this altogether :)
  • Small bag of White beans. I used 1 1/2 bags of white NAVY BEANS.
  • About 4-6 carrots, depending on size, and if you like a lot of carrots, just add more :)
  • 1 parsnip, looks like a white carrot.
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes, any kind you have on hand, even tomato sauce, or paste.
  • 2 TBS smoked paprika
  • salt, pepper
  • VEGETA, this is a European seasoning that we use ALL THE TIME. Found at specialty stores.
  • Parsley ( I didn't have, but is lovely as a garnishment)
  • Sour Cream for that ever so tasty tang and creaminess at the end. 
  • Onion salad ( A MUST )
  • Fresh thick crusted, warm on the inside, melt in your mouth BREAD made by MOM (a MUST)

My ham being diced up, Some will be left sliced, and then fried a bit for ham steaks, yummo. 
All done, off to the freezer you go. See how much ham I got, oh yeah, and not to mention that bone, just waiting to make my soup taste ever so yummy. 
Simplicity at it's best. How much easier people, go hurry, and make some. It is SOOO GOOD. 
Woops, forgot to tell you guys about the beans. SO you should normally soak them the night before, to release some of that gas, and make them quicker to cook, but I forgot. So cooking them up in the pressure cooker with a little water always does the trick. I just let it cook, until I heard it start to whistle, turned off the heat, let it cool, then rinsed the beans. Now I'm ready too cook. I added more water, and the bone, and some salt. Let those puppies cook, and added my pepper, and vegeta. THAT'S IT, easy. Now read on for the rest, which is also just as easy. I promise.
2 onions diced up and chillin in the pan, just added the smoked paprika. Now let them soften a bit more. 
See the bone start falling apart, yeah just let it cook baby, and all the meat will fall off the bone, and hopefully land in your bowl, or if you are the one cooking things can be arranged,  he he. 
When your ham and beans are pretty much cooked, add the canned tomatoes. 
The rest of my diced up veggies get a quick spin in the pan with the onions, and into the soup they go. 
Can you smell, that, can you feel it, the crust was literally still crackling. Oh my goodness, this is heaven on earth.
My Mom, and Dino D with the bread as big as him. THANK MAMI, for the wonderful treat.
My very simple table set up, who cares about decorating, when my tummy was grumbling over the smells. 
Bread was still piping hot, and smelled OH SO GOOD!
My lovely Ciorba de Fasole, which my mom actually gave me 10 stars on, WOW, she must have been having a really good day, or she was really hungry or something. She never gives me 10 stars, and often finds something to say to help me make it better. But last night, well, I was floored. She said it was PERFECT. :)
The bread cut up and ready to be devoured. Of course the kids went for the fluffly middle, leaving all that crust, so I was happily eating it after them. My favorite part, is the crust. 
Onion salad, THAT HAS TO BE EATEN with this soup. I'm telling you, you have to eat it OK. All you do is SLICE up your onions, smoosh them with some salt, and add a bit of oil. Then eat, and go kiss someone, or not, your choice.
My DINNER, oh yumm. So what did you eat last night?
My dear friends, I hope that you enjoyed this recipe, and PLEASE for the love of GOD, go make your family some. It's cheap, and so dang good. Remember me when you do, and let me know how it was OK. I hope this was much easier to follow, and if you guys have any other suggestions on how to make my recipes even better, please let me know. I'm a work in progress, but trying.

I am sharing this yumminess over at all these lovely parties!! 
Still trying to figure out the best way to display them so please hang in there, while I try to implement the BEST solution ever to showing the love to all the hard working hosts for linky parties, I know now what it takes, and I for one LOVE YOU ALL :)

Spotlight Yourself @ Its so Very Cherri
Penny Pinching Party @ The Thrifty Home
Whatever Goes Wednesdays @ Someday Crafts

Around My Family Table

As always ENJOY!

Special requests, or mad love always welcome:)


  1. Oh, wow, am I glad I came over to investigate! This looks delicious, and just what I had in mind for the weekend.

  2. That looks really good!! Look at all that food!! You are amazing! That bread looks sooooo good! I can eat bread anytime!

  3. Yummy - I'm coming for dinner. Thanks for visiting my blog. I did join your linky party.

  4. total yum bella! I will have to make that dish soon. I'll let you know how it all turns out. loving your blog girl...loving it! xoxo

  5. I'm not a cook. I don't like onions, but you did a great job explaining it all. :)
    you can take a really quick tour of my blog here:
    You're a no-reply comment@blogger so I couldn't email you.
    I did a great post on blogging tips last week, if you need any advice.
    Your blog looks like it's off to a good start.

  6. Hi Bella, It's Jenn from ThisMommyLoves! Thanks so much for the sweet comments about my blog. I would love for you to share/feature the party with your readers! Just let me know what you need from me! I'm having fun exploring your blog. Looks like we're both newbies :-)

  7. Oh. My. Gawd.
    I could eat that whole loaf of bread... in one sitting. Now 8that8 whould be a work out for my mouth.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog : D Your comments were hilarious.

  8. LMAO... I just got your comment thru my phone while I was reading your blog.

    <----your newest follower!!!

  9. O my Bella, that looks delish! I love, love the smell of fresh bread and to some extent I like soup (the homemade ones perhaps, the store/ restaurant ones are loaded on sodium).

    Many thanks for taking my suggestion- makes it a lot more simpler to read through the recipe now!

    And finally guess what? You've been my chief inspiration: I started a blog! Now the key is to keep up with it. I was just looking through your posts and now find an uncanny commonness with my interests and style of thinks we were sisters in our previous life.

    Check it out and let me know what you think!

  10. Oh my this all looks delicious, especially that bread (I'm such a bread girl)!

    Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. :))

  11. Yum-o, everything looks wonderful. Especially the bread - I could seriously devour the entire loaf!


  12. Thanks again for linking up with Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table. Hope to see you next week at the carnival! I love ham, so I will be trying this one soon!

  13. Omigosh, you must share the recipe for that fabulous bread!! (Must say you do a great job at meal planning and making ahead!)

  14. Ooooooooh yeah, come to Mama!
    This is what I'm going to cook today, come hell or high water.
    I call Vegeta my magic salt because it goes with anything and everything, and we always have a large container full of it in the house. Couldn't do without!


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Hugs, Bella

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In my spare time I enjoy cooking, and baking. In fact my mother and I have been making cakes for over 30 years. I also love gardening, traveling, and all things crafty. I struggle daily to keep my like organized, along with my never ending battle to keep the house clean. I adore my three kids MOST of the time, and can usually be found doing the mom thing from morning till night. I try to catch a few mommy moments, but those are hard to find in this wonderful life of mine. I am blessed and happy, and am thrilled you stopped by today :)