02 December 2013

Advent Day 2 Decorating and Tomato Apple Soup

Over the last four days, I've been getting the house ready for Christmas.  It
is strange to decorate when it is sunny and warm, but by this weekend we may get cooler weather for a few days.  I have an obsession with wreaths.
I hung one up in my living room. 

I displayed Mary.  I think it is The Lady of Las Lajas of Colombian origin.  ( I don't think it is an image of the Infant of Prague, because it came from south of the border.  Yet it was stamped that it was imported from the Philippines :)  But since she looks like a "she", I will call her Mary ;)  I don't think it matters!  It's pretty.
Here is a peek of the Christmas tree that I'm working on. 
I like to keep decorating simple, but this tree is always the grandest item in my scheme.

I really need a new camera, but I've been trying to hold out on buying an inexpensive one, because I would like a better one.

I really love my angels, and they are often out, but now one is wearing a crown; one is holding a cholla cross with turquoise, and the last one has a bell from the 
Polar Express Train ride at her feet.

Oops! I thought I took a photo of them at Christmas , but all I had were photos of the Thanksgiving table.

So instead, here is one of my handmade wreaths made from torn cloth that I placed on the dining room armoire. 

I love how it looks like feathers! So the other day when I replaced a comforter cover, I also removed the old inner one, but saved it for a project... like my old door and old window that waits for me.

We made a brine for our turkey this year and it came out delicious and moist.  The gravy was so good, because it had a hit of flavor from the spices we used in the brine.  Our stuffing or called dressing depending on where one lives, was the kind we make every year with chorizo, a type of spicy pork,  and chipolte a type of smoked pepper, and sourdough bread.  It was delicious.

So after all the good food, we are watching what we eat and hiking from now until the Christmas feast.  So here's a recipe from my kitchen.
(Though I think my daughter wants to make some gluten- free molasses cookies.)

We love this homemade tomato apple soup, and it's tasty and colorful for the holidays....Some of the unusual ingredients are apples, coconut milk, and sriracha... Originally, I started with a recipe, but it needed so many diet modifications that we made it ours.  It contains no-gluten and no-dairy.

Tomato Apple Soup (Gluten-Free)

Saute a medium onion and 4 cloves of garlic in whatever medium you prefer
with 4 diced, medium Fuji apples,

Next add 1x 28 oz can of diced tomatoes,
1x small can of tomato paste,
1tbs dijon mustard
1x tbs of sriacha 

1.5 cups of bottled water
1.75 cups of pasteurized, organic apple cider with pulp, simmer until apples soften
carefully pour into blender and puree, put it back in the pan and add 1x 13 oz can of Thai coconut milk ( This is much thicker than what comes in a container, and it does not give it a coconut taste.) Let it simmer for 15 minutes just under boiling.

This is a slightly sweet soup.  If you prefer a tart tomato soup add 3/4 cup of white wine or a chardonay.  It will still be about the same thickness even after adding more liquid.

Salt and ground pepper to taste. DD enjoys it with a tiny sprinkle of parmesan and a toasted corn tortilla. My spouse ate it with extra sriacha and some slices of toasted, garlic sourdough bread. I like it topped with fresh basil.

It has about 156 calories per cup


  1. I am loving your start to decorating. Your tree is so pretty. I love all your santos angels too. Mary is just beautiful. That soup sounds so yummy thanks for sharing.

  2. What a great decoration! And what a great soup! That image in the second photo looks like Virgin Mary, have you ever seen the Virgin of the Rocío?
    Here you are a link http://gotordiez.es/wp-content/uploads/virgen-del-rocio.jpg

    Hugs from Jerez


    1. Thank you, Marina. I think you may be right. It would make sense, because it originated in the Philipines, The two virgins look similar, but Virgin of Rocio's crown seems very similar and the shape as well. Thank you so much. I had never seen her before.

  3. Wonderful pictures!
    And I have been wondering about your camera, because some of your pictures look great (like the next to last one of the kitchen) where others are very blurry. But I understand your predicament, I too have a crappy camera but a new good one is just sooo expensive.

    1. Thanks, Ms. Misantropia. It's way past its prime, but I may just have to buy an inexpensive one, because it would be so much better than the one that I have now. My daughter's i-phone is better!!!

  4. The soup sounds fantastic. I have not thought of apples with tomatoes but it sounds great.
    I LOVE your angels and the hanging "Mary" from the cupboard. Your place always looks lovely at Christmas...well all year round actually.

  5. I love your Christmas decorations! The soup sounds yummy.

    1. Thank you, Magali. The apples give the soup a sweetness.

  6. Your decor is beautiful and Christmasy! And the soup, yum. I think I'll give it a try.

  7. Very interesting soup recipe! Will have to try when I am feeling a bit adventurous. Love the 'Mary' doll she is so pretty!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. One wouldn't think that those ingredients work, but they do. Thai coconut milk, not the low fat one, that comes in a can is a great substitute for dairy in creamy soups. We use it a lot.

  8. Mmmmm, your soup recipe looks and sounds delicious! I might try it out for supper tonight - thanks for sharing :-)

    You turkey stuffing also sounds good :-)

    I haven't had time to start my Christmas decorating yet. I normally wait till December 1st anyway, so I'm not too far behind. Hopefully I'll get some decorations and the tree up this weekend, and maybe work on some Christmas crafts. I love your tree, and your wreath made from torn fabric DOES look like feathers!

  9. Such beautiful decorations. Love the soup. Thanks for the recipe and Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  10. i absolutely love your style Su! Gorgeous and rustic, classy, yet refined...perfect in my eyes. That soup is perfect for me! I must try it! xo Jen

    1. Thank you, Jen. No dairy and no gluten!!! XOXO


Thank you for taking time to visit and leave a kind message today. I love to visit your blogs too, and I do when I can link back. xoxo Su