I now have my new space up and running at Out Standing In My Field: My Life In The Kentucky Countryside!  Please come and check it out. If you like what you see, sign up to follow the new blog by email, Facebook or the RSS feed.

Click here to go there now.

Ok. here goes…as many of you know, Picture Perfect Cooking was my first blog that I began about five years ago.  It is still active and full of the recipes, photos, and book reviews from that time. 

For some reason, about a year ago, I just stopped blogging.  The space just didn’t feel right anymore and it seemed like there was always some kind of post deadline that I needed to meet.  The link parties I participated in got to be a burden instead of fun.  When that happened, I knew I needed to step back.  Suddenly, the blog was not just a creative outlet anymore, but had turned into a job and an unpaid job at that. 

So here we are almost a year later and the blogging bug bit me again, but this time I am going at it a little differently.  This new space will still have photos, book reviews, inspirations, and, yes, a few recipes, too, but I am not going to have a set post schedule or participate in link parties at least for a while.  Hopefully, that means no blogging pressure or stress. 

Welcome to my world part 2!

Well, hello there and welcome to another edition of Book Beginnings.  Today, I am bringing you the first lines from “His Majesty’s Hope” by Susan Elia MacNeal which is the third in the Maggie Hope mystery series.

“Wannsee-Berlin, April 1941

The urn the ashes came in was beautiful-shiny and black, with an enamel swastika on one side.  It was small, so very small, Jens Hartmann thought.  How could is possibly hold the remains of his son?”

I read the first Maggie Hope book on a whim and really liked it so, of course, I had to keep reading.  Ms. Hope is a mathematician turned spy by way of being Winston Churchill’s secretary.  In this book, we learn the reason that Maggie’s bosses wanted her to become part of a secret intelligence group during World War II and there are so many twists and turns to her story. 

Ms. MacNeal weaves a great tale of the fictional spy with historical facts, locations and characters.  I can’t wait to read the next one!

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

Six Sister’s Stuff is a great site for delicious recipes and neat crafts.  Today’s soup comes from Camille and it is a copycat of a dish from one of her favorite restaurants.  When I first read the list of ingredients, I was a little skeptical, but this is so tasty.  The A1 sauce really gives it a great kick.


1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup diced onion

6 cups beef broth

14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 cup ketchup

6 oz. can tomato paste

3 tbsp. A1 sauce

2 tbsp. brown sugar

3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked


Cook the macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.  Cook the ground beef with the diced onion until the meat is cooked through and the onions are soft.  Set this aside.

In a large pot, combine the beef broth, diced tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste, A1, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium high heat.  Bring this to a boil then reduce the heat to low.  Add the meat mixture into the soup pot and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the macaroni to the soup and enjoy! I made a pan of cornbread to go with this and we all enjoyed every bite.


C loves a good bacon cheeseburger, even if his arteries do not.  Ha, ha!  I had never attempted to make one because frying and I, well, we just don’t get along.  So in my effort to be a good wife and fix things he enjoys, I got over my fear of frying and cooked this recipe from KevinAndAmanda.com.

The burgers turned out great even after I burned the first batch of bacon I cooked and then managed to smoke up the house while I was cooking the second batch. Oops!


1 lb. bacon

1 lb. ground beef

1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix

2 tbsp. A1 steak sauce

1 egg

Montreal steak seasoning

Sliced cheese of your choice

Hamburgers buns


Cut the bacon in half and fry in a large skillet over medium-low heat about 10 minutes on each side.  Don’t do what I did and turn up the heat trying to make it cook faster.  Please, just don’t. 


While the bacon is cooking, combine the ground beef with the ranch dressing mix, A1 sauce, and egg.  Mix this together with your hands and form into 6 patties.  Season both sides of the patties with Montreal steak seasoning.

When the bacon is done, leave just enough bacon grease in the skillet to coat the bottom.  Turn the heat up to medium high.  Put the hamburger patties in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side.  While the burgers are cooking, spread a little butter on the buns and toast in a warm oven for about 5 minutes.


Place the cooked bacon strips and a slice of cheese on each burger and place a lid on the skillet.  Turn off the heat and leave covered just until the cheese melts.  Build your burger and enjoy!


Book Beginnings

Today, I bring you “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth which is the second in the Divergent trilogy.  Here are the first lines:

“I wake with his name in my mouth.  Will.  Before I open my eyes, I watch him crumple to the pavement again. Dead.  My doing.”

This is Tris speaking of what happened at the end of the first book.  She did, indeed, kill Will during the simulation while he was being controlled by the Erudite faction.  The Erudites were trying to steal important information from the government or, at least, that is one of the possibilities of their actions. 

“Insurgent” continues the story of Tris who is a Divergent and doesn’t really fit into any of the government factions which makes her a dangerous and valuable commodity.  She must deal with fear, grief, and unknown enemies to help save the remainder of her family and friends.

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

Y’all, let me tell you about this roast!  It is now my favorite way to cook a beef roast and it will be a long time before I try a different way.  This is one of those recipes that seems to always be popping up on Pinterest, but after my co-worker loved it and after Plain Chicken loved it, I knew it had to be great. 

This is so easy and tasty and I could just go on and on!  This is the perfect Sunday supper main dish.


3 lb. pot roast (I used a chuck roast.)

1 packet Ranch dressing mix (I used Penzey’s Spices ranch dressing mix. It’s the best and no MSG!)

1 packet Au Jus mix

6 pepperoncini peppers

1 stick butter


Spray the crock of your slow cooker with non-stick spray.  Place the roast in the crock.  Sprinkle the ranch dressing mix and Au Jus mix over the roast.  Place the peppers around the roast and, lastly, put the stick of butter on top.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours and try not to gobble the whole thing up in one sitting.  I dare you!! 



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