One of the gifts my Mother passed down to me early in life was teaching me how to cook.

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Even though she was a good cook, I think she aspired to become an even better cook, because she was always reading recipe books, magazines, and trying new dishes.

Although most of us are not professional chefs, I’d say most of us who cook are always looking for “easy” recipes.

Just in time for the holidays, I’m so excited to share with you my Sweet Pumpkin Barley and Sage Soup.

It’s a hearty dish to serve as a light meal or as a course for your Thanksgiving Dinner.

One thing that makes cooking easier, especially over the holidays, is to be able to cook with reliable appliance, like the GE Brand.

When we remodeled our kitchen 2 years ago, one thing we did to save money (as the economy was sinking before our very eyes) was to put our old appliances back in the “new” kitchen.

We now have a beautiful kitchen, and I am grateful, but I will admit it would be nice to have awesome appliances.

A girl can dream, right?

There are many fabulous features of these built in ovens which can be placed above a cooktop, or as a free-standing range, such as:

Speedcook oven
True European Convection oven
Warming/proofing oven
Sensor microwave oven
Glass touch, backlit controls*
175 preprogrammed recipes

Have you ever experienced the need to prepare several meals at once, along with a variety of desserts for Thanksgiving, but have been unable to do so because of a limited cooking range?

I can raise my hand to that!

You can actually cook different dishes in the UPPER and LOWER ovens at different temperatures!

More outstanding features:

The Precise Airâ„¢ convection system uses a reversing fan that circulates heat and air through the oven for evenly browned and baked foods.

The TrueTemp™ griddle system provides a flat, non-stick surface and offers a choice of cooking from 200° to 400°. The double oven cooks two dishes at different temperatures all at once. Pizza mode is ideal for preparing fresh or frozen pizzas. Slow cook mode offers two slow cook options for specific meals.

NextStep controls take all the guesswork out of setting your oven. This knob-free, glass touch system illuminates to lead you through the control-setting process and helps create delicious results every time.

Having an efficient kitchen sure does make cooking easier, even though looking back to years past with a tiny kitchen, we still had many memorable Thanksgiving meals in our home.

Sometimes I got the meal out to the table on time, but actually, thinking back … I do remember my friend Hoppi brought the turkey that year.

Why? Because I just didn’t have enough cooking space/ovens to get it all done!

Today I’m sharing with you a wonderful soup that would be wonderful to cook during the Thanksgiving holidays, and, on top of the recipe we are giving away a $100 VISA card!

Wouldn’t that make holiday shopping much easier?



Recipe: Sweet Pumpkin and Barley Sage Soup {}

Summary: Sweet robust pumpkin-flavored soup for the holidays.


  • 2 lbs. cooked andouille or smoked sausage links, sliced
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. snipped fresh sage (plus some for garnishing)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups barley (cook ahead, using about 3-4 cups)
  • 64 oz. chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 29-oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Serves 8-10
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven. Cook the sausage, onion, and sage over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the chicken stock, barley, and bouillon granules. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Top with additional fresh sage.

Preparation time: 15 min

Cooking time: 20 min

Number of servings (yield): 8