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If you like stuffed bell peppers, you will LOVE this soup mix at Frames Etc.

Taking The Husband shopping is a little like taking the kids; I always spend more money than I had planned.

That’s what happened on Saturday while browsing through Frames Etc to pick up a couple of Christmas essentials: Peppermint Spongelles for my daughter and me, festive (and funny) socks for my boys and Tyler Glamorous Wash (for my sheets).

But that list grew substantially when The Hubs wandered over to the gourmet food section.

Among the bottles of salsa and cherry jam he picked out was a little package of stuffed pepper soup mix.

"This looks good,” he said. "Let’s try it.”

So we did.

And you guys, he’s the smartest man I know because this stuff is really, really good.

It’s like your favorite stuffed bell pepper recipe made into a soup.

I whipped up a pot on Sunday afternoon.

The soup mix, made by Happy Valley Soup Company ($8), calls for three cups of water, four cups chicken broth, 28-oz diced tomatoes, one lb. ground beef or turkey (I used hamburger) and a teaspoon of salt.

And here’s the best part: While it simmers on your stovetop, your house will smell like a winter cottage, so you should definitely have the fireplace going.

When it’s finished, you’ll want to top it with some cheese then settle in for a warm and tasty dinner.

All finished and ready to be topped with cheese!

Frames Etc also has an exceptional selection of Christmas fun; think home décor, festive dishes and entertainment pieces, candy and fantastic stocking stuffers.

(I’ll be making a separate post about that on the Beneath the Surface News Facebook page shortly, so stay tuned.)

Meanwhile, head to downtown Stephenville and grab a package of that delicious soup mix.

To accommodate all you shoppers, Frames Etc will be open on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 4-18.

Merry Christmas (and happy shopping)!


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