Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pinterest Project #21

                                 Healthy Detox Soup
Another Pinterest Recipe I tried this month is Healthy Detox Soup from the chez us blog. 

After the wheat feast of November and December, I was feeling pretty sick. This recipe looked like a great way to clean my system up.

The site not only gives you the recipe, it also explains the health benefits of the ingredients you use. Very interesting.

As alway, I made changes. So my version probably wasn't as healthy as their version.

I did not used leeks as the only ones I could find up here looked like they had been stomped on. I used scallions instead.

I also had an older green pepper, a couple of tomatoes and some broccoli I needed to use so they were thrown into the pot also

As I was tasting the soup I was finding it too bland for me -- and I'm one of those that likes bland foods. Maybe it had to do with the type of vegetable broth I used? I'm sure some brands are better than others. I also had a big can of tomato juice in the refridgerator so I ended up dumping most of it in to flavor up the broth some.  LOVED IT.

So I've eaten this for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not all in the same day) and have been very happy with it. I made way too much for only one adult in the house eating it with Hubs away. But I sure feel better since I started using it and cutting out the wheat products. (And then I made spaghetti when I was doing better and got all kinds of sick. I am an idiot.)

If you are looking for a soup to fill you up on veggies and fiber you might want to give this a try. I did find I needed to tweak the broth but otherwise it was great. I will use this recipe again.

Here is the recipe from the chez us blog:

  • 2 medium leeks, cut in half, cleaned well, and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste
  • 1 serrano pepper, half of seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, scrubbed clean, skins on, cut into rough chunks
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into rough chunks
  • 3 small rutabagas, peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 3 small zucchini, diced
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 roma tomatoes, with seeds and skin, diced
  • 2 cups pinto beans, I used dried ones that I cooked before hand, used cooking liquids in soup
  • 2 bunches of kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 juice of 1/2 lemon
  • maldon salt, to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the leeks, garlic, and serranos.
  3. Sweat over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add carrots, celery and the rutabagas. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the water, tomatoes and pinto beans, simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes.
  6. The longer, the better the flavor is.
  7. 15 minutes before serving stir in the kale and zucchini
  8. Cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in lemon juice.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve.
  12. Eat.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pinterest Project #20

Living here in a different kind of limbo than we lived the whole last year has given me the oportunity to start trying a bunch of the recipes I had pinned on Pinterest.

This last week I tried Slow Cooker Chicken With Tomatoes and Artichokes  It comes from the Betty Crocker website and I have linked back to the recipe. I am a big fan of artichokes and am always looking for recipes to try. I haven't found a favorite for the Frymark Cookbook yet.

I did make alterations. I only had 2 boneless breasts so I cut them into bite sized pieces instead of leaving them whole. So I decreased the meat by half out of necessity. It was plenty of meat when all was said and done. I have noticed that most recipes we American's use could use less meat. With prices what they are I have been doing this more and more often.

I also used 2/3 the amount of Italian Dressing and the last third I put in Balsamic Vinegar. So I combined their two suggestions in a way.

We also left out the green olives because my family prefers black and we didn't have any.

This smelled heavenly. It tasted pretty good to but it smelled so good the taste almost couldn't compare. LOL.

It has more of a broth than a sauce when you put it over rice. I think we would have liked it a little better with a saucier feel. And that's not a taste issue, more of a texture we prefer.

Both girls ate this. Again, it tasted good but we decided it was not a keeper. I'm thinking we just haven't found that artichoke dish that is a keeper yet. We will keep experimenting.

Here is the recipe from the Betty Crocker Website:

  • PREP TIME15 Min
  • TOTAL TIME4 Hr 45 Min


    bone-in chicken breasts (2 1/2 lb)
    tablespoons fat-free balsamic or Italian vinaigrette dressing
    teaspoon Italian seasoning
    teaspoon salt
    teaspoon pepper
    large onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
    cup sliced green olives
    cloves garlic, finely chopped
    can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
    can (14 oz) quartered artichokes, drained
    to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Remove skin and any fat from chicken. Brush chicken with dressing; place in cooker. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Top with remaining ingredients except parsley.
    • 2Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours 30 minutes.
    • 3Skim off any fat from top of mixture in cooker. Serve chicken and tomato mixture in shallow bowls; sprinkle with parsley.

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    UFO's in the Back Yark

    We are staying at a place that is in the forest. It has a yard full of gravel. With no fence of any kind. And is surround by the forest on all sides.  There is nothing to keep anything (like the pack of coytoes) out or anything in.

    There are also no lights. Except at certain street corners. This is not like a normal neighborhood. The village is built to blend into the forest....not obliterate it. Hence the lack of lights or fences and many other conveniences. And your house can easily be the only one on your entire street.

    Its dark when the sun goes down.  Real dark. Too dark to go for a walk even.

    Have I mentioned that both our dogs were stray rescues and both bolt if they get loose? Of course they do.  And do  you know how far away a black doberman gets before it disapears completely in the forest after dark?

    About 10 feet.

    Of course you know Cinder managed to get loose from Songbird one night when I wasn't home and she tried to take both dogs out at the same time. Down a flight of stairs. To their lines they are clipped to since there is no fence.

    She could not see the dog once she bolted. At all. Scared the poor kid to death. Luckily it also scared the dog to death and Songbird was able to follow the sound of crunching leaves around front and get her to come back fairly easily.

    Crisis avoided.

    But with the way Cinder disapears in the darkness it had me worried about what if she got out and ran in front of a car. Not that there are alot of cars up here...but if she went a ways it could happen. (Plus she was really enjoying jumping out at me to see if she could scare me or not. What a fun game.  NOT.)

    So - the lighted dog collar to the rescue.

    On amazon I found our solution. Both dogs now have a night time collar for whenever we take them out.
    We have neighbors on one side of us. I saw them watching out the window the first few nights we used these. I'm sure they thought it was an alien invasion. But no - as the flash reveals, its just Cinder. And the fun part is the collar stays solid or has flashing patterns.

    I love these collars. So if you are in need of something like this I highly recommend them. And it comes in different colors.

    An no - this is not sponsored by the maker or anything. I'm just a happy customer. Just sharing a product that makes my life as a pet owner a little easier.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    All Riled Up

    All Riled Up is actually a funny name since this quilt is for my sweetest neice (by far).
    This time I ran the color lines horizontally. It is still quilted down the vertical zig zag lines with a walking foot.
    Using up scraps from Blessings in Blue, Angels of Summer and Emeral Coast. Many of the longer pieces are actually where I squared up other quilts backs and kept the strips I cut off. There is also one of the paper pieced angels from the Blessings quilt that didn't make the cut.

    So there are the 4 quilts that kept me busy in December. They are actually the only quilts I made in 2012 with all the uncertainty.

    Now to get sewing for 2013. I have at least 2 weddings with the possibility for 4. Busy, busy.

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Ali Oop

    Ali-Oop is the second of three Tumbler quilts. This one I ran the same colors vertically.
    I kept it simple with quilting lines along all the vertical zig zags.
    I used many of the purple left overs from the Purple Pony quilts. There are also some square blocks and some "rose" scrap blocks I had played with and never used.

    Sadly, this does not even come close to using up the purple fabrics I still have.

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Smarticle Particles

    I only made quilts for one boy -- the rest are girls.

    Smarticle Particles used up the last of the space themed fabrics I had. One of the Koffman fabrics is so colorful and such good quality that I am sad to see the last of it go.

    This is from a free internet pattern called Long Division from the Crazy Mom Quilts blog.

    Quilting is just the walking foot width around the inside of each block. Nothing fancy.
    The back has a map panel that my friend Tricia gave me I don't know how long ago. Love the way it turned it. I have another panel like it that I can use on another quilt in the future.

    Sorry for all the shadows. It was a windy day and hard to get pictures.

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Hither and Thither

    I wasn't around much on the internet for the month of December.  See, I had decided to make four quilts for my nieces and nephews for Christmas.

    Now I started this at the beginning of the year so its not as impressive as it really sounds. Before we moved I had completed three of the tops and two of the backs. So I really only needed to do one top (which I had pre-cut before moving) and two backs. Then I needed to sandwich all four and quilt them and then bind them.

    Still alot of work for one month.

    And it took me until 4 pm on the 23rd to get them all done.

    Two actually haven't been delivered yet as I don't trust the mail. But I don't think any of the family reads my blog anyways so I feel safe sharing them.

    But only one at a time.

    So today is Hither and Thither.

    The thing about all 4 quilts is that I was trying to use up as many of my scraps as possible before we moved. Material is heavy.  This is yet another Tumbler quilt cut with my Go! Cutter. It is such a fast quilt to put together.

    Quilting is just following the vertical zig zag lines.

    The only thing I had to purchas for this quilt (acutally for all the quilts) was the batting. My friend Rena did the labels for me on her embrodiering machine.  Even the bindings are left over tails sewn together from other bindings.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Word of the Year For 2013

    This seems to have become a yearly post.

    I don't really do resolutions. Too many of the ones I've made have not stuck. And hey America, if it doesn't work, try something new. Novel idea, I know.

    So its more productive for me to just have a word to focus on in the months ahead. Almost like a memorized prayer for the good times and the bad; the daily moments.

    All over FB you see people posting their words. It is fun to read. But some of it is sad. I know you will think I'm crazy but for the people that post words like peace or sentiments like forget everything from last year and just have a great year built on forgetting..... that is just so unrealistic to me.

    Peace will never happen. At least not on a global scale. Evil will always suprise those that stick their heads in the sand and think love conquers all. Peace in your own life is more attainible. That I get. But ignoring the evil has a price all its own. I want to teach my kids how to have a good life without being a willing victim to evil. I don't even know if that makes sense. Its more of a concept of teaching the kids not to let the evil triumph by stealing their joy -- but never to think the evil isn't there. It is. The trick is teaching them a fighting spirit instead of a spirit of fear. Teach them to fight evil, not pretend its not there.

    I also don't want to put this year behind me. In my opinion our country is going in a very wrong direction. I won't pretend its not. More people need to be aware of the wrongs our government is doing. It would be more pleasant to say the election is over and we can get back to normal. But we can't. Our normal is being ripped right out from under us. I will not stick my head in the stand or feel defeated by it. I will share the evils our government does with the news articles that are brave enough to print it. The good things done by our government (and there are good things)  DO NOT cancel out the bad.

    So I've been trying to figure out what would be a good word for me this year. Last year was not a good year. But last year was not the worst that could happen to us either. We aren't broken. Jaded yes, but not broken. So I don't need some word like Recover...because that implies that it was harder than it actually was.

    I also can't think of a single upbeat word. I can't forget the bad things we were put through last year due to greed and politics. It sucks. And I will be honest....I don't believe it gets better from here. A little better maybe, but not much. We are too old to recover from much of the damage done. And I don't think our country is going to rebound like many people do. I think we are following too close in Argentina's footsteps. I think its going to get very bad. So some flowery unicorns and fairies sentiment won't work for me either.

    After thinking about how I can combine both thoughts, I found my word.

    A word that does not ignore our horrible 2012, but does hold hope and the fighting spirit for 2013.

    So for 2013, I choose:


    to bring into order again; gather and organize or inspire anew:     With a new location, job, schools, etc. I will need to rally my home and life.

    to concentrate or revive, as one's strength, spirits, etc.
    After the year we have just been through I need renewed strength.

             to come together in a common order or action
              Starting a new life will require my family to pull together  
          even more

    to come to the assistance of a person, party, or cause (often followed byto  or around  ): I no longer want anything to do with either political party in our country but I do want to rally around our citizens and their rights. 

    to recover partially from illness: This last year has been one long sickness in our country with the politcal climate and hatred Americans have displayed toward each other.

    to find renewed strength or vigor
    I admit to feeling like a dog thats been kicked after this last year.
           (of securities) to rise sharply in price after a drop.
           Hopefully we can get back on our feet and start to rebuild what we 
            lost financially.

          (of the persons forming a stock market) to begin to trade 
           with increased activity after a slow period.

           a renewal or recovery of strength, activity, etc.

           a drawing or coming together of persons, as for common action, as
            in amass meeting:  I look foward to finding a new community I  
             can get involved in.

           a get-together of hobbyists or other like-minded enthusiasts, 
            primarily tomeet and socialize.

    This works for me. Recognizing the fact that we were nearly destroyed while forging ahead in the new year. Forging...not forgetting. 

    So how about you? Do you have a word for this year??

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    Pinterest Project #19

    This Pinterest project comes from a blog called My Oh My

    I always have keys on my rings that I don't know what they are. Since my family lives all over the states, I usually have keys to houses that I use maybe once every couple of years. And since my parents seemed to move every few years, as we did, it can be a mess.

    I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was real cute. At the My Oh My website she gives you the tutorial on how it is done.

    I did mom's new key in a red glitter. I like the way it came out, but I must admit I won't do this again.

    Seems to me it would have been much simpler to just use a glitter fingernail polish. And with all the cool polishes out there the possibilities are endless.

    My key looks great...I won't forget whose house it is for...but way too messy.