Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Family and Friends,
Riley Philpot is a 9 year old little girl who goes to our church and has been battling a rare form of cancer since she was 6. Her cancer has returned and is currently in the hospital. Make a Wish foundation was contacted and Riley's wish is to have the mailman dump a bag of get well cards at her door when she returns!! Please take the time to send a get well card to Riley! Thanks so much! You do not have to know this little girl to make this wish come true. If this was your child, and a simple wish like this was asked, a stamp is not much.
Here is her name and Address: Please remember her in prayer to.
206 Slaney Loop Rd.
Winterville, N.C. 28590
As the email says, it doesn't take much to drop her a note or card in the mail and a stamp is not expensive. Please consider bringing some cheer to this sweet child of God!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I am not one to buy canned soups, although I have some in my pantry for emergency use. But I'm not a fan of them, typically because they're loaded with sodium and many just don't taste great. I make many types of soups homemade.
So back to the stomach bug... clear liquid diet. Yeah, chicken soup seems like an obvious choice, but I got to thinking some time ago that sometimes it's just not what you want, and same with your kids. So I made this very simple soup, appropriately called Sick Kid Soup, and have had ZERO complaints from the kids, and it's a good transition to eating something other than the BRAT foods. I like it because it's low in sodium, high in vitamins, and isn't too bland. And yes, I have eaten it myself, under similar circumstances.
I also freeze this in some Ziploc soup containers for future use so I'm not having to make a pot of soup every time a child encounters this type of ailment. I had one of those frozen soups come in handy tonight. And my label maker makes a nice label that simply says 'Sick Kid Soup'. That way I know exactly what to grab from the freezer when I need it.
Sick Kid Soup
1 box organic beef broth (or any beef broth you can find with low sodium will do)
1 cup organic veggie ABC pasta
Bring the broth to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until pasta is cooked. Use about 1/2 to 1 cup for a serving, freeze the rest for future use!
Note: I found the ABC pasta [a while back] at The Fresh Market.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I found a blog, Calico, where Cally gives a simple tutorial on how to make this strap. It's incredibly easy and fast. I made about 4 in one hour, and possibly could do more next time. Cally makes the point that [these days] many moms and dads aren't carrying the bulky, typical diaper bags that used to be the norm. This diaper strap simplifies things. Also, if you are headed into a public restroom, mom or dad, you don't have to take the entire bag with you. In ours I have the little wipes container, 2 diapers and 1 disposable changing pad. Plenty of room left (based on length of velcro) to add more if we needed to.
So I made these 4 diaper straps with fabrics I already had in my stash, and the button embellishments are from my antique button jar. Leopard print, batik with leaves, boating, and polka dots. Would love to know what you think about this project! Also, if you're a parent of a child in diapers, or planning to become a parent soon, would you use one?
Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!
That blossom was the perfect complement to this handbag I created. It's from Martha Stewart's website and is INCREDIBLY easy to make, less than 1 hour easily. I made 2 of the same in about an hour. I used a pretty wool plaid in pink and grey, which I'm in the process of making myself a poncho. To line, I have yards and yards of a gorgeous dark grey material that I'm tempted to make a suit with, but haven't started because I like quick projects. It is, in fact, reversible. And it's so cute, I've added pics of the handle untucked and tucked below.
You have to print the template and then zoom to 200%. The easiest way to do it is to cut the original printout into 4 equal parts and then expand each to 200%, then cut out and tape together the final template. The rest of the instructions and tips are on Martha's website, including the clip from her show when they showed how to make it.
What a cool idea for gifts!!! Even without the blossom this handbag is the cutest.
More to come soon!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Ideas for giving this as a gift:
- Beach bag: Choose bright colors like the one shown today. Add a book, some sunscreen and a snack, and it can be carried to the beach!
- Bath/Shower bag: I thought of people who travel or go to camp. This can be filled with shampoo, shower gel, a puff and other bath toiletries, tailored for the person you have in mind.
- Make it even more special: Have it monogrammed for a friend or couple getting married. Take it to the monogrammer before stitching up into a bag.
- For a child: Fill with outdoor toys for the beach or park, bubbles, sand castle toys, gardening toys.
Is there anyone on your list that might like a bag like this?
I also started going through some scrap fabrics today. I have some exciting things planned. But for today I had a piece of fabric too small for much of anything, so I turned it into a simple zipper pouch. I had a small zipper that had been on clearance at the fabric store some time ago. It came together in less than 10 minutes! It's about the size of a wallet and could hold cosmetics, money, you name it. These are so cheap and easy, they make great stocking stuffers or simple birthday surprises.
More great projects to come, hope you are inspired to do some of your own! Christmas is 3 months away, tomorrow!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Steamed-Chicken Rice Fingers with Dipping SauceFor the rice fingers:
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (buy the ready rice that's pre-cooked)
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro leaves
- Spinach leaves to prevent rice fingers from sticking
For the dipping sauce:
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water heated until sugar melts, then cooled)
Mix together the chicken, egg, onion, water chestnuts, and cilantro in a bowl. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper. Put rice into a bowl. Shape into 20 "finger" shaped sticks, about the size of a man's finger. Roll each in the rice, then place them on the waxed paper and refrigerate or freeze for at least 1 hour. Once chilled, you can transfer them to an airtight container, separating them with layers of waxed paper, and refrigerate or freeze for future use.
When it's almost time to serve, boil water in the bottom half of a steamer. Line the steaming basket or top half of the steamer with the spinach leaves, place the rice fingers on top of the lettuce, cover, and steam over a rolling boil for about 30 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, and simple syrup. Serve in small bowls alongside the rice fingers.
Note: my girls would not eat the dipping sauce, so they had ketchup/mustard. The dipping sauce was good but I could see adding some ginger or something, too. I served with sweet potatoes and green beans.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I also love to listen to all the different types of birds out there. I think it's because I grew up loving to hear the birds. We'd have the windows open on days when it wasn't too hot or too cold; the birds would be chirping away. I love to look for different types of birds, too. I love sharing this passion with my girls.
I also love to sit in the morning with a strong cup of hot black tea. Nothing added, just tea. It's calming, reminding me of family. I come from a line of tea drinkers. Hot tea, that is. At family gatherings, tea is always being prepared as soon as dinner is over, to enjoy with dessert.
This morning, as my sick child played with toys, I found my place of solitude here. Home.
I created this blog as a way to share my different passions, all revolving around home. Today I share about the solitude I find at home. Where do you find solitude?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I am working on these cards in phases. I started out with the cards, then stamped the medallion on each one, then added the adhesive-backed jewels. I then found a die cut for the sentiment to be stamped on, and chose a sentiment to fit inside. Originally I chose a sentiment but couldn't find a die cut that worked with my medallion and fit the size requirement of the stamp. So I found a set of Hampton Arts clear stamps at Michaels that was perfect, and paid only $6 for the stamp set with my 40% coupon. Not a bad deal! I love the simplicity of the 'peace. love. joy.' sentiment and I think it's just perfect for the card. The die cut I used is by Sizzix and is called Christmas Tags, which is on clearance on their website right now. I trimmed off the Christmas tree.
I put 2 stamped sentiments inside, one being "Merry Christmas" from the same clear stamp set. The other one is from an old Stampin Up set.
I also shared this encouraging card with someone this week. I've got that person on my prayer list, per their request. I have always loved this sentiment, by Wordsworth, and the coordinating stamp for the inside says "MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU". Love this old Stampin' Up designer series paper, and added one of their current flower accessories with a brad in the center.
Would love to hear your thoughts on homemade cards. Does anyone you know send them to you? Do you like receiving them, or could you care less? Have you made them? If yes, how much time do you put into card making? Any other comments on homemade cards are welcome!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The first recipe is one that my friend Holly and her husband created and won first or second place at the NC state fair. I can't remember exactly because it was probably 8 or 9 years ago. They called it Oriental, but to me it tastes Polynesian, which is somewhat similar. I will make the disclaimer that the recipe says to boil the marinade, which we have done many times, but technically you're not supposed to reuse a marinade over again- you're supposed to trash it because of e-coli or one of those other yucky diseases. You make the choice.
Oriental Pork Chops
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple (in it's own juice)
4-6 boneless pork chops (make sure they're thick enough to slit in half)
Combine first 6 ingredients & juice from pineapple (reserve pineapple for later). Set aside. Cut slits into the sides of the chops to form pockets. Marinate chops for 1 hour or overnight. Stuff each chop with 1 Tbsp pineapple. Reserve marinade. Preheat grill & cook pork chops over med-high heat 10-15 minutes on each side until done. Add remaining pineapple to marinade & boil for 3 minutes. Serve over chops.
The next recipe is really just something I did based on a Pampered Chef idea. I used the Deep Covered Baker (a must have) to cook a tenderloin. I threw in some other things, cooked some brown rice and made the marinade above as a sauce to compliment. The jerk seasoning can be found in the McCormick section of the grocery store, or Pampered Chef also sells it.
Easy Jerk Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin (fat trimmed off)
1 bell pepper (your choice of color)
1/2 yellow onion
2 Tbsp jerk seasoning
In a microwave safe baker (that has a lid), pour 1-2Tbsp olive oil and spread around the bottom. Slice up the pepper and onion and spread across the bottom of the baker. Place the tenderloin on top. Pour 1-2 Tbsp olive oil across the top of the tenderloin and then sprinkle jerk seasoning all over the top of the meat. Cover and cook in microwave on high for 8 minutes. Check center of meat with thermometer. It needs to read 150. If it is not quite to 150, heat for a couple more minutes, then recheck temp. Once you reach 150, cover and let sit in the baker for 10 additional minutes. Then it will be ready to serve!
Again, I served with rice and the "Polynesian" sauce above and some french bread. For the sauce, I mixed everything but the pineapple in a saucepan, brought to a boil until thickened, added the pineapple, stirred and served. This one is easily doubled if you have the deep covered baker, I actually made this recipe doubled this week and shared it with another family, Jeremy and Lindsay, who I think about and pray for daily. They lost their 4 month old son recently. Please pray for them, too.
Hope you enjoy your weekend. It's beautiful outside here, so I hope to spend some time out there this afternoon.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I got this recipe from Sunset magazine, don't remember the month or year, but I think the recipe is probably about 9 or 10 years old, based on when I remember making it and where we lived. It may be older, I just can't remember. LOL, mommy brain, my girls took some of my brain cells. Oh, and Sunset magazine, in case you didn't know, is a lot like Southern Living, but for people out west.
Back when I first started making this, I did all of the peeling and thin slicing by hand. Then about 7 or 8 years ago I bought the Pampered Chef Apple Peeler Corer Slicer. Even the hubby is willing to help with it now that I have a cool tool to do the hard work.
Los Rios Apple Crisp
8 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup regular rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Vanilla ice cream
In a 2 qt casserole, mix apples with granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp flour and cinnamon. In a bowl, combine rolled oats, brown sugar, butter, and 3/4 cup flour. Rub with your fingers until butter pieces are no longer distinguishable. Stir in chopped pecans. Sprinkle topping evenly over apples. Bake dessert in the middle of a 350 degree oven until apples are tender when pierced, and topping is browned, 45 min-1hr. Serve warm with ice cream!
Another reason to anticipate autumn, it's apple season!