There are few things in life that are as soothing and wonderful as a warm mug of soup on a cold, winter’s day. Not to mention if you are feeling a bit under the weather, chicken or turkey soup can be the difference between fed and truly nourished.
While chicken soup has been called Jewish Penicillin for decades, making it with homemade bone broth increases the minerals that are available for absorption and other healthy compounds in your soup. It’s a very inexpensive thing to do if you like to feel a little self-reliant, a little frugal, and like tastier foods.
Just beware that to make bone broth, you must cook it low and slow. Increasing the heat won’t make it happen any faster. Be patient with it.
Now, I’ve gone and done it! In an effort to use up some of the *cough* many bins of assorted fabrics that I have purchased, been given, or traded other scraps for, I am tearing strips into fabric yarn.
I have a few ideas up my sleeve of items that can be made from these balls of fabric goodness, but no definite plan yet.
Some days are just the pits. Half of your family members have chest colds; nobody wants to cook. And, you have two broken feet to boot.
So what’s a gal to do? Limp in to the crockpot and find a way to produce dinner for her hungry crowd before they get hangry!
Everything feels tougher and more time consuming when you are walking on sore tootsies. Even with orthopedic boots, carbon shank inserts, and insoles to add needed support. So, quick and uncomplicated top the priority list for this time in my life.
We had some chicken that had been cooked for a previous meal and frozen. It was a wonderful start. I added one frozen breast from a bag in the freezer and thawed it just enough to be able to run a knife through them. I diced them fine and added to the crockpot along with 1 medium yellow onion, 5 cloves of garlic (minced), two carrots cut into thin rounds, 3 quarts of chicken bone broth, 2 bullion cubes and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of salt. I let it cook on high for about 4 hours before stirring and adding about 3/4 cups of uncooked orzo to the mix. Normally, I would have added celery and used brown rice (wild rice, too, if I have some), but it was more important to use what we had on hand. Any noodles would have worked fine also.
This recipe really is quick and easy. It would have been quicker had I been able to move about a tad easier. To compensate, I didn’t divide the dough into rolls and just baked it in a single piece, slicing into squares when done. I sat and read blog posts while everything had a final rise and again when baking in the oven.
All in all, the rolls took a bit more like 75 minutes, but considering I usually can pull it off in an hour, it was still really good. I come back to this recipe again and again as I can make rolls in less time than thawing out store bought frozen dough. Mine tastes better and I have control of what goes into them. Besides, it made a humble soup from what we had on hand taste even better and seem like a luxury, not a desperate attempt to stay off my feet.
I got a wee bit smitten this summer with this cute baby elephant flannel. It is a nicer weight than most flannels I have seen recently and the design is just darling! So, when a former colleague, Jonathan, and his wife Amy were expecting a baby boy, I couldn’t help but look for more of this particular fabric.
I mixed it with a simple, blue and white, gingham check and made a receiving blanket for sweet, baby Noah! It was a simple design, but it is two sided and nice and soft. Unfortunately, I didn’t get great photos before I sent it to the expectant parents, but I will share what I have.
Another of my former students, Dana, and her husband, Tyler, welcomed a bouncing baby boy named Avery this summer and I sent them a little gift for the baby.
The theme for this one is polka dots. The “pretty” material is blue with white polka dots and the minky fabric is white with raised, white polka dots. It made for one really snuggly blanket. It was soft enough
and cute enough for the Mama, while being cuddly enough for a nap on a cool day. I hope it is something that they will enjoy using and find useful!
I have been horribly remiss about posting the baby gifts that I made back in the summertime. It has been such fun creating something fun for each of the babies that are waiting to arrive. Of course, this blanket was made for a baby who has made her arrival already and I am just now blogging about it.
One of my former students, Reba, and her husband, Tommy, have a beautiful baby girl! I made this blanket to celebrate her arrival. It is made from a very swirly-girly print and white, raised dot minky fabric, so it will be pretty and super soft for her. Hopefully, it will be a good
size to take in a stroller or car seat to stay warm this winter.
Many, many years ago, my bestie and matron of honor at my wedding, Beverly, gave birth to her oldest son, Aaron. I got to watch Aaron grow up into a strong, handsome, smart young man.
I even was able to teach him in High School, much to his chagrin. It was a pleasure to see him grow into adulthood, attend college, enter the military and eventually meet Cameron, the lady of his dreams.
Now, Aaron and Cameron are married and have just had their first born son, Luke. How fun it was to finally get to meet Cameron (they live in Texas and I am in Georgia) and help with her baby shower. It brought back loads of memories of attending Beverly’s baby shower and meeting Aaron for the first time.
Beverly was in the process of making an adorable quilt for baby Luke with Peanuts and the Gang fabrics and Cameron got to see it at her Snoopy themed shower. It was a hit! Beverly always does amazing quilt work!
So, I thought back to a cute memory that my family had with Aaron. When he was little, my parents took him to a local circus. He was always a quiet child and didn’t talk very much, so when he announced that he wanted to ride the elephant at the circus (and they were allowing children to safely ride on the elephants) that my parents couldn’t wait to see if he would like it.
He rode the elephant and was all smiles! Contemplating his adventure on the way home, he announced, “John (my dad), I want an elephant!” It may have been the first time he had initiated a conversation with them and they have laughed about that over the years. When he was deployed to Afghanistan, my dad mailed him a little, plastic elephant toy for his birthday, so he could finally have his elephant!
When I stumbled upon blue flannel with baby elephants on it while looking for something else, I knew that I had to make a
receiving blanket for the baby that his Daddy would also love!
Unfortunately, I have a photo of the flannel that I used in the double sided receiving blanket, but not of the finished blanket itsself. I will have to get one with the baby one day soon.
Baby Luke made his appearance on October 9th, 2015! We are thrilled that both he and his parents are healthy and well (if exhausted)!
Once in a while, I get a chance to give a baby gift that fits in well with the theme that the parents and grandparents are doing the nursery in. This was one of those really fun times!
My friend Regina’s son, TJ, recently got married and is expecting a baby with his wife, Brittany. We are all so excited for their little family and also for Regina and Terry to be grandparents for the first time. Never have people been so excited to welcome a new baby into this world! Their enthusiasm and love is absolutely contagious and it makes it such fun to make a special gift.
I had been stalking Regina’s Pinterest account for a while and knew that she had pinned lots of ideas for her grandson’s nursery. I knew I wanted to make something for this baby, but couldn’t quite decide which direction to go in. Fortunately, Regina and Brittany met me for lunch one day, a couple of weeks ago, and told me all about their nursery plans. That certainly made it far easier to know exactly what kind of look and color scheme they were going for. So, with about 2 weeks to spare, I started shopping for fabric.
The final decision was something in red, white, and blue with a nautical theme. Regina mentioned anchors and I saw them in a few of her Pinterest posts, so that is what I started looking for in fabric. Some fabrics I found had both navy and lighter blues in addition to the red and white. While I liked those, for the front of the quilt, I wanted a very crisp, patriotic color scheme. Having been born while my father was in the Navy, serving in Brunswick, Georgia, I love the nautical theme and knew exactly what I wanted to capture in fabric.
Eventually, I found a navy fabric with a white, anchor print, plain (crisp) white muslin, and a mottled true red. Binding called out for a very tailored red and white stripe and for backing I found a busy, anchor print with both navy and light blues mixed in with red and white.
The top is made from 12 inch stripes (width of fabric) of the navy anchor print and white muslin fabrics. On the lower right hand corner, I machine appliqued an anchor in place. It was a bit nerve wrecking because I had always shied away from machine applique, but it turned out pretty well, I think.
I neglected to get a photo of the beautiful mom-to-be with the quilt, so I can’t share one here, but I am sure that as soon as I can, I will get one of the nursery and that precious baby boy in it!
All in all, the quilt seemed to be a big hit and matches several other items that were made for nursery, so it will be a good fit with the theme of the room. The best part, though, will be welcoming a new little friend into the world.
I make lots of different things for baby gifts. Do you have a go-to baby gift?
Warning, this is a picture heavy post. You have been warned! 🙂
I don’t know about you, but this is the only truly “chemistry” or “science” themed quilt that I am aware of. It took some hunting skills, but once I found the mid-century reproduction atomic prints, I knew I could pull this off! With the “geek chic” style that is coming of age (an appreciation of intellect, go figure), it was fun to round out this little fabric collection.
At first, I was concerned that the overall effect would be a bit somber for welcoming a little bundle of joy, but once I got it all put together, it really worked. Of course the brightly colored liquid in the various flasks do help to lighten the mood, overall.
The best part is that when I finished the project and mailed it off to the Mommy and Daddy to be, they loved it! He is a high level chemist and she is a nurse. They asked for a chemistry or science vibe, and I think I pulled it off. Love my geeky friends!