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1/27/14

Win a Vintage Blue Jar with Zinc Lid! {Giveaway}

I love these old vintage blue jars so much, I thought you might like one too!  If you'd like to enter to win this beautiful vintage blue quart jar, there are multiple chances to win. 
I wish I had 10 or 20 jars to giveaway!   Because everyone needs an old blue jar somewhere in their house, right?  :)   
This jar is for decoration purposes only, not for use with canning food (it's old!)  It would make a beautiful vase for flowers, or a cute pencil holder on your desk or just to sit pretty on a shelf somewhere for a pop of color.  The options you are just endless!
 
 
 
The jar is "Ball", the zinc lid is "Atlas".  There are some air bubbles made right into the glass to add a little character!
 
*At this time, drawing is for US residents only.  My apologies to friends outside of the US.
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
 
 
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Sharing with A Proverbs 31 Wife

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Liz at The Brambleberry Cottage's Time Travel Thursday 

1/25/14

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe : Printable Recipe

It's cold and snowy here today, so naturally that calls for a bowl of hot soup! :)

I thought I'd share my Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup today.  I know there are many versions of this recipe out there online, but I have to say, this is my favorite one.  This soup will warm you up and, if you happen to have a stuffy nose or cold, it might just break it loose for you!  So, get your tissues ready!
I hope you'll try it, tweak it to your taste and enjoy!

 

I don't have step-by-step photos of the recipe to share with you today, I sort of threw it together rather quickly and shared this photo on a couple social network sites I use and was asked about the recipe, so here you go!  

I have included a printable recipe at the end of this post that you can click to print for your recipe files.


* * *

You'll need:

 Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
4 tbsp. taco seasoning
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes & green chilies ( I use mild)
2 cans Great Northern (white) beans, drained and rinsed
2 lbs. chicken breast or tenders
1 box or can of chicken stock (I used 2 cans of broth, we like it soupy instead of thick, this is up to you)
Garnish:  a bag of tortilla chips, lime juice and cilantro.


Here's what you'll do:


Saute onion, garlic and chicken in olive oil until chicken is done.  Dice or shred chicken after it is cool enough to handle.
Add all ingredients to a pot, give a stir to mix everything well.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add a sprinkle of fresh or dried cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice to each bowl and tortilla chips on the side. 

Simple and quick, right?


 
**Click here for the printable recipe!**
 
Sharing with:
Proverbs 31 Thursday 
&
Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange
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1/18/14

Valentine's Day Heart Garland Template



With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I thought I'd share how I made my felt heart garland here on my little space.  
These hearts are simple to make, and very cute hung on a mantel.  If you need a template, I've included one to print at the bottom of this post.

* * *
Here's what you'll need:
Sheets of felt in the colors that you like, I chose red and white. (these can be found in any craft store)
Matching thread & a needle
Embroidery floss
Two buttons in coordinating colors
Batting or pillow fluff (as I call it)

Here's what you'll do:

The directions are very simple; each finished heart will have two large hearts and one small heart.  

For 6 hearts, you will need to cut out 12 large hearts and 6 small hearts.  My garland has six hearts, but you can use as many as you'd like to have.
Begin by placing the smaller coordinating colored heart in the center of one of the larger hearts and hand sew them together, repeat this process with the remaining five hearts.  Next, sew the larger heart that will become the back of the hearts you've already sewn together, making sure to leave enough space to "stuff" your heart with the batting before sewing them completely together.  I'll be honest here, the day I decided to make these hearts, I didn't have batting or pillow fluff.  My hearts have tissue crumpled up inside them.  :)  Use whatever you have on hand that will work to make a little heart pillow.  Repeat with the remaining five hearts.


After stitching and stuffing all six hearts, you're ready to string them up on the embroidery floss.  I suggest measuring your mantel to see how long to cut your floss.  

Photo taken with my phone
 I wanted these hearts to look homemade and sort of primitive, so I didn't fuss too much while I stitched these up, and I am by no means a seamstress - at all.
After stringing the hearts on the floss, add a matching button to each end of the floss.  This will keep your hearts from sliding off the floss.









Print your Valentine's Heart Garland template HERE

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1/13/14

Recipe: Hearty Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

Today is a grey, cold and rainy day, which means it's a perfect day for a big pot of hearty homemade vegetable beef soup!


I made this soup earlier today and it really hit the comfort spot for my family.  Best of all, you will probably have leftovers to enjoy for the next couple days!  
A friend from Instagram asked for the recipe, so, I thought I'd share it here today. 
It's pretty simple and really tasty and if you are a soup lover like we are, it should hit the spot on a cold day like today.  

If you'd like to print the recipe for your own recipe files, be sure to scroll to the end of the post for the link.

***

You'll need:
A large stock pot no smaller than 6 quarts
Large skillet

-------------
Ingredients:
6 large potatoes, diced in quarter size chunks
1/2 head of chopped cabbage
4 large carrots, chopped in quarter size chunks
5 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen lima beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
8 ounce can tomato sauce **
1 quart V-8 Juice **
1 large onion, chopped
2 pounds lean ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large stock pot with sea salt added to water, boil potatoes, carrots, cabbage & celery on a medium boil for approximately 12-14 minutes.



While vegetables are boiling, add olive oil to skillet, add onions, saute until translucent, season onions with salt & pepper then add ground beef, season with another fine layer of sea salt & pepper.  Cook until brown.



During the last 5 minutes of the vegetables cooking, add into the vegetable pot: frozen peas, frozen, lima beans & frozen corn.


After the frozen vegetables boil in the pot for 5 minutes, I drain 3/4 of the water from the vegetable pot.  I use a ladle to dip out the water, simply because I have a hard time handling the heavy cast iron pot due to carpal tunal.  It takes me a couple extra minutes to do it this method, but it works for me. :)

Add browned beef & onions, tomato sauce and V-8 Juice.  



 Stir well & simmer for a few minutes.


Note: you can adjust the amount of water you leave in the pot & the amount of V-8 Juice you add back to the pot according to your own taste.

**If you are watching your sodium intake, you can purchase the low-sodium brands of tomato sauce & V-8 juice.


Enjoy!

 
Click here for the printable recipe!
 
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Sharing with
 Proverbs 31 Thursday
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thriving Thursdays 
Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange
 

1/8/14

How To Boil The Perfect Fresh Egg


Do you peel chunks away while trying to peel your farm fresh boiled eggs?  Well, you are in luck!
This tip I'm about to share may very well save you from throwing your half peeled eggs into the compost pile or trash.

You don't have to wait a week or two to let your fresh eggs age before boiling them, with this method, you can gather eggs from the nest and have them boiled perfectly and ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.

Here's how:

Using a push pin and a meat mallet, lightly tap a hole into the fat bottom of the shell.  Do NOT tap hard, this only takes the most gentle tap you can possibly make.  You don't want to push the pin hole all the way through to the membrane.
 By putting a hole in the shell, you are allowing an air pocket to form, which in turn allows the membrane to easily separate from the shell after it has been boiled and makes the peeling process so much easier.


 Start off with your water boiling in the pot, using a strainer, gently put the eggs into the boiling water, turn the heat down to a gentle boil, which is about medium on my stove. Let them boil for 10 minutes - prepare an ice water bath while they're boiling.


Then after 10 minutes, transfer them to the ice bath for 10 minutes. Roll them on the counter to crack, stick your thumb nail into the fat bottom where you poked the hole. There should be an air pocket there that you can get your finger into to allow you to peel the shell off easily.






Throw those shells in the compost bin and enjoy your delicious egg!

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Sharing with The Modest Mom Blog

1/1/14

Money Saving DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent



We all enjoy that feeling that comes with knowing you've saved your family money.  Laundry detergent is one of the more expensive household necessities that we all have to spend money on.  It's impossible to keep a home without having clean clothing, right?  
Today, I'd like to share my cheap, homemade laundry detergent recipe.  When I say cheap, I don't mean the quality of the detergent isn't up to par, I mean it's cheap to make - considering you can wash around 300 loads of laundry for less than $25.00.  That's about $.08 per load!
I've tried several soap recipes that only use 2 - 3 ingredients, including the liquid version and hands down, I have found this recipe to be the best!  Give it a try, I think you may never switch back to that expensive store bought detergent once you see how much money you save using this homemade laundry soap!  Be sure to read to the end of this post, I have included a printable recipe that you are welcome to print to keep.

***
Here's what you'll need:




First, assemble your equipment.  You'll need a couple air-tight storage containers, a large clean bucket, a cheese grater, a large bowl to grate the soap bars into, a big wooden spoon for mixing, eye protection and a dusk mask for the mixing part.  Mixing the powders can create a 'smoke' like cloud, so be sure to protect your eyes and lungs!  I found my plastic 19 cup containers from The Dollar General Store for $4 each.  I chose plastic containers over glass containers, it just made more sense to me to use plastic, but feel free to use any container you'd like.  *Tip - Remove the soap bars from the packages about a week before you plan on making your detergent, store in a dry place.  It gives the soap time to dry out, which means it will be easier to grate. 

Grate the Zote bars using the smaller side of the cheese grater.  Grating it to a fine consistency will ensure that it dissolves easier in your washer. 

See the difference in the soap grated on the larger side of the cheese grater? 


After you're finished grating the soap bars, begin mixing your detergent by adding one cup of each ingredient at a time in a large, clean bucket, then mix thoroughly.  Keep layering the ingredients until you've incorporated all the ingredients together.  Don't forget your goggles and mask!  I'm speaking from experience, the first time I mixed this recipe, I ended up with my eyes burning, powder in my contacts and a dry, hacking cough from the 'smoke' clouds that can happen if you dump all the ingredients in at one time.
After mixing it all well, transfer your detergent into your storage containers.  You will notice how nice it smells.  It has a very fresh, clean scent that isn't too overpowering.

Save the scoop that is included in your OxiClean canister, it just happens to be a 2 tablespoon scoop!  


Now, I guess you're wondering by now how well does this stuff work?  It has worked very well for me!
They're white again!
I wish I had thought to take a 'before' photo of these undershirts.  I'm embarrassed to admit, they both had ring-around-the-collar.  I've had these for a couple years, and wear and wash them often, I've even bleached them trying to get them white.  I hated to part with them, because I haven't found them in the store since I bought them.  They are a very modest undershirt in a low-neck-shirt kind of world. 

 
 
Click here for printable Laundry Detergent recipe 
 
 
I'm sharing with The Modest Mom Blog
 
Raising Mighty Arrows - Proverbs 31 Thursdays
From The Farm
 
 
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