Thursday, January 19, 2012

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Wild rice soup is a staple is this house.  Pretty much everyone LOVES it.
The recipe I typically use I got off the back of a wild rice package.  It is good, really good....but calls for lots of canned soups.  To me that's just one more thing I need to stock in my pantry.  

When I saw this new recipe on pinterest I had to try it.
No canned soups needed!

(By the way if you haven't checked pinterest out it, do it!  So much fun, so many ideas!!)

½ cup butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ – 1 cup frozen corn
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup carrots, sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups nonfat half-and-half (use normal half-and-half if you prefer, but you won’t believe how delicious this is with the nonfat variety!)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Then add flour and stir well. Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Bring the soup just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer, while stirring, for 5-6 minutes, until it has thickened slightly.

Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow all the ingredients to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half. Let the soup gently simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The soup should not boil but should simmer over low heat so that it thickens slowly.

She mentions that the vegetables and be changed up a bit, just have 2 cups.  I didn't add the corn, and added more carrots(we love carrots).  I also did not have half and half, mushrooms, or curry powder.  I live in the boonies.  Driving to the store for a few ingredients isn't even considered.  The 1% milk I had in the fridge seemed to work wonderfully.  We still ended up with a thick, creamy, delicious soup!


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread

It's cold here today, and only suppose to get colder.  A nice hot bowl of soup with a side of crusty bread sounded in order.  
I found a few bread recipes that you bake in your dutch oven and they sounded yummy(dutch ovens give you crust bread)!  They were no knead breads though.  To make it I would need to let dough sit for 6-8 hours(or overnight).  I didn't have that kind of time(though it did look like something I want to try sometime).  Then I stumbled upon this nice little post on making a basic bread in your dutch oven.  I was excited!

Now, I am a VERY novice break maker.  I don't even mix or knead it myself.  The bread machine does that.  I can tell you what I did and how it turned out.  Any other questions, you're on your own.

Package of active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups all purposed flour
2 tsp. salt
pinch or two of sugar

First I mixed my yeast and warm water together and let them sit.  While that was sitting I dumped the flour, salt and sugar in my bread machine.  I had seen a post on herb bread and thought that would be fun to try, so I dumped some herbs in there(fennel, thyme, oregano....the fennel was the kicker!!).  I then hit the dough setting on the machine and left the kitchen.  I just love that about the machine : )

(You can do this without a bread machine of course, just takes more of your time.  The link above gives you by hand instructions.)

Dough ball rubbed down with some olive oil.

When the dough is done.  I turned the oven up to 400 degrees.  I greased my dutch oven a bit and rubbed olive oil around my dough ball.  I then cut a few slits on top of the dough.

Few slits cut on top.

Place cover on the dutch oven and place in oven.  Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees then remove the lid.
Continue baking for another 15 minutes or until your bread is brown.
Take out and cool.


Yummy dutch oven herb bread with wild rice soup.
It was the perfect bread for our creamy soup on a COLD night!!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

*Fairy Wands*

An awesome weekend craft with kids in mind....


They are super easy and fun to make. 

Supplies you are going to need are clear plastic ornament, a dowel, ribbons, glitter, sequins, fake snow......whatever else your imagination believes a fairy wand should be made of!

Of course a glue gun is handy.

To attach the dowel to the ornament I cut a hole in the metal top.  The metal is very thin and was easy to fiddle with.

When the hole was large enough to fit the dowel I glued the heck out of it.  I wasn't worried about cosmetics here.  You can cover this up with ribbon later.  I was more concerned with this holding up to a 4 year old playing fairy princesses with it and her 5 year brother playing who knows what with it.

Stuff your ornament with all that fun stuff you found.  I also added a chunk of tulle to fill it up a bit more.
Place the metal part back on the ornament and glue some more.  

Add some ribbon or you could have your kiddo color the dowel.  Whatever suits your fancy.  If you add the ribbon all the way down the dowel make sure to glue as you wrap so it stays.  

So much fun!  You will find yourself twirling the wand around saying 
{Bibbidi bobbidi boo may all your dreams and wishes come true!!!}

(note: my house is still messy)

Tip Junkie handmade projects


 shabby creek cottage

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Vintage Snowman

 Making a vintage inspired snowman.

Supplies you will need are:
  • Bamboo Fiber
  • Felting Needle
  • Two styrofoam balls (different sizes)
  • Cloves for eyes, peppercorns for mouth
  • Toothpick for nose, and for connecting balls
  • Glue, to better secure the balls
  • Accessories to dress up your snowman(i.e buttons).
  • Glitter and hairspray(for making your glitter stick)

With toothpick or piece of wire connect the two balls.  Place glue to better secure them into place.

Place some of the bamboo fiber on the balls and start needle felting.  My older kids thought this was fun(just be careful cause needle is sharp!)

Before needle felting and after.

Now for the fun part!  Dressing up your snowman!
Find some fun buttons, and a small piece of something for a scarf.   We also used glitter pipe cleaners as a base.
This is the part my younger child enjoyed.

Stick cloves in it for the eyes and peppercorns for the mouth.  Snap a portion of the toothpick off for the nose and color the toothpick orange.

Here is the snowman so far.  Looks pretty good! 
One more step to make our snowman {Vintage}.

This step is messy, we did it over a sink.
We sprayed the snowman with hairspray.
Then sprinkled the glitter!!  Do NOT be shy about the glitter!


Our vintage inspired snowman.

Before glitter.
After glitter.

Tip Junkie handmade projectsFunky Junk's Sat Nite Special


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