Wordless Wednesday 4/10/13

springstorm

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Mixer Subway Art

The mister of the house is a very generous guy.  He bought me a vinyl cutting machine a couple of months ago and I have been having fun learning the software, the capabilities of it and the machine, and decorating things with it.  Over the weekend, I decided to decorate my trusty stand mixer.  I had seen a picture on Pinterest of one but wanted to use my own words and designs.  After playing around a little, here’s what I came up with:

Side 1

Side 1

Side 2

Side 2

Base

Base

Side 1 and Side 2 are actually one piece of vinyl that wrap around the top of the mixer.  The base design is a second design I came up with because I wanted to add a little customization to my mixer.  My mixer gets a lot of use on a weekly basis and it’s been with us for a long time and through quite a few moves.  I like “her” facelift.

Why I Can…

People often ask me why I can food.  My first response is always because I can.  Seems simple enough but really there are other reasons. I like growing our own food but since fruits and veggies don’t grow year round, I need to can what we grow and don’t eat right away.  I have a large family and I buy in bulk to help with the cost.  That means sometimes I need to can the excess for another time.  Then there’s the convenience factor.  For example the other day everyone was home for Spring Break.  We all slept in late but needed to get moving to head out the door.  Since it would be hours before we could eat another meal we needed something substantial  to fill our bellies.

So, I pulled out potatoes I had canned from our garden harvest last summer.

last summer's potatoes

last summer’s potatoes

I melted some coconut oil, chopped some fresh green onions, and put in the potatoes with some seasoning to brown.

In the skillet

In the skillet

Because the potatoes were pre cut and precooked in the canning process, by the time cooked the sausage, gathered fresh eggs and cooked them, they were ready.  I also heated up some pancakes I had made earlier in the month and froze.

In 20 minutes we had a hot satisfying breakfast and were soon on the road to enjoy our day.

quick easy breakfast

quick easy breakfast

 

Warmer Weather Means Washing Wool

For me, warmer weather means it’s time to start washing and dying wool and other fibers.  It’s not quite yet consistent enough to break out the wash gear and the fleeces (although it’s getting there).  But, I was itching to get to the drum carder, so I did the next best thing and pulled out what I had on hand already.   Although my stash is very limited right now I did put together a few fibers.

wool, alpaca, silk, and nylon fibers

wool, alpaca, silk, and nylon fibers

As they went round and round on the drum carder I started to see this:

on the carding cloth

on the carding cloth

I pulled off the batt after the first run through and decided to blend it more.

after the first carding pass

after the first carding pass

So I split the batt into pieces and ran it through again then dizzed off into roving form.

roving

roving

I ended up with 3 ounces of light, airy, yummy goodness ready to go.  Stay tuned to see how it spins up.

The Babies Meet The Big Girls

The past couple of days have been cold, windy, and cloudy.  Consequently, I have been a bit unwilling to let the baby chicks out in the yard.  Wednesday was cloudless and warm and a great day to make backyard introductions.

The babies are growing up

The babies are growing up

At first we kept them in the smaller black pen inside the larger pen area so the big girls could get used to them.  Basically they just ignored each other.  We took the babies out and they all ran to the corner of the pen together.  The two sets of chickens kept their distance from each other.

Staying away from each other.

Staying away from each other.

Finally, Red approached them.  Gave one a quick peck and walked away.

Red, our matriarch giving her peck.

Red, our matriarch, giving her peck.

Then Esther joined in.

Esther giving her peck of approval.

Esther giving her peck of approval.

Soon, all seemed to be getting along well together.  Occasionally one of the older girls would give a quick peck and walk away, but for the most part things went well.

Getting along well together.

Getting along well together.

After spending some time wandering around the pen, the babies found their way into the coop for a break.

That-One takes a break in the coop.

That-One takes a break in the coop.

The next few days are going to be quite warm so there will be lots of outside time for the babies.  They are growing so quickly.  I am more then ready for them to be outside.

Potato, Chicken, & Leek Soup

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to leeks.  I had no idea what to do with them, but they came in a basket of fruits and veggies we got through Bountiful Baskets.  So, I went through cookbooks and did an internet search.  I found a recipe that sounded good and I since I had all the ingredients, I went for it.  It was a hit and the Mr. declared leeks his new favorite vegetable.  Yesterday was a very cold and windy and therefore perfect to make the soup (again).   Each time I make it, I change up little things as this seems to be a great base to experiment with.  Here’s what I did this time.

Ingredients:

  • 4 leeks
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 lbs potatoes cubed
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freeze dried chicken or you can use fresh cooked shredded chicken

Directions:

  1. Cut leeks lengthwise, separate, wash well.  Use only the white and pale green parts, chop.  Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper.  Cover and let saute for 10 minutes.  Check often so they don’t brown.
  2. Add water, broth, and potatoes.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are on the soft side.
  3. To make the soup creamy use a blender or stick blender.  If using a conventional blender remove about half of the mix and puree in the blender until smooth and return to the pot.  If using a stick blender, just immerse it in the pot and blend away until creamy.  (I used both methods and find both work equally as well…the stick blender is just quicker and easier to clean)
  4. Add chicken, Italian Seasonings and crushed red pepper and more salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to simmer until the chicken is rehydrated (if using freeze dried) or warmed up (if using fresh)
  5. Served with some warm bread or rolls….yum.

potatoleeksoup

*Adapted from Simply Recipes

Free Knitting Pattern

The Sexy Knitter is giving away a free pattern through Ravelry.  You just need to queue or fav at least 5 patterns from her list and send her a private message to let her know which ones you choose.  She will then send you a random pattern from your list.  Everyone is a winner, but hurry on over, the give away only lasts through March 16th.

I already got my free pattern and plan to knit it over our Spring Break.