Crock Pot Soup or Clean out the Fridge and Freezer

May 20, 2010

I love a good crock pot soup recipe. Last night, I had already decided to have breakfast for supper, but I knew I’d need something for lunch today, and breakfast for supper leaves no leftovers. Well, the way I cook it doesn’t. So after I enjoyed my (locally bought, organic!) scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast covered in homemade blueberry preserves, I started thinking about what I could use to make soup.

In the fridge I had some still firm but on its way out celery and carrots. I found a freezer bag with about a cup of frozen chicken and conveniently labeled ‘chicken for soup’. I had brown rice and lentils, both of which I love in soup. In the cabinet, I had string beans and diced tomatoes.


Here’s how it came together:

2 1/2 to 3 cups diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2/3 cup lentils
1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup frozen chunk chicken (I boiled a chicken a while ago and pulled off all the meat. This is what was left that I didn’t need back then)
1 can green beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained
1 T Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
Salt to taste

Put everything in a crock pot and cover with water. Cook on low 8-9 hours. This morning, I had soup ready to go for today’s lunch. I have many servings left, for a healthy, almost meat free meal. You could easily leave the chicken out, change up the vegetables, and adjust the seasonings to what you like best. What I liked best about this soup is that I used up the celery and carrots and they didn’t ruin in the crisper drawer. I think this soup would be good with black beans, but I put black beans in almost everything, so I decided to leave them out this time.

What’s your favorite crock pot soup recipe?


Vintage Embroidery Owl

May 18, 2010

I took up embroidery as a hobby and I love it. Recently,  I completed a project I’m really enjoyed working on.  This is a vintage owl. I got the pattern from Stitchy Britches.

Owl on a branch

I used a blue cotton/poly blend fabric. This actually used to be a shirt of my dads. His company merged and the logo changed so he can not wear any of his old shirts. My mom was gonna toss them but as a true greenie, I said “No! I can cut them up and use them!”

So, this part became the foundation for my owl. I really like owls.  This owl uses back stitch, stem stitch, split stitch, detached chain stitch, and satin stitch. I used six strands for everything, because I really like a heavy look.

Close up of a flower

The other big flower

Close up the owl belly

I used variegated thread on the owl belly designs and the feathers.  This was a fun project.  I framed this one and hung it up when I finished.


Sharing the awesome

April 16, 2010

I wanted to share a great tutorial I just read from Just Something I Made.  Cathe took a vintage book and used it to make a cover for her planner.  The instructions are easy to follow and the pictures really illustrate her directions. Check it out.

Vintage book planner tutorial

I love blank journals, and planners, and diaries. I cannot wait to try this project for myself. Which I will do as soon as I find a vintage book I don’t mind cutting up. 🙂


Composed on the phone

April 2, 2010

I just got WordPress on my Blackberry. This post is mostly a test to see if what I write shows up on the blog. I live in a rural area and my only options thus far for internet have been dial-up or mega expensive satellite connection. I work at a university and after have a great connection all day, coming home to dial-up was mega frustrating so I canceled that service over a year ago. I have been saving up for satellite service and while I can afford the set up (finally) the monthly fee is still beyond my budget. So, if I can update this blog using my phone… Well, I see a lot more posts in my future. Here’s hoping.


A wine cork bathmat

March 25, 2010

Look what I saw today! A DIY wine cork bath mat.  This looks like a fun project and a great addition to the bathroom when you’re tired of your current bath mat or rug.

Happy Crafting!


Charles Moore on the David Letterman show

March 17, 2010

Beth Terry of Fake Plastic Fish has a great post about Charles Moore on David Letterman. I found it interesting and wanted to share it all with you. Click the link and check it out.



Tree Music

July 17, 2009

When I first saw this, I was amazed.  The most amazing thing to me though, is how strongly memories of my childhood came flooding back to a climbing tree I spent hours in growing up. It was a huge mimosa, one of those ancient ones with five branching trunks, and limbs that went up and up. My sister and I used to climb that tree up to the skinny branches where they held us only because my sister and I were lightweight kids with great balance.

I remember one brach grew up, then out, almost straight. It forked, and we could hang upside down from that fork, with only our legs keeping us from falling on our heads. I loved that branch most, among all the branches of the tree. There were parts of the tree where the bark was rubbed smooth from our climbing hands and feet. We were called monkeys, and when our cousins came over, the tree was full of monkeys.

Amazing how one video can spark decades old memories, in moments.

Diego Stocco – Music From A Tree from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.


Veggie Crock Pot Soup

July 15, 2009

Wanted to share my latest crock pot soup. I went to the farmers market this past Saturday and picked up many things. Last night, I used some of them in my latest crock pot creation.

1 eggplant-diced
1 yellow squash-sliced thin
1 half bag of baby carrots-from the freezer
1/4 cup lentils
1/4 cup brown rice
6-7 small ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
many cherry tomatoes, very ripe, whole
2 cups black beans
2 leftover packets of salsa from taco kits

The eggplant, squash, and tomatoes, were all fresh, and all local. I put everything in the crock pot, added just enough water to keep it all moist and cooked it all night. I put it on around 7pm and cooked it until 5:30 this morning. Everything is fully cooked, and wonderfully flavored.   I am having this for lunch today, and for several days to come. I am thrilled with how delicious it tasted as I scooped it into storage containers this morning. I love my crock pot, and I love how much easier it makes my life.

This dish was a great mix of using fresh ingredients, plus what I had hanging out in the freezer and fridge. I like coming up with interesting combinations and having something delicious be the result. What’s your favorite crock pot meal?


Camping Fail

July 13, 2009

So this weekend I thought I’d drag my tent out and set it up. I wanted to make sure it was in good shape so I can plan a camping trip, perhaps for this fall. Well, I found out I have TWO tents. One is a very very old canvas contraption. I knew it was in the shed, but I really thought it was an old large tarp. When I unfolded it, it was in fact a large old tent. I found the tent poles and all the tent stakes that go with it, but, I didn’t really want to struggle with it too much.

Next I found the tent I was pretty sure I knew I had, a lighter weight, nylon (four person?) tent. This one was made by Coleman, and I again had all the tent poles and stakes and such for it. So I laid it out and went to assembling.Flat Tent

You can see the old canvas tent behind the newer nylon one. What you don’t see there are any instructions. At that point, I couldn’t find any. I causally looked in the bag the tent and the poles were in, no luck. I checked the bag with the stakes, nothing. I went inside and looked in my file where I have owners manuals to everything I own and some stuff I have thrown away, but for some reason, still have the manual. Nada.

So, I went back out and tried some more to figure out how exactly all those poles connect to each other. Did I mention the last time this tent was put up was well over a decade ago, and I was the helpful cheerleader, not the putter-upper? True it took two of us back then, but I’m handy, I should be able to figure this out.

I was about to give up with I noticed a pocket, this pocket in fact:

The pocket

The pocket

It was on the canvas duffel bag that had contained the tent, the poles, and the stakes. And inside…



Yes, the instructions. Unfortunately what the instructions do not say in their helpful three steps is how many people you need to complete the three steps. Well, lemme tell you. MORE.THAN.ONE.

This is as far as you can get with one person.

Two sheets to the wind

Two sheets to the wind

That is the center of the roof, and if it looks unstable, that would be because it is. What you need is two people holding this part while someone else proceeds to put up the next poles. What you have with one person is a comedy of errors. After trying and failing way past the point of sanity, I gave up. The next day, I put everything back in the proper bag and put it all back in the shed.

So, will there be a camping trip this fall? Only if I can find enough people to help me put up a tent.


Sharing Some Link Love

July 10, 2009

Fake Plastic Fish has a great post up about some of the problems with bottled water: It’s not the bottle

365 Days of Trash lets us know about the secret life of t shirts.

Have a bunch of cassette tapes lying around? Recyle Dead Media

Allie’s Answers has a great guest post about grilling out without the meat.

The Sierra Club has a great new wiki trails site up.

The Chicago Tribune has a wonderful article about how to stretch your food taste, and food dollars.

Harvesting the power of water as an energy source. Free Flow Power thinks it can be done.

Hope you enjoy these. Found a site or read an article that you love? Lemme know in comments.