Thursday, November 3, 2011
Nothing makes a cold, rainy day better than homemade beef vegetable soup. I made this recipe up one afternoon with what I had on hand, and I loved it so much that I am afraid to alter it in any way. Even my somewhat picky kids like it. You have to keep in mind that I can most of my vegetables, so that is why you see measurements in quarts and pints. Just remember that one pint equals two cups and one quart equals four cups.
Beef Vegetable Soup
1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
1 quart potatoes, cut into chunks
1 pint diced tomatoes, with juice (or you can use a store bought 14 oz can)
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables (I use a carrot, pea, green bean, corn blend)
2 small wedges of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 quart tomato juice
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
1-2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and brown the stew meat. Add the browned meat and all of the other ingredients to the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Discard bay leaf before serving.
Serve with homemade bread or cheese and crackers. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This would also be perfect for Jessie from Toy Story! Just use red yarn, cut the strands a bit shorter and make two braids. Maybe we will do that next Halloween!
Monday, October 31, 2011
This doesn't mean that I am going to stop scrapping. I am hoping this will allow me to get back to the root of why I started scrapping in the first place. I want to fill my pages with stories of our lives and meaningful journaling. No more searching for new and unusual techniques or crazy tutorials that my kids aren't going to give a hoot about when they look at these pages years from now. It is time for me to tell my stories, and that is exactly what I plan on doing, and I'm looking forward to doing it at my own pace with whatever supplies I choose to use. I seriously doubt that my kids are going to care about whether or not I used the latest and greatest in paper and products. It is time to keep it real, and keep it simple. I'm not necessarily saying my style is going to change, but I hope to make my pages much more meaningful. After all, scrapping is still an artistic outlet for me.
Here are the last few pages I did for Creative Scrappers. Thank you, Kristine, for having me on the design team for another term. Maybe someday things will slow down, and I'll join again, but for now, I am going to embrace my new creative freedom and run with it.Notice anything about these pages? Not a single one has any journaling on it. Not every page needs journaling, of course. Sometimes the pictures tell the whole story. But I want to go beyond the pictures and express more. I think my next project is going to be to make a journal to jot down stories and things I want to be sure to document on my pages. I'll post it when I get it done! Thanks for looking and happy scrapping!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I HATE grocery shopping. Seriously, despise it. The only thing I hate more than grocery shopping is grocery shopping on a weekend...with my husband.
Yes, I said it. I HATE grocery shopping with my husband. Trust me. It is an ordeal from hell shopping with him, and it starts before we even leave the house. He has a standard grocery list saved on the computer of things that we usually buy on most grocery trips. That list is organized by aisles in the store. He prints this stupid list out and then makes me go in the kitchen to look in the cabinets and refrigerator while he calls out items on the list and crosses them off if I say we already have that. If I try to add something to the list in the middle of this process, I am told to wait because we aren't at that aisle of the store yet on the list. You see where this is going, right?
Once at the store, he immediately pulls out the list and starts reading and planning out his strategy for maximum efficiency. There is no leisurely stroll to browse items. If I pick something up and put it in the cart that was not on the list, I am interrogated as to the necessity/when it will be used/what it will be used for. And let's not forget about the endless "Don't we already have that in the cabinet?" question. When I go to the store alone, I rarely make a list, and if I do, it is just a few key items that I am afraid I will forget. And 99% of the time when I do make a list, I don't even bother to pull it out of my purse once I get to the store anyway.
There is one thing that does make me happy when I go to the store though. That is a sale on boneless pork loins! I love it when I find them on sale for $1.99/lb or less. I usually buy two or three of them when they go on sale. Once I get them home, I slice them in half and freeze them for future meals. They are so versatile, and I use them for tons of things from pulled pork BBQ, pork stir fry, etc, etc.
One of my favorite uses for boneless pork loin is for my pulled pork taco recipe. My husband loves this recipe so much that he ate leftovers for lunch for three days straight and was sad when it was gone. The beauty of this recipe is that it is done in the crock pot, so there is very little work. Just throw it all in and forget about it.
Pulled Pork Tacos
2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 large onion, quartered
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup chicken broth
Trim fat off of meat and place meat in crock pot. Add chicken broth and then the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove meat from crock pot and shred with a fork.
Serve meat on flour tortillas with sour cream, Mexican cheese, fresh lime juice, and fresh cilantro.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Roast Sticky Chicken
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, quartered
2 Tbsp butter/margarine, melted
1 whole chicken (about 5 lbs)
Combine the salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl.
Remove giblets, neck, and whatever all of that other stuff is inside the chicken and discard. Wash chicken under cold water and pat dry. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and sprinkle some of the seasoning inside the cavity of the chicken. Place the onion inside the chicken, and tie the legs together.
Brush the chicken with melted butter, and sprinkle on the rest of the seasoning. Cover chicken, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Remove cover from chicken, and bake, uncovered, for 5 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the leg or thigh reads 180 degrees.
Most of the time, I make gravy out of the pan drippings after the chicken has been cooked. To do that, all you do pour the pan drippings in a glass measuring cup. Skim the fat from the top and reserve 1/4 cup of the fat. Pour the fat in a saucepan and add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour. Whisk together until smooth, over medium heat. Add enough water to the rest of the pan drippings to equal 2 cups, and gradually add that to the flour mixture. Whisk together, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened.
I love this recipe because I usually get another meal out of the leftovers. The leftover chicken is great for creamed chicken on toast or buffalo chicken dip!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
So without further adieu, I present you with the winner of the scrappy supplies...Comment #4 was Roz!!
Congrats Roz! I will get your prize out to you asap!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
When you buy from boutiques and small businesses, instead of helping a CEO buy a third vacation home, you are helping a mom put food on the table, a student pay for her college textbooks, a little girl finally gets to take that ballet class they couldn't afford. Support our boutiques!
I am gradually adding new items to my Etsy shop as I make them, and I've brought back a few of the most popular sellers from last year. I hope you will check out my shop and share it with your friends too! I also have a Facebook page that you can like to keep up with all of the latest additions. Thanks for your support! You have no idea how much it means to me!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The bad news about apple butter - it takes a while to make it.
But it is worth giving up a whole afternoon for this sugary sweet cinnamon apple goodness. You will be glad when you spread a little on your biscuit at breakfast.
Start by washing, coring, and slicing apples. I used Jonathan utility apples. I sliced enough to fill two large stock pots. Add 1/4 cup water to each pot and start cooking over medium heat. Turn heat down as apples start cooking and stir frequently to prevent burning them. Once they are cooked down and very mushy, run them through a food strainer (See my applesauce post for more info on my Norpro Sauce Master.) Measure out 16 cups of apple pulp. Add 1/2 cup cider vinegar to pulp.Add 8 cups of sugar. Yes, you read that right EIGHT cups of sugar. Some people get all in a tizzy over that much sugar. The apples are tart. It is necessary. Don't worry. It's not like you are going to eat a whole jar of apple butter in one sitting. Well...ok...you might. Just don't tell anyone if you do.Add 4 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. ground nutmeg.Stir it all up. Do not resist the urge to stick your finger in there and taste it.
Pour it all into a large, oven-safe stock pot. Put a splatter screen over the pot and bake at 350 degrees for at least 2 hours, stirring the apple butter every 30 minutes. Depending on how dark you like your apple butter, you can bake it longer. The longer you bake it, the darker the color. I baked mine for 2 1/2 hours.
Sterilize your jars and flat lids in boiling water. Ladle hot apple butter into hot jars. Adjust two piece lids and set aside.
Here is the beauty of this recipe...are you ready for this?
You do NOT have to process this in a pressure canner or a hot water bath! The hot apple butter combined with the hot jars causes the lids to seal themselves. I am not making this up! I had jars sealing before I even finished ladling out the last jar of apple butter. Just store in a cool, dry place, away from light. I have two jars left from a batch I made in 2009, and it is just as good as the day I made it.
This recipe makes about 10 pints of apple butter. I put mine in 12 oz. quilted jelly jars, and ended up with 14 of those.
16 cups apple pulp
1/2 cup cider vinegar
8 cups sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients and transfer to a large, oven-safe stock pot. Place a splatter screen over the pot. Bake at 350 degrees for at least 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Bake longer if you prefer a darker color. Ladle hot apple butter into hot, sterilized jars. Adjust two-piece caps and set aside. Makes 10 pints.
Sketch #164 - Fancy Pants papers, Prima flowersSketch #166 - Pink Paislee papers, Prima flowersSketch #168 - October Afternoon papers, BasicGrey flowers, Studio Calico wood hearts, Webster's Pages trimSketch #170 - Bo Bunny papers, Maya Road doiliesSketch #172 - Crate Paper papers, Riff Raff chipboard, Making Memories butterfliesSketch #174 - Cosmo Cricket papers, Riff Raff chipboard
Be sure and enter my scrap stash giveaway by clicking here! Thanks for stopping by and happy scrapping!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Anyway, Chloe and I made applesauce today. We do this every fall. We head up to Huber's Orchard with my mom and we each buy two giant bags of Jonathan utility apples. They are the best apples to use for freezing applesauce in my opinion. They are actually a very versatile apple and good for many other uses too.Making your own applesauce is super easy if you have the right tools, but it can be time consuming if you don't have help. It took me a good two hours today to finish one batch, which was two large kettles full of sliced apples. I ended up with 16 cups of applesauce in that batch.
All you have to do is wash your apples. Core and slice them. Do NOT peel your apples. keeping the peel on gives your applesauce a gorgeous pink color. I have a habit of only picking the prettiest, reddest apples out of the bag when I'm making applesauce just so it will be prettier. I save the ugly apples for apple butter. It turns brown anyway.
Put your sliced apples in a large pot, and add 1/4 cup of water to keep the apples from sticking to the bottom and burning. No one likes charred applesauce. Cover the pot and start cooking over medium heat. Stir frequently, and turn the heat down as the apples start cooking. Cook them until they are very mushy.If you are serious about canning and freezing, I highly recommend the Norpro Sauce Master. This thing seriously cuts my canning time in half and keeps my arms from falling off using a foley strainer. They are usually around $50 at farm stores, like Rural King. I've seen them on sale for as low as $37, so if you can snag one at that price, it is well worth it. You can also get different screens for it to use for berries, pumpkin, salsa, etc. Not only do I use it for applesauce, but also for tomato juice and all of my freezer jams. It removes all of the peel/seeds from your fruit, and there is very little waste. I am always amazed at how much pulp I get when I use this thing. It is worth its weight in gold around here.
Once your apples are cooked down and mushy, dump them into the strainer, and start cranking the handle. This is the part that the kids like to do. Look at that gorgeous pink apple goodness! Add sugar to taste. I think I put about 3/4 of a cup in this batch. We don't like it super sweet. Let it sit for a few minutes, and put into freezer containers, label, and freeze for up to 1 year.
I still have a bag and a half of apples left, so next up will be apple butter! Yum!
Don't forget about the giveaway on my first blog post! Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment on that post for a chance to win!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I've been pondering the idea of starting fresh in the blogging world for several months now. I have been wanting to take things in a different direction...to include more than just scrapbooking. I felt limited on my last blog. I don't know why I felt that way because, after all, it was MY blog, and I was free to post whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. But for whatever reason, I thought that I should keep it restricted just to scrapping.
I started chatting back and forth with my friend, Kristine, about my idea to start fresh. She said, why abandon Scraps of Deb? Scraps don't have to refer to just scrapbooking...
OMG this woman is a GENIUS! Why didn't I think of this before?
So now I'm starting fresh with The Scraps of Life! (Can you hear The Facts of Life theme song in your head now? Or maybe I'm just showing my age here.) Anyway, The Scraps of Life will be a hodge podge of crafty stuff and life in general. Just a place where I can share my projects or things that I find inspiring, and ramble on about total nonsense, much like I am doing right now.
Most posts will be divided into categories, which just so happen to be some of my favorite things:
- Paper Scraps - posts about scrapbooking and recent layouts.
- Yarn Scraps - crochet projects and updates on my Etsy shop of crocheted hats.
- Fabric Scraps - my adventures (or misadventures mostly) as I dabble in learning to sew.
- Table Scraps - cooking, recipes, canning and food preservation.
- General Scraps - whatever else I feel like posting about when I feel like posting about it -anything from what I'm reading to something silly my kids have done or said.
I hope you will follow me in my new blogging adventure! How about a giveaway to kick it off? Click on the "JOIN THIS SITE" button on the sidebar, AND leave a comment on THIS POST, and I will choose a winner at random one week from today (which will be September 25th) to win some fun scrappy goodies from my stash! Here's a picture of the loot:
Thanks for stopping by!