Thursday, November 3, 2011

Table Scraps - Beef Vegetable Soup (Crock Pot Recipe)

It is a cold, rainy, dreary day today. I did achieve my goal this morning of getting to the grocery store and back before the rain started. That was the highlight of my day. As soon as my son got on the school bus, my daughter and I raced to the store, and although I didn't think I needed very many things, we somehow managed to fill up the cart. Pork loins and spare ribs are on sale at Meijer this week, by the way, which made the trip worth it.

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

Yarn Scraps - Rapunzel Wig

My daughter's favorite movie is Tangled. She would watch it every day if I would let her. So, naturally, she wanted to be Rapunzel for Halloween. I decided to make her a wig to wear with her costume out of yarn. I was a little unsure whether or not I could pull it off, but I love how it turned out, and it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.I wish I would have taken step by step pictures, but I really didn't think it would actually turn out as well as it did. I started with an old pair of tights. I cut off the legs and sewed the part that I cut off together, making sort of a cap. I used two skeins of Loops and Threads Impeccable yarn from Michael's in Butterscotch. I cut each skein into strands 120 inches long. Then I cut a piece of felt about 1 inch wide by 8 inches long. I gathered all of the yarn in the middle (60 inches on each side) and placed the felt piece under the yarn, right at the center. Leaving about an inch of felt uncovered on each end, I sewed right down the middle of the yarn and felt (so you have about a 6 inch wide band of yarn), attaching the yarn and felt all together, and also creating the "part" for the hair. I trimmed off the extra felt, and then I sewed the felt and yarn to the cap I made out of the tights. I tied the yarn together at the base of the skull and braided the wig and hot glued silk flowers all over the wig. Not at all difficult, and the most time consuming part was cutting each strand of yarn.

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!