Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Upcycled craft with coffee bottle

My mother is an avid scrapbooker and is always going to these retreats where you can do a weekend crop. At the latest one a friend of hers passed out these Halloween themed glass bottles filled with candy coated chocolate.It is made from an upcycled glass Starbucks coffee bottle with the top cap painted black. She added a ribbon around the top and attached a charm to it. The front label is made from stamped card stock and affixed with double sided tape.
I can see so many possibilities for this. Baby showers, Wedding favors, Valentines day, etc.. I will be doing a few of these for the teachers this year for Christmas for sure!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crochet Owl Ornament

I am looking for another quick project again and I came across this cute little owl ornament pattern at the Lion Brand Yarn web site. You do need to sign up with them to have access to their free patterns but there are plenty of them so it is worthwhile. Here is the link to this pattern http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0256AD.html?noImages= . I am thinking that several of these in different colors would make a cute mobile for a baby's room.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homemade chicken stock

     I ordered this book Making It Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen a few weeks back off of Amazon. I am thrilled to add it to my collection of how to books as it is filled with a ton of useful information. One of the things in there is how to make chicken stock and I have to say I was previously clueless to this. I always make whole chickens in the crock-pot but thought the leftover juice was just to fatty to keep. While I still have to try their recipe I am now making my own stock for soups and stews my own way.

First I wash and clean out the cavity of the chicken and pat it dry with a couple of paper towels. Here I put it into my 4 quart crock-pot with some onions and carrots that I had on hand. I sprinkle it with a poultry season blend and pour in about 1 cup of water. Cover and let it cook for 6-8 hours on medium until it is cooked through.

 After my bird is cooked all the way I pull it out and set it aside to cool. I will remove the skin and shred the meat to use in soup, stews or casseroles. I usually get at least three meals from this one roaster chicken.

I put the bones into a stock pot with about six cups of water and add anymore celery or carrots that I have left to it. I will simmer it for about 30-45 minutes and  strain out all the bones. This broth is used to make my dogs their soup with. I can add some cooked veggies to it later. They love it over their dry kibble. I refuse to by any canned garbage for them.

Now I pour all of the juice that is left in my crock-pot through a mess strainer to remove all the cooked veggies, fatty pieces and any bones that may have fallen off. Gross I know.

I put my bowl into the fridge over night so all the fat can rise to the top. In the morning you can easily scrape the fat off with a spoon.
Underneath the fat is your stock. It will be a thick gelatin and your spoon will stand up straight in it. This is what I thought was fat also. This stock is filled with vitamins and minerals that are easily digested and so good for you. I divide this up into about 1.5 cup freezer containers and will later add it to my soups. I add my flavors later because I make several different soups and I don't want the flavors of them to be changed by my stock. Now I know!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The small things we often miss

Today we had the opportunity to catch this leaf bug sitting on the fence.  I love these moments that nature presents to us. They are all to easy to miss though because many times we just don't slow down enough and just be. The simple things in life are never bought.
I hope this guy is preparing for the winter that will be here before you know it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

On My mind....Green Tomatoes

I can't believe that it is already October and my tomatoes are still green! It was such a cool September for us with lots of rain so these babies need to get some warmth. This weekend I will attempt to cook some of these up with onions and get them canned. They taste good on cheeseburgers. If I can get to them I will post the how to.
Now go visit Rhonda at Down to Earth to see what is on her mind. http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Easy crochet dishcloth pattern

I have had the itch to do some crocheting lately but I don't have the time to sit down and work on a big project. Since I could use some new dishcloths and washcloths for the tub I decided to work on these. This is a very easy project that can be done in about an hour or two.
1 ball of Lily® Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn
Size 5 mm (U.S. H or 8) crochet hook
Ch 26.
1st row: 1 hdc in second ch from hook. 1 hdc in each ch accross. Turn. 25 sc.
**2nd row: Ch 1. Working in back loop only of each hdc, 1 hdc in single loop of each hdc accross. Turn. 25 sc.
Repeat last row until work measures approximately 7in square. Fasten off.** 

Your cloth will end up with a ribbed texture to it. Nice and simple.