December 2020 Crafty News

Well, it’s near the end of the year. I’m still not in a very active crafting mood. However, I thought I should make a bit of a crafty post since the last crafty one I made was way back in April.

During this month of December, My husband and I made a couple diamond dot paintings. It’s become a Christmas time tradition for us. We sit at our kitchen table, each with our own diamond dot kit. Over the course of the weekends, hours at a time, we work and enjoy sharing a pleasant relaxing craft together.
Yesterday, I transformed leftover baked ham and deviled eggs into ham salad. It’s a very easy thing to do.
I chopped up some ham,
mashed up 3 deviled eggs,
mixed them together,
and spooned the ham salad onto snack crackers.
It made a nice tasty snack and used up the rest of the leftover deviled eggs.
In November, I tried to do a bit of crocheting. Unfortunately, I had to stop because I got a very uncomfortable ache in my hands. I’m surprised that I haven’t experienced it, to this extent, before this stage in my life. When in the mood, I love crocheting, so I know I don’t want to give it up. I looked online and ordered a set of cushioned crochet hooks that are made to hopefully help ease the ache. They’re real nice.
To try my new crochet hooks out, I attempted to crochet some popcorn. I thought I’d make oodles of it and string them for garland for our tree. After crocheting only 3 popcorns, I lost interest. It’s a lot more work and requires more holiday spirit than I can muster up this year. Maybe, some day in the future, I’ll give the popcorns another try.
On a more happy note, We got a nice extra bit of cheer this Christmas when we awoke to a light snowfall. I know it’s silly, but it feels so much more jolly with snow on Christmas day.

I’m sorry I haven’t been around but very little.
I’m going to try to do better in the new year.
I pray you and your families are well and
looking forward to hopefully more positive
times to come in the new year.

 

 


 

Snow – Soup & Christmas Tree

11-12-2019 We woke up to a light snow that had fell during the night.
It was super cold and in the teens, so that meant it was a great day for a pot of chicken vegetable soup and a pone of cornbread. It really hit the spot and felt like a warm nostalgic hug.
My husband has been in the mood to put up our Christmas tree since first frost, but held off until the 10th of this month. You can say it’s way too early, but we enjoy the extra festive sparkle it brings to our home. Thankfully our livingroom is large enough that the tree and decor isn’t in-the-way.
Shelibean supervised the holiday decorating.

So, what’s up at your home?
Has the winter weather put you in a nostalgic mood or holiday mode?

Wishing you all a warm and happy rest of the week!

 


 

Nostalgia For Stories while Breaking Beans

In my youth, I considered breaking beans to be an enjoyable chore. I felt so grown up helping to break the beans for canning while spending time with my Mom. Now, I consider breaking beans an enjoyable nostalgic activity.
I watch documentaries while doing any sort of lengthy food prep like breaking beans. I some times wonder why it is that I prefer to watch a documentary instead of a regular movie.
Perhaps, it’s because when I was growing up and I’d help my Mom break beans, shuck corn, peel peaches or any one of many time consuming chores, she would tell stories that ran the gamut from silly to serious. The stories helped to pass the time and made the chore more enjoyable. I feel blessed and so very thankful to have these wonderful memories of my Mom.
A documentary is more personal than a movie, it’s like folks sitting around sharing stories of their experiences and thoughts. I suppose watching a documentary while breaking beans is my feeble way to relive a tiny bit of the special story telling moments from my youth.

Wishing you all many happy moments this week.

 

 


 

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Potatoes, squash, beans, chard, basil, onions, & Temperature Blanket Update

We got a pretty mess of vegetables out of the garden the other day. We were happy we could harvest a few squash.
We had several potatoes; we used some and stored some for later.We have a rule at our house that the first mess of squash has to be fried. It used to be fried in oil in a skillet method. A few years ago, we needed to change our way of cooking to be healthier, so we make a stir-fry instead. Our stir fry is a bit of olive oil, squash, potatoes, basil, onions, and a bit of cornmeal just for nostalgia. 😉

Thankfully, our area is finally getting some rain. My husband thought it a good idea to go ahead and harvest all the potatoes so they wouldn’t ruin. I agreed with him since the potato plants were starting to die and since we got such a nice harvest a few days before.
Considering that we didn’t plant but 5 lbs. of potatoes, I think we got a good harvest.
I’m guessing there’s probably a couple pecks (half bushel)
We’re happy with them.


Temperature Blankets Update:

I decided to skip May temperature blankets update and wait until June to do my update so they’d be a bit bigger than every couple weeks.
They’re still coming along fairly well.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

 

 

 


 

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Chicken Vegetable Soup

It got down in the low 30°s yesterday. A perfect day for chicken vegetable soup. A soup cooked in a slow cooker all day long. A warm welcome when one enters the door, cold and tired, at the end of a long day.
I don’t have a recipe for my slow cooker chicken soup. I boil the chicken on the stove first. I put the chicken and it’s broth in the slow cooker. I add whatever vegetables I have on hand: frozen, fresh or canned. I turn it on and go on about my day.

*I feel obligated to note that I rinse the canned vegetables to hopefully help reduce the salt even though we by low salt or no salt canned goods.
I put the frozen onions and bell peppers in a colander and ran hot water of them for a minute, to help thaw them, before adding them to the slow cooker.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make any corn bread to go along with the soup because for the first time in my 4 decades of married life, I don’t have a solitary egg in the house. My husband cooked up the last of the eggs for our breakfast Monday and we haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store this week.
All was not lost, we have oyster crackers and they’re mighty tasty in the soup.

What’s you favorite recipe for winter days?

I wish you all a warm and pleasant weekend.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu

The other day, I was watching an old black and white movie and a woman in the movie said that she had made ‘Chicken Cordon Bleu’.
I’d heard of cordon bleu entrées several times over the years, but usually in reference to a restaurant menu. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that it could be made at home. I wondered just how hard it would be to make.
I went surfing around and came upon a really good recipe and decided to give it a go. I’m surprised at how easy the ‘Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu’ recipe is to make.

This is one of the few recipes that I made real close to the published recipe.
I used:
Panko bread crumbs
Deli Black Forest Ham
Swiss Cheese slices
I didn’t use toothpicks, the chicken stayed rolled up quite nicely without them.
I checked the internal temperature of the chicken and made sure it was over 165°. I’m real careful about that.

I served the Chicken Cordon Bleu with baked squash and a baked yukon gold potato.
It was a hearty meal and very tasty. My husband sure enjoyed it too.I condsider my attempt at making Chicken Cordon Bleu a success. I’m always happy to add another tasty recipe to our menu.

Have you tried any recipes that were inspired by a mention on a movie or tv show?
Was it a success?

Wishing you a successful rest of the week.

 

 

recipe can be found at:
Taste of Home – Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu

 

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1st snow of 2018 , BananaNut Flats

1-4-2018 We got our 1st snow of the year.
Well, it was most of a dusting and only lasted an hour, but I’m counting it.


1-5-2018 This morning, I made a batch of banana-nut flats.
I really like the way they turned out.
I enjoyed a couple of them with strawberry cream.The heat from the oven and the aroma of the flats baking sure made my home warm and snug.

It’s 12° here, that’s been the norm for several days. It’s forecast to warm up to the high 40’s sometime in the next few days, I’m so looking forward to it.

You all bundle up and keep warm.
Stay safe during these cold winter days.

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Did you get the luck?

It was 4° this morning. It’s warmed up to 14° now. Looking out the window I see the sun is shining. The look of a warm day in the winter sunshine truly is deceiving. I hope it gets warmer soon.

Did you partake of any old timey traditions to ensure you get-the-luck for a good year? We did. We had black-eyed peas and cabbage. It’s a tasty simple meal and costs next to nothing, so we see no reason not to partake in it. It’s kind of a fun thing to add a bit more cheer to the 1st day of the New Year.

I hope your year has started off well.
Wishing you all positive things this second day of the year.

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Non-Edible Homemade Scented Bakeable Clay

I made some ‘Non-Edible Homemade Scented Bakeable Clay’ to make a table-setting. It was fun sculpting the pumpkins, acorns and pie. I used cookie cutters for the leaves, hearts & stars. It came together nicely. I use battery operated candles in it just to give it some character.
I made several tiny cookie cut outs of hearts and stars. I put them in a 1/2 pint canning jar with a tea light and made sort of rustic looking candles. For this craft, I used an actual wax tea light candle.Then I thought I should make gingerbread type ornaments just out of tradition. I didn’t do too good of a job on their faces, but they serve the purpose and used up the last of my dough.

I made a short video showing the pieces I made setting together.


A few of my thoughts on making
‘Non-Edible Homemade Scented Bakeable Clay’

One of the most attractive aspects of bakeable homemade clay is that it’s a lot less expensive than commercial clays. I can ‘try to make’ bigger projects and if they don’t work out I can toss them without feeling too-bad for wasting money on clay.

One of the disadvantages to This bakeable homemade clay is that it ‘IS NOT WaterProof nor Moisture Resistant’. It Will Disintegrate if exposed to too much moisture or liquids.
You can paint and/or seal the sculpts with a finsh to help protect them some.
I’ve not painted nor sealed my sculpts, I like smelling them. I think sealing the sculpts with a finish or paint would block their aroma too much.

With all the salt and spices and considering how hard it is when it’s baked thoroughly, I consider this a ‘Non-Edible’ Homemade Bakeable Clay.

As for cleaning finished baked pieces, I suggest dusting with a feather duster or a soft cloth.

I use a basic bakeable recipe and add spices to it. It really makes my home smell like holiday baking. I used ground cinnamon and ground cloves, (but ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice or other spices could be used as well.)

I use ‘all purpose flour’ (it’s also referred to as plain flour). I use it to keep the clay from puffing too much and ruining the shape of my project. It seems a simple thing to say, but if you go in search of recipes for bakeable homemade clay many of the recipes will just call for ‘flour’ and not specify ‘plain’ or ‘all purpose’. It makes a huge difference in the outcome of your project.

I find there is some loss of detail in the baking process, so I try to make the details a bit deeper and more defined to allow for that. I don’t always get it right.

Here’s a link to the basic recipe I used:
http://www.ehow.com/how_8536912_make-bakeable-clay.html
I use ‘all purpose’ flour.
To that recipe I added:
3 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons of cloves.
I kept my dough in the refrigerator between projects.
**Because of all the spices and salt,
I consider this recipe a
‘Non-Edible Homemade Scented Bakeable Clay’

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Wishing you all fun crafting.

 

 

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