Friday, October 22, 2010

Need your feedback on this craft/gift

Alright, sisters, I need your honest opinion. I don't have any friends here yet, so I'm not sure what to do with this, so I thought I would ask you. This summer, Mom and Janelle and I were shopping and they both loved these scarves that had long ruffles. They were $40 and I told them not to bother getting them because I was sure I could find a way to make them myself. I was hoping to throw some ruffly scarves together for them for Christmas.
I pulled a late night last night and put together this scarf. 
It looks dumb hanging there on the jacket, but I think it looks pretty fun in person.
It's 5 inches wide.

Although I'm just not sure. It might be a little too much? 

What makes me think that it's not totally out of style and crazy is that this ruffly scarf idea reminded me of scarves I've seen in Anthropologie

 Then I made an ear warmer/ headband to match
Added a flower to this one

 Of course you don't know if they will like them or not, but I was wondering if you think this thing is ridiculous? If you think it is a little too over-the-top or unique, I might just keep it for myself, although I really wanted to give it to my sister, I'm just afraid she'll be freaked by it. I bought two colors of knit so I think I will try to make another one with just two ruffled rows instead of three so it's thinner. 

Please tell me truthfully what you think!

Thanks girlies!

P.S. Have fun at the MOUNTAINS this weekend! Wish I could be there with you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winter Yummies

I LOVE the idea of sharing soup recipes. Thanks for taking the time to put yours out there for us, Merritt. I make your Pasta Fagioli regularly in the winter and I also make Anna's Black Bean and Corn Relish Tostadas often. I'm so grateful to glean recipes from you ladies - you all are wonderful inspirations!

Here are also three from our kitchen. Well, they are ALL from Real Simple Magazine, actually. I love their recipes, as you know. So I just copied everything from their website and pasted it here for convenience.

Creamy Barley with Tomatoes and Greens



  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the barley, tomatoes, wine, and 2 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. (I don't drain the tomatoes and add 2 cups instead)
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add the mustard greens, Taleggio, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan.

Spicy Tortilla Soup



  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Cut the tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crispy.
  2. In a large saucepan, simmer the chicken broth and meat for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the red onion, tomatoes, jalapeƱos, and lime juice. Heat about 5 minutes. Cut the corn from the cobs and add it to the soup.
  4. Divide the tortilla strips among 4 bowls. Ladle in the soup and top with cilantro, avocado, and cheese.
I super simplify this recipe and use tortilla chips, frozen corn, canned tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, etc... I usually make this on an evening immediately after I make my chicken broth for the week which is super easy to just use the extra chicken pieces and 64 oz chicken broth. This isn't usually spicy enough for us so sometimes we add salsa or tobasco. 

White Bean Chili with Jalapeno Bulgur



  1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the bulgur and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed and the bulgur is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, scallions, jalapeƱo, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and 1½ cups water to the onion mixture; bring to a boil. Add the beans and simmer until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the chili among bowls and top with the bulgur.

    To freeze:
     Omit the bulgur. Make the chili as directed. Cool to room temperature and divide among freezer containers or bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.

    To cook: Thaw the chili in a bowl of cold water or overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer to a pot and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 10 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the bulgur. Top the chili as directed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miniature Mountain Bikers

Here is what Patrick and Aeneas have been up to lately.

When you don't have brakes or pedals, for that matter, just use your shoes to skid! It's guaranteed to make your mother happy.

Rock hoppin' Patrick.

You can't get it every time!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Uncle Dooney and Uncle G

Out of the blue, Aeneas looks at JP and says this. Of course the video is us trying to get him to say it again. You get the idea.

I asked what a butterfly's tongue is called and Aeneas promptly says, "a biscus."

Aeneas is lately calling the guitar the "batar." He loves to "chetch bugs," and will spend an hour outside flipping rocks, hauling around his bug book for reference when he scores a good find.

Patrick is practicing his note flash cards at piano today and Gabrielle puts a card up there, he plays the correct key and she asks him, "Name?" He looks back at her and says, "Patrick!" She is also realizing that she can sing a note and he can find it on the first shot on the piano. He's got an amazing ear, that kid. Crazy.

Patrick called a kazoo a "Bazoo" tonight while explaining to me why he hit Aeneas with the drumstick on the head. I couldn't help but crack up. The stern talking to went out the window. What I took from the situation is don't mess with the boy when he's doing his beats.

Soup Recipes

Hey ladies...I am busting out my crock pot and all my soup recipes since we finally have some cool weather...why don't we all post our favorite winter recipes so we can add to our repertoires!

Hamburger Soup

1 ½ lbs ground beef
2 large potatoes, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
Salt/pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder to taste
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
3 cups water
Beef bouillon (a cube)

Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook until evenly browned. Drain and set aside.

Place potatoes in a layer to cover the bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle celery over potatoes. Cover with ground beef. Add remaining veggies and seasonings. Mix together the soup, water, and bouillon and pour over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Beef and Barley Soup

1 lb beef tenderloin roast ( I use whatever meat is on sale that week) cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups chopped carrot
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 TBSP minced garlic
6 cups beef stock/broth
½ cup tomato puree (or whatever tom. product you have on hand – puree, sauce, etc )
¼ dry red wine
1 tsp crushed thyme
Salt/pepper to taste
1 cup quick cooking barley
Fresh parsley and basil if desired

In a 4 quart pan, brown half of the meat in hot oil over medium high heat. Remove meat from pan. Add remaining meat, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until meat is brown and onion is tender. Return all meat to pan.

Stir in beef stock, tomato puree, wine, thyme, salt, pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Reduce heat. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until meat/veggies are tender. Stir in parsley and basil.

Southwestern Chicken Soup

1 12oz jar salsa Verde
3 cups cooked chicken pieces (rotisserie or leftovers work well)
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
2 green onions, chopped
Sour cream and tortilla chips if desired

Empty the salsa into a large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat and then add chicken, beans, broth, cumin. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Top each bowl with green onions, sour cream, and chips.

I serve this with cornbread. I also add an additional can of beans to make it heartier.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Big Daddy is an Excellent Chef

We all knew that Big Daddy was an excellent chef but up until now, I wasn't sure what his secret was. Well, brace yourselves...

That's right. All he needs is a girly apron. Go figure.

Nina and Big Daddy flew ALL THE WAY out to Durango last week to see us and boy were we glad to see them! Every day here seems like it's blue skies and beautiful but those Georgia visitors (my Dad too) bring the rain with them. So outside of one rainy day, it was gorgeous fall weather and we enjoyed picnics, walks downtown and delicious continental breakfasts courtesy of their downtown home, the Strater.

There were many a books read and flights for the treasures they brought with them. They even managed to go eat lunch at school with Patrick one day.

And the day after they left, I went to go pick up Aeneas from preschool to, "Where's Big Daddy. He's spose to pick me up." Well Big Daddy went home yesterday, back to Georgia. "Well Nina pick me up then."

Thank You Nina and Big Daddy for coming to see us!

Friday, October 1, 2010

They've gotten bigger

Just a quick update for you before heading out of town.... Kale seems to have mastered bigger objects. He will be up to challenge anyone willing to compete.

I can't believe the little booger is going to be ONE next week!! Time files when you're having fun. In the past 2 weeks we have mastered Dancing & Walking - I think we are on the verge of running now. He has learned he can climb on his rocking chair and get things off his dresser, he has figured out how to do pull ups on the hallway table, climb on the coffee table, put toys in the diaper gene, (hopefully we haven't thrown any out!) and really really bother the dog.
His recent claim to fame is that he takes the SAME dvd off of the rack every time.... "What a Girl Wants" - where ever we put it mixed in all the other DVD's he can seem to pick it out every time. It's the ONLY dvd he will take off the rack and want to walk around with - he never bothers any of the others. Anyway, The little guys sure keeps us busy!

I hope you are all keeping up with your kiddos you may have, and that you all have a very blessed week!