Veggie Soup

It is cold and rainy here today. Sounds like a good day for a bowl of soup!

This is my version of an all time favorite of mine, the “free” soup from Weightwatchers. Years ago I started making this soup. My version is a little jazzed up and not exactly “free” because I choose to add a bean like cannelini or as today, butter beans. But really though, that is important only if you are in Weightwatchers. I would rather have it be a little more substantial. I also serve it with a hearty bread.

Another great thing about this soup is that it is pretty much fat free. The only fat is in the butter beans I used and that is really negligible. So…..

Veggie Soup
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Chopped carrots
Using non stick spray, in a large saucepan heat the first three ingredients until softened. About 5-7 minutes. You will see from the photo that I use the baby carrots to cut and chopped garlic in a jar.
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Beef Boulllion or beef broth(you could use vegetable bullion or broth for vegetarians)
Cole Slaw mix
Green beans
Tomato paste
Butter beans
Salt (optional)
Water if using boullion
Add all of these to the softened mix and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the green beans are softened.
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Zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
Add this to the mix and heat for a few minutes.
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It is ready to serve!
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How easy is that?
I know, I know, I didn’t give exact measurements. I literally just throw this together and taste it often to see what may be needed. I know I at least double the Weightwatcher recipe. Especially with the Basil and Oregano.

Hope everyone has been having a good week!

Finished Chairs!

Yay! The chairs are finished! And I love them! The color is just what I was aiming for and gotten through a little trial and error. But actually, not too much. The glaze color I got on the first mix of paint color.
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I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but the finish on them gives just the right glow. I used Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax. And I would use that again. In the past I have used paste wax,(the kind for floors) and mixed artists oils with it to get a good glaze color. But this Soft Wax can be mixed with water based paint so I mixed two colors of acrylic craft paint. And it washes up with soap and water.
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The wax gives a good hard finish when dried and buffed. It protects against any water stain that may happen.

The wax is also what I used on the painted fabric seats. It not only keeps the paint soft and pliable, it protects it against water and stains. I used the Soft Wax without paint added to it so that I would get some contrast between the fabric seats and the wooden frame.
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Remember how I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the fabric? Well, I was at Home Depot the other day and I noticed that Behr has come out with their own chalk paint. Something to try for sure as the Annie Sloan’s is rather expensive. I also came across a recipe online for making your own chalk paint that I plan on trying. Let me know if you would like the recipe.

I went with the blue because I like the freshness of the color. The stripe could be painted in any color, of course. Or maybe you would like the seats a solid color with an antique glaze over them? That could be a great look as well.
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So, I have the chairs done, but,……what’s this? There is no blue in the tablecloth? Ah yes, as with many projects that start off small they most likely will grow as you go along. Okay, so, no blue…..I have two ideas and I think I will start with the most common sense one first. And it will give me an opportunity to try something that I have wondered about.

But I will leave that for another post! lol!

Hope you are having a great week!

Chairs Update

Hello! It is gorgeous here in Illinois today! Spring!

I am giving you a teaser as far as the glazing of the chairs. This is a color mix that I came up with that I think will be the final choice. The reason I say that I think that is because I have put some on the chair in one section so that I can make sure the color is right as it dries. I’m thinking it’s going to be just right. 🙂
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This is going a little slower than usual for one of my projects. I am having some distractions that keep interrupting my focus.

Have a good week and I hope you are having a joyful Easter weekend!

Grandma’s Danish Pastry

I don’t know why my mother called this Danish Pastry in the recipe, I always knew them as Mom’s Sweet Rolls. At any rate, they have always been a favorite. In my younger days I would make these every Christmas and it wouldn’t take long and they were gone. They are delicious and not necessarily too sweet. You can adjust that easily.

Danish Pastry
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1pkg dry yeast
¼ C warm water

Dissolve yeast in water.

1/3 C sugar
1/2tsp salt
1 stick butter or margarine
1C scalded milk
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2 eggs
1/2tsp vanilla
3C flour (aprox)
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Pour hot scalded milk over butter, sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Beat in 2 eggs with a beater. Add vanilla and yeast mixture. Stir in flour gradually to make a soft dough. It should be easy to handle. Let rise in a covered bowl until double in size. Roll out and cut as desired. Place on a greased and floured pan. Let rise again.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Or a tea ring would bake for 25 minutes.

Roll the dough into a somewhat square shape.
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For sweet rolls, cut strips about ¾-1” wide. Twist the strip while you wind the roll into a ‘coil’. Add a teaspoon of jam or jelly to the top. After cool drizzle with powdered sugar mixed with milk.
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For a tea ring, after rolling out spread softened (maybe melted) butter onto the shape and sprinkle cinnamon sugar (raisins are opt) over it. Roll up the dough, being careful of the filling. Place the roll in a circle shape. With a knife, cut slices about 1” wide. Twist the slices into an angle. After baking and cooling, drizzle powdered sugar mixed with milk over the ring.

I hope you find these as delectable as our family has over the years.
Have a great holiday weekend!

Chairs, Beginning Stage

Just a quick stop by to let you see the progress on the chairs. Doesn’t look like anything special? The unique part comes a little later. Next step is starting shortly.
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The directions called for doing the whole chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, a very well known specialty paint. I decided, however to just use it only on the fabric seats and use a product that I know well for the wooden parts of the chairs. That would be Pittsburgh Interior Eggshell Finish Ulta. It is available at Menards. It took almost the whole quart to put 2 coats of the chalk paint on the seats and not quite a whole quart to put 3 coats on the wooden areas.

I’m really liking the way they are coming out so far!

Hope you are having a good week!

Quinoa Mexican Dish

Have you tried quinoa yet? If not you may want to. It is an excellent source of nutrients and quite tasty. I came across a recipe on pinterest for it but I played with it and doctored it up a bit to suit my taste.
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Quinoa comes in bags the way rice does. It’s not exactly like rice but it is a grain and it has a mild flavor the way that rice does. It is at a good price for something this healthy for you. It cooks up about the same way that rice does too.

So after some thought these are the ingredients that I used and I think it’s delicious.

Quinoa (I make a cup (dry) when I make it)
Onion, chopped
Red pepper, chopped
Cheddar cheese (mild or sharp, whichever you prefer), shredded
One can of corn, drained
One can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Cayenne pepper

This basically gets layered in either a large bowl for several people, or, as I do, I make it into an individual bowl.

After cooking the quinoa according to the package directions, add a little chopped cilantro to it. Tip: I use my kitchen shears and just kind of trim off pieces.
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Begine layering. I started with the cheddar cheese. Next you add the onion and the red pepper. You will notice from the photo I kind of split the bowl in half. You don’t have to, I thought it looked prettier.
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The cheese may start to melt as soon as it is layered on the quinoa.

Next thing is to heat up the black beans and the corn (separately).This is what I layer, again, splitting the bowl in half.

Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on the top and it is ready to enjoy! Simple right?
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Isn’t it colorful?

I know, I know, I didn’t give exact measurements. Just give it a try and adjust to you or your family’s taste (especially with the onion and the cayenne pepper).

I really don’t know where this week went. This afternoon I am back to painting chairs. I woulod really like to have them done this weekend.

Have an enjoyable weekend. It’s suppose to be beautiful here.

What To Do……

Good morning! Wishing it was a sunny one here, but at least there is no snow! And it should get near 50 degrees today.

This is a current project for my home.
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I have thought about what to do with these chairs for a long time. Just ask my kids, they will tell you so. My first instinct had always been to recover the fabric and in some way paint the wood part. Besides not only the fact that I could never find just the right fabic for them, I didn’t want to spend money on something that wasn’t really me.

I was searching new blogs and on one of them they showed chairs treated in a manner that I absolutely love. So me! Of course, when I went back to find it, I couldn’t! I do have the materials down right and the treatment, I’m thinking, is easy enough to duplicate. I will be posting on this for a couple of weeks while I play with it. Can’t wait to get started! First thing? Fix that broken leg.
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I will be back in a couple days with the next step – the seats.

Also, upcoming posts to include some recipes that one is nostalgic, and the other is a new addition to my recipe collection. There will be a post on knitting and one on tshirts as well. Fun!

Have a great day everyone!

Tulip Pillows

Hello there! Besides showing you the results of being inspired by images of flowers, I have a tip for all of you sewers and crafters.
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The new look of colorful and for the most part floral pillows are quite eye catching. I don’t see how a person can not notice them. The majority of what I have seen being current trend is the use of the color of the year, Radiant Orchid. In one way or another I see this repeatedly on pillows, furniture, walls, etc.

Pillows are a simple and effective way to add a splash of color to any room. And simple to make! All you need for 2 19″ pillows is a yard and a quarter of fabric, some paint, and some pillow stuffing and away you go!

I chose straight white fabric because of the final result I have in mind that also includes making slipcovers for my sofa and chair (that will be in upcoming posts). So keep in mind when choosing your fabric what the final look is that you are after. I wanted that pop of color so the paint colors I went with are a middle value blue, a dark green mixed with white, and alizaron crimson mixed with white. If you have never heard of alizaron crimson, it is an artist color that is also available in craft paint. (And looks suspiciously like Radiant Orchid). I added a little more fabric extender than originally called for because I wanted the paint to stay extra soft.

As far as the stuffing goes, this is where the tip comes in. Because of being involved in a last minute project I needed some stuffing, and quick. I realized that I had a couple of bed pillows from the dollar store laying around, and low and behold they were made of the same stuffing that I had been paying at least double for at JoAnne’s fabrics or the craft stores! Check it out, for about $2.00 you can get enough stuffing for 2 pillows!
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All I did for 18″ pillows was to cut out 19″ squares of fabric. You will need four, two for the fronts and two for the backs. I choose to paint pillows before putting them together. You sew the pillows right sides together leaving about a 3″-4″ opening for turning it right side out. Stuff the pillows with enough stuffing to make them plump, and then hand sew the opening that is left. Oila! How easy is that? I have already decided to do a couple on a fabric that has script on it. I love that look. I think I will either paint birds or maybe hydranges on them. Or, I could try a stencil. I will talk you through each step in that post. Right now I want to just get you thinking about it.

So, yes, I do have alot of creative ideas going on in this brain. And yes, oh, the projects I have in mind! I just have to keep reminding myself that they don’t have to all be done this week!

I hope you are having a good week!