Monday, April 9, 2018

This was good soup!

This recipe comes from the Gooseberry Patch 101 Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook and was called Tami's Taco Soup. I made several changes and am calling it Taco Soup. 

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
32 oz carton chicken broth
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes 
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies, drained
1 15 oz can white beans, drained (I used navy beans as that is what I had on hand, but any canned white bean would work in my opinion) 
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can yellow hominy, drained
1 15 oz can white hominy, drained
Taco seasoning to taste
1 1 oz package fiesta ranch salad dressing mix

Combine all ingredients in a large stock and cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes or more to combine flavors.

Perfect for a gray, damp and cold April day! 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

March Wipocalypse Update

I thought I was to share this post the last Saturday of the month, but it's supposed to be the fourth Saturday. Oh well, better late than never! 

I had two new finishes for February. The first is a Mill Hill kit I started February 1st. 

Pattern photo shown above, my completed piece shown below. I will be backing this with felt and attaching the supplied magnet. It is going to a Physicians Assist my mother sees as a thank you for providing great care.  

My second finish is a piece that was kitted and gifted to me in 2013 by my friend Judy. She substituted PTP 36 Ct Opal for the suggested fabric and changed some of the suggested DMC to work with the fabric. 

I had started on this piece a couple years ago and messed up on the vase. I thought I could make it work, but couldn't and put it in time out. I had to frog the entire vase before restarting. I did so and completed the piece late March. 

Jardin Prive
Bouquet de Fleurs

I spent the end of March working on All Creatures Great and Small, which I often mistakenly call All Gods Creatures, by Barbara Ana. Here is where I left off at the end of February. 

And here is where I ended the month;

I continue to struggle with this piece and if it weren't my 2018 baptism piece, it would go to time out! I frogged the bee hive. I'd made a mistake and thought I could live with it, but it nagged me and had to go. I've stitched the bird, owl and two keys on the right side twice. The house should be one row wider. I decided not to add the row as I believed it would look different than all the other rows as added vertically, not horizontally as the other rows were stitched. The house being a row off, threw the motifs off above the house, so they were frogged. I then stitched the border and placed the motifs based on the border rather than the house. 

Three months in and not a third done. I'm afraid I won't get this piece done this year at this pace, so I'll be stitching on it (if I can keep my plans) the entire month of April. 

Happy Stitching! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Floor Grout Cleaning

I've known I've needed to clean and seal the tile grout for maybe a year. Probably longer, but have dreaded doing it. The weekend before last was a four day weekend. I enjoyed Friday and Saturday and was determined to knock this off my to-do list Sunday and Monday. 

I had researched tile grout cleaners online. They sell products specifically for cleaning grout, but I was hesitant to use them as most spoke of cleaning white grout. My grout isn't white. So, I tried a homemade recipe of baking soda and water to make a paste. 

That I rubbed into the grout with my fingers. 

After applying the baking soda, I sprayed over it with white vinegar.  The mixture bubbled and I let it sit for approximately 5 minutes before scrubbing it with a toothbrush. I quickly grew tired of this method, especially since I didn't feel it was working. 

More research and I decided to try Resolve carpet cleaner. 

If you're doing this, I suggest doing half of this at a time. Eight to ten tiles at a time would have been better. 

This worked! I knew it was when I scrubbed with the toothbrush as the brush and suds got dingy looking. Something the baking soda paste never did. 

I sprayed the Resolve on the grout, waited five to ten minutes and the scrubbed it using a toothbrush. I wiped with a damp cloth as I went and mopped with warm water each section before starting another. 

It's far from perfect, especially the last blocks when I was beyond done with cleaning the tile! It's much improved though and happy with the results, I sealed the grout after two days of drying. 

I applied two coats of sealer. It. Did. Not. Work. Maybe had I done a third or fourth coat? I don't know. My knees and back were done and I couldn't imagine doing another coat.  

It took me four days total to complete this project in the kitchen and utility room and while disappointed that it didn't seal the grout, I am happy with how Resolve cleaned the grout. I still need to clean the grout in the bathroom, but I'm giving my knees a rest! 

Like children, Lyncoln and Josey have to be in the middle of everything. 

Remember Resolve carpet cleaner for cleaning your grout! 

Monday, February 26, 2018

February Wipocalypse Update!

My second finish of 2018 was Baby It's Cold Outside by Heartstring Samplery. I stitched it on the suggested fabric; PTP Ale using the suggested threads except for 3 changes. I substituted Victorian Motto Autumn Red for the GAST Pomegranate as I didn't believe I had enough to finish the house. I ran out of GAST Picnic Basket and stitched the words at the bottom in 3-4" cuts of Weeks Havana and am happy with how they match. I didn't stitch the insides of the windows. They were to be stitched using the yellow thread shown, but I didn't like the look and left them empty. 

My third and fourth finishes for 2018 were Blackbird Designs Small Token Pins and Needles pin cushion. I started stitching these in 2009. I stopped I thought because I had messed up, but I didn't find my error when I picked it back up this month.  Here is where I had left off;

And here is my finished pieces;

The color is more accurate in the second picture. 

My fifth finish for 2018 is another piece where I shortened the pattern. I knew I wanted to stitch this as a memorial piece for my maternal grandmother. I also knew I hated the lower section. The colors were too washed out. I picked out all new colors and started this last fall on PTP Ale. I sat it aside in December to start other things. When I returned to it this month, I could no longer remember my vision for the piece with the threads I had selected. My friend Sue helped me change a few of the colors, but still I wasn't happy with it. I decided to frog the stitching at the bottom, finishing the part I'd started and called it good. 

Here is the pattern picture;

And my finished piece;

I've been spending the last focused on All Creatures Great and Small. This needs to be completed in 2018 and I need to pick up my pace! Where I left it on February 2;

And where I am at now;

I've skipped over the center tree, leaving only part of the trunk. I'm afraid that brown won't work. It does in the light where I stitch, but I need to test it in other lights before I get too far. I'm thinking based on this picture, which accurately shows the fabric color, I'll need to change the tree color. To be expected on this fabric color. 

I was going to start My Big Toes It Is Well, but have decided to stay on task with my 2018 list and tackle something I've already got kitted. I've been enjoying Flosstube and making cross stitch wish lists and plans for 2019! I think I had better see how well I progress on my 2018 list before considering next year! 

Till next month, Julie! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Note to self; Chicken and Noodles

This is a note to myself. I always forget what to do when making chicken and noodles, which is sad as there is nothing to it!

Large pot.  Chicken broth or stock, no added salt preferred. Bring to a boil.  Add frozen reames noodles and shredded cooked chicken.  Simmer till the noodles are done. 

Nothing fancy, but that's how my family prefers it.  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Beefy Nacho Potato Soup

This reminds me of a cross between Hamburger Helper and CCQ (which is what my family calls velveeta and rotel dip).   The recipe comes from Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom's web site.  If you're not familiar with her blog, please go check it out HERE  She's also on Facebook!

I made this Superbowl Sunday while it snowed cats and dogs outside though we were only to get a dusty.  Two days later when we were to get 2-5 inches, we got nothing!  Zilch!  The day before I made this soup, I was able to walk several miles outside.  I'll share some pictures from the trail at the end of this post.  Winter is hard and I try and enjoy the nicer days when we're blessed with them. 

So, this soup has a surprise ingredient!  A box of au gratin potatoes! 

Brown ground beef, add rotel, corn, water and...

The box of potatoes and the mix. 

There are three flicker woodpeckers on the tree picture above.  The windy was crazy strong as the snow came through and these woodpeckers took shelter on the south side of my tree. 

Back to the soup!  So, simmer the above ingredients until the potatoes are done.  Stir in milk and cubed Velveeta cheese.  Heat until cheese is melted and enjoy! 

Beefy Nacho Potato Soup

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 pkg Au Gratin Potatoes
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (Rotel), undrained
2 c water
2 c milk
2 c cubed Velveeta cheese

In a 3 qt saucepan, mix ground beef, potatoes, sauce packet that comes with the potatoes, corn, tomatoes and water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add milk and cheese.  Cook and stir until cheese is melted. 

Public Service Announcement!  If you don't already collect these labels for an organization, Alpha Christian Children's Home in NE Kansas would gladly accept them from you.  They may be mailed to PO BOX 727, Perry KS 66073-0727.  

And finally some pictures from my walk Saturday February 3.  I encourage you to find a local trail and explore it! 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cherry Pie Oh My!

I love Aldi! Back before Christmas I found canned, pitted cherries at Aldi much cheaper than you can find them at bigger stores. 

I saw a beautiful heart covered cherry pie on Pinterest and thought I could reproduce. 

The pie recipe can be found in any staple cookbook. Better Homes and Garden's, for example. I used 1 1/3 c sugar, 1/3 c flour, 2 cans drained pitted cherries and 1/4 tsp almond extract. 

I used refrigerated all ready made pie crusts. I didn't know what to do with the edges on the bottom crust and ended up forking the edges.  For the top crust I cut out little hearts and arranged over the top. 

It baked a little longer than necessary, but I think it's still very pretty and it tasted SO good! 

There's still time to make one for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day!