Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Kate here again with another recipe. Soup is a frequent guest at our table in the fall.
serve
This is one of my family's favorites. To get started you’ll need 3 strips of bacon, chopped or …
bacongrease
if you have some bacon grease that will work just fine. The bacon grease adds the flavor we’re looking for. We don’t necessarily need the bacon.
celery
This soup requires a lot of chopping, so I do all the chopping before anything else. Dice two celery stalks.
potatoes
Peel and chop 1 potato.
carrotsncabbage
I like to send 2 carrots and 1/2 a head of cabbage through the coarse grating disc on my food processor.
sauteoniongarlic
Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic and chop 1 medium onion. Then saute in the bacon grease for 1 minute with 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. I’m using dried parsley today so I’ll add it later.
saute
Turn heat down to medium. Add the celery, potatoes and saute for 10 minutes. Then add carrots and cabbage and saute for another 10 minutes. (If using chopped instead of grated carrots, add with potatoes and celery.)
basil
Add 2 quarts soup stock or 2 quarts water plus 2 Tablespoons beef or chicken bouillon granules to a slow cooker. (Stovetop directions are at the end of the post.) Today I’m using bouillon cubes with water. Then add 1 teaspoon basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Here is when I add dried parsley, too.
blend
blender
Add 1 28-ounce can tomatoes. To make the tomatoes slightly blended, I use this little gadget. Next add 1 15-ounce can kidney, white, or pinto beans.
addveges
Add the vegetables to the slow cooker, stir, and cover. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours on low. Add 1/2 cup noodles of your choice 1/2 hour before serving time.
bowlI love how this smells. Enjoy!
Minestrone Soup
3 slices bacon, chopped or 1-2 Tablespoons bacon grease
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced parsley or 2 T. dried minced parsley
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced or grated
1 large potato, diced
1/2 medium cabbage, finely sliced (or coarsely grated in food processor)
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, slightly blended
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can kidney, white, or pinto beans
2 quarts soup stock or 2 quarts water plus 2 Tablespoons beef or chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup noodles of your choice
In a stock pot fry bacon but not until crisp. Or melt 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease in a stock pot and add garlic, onion, parsley, celery, carrots, potato, and cabbage. Saute for 20-25 minutes, stirring often until vegetables are tender but crunchy. Add tomatoes, basil, salt, beans, and stock. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add noodles and cook for 10-12 more minutes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Easy Christmas Card

Hi blog friends!
Kristie here from 
This month I have another easy Christmas card for you.
Have you started those Christmas cards yet?
If not, this is a very quick and easy card to make.
Can you guess from the supplies what it will be?
Here's what you need.
White card stock 11" x 4 1/4"
Red card stock 5 1/4" x 4"
Black card stock 5" x 1"
Silver paper 1 1/2" x 1 1/4"
White card stock 2 circles about 3/4" 
you could also use buttons rather than card stock circles.

Score your card base at 5 1/2" to form a 
5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card

Using a pencil draw a line on either side of the black
paper onto the silver paper.
This is the easiest way to know the size to cut.

Mark about 1/4" in from the each end and mark where the center of the silver piece is.
in the center, draw lines equally away from the center mark on each side as shown in the picture.

Using a craft blade and a straight edge, I like a metal ruler,
cut along the lines so you will have a piece like shown below.


Slip the black strip through the silver piece,
weaving over the center "bar"

Use tape to secure it on the back. I just used a little piece
of craft tape, you could use scotch tape or whatever is on hand.

Position the "belt" where you want it and turn the whole
piece over.

Fold the edges over to the back and secure with tape or glue.

Place the white circles (or buttons if you prefer)
 above the belt and glue them into place.
Adhere to the white card base.

You now have an adorable Santa suit Christmas card.
Now how quick and easy is that?

Thanks for stopping by today.
I hope you try making some of these quick and easy cards.
I'd love it if you'd stop over to my blog, 
 and see what I've got going on there.

See you again next month, until then
have fun crafting!

Monday, October 27, 2014

DIY Minnie Mouse Costume


My cute daughter wanted to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween this year. I looked online and found a few costumes that weren't as cute as we were hoping for and way too expensive. She wanted to dress up as the vintage Minnie Mouse so with a long-sleeved black shirt we were on our way.

I made a pair of Minnie Mouse Gloves, you can see the quick tutorial here

http://www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com/2014/10/minnie-or-mickey-mouse-gloves-diy.html



I also made a darling Minnie Mouse Bow that stands up so nicely when clipped in her hair. For a step by step detailed tutorial click here

http://www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com/2014/10/minnie-mouse-bow-with-rounded-edges.html
And here I'll show you the finishing touches to this winning Halloween costume!
 This skirt was made from this perfect fabric from JoAnn's. This is a simple circle skirt AKA Poodle skirt that I adapted from this pattern over at Merricksart.com. I'm so glad I ran into my friend Tami at the fabric store because she told me to try this idea!

I bought some black 2 inch wide elastic band, measured my daughter using the handy dandy formula of waist/Pi 3.14/2= the half circle you need to measure and cut out of the folded fabric.

Then I stretched the elastic as I sewed along with a straight stitch. It took me less than five minutes to do this part and you can tell if you scrutinize my stitching, so don't cuz this is a Halloween costume, right? :)

I lucked out in that I was able to make this out of 45 inch fabric because we only needed it to be 17 inches long to the knee. I added a nice one inch hem and pressed that.


Of course we need some cute yellow shoes, we borrowed these from my sister-in-law who has tiny feet. :)



 For the tail, I just pinned on a tail from a cat costume. It is a wired tail so we could adjust it as needed.

What about ears? My daughter didn't want to wear the fake ears that often are somewhat floppy and in her words "childish" soooo, she thought of a great idea. I pulled my daughter's hair up into high pigtail buns. At least that's what I'm calling it. I just did two high ponytails and didn't pull the hair all the way through on the third go round with the elastic.
http://www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com/2014/10/minnie-mouse-bow-with-rounded-edges.html

With the hair standing up and nicely shaped like ears I used washable black hair spray and sprayed her entire head. Then I clipped the bow in her hair.
This is how it looked before.

And here is the complete Halloween costume with face paint, sprayed hair, gloves AND her baby brother as Pluto.
For more great craft ideas, check out the novel that features our site Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things

Minnie Mouse Bow with Rounded Edges, Easy DIY Costume

My daughter wanted to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween and we needed the perfect Minnie bow. I've posted the complete tutorial for the bow here. I also created a quick tutorial on how to make your own Minnie Mouse Gloves and this post to see how we put the costume together with a super simple skirt.

There are tons of patterns online for making cute hair bows but I couldn't find any that were like the large bow with rounded edges that Minnie wears, so I adapted a pattern to create just the look we wanted.
 


To make most bows like this, you just cut a square of fabric, but to get this larger size you want one side of your square bigger than the other. See the difference between the two bows below? I'm going to show you how to make the top one with a fuller, rounded edge.
I cut a piece of fabric 8 1/2 inches by 8 inches from this darling cotton fabric I found at JoAnn's Fabric.


Fold your square in half so that you will stitch the shorter sides together. Sew right sides together, turn out and press so seam is in the middle. See photo below.
Here's the part that is slightly different than your typical bow. Normally you'd just fold in the outer edge and stitch like the top piece in the photo below.


Instead you need to fold the edges in carefully so that your outer edge is rounded instead of straight. There's no real science to this--think curve. Just fold in a little more at the corners and a little less in the middle, making a nice scallop shape. It helps to press this with your iron and use a few pins to keep it in place.

Stitch along the outer edge with matching thread.

Now accordion fold the middle of the bow and pinch it together with your fingers.

You can hand stitch this, but I'm all for quick so I just put it under the presser foot and zigzagged across.

Now you need a piece of fabric that is 2x3 inches. I don't have step by step photos here. Just fold the 2x3 piece in half lengthwise and stitch right sides together.  Turn right side out and stitch the loop together to create the middle band for the bow.

Once that is complete, you can slide it onto your bow and adjust for tightness

Hot glue the hair clasp


Enjoy this delightful little bow. My Minnie Mouse sure was happy with how it turned out!
http://www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com/2014/10/diy-minnie-mouse-costume.html
Check out Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and our site for more great craft ideas and tutorials!