Tag Archives: cooking

2013 in Review

Hello, 2014! This past year has been such a crazy, busy, educational one that I hardly know where to start with my summary. A year ago this month I decided to go back to school. This was a tough decision; my husband is currently a full-time student, and I work full-time.  After much thought though, we realized that we can handle it financially, and tax-wise it was most beneficial for me to do it now. To date I have completed 19 graduate level credits, and am almost halfway through my program, while still working full-time (much of the time out in the field). 

This year we really tried to buckle down on following a budget. It was definitely rough with me travelling so much for work, but we are figuring out where our downfalls are. In an effort to try and save as much of our CSA produce as possible, I decided to learn how to can. With only being home on weekends, food wasn’t getting eaten before it was going bad. This was a great way to keep money from going to waste, and it’s giving us delicious fruits well into winter!

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I also decided that this was a great time to start a side business! My timing is, to say the least, awful. There has been so much going on that some days I feel so overwhelmed I could cry, but it has been worth it. I’ve gone from making bags and hoping people will notice them, to having a fully stocked website, an active facebook page, a presence in local craft shows, and the latest achievement- bags for sale in our new local yarn store! This has not been an easy road and there are still many challenges ahead, but I am sure I can handle it.

Knitting has been slow this year. With all this chaos, knitting has sadly fallen by they wayside. Even so, there have been a few finished projects this year! Below is a gallery of my 2013 FO’s.

Ok, so technically the Opulant Raglan is currently blocking and still needs ends woven in, but the knitting was finished before the year ends, so I am counting it. 

I will be casting on my annual New Year’s Cast-on-along project here soon. My goals for this year are varied; can more, stress less, knit more, run more. We’ve already decided on doing two sprint triathalons this year, and I cannot wait!

Do you make resolutions, or set goals instead? Or do you just ignore all of that, and just plan on enjoying everything 2014 sends your way?

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Recipes: Day 2 Creamy Tomato Soup

We have been getting a ton of tomatoes in our CSA box this year. I can’t keep up, and I hate seeing them go to waste. So what do you do with pounds of tomatoes? Make tomato soup! I make a huge batch and freeze it, so that when cold weather comes I can still enjoy the taste of our fresh tomatoes. 

Ingredients:

8 cups of seeded and finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/3 cup (1 10.75oz can) of chicken broth
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup light cream (you can substitute 2% milk for lower fat and calories)
1/2 tsp celery salt
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Chop onions and tomatoes and place in  a large pot. Bring the vegetables to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, sugar and salt. 

 

 

 

 

 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium to low heat,  then slowly whisk in the flour. Slowly add in the cream, whisking constantly until it thickens, making sure not to burn it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly add the cream mixture to the stockpot. Add the celery salt, basil, black pepper and garlic powder. Simmer on low for about an hour, until it reduces and thickens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the soup is finished, you can either puree it with an immersion blender or in a traditional blender. I currently have to go the traditional blender route.

And there you have it! Easy homemade creamy tomato soup. Perfect for those fall evenings that are sneaking up on us.

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Homemade Applesauce

Fall is finally showing up, and I want to share an easy way to make homemade applesauce. There’s not High Fructose Corn Syrup, and you can sweeten it as little or as much as you want. Plus, who doesn’t love fresh applesauce?

 

Ingredients:

8-12 apples. I used a variety: Gala, Jonathan, Rambo and Honeycrisp. I like the variety of apple flavors

1 lemon peel

1tsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

5 Tbsp brown sugar (loosely packed)

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place all ingredients into the crockpot, and cook on low for 6 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it’s done, you can mash with a potato masher for a chunky applesauce, or blend with an immersion blender for a more pureed version.

 Cool, serve, and enjoy!

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