Sept. 29

I had three hours today where I wasn't working (why do I have two jobs again?), but thankfully that was all I needed to make up some chicken and wild rice soup! I have had this planned for quite some time and I'm so glad I finally got to cook it. I used the simplest recipe I could find from HERE, but ended up editing it a bit.

6 c Chicken Broth (I only had two cans of broth, so I used water for the rest)
Chicken Breast Halves, cooked and cubed
6 oz pkg Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice Blend-Original Recipe
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 c All-Purpose Flour
12 Tbsp Butter (I only used 8 Tbsp because I thought more than one stick was a bit extravagant)
1/2 c Carrots, diced  (I didn't have any vegetables on hand.... I wish I would have had an onion at least)
1/2 c Celery, diced
1/2 c Onions, diced
3 c Heavy Cream (I used a pint of half and half and subbed milk for the third cup)

1. Open rice, pull out seasoning packet and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. Set aside.
3. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in contents of seasoning packet, and continue cooking vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add seasoned flour gradually while constantly stirring, to form a roux. Saute roux for 3-4 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
5. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
6. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through and rice is done,15-20 minutes.

First of all, I have no idea what a roux is. In hindsight I probably should have looked that up, as I didn't use all of my flour mixture because my 'roux' was getting extremely thick.... like chunky paste thick. Is that was it's supposed to look like? I even put some of the chicken broth that was boiling on the other burner in it to try and get some more liquid. I assume it is because I didn't use all of the butter?

Regardless of how well I made the roux, the soup turned out heavenly. I was even inspired to go to Checkers in an attempt to find sourdough suitable for bread bowls. I was unsuccessful, but I did get little sourdough rolls that I could at least dip into the soup.

Here is the result. I was most pleased and am excited to eat more tomorrow.


Sept. 27

Um... yeah, I haven't even started on that book embroidery contest. Pretty sure I don't have time to do much with it now. I have, however, been trying to exercise a bit more, so today I went on a bike ride (a quick online calculator says I biked 3.2 miles!) and I've started a really simple 60 day routine that builds up on itself every day until I'm in better shape. So far I'm just at jumping jacks and sit-ups, but that is just fine by me. Toward the end it goes to jogging for a whole hour. Yikes!

During my ride I stopped downtown at the big antiques mall and spent a whole hour and a half there! I was looking for a pair of boots and ended up with the following:

A Muppets glass! They had three different ones but I figured I should only get one for now.

Some vintage photographs.... there were quite a few in the series of these silly college students on the right... maybe I'll have to go back so as to not separate the pictures from one another.

This is the crowning glory of my trip though... an ET board game! It comes complete with a little ghost costume for ET! I love it and I can't wait to play.

Another happy addition to my life is Kate Beaton's Hark A Vagrant book that I just got in the mail! I have already read all of the comics, but I am super stoked to re-read it in book-format. I'm so happy to finally own something made by her, she is amazing.

Sept. 13

If you follow many embroidery blogs, you have probably come across Feeling Stitchy. Great site. They just announced a little contest that I am quite intrigued by... embroidering a book cover! I'm quite excited.

The big question though, is what book? 

Jane Austin? Moby Dick? Roald Dahl? Harry Potter? Raptor Red? There are so many books! I wonder if I would be limited to one entry? I wonder if I will have enough time to even finish one?


Sept. 12

I have the day off and have been trying to fill it up with productive (or at least semi-productive) things. So far this has consisted of hooking up my new printer to the wireless network, spray painting a bumper sticker on the back of my truck, and experimenting with a bleach technique to make a logo-ed shirt for work. It certainly doesn't sound like much eh? Of course I was supplementing my tasks with looking up recipes on the internet (now I need to figure out which one of my new amazing recipes to have for supper!)

I still have a few things I want to do this afternoon, so we'll see how much gets done.

My new "bumper sticker." It is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 reference from the Final Sacrifice episode.

My somewhat failed attempt at this bleach dying technique. I think it looks cool, but is not suitable for work at all. I have ideas on how to fix it though.

Now maybe laundry?


Sept. 7

I finally got pictures taken of the magazine I'm in! I'm quite stoked.

It is the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine and I'm on page 66!

They changed a bit, like the order of how I do things and using twine instead of ribbon, but I think it looks nice anyways. Here's the cover of the magazine so you can be sure to take a peek!