Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

This is my favorite soup ever.  My four-year-old even loves it.

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

1 ½ Quarts water (enough to cover veggies)
4 chicken bullion cubes
5 stalks celery- diced (1 ½ c.)
5 carrots- sliced (1 ½ c.)
4 potatoes- cubed
1 onion- diced

          Cook for 15 minutes.  Then add:
1 10 oz. Broccoli

          Cook for 10-15 minutes more.  Then add:
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese- cubed

          Heat.  Melt Velveeta in soup.  Then serve. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yarn Ballls

I've been asked by a number of people how to make a yarn ball.  I love them.  They are nice to have around when you are teaching or just have kids around.  They are soft and you can make them any size you want.

To make a yarn ball:1.  Cut out a doughnut in poster board.  It needs to be poster board and not some flimsy paper or it will fall apart or rip while making the ball.  The doughnut hole needs to be 1/3 or less of the radius of the circle.  I think these circles are 3 inches across and the whole is one inch across.
2.  Put two pieces of cut out poster board together and start wrapping your yarn around.  I usually make a bunch of different sized balls to make the wrapping easier.  Like these:
Wrap and keep wrapping.  When your ball runs out of yarn just start another overlapping the yarn threads. 
 4.  Soon you'll wrap so much you won't have a hole left.  Then you are done.
 5.  Clip the edges of the yarn.

6.  Tie a piece of yarn in between the poster boards.  Do a square knot.   I sometimes tie two just to be on the safe side!

7.  Tear the poster board pieces and take them out.  Then you have a ball.  Sometimes it will need a bit of a hair cut to make it perfectly round.
Have fun!


I got this recipe from here
I changed it a bit because I wanted it to be more kid friendly.

2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 small tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro
2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15-ounce can refried beans
4 10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese (I used colby.)
shredded lettuce

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
chili powder
sugar salt
1/2 of a green pepper, diced
1 cup chicken broth
cilantro to taste

Prepare the mexi-sauce.  Saute the onion, garlic cloves, and pepper in vegetable oil until tender.  Add a pinch of chili powder, cumin, sugar, and salt.  Cook for two minutes.  Then add the chicken broth.  Simmer until thickened.  Puree in a blender or food processor.  Add in the cilantro at the end.

Preheat oven to 450.  Melt the butter and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a skillet and then put in a bowl.  Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the onion, garlic, and pepper.  Cook until soft.  Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt.  Cook for another 30 seconds.  Add the tomato and cilantro.  Cook until dries a bit (about 2 minutes).  Sit in the chick and sour cream.  Heat through.  Remove from heat. 

Brush a rimmed baking sheet with the butter-oil mixture.  Spread two tbsp. refried beans down the center and top with the chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese.  Fold in the ends and roll up.

Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet.  Brush with the butter-oil mixture.  Bake 6-8 minutes on each side, brushing each side when you flip if you desire. 

Bake until golden and crispy.  Garnish with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.  Add some mexi-sauce.

I personally thought it needed an extra sauce like ranch, or a sour cream/lime juice, lime rind mixture.

Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding

My mom used to make us our own personal pudding when I was little and I loved it.  I think I loved anything that was just mine as you can see from the chicken pot pie post below.

I found this recipe and decided to try it.

Okay, so I'm not going to copy the recipe out for you again because I followed it almost exactly with great results, but I did have a genius moment with the vanilla pudding and I have to share it. 
   So in the recipe it tells you to heat the milk and then whisk it into the cornstarch, egg, sugar mixture as fast as you can whisk right?  Well, I got to thinking about how hard that would be to pour milk slowly while whisking and I thought why not just use my mixer?  So I mixed everything up in there and put it on a medium speed and slowly poured the milk in.  There were no lumps and it was heavenly and WAY easy. 

   I also added some left-over blackberry syrup from a cheesecake on top of the vanilla pudding.  So good.  Try it.