Thursday, February 23, 2012

Top Ten: February

My Top Ten goal for February was to complete a sewing project.  February isn't quite over, but the project is complete!  I made aprons using this pattern, but I made a few changes.  I made one adult size apron in a green cotton duck cloth and two child size aprons in pink cotton duck cloth.  The green apron was for Ellie's Nana, and then one apron each for Ellie and her cousin Natalie.  They will live at Nana's house for future baking, craft, all-around-messy projects.
Here is the final product:


Ellie modeling Natalie's apron (the first one I finished):
They're by no means perfect, but I'm pretty proud of them!  
(And yes, Two-Mama, I'm already planning the next set :-) )

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Are TV show preferences passed genetically?

We don't have cable.  We got rid of it over two years ago and "survive" on basic network channels, PBS and Netflix.  It's really not bad.  I do miss some Food Network shows, but that's easily remedied on Saturdays.  PBS has America's Test Kitchen and Simply Ming, which completely fulfill my cooking show cravings.
I don't usually leave the TV on all day, but today I really wanted the background noise.  Ellie was playing, I was working on a sewing project, and last I checked something about quilting was on PBS.  Then it happened...
Bob Ross came on.
I love Bob Ross.  I never remember when his show comes on.  I always miss it and it is a wonderful moment when I happen to catch it.  I feel I must note that I don't paint.  That's not why I love Bob Ross. It has nothing to do with painting.  His voice is so wonderfully calming that it's nap-inducing, like golf...or everything on the History Channel.
I honestly didn't think Ellie would notice.  She rarely notices the TV unless SuperWhy! comes on or the 30 Rock theme song plays (she just loves the theme song, then she's done).  But when Bob Ross started talking, she literally dropped her toy and stared at the TV for no less than 10 minutes.  It was like a trance.  Like a little baby trance.  With his happy trees and secret little paths, Bob Ross had drawn my baby into some kind of hypnosis.
Does he have this effect on everyone?  Or is there something in my genes that I passed on to my daughter?  Either way, made for an awesome Saturday!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Soup's On!

(As I read that title back to myself I can hear my grandpa yelling those words down the stairs at dinner time.)

I'm not usually a fan of soup.  I love potato soup, a good stew, or my Grandma Taylor's Chicken and Noodles, but really broth-y soup just isn't my thing.  Usually its because I don't like the broth.  Well this past week, that changed.  There is now one soup, that's basically all broth, that I will devour.  In fact, I went back for seconds.

I don't remember what the inspiration was for this recipe.  I know I had recently watched an episode of Simply Ming where they made essentially a dumpling or pot sticker (I don't remember what they were called) placed in the bottom of a bowl and covered with a really flavorful broth.  I had also recently been looking up quick dinner recipes.  With Ellie crawling, getting dinner together is a whole new ballgame.  Once again I saw a recipe for Tortellini Soup.  I had tried to make Tortellini soup in the past, but the tortellini always ends up way too mushy, especially the leftovers (and there's always leftover soup).  So, I decided to make my own version of Tortellini soup with an Asian twist.  It was super fast and SO good!

Tortellini Soup

What you'll need:
-one bag of frozen cheese tortellini*
-olive oil
-cremini mushrooms, sliced**
-celery, 2-3 of the inside stalks, finely sliced
-red pepper flake, 1/2 tsp***
-one box of chicken or beef broth
-2 cups of water
-green onion
-soy sauce, 1 tbsp
-salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions.  When they're done, drain (DO NOT rinse) and place in a bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Toss to coat the pasta so it doesn't stick together.  Set aside.
2. Place a large saute pan on medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mushrooms.  The key to good mushrooms is to spread them out in the pan and leave them alone for at least 5 minutes.
3. Add the celery and red pepper flakes, cook for another 5 minutes.  This is also when I add salt and pepper.
4. Add broth, water, soy sauce and green onions.
5. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

To Serve:

-Place desired amount of tortellini in the bottom of your bowl.
-Ladle enough broth to cover the tortellini.


Store the tortellini in one container, and the broth in another.  I don't believe this recipe freezes well, but kept in the frig, it should last one week.  Nick and I were pretty generous with the tortellini, so it worked out to about 6 servings. 


*This recipe could easily be made gluten free if you used a gluten free pasta.  I know I've seen gluten-free ravioli, so I'll have to see if I can find some gluten-free tortellini.
**Any mushroom would work, actually, this is just what we had.  Next time I want to use a mix of mushrooms.
***If you like spicy, add more.