Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 18

Ham and eggs for dinner and quiche for lunch.  

Use the basic quiche recipe I posted previously here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/21551/quick-quiche/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=150&referringContentType=recipe%20hub

I added a cup of sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter and a cup of sliced spinich.  It turned out great.  You will need to cook it 10 minutes longer than the recipe says due to the water content in the mushrooms and spinich.  

Day 16


We have eaten out a couple of times, we are still eating up the packaged and canned food items.  Hubby has eaten salads every day with tuna, sardines, mackerel and other canned fish.  We've exhausted the canned and frozen soups, we've eaten all of the bread, veggies and most of the cheese.  I had to break down and go shopping.  I had to buy a ham on sale because my carnivorous family were going to riot if they didn't get some meat.  

The first night we were too tired after shopping to wait for the whole ham to cook so I just pan fried some slices like my mom used to do, baked a few potatoes and cooked up some broccoli slaw with a half bag of leftover kale salad mix.  The veggies turned out really good. Here is the recipe:

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bag broccoli slaw
1/2 bag kale salad mix
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion flakes

Stir fry veggies in oil and butter until warmed through and kale starts to wilt. Add spices, toss and stir fry 1 minute more.  This is really easy and always gets rave reviews when I make it.  I am using more of my powdered spices if I can to save my fresh garlic and onion for other dishes that really require fresh produce.  

Day 12



No cooking for a few days.  We just ate leftovers and tried to empty out the fridge.  Nothing really special worth writing about.  

We had some frozen pork roasts and decided to cook them in the sous vide and make carnitas.  

If you don't have a sous vide, you can slow cook it on the oven or a crock pot.  It is super delicious and your family will love it.  

After slow cooking the pork, make the sauce:

1 large can mild enchilada sauce mix 
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano 
1 tsp granulated garlic
Dash of cayenne powder
1 small onion diced fine
1 tbsp olive oil

Sauté onions in oil in a pot until translucent.  Add rest of ingredients.  Break pork roast apart into pieces of desired size.  We like it about an inch or so for easy taco filling.  Add pork to pot and cook on medium until pork is warm.  Serve with refried beans, tortillas and pico de Gallo sauce.  

Pico de gallo
Mix all ingredients together: 

1 onion chopped (1 cup)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cilantro 
1 garlic clove pressed
Juice of 1/2 lime

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day 8 pizza


We make a lot of pizza and focaccia.  It's super easy if you have a bread maker.  We have the 2 pound machine and we make a double batch all the time, separate it into 8 balls and freeze them into ziploc bags.  Whenever we want pizza we take out a bag and whip up a few.  Each bag usually makes 3 good sized thin crust pizzas.  

Pizza crust recipe from our favorite bread baking book: this is for one pound machines.  The handwritten info is for a double batch.  

Pizza sauce recipe.  This is the most delicious sauce.  Save it in a jar or use an old ketchup or pizza sauce bottle to store it in the fridge.  It is the ultimate pizza sauce from Food. Com

Roll crust really thin and bake at 400 degrees on pizza stone or cookie sheet for a few minutes until slightly cooked and no longer sticky. Be sure not to overcook.  

Remove and add sauce, cheese and toppings of choice.  These were caprese chicken pizzas.  I mixed some pesto sauce in with the last bit of pizza sauce I had and spread that on the dough.  Next I used some fresh mozzarella balls I had in the fridge.  Slice fresh basil leaves into train strips, spread on pizza.  Add some diced cooked chicken and diced tomatoes.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until crust is golden brown.  Watch pizzas as the thin crust can burn easily.  You could make one large thick crust pizza, but we prefer the ultra thin Italian style best.  This makes three 10 inch ultra thin crust pizzas.  


Day 6 & 7

Lots of hustle and bustle lately around here.  My dad just got out of the hospital and needs a lot of help.  I'm still recovering from my appendectomy and moving kind of slowly.  I whipped up some meals for him with the food in his house.  I combined a steak he had, with the other piece of the London broil I used for the broccoli beef. I cut it all into really small pieces, coated it in flour, and browned it in a tbsp of bacon grease and olive oil for flavor.  

Recipe:  beef stew

6 large red potatoes washed and cubed skin on
2 onions chopped into 1/2 in pieces
4 carrots sliced into 1/4 inch coins
4 celery robs split down the middle and chopped into small cubes
3 large garlic cloves diced
1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning (or salt and pepper to taste) 
8 cups beef broth (I used the powdered kind added in to frozen veggie stock) 
3 cups of chopped browned steak or beef stew meat.  Any kind works. 

After browning the meat in a cast iron skillet, I deglazed the pan with a cup of the broth.  There is a lot of flavor in that stuff that sticks to the pan.  Pour the liquid back into the pot with the stock.  Add all ingredients to pot.  Cook on high until boiling, then reduce flame to simmer.  If you want stew to be thicker, add a tsp of cornstarch dissolved in water to the stew and stir.  Keep adding cornstarch to desired thickness.  

After cooking this, I realized it was overbalanced with meat, so I cooked up more veggies in a separate pot until they were the same doneness and then added them to the pot.  This made a turkey roaster full of stew that we ate for 3 days.  I can't believe I didn't get a photo.   Next time I make it I'll add one.  

On Tuesday night my daughter brought her new boyfriend to meet us for dinner.  She asked for paella, without seafood!  (He's not a fan)  In most Spanish homes this is a crime.  So we call it Paella but our Spanish friends would call it a nice rice.  To the average American who doesn't know any better, it is fine.  So we call this Gringo Paella.  

1 linguicia or Portuguese style Hawaiian sausage sliced into coins
12-15 shrimp peeled and deveined (raw)
1 cup of chicken chopped into cubes  (Thigh meat or little drumettes work best, but I only had breast tenders so I used 4)
One tilapia filet sliced into rectangular pieces 1 inch long
3 cups arborio rice
4-5 strands saffron steeped in 1/8 cup hot water
7 cups of broth (directions below) 
3 tbsp sofrito (directions below) 

Now the techniques used to make this are the same as the real paella, only difference is the proteins used.  At the end I will list out the protein combinations  you can use to make a more authentic Paella.  

To start you need to make sofrito.  This takes a few hours to do properly, but the flavor you get is so worth the work.  We make a double batch and store it in a jar in the refrigerator with olive oil on top.  I have some in the fridge that's been there for over 6 months.  As long as you leave the sofrito covered with olive oil, you won't get mold.  You aren't working the whole few hours, don't worry.., you just need to let it cook for a long time (think Nonna's spaghetti sauce) to develop the flavors.  We have friends who just use a basic tomato sauce.  We prefer sofrito.  

 1 large can of diced or whole stewed tomatoes with juices
1-2 large onions sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika

Brown onions in frying pan with 1/8 cup of the olive oil until golden brown.  Add tomatoes and rest of ingredients.  If using whole tomatoes break them down with a spoon.  Cook on high until bubbling, reduce to simmer and cook for 3 hours, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick.  When it's done and cooled a bit, purée with a blender for a smooth paste like sauce and put in a jar.    Pour olive oil on top to cover before storing th the fridge.  

For paella broth, peel the shells and tails off of the shrimp and add them to 8 cups of water in a pot.  Boil the water.  Some people add a cube of the powdered shrimp or ham broth.  I had 1 shrimp cube and a jar of better than bullion vegetable broth I added a tsp of that with the shrimp shells.  You just want to flavor the broth with seafood, vegetable broth or chicken or ham broth. Just don't use beef, it doesn't go with the flavor profile.  You can get shrimp broth cubes at the store where you get chicken and beef  broth.  

Now, we have sofrito, check.., we have broth boiling, or already boiled and simmering to keep it hot, check!  Time to start the paella.  

First brown the rice in 3 tbsp olive oil, remove from pan and set aside. 

Brown the linguicia and set aside.  Next cook the chicken until half done (if using breast or thigh meat like I did). If using drumettes, cook until almost done.  Remove from pan.  

Add 3 tbsp sofrito to the pan, stir in the rice.  Add 6 cups of broth, the saffron and water and bring to boil on MED HI heat.  Stir in 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.  (Trader joes has a good one) and the linguicia and chicken.  Reduce heat to low and allow paella to continue cooking. DO NOT STIR!  As water absorbs, keep checking rice for doneness.  Add additional broth if rice gets too dry.  Poor 1/2 cup at a time over entire pan, and then take wooden spatula and place it straight up and down in the rice.  Wiggle it a little bit to make room for the broth to get to the bottom.  It is important not to disturb the lovely crispy soccorat that is developing at the bottom of the pan.  When rice is done, turn off flame, add shrimp snd tilapia and bell pepper in a pretty pattern on top, cover with dish towels and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Serve with a lemon wedge.  This serves 6 generous plate full portions.  We cook enough for leftovers but usually there is only a little left and it gets gobbled up by someone for breakfast.  

Optional ingredients for more authentic paella 

 1 bag of mixed seafood (mussels, scallops, calamari etc 
Calamari rings and heads
1 bag raw mussels
1 bag raw clams
Pork ribs cut into small pieces
Fried eggplant
Green beans
Bell pepper any color






Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Day 5

We still had a huge bag of broccoli and some mushrooms that had to be used immediately.  The mushrooms were even a little soggy.  I rinsed them well and sautéed them in olive oil and they were fine!  I unearthed a steak and some frozen Chinese noodles yesterday in my freezer inventory.  So broccoli beef was on the menu.  I know it's not typical to add noodles to broccoli beef, but this recipe was bomb!  I just did a Pinterest search for broccoli beef with noodles and found this one here.  

Most people who knew me back in the day know I worked at a Chinese restaurant in high school called The Mandarin.  I was a hostess, most of the waitresses were Japanese, and I learned a lot about Chinese and Japanese food working there.  Let me tell you this sauce was every bit as good as Mr. Wong's recipe!  It is the best one I have found so far taste wise.  This sauce could be used as a base sauce for a lot of different stir fry dishes.  

I made some modifications to the recipe I found on damndelicious.net: 

1/2 of a sirloin or London broil partially frozen and sliced thin and cut into 1/2 inch strips approx 8 oz)
16 oz broccoli florets
1/2 small onion diced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic pressed
1Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1Tbsp brown sugar
1Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp of oyster sauce 
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or dash of cayenne
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1 tsp of cornstarch 
1/2 cup of water  
1 7 oz pkg udon noodles cooked and drained (or spaghetti will work too) 

Slice beef into thinnest strips possible and cut each strip into 1/2 inch strips.  This works best if meat is still half frozen. Set aside.  

Prepare sauce:  mix soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, cornstarch and brown sugar and whisk together in a bowl.  Set aside.  

Brown meat in olive oil until almost done, remove from pan and set aside.  Add broccoli mushrooms and onion, stir fry on hi 5 minutes until hot and partially cooked.  Add meat back into pan, add noodles and sauce.  Stir fry until mixed thoroughly and serve immediately.  

Breakfast was a bacon and egg English muffin and lunch was leftover potage de garbanzos.  I love making big pots of soup and using the leftovers for lunch the next day.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Day 4

So Friday I had my appendix out.  My family ate leftovers for Friday and Saturday.  I wasn't really feeling like eating much more than toast.  

On Saturday night my husband made potage de garbanzos Pronounced like po-ta-hay with the j sound in the back of the throat.  It's a Spanish chickpea soup.  We call it purple soup this time, due to the fact that all we had was purple cabbage, and it turned everything a nice shade of purple.  

1 1/3 cups Dried garbanzo beans   Soaked in 6 cups of water and 1/4 tsp baking soda (this helps soften them) for 8 hours or overnight is better

2 small onions diced
6 OZ kale
1 small head of cabbage (your choice)
6 bay leaves
6 whole cloves of garlic skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
4 medium russet potatoes
6 oz chopped coppa or lean bacon

Pierce potatoes with fork and cook for 15 minutes in microwave.  Let cool down in microwave.  

Sauté onions in olive oil for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Chop cabbage, mix with kale and onion in pan and sauté for 5 minutes. 

Cook coppa/bacon until fat is rendered

Put 10 cups of water and 2 tbsp chicken bullion or ham flavored bullion.  

Drain and rinse garbanzos. Add all ingredients but potatoes to pot.  Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Peel and cut potatoes into one inch cubes, add to the pot and cook additional 1/2 hour.  Broth will reduce, you may need to add a cup of water the next day.  Cooking the potatoes in the microwave prevents them from breaking down to starch.  If you want a thicker starchier soup, put them in sooner.  

For s snack Paskie made a quesadilla with corn tortillas and Brie rind trimmings that was delish. 



Brie trimmings cut into small piece 
pay of butter
Corn tortillas

Melt butter, coat tortillas. Place Brie on tortillas and cook slowly until melted, being careful not to burn the buttery tortillas.  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Day three

I did a full inventory of my freezer today.  My non labeling tactic makes for a surprise every time.  I took out what I thought was chili, and it ended up being spaghetti sauce, so it's lasagna night at Casa Machinga! 
Breakfast was left over quiche and lunch was bean soup.  

Let's talk sauce for a minute.   I know a lot of people have a secret recipe for their sauce.  Mine is not secret, it just has a lot of ingredients and takes time.  The plus side is that it makes a lot so you can freeze some for future meals.  

First, you need to make pisto Manchego, a Spanish  vegetable dish.  You add some of the pisto in purée form to the sauce base.  So we'll start with that. 

Pisto Manchego

1 large eggplant cubed
1 zucchini cubed
2 lg carrot sliced
1 large onion diced
1 large can whole stewed tomatoes 
I lg can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil 

Place all ingredients in a large pot and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Serve with fish or just dip with French Bread.  

Now for the sauce
1 lg onion and 4 stalks of celery sliced and sautéed in 1 tbsp olive oil until tender
3 cups puréed pisto Manchego 
4 cloves garlic pressed

Add all above ingredients into a blender and purée.  Place in sauce pot.

Add 1 jar of pre made sauce any kind you like to pot.  

Add 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tspn oregano
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup red wine 
Simmer while preparing the following:

1 chub hot Italian sausage
1 chub mild Italian sausage
1 lb chub ground turkey or lean ground beef

Brown all meats together, when cooked I rinse the meat in a strainer to wash off the fats for cholesterol purposes.  Add meat to sauce and simmer 4 hours.  Sometimes I simmer it all day.  This makes a full turkey roaster full of sauce.  I freeze it 3 cups at a time in ziploc bags.  

Lasagna

9 long lasagna noodles cooked.  I usually cook a dozen to fill in spaces
3 cups sauce
2 cups cooked sliced mushrooms
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Place first layer of noodles in 9x13 pan top with one cup sauce, 1/3 of mushrooms, 1/3 of cheese.  Repeat twice more for 3 layers  bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  

My sons cook this for people they want to impress.  I guess it's becoming a family recipe after all.  

Enjoy!  



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Great News!

Hello!  Long time no see people.  We have been busy at Casa Machinga.  Although I post on Facebook and Instagram, I have thrown blogging by the wayside for a pretty busy life.

We are back with a new plan, a rejuvinated approach and some exciting news!

We are finally fulfilling our dream to move to the Napa Valley!  We are hoping to close escrow at the end of the year, or just after the first of the year.  This will be an adventure for us.  We are practically empty-nesters.  Our last daughter Kayleigh is living at home, working and going to college in Napa in the culinary department.

The three of us will move up there, and live in the house while it's being renovated.  A major gut job, think Fixer Upper the TV show but with high California $400 per square foot prices.  I will be blogging the whole house renovation, and sharing travel and lifestyle tips over the next several months.

To kick off the holidays and do something fun...  I am doing a personal challenge.  With 4 grown kids who come home often to eat my cooking, I can hear my son banging around in the kitchen cupboards now saying "there's nothing to eat."  True there is no prepared or pre-packaged foods, but there are thanksgiving leftovers and a lot of pantry staples.  I made a bet with my sons that I could cook meals from now until Christmas with what is in the house and use only a $50 gift card for milk, bread, eggs and fresh produce.  They don't think it's possible.  I assured them it is...  and we will still have enough to make our traditional Christmas Brunch without skimping.

Now this takes thoughtful planning, a full inventory of what I have hoarded away in the cupboards and pantry, and the ability to keep my family out of the meats so they can be used for meals.  Wish me luck....



Most everyone has a store of canned and dried food in their cupboards that they always forget to use. We love to cook.  Our kids love to eat.  We entertain a lot.  I feel excited to create meals with the things we have on hand and show my kids that there definitely IS something to eat in the cupboard!

The bonus of this is that we will be reducing our food stores considerably.  In anticipation of living in the garage of our new home with a microwave and a crock pot for the next few months,  I don't want to pack all of that food away in storage and worry about critters getting to it.  The other bonus is that closing escrow at Christmas time means money will be tight.  If I can stretch the budget, we can spend the food money on Christmas!  HUGE bonus points.

I have set the bar high.  Lets see if we can actually attain the goal.  I have already threatened my family a few times today when they pull something out of the refrigerator.  Everyone must now have permission from the food police before they can eat something.  My son eating a whole package of Salami and loaf of bread that was slated for 4 lunches and a pizza dinner hurts the meal plan.  Getting them on board will be tough.


First:  Inventory for the Use what I have challenge.  You need to really make a complete list of what you have on hand to work with.  Really dig around in the cupboards and the back of the freezer. I found some weird things in my freezer.  I am sure they aren't what they seem.  I really must start marking and dating things.  I found a bag that looked suspiciously like shredded chicken.  After defrosting it, low and behold, it was!  4 cups of chicken from a previous broth making day!  I used half of it and froze the rest for another meal.  


Second: Meal Planning/Recipe search  I did a Pinterest search for foods with the ingredients I have and compiled a Use what I have board on Pinterest full of recipes for the things I have on hand.  Next I planned out the week's meals, with lots of soups for quick lunches.  If you want to follow me on Pinterest I am listed under my full first and last name, karansimoni.


Third: Prep and freeze perishables:  This takes some time, and busy working families might not like this part, but you can do it if you designate some time on the weekend.  When I buy a rotisserie chicken, I save the bones and skin.  I also save celery tops, carrot ends and onion tops and bottoms. When I have enough,  I throw it all in a pot with water and a couple cloves of garlic and make a rich tasty broth.  I  strain it, freeze 2 cups at a time in a ziploc bag,  One batch usually makes 6-8 cups of broth.  If you want to be really frugal, you can pick the meat off of the bones.  I usually leave a lot on. the back, wings and sometimes drumsticks.  This will yield you 1-2 cups of cooked chicken for a future recipe.  Another thing I do is save the broth from cooking vegetables.  It makes great veggie broth. Add some powdered bullion to it and it's fabulous!  I also chop and prep my veggies.  Cut the celery, onions,  carrots, green onions and whatever other vegetables you use into small pieces for future meals.  It makes the cooking prep part go so much faster.

Day one meal plan:

Breakfast
Me:  bowl of special K cereal with 1/2 cup of milk.  Hubby, fruit salad left over from thanksgiving, a slice of cheese and 2 pieces of toast with spinach dip on them.  Getting creative with the leftovers from thanksgiving.


Lunch: Cream of Broccoli soup with chicken and homemade croutons.

Recipe:
1 head of broccoli, stems included chopped into florets
4 stalks of celery (ugly outside ones are fine if you trim off the bad parts and chop the good parts up)
1 medium onion chopped
8 cups of chicken broth
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
1/2 cup milk, cream or 1/2 and 1/2 (or sour cream or unflavored yogurt) Something to make it creamy


Cook veggies in broth until tender.  use stick blender to liquify vegetables into creamy soup base.  Add cream, and chicken, salt and pepper to taste.


For croutons, I cubed up 4 left over dinner rolls, sprayed them with pam olive oil and sprinkled on Italian seasoning.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown.



Dinner:  Salads, left over onion tart from thanksgiving, poached pears in orange blueberry sauce. I had 5 pears that were bruised and starting to go bad.  I peeled and cored them, cut them in half and made the poached pears on the fly with some oranges I had and some blueberry syrup my hubby brought home from a trip to Canada.  .

 (Sorry for the horrible photo) 

Poached Pears in Orange Blueberry Sauce

4-5 small pears peeled, halved and cored
juice of 4 small oranges (1 cup)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbspn blueberry syrup (can substitute with agave syrup or corn syrup)

place all ingredients in pot and simmer until pears are tender.  Let cool.  Serve with reduced poaching liquid and Whip cream or vanilla ice cream.

So that is it for day one!  Not bad...  My husband is feeling deprived and jokingly tells me he will be traveling a lot for business this month because of this food challenge.  Tomorrow we have Ham Bone Bean Soup on the menu, with a Spanish twist.

Hugs!
Karan







Day two

Use what you have challenge day 2

So my family is a little slow getting with my program.  My son made a quiche that was delicious... but he used 10 strips of my turkey bacon that I had planned on using for 2 other meals.  I think the same flavors could have been accomplished with 4 or 5 strips of bacon... just sayin'.  But he is new to cooking, and wanted to participate.  I just have to keep reiterating that they need to discuss with me before they go and grab the quick thing to eat or use.

I can see that I need to have lots of snacks on hand for my family.  They are snackers and instant gratification kind of eaters.  They don't want to prepare anything.  They would rather make toast or a sandwich with my preciously hoarded meats.  That quiche made into mini quiches in a muffin pan would have stretched much further than an 8 inch quiche in one pan, and would have been easy and portable for breakfasts and lunches.

Breakfast:  Simple quiche:  Adapted from All Recipes.com

8 strips of bacon
4 oz shredded mozarella cheese
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cooked asparagus pieces
1/2 tsp tarragon (fresh or dried)
you can substitute asparagus with mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini or any other vegetable you prefer.

Cook bacon, crumble and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350F coat 9 inch pan with non stick spray
line bottom of pan with bacon, cheese and asparagus.  Combine eggs, butter, salt, milk, flour and onions, whisk together and pour on top of bacon and cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until set.  Serve hot or cold.
This congealed fat looks gross I know... But save it and the geletinized juices.  They make s great base for beans and soups.  I put 2 spatulas full in the water with the ham bone and froze the rest.  Believe it or not there was almost 2 cups of ham on that bone.  

Note the amount of ham picked off the bone, (in the bowl with the onions) about 1 1/2 cups. 

Lunch:  Pascual's Famous Ham Bone Spanish Bean Soup

1 ham bone, cooked for 2 hours in 9 cups of water
8 cups of the ham broth
a bag of Fiesta 16 bean soup mix
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lg onion
4 garlic cloves (whole, skin on)
1 cup chopped Coppa ends cooked and fat rendered  (we buy it at Grocery outlet, you can ask at your local deli if they have any Italian cold ends proscuitto works too)
1 cup chopped ham (usually picked off after cooking the bone

Cook the bone in 9-10 cups of water for 2 hours until the remaining meat falls off easily.  Remove bone, strain broth and add bag of beans to 8 cups of broth.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 45 minutes.  Pick ham off the bone.  Chop and set aside.  Cook diced coppa, set aside with ham.  Add oil to pan with onion, saute till translucent, then cook a few minutes more until onions start to brown and sugars carmelize, set aside with ham and coppa.  After 45 minutes of beans simmering, add meats and onion, bay leaves, garlic and pepper to taste.  We don't add salt because the ham and coppa make it pretty salty, buy you can add it to taste if you like.  Turn off heat and let beans sit overnight. They will absorb most of the water while cooling.  Add 2 cups of the remaining broth the next day and reheat and serve. You can eat it right away the first day, but the flavors improve and develop overnight, and it actually tastes better the next day.  

Dinner was leftover broccoli soup for me.  The fam bam was gone and I was busy decorating for Christmas, so no cooking for me last night.  















Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back on the chain gang



 
Hello!  Happy Spring.  As you can see I have been very busy creating bead chain for my jewelry designs.  I find I like chaining while watching TV at night.  I get all of the eye pins together, with the beads and my pliers on a tray and crank away.  I have also been litsening to audio books while working.  It makes the time go faster, and I'm able to read my favorite books while working.  A more efficient use of time.  I still love reading, but this way is more productive, and I am multi-tasking!


  Here is the new issue of Bead Style magazine.  My necklace is featured on pages 68 and 69.  I really love this necklace.  Just got it back with my copies of the magazine.  It looks great in the photo, and the step by step instructions are great.  

I will be posting new pieces in the shop abet the next few weeks.  Things are very busy in the upcoming months with trunk shows, street faires.  Watch Facebook and  Instagram for updates.