Monday, February 23, 2009

Tomato Orange Soup, or I Love Power Tools

I had this soup at a school pot luck dinner and LOVED it. I'm told it is a recipe from a deli in town that is known for delicious food.

The key is to use quality ingredients. Violet helped me squeeze the orange juice and I used tomatoes I brought home and froze from the farmer's market.

After it has all cooked, it needs to be blended. You can do this in a conventional blender, but that involves ladling hot soup into it. Also, I've heard you must be extra careful when removing the lid or else you can end up with hot soup on your ceiling. Here is where I get out the power tool, the immersion blender. You can just stick it right in the pot and blend it smooth. I could have used a smaller pot because I had to tip the soup to one side to cover the top of the blender so it wouldn't spray. Still, much less work than the on the counter version.

Elephant's Tomato Orange Soup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
28 oz unsalted diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh orange juice

In a saucepan melt butter, add onion and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée in a blender and return to sauce pan. OR use an immersion blender and keep it right there in the pan! Stir in orange juice and cream. Simmer and serve.

We ate it with grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches. YUMMY!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Itchin' To Sew

But just look at the condition my sewing table is in! As soon as I get this cleaned up, I'm sewing this cute grab bag. Also, I just received the new rolled hem foot plate that I ordered for my serger and I would love to do some experiments. Maybe I'll have time this weekend?!?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pop Out Valentines

Tomorrow the kids are passing out Valentine's at school. I really wanted to come up with something that would be fun for my kids to make and fun for the kids in class to receive.

Violet's very violet Valentine.

paper cups
colored card stock
googly eyes
glue stick
craft sticks

I bought colored paper cups and then made a template of a heart that fit inside that I used to trace onto colored card stock.

While I cut out the hearts, the kids had the job of signing their names on the cup and decorating them with stickers.

Then came the fun part, googly eyes and ric-rac. I glued the stick on to ensure that they were straight so that they would align well in the cup. I used an exacto knife to cut a line in the bottom of the cup. The cut needs to be right in the center and just the size of the stick so that the heart fits inside and the stick is snug.

Making 24 of these was a lot for the kids to do. Wren signed his own name on all the cups and did most of the stickers and faces. I printed out the word "from:" and glued it in front of his name. I hope the kids have fun with them tomorrow!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Magic Flashlights

Here is something to brighten your February. The song is 'Kids' by MGMT. I'm really loving it. My kids are really loving watching this video. Enjoy!

Magic Flashlights from Mike Benson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quilting and Knitting

I've been quite busy lately. My biggest project right now is organizing and designing the kindergarten class quilts. Yes, I have volunteered to head the project!

The kids have been studying water and ocean themes in class. I thought it would be a great idea to have each child create a painted sea creature that would be scanned and then printed onto fabric.

We did a test print from one of Wren's paintings he brought home from class. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

The process is quite simple. Cut an 8 1/2" X 11" piece of freezer paper, iron your fabric on and trim. Then you can send that right through your printer. I was surprised to find that HP has detailed instructions on how to do it. Now I get to print out about 50 of them! Wow, I've got a lot of work ahead of me. I'm trying not to worry about the fact that I've never made a quilt before! Luckily, there are many other parents who are helping and some of them have quilting experience.

The rest of my extra time has been put to use knitting socks. I finished Violet's and started on some for myself. I have been holding onto this yarn for years, it feels so good to finally knit with it. I really love how toe up socks knit up. Can't wait to slip my feet in!