Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I know I've taken a bit of a sabbatical from blogging, but I couldn't let this blessed holiday pass without wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! May you experience all of the peace, joy and love that came to earth so many years ago in the birth of Christ our Lord!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Taking a Break

Okay, so I haven't posted in over a week. I got sad. See, I was very non-scheduled with my posting, and didn't have anything interesting or new to share. I thought about giving up on the blog. But instead, I tried to revive it with a ton of posts so there was something new to read daily for several days in a row. But alas, to my dismay, I really had no comments or feedback from the online blogging community. You guys, my readers. No one seemed to notice. No one seemed to care. So I guess I will take my own suggestion and give up on the blog--for now. Maybe someday I'll come back and return with a ton of incredibly interesting stories that people can't help but read and comment on. But maybe not. We'll see. I guess I'll just go back to being a blog reader/commenter instead of a blogger.

Thanks to those of you who read, commented, lurked, or whatever. It was a fun ride!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sew Exciting!

I got a wild hair the other day. It was so unlike me, but I decided to break out the sewing machine. It's actually my mom's sewing machine that she lent to me several months ago so she could teach me how to sew. Unfortunately we never were able to find the time to work together on a few sewing lessons, so the machine had been collecting dust in our spare bedroom.

So the other day I get the wild hair to--get this--sew a pillowcase for LO! I purchased a cute little pillow for her about a month ago but of course I wasn't able to find a pillowcase to fit it! So, we just so happened to have some extra fabric laying around from a previous project my wonderful mom completed for LO's bedroom. She had made a cute little tablecloth for her room that matched the theme I had selected. So I figured I could use the scraps from that project to create the new pillowcase.

It was the craziest thing! Have you ever threaded a sewing machine? Do you know what a bobbin is? If not, you would've been in the same boat as me! I've never done much more than look at a sewing machine! So I turned to our trusty friend--the Internet--and found the Singer website with a ton of resources on how to do all kinds of basic things with sewing machines.

About two hours later? Voila! A perfect little pillowcase for my perfect little one's room! It came out waaaaaay cute and I was impressed that I did all this with no pattern and no instructions beyond what I found online. Fun!

Now I'm thinking I might attempt to try to make a new diaper bag/purse. Although I purchased an actual pattern for that one, so we'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Take That, Panera!!

You all remember the great bread bowl debacle of 2008, right? The one where two different Paneras were out of bread bowls on two different consecutive days? Well, let's just say those experiences have left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). It's very frustrating to plan a meal and set an expectation around a delicious bread bowl only to find there are none. At this point, I'm not quite ready to tackle making homemade sourdough bread bowls from the comfort of my kitchen (I'm not very well versed in working with live active yeast). But I did decide to give our favorite Panera soup--Broccoli Cheddar--a shot from home. I actually made it about 2 weeks ago and It. Was. Awesome. I made it again for hubs and I tonight and thought I'd share this delicious gem with my blog reader(s). It's really a very simple recipe and doesn't require much skill in the kitchen at all! But it comes out so delicious that people will think you picked it up from your local Panera on your way home from work!

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

1¼ hours | 30 min prep

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream (I've used either whole milk or 1% milk instead--just as yummy!)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I just use a dash or two)
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

  1. Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.

  2. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

  3. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

  5. Add salt and pepper. Purée half of soup in a blender. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg. Continue to cook until cheese is nicely melted. Serve hot!