Broccoli and Cheese Soup

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I think everyone has their own way of making broccoli cheese soup. There are loads of recipes on the net. You could be looking for hours to find just the right one. What is fun about cooking is you can make your food exactly the way you and your family like it. The below is my recipe. I don’t have a photo of mine so I have used Mel’s photo. If you pop over to Mel’s website you can also take a look at her fun recipes!
Enjoy ~ Sarah xxxx

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Ingredient

2 bunches of fresh broccoli (You can use frozen)
1/2 cup of celery
3 small potatoes (chopped finely)
2 cups chicken stock (you can use veggie stock or just water if you want)
1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese (plus extra 1/2 cup for topping when finished)
1 heaping cup of regular gouda cheese (remove rind) Or (use another type of cheese you like)
1/2 cup grated carrots (I will sometimes leave out the carrots)
1 white large onion or 2 small onions (2/3 cup to 1 cup)
3 large cloves of garlic (chopped/minced)
1/2 tsp ginger (I use fresh) (I keep my ginger in the freezer and grate it frozen)
1 cup cream (or use sour cream or milk, or coconut milk)
3 TBSP all purpose flour (GF flour) or (grated potato to thicken)
3 TBSP butter
2 bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder (you can leave this out and add more minced garlic instead)
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried basil (or 1/4 cup of fresh basil)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t like it hot or more if you do)
salt & white pepper to taste

Method
Saut√© onions, celery and garlic, cook out your spices, then add the rest of the veggies then add stock and simmer for 15 to 25 mins. We have our own veggie garden plus we get organic veggies deliverd each week so I might switch out some of the veggies from time to time. Oh… you do not have to use only organic veggies, just use what you have and what you like. Add cream and cheese last and make sure you warm it up and melt the cheese. If it is looking too chunky I will use a potato masher to mash it up. I will had more cheese to garnish. Oh… If you are making it for a super large family I just double the recipe and/or add more stock, water or cream. I also will add dried chili peppers for more heat and a dash of lemon, apple cider or lime to brighten it up. I serve it with crusty garlic bread.

DIY – Free Chalkboard PRINTABLES

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These are so cute! Just click HERE or the SOURCE buttons to go to SweetBlessings and download her free chalkboard prints. She has lots of different ones to choose from. She certainly is a sweet blessing. ~ Sarah

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DIY – Eyeglass Case Sewing Kit

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Sachiko has a wonderful detailed tutorial over on her blog on how to make this gorgeous sewing kit. Love that you can make a beautiful sewing kit by recycling or even buy a eyeglass case at the dollar store. Please click HERE to visit Sachiko for her full tutorial.
~ Sarah

You will need
Eyeglasse case
Fabric of your choice for outside and inside the case
Mod Podge
Sponge Brush
Ribbon to hide the hinge area
Fabric glue (or glue gun)

1. Cut fabric for the inside and outside of the case. For outer fabric, make sure that you have enough to cover the whole thing and tuck inside the case. For inner fabric, cut the edges with pinking shears to prevent fraying.

2. It is helpful to use a small dish and such to trace the curve and cut the corners.
Also, fold the fabric horizontally in the middle, cut into about an inch or so from both sides to make it easier to hold the fabric in around the hinges.

3. Spread the mod podge onto the case evenly and carefully place the fabric. Make sure there are no air bubbles. Then attach the inner fabric in the same manner too.

4. I pasted small ribbons around the hinges area to hide the “ugly” part that I couldn’t get quite right. If you don’t need it, you can skip this part.

5. Make a small pincushion. All you need to do is measure the inside of the case and decide how big you want the pincushion to be. Don’t forget to add an inch or so to the measurement, when you stuff it, the length and width will “shrink” (because it gets puffy). Glue the pincushion inside of the case.
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DIY – Ceramic Project

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Hi Ya, I have been wanting to paint over some of my ceramic plates, jugs and huge platters. I’m thinking of painting them mainly white with grey and orange accents. Perhaps using a grey and orange chevron pattern would look good on the large platters? I love orange & grey! We have received some beautiful ceramic gifts and I would love to display them. Some of our wedding presents are gorgeous but I am not in love with some of the colours on them. But I don’t want to paint them with a toxic paint and be unable to use them. I have been looking for a way to paint them and still reuse them on occasion and I think this might work I found it at Martha Stewart Living. What doesn’t Martha know? I hope you enjoy this DIY project.
~ Sarah xxx

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On its own, a dot looks very lonely indeed. But group several together and they make a striking impression. Consider, for example, the patterned wings of a ladybug or monarch butterfly. Luckily, Mother Nature doesn’t have a monopoly on making things beautiful with spots — you can do the same with ceramic or porcelain dishes, basic art supplies, and a little imagination.

Putting paint to porcelain is easier than you think. Uncomplicated designs can be done freehand; for others, use our templates or create your own. You’ll trace the shapes using transfer paper and a ballpoint pen, then cover those marks with painted dots — paint applicator makes it a cinch to do this neatly. The delightful freckles lend themselves to a variety of motifs, from organic florals to monograms to geometric patterns. If you can bear to part with them, dot-painted ceramics make wonderful gifts. Arrange the ones you keep on open shelves or behind glass cabinet doors-they are, after all, works of art. We suggest only painting across the surface of plates that are decorative, not for eating.

Tools and Materials
Baby wipes
Scissors
Red transfer paper
Clear tape
Ceramic plate or other item
Ballpoint pen
Food-safe ceramic paint (such as Porcelaine 150)
Paper muffin cups
Wooden coffee stirrers
Paint applicator bottles
Straight pin

Dot-Painting How-To
If you make a mistake, remove errant paint with a baby wipe.

1. Photocopy or print templates and enlarge or reduce as desired; cut out. Cut transfer paper slightly larger than template. Place it under template, and tape both to plate. Firmly trace template with a ballpoint pen.

2. Mix paint colors (we added white to make lighter shades), then pour into applicator bottle.

3. Practice making dots on scrap paper: Squeeze bottle gently for small dots and harder for larger ones. Make dots on traced design (use pin to unclog bottle tip as necessary). Let dry 2 hours; remove transfer lines with baby wipe. Heat in 300-degree oven for 30 minutes. To store extra paint, insert pin into bottle tip.

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DIY – Easy Vintage Coffee Table Suitcase Project

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What a lovely idea from the clever Ruche blog! if you click the source button you can go directly to their tutorial which is full of lots of explanations and fab pictures.
~ Sarah

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DIY – Cushion Covers

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Hi Ya, Here is a reblog from the Farmers Nest. Click the above SOURCE button for her full tutorial. I am so going to find a carzillion jumpers/sweaters and make a carzillion cushions! Don’t ya just love clever people like the Farmers Nest folk!? Enjoy.
~ Sarah xxx

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DIY – Infinity Scarf

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What’s needed:
– an old t-shirt (a sweater might do as well)
– scissors
– pins
– thread in contrasting color (I used a contrasting yellowish green thread to offset the brownish/grey faded color of the T-shirt.
– sewing machine or needle

Instructions:
1. Lay down your T-shirt on a flat surface and cut off the bottom hem part. Snip-Snip. (pic.2) Do the same at the sleeve insert level, cutting from one side to the other (pic.3)
2. Fold in half and cut again along the fold – snip snip – to obtain two identically sized tunnels. (pic.4)
3. Cut away the side seams (4 times) – snip-snip – to obtain 4 identically sized rectangles. (pic.5.)
4. Lay one rectangle on top of another rectangle, right sides facing up, and with a 1/2 inch overlap. Pin together – pins-pins (which happens to be the palindrome of snip snip, by the way, how cute is that!). Repeat for the remaining pieces and close the circle by placing the first rectangle on top of the last one (pic.6).
5. Sew together by hand or on your sewing machine with a jersey stitch. And done!

You have now obtained a wonderful light weight infinity scarf and no cost. So, now you can start experimenting with it – wear it twisted around your neck a couple of times, or just once and knotted… You probably could wear it as a head band as well… or as why not, as a belt (as a maternity belt even).

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Simply click this SOURCE button for the Infinity Scarf Full Tutorial!

~ Sarah xxx

DIY – Vintage Spools for Photo’s

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So cute from StudioCalico. Please go there for the tutorial.

Studio Calico. The top photo’s are from Pinterest. I couldn’t find the source. I did try. I searched and searched and then gave up. So if you know the source please let me know. Thanks!
Enjoy. ~ Sarah xxx

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