First blooms in the yard. Love these little flowers.

Tagged with:
 

Saturday evening sunset http://ift.tt/21bj10C

Sunday evening sunset http://ift.tt/1VMPf31

Sunday evening double rainbow http://ift.tt/1rtjI9G

Tagged with:
 

Spent Girls Day Out with my daughter. We made a few things at Lincoln Craft Studio. This was my first attempt at jewelry making. I think I’m hooked. Thanks, Christy! 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1rrDkuZ

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1RggoXe

Did you know Luke Skywalker has two sisters? Isabel (my daughter) and Anabelle (her friend) are Padawans. A book about their adventures is in the works. Thank you, Rey.

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1LqJ0bI

These days it seems so hard to pry my daughter away from some kind of screen, but today these did the trick.

Tagged with:
 


on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1S9rJLs

You may have noticed that I like to cook by color. This is my favorite minestrone. The original only uses 4 cups of tomato juice, but I usually forget about the leftover and it goes bad in my fridge. This time I dumped it all in. It gives the soup an extra tomato kick, which I love. It also yielded 8 pint jars of yummy lunches. This is a great soup to freeze. It’s also a great slow-cooker soup (just remember: add pasta at the very end).

  • 4c veggie broth
  • 6c tomato juice
  • 1 med chopped red onion
  • 2-3 chopped red or orange carrots
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1T dried basil
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 15oz can white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup dry pasta (I like mini shells or mini elbows)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Sauté onion, carrot, red pepper in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, sauté until fragrant. Add basil, stir about a minute. Add broth, juice, tomatoes, beans. Bring to boil and let simmer. 15 minutes serving, add pasta. Salt to taste.

Notes about freezing soup:

  • I am in the process of converting to all wide mouth mason jars. No matter how careful I am, the others break too easily. The tapered neck can’t handle the expansion of freezing soup.
  • Leave extra room at the top for expansion. (See above.)
  • Cool before putting in the fridge, obviously, but keep the ones you want to freeze in the fridge at least a day before putting in the freezer. Do this especially for non-wide mouth jars.
  • Plastic lids are awesome.
  • If you forget to take it out the night before, soaking in a bowl of cool water for a bit will help make defrosting faster.

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1o7Rxeu

We didn’t do much of anything. I shoveled snow, she played video games. We watched BTVS, I worked, she made an easy-bake-oven cake. It was nice hibernating just the two of us, but we’re ready to get back to regular life tomorrow. 

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1nSn2cr

I really thought she would need help putting this together. I looked forward to it, actually. Right now I’m just the shoulder she leans on if she gets frustrated while she figures it out. I’ll take what I can get. 

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/23uJZCV

“I wish I could fly so I could go up and lay on the clouds.” – 9 yo daughter 

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/1lFsVI7

slow-cooker split pea and potato soup :: 1 lb dried split peas, 6 cups water or veggie stock, sautéed onions/carrots/garlic, diced potato, dried thyme, salt :: add extra liquid if making on stove top :: blend some finished soup for extra creaminess 

Tagged with: