Success: White Bean Soup with Crumbled Bacon and Spiced Brown Butter

Friday, December 7, 2018

This White Bean Soup with Crumbled Bacon and Spiced Brown Butter from HowSweetEats is everything I've ever been looking for when making bean soups in the past. It is absolutely fantastic. I'm a fan, even without the bacon, but bacon always amps up the awesomeness of a soup. The spiced brown butter is a really nice touch, too, and has me considering 101cookbooks' Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter.

One modification: always double this soup batch, it freezes super well.

Will absolutely make again.

Success: Buttercup & Acorn Squash Soup with Maple Bacon

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Buttercup Squash Soup w Maple Bacon
I followed Farmhouse on Boone's Recipe for Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup, but replaced the pumpkin with a hefty buttercup squash...and used maple bacon to give a more autumnal flavor. It's a simple, but tasty soup. I've also made a version of this swapping out the acorn squash for some potatoes, and using crispier bacon. I think squash > potato in this soup.

Also, this was made with the vegetable broth from the previous post. My soups are making more soups!!!!!!

Buttercup Squash Soup w Maple Bacon

I've made, like, a million squash soups this season...after having not done anything with winter squashes previously...Maybe it's a New England thing?

Success: Homemade Vegetable Stock

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Vegetable Peelings for Making Broth!
Back when I was cooking up a storm with my CSA squashes, I made two soups in one day. And then immediately turned the veggie scraps into vegetable broth by covering with water and simmering for an hour.

I essentially followed these instructions from TheKitchn while loosely following JennifersKitchen suggestions for what veggies to leave out of stock. I saw conflicting reports of potatos in veggie broth, so I used some but limited it. Threw in a small handful of green pepper. Probably more squash skins than is typical (but that was autumn CSA!), but when I used this homemade broth as a base for butternut squash corn chili the flavor profile was perfectly fine. 'Might be more of an issue for a more broth-y, nuanced soup.

CSA Vegetables for making soup!

BYOV's Holiday Crafts

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Xmas Triangle Quilt
When one has a blog for...(!10 years!), it is possible to compile quite the collection of winter holiday crafts. On this post, I'm collecting all my Xmas-y and winter-themed DIYs and posts, in the hopes of remembering to make more of them!

Xmas Decor - Living Room

DIY Christmas Tree Skirts

Maybe make your own customized Xmas Tree Skirt Quilt? I have one tutorial for a Circular, Desden Plate Tree Skirt and another for a hexagon-shaped triangle Christmas tree skirt
Xmas Tree with a Snow Theme! Xmas Tree with Tree Skirt Quilt


Of course there's DIY tree ornaments, too. Like this jingle bell wreath ornament tutorial and the wedding paper Xmas ornament.
Wedding Invitation Xmas Ornament
12. Can also cut ~6" of ribbon, push through cord-knot, and tie a bow.

Gift Toppers

And gift toppers, too. Some that are only meant to be gift toppers, but others that could be turned into decor and tree ornaments. Printable Gift Tags and wire and felt figures
Xmas Gifts
Wire Figures How To


I've spent considerable time putting together holiday decor items. If you make them yourself, you can make them all match. Like this felt rose wreath and felt circle garland. You can make a pet paw stocking in whatever color scheme you want. Then there's the cotton ball snowflake window dressing, and the possibility of binding all your Holiday Greetings cards into a homemade album.
Felt Rose Wreath with Felt Poinsettia
Holiday Felt Garland
How To: Pet Paw Stocking Tutorial
9: Hang the cotton ball snowflake lines up somewhere (a window, perhaps?)
Finished Wedding Card Album


Can't forget the seasonal drinks. Like everyone's favorite eggnog and red and white mulled wines.
Red Mulled Wine
Christmas Eggnog

Red Candles in Hurricane Vases Circular Tree Skirt How To

Autumnal Canning

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cooled Preserves
I've not gotten much into autumn preserving, but apples are $.99/lb and cranberries are aplenty in the grocery store! So here we are with pickled cranberries, apple butter, and applesauces.

Note: all this canning was part of a small event, so my yield was much greater than shown here. Jars just went home in different hands. :)

Success? Pickled Cranberries

FoodInJars' Pickled Cranberries, although instead of 3 bags of cranberries, I used ~7. I made 1.5x the amount of brine, and then ended up re-using the brine (cooked 5 bags + 2 bags separately)...and then had 2 pints of brine leftover after canning! I jarred that too, as I think it might make a good cocktail shrub, or additive to salad dressing. I always prefer to drink pickled fruit brine in sparkling water, but you've gotta love vinegar ;)

"The finished pickle is a lovely thing to serve alongside roast meat or with a cheese plate, and if you’re going to pack it up in a box to ship across country, I highly suggest that you include a note telling the recipient to stir the liquid into sparkling water or a gin and tonic."
I'm hoping for something nice and tart like the pickled plums, and not as intensely vinegar as the pickled cherries.
Pickled Cranberries

Success! Maple Bourbon Apple Butter

'Basically followed FoodInJars' instructions for Spiced Apple Butter in the slow cooker, but with the maple syrup, bourbon, and zest from FoodInJars Maple Apple Butter. My slow cooker can only hold about 6 pounds of freshly cut apples, so just prior to immersion blending, a cut another pound or so of apples into tiny matchsticks and threw them into the mix for 4 hours of slow cooking on 'high'.

This came out just absolutely fantastically. Complex with a very subtle bourbon flavoring! I'm not sure the maple comes through as much as I'd like, but you can't overdo it with that due to acidity issues.
Maple Bourbon Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Success? Spiced Applesauce

For this spiced applesauce, we followed FoodInJars' Homemade Applesauce, but with the spices from FiJ's Pumpkin Spice Applesauce (i.e., 1tsp cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, ground ginger and 1/2tsp of allspice & ground cloves, with juice of a lemon). I don't know exactly how many pounds of apples we cut up, nor do I know whether we put the correct amount of spices in. This one could be over or under spiced, who knows!
Spiced Applesauce

Success! Plain Applesauce

The plain applesauce is the same as the above, using FoodInJars' Homemade Applesauce, but with nothing else added. Most, but not all, of the apple skins are removed and I rather like them mixed into the sauce.
Plain Applesauce (+1 spiced)

I have ended up with quite the little collection of preserves this year! I've also already been giving jars away as thank you gifts, birthday presents, etc. So...much is not shown below!
Applesauce + Pickled Cranberries
The Canning Cabinet in November

Recipe: Mom's Turkey Meatballs in Creamy Sauce

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mom's Turkey Meatballs in Creamy Sauce
Another classic from my childhood. These are essentially Swedish meatballs, made of turkey. It's an easy recipe, and it's fantastically delicious!


For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground turkey (makes ~15 meatballs)
  • 1/3 cup unflavored bread crumbs (if meatball mixture is to wet, can add up to another 1/3 cup crumbs)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste (usually means 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper,)
  • 1/4 cp diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (if you have it...)
  • If the meatball mix is dry, slowly add up to 1/3 cp milk
Now, make a bunch of meatballs about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Brown them in oil. Add them to this sauce :

For the sauce:
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can milk
  • 1/2 green pepper finely diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder (You can skip the curry, or only add 1/4 tsp for less curry taste)
Cook on stove top for about 30 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

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