Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring Clean

I recently ran across this blog and I love it. I love their style, I love that they make use of things they've had forever (old dishrags, furniture, etc.), and I love that their style of clean is....clean, but not sterile. Their idea of clutter free is others' definition of completely cluttered.

Every time I run across an article/blog/tv show on cleaning, I'm either inspired, convicted, or condemned into feeling the need to clean and declutter our home.

We live in a small house (slightly over 1300 square feet) and we're busting at the seams. I sometimes (....usually...most of the time....ok, all of the time) feel that keeping this house clean in a losing battle. But, I'm working on organizing and finding easy ways to keep things clean, while inching more and more toward green each year.

My new method of mopping is my swiffer and a hand knit cleaning cloth and a vinegar/water mixture in a spray bottle. This is working out so much better than the old mop & bucket routine because I could never keep the girls off the floor long enough to let it dry and the old method left my floor with streaks.


Here's how I store my dry ingredients (I started this at least 4 years ago when I saw it in a magazine ...although they used really nice storage containers and I opted for gladware):

These are the ones I don't use very often and are in the cabinet above the stove...I actually have to pull a chair or step stool over to reach most of these.

These are the ones I use on a regular basis and I keep these in the pantry.


As of now, these are the only organized shelves in my house...I'll keep working on the organization part!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup


I must be on a soup kick, since a few of my last posts (although spanning a few months) have been about soup. But here's why, until this winter, my hubby wouldn't eat soup. Or at least, there were very few soups that he would eat, and by soup, I really mean chili...with no beans...just tomatoes and meat...and by tomatoes I mean crushed tomatoes, with no chunks, so that he wouldn't have to actually feel the texture of a tomato. Something happened and now he's eating soups with visible chunks of carrots, celery, and onion. Although, last night he did admit to me that when he sees the carrot on his spoon, he doesn't really chew so as not to have to deal with the texture. However, in this soup, with all of the texture of the wild rice, you wouldn't notice the texture of the carrot anyway.

(Minnesota*) Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
* a shout out to my future brother-in-law

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 1/3 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cut-up cooked chicken

  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 1/3 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
  • q11
    1 cup chopped carrot
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1/3 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup or more uncooked wild rice (I buy mine in bulk here when I visit my parents)
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    *cream soup
    1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
    Salt and pepper to taste

    *to make the cream soup, in a small sauce pan, melt 2 Tbl. butter. Whisk in 2 Tbl. flour, allow to cook for a minute or so, while continuing to whisk. Stir in 1 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk. Continue stirring and allow soup to thicken.

    Mix broth, carrots, celery, onions, wild rice, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer approximately 1 hour.

    Add cream soup and chicken and heat through.

    This recipe makes about 4 servings. Sometimes I add more chicken broth and steamed white rice to increase the servings. My hubby really likes it with the added steamed rice and it was a hit with my 3 year old.