Momma’s Vegetable Soup

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Last weekend Doug came down with some sort of flu/stomach bug, and I knew that my mom’s vegetable soup would be the best cure!  It’s pretty easy to make and you can add in other ingredients to fit the soup to your liking. Here is how I make it:

Momma’s Vegetable Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks (white part only), sliced
28 oz can of plum tomatoes
Orzo pasta (or diced potatoes)
Zucchini, chopped (optional)

Put about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot and heat until it covers the entire bottom. Add in your onions, carrots, celery and leeks and sauté until they are all coated with the oil. Be sure to break up the leeks if they are still connected. Put a lid on the pot and let cook for about 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  While the vegetables are cooking remove the tomatoes from their can and roughly chop them up.  You can discard their sauce or save it for another recipe. When onions are translucent remove the lid and add the tomatoes and about 8 cups of water. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce and simmer until the carrots are soft. Add in the orzo pasta and zucchini and cook until pasta is al dente. Salt and pepper to taste!

If you’d like to make the soup with the intention of freezing it (perhaps for a sick day?) just leave out the orzo pasta/potatoes/zucchini before you freeze. Later when you thaw out the soup, thats when you can add in the starch. In that case, it is sometimes easier to cook the orzo pasta or potatoes while the soup is defrosting.  Then you can just add it right in!

By day 3 my patient was feeling a bit better, so it was served with a little grilled cheese, pictured above!

{hub}LINKS – Handmade

Hi everyone! Today I’m featured over on Blog Better Boston’s {hub}LINKS with some other lovely bloggers for our craftiness! Guest curator, Holly of Holly Dolly, chose the best of “handmade” to represent this week’s selection of posts. Be sure to check out the other bloggers featured this week, listed below!

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  • Don’t want to go out? Rules for the Modern Girl shows how she replicates her favorite fish tacos at home.
  • This girl has an amazing handmade wardrobe. Oh, She Dabbles shows off two of her most recent makes.
  • Styled By Jess shares a super simple and quick way to make your own thank you cards.
  • Make your fish dishes go from ‘eh’ to ‘yum!’. A Lovely Life Indeed shares her mother in-law’s secret.
  • Salem Style’s Etsy interview series is so lovely! Find out what she learned about Witch City Wicks candles.
  • Looking for a quick update to tired clothing and accessories? Put a stud on it! Style Wire shows you how.

Want to be featured in the next edition? Sign up for the {hub}LINKS newsletter and submit your posts!

How to Unshrink a Sweater

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We’ve all done it before.  We’ve let one of our merino wool or–gasp!–cashmere sweaters sneak into the washing machine or dryer. Accidentally shrinking your favorite sweater (like this adorable J.Crew Llama Sweater) is awful, but as long as you didn’t shrink your sweater to a Baby Gap size there is something you can do to fix it!  All you need is a sink, hair conditioner*, and a few cotton bath towels.

Suave Conditioner

*No need to use your fancy Kérastase conditioner — save that for your hair!!  Head to the drugstore and pick up a inexpensive bottle.  Just make sure its color-free!  I used a Suave conditioner.  Here are the steps:

Step 1:  Fill your sink with lukewarm/room temperature water and submerge your sweater.

Step 2: Pour in a generous handful of conditioner (I probably used 1/3 a bottle for 2 sweaters) and start to knead it into your sweater, focusing on any area that is particularly shrunken.  Don’t be afraid to use a lot of conditioner — its what helps relax the fibers!

Step 3: Drain the water from the sink and carefully press/squeeze the excess water out — do not wring!

Step 4: Place the sweater on a towel and lay another on top.  Gently press down to absorb as much water as possible from the sweater.

Step 5: On a flat surface reshape your sweater and begin to gently stretch out any of the areas that have shrunk.  Do this 2-4 times while the sweater is still damp as it dries.

Step 6: Hand wash the sweater in cold water with Woolite to remove the conditioner.  Lay flat to dry.

Apple Crisp

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After my adventures in apple picking last week I got to work brainstorming what I could make with all of them. First, I tried making applesauce with the Vitamix and that was super successful and a nice easy way to break in my new “super-blender”.   Next on my list was a classic fall dessert, apple crisp.

Apple crisp

8 apples – peeled and sliced (I used Cortland)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cup of oats (I like Quaker Oats brand)

Preheat your oven to 375°F.  Combine apples, lemon juice, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and lightly toss to evenly coat the apples. Layer your apple slices in a baking dish (I used a ceramic Corningware dish). In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Coarsely chop up the butter and add it to the mixture. Spread your sugar and oat mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 45-50 minutes — your topping will look crunchy and the apples will be bubbling. Enjoy!