Sunday, December 20, 2009

From Coffee Beans To Carbon: How Big (or small) Is It?

Mini Science for the scientifically challenged and science aficionado alike!

The University of Utah has a zoomy window to demonstrate the different sizes of a few everyday items like a coffee bean and a grain of salt all the way down to the picometers of a carbon atom. In case you were wondering, they even have a reference table explaining that a picometer is a trillionth of a meter. In other words, really, really, ten-to-the-negative-12th mini small.

This. Is. Awesome.

It definitely helps put things in perspective and is a great learning tool to introduce the little things in life.

See it here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

:: Dreamflower Purple. A Delicate Bracelet ::

A delicate treasure trove of amethyst, shell, glass, silvers and Swarovski crystals. This one of a kind bracelet is designed and handmade by yours truly! The asymmetrical design breaks away from the norm in a subtle and glorious way. It's sure to please and makes a sweet stocking stuffer.

I fell in love with the look and feel of the little flower beads on this bracelet. It took me a month to find the right design and complimentary colors to go with the flowers until I came across the pretty purple glass beads and Swarovski crystal spacers.

Get It Here: etsy

Ooo, one more thing, don't forget my holiday special as mentioned here - free shipping and free gift-wrapping now through January 4th; anytime...anywhere!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jasmine Green Tea

"Let each man exercise the art he knows." -Aristophanes

Today I'm hanging outdoor garland intertwined with little colorful lights to frame my front door. I love Christmas. It's a gray, cloudy day but something about sipping hot Jasmine Green Tea and hanging Christmas lights makes life beautiful even on a rainy day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homemade Turkey & Vegetable Soup

Soups On!

Decided on a recipe using my homemade turkey broth, I made up my own! I've been making vegetable soup from scratch the last few months because it's healthy, easy, and delicious. This is a new twist on my basic soup recipe:

While this is simmering in the kitchen it's hard to keep from taking a taste because it smells so delectable, like Thanksgiving all over again but easier because it's one pot cooking! The beauty of this soup is the homemade broth and made-from-scratch yumminess plus the fact that the turkey meat is pre-cooked so the soup doesn't take long to heat and serve.

Homemade Turkey & Vegetable Soup

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil (optional)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 parsnip, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 T chopped fresh sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts Homemade Turkey Broth
  • 3 C roasted turkey meat, diced, skin removed
  • 3 C mixed vegetables (peas, green beans, carrots, lima beans, corn)
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 T seasoned salt
  • 1 cube cilantro "bouillon" or 1 T chopped fresh cilantro/parsley
In a large soup pot, heat garlic in olive oil or a small amount of broth. Add minced onion, carrot, celery, and parsnip. Saute over Med-High heat until softened. Add chopped sage, bay leaf, and the turkey broth. Bring to a simmer. Add diced turkey and mixed vegetables. Bring back up to a simmer. Add black pepper, salt, and cilantro cube (or fresh cilantro/parsley). Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.

Serves 6

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's Cooking?

I'm making homemade broth in the Crock Pot!

I've never made it from scratch before so I checked the interwebs and found out it was a very simple and easy process. My mom sent me home with the carcass of our 24 pound Thanksgiving turkey and I had a baggie of veggie scraps in the freezer just waiting to take a plunge in the slow cooker.

After completing the broth recipe I'll throw all the veggie scraps in the compost pile. I'm already planning on using the compost for my Spring Vegetable Garden. Spring planting begins as early as February 25th here in South Central Texas!

I can't wait to make a soup recipe with my homemade broth. I'll be sure to take some photos of the completed dish and share the recipe here on my blog. I plan on making something hearty and low-fat with tons of flavor. Haven't yet picked out the recipe because there are so many to choose from and I'm having trouble deciding. If you have a favorite homemade soup recipe including turkey meat and veggies, please comment below! I plan on serving the soup with a "crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside" slice of whole-grain bread.

To make the broth I freeze leftover veggie scraps in a large freezer bag until it's nearly full. Then it's time to make the broth! Because I just so happened to have a turkey carcass (skin, meat, and fatty tissue removed), I'm making homemade turkey broth today.

Homemade Turkey and Vegetable Broth
  • Turkey carcass (no remaining skin)
  • 2 whole carrots, rinsed with skin on
  • 1-2 whole onions, rinsed with skin on
  • 1-2 celery stalks including leaves, rinsed
  • 1 head of whole garlic, rinsed with skin on
  • any extra veggie scraps on hand
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 1 herb sachet (any fresh or dry herbs you have on hand)
  • cheesecloth to wrap all the veggies in a neat package tied with butcher string
Combine all ingredients except the herb sachet into a large slow cooker, cover with water and set the cooker on low for 12-24 hours. 20 minutes prior to completion, add the herb sachet. Strain liquid into a large bowl or stockpot. Toss used veggies into the compost. Use broth immediately in your favorite recipe and freeze the rest in 1 gal freezer bags for later.

NOTE: If you'd like to skim off any remaining fat, chill the broth in the refrigerator overnight. Skim off the layer of fat which will form at the top of the broth for a low fat stock.