Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter

We will be out of town this weekend visiting family in Florida for Easter-- Even though it's a little Premature I still wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Simple Thai Soup {30 min or less}

  1. I'm not really sure what's gotten into me cooking-wise-- but I have been craving just about every type of Asian inspired dish you can imagine. We've made Pork Fried rice this week, Orange Chicken, Ginger Chicken, lemongrass chicken and now I have moved onto Thai soups.
  2. This simple take on Thai soup will hold you a little better since it has chicken and rice added in. It's still a pretty lean soup all in all so dig out those soup pots and get cookin'. 

Simple Thai Soup 

30 minutes or less * Confessions of a New Old Home Owner*

  1. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1"x1" cubes
  2. 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  4. 1 quart chicken broth or homemade stock
  5. 3 stalks lemongrass peeled, smashed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  6. 1 tsp. minced garlic
  7. 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into thirds
  8. 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  9. 2- 15oz cans unsweetened coconut milk
  10. 1 large red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  11. 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Combine the fish sauce and lime juice together and then add the chicken. If you are able to allow this to marinade over night, if not, leave it for as long as you can manage. 

In a soup pot with a small amount of olive oil, cook the ginger, lemongrass and garlic til fragrant. About 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to simmer. Add the rice and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Add coconut milk and bring back to simmer,stir in the bell pepper, chicken and marinade and cook until chicken is cooked through. 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with cilantro. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

$1 UpCycled Moss Vase

With Easter this weekend (did it sneak up on you too?) the house really need some extra pzazz to welcome the festivities. What could be more cheerful than green and yellow? 

These re-usable vases are so easy to make it's silly and you probably have everything on hand already. This project actually costs less than a dollar since I had more then half the bag of moss left over from making two of these vases for our mantle. 

Here's the skinny on what you'll need to make one for yourself (or a friend!)

Moss (I got mine from Dollar Tree) 
Hot Glue Gun
Ribbon and String of Choice
Tin Cans


Start by loosening all of your moss onto your work space. Apply generous amounts of hot glue to sections of your can and working quickly before it cools roll your tin can in some of the loose moss. Press it down firmly with your fingers (careful not to get any glue on yourself!) 

Trim the edges off as you go so that your can will sit properly on a flat surface.

Once your finished covering your tin can, wrap with your desired string and hot glue the ends in place. I chose to top mine off with a satin yellow ribbon but you can decorate yours how ever you like. 

Now that your finished you can fill it with water and fresh cut flowers or plant a live plant in it like daffodils or fresh herbs!

I will be linking up with { My Repurposed Life } 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

8 Helpful Kitchen Tips

Considering all of the food blog photos and posts I do weekly here at Confessions I think it's fair to assume I do the majority of cooking in our home. Through all of my years of cooking I have learned a lot of tips and tricks for how to do things (usually this was learned by how not to do things first). This probably wont be the last time I post on some helpful kitchen tips-- but these really are my favorite and most helpful ones. So I figured it was a good place to start. 

I hate that saying, a watched pot never boils. Mainly because it's true. We don't eat a lot of pasta around here, but this tip is really helpful when we do.

A wooden spoon over a boiling pot of pasta helps to keep it from boiling over.

I seriously don't know anyone who loves chopping onions.

Lighting a candle near your work space and rinsing your peeled onion once the ends are cut off helps to prevent your eyes from tearing up during the chopping process.

We are coffee freaks in this house, and proud of it. We're even thinking about making our own flag.

But seriously, we have a keurig and don't get me wrong it makes hot coffee like no ones business but in my opinion it waters down iced coffees into something less than desirable. But I figured out a way around it.

Freeze left over coffee in icecube trays and use them in iced coffees-- when the coffee ice melts it just makes the iced coffee stronger!

Do you ever have a recipe that calls for 4 egg whites or 3 egg yolks and your like, uh hello what do I do with the rest of this stuff?

Freeze egg remains in ice-cube trays and place in Tupperware containers once solid. Thaw when needed.

Your going to seriously love me for this one. Have you ever gone back to a previously opened bag of brown sugar and nothing short of a jack hammer will make it soft again? 

Buy yourself some tiny terracotta pots from Michael's, soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes and bury them in your brown sugar. It will keep your brown sugar moist and pliable for up to a month and a half.

See. I told you you'd love me. 

I am really big on composting, which is pretty much where all this stuff ended up. Eventually. I really like to use everything to the best of it's ability. Some people call it miserly I call it thrifty.

By taking all of your veggie scraps, (ie. carrot peels, bean tips, onion ends, broccoli hearts) and reserving them in a large zip lock bag in the freezer. Once the bag is full put them in a large stock pot filled with water and a few pepper corns, you can make your own veggie/ chicken or beef stock that will keep for a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer. 

A lot of people don't know that my dad for a good part of his life was a professional chef for a few major hotel chains. There seriously wasn't much he wouldn't try and tackle in the kitchen-- I think he even trained himself on how to do ice carvings and just went for it. I think I got my fearless, I can do this attitude from him. So I think it's fitting for my number one tip to be: Be Fearless in the Kitchen

Now I know your probably thinking, that's more of a suggestion and less of something I can apply right now. But you can, just hear me out. This is sort of an all encompassing rule that includes that annoying euphemism think outside the box.  

I think when everyone is starting to learn cooking and baking it's all about buying the ingredients and making the food. But what about making the ingredients too? There are some obvious ingredients like eggs that unless you are a chicken (or have one) this rule can't be applied. But for others like brown sugar you can actually make them right at home. 

Now I'm not saying buy a butter churn and a flour mill. But, I can't tell you how many times making my own brown sugar, tahini or spice blend has saved me a trip to the store. When we lived in the mountains a trip to the store was a one hour journey not including shopping time! Nothing will make you think creatively like being faced with a hour long trip to the store.

To be completely honest, 9 times our of 10 the food ends up tasting fresher and so much more flavorful if the ingredients are homemade. So the next time your in a bind, try to make your missing ingredient-- I promise you won't regret it. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Trash & Treasure Monday

We didn't find much shopping around this weekend, but I did find this funny little round side table. I know it doesn't look like much but I have big plans for this table. 

Please feel free to join in and share your treasures too. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

DIY Handwritten Table Runner

I thought the dining room needed a little something extra-- I guess I've been bitten by the Spring bug because I'm itching to clean everything and make everything new. Since I've had the same runner out for a while I thought I would start there. 

There is something really appealing to me about cursive handwriting-- probably that it's an art form that's going extinct. I'm pretty sure they aren't even teaching it in school anymore, and despite my extensive collection of Cursive fonts on the computer it really doesn't touch on the real deal. 

This project is so super simple and cheap. I think I completed it in less than 30 or 45 minutes and it looks pretty rockin' awesome (I don't mind tooting my own horn). I chose my favorite Mumford and Son's Son (Lover of the Light) but you can write scripture, poems or lyrics --whatever you like on yours. I spent $3.49 on the canvas fabric and $2.98 on the sharpies so this project costs around $6.50. But that's not the best part-- it's a no sew project. Yep. How could you not want one of these cuties?

Heres what you'll need... 

1/2 Yard of Canvas Material
Gold Sharpie
Iron, Ironing Board and Starch (optional*)

Start by laying your fabric flat and drawing lateral lines across the width of your fabric. These will be your writing guidelines. Try not to press too hard with your pencil to keep them light. 

Using the gold sharpie write out your wording following the line guides. 

Start by folding down long edges of your runner and then iron them flat. This is where the starch comes in handy for making it stay. Once both sides are done, fold down the ends and iron them down too.

Clip the edges of each corner and give the runner a once over with the iron and starch before putting it out on display. 

I will be linking up on MyRepurposedLife

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Crocheting Learning Curve

Yep. You read right. 

I'm learning (or attempting to learn) how to crochet.

 Now before you judge me or start throwing me crazy eyes, let me first say I will not be making that clown scarf the model is so uncomfortably wearing. I will say crocheting has come a long way from the funny yarn afghans our grammies made when we were little. People are actually making some pretty amazing things, and I for one don't mind hopping on the bandwagon. 

For some unknown reason this week, was the week I decided to buy a kit and try to learn how to crochet. Coincidentally and not totally unrelated this was also the week I've gotten my moneys worth from that value pack Tylenol I bought months ago. 

Crocheting is seriously hard. 

After trying examples from the book I thought, it could be that perhaps I'm a visual learner. So I popped in the DVD and after the first step or two I was pretty much lost again. 

Rewind, play again.

It wasn't until I had a raging head ache, that I looked at the clock and realized it had been two hours! Only to look down and see I was exactly where I started. Well, at least the yarn looked a little worse for the wear too. That's something right?

This has been my entire week. 

And while I'm not willing to give up on the Crocheting train, I will be fantasizing about doing these future crocheting projects to keep me going on this hellacious learning curve. 


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