Perfectly Imperfect, Vintage

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Southwestern Vegetable Stew




SOUTHWESTERN VEGETABLE STEW

ingredients:
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic – fine chopped
  • 4 celery stocks – whole
  • 1 large can red kidney beans
  • 2 lbs frozen veg-all or mixed vegetables
  • 8 oz beef broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 large can petite diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground peppercorns
  • ½ chili powder – or to taste
  • 2 tsp hot sauce – or to taste
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

instructions:

  1. In a saute' pan lightly caramelize the chopped onions.
  2. Add in hamburger, salt, and pepper
  3. Drain
  4. Transfer hamburger and onions to a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  5. Add tomato paste, beef broth - stir
  6. Add in 'all' vegetables – except the red kidney beans. Stir Remember to keep the celery stocks whole
  7. Add in chili powder, hot sauce and Worcestershire – stir and taste.
  8. Cover and Simmer until the celery stocks are wilted
  9. Add in kidney beans.
  10. Simmer another 30 minutes
  11. Stew is done when the sauce is a brownish color. The Sauce should be a little thick not watery like a soup. You can add a little flour to thicken if needed.
  12. Serve with French Bread

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Saving $5's It's a Thing

I'm not sure when I first heard about saving 5 dollars bills but it's a thing!

I made a few changes last year in order to save money 'for the summer'. I work a 10 month job which means no income over the summer. I needed to find a way to stretch my paycheck over the summer months. One of the first changes I made with was to try and avoid using my debit card for everyday expenses and depend more on cold hard cash. It helped me to be more mindful of where my money was going. I also decided to start keeping any change I got at checkout. I chose to always round up at checkout rather than give exact change that way I could always take whatever loose change I had and hoard it away. Before I knew it I had $100! So, I’m not rolling in money from this, but $100 is $100, and it didn’t hurt at all.


Next up - saving the $5's. I heard of a fun idea where any time you came across a $5 you set it aside.


After seeing the results from saving my change I decided to give it a try. So anytime I received a $5 bill at the register I would immediately pull it out and hide it another portion of my wallet, and pretend it was no longer there. I did feel this one a bit but it didn’t take long to adjust to at all. Before I knew it I had an easy $75 just hanging out in my wallet after just a several weeks.


I also get paid every two weeks - which makes stretching a buck even harder. In 2017 my first paycheck is January 12 - that's a long time especially right after Christmas to go without any income. To fill that gap I rely on my online business sales. It's also why I began to monetize this blog. (every click counts) But that can be tricky - if you have no sales and no clicks.  
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

From Lamps to Jewelry Stands Recycle Reuse Reinvent

Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent is what I do!

This is my first lamp to jewelry stand project. The base of the lamp was pretty dirty and only had the light socket attached with frayed wiring. But, I'll tell you the price was right at a local thrift shop so I purchased it, thinking I would clean it up and rewire. It sat for several months before I began to take it apart. Once apart I was looking around my lamp parts and thought I'd try something different. I just started to stack - and this is what I made. Since it's my first one - it's never getting sold. It's mine.


This stand is made with lamp components from four different lamps. A 1920's cast iron base, a 1950's yellow glass sphere, a 1940's Gone with the wind brass hoop and a fleur-di-lis finial.

So, began my new adventure of lamps to jewelry stands.


Parts from a 1920 Medical Lamp

1950's Ceramic Double Hoop
Peach Floral Marble Base 1950's


~CG
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Cajun Jambalaya


4 ounces butter - 1 stick


2 TSP Cajun seasoning


½ tsp salt


½ tsp fresh ground pepper


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)


1 lbs Andouille Sausage (cut into small pieces)


1 lb fresh medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed


1 lb fresh linguine


2 cups clam juice


½ fresh green bell pepper – cut into thin strips


½ fresh red bell pepper – cut into thin strips


½ yellow bell pepper – cut into thin strips


1 medium red onion – cut into thin strips


¾ cup fresh tomatoes - diced


1. In a saute' pan or dutch oven Melt butter slowly


2. Add seasoning to pan and stir together


3. Add Sausage saute' and season with 1/2 salt and pepper – cook until ¼ done.


4. Add chicken saute' – add the rest of the salt & pepper cook until both sausage and chicken are about halfway done.


5. Start your pasta in a separate pan – cook al dente (fresh is better but box will
 do)


6. Add clam juice, peppers, and onions. Cook until chicken and sausage are almost done


7.Add shrimp. Toss the ingredients together.


8. Add tomatoes – until sausage and chicken are cooked thoroughly.



9. Place pasta in each bowl. Spoon equal portions of the jambalaya mix.
Can be frozen.

Notes: I use Tony Chachere's seasoning.

Andouille Sausage is a french (Cajun) sausage. It's spiced, heavily smoked pork and wine. Substitute if you must.You can omit the Sausage – it just won't have the Cajun flare.Adjust according to your own taste. For added zip splash in hot sauce.



~CG
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

25 WAYS TO WEAR A SCARF!


Over this past winter, while trying to find ways to keep warm I decided to crochet women's scarfs. You may have noticed these are all the same stitch - granny. I did give it a more modern twist and use 4 in each group rather than the tradition 3. I just felt comfortable crocheting this particular while watching TV (meaning I didn't have to keep referring to the instructions.)  I gave most away to friends and family but I have some left.


But then... how do you wear them was the question.

I found this blog 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf - not only are there videos but also diagrams. Pin it - bookmark it - just save that blog.

Now... it looks like I'll have to break out my sewing machine - now that spring is here. Because you can't have too many scarfs.

Next winter - I'm going master making. Broomstick Lace Infinity Scarf 


~CG
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