This word, ‘Resolutions’ is on most peoples minds in the new year. Why do we think about this only at the New Year? Many of us take time to reflect on what transpired over the last twelve months of our lives… a time to think on what we would like to continue doing and what we want to stop doing… a time to dream and imagine what the next twelve months will hold for us. New Years Resolutions are a common thing and many of us are looking to make some… be it little or large. My ‘resolutions’ this year are too be more faithful in praying for others, being kind in all situations and reorganizing my office and keeping it that way! I did a series on Organization this past summer and I think I need to turn back to the office one! That is the space that seems to get the best of me! I have so many things to keep straight and it just seems I don’t have enough space… haha… a whole room just isn’t enough eh? Well, this week I am gutting the room… I am going to clean out the file cabinets and purge, purge, purge! Another goal that I want to implement is that of The 3/50 Project (www.the350project.net) that I mentioned in my previous blog. I do a lot of shopping & trading with my co-vendors at my markets, but I want to support the small local businesses in my community a bit more this year.
Right now many of us including myself need to do something to get rid of the winter blahs… yes I love going out to the hoop house and green houses, but I also love to shop- especially antiquing, thrift shopping and craft/hobby store shopping. Plan a day trip with a couple good friends or sisters if you have them. Do a ‘shop hop’ as I believe they are called! This is one great way to implement the 3/50 Project idea. Some of us are crafter’s, sewers/quilters and/or decorators. There are loads of great little gift shops, quilt shops, card & scrapbook shops and Antique shops that are locally owned and operated… go ahead and support them. We may spend a bit more than we would at one of the big box stores, and I admit I love the coupons & sales, but I am committed to shopping as locally as I possibly can this year.
~Start some seeds- if you are planning on having a garden this year, it’s about time to start some of those wonderful little seeds.
~Take a class! I am taking a six part writers workshop right now. You can find many classes at most MSU Extension Offices for all ages. Master Gardeners are just one among many classes that they offer.
~Join a Club that fits one of your hobbies or something you like to do such as a readers club at your library.
~Volunteer! There are so many wonderful organizations out there that are always looking for helping hands. A few for the Metro Detroit area are- Gleaners Community Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest and The Henry Ford. All wonderful organizations!
Another way to get rid of those winter blahs is to have a party! As I have mentioned time and again, I love to entertain. I love the to spend quality time with friends and family in a way that they know I took time to make this time together extra special.
Here are some ideas to make your entertaining extra special.
~Personalized name cards- use die cuts, stickers, and pretty ribbon.
~Little favors for each guest- these don’t need to be fancy, a simple seed packet will make someone smile!
~Serve a small snack and drink to your guests for taking the time to come. Set it up to go with the theme of your party if you have one.
~If there are several people there that may not know each other have each person do an introduction.
~Have some yummy smelling candles burning in the background to help make that homey feel.
~Send thank you cards after the party.
~Have each guest sign a guest book.
Here are some party ideas!
~Host a party– there are lots of companies that do home parties- here a few of my personal favorites: Creative Memories- scrapbooking; Pampered Chef- love the stoneware; Celebrating Home- the nicest Bean Pots and stoneware items, really nice candles to name just a few. They are fun, a lot of times people want the stuff but don’t want the bother of having the party, and it is fun. Be sure to make a nice snack and offer coffee, tea and punch. Your guests will feel like they were pampered and you get some great free stuff!
~Have a Cookie Exchange- I gave all the how too’s in my December 26th post.
~Host a LuncheonTea Party- For all the how too’s on this go back to my February 21st post.
~Plan a Sisters Day- See all the how too’s for this fun day on my March 20th post.
You can find all these at www.fordragonfliesandme.blogspot.com
Winter is a time for soup… my family just doesn’t care for soup when the temperature guage reads into the 80’s and up. But right now when the wind is howling and the air is cold, walking into a warm cozy house with the smell of homemade soup cooking just feels right… not to mention tastes right! Here are a couple winter time cozy soup recipes… enjoy friends!
French Onion Soup
2 Tbsp. butter
4 onions, sliced
3 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. sherry (optional0
1 cup French bread, cubed and toasted
1/2 pound baby Swiss Cheese
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add onions; cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and sherry, if using.
Increase heat; bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Divide into 4 overn safe soup bowls; top with bread cubes, then cheese. Place under a broiler just until cheese melts.
Makes 4 bowls.
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 medium potatoes
1 lb. Spicy Italian Sausage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups chopped kale
Brown Sausage; cool.
Combine the broth and cream in a sauce pan; slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 inch slices; add the browned sausage; add the kale.
Add the spices and let soup simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
10 c Cauliflower florets (1 large head)
1 large onion, sliced
2 clover garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
1 c water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp snipped fresh thyme
1 c half & half or light cream
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper \
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large roasting pan toss cauliflower, onion, & garlic with oil. Roast, uncovered for 30 minutes stirring once.
In a large saucepan combine the roasted cauliflower and onion, broth, the water, bay leaf, & thyme. Bring to boiling & reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
Discard bay leaf. Let mixture cool for about 15 minutes. Working in batches, transfer soup to a food processor or blender; process or blend soup until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Stir in half & half, salt & pepper. Heat through, don ‘t boil.