I finally have a blog button!!

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Thanks to my daughter for her photo-editing abilities, I now have a button for my blog!  Now, if only I can get the coding box below it…….

 

If anyone would be willing to give me a hand with it, I would be very grateful.  I know I’m just overlooking something, but I think I’ve been staring at the computer screen & coding too long to see where my mistake is. 

 

Anyway, feel free to grab my new button!!!

Making Chicken Stock

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of chicken soup, especially when it’s cold and/or wet outside.  To me, it’s comfort in a bowl.  And while my family & I can eat the canned soup from the store,  we would much rather have homemade soup.  It’s even better if you have your own chicken stock on hand to use.  It tastes much better and it’s a whole lot better for you!  When making your own, you control what goes into it and how much, especially salt content, and it doesn’t have all the preservatives in it that the store bought does.  “But, it’s too hard to make & takes up too much time!,” you say?  No!  You’ve got it all wrong!  Making a wonderfully tasting chicken stock is much easier than you think!  In fact, you can even use your Crock Pot!  Oh, yes, you can.  

Hopefully, you’ve already been saving the chicken carcass when you’ve had a roasted chicken or even the bones from when you’ve cooked chicken for another meal.  If not, make sure you do this in the future! You can throw them in the freezer until you’re ready to make stock out of them.  Same thing goes with any bones from meals that you’ve made.  They make wonderful stock. 

Also, make sure that you’re putting your veggie peels in a bag in the freezer, as well.  By this, I mean carrot peels, onion peels, ends of celery, potato skins, etc.  These add wonderful flavor to broths!  Instead of just throwing them away, why not get all the yummy nutrients out of them first?

Here’s what you’re going to need:

Homemade Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (if there’s a bit of chicken left on the bones, it’s okay.  You’ll tend to that later.)
1/4 cup white vinegar
veggie peels from freezer
or
a couple of carrots, cut into about 4 to 6 large pieces
a couple of stalks of celery, cut into 4 to 6 large pieces
1 small onion, cut in half
giblets (optional)
1 bunch fresh parsley or 1 Tbs dried
approx. 16 to 20 cups water

1. Add chicken carcass, water, & vinegar to pot.  Allow to soak for 30 minutes.  (The vinegar is essential to pulling out all the wonderful vitamins otherwise locked away in those precious bones, particularly potassium, calcium, & magnesium.
2. Add veggie peels or veggies to pot, along with giblets.  (It’s okay to use older looking veggies as long as they do not have any bad spots on them.)
3.  Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 12 to 24 hours.  If using your Crock Pot,  make sure to cook it closer to 24 hours on high.
4. About 10 minutes or so before stock is finished, add parsley.
5.  Strain broth to remove bones & veggies, making sure to keep any remaining chicken meat that was attached to the bones.
6.  Allow to cool completely before dividing and freezing, making sure to remember to keep some out for the delicious soup that you were planning to make!
Here’s what your wonderful stock will look like when you’re done:

Hot Finished Broth

Mine still has to finish cooling so that I can put it in the refrigerator.  Once it’s completely cool, any fat will have risen to the top and harden so that you can skim it off & throw it away. 
Coming soon, my recipe for a yummy, juicy, tender roasted chicken!

Foodie Friends Friday
Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop
 

Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

If any of you are like me, you love a good mystery.  Well, I get to combine two of my favorite things – a good mystery and one of my favorite hobbies, crochet!  Two weeks ago today, Bernat yarns started their 2012 Mystery Crochet-A-Long!  Each week for the next 15 weeks, a new clue will be released with the except for a few weeks where there will be a break to give participants a chance to catch up on any of the clues that they might be behind on. A couple of the weeks will also be taken up with a clue on how to piece all the clues together and a clue that will give you the border.  Each new clue will be released in the Bernat Forums on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.

Although the Mystery CAL/KAL is being hosted by Bernat, I’ve chosen to use Red Heart Super Saver (RHSS) yarn due to the fact that it’s very hard for me to find Bernat where I live.  I would need to order it online and, while I don’t mind ordering things online, I want to make sure that I have enough of the colors that I’ve chosen and that there is not a significant difference in the colorways of each skein of yarn.  

I’m actually making 2 afghans – one for me and one that will be a Christmas gift.  I’ve been working away at getting mine done and have managed to keep up, despite being sick.  I’m done with all the pieces for clue #2, which I finished yesterday.  These are not hard and work up quickly.  I’m really excited to see what this week’s clue will be! 

My colors for  both afghans are:
RHSS in :
Cornmeal (yellow)
Coral (it looks red in the pics)
Delft Blue
Tea Leaf (green)
Lt. Raspberry (pink)

I’m using the same colors, but have changed the order in which they will be used.

For afghan #1, the colors will be: Cornmeal (MC), Coral (A), Delft Blue (B), Tea Leaf (C), & Lt. Raspberry (D)

For afghan #2, the colors will be: Tea Leaf (MC), Lt. Raspberry (A), Cornmeal (B), Delft Blue (C), & Coral (D)

I’m going to go ahead and post pics of my finished pieces for clue #1 & clue #2.  So, if you want to a participate but don’t want a spoiler as to what the finished clues look like, you’ll want to stop reading now.
I mean it!  Pics are comings up!
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Unless you really want to see what they look like, you’ll need to stop reading now.
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Are you sure you want to know?
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Okay.  Here you go!
Clue #1 – You will be making 12 – 4-1/2-inch squares (well, they’re still a little more round at this stage, but will square off nicely once we piece the afghan together.

Clue # 1, Project #1

Clue #1, Project # 2

Clue #2 – You will be making 6 – 11-inch octagon flower motifs that are lacy and very pretty.

Clue # 2, Project #1
Clue #2, Project #2