Sunday, October 31, 2010

Delicious Tomato Bisque

This past week I was craving some good ol' homemade soup and I don't know about you but, I love me some homemade soup during fall and winter! It just makes me feel so warm and toasty inside :) Throw out your canned tomato soup cause this one is going to blow your socks off! OK, I don't know about that, but it is really good ;) Not only does it taste so much better, it is actually way better for you! So here is the recipe that I came up with :) Enjoy!

~Recipe Created By: Ashley Willoughby~

Tomato Bisque

Makes: 6-8 servings ~ Prep Time: 20 min ~ Cook Time: 25-30 min ~ Ready in: Approx. 50 min


1/4 cup butter

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped fine

2 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained

6 oz. (about 1/2 cup) sweet roasted red peppers

4 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons white sugar (You need the sugar to help balance the acidity of the tomatoes, so don't leave this out!)

dash of ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons milk


Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in the tomato paste until incorporated. Then add chicken broth, tomatoes, red peppers, sugar, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.

Mix sour cream and milk together until smooth and stir into tomato mixture.

Pour the soup into a food processor and pulse mixture slightly and then puree until you reach the consistency you want. I left mine slightly chunky, I like to be able to have a little texture in my tomato bisque.

(If you don’t have a food processor you can also use a blender. When pureeing soup in a blender don’t start it on a high speed at first, just pulse a little at a time then work-up to a higher speed. An immersion blender is also perfect for soups, you can just puree right in your saucepan!)

Place soup back in stock pot and warm to desired temperature. Garnish and Serve!

*Note: To make the fun swirly design in your soup... mix a little sour cream with some milk (to thin it down) and put in a sandwich baggie. Cut the corner off slightly, and I mean slightly, you don't want a huge hole, it WILL make a huge mess! Then going from the center of your bowl make a bull's eye, with a continuous line going towards the outside of the bowl. Then using a toothpick, swirl through the sour cream. Garnish with some celery leaves and voile you have a super cute design that only took seconds!

And yes, celery leaves sounds strange but it is just like using parsley as a garnish, and it really does taste good. *Remember when making any dish you want your garnish to complement your dish. In other words when the consumer is eating it, the garnish should tell them what flavors are also in the dish and what to expect. Just a fun little culinary tid-bit ;)

This also recipe works perfectly to freeze as well, just follow

Kimberly's freezer cooking tips!

Linking up to:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun Diaper Bag/Purse

I just recently finished this diaper bag for a baby shower gift. I am definitely going to be making one of these for myself! I always wanted a cute diaper bag that had lots of pockets! Using a purse pattern for inspiration, after much tweeking :) I came up with a pattern of my own and this super cute diaper bag was the result...

I have seen so many flowers on bags lately and think they are so cute! So I made one to go on the bag. I used ribbon and cut 3 in strips. Then used my heat tool and a metal measuring spoon to trim off the square edge to make rounded petals (this also heat seals the edges to prevent fraying). Then glued them all a rounded piece of ribbon for the base. Made and attached a center and then attached the completed flower to a corsage pin. Here's a picture of the bag without the flower, still cute but I think that the flower just sets it off!

It is the perfect size for a diaper bag, not too big and not too small. You can even use it as a purse later when you don't need it as a diaper bag anymore!

A peak at the inside...

I added a magnetic closure...
(watch for these to go on sale, cause this little guy cost me $5!)

One of the things that most patterns lack is pockets and dividers. I love a bag with lots of storage space, instead of just a large open black hole to lose things in. So, I added 2 large pockets and one divider. I just LOVE how the inside turned out! It was well worth the extra work!

It is always a good idea when a giving a homemade item as a gift to attach a tag with washing instructions. Even though you know how it should be laundered, they don't :)

It was definitely worth all the work...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dollar store t-shirt makeover

If there is something I love, it is CHEAP CLOTHES!

I found this little buddy at the dollar store! I thought maybe I could help it achieve it's full potential.

The creative conditions were perfect (hubby at a poker night, kiddo sleeping, Veronica Mars on Netflix instant streaming) so a few hours later, I had this. So much better don't ya think?

This Anthropology shirt was my inspiration. I only saved like $50 by making my own. I think it was worth it.

So here is what I did:

Step 1:

I took a measurement from where I like the base of a neck line to be- to where I like the bottom of a shirt to be. (for me it was 16 inches). Then I cut that length out of thin elastic.

Step 2: I folded the t-shirt in half and ironed it so that there was a seam running vertically down the front.

Step 3: I pinned the elastic along the seam on the inside of the shirt. I pinned the ends first with the top end of the elastic being about 3cm from the neck of the shirt and the bottom end of the elastic being about 3cm from the bottom of the shirt. Then I laid the t-shirt out flat. (Since the elastic is pinned at the top and the bottom it should stretch straight along the seam you ironed in).

Step 4: With the shirt flat and the elastic stretched I pinned them together. (When you release the elastic it looks like this).

As you can see, the fabric will gather along the elastic.

Step 5: Sew it on. (You will have to keep the shirt fabric flat not stretched and stretch the elastic as you sew)

Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 on the top of the arms.

Step 7: This t-shirt was a large and I usually wear a medium so I took in the sides so it would fit me like this:

Step 8: Sew the scraps from taking in the sides into tubes, like this:

Step 9:

Turn the tubes seam sides in and sew them on the back at the neck line like this:

Step 10:

Twist the tubes as tight or loose as you like and wrap them around the neck line. I hand sewed them in place with darts every few inches.

Step 11:

Tie the loose ends in a bow (and sew in place if desired). That's it!

Now I am going to take those 50 bucks I saved and spend them on something fun. (ok lets be honest, I will probably spend them on groceries :)

Sarah at Welcome to the Good Life did a really cute knock off of the same Anthropologie shirt here. Check it out.

Linking up to these fun parties:

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Beyond The Picket Fence
Get your craft on Thurs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yummy Pumpkin Roll Cake


The smells, the food, the spices, the colors, the decorations, EVERYTHING about it just makes me warm and toasty inside. So when fall rolls around I love to cook

(who am I kidding... I love to cook all year round :) but this time of year is one of my favorites!)

I am always in search of new yummy recipes. So about 5 years ago I found this website ALLRECIPES.COM. I LOVE IT! It has almost every recipe that you could possibly want and best of all it has a rating on each and every recipe from others who have tried it. That way you know if it is going to be good. That is where I found this tasty recipe. I just wanted to share it with all of you, and believe me this is The Best Recipe I have found for pumpkin rolls.


Pumpkin Roll Cake



Makes: 18 servings


3 eggs

1 cup white sugar

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped *walnuts

(*I use pecans, I'm allergic to walnuts and plus pecans are better!)

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in white sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Add pumpkin and lemon juice.
  3. In another bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; fold into the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan; line with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper. Spread batter into pan; sprinkle with walnuts.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  6. Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.
  7. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  8. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Nutritional Information pastedGraphic_1.pdf

Amount Per Serving Calories: 180 | Total Fat: 7.6g | Cholesterol: 59mg

Sunday, October 17, 2010

T for 2

Another T-shirt re-fashion, for $2

I found this t-shirt on clearance at Target for $2. I bought an XL even though I usually wear a medium. Then I took the sides in like this so I would have extra fabric for embellishing.

Then I made some rosettes (using the tutorial found here) and sewed them on along the neck line. And that's it! My 3 favorite C's- Cute, Comfy and CHEAP!

Linking up to these fun parties!

All Thingz Related

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scrap wood to a kids room tree

Brenna's room re-do: part 5

I have just been racking my brain trying to think of something cute for the last wall to complete Brenna's room re-do. So when my dad called me and said "we just re-did our hard wood floors and had some scraps left, you want them?" My answer was..."fetch yes!"

Would you even believe me if I told you this project only cost me $4. I am having a hard time believing it myself. The wood was given to me, the birds are made of some cereal boxes and covered with fabric that was left over from the rest of Brenna's room re-do. So all I had to buy were the hooks! Sweet.

Check out the rest of Brenna's room re-do:

The pillows

The foam letters

The quilt

The bow board

We are going out for "Crafting with the Stars". Wish us luck!

Linking up to these fun parties: