Category Archives: Winter

Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Pretzel Bread

A little while ago I had mentioned that I made some Broccoli Cheddar Soup and some Pretzel Bread, and wanted to share with you since they turned out so yummy.  The Pretzel Bread was found when I was perusing around this cute blog that I recently stumbled upon, The Apron Archives (isn’t that the cutest name?).  I made sure to pin it so I wouldn’t forget about it.  Turns out I couldn’t stop thinking about it and needed to try making some soon.  So I made it to go with a Broccoli Cheddar Soup the other weekend, and the two made for many heart-warming meals.

The bread is a great one for dipping into soups and making sandwiches with.  I think what I like most about it is that it’s a pretty quick and easy homemade bread to make.  Where most homemade breads are nearly an all day process, the process for Pretzel Bread takes only a few hours.  (Your active working time with it is only a fraction of that three hours).  It was fun to make too, as there’s a little excitement when you get to drop your dough into the pot of boiling water.  Now I want to try making pretzels soon. =)

I won’t write out the Pretzel Bread recipe, as you can find it over here and here.  I highly recommend it, especially if you like making bread but don’t like spending a lot of time on it.

::Broccoli Cheddar Soup::

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 leeks, quarter lengthwise, rinse, then chop
4 garlic cloves, minced
6-ish potatoes, preferably yukon golds, diced
2 large heads broccoli, chopped
1 qt. chicken stock
6-ish c. whole milk
1-2 T fresh parsley and thyme, chopped
grated cheddar cheese

In a hot pot over med-high heat, sauté onions until translucent, about 4-5 min. Add in leeks and garlic and saute another 4-5 min.  Add in the potatoes and broccoli, a pinch of s+p, and let cook and steam until they’re a little tender, about 7 min., stirring frequently.  Sprinkle in the flour, stir and cook for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.  Pour in chicken stock and let cook until hot, then stir in whole milk.  Let simmer until the potatoes and broccoli are tender enough to eat and the soup has thickened a little.  Ladle about a third of the soup into a blender and puree.  Pour back into pot.  If you prefer a completely creamy and smooth soup, use an immersion blender, take the pot off the heat and puree the soup until smooth.  (For this soup, my hubby and I prefer the chunks of veggies to bite into, so I puree just some of the soup to make it a little more creamy).  Sprinkle in the fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste.  To serve, garnish with a big pinch of cheddar cheese and enjoy.

I love adding the cheese to the soup as it’s dished up and let it melt in the bowl, as I think the cheese flavor just sort of disappears when added into the big hot soup pot.  This is my kind of dinner (and lunch) for all the cold winter days we’re having.  Enjoy!

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Pretty Off Piste

My creamy cabled Off Piste hat is done.  It is very soft, comfy, and cute, what more could you want in a hat?  Aimee, owner of Knit N’ Needle Yarn Shoppe, really did an awesome job designing this.  The pattern is super fun and pretty easy.  I made this with Malabrigo Twist in Natural and just love that yarn.

So I had to settle for the self portrait thing for now.  I might add on a better picture later, but couldn’t wait to share…

Lately I have really developed a love for cream + cables.  I love them together, so soft and winter-y and the natural color makes the cables really stand out.

My thing for white/cream combined with cables started earlier this winter when I was watching the movie The Holiday.  There is a beautiful cabled cardigan (cashmere of course) that Cameron Diaz wears when she’s in the little (oh so perfect) English cottage and meets Jude Law’s character.  I instantly fell in love with it and googled it for a pattern to make one just like it.  I was surprised and so happy to find the Fireside Sweater that mimics Cameron’s cardigan.  There’s a beautiful Fireside Sweater on Posh Knits.  Mine will look just like that.  =)  Isn’t it the perfect winter cardigan?  Maybe I’ll be super ambitious and tackle that for my March project.  Heck, I better start on that now if I want to finish by the end of March.

Even though I finished this in February, I’m still calling it my January knit for my Knit 12 in 2012 project, along with the cowls.  I have three weeks for a February project, and I’m still stuck on hats!  I almost want to make another Off Piste but somehow make it a little chunkier.  So I have a fetish for hats.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve made up my mind on what to make this month, I’ll be back soon to show you the work in progress. =)

::Ravelry:: project page here.

Photos of the Week {5}

I’ve come to realize that my Photo of the Week project is a good indicator of how much I got out during that week.  And if I did get out a little, I didn’t have my camera.  I guess it’s just a sign of a little case of hibernating and some mid-winter blues, and too many gray winter days.

The sun did finally come out last week though, and I always enjoy a pretty winter tree and seeing how they take on different looks through the seasons.  I love blue skies, sunshine, and pretty ice and frost crystals covering the branches.  Sometimes you have to just stop and appreciate the small things.

Oh, and we can’t forget the ‘photo puppy’, as my husband likes to call him.  He is well-photographed. =)  And it turns out that bright sunlight, white snow, and a black dog that is always moving all provide for some good practice in getting the exposure just right with the camera in manual mode.

Our best buddy Jackson, happy as a clam laying in the snow with his raw hide…

This guy is awesome.  He is our kid, the best buddy, a great hunter, and just so darned cute, smart, loyal, obedient, fun, funny, energetic, and so full of personality and character.  I feel like we have had him for so much longer than we have.  He has totally found his way into our hearts.

Oh and while I’m sitting here, he weasels his way to sit under the desk, right by my legs, sets his face on my lap and cuts his eyes up at me.  As to say, “Aren’t I cute?  Come on, can’t we go out to walk and play yet?”.  I best be on my way, and get out while it’s nice and sunny.  =)

Photos of the Week {4}

I owe one week’s pictures for my photo of the week 2012 project

It’s not too often that our back yard calls me out to take a picture or two, but this afternoon the sun was casting some really nice cool light on the yard and on all of last week’s snow on the ground.  And the sky was blue, finally!

I was surprised at how the pictures came right out of the camera with such a deep blue sky.  I touched them up on the computer just a bit, but didn’t even saturate or darken the sky.  I loved the blue with the browns and reds in our maple tree.

Photos of the Week {3}

This last weekend we loaded up Jackson and his sister Ava in the car and met up with some friends at a nearby sledding hill.  All of our furry friends were having fun running all over the place…

We were doggy sitting Jackson’s sister, Ava, over the weekend and she is a little sweetie.  I totally got attached to her after just one day…

They got to run and play with our friend’s doggies…

There was a campfire to keep our hands warm…

There were s’mores for the kids…

And there was a great time had by all the kids…

The girls were getting creative and coming up with their own ideas of what to do for pictures.  It’s good to be around a group of kids at such a fun age, no real big worries in life, just family, friendships, and fun.  You can just see pure joy in all their faces.

Finished Knits

The last of my Christmas gift knits was just finished over the weekend.  What, did you expect me to have them all done by Christmas Day??  😉  It’s just like me to have one or two lingering gifts to finish up after the holidays.

My mom’s mitts were actually finished just in the nick of time, so she did get to open them on Christmas Day.  I made her a pair of Grammy’s Mitts to go with her Grammy’s Hat that I made for her Birthday.  She loves them!  They fit just right, not too big and bulky, but perfectly snug and warm.

I obviously love TFA‘s Grammy’s Hat pattern, as I ended up making nine of them.  Kind of crazy, but hey I always say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!  The pattern makes a great hat, and is just a simple and kind of a mindless knit to hurry up and do for all the family.

Soon after the holidays I finished two more Grammy’s Hats, one for my husband…

He loves it!  It’s soft, warm, comfortable, and the fit is just right.  This was made with Cascade Eco Cloud, on Ravelry here.

And one for my brother, made in Cascade Cloud but I chose colors that coordinate with his ski coat.  (Modeled by my hubby, on Ravelry here)…

I’m sure glad I’m done with all those projects.  Now, onto some cute accessories and such for moi!  =)

Photo(s) of the Week {2}

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park.  A gray, foggy day in January…