Where city meets country. Follow me on my adventures and misadventures where I learn how to live life in the country.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Have you ever entered a craft store, peddler's mall or even a junk store and seen something that you knew you could make yourself.  That's me.  I am forever walking around these type of stores saying "I'm not paying that when I could make it for less."  Here's the problem with my thinking:  I HARDLY EVER MAKE THOSE ITEMS.  Oh sure, I may buy the supplies, but the projects aren't completed. 
Country Boy is forever nagging me about my craft tote of unfinished projects.  It takes up space, it's in the way, how come I don't ever finish them?  All legit questions.  Sometimes I ask myself the same thing.  But then I realize that these are my "empty nest" projects.  One day my kids will be grown and doing their own thing.  I figure I'll have a whole bunch of stuff to keep me busy.  We're good!!!
Now every once in a while, I do complete a project.  Shocker, I know!  Not long ago I saw this cool rag tie strand of lights at my mother in laws.  I knew I already had the supplies.  And FINALLY, the project is complete.
Like projects that use up scrap fabric?  Do you have christmas lights laying around?  Then you're ready for this project.

Find you some scrap fabric.  It doesn't have to be all one color.  Pick what appeals to you.

Cut the fabric or tear into strips.  My strips were about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.

Grab your string of christmas lights (make sure they work before you start this!)  Fold your fabric in half around the string.

Then tie a knot.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  The knot can be as loose or tight as you want it.

Keep doing this until the entire strand of lights is covered.  Just don't put fabric on the bulb itself.

Here's what my strand looks like when completed.  I have it sitting in my front hallway.  Now I wouldn't leave this on all the time or even when not at home.  (I have this unnatural fear of electrical fires starting in the home.  I unplug EVERYTHING)  Use good judgement and don't have the Fire Marshal or fire department upset with you :)

Here's my thrifty way to use up spare fabric.  If you make this, let me know!

Have a blessed weekend.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Penny Pinching Wed

Ok, I admit it.  I'm a cheap chic.  Not that kind of cheap...the kind that tries to save time AND money in the kitchen.  Country Boy may call me a miser but I consider myself




and a little bit of a susie homemaker.  

You see, I hate...absolutely HATE to spend money on something that I can make myself.  Though some of the bigger projects don't get completed, the smaller ones do. 

Have you ever looked at the sodium contents of broth?  Not to mention the fact that it's processed and in a can?  Well that's part of my OCDness and miserly ways.  So I've perfected a way of making broth using my crockpot.  It (the broth) is not only healthy but, it cooks itself.  Now how can you go wrong? 

Usually I start with chicken bones (or beef if I have them).  In this case, I had about eight thigh bones from a recent meal that still had some meat and fat attached. 

That's one of my other "miserly" ways.  I debone my own chicken...I promise if you take the time to learn, it's cheaper that way.

For this broth, I used carrots, garlic, celery, and an onion that was already in my house.  The herbs (basil, oregano, and rosemary) were all grown in my garden.  The rest of the spices were in the pantry.

I simply threw the thighs into the crockpot.  Cut up all my veggies into large chunks and threw them on top.  The garlic I roughly chopped and added as well.

I chopped up all my fresh herbs and tossed them in.

Add as much basil, pepper, salt, and cilantro(dried) that you want into the slow cooker.

Cover with enough water so that the ingredients are all covered (about 1 inch over).  Turn on low for 10-12 hours.  Then cool the broth down and put in freezer containers and freeze until a later date.

This recipe is so simple and you can adapt it to suit your needs.

Crockpot Chicken Broth~  Makes about 4 cups

chicken bones (8 thigh bones in this recipe)
1 onion, cut into large chunks
3 stalks of celery, cut into large chunks (try to keep some of the celery leaves intact for flavor)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
fresh herbs (basil, oregano, and rosemary) as much as you want, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves, broken in half
salt, black pepper, and dried cilantro to taste

Place all contents in the crockpot.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.  Turn off crockpot and cool broth.  Refrigerate and use in several days or freeze.

So from my frugal, thrifty, creative, and OK, miserly kitchen
I hope you find use for this recipe and enjoy