repurposed tins

May 4, 2012 § 5 Comments

It’s dance recital time around here and now, more than ever, I need to be organized with all our ballet hair supplies. My girls dance at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, which requires that students stick to the proper ballet dress code – meaning I’ve become fairly skilled at creating the perfect bun (again and again and again). Let’s just say, we have A LOT of little hair accessories.

One of the best ideas I’ve come up with to keep all our rubber bands, bobbie pins, clips and hair nets together in the dance bag is to use old Altoids tins, crafted up a little of course. I cut scrapbook paper to fit the top, bottom and sides. Using a foam brush, I adhere the paper to the tin and decoupage over the top with one of my favorite craft products, Modge Podge – a glue, sealer and finish in one. Once the paper dries, I add a few embellishments and glue a ribbon trim around the top of the lid. These pretty tins perfectly contain the clutter. And my latest trick: by sticking a magnet inside the metal box, stray bobbies can easily be collected and kept in place – another little thing I love!

chicken noodle soup

May 2, 2012 § 3 Comments

Last week a yucky stomach bug made its way though our house, and my little one and I have both been dealing with allergies and head colds. When anyone around here gets the slightest hint of an illness, I break out the chicken noodle soup recipe I’ve been perfecting the last couple of years. I don’t think I’ve stumbled into any new territory here, and I’m sure part of it is in my head. But they say chicken soup can cure a cold and as for this family: as soon as the mirepoix hits the sizzling olive oil and those delicious smells begin to fill the house, we’re already feeling a little bit better. It’s the best homemade medicine I’ve found!

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 pounds chicken breasts
mirepoix: 2 cups celery, 2 cups carrots, 1 cup onion – finely chopped
3 and 1/2 containers (32 ounce) chicken broth
10 ounce bag wide egg noodles
olive oil
dried oregano
dried thyme
coarse salt

Saute the chicken breasts in a large stock pot with a little olive oil. As it’s cooking, break the chicken into smaller pieces and season with salt, pepper, dried oregano and thyme. Remove chicken from pot and cool. In the same stock pot, season mirepoix with salt and pepper and cook in olive oil until soft, about 10 minutes. (I like to season as I go rather than wait until the end.) Shred the cooled chicken and return it to the pan with the veggies. Add 3 1/2, 32-ounce containers of chicken broth (112 ounces) and bring to a rolling boil. Add the egg noodles and cook until tender. Soup will continue to thicken and cook down over time, and additional liquid may need to be added when reheating leftovers.

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