Christmas, Soup, and Pinterest

Whoo! After being out of the blogging habit for some time, I have been re-inspired to start back up. After a lot of change in the past 3 years (marriage, new jobs, moving, school, new church, etc.), I finally feel like things have settled into a 'normal' of some sort. I can't believe it took this long! So here we are, the first Sunday of December. I finally got our Christmas decorations out of storage and, considering we only have a small tree and very few small decorations, am excited to get into the holiday spirit with a little decoration crafting. I love the rustic, Scandinavian aesthetic and am hoping to make this:


source: Nap Time Crafts

 I've also been cooking a ridiculous amount of soups from scratch. I am a HUGE fan of Katie Kimball's Kitchen Stewardship blog -- thanks to her, I now make my own chicken stock and yogurt among other things. Lately I'll buy a whole chicken (yay Whole Foods discount!), roast it, pick off the meat and store it in the freezer for future recipes, and save the bones for chicken stock. I had been making it in the crockpot (you really can't get any easier than that), but Eric and I found that the stock occasionally tasted somewhat bitter with this method, so I've been cooking it on the gas stovetop in a large stockpot instead. We re-use all of our glass food jars from spaghetti sauce, salsa, peanut butter, etc., so I just pour the chicken stock in those to freeze and keep plenty on hand. This way, I save money and know exactly what's going into my meals, which I like. Thanks to Pinterest, I have no shortage of new recipes to try. Tonight I made this lemon, chicken, and orzo soup from Tartelette blog -- take that, Panera! I have it cooling on the countertop in jars for grab-and-go lunches for the rest of the week.

 I'm off to fold laundry and find more Christmas crafts to make!

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