Friday, 30 November 2012

Gluten and Dairy Free, Potato, Leek, and Bacon Soup Funtimes!

(This was originally posted on Bitches With Stitches on September 14th, 2012)

Hello everyone and welcome to my first Foodie Friday! I have to admit that since the start of the summer Trevor and I have gotten out of our routine of cooking good, proper meals, so I think that this special every Friday will not only show you how to make some of our delicious favourites, but it will also help us to stay on track and make real meals! So here it is, our delicious, super easy, perfect for fall, dairy-free, gluten-free, potato, leek, and bacon soup!

*3 leeks, sliced
*1/2 pound of bacon, chopped, plus a few slices separated from the rest
*2 cloves of garlic, crushed
*2 boxes of chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock)
*5-10 Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped

Once your bacon is chopped...

your garlic is crushed, and your leeks are sliced....

You are ready to start! In a large pot, add your bacon and cook on medium until it is nicely cooked, but not crispy. When the bacon is at this stage, turn up the heat a little, add your leeks and garlic, and saute in the bacon fat for a few more minutes. While bacon and friends are cooking, chop up your potatoes....

It sucks being one of the dudes on the bottom...
...and get your stock ready....
...and clearly, I am an overgrown child.
Once your bacon, leeks, and garlic are happy in the pot...

...,you can add all of your potatoes, followed by all of your stock. Bring to a boil and let cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

Once the potatoes are cooked, get your separated bacon ready in the frying pan. You will want one piece of bacon per person in the frying pan (fyi, this recipe will feed two people for about 2-3 meals, depending on how many times you go for seconds). Let the bacon fry until nice and crispy while you work on the next step.

While the bacon is frying, you will need to get out another large pot and a blender. Carefully ladle some of the soup into the blender, being careful not to overfill it (about halfway is good). Now this next step is very important. You know that weird plastic thing that can be removed from the lid of your blender?

Well, now is the time that it's function becomes glaringly obvious. Take it out. Put the lid on the blender. Put a tea towel over the lid hole. Puree. Wondering what all that was about? Well, the soup is hot and steamy, so when it is blended, if the lid hole contraption is left on, the steam will push the lid, the lid will come flying off, and burning hot soup will go everywhere. How do I know this? I'll let you use your imagination.

Now that this bit of soup is pureed, put it into the new pot and continue to puree all the rest of your soup.

Taste it, and add salt and pepper as you so desire. By this time your bacon should be done. Let it cool for a few minutes, until it is cool enough to touch. Ladle some of your soup into a pretty bowl, and rip the bacon up over top of your soup. Voila! Delicious meal prepared by you!

Or, you know, if you prefer that sort of thing....

Have a very happy Friday everyone! See you tomorrow!


{ Walk Off the Earth "Little Boxes" }

Welcome to the Jungle

(This post was originally at Bitches With Stitches on September 8, 2012)

I am SO excited, you guys! I cannot wait to show you my dress! It is the first dress I have ever made. The first real proper piece of clothing. I will call it my jungle dress. I won't hold out any longer. Here it is:

My necklace is really bothering me in this picture! Ah!

 Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was on these steps in the film Niagara? Neither did I until we shot this. One of the benefits of being married to a history buff.

So I was hugely inspired by Tilly's Birthday Party Dress, but I wanted to make this one my own. I went to Fabricland with a fabric in mind (I had gone once before and gotten so overwhelmed by the amount of choice that I was presented with that I left empty-handed! This was my first foray into completely creating clothing out of nothing, after all.), and when I arrived, I thought I should browse everything over once more just to be sure. Then I saw this cotton fabric instead! It was absolutely PERFECT for me. I love prints. I love animals. I love gray. And the way the print is laid out, it almost looks like stripes, which makes it even better. So I left Fabricland with this gray fabric, a gray zipper, Simplicity 2444, and nothing else (More on the other fabric in a few weeks).

I got home and as I was oohing and ahhing over the fabric, getting all touchy-feely with it, I looked down and realized that my dandelion yellow nail polish looked great with the gray. Back to Fabricland I go. I really should put more thought into things before I start a project. Oh well. Live and learn.

So I picked up a dandelion yellow polka dot cotton fabric, dandelion yellow thread, a bright yellow zipper, and interfacing, because I didn't know what it was until I got home. I washed my fabric on Monday night and got to work Tuesday and Wednesday. I had some zipper issues that were bumming me out so my productivity slowed and I was able to finish the dress until the following Tuesday. If I really wanted, I think I could have whipped it out by Friday. But life happens sometimes I guess!

Check out that zipper!
I can't take a picture without at least ONE silly face!
Oh! And I forgot to mention it has pockets! I love dresses with pockets! So convenient!

Look at those rhinos! And zebras! And Kangaroos! And Elephants! And Ostriches! Oh my!
I also decided that all the interfacing should be in the polka dot yellow. Just because that is how awesome I am. Did I mention how I'm modest too?

You can also sort of see that I purposely showed the stitching. If I'm going to be using bright yellow thread, then I want to show it off. So I had some fun with zigzag, and what I like to call the heartbeat, stitches.

And look at that bow belt! How awesome is it? I think it just completes the dress. Once more, it is from the lovely Miss Tilly. Check out her super easy tutorial here!

Now, I've taken sewing as part of my theatre studies in university, but that was mostly hand sewing techniques. We made one pair of mitts on the machine, and honestly, I could whip them up right now in about thirty minutes, including cutting the fabric out. So this was my first real foray into sewing. I did not take a lesson. I suppose I just follow directions well? But obviously, this dress is not perfect. If you look in the bow belt picture, you can see that my rhinos don't line up! That sounds ridiculous. My rhinos don't line up. Sorry. Also, I tried to work the pattern so that I only had one line of rhinos on the skirt, but clearly, that did not work out. Although I kind of like that part. But the centres not lining up does bother me quite a bit. The zipper is very wavy as well. I don't know why. Everyone I've talked to said it is fine. But why did it go wavy? I just don't know.

Anyway, here is a picture on our walk back home. Trevor looks unimpressed that I am taking his photo. Too bad. :)

See you soon!


{Guns N' Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"}

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hello (again!)

Hello (again) everyone!

Since this is Sew, Cook, Garden, Repeat's first post and a fresh start, I figured I should start with a fresh post! You know you've had a long day when you type the word fresh and you get a mental image of armpits....ANYways. My name is Carlee. I am a twenty-something Canadian lady who likes to do things that were once reserved for old ladies (but not anymore!). But more about me in the "about me" section, if you are interested.

This whole little blog project came out of a book. I'll keep this short: I read Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline and, from that, read about a few sewing blogs, which I immediately started to follow. I thought I would give sewing a shot, which thus far has been successful (Hooray!). Then my sister and I started the blog, Bitches With Stitches, where we would blog about our sewing and fashioning escapades. It started off well, but it ultimately didn't work out for both of us. So we've decided that I will keep on blogging while Jamie focuses on other things.

So this is my blog about sewing, cooking, gardening, and everything in between. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sit back, relax, grab yourself a cup of tea and stay a while!