Leek & Butternut Squash Soup

I've been in a big soup mood recently. It probably helps that it's been quite rainy. I would post a picture of the Leek Soup and the Butternut Squash Soup that I've made this past week, but pictures of soup just turn out to look...well, soupy. Besides their un-photogenicness, they taste amazing. If you're in a soup mood and are looking to make something scrumptious, I have the perfect recipes. I had made the leek soup previously, but made my own recipe this time. I love a 2nd time making something, I think it comes out better because of experimenting. My husband hates squash. I let him eat a bowl of the butternut squash soup before telling him what was in it. The 2nd bowl he enjoyed, but complained about any chunk that might be a piece of squash. Just so you know, that the soup disguises itself well.
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Leek Soup

6 cups water
7 bullion cubes (or use 6 cups chicken broth)
4 yukon gold potatoes (I gave them a rough peel), small diced

Boil these three together in a pot until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a frying pan add:

3 leeks (rinsed well and sliced about 1/4 inch or less)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
garlic powder

Season to taste. Once the leeks are tender, add them to the pot of potatoes and broth. Adjust seasonings. Add:

2 cups milk

Heat to a boil. Thicken with a flour and water mixture if necessary.

The buttery flavor of this warm soup is perfect. It is a great comfort food paired with crackers or homemade bread.

Butternut Squash Soup
from The Mormon Family Cookbook

1 butternut squash (I used 2)
2 onions, quartered
2 carrots, sliced (I used 4)
3 celery stalks, chopped (I used 5)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1 cooked meaty ham bone (I used 1 cup cooked cubed ham)
2 cups hot water (I did 3)
3 cups chicken broth (I did 4)

Peel, seed, and cut up squash into 1-inch cubes. In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients except parsley. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove hame bone. Whirl soup in blender container in batches. Remove meat from bone add pieces to blended soup. Adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley.

This would be delicious without the ham for a vegetarian-style soup. One thing I learned from making this recipe - you have to vent your blender lid when blending hot things or it explodes all over your kitchen.

I Heart You Cafe Apron

Just in time for next year's Valentine's Day :) (I missed this year by a couple of days) I finished my love bird inspired apron to add to the celebration. It is just the cafe apron with an added coordinating fabric on the top. I think this is one of my favorites so far. The length is adorable, more so than the typical cafe apron length. I love the hearts on the pocket with unfinished edges, the homemade ruffle, and especially the red bow. The different thing from this cafe apron to others is that the top band/ties are all one piece. It encases the top edge of the body of the apron and is sewn around all sides, sealing also the ties.

The Man Apron

My brother-in-law was complaining about his choice of 3 girly aprons to wear while cooking. So I took the hint and made him his very own MAN apron for Christmas. He no longer has to fight over ruffles and birds because I gave him Batman. I was looking at fabric that was more manly...there's not very much of it...and decided that the easiest way to do it would be through superheroes. The body of the apron is a pretty close copy to a typical store-bought apron, with the sides longer to wrap around the body more. I also gave him a loop for his spatula or bbq tongs. I really wanted to make the pockets on the front to look like a tool belt, but this ended up working better.

A Spring Day

I went running this morning. Although there was quite a bit of fog, the air was clear and it was easy to tell it was going to be a great warm day. It was 70 degrees today - I love California weather! I think with the weather inspiration, I've regenerated my energy to post some fun projects. I enjoy the process of coming up with a new idea and being too twitterpated about it to even consider another project until that one is complete. I think that's what blogging is about.

Since I haven't posted anything since December, here's to a new year! May it be filled with lots of crafting, sewing aprons, and running miles. I don't have a New Year's resolution related to sewing, but maybe I should. My list that includes have the dishes done before bed, always be reading a book, spending quality time with my kids every day, and running 10 miles consistently should include "make fabulous aprons or sew something I've never made before." Well, I have made something that I've never attempted before. {A shirt-dress is yet to come.}

Here's to happy creating! I hope you have a crafty goal for the year.

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