Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Snappy Little Bag

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
~Roy L. Smith

I think I'm through with all of the commercialism of Christmas.  I'm tired of the ads, the rush to buy gifts, feeling guilty if I can't afford something.  I think this is part of the reason that I have trouble getting into the Christmas spirit every year.  There is always somebody telling me that this is what I should get or 'your loved one will remember you always with a gift from......".  I'm tired of feeling so in debt by this time of year and wondering how I will pay for it all come next month.  I'm ready to go back to the simpler way.  Fill the stockings hung by the fireplace and then one more gift per person and that's it.  I'd like to give just one gift that would mean a lot to that specific person.  Not something expensive but something from the heart.  Perhaps we should start a new - or actually old - tradition next year.  Too late for this year, everything is bought and wrapped.



Five Golden Rings

Unlike the four collie birds in the previous stanza who just had their name changed to a different, and non-existent, species of bird, the five rings in this stanza have, in singers' and illustrators' minds, changed from five ring-necked pheasants to five pieces of jewelry.  Given the versatility of the word ring in today's language it is not unusual to discover that our sixteenth century ancestors used the shortened term ring to describe a ring-necked pheasant as well as jewelry for their fingers.  So the five golden rings in this stanza refer to five ring-necked pheasants, a dish that was sure to be served at some of the king or queen's Twelfth Night feasts during the Twelve Days of Christmas celebrations.


Yesterday I made a little Snap Tape Bag.  This was a quick and easy project and would have been easier if I had used fabric that was already quilted.  But since I wanted it to coordinate with the Reusable Market Bag that I made last week, I had to do my own quilting.
Once again I did straight quilting.  I added a pocket.  However, I should have made the pocket not quite so deep.  But then the tutorial I was following didn't square off the corners of the bag to allow for the bag to stand on it's own.  Next time I'll know - lol!  I made this little bag by following the tutorial given on Stash Manicure by Joan of MooseStash Quilting.  If  you are interested in making one of these cute little bags, I suggest you jump on over there - well, after you finish reading my blog, of course.


  Since I'm short on things to show you, I will share my DH's absolute favorite soup.  I found this recipe in 2000 from Top Secret Recipes.  I just checked out a site by the same name and it is a "purchase this recipe" type of program.  I'm not sure if it is the same site since it has been 10 years since I printed it out and my copy says it is a recipe from November 1997.  Here is the soup recipe.....

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound of chicken breast fillets (approx 3 fillets)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water
1 cup enchilada sauce
16 ounces Velveeta
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin

shredded cheddar cheese
crumbled corn tortilla chips
pico de gallo

1.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large pot over medium heat.  Add chicken breasts to pot and brown for 4-5 minutes per side.  Set chicken aside.
2.  Add onions and garlic to pot and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until onions begin to become translucent.  Add chicken broth.
3.  Combine masa harina with 2 cups of water in a medium bowl and whisk until blended.  Add masa mixture to pot with onions, garlic and broth.
4.  Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, Velveeta and spices to pot and bring mixture to a boil.
5.  Shred the chicken into small, bite-size pieces and add it to the pot.  Reduce heat and simmer soup for 30-40 minutes or until thick.
6.  Serve soup in cups or bowls, and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled corn tortilla chips, and pico de gallo.

This is soooo good and perfect for those cold evenings!

Personal Notes:
1.  After browning the chicken, I always have to microwave it for a few minutes to finish cooking, otherwise it is too pink inside and difficult to shred.
2.  I use Las Palmas enchilada sauce.
3.  We have never added the pico de gallo sauce - it's just a matter of preference and certainly is not essential to the taste.
4.  Reheats extremely well.


Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day is still up and running.  For a complete list of those who are participating either click on the button on the sidebar or go HERE to check it out.

Don't forget about my giveaway.  Just go HERE to enter to win 5 Christmas batik fat quarters!  You have until this Friday at 9:00 PM to enter.



I'm in total disarray right now.  With trying to finish a handmade gift and getting ready to send out next month's Let's Bee Together fabric to everyone, my sewing/room office looks like a tornado went through.  I know I have to have everything put away and kid proofed by a week from Thursday and I will get there.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my disorder and just create.  How about you?  Are you all neat and tidy and ready for Santa's visit?

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.
~Andy Rooney

Taking off for Tuesday - on to making more messes!!


Mary Lou Casada said...

We are feeling SO much the same about Christmas!! It just gets too complicated -- buying stuff (or exchanging gift cards) with family who don't take the time during the year and so you don't even know them well enough to buy a gift card that they'll like...it's just too much!! Dear Hubby says forget 'em all! LOL I can't go that far, but I like your idea of simplicity!
Mary Lou

Sammy said...

Dear, you are never short on things to show, your posts are absolutely interesting, and thoughtful.
I love the quilted bag, and the five golden rings are lushes.
Have a wonderful Christmas, and blessed new year.

-Samya :-)

Lynda said...

My Dad always said we should each by 1 gift for ourselves and wrap it and put it under the tree. That way everyone else would be surprised at what we really wanted and we would get just what we wanted! My sewing room is getting a little cleaned up now. I have had so many projects all going at once, with piles of to-do things everywhere. As I finish a project I clean that part up. Now just to finish my grandson's Indian costume and my sewing is done for this year. Merry Christmas to you.

Needled Mom said...

I, too, am soooo tired of all of the commercialism of Christmas. The real meaning was lost long ago. Very sad!

I love your cute bag. You are so productive. My sewing room is cleaned up for the moment. I just did it yesterday because I couldn't find anything in there. Grrrr. Today it will be a mess again.

Dinetonite said...

I've been searching for the perfect satay recipe for a while now... shall have to give yours a try!

Tracy said...

My boyfriend and I had talked long and hard about Christmas and what it means to us as a new family (we have a 2 year old). For us, Christmas is important but not for the gifts and whatnot. With his birthday on the 7th of December, his best friend (chosen brother) on the 4th, our son's on the 23rd and my brother's on the 27th, December is full of gift giving. So, we have been repurposing things or regifting (a ring I had gotten when I was younger and can no longer wear is being given to my niece) and I've been going to the Salvation Army for their books, or looking through the library's sale books section. We have lots of readers in our life, and they LOVE the gift of books, even previously read ones. That has kept our total gifting under 200$. That's a few ideas for you, to help with the holiday stress.

Em said...

Linda, I second the "keep it simple and back to true meaning". I love the holidays because I don't get caught up in giving to everyone but instead of making gifts for close people. I too live in a tornado right now but try to tidy...i was feeling a little stressed with my trip coming up tomorrow and quilts not done for the twins but I am wrapping how they are and will finish as I can....Deep breath and thank you friend for being real. Em

Megan Harmeyer said...

I like the idea of going back to a more traditional, more heartfelt Christmas. And the boys are young enough that it would be a good time to start! I have quite a bit more left to do to get ready for our trip to visit you in just over a week (on top of all the normal stuffs around the house). At least I get to take Thursday off - I hope to get a big chunk done then. I love that soup but hate all the prep to it. I haven't made it in a LONG time because of that.

Sarah Craig said...

I totally agree with you about getting back to more simple gift giving - unfortunately, my husband's "love language" is giving gifts, and it's hard to rein him in! But I'm getting there... My sewing room looks like a tornado hit it at the moment, and probably won't get better until next Wednesday or Thursday.... but it's all good! Merry Christmas!!

Wendy said...

Hmm, I know what you mean. My boys, last year, decided NO gifts and we all just got together for a nice big christmas meal, played games and enjoyed each other's company. Best christmas in a LONG time. So much less stress and pressure and lots of fun!

crafty pug said...

hope things come together for you in time! we do the 'one special pressie' thing in our family and it works great.

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