DIY Gift Idea: Recipe Scrapbook

Are you on a tight budget? Are you feeling extra crafty? Are your relatives impossible to buy for? If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps you should consider making your own gifts this holiday season. Unless you happen to be Ron Weasley's mum knitting monogrammed jumpers every year, your friends and family members will appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into your one-of-a-kind creations. And no, not in the "Oh [insert small child's name], I love this painted macaroni necklace so much I am going to keep it safe in my jewellery box" kinda way. If you really want to wow that special someone (and not seem cheap by doing so), present them with a homemade gift that a.) they would not think to make themselves and b.) can cherish year-round. Once upon a time our favourite family recipes were handwritten on faded cue-cards and scattered throughout the dog-eared pages of multiple Best of Bridges. It was organized chaos in the Rubert family kitchen until inspiration struck--I would compile a scrapbook of all the recipes we know and love. Just in time for last Christmas. I ordered all my craft supplies online from scrapbook.com (save for the permanent markers which I purchased at Costco) and had a blast making this big book of love for my mom. The pictures don't show it, but I slid each piece of paper into a clear page protector and organized them neatly into a 12x12 photo album. Now my mom can't help but think of me lovingly every time she cooks! Here are a few of the pages. Feel free to try some of the recipes, especially the cheesecake--it's a crowd-pleaser for sure. DSC_0777 DSC_0778 DSC_0779 DSC_0780 DSC_0782 DSC_0783 DSC_0786 If you like this homemade gift idea, please check out the DIY Scrabble Tile Coasters I made for Roger last year! 🙂
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Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup with Chicken

You know that old adage feed a cold, starve a fever? The belief was instilled in me at a very young age. Whenever my brothers and I caught a cold (which was often) my mom would always make her famous feel better soup and all would be right with the world. It was a simple recipe: chicken or turkey stock with potatoes, carrots, celery and a generous sprinkling of pepper. I don't know if it was the soup itself or the mother's love that went into it, but it always did the trick. I now look no further than a hearty bowl of soup when I'm feeling under the weather and quite naturally, homemade is always best. The soup recipe that I'm sharing today is one out of my mom's books--a little more sophisticated than her original go-to broth and vegetable mixture. We ended up making separate batches on the same night because a.) we're in sync like that and b.) we both had cold-sufferers at home in need of some serious belly-warming. Hers, given years of practice probably tasted ten times better, but mine was still pretty delicious.

Ingredients:

- 4 cups chicken broth - 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped - 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut - 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut - 2 cloves garlic - 2 tbsp olive oil - 1 cup fresh spinach - 3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded - 1/2 onion, chopped - 1/2 tsp rosemary - 1/2 tsp tsp oregano - 1/2 tsp thyme - 1/4 pepper - 1 tsp salt - 1 cup water

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss carrots, sweet potato, squash, onion and garlic in olive oil and roast on a foil-covered baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer chicken stock with shredded chicken, herbs, salt and pepper in a large stockpot. Cover and cook until the vegetables are ready.

Add half the roasted vegetables to the stockpot. Place the remaining half in a blender with water and puree. Add this mixture plus all spinach to the stockpot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

Enjoy, feel better and stay warm!

Carrots Squash and Sweet Potato

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Our Newest Home Accessory: A For Sale Sign!

Sooooo last weekend we decided to sell our house. In attempt to make a lazy day at home more productive, I suggested to Roger that we paint the interior doors and replace all the light fixtures. One thing lead to another and the next thing we knew a real estate agent was in our kitchen giving us tips and listing possible price points. Soon after that we installed a new garage door, nailed down trim, cleaned every nook and cranny, and BAM our house was up for sale. Umm... did we really do all that in one week? Our original plan was to wait until after the wedding, but with Roger commuting two hours every day, it didn't make sense to delay the move for another nine months--especially with winter drawing menacingly near. We love the home we've built together; however, we're both excited for a change of scenery and the prospect of planting our roots somewhere entirely new. We already have our heart set on one particular place--it's somewhat older, executive-looking from the outside, super dated in terms of decor (I'm talking wood paneling on the walls)--in a great neighbourhood with lots of mature trees. The sad news is that we're not the only couple bidding for it. Our offer is conditional on the sale of our home. As crazy as we may be for listing so quickly, the reality of selling a home is that it doesn't happen right away. It's not unusual to go weeks without getting a serious offer. That being said, we're optimistic about our open house tomorrow--hopefully we get some interest! It'd be lovely to move into a new place (and start renovating!) before Christmas. 551515_1 551515_3 551515_4 551515_6 551515_5 551515_13 551515_14 551515_16 551515_19 551515_22
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