Crazy Cooking Challenge: Chicken Noodle Soup

**Sorry, I originally had this listed from Tasty Kitchen, but have updated it to reflect the proper credit.

Fact: chicken noodle soup is not high on Jeremy’s list of food he considers good.
Dilemma: chicken noodle soup is the January challenge.
Solution: chicken noodle soup casserole (modified), recipe courtesy of 4 little Fergusons.

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 ounces angel hair or thin spaghetti
1 whole onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
½ cups carrots, grated (or chopped)
1 can (10) oz cream of celery soup
1 can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
½ cup sour cream
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1 package (1 sleeve from regular size box) Ritz crackers, crushed

Dice and cook chicken breasts.
Cook noodles according to packaged directions.
Grate carrots. (The original recipe also called for celery, but I didn’t have any.)

Drain pasta and add cream of chicken and cream of celery (or cream of mushroom) soup, sour cream, carrots, garlic, and salt and pepper.

Mix thoroughly.
Add chicken and pour into greased 9×13 pan.
Add cheese to top and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

Add crushed ritz crackers to the top of casserole and return to oven for 5-10 minutes.

Want to see more yummy chicken noodle soup recipes? Check out all of the link-ups here!

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Fill in the blank Friday

I stole this idea from Donna, who stole it from here.
It’s a linky party so feel free to join in if you want. 🙂

1. One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is:

Sew (or more accurately, use my seam ripper for 95% of the time, sew for 2% of the time, and cry tears of rage the rest of the time).

Also, read. And by the way, today I finally finished that Ben Franklin biography. Applause, please.
No, really.

Crafting of any sort, as long as I’m not on a deadline. Kinda kills the fun. (Although technically I’m much more efficient working with a deadline.)

Also, find more projects to add to my cant-finish-in-a-lifetime list.  Specifically, Pinterest.

2. When I have free time I tend to:

Waste half of it deciding what it is I want to do.

3. If I had an entire day completely to myself I would:

Go to Joanns and Michaels. Eat lunch at Chilis with my sisters. Go to some garage sales and/or thrift stores. Go to Charming Charlies and actually buy something. Search for the perfect pair of boots. Go for a walk with my family. Eat pizza for dinner. NOT work out.

4. I would prefer to spend my free time (alone or with others):

Probably with others. Especially if it was with any of my sisters.
Alone is nice sometimes, too.

5. Most of my free time happens:

Free time? Seriously? I have two little kids.  I can’t even go to the bathroom without them banging on the door.
(Jeremy is pretty good about watching them for me, though.)

6. The best thing about free time is:

At this point, the best thing is that it happens at all.

7. The next time I have free time I should probably:

Not waste half of it deciding what to do with it. 😉

All-Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent

I’ve been wanting to try making some of my own cleaners for quite a while now, but I’ve had so much stockpiled from my couponing days that there was no point until I used it all up.
And for the first time in more than two years I ran out of laundry soap.
It was kind of a sad day, really.
I mean, who wouldn’t love to have laundry soap stockpiled for years at a time?

On the flip side, I finally got to make my own!
It was easy.
And much more cost effective than purchasing more detergent.
In fact, it has me excited to attempt more homemade cleaners, so be on the lookout for some future projects.

All-Natural DIY Laundry Soap
(recipe found here)


What you’ll need:

Zote bar soap
Arm & Hammer washing soda
5-gallon bucket

I was able to purchase all of these items at WalMart (in the laundry detergent aisle).

First, cut off 1/3 of the Zote soap bar.

Then grate it up (1/3 bar).
I used my cheese grater.
Hey, at least I know it’s clean!

Pour grated soap into large pot and add 6 cups of water.
Stir over medium heat until soap is completely melted.

After Zote is fully melted, add in 1/2 cup each of Borax and Washing Soda.

Stir together until completely dissolved, then remove from heat.
Pour 4 cups of hot water into 5-gallon bucket, then add the soap mixture.

Stir together, then add another gallon + 6 cups water.
(Also at this point you could add some essential oil drops if you want a certain smell, but I decided not to for this batch, so it’s completely optional.)

Mix well, then cover and wait 24 hour before using.
I found it really difficult to open the lid to the bucket so I have a smaller container I keep filled up by the washer.
Plus, it’s much cuter.
Which is important, right?

Use 1/2 cup per load (more for heavily soiled clothing).
The total cost was under $8 and one batch cleans between 60-75 loads.
There is enough Zote to make two more batches (one bar is $0.99) and there’s a LOT of Borax and Washing Soda left over, so this was definitely a much more frugal way to clean our clothing.
Next up, homemade dishwasher detergent! 🙂

Parties I link to: Craft-O-Maniac, Lines Across My Face, Sew Can Do, Talking Dollars and Cents, Sew Chatty, C.R.A.F.T., Mad in Crafts, Making the World Cuter, Skip to My Lou, Creating My Way to Success, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Joy of Desserts, Moms Crazy Cooking, The Girl Creative, The Southern Institute, Sew Happy Geek, Chef In Training, Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Sweet Little Gals, Vintage Wanna Bee, Sugar Bee Crafts, Nothing But Country, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, The Kurtz Corner, Todays Creative Blog, Tip Junkie, Reasons to Skip the Housework , Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Running with Glitter, Rook No. 17, the Sasse Life, the Stuff of Success, Trendy Treehouse, My Girlish Whims, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Sew Woodsy, This Chick Cooks, Sew Much Ado, Sweet Peas and Bumblebees, Polka Dots on Parade, Night Owl Crafting, Ginger Snap Crafts, Southern Lovely, Seven-thirty-three, House of Hepworths, Katie’s Nesting Spot, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Momnivores Delimma, Somewhat Simple, Something Swanky, Luxe Boulevard, Frugalicious Me, A Glimpse Inside, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Fireflies and Jellybeans, With a Shot of Brandy, 5 Minutes Just for Me, Delicate Construction, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy Mom, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Fun to Craft, Creation Corner, Kojo Designs, Simply Designing, Thirty Handmade Days, Sassy Sites, Tatertots and Jello, Bacon Time, Flamingo Toes, Homemaker on a Dime, Six Sisters Stuff, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, The Sweet Details, Candace Creations, Cooking at Cafe D, Passionately Artistic, Naptime Creations, Crazy for Crust, Frugally Sustainable, A Little Nosh, Lolly Jane Boutique

Tuesday Letter

Dear 2012, Welcome! I love starting a new year. I love de-cluttering (just ask Jeremy). I also love convincing myself that even though I’ve failed 45 times before, THIS YEAR will be different, and I’ll accomplish all of my lofty goals. Dear self, the next time Susannah asks where all of the cookies she decorated went, try to look innocent while inconspicuously wiping the crumbs from your mouth. Dear husband, thank you for the newly refurbished sewing box. It would be even more special if you would stop blaming me for all of the hours of work that went into it. Dear Madeline, no, peeing all over the floor right in front of the toilet isn’t the same as sitting on it. I’m not okay with that. Dear author of the Benjamin Franklin biography that is taunting me from my bedside table, I hate you. Why is your deal with obscure details that no one cares about? Dear Dr Pepper 10, thanks to you, Jeremy and have found the one thing in life that we do agree on. You’re good, very good. As evidenced by the following photo.

Christmas Dresses

The girls dresses were done a full three days early!
Sorry in advance for the poor photo quality; they were taken on my phone.

Madeline’s dress fit her perfectly and the hat even looked pretty cute. I have to admit, the hats had me a little worried.
And wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t find any ivory tights or an ivory shirt for her to wear (and I looked ev-er-y-where), so we had to use white. It was somewhat traumatic for me.
And her new shoes didn’t fit so she had to wear non-matching shoes, too.
Tragedy, I tell you.

I originally wanted to make both of their dresses with this fabric, but Susannah begged for purple. Which, by the way, is probably my least favorite color in the whole world. But I see a lot of it in my future.

These were taken Sunday afternoon, by which time the wild one had already stained her white vest and torn a gargantuan hole in her new tights. She also declined to wear the hat (Which is amazing, but probably a good thing. Hats aren’t usually very flattering with her haircut.).

I promise I measured her, but the dress was quite a bit too big.
Ah, well.
At least it’ll fit her for a while.

Wildness, thy name is Susannah.