Monday, January 31, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Vegetable Soup, Making Special Photos the Focal Point, Front Door Challenge

I have a confession to make.  I burn bread.  Frequently.  I burn toast, biscuits, cornbread, and even the occasional batch of muffins or cookies.  I have done this for all 25 years of my adult life.  Once, my husband called a local cooking radio program to ask the host, David Wade, why I always burned the biscuits.  Mr. Wade was kind enough to suggest that it was the fault of the oven, but since we have had four different ovens in three different homes since then, I think it must be me.  I was less than thrilled when one of Mark's friends called our house later that day and said, "I hear you always burn the biscuits."  So what homemaking task is your burned biscuits?

The recipe below is a great, easy meal served with cornbread (especially if the cornbread isn't burned!)
Recipe:  Southwestern Chicken Vegetable Soup  In a crockpot or medium stockpot combine 2 chicken breasts (cooked and cubed--I sometimes use one package Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Grilled Chicken Strips, regular or southwestern, cut into bite-sized pieces), 2-3 cups chicken broth, 1 large or two small cans Veg-all mixed vegetables, 1 can chopped tomatoes, 1 cup mild salsa, and 1/2 pkg taco seasoning.  Simmer for a half hour on stove, or 2-3 hours on high/3-4 hours on low in crockpot.

Scrapbooking Tip:  Focal point photo  In most of my layouts, there is one photo I want to draw attention to because it is my favorite photo, or it just tells the story or conveys the emotion better than the other photos.  There are lots of ways to do this.  Double or triple matting the photo, while leaving the others unmatted or with a single mat is one of the simplest ways.  Using a patterned mat while the other photos have solid colored mats or vice versa, is another way to draw the eye to a particular photo.  Ditto for using a different colored mat or oversized mat.  Cropping the photo(s) in another shape, such as a circle or oval adds interest to your layout as well as drawing attention the to photo(s) you select.  When appropriate, consider silhouetting (cutting around the outline of the figure in the photo)--this is a technique I use sparingly; done well, it can look fabulous.  Done poorly, it can look cheesy.  Place an single large embellishment on or near one or more of the corners of the photo.  What do you do to emphasize a favorite photo in a layout?  I would love to hear your ideas...

Homemaking challenge:  Clean your front door  Go outside and take a good look at your front door/entry area/porch.  Does your door need to be dusted or cleaned?  Porch swept?  Dead leaves removed from plants? Welcome mat shaken out or replaced?  Do you need to add a wreath, plant or other welcoming touch?  So many of us enter our homes through a garage or side door that we don't realize what kind of welcome our guests receive when they come to the front door.  So, clear away those cobwebs and make the glass shine!

Have a wonderful day!  Lisa

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