noodle broth

I’d been yearning for something different.

Something light.

Something fresh.

Something new. And I found it.

Noodle broth and spring rolls.

noodle broth + rolls

My inspiration (and Noodle broth recipe) came from the fabulous food blog, Frugal Feeding. As the name suggests, it’s a blog about eating well without spending a fortune – great recipe collection there, to say the least. The photos were so enticing and beautiful I knew right away, this was what I was looking for.

Try them for yourself and see what you think. I think both dishes are divine…especially served in this beautiful dish set from China…can you believe I found the whole set? Still in the package? At my local transfer station. Amazing…

Noodle Broth 

recipe from Frugal Feeding:

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100g rice noodles

4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

small bunch of thyme

2-3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger

smidgen dark soy sauce

1-2 small red chilies (depending on your likes)

a few leaves of fresh basil

2 tbsp. sesame oil

broth herbs

stock added - broth

Fry garlic and ginger in a large cooking pot, using the sesame oil. Add thyme, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow spices to infuse, with lid on, for 15-20 minutes.

straining

Sieve the stock.

noodles

Remove all the contents. Return to pot and add uncooked noodles. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, at which time, noodles should be cooked.

noodle broth

Serve in bowls and top with finely chopped red chilies, a sprinkling of soy sauce and a few freshly torn basil leaves…deliciousness indeed!

Side note – I forgot to buy basil, so I substituted with fresh cilantro (maybe you can tell in the photos?). While it didn’t take away from the dish, I do look forward to trying this dish with the sweetness of basil added…if only my little plants were bigger!

enjoy

P.S.  Stay tuned for the spring rolls…

365 days ago…

I decided to start this blog. I wasn’t sure if people would like what I wrote, or if they would even find me – why would anyone be interested in what I had to say? But enough people suggested I try it, so I did. And I’m so happy I didn’t let fear stand in the way. I chose to take a leap… and get over my fear, and just try – what’s the worse that can happen, right?

Turns out, it has been a wonderful creative outlet for me. So much of my life is my business, Designs Adrift, which I love too – but I’m in the ‘background’. I do all the paperwork, writing and photography (some of the photography), taxes, etc…yet Michael, my partner, is the artist in the end…and his work is beautiful, yet this blog, is mine and mine alone. My time writing, photographing, planning and editing is well spent – it allows time for me, to be me. And the added (and unexpected) bonus is, it’s been a great way to meet other, incredibly talented, like minded individuals! Who knew?

So when my first post was published, I was so excited and shocked to have a like and a comment – on my very first post! How did they find me? Who are they? What? People liked what I wrote? Liked it enough to take the time to write a comment? Wow!!  It made me smile…Thank you Norma, From Wok to Garden, for my first comment – you inspired me to keep going! I’m still kind of figuring out what readers are interested in (and what makes folks comment), but for the most part I just share my life. I’m just being me, really. Camera in hand, sharing what I love…what I cook, how I prepare it, what I’m interested in and how I keep my expense down…my life in rural Maine, on an extremely tight budget, in other words, The Art of Thrift.

Knowing what to buy and when and more importantly, when not to…recognizing quality and craftsmanship; not to buy cheap, but well, or not at all – it makes all the difference (in my opinion)…for the planet and your wallet. I like to encourage second hand buying – it makes so much sense! (and if your still a bit worried about second hand – don’t be – if you’ve eaten in a restaurant or slept in a hotel, then you’ve used second hand items!)

I know how to be thrifty, but I also know when (and how) to spend…even the NYTimes agrees… and while I’ve accomplished some of what I had set out to do, there’s still so much more to share…I’ve posted a lot of recipes, but not a lot of suggestions for travel, groceries shopping, children’s needs, insurance – everyday stuff – but all things in time right? As long as I can find the time to write and photograph (and get to the library to publish – my dial-up access is a real detriment not only our business, but my blogging!!) I will.

I, thank you all for reading and sharing this past year – it’s been fun and a challenge. (A challenge because of my dial-up!!).

And now this, little miss thrift, needs to find the time to get to the library (wifi, remember?) a little more often so she may become a little more tech savvy – fonts, layouts, widgets, settings oh my…this is one arena where being thrifty isn’t necessarily helpful…but being patient is. All things in time, right?

What have you been doing lately that is thrifty?

Have a fabulous weekend and thank you for reading! xoxo

Enjoy.

handmade with love

Is your christmas tree in need of a little handmade love? Well, if so, here are three simple (and inexpensive) ideas to do with your kids or for yourself…why not bring out the child out in you this holiday season?

1.Bake-art dough

Bake art dough is not edible, but it’s a super fun project for kids and grown-ups alike. You can use cookie cut-outs or design your own. Bake, cool and decorate. Use non toxic paint, markers, glitter, tissue paper, ribbon…whatever your fancy. We kept things simple – paint, glue and sparkles, perfect for 2 year old (or 40 year old) fun!

All you need is; 

2 cups unsifted all purpose flour

1/2 cup salt

3/4 cup water

Decorations/art supplies

Ribbon or metal hook to hang with…

How to;

Blend flour and salt, add water and stir. When water is mixed in, work dough into ball. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, or until the consistency is smooth and pliable. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour, if too watery, more flour…

Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 1/8″ thick.

2.dough rolled

Cut out ornaments and place on cookie sheet.

3.finn printing

Using a straw, make a small hole near the top of each ornament – before baking.

Bake at 350 F for about 20-25 minutes – or until completely baked through.

With spatula, remove baked pieces, place on cooling rack and allow to cool, completely.

Decorate till your hearts content…

4.christmas ornaments

Wrap carefully once the holidays are over and store in a dry place.

*These also make sweet gifts for friends and family.

Write the year it was made on the back and by whom, it makes for a lovely keepsake…

2. Pinecones, glitter + ribbon 

Another beautiful, and nearly free idea – pinecones. Decorate with glitter and hang with ribbon.

5.pinecone ornament

*This idea is also great for gift wrapping. Notice the ‘cookie’ cut-out decoration in the background, they look wonderfully festive on the tree…

3. Thrift shops

You just never know what you might find. I recently found these beautiful decoupaged vintage christmas balls (a set of 12 – each one is unique).

7.thrift find8.santa + pipe9.christmas ball6.box

Complete with ribbons and storage box, for only $12. If you love thrift shops as much as I do, then you know the feeling – it’s like being a kid in a candy shop. What’s not to love?

Magic abounds…

enjoy.

fish chowda’

The ponds are starting to freeze over, the wind is beginning to bite and snow is only a matter of time…warm soup and warm bread – good for the bones and soul (especially on a cold December night, in Maine).

Around here people say, ‘fish chowda’, not fish chowder. You’ll find this soup (or a variation thereof) on just about every menu in the state of Maine (ok, not every menu), but a lot, that’s for certain…yet, it’s far less expensive to prepare and enjoy at home. A few basic ingredients, some white fish and a bit of time is all you need. Prepare in the morning (if possible) and let stand all day…like any soup, time only enhances the flavors and textures…

Fish and Potato Chowder

What you’ll need;

chowda ingredients

parsely

2 tbsp. butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 leek, chopped (no leeks? replace medium onion, above, with 1 large)

2 tbsp. flour

3.5 cups whole milk (whole milk only)

1 – 2 bay leaf

small handful chopped fresh parsley

1 pound haddock (or any mild flavored white fish – smoked fish also works brilliantly)

1 – 2 pounds potatoes – cooked and smashed – the more potatoes, the thicker the soup…

1 good pour heavy cream

course salt + freshly ground pepper

Peel (or not – depends if you like skins in your soup) potatoes. Cut. Boil for 20 minutes or until soft enough to be pierced, gently…drain and smash with a bit of butter, dash of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

smashed potatoes

While the potatoes are boiling away, melt butter (I use a bit more than this recipe calls for – butter is so tasty) in a large heavy bottom pot, over medium heat, add onion and leek and saute until slightly softened and lightly browned. Meanwhile,

Mix the flour in a small bowl with enough of the milk to make a smooth paste, then stir into pot, (stirring constantly – you don’t want the roux to burn) until paste is thoroughly blended with the onions (about 2-3 minutes), then gradually stir in the remaining milk.

adding milk

Add the bay leaf and parsley and season to taste tie salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.

added parsley

Rinse fillets under water, pat dry, then cut into large (the fish will likely break into smaller pieces once in the soup) chunks. Add to the soup and cook for 15 minutes, or until fish is tender and cooked right though.

adding fish

Add the smashed potatoes and stir in cream. Simmer just 5 minutes more. Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste.

simmering soup

Ladle into warm bowls, serve with fresh, warm – crusty bread, and salad or greens…add a glass of red wine and candlelight – deliciousness and heartiness for under $10. Serves 4 – 6.

bowl of chowda

Fish and potato soup adapted from The Fish & Seafood Cookbook – From Ocean to Table, 2005.

enjoy.