Monday, August 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew in the Slow Cooker

With an overcast day, light drizzle, and the coolest temperature we've had all summer, I opted to try a new slow cooker recipe. It did not disappoint. I cannot overstate how delicious and simple this sweet potato-lentil stew was. We ate it with fresh baked artisan rustic bread picked up from the bakery today.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

32 oz. soup stock of your choice (I used Swanson reduced sodium chicken broth)
1 16oz. package of brown lentils (rinsed and drained)
2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon fennel (ground or seed -- I used seed)
1 teaspoon cumin

Spray crock with nonstick spray or lightly coat with olive oil. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Give them a little stir. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4 hours. Use pieces of crusty bread to scoop up the hearty goodness.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DIY Lunch Bag

When my 3 Little Chicks go off to preschool in three weeks they will take their lunches with them. The school requires the student's lunch to be in only one container so the teachers can just pop off the lid and move on to help the next child. The leak-proof divided food containers I purchased are an awkward size requiring me to make my girls their own lunch bags. I really wanted to use oilcloth, but neither Hancock nor Jo-Ann Fabrics carried any. So, I purchased tablecloth vinyl with flannel backing for the exterior of the bag and rip stop nylon for the interior of the bag.

I sewed on a felt initial and added ribbon handles.

The rip stop nylon provided the waterproof lining I wanted.

I covered cardboard with the rip stop and laid it in the bottom of the bag to help it keep its shape.

To taper the top of the bag, I made a kick pleat then added Velcro across the top.

I wish it matched the backpacks I just made, but this lunch bag is a cute runner up.