Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

If I am sick, this is the soup that will help me feel better...

(Some of you asked for the recipe for the soup which I brought to school for our luncheon last week.)


1 tablespoon olive oil
One small onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock (I use Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup arborio rice (Regular rice would likely work, but arborio/risotto rice has more starch and will be creamier.)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 lemons
1 deli chicken, removed from bones, chopped or shredded
3/4 cup chopped parsley


1. Sauté the chopped onions in olive oil until soft.
2. Add chicken stock and heat until boiling.
3. Add 1/2 cup arborio rice. Simmer under medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until al dente.
4. In a medium bowl, temper the beaten eggs by adding a cup of stock and beating until absorbed. Then slowly add to soup, whisking as you add, to thicken the soup.
5. Grate the zest of the lemons into the soup, then add the juice.
6. Just before serving, add chicken and cook until warm. Top with fresh parsley. Season with freshly cracked pepper if desired.

Leftover soup will thicken, add more stock before serving.

Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sermon Sketchnotes 2017

I don't get an opportunity to post to this personal blog very often anymore! I am too busy keeping my two school blogs active and busy with other technology projects. But I wanted to post a link to a personal project that I just completed.

Since 2013, I have been creating digital sketchnotes on my iPad. I do them at conferences, for books, videos, and meetings, but I also regularly do sketchnotes of the sermons at my church on Sundays. I decided to compile all the sermon sketchnotes from 2017 into an ebook using the Book Creator app. Here is the link to the book:

To view the ebook, simply click on the link and you can click through the pages of the book.

If you are interested in learning more about creating sketchnotes, here is a link to my resource page:

And if you are interested in seeing more of my sketchnotes (along with other creative projects and an occasional picture of my cats), please follow me @karlyb on Instagram!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sally's Pizza Crust

Over the past year, I have been on a search for a thin crunchy pizza crust similar to the pizzas that we had in Italy or that you get at restaurants with a wood fired oven. Everything I tried turned out too thick, yeasty, or doughy. Earlier this summer, my friend Sally posted photos of the pizza that she made with her daughters that looked amazing. She kindly shared her recipe with me and I made it last night. BINGO! Perfectly thin and crunchy, exactly what I was looking for. My search is over.

Here is her recipe, along with the adaptations I made to do the kneading and rising of the dough in my bread maker. (I never knead dough by hand if I can do it in my bread machine!)

Sally's Pizza Crust

1 package of yeast (I used pizza yeast, not sure if that is necessary)
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup cold water (Use warm if using a bread machine.)
3 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water with a little white sugar.  Let proof 10 minutes until frothy.  

Meanwhile, combine the salt, honey, olive oil, and cool water in a small bowl. (I used warm water which I think works better for the bread machine.) Mix well. 
If mixing by hand: Place flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center.  Pour the honey-water mixture and yeast into the well.  Slowly incorporate flour/salt into the wet ingredients, working outward from the center.  When dough is formed, transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth.  Place in a buttered bowl and let rest, covered, for 30 mins.

If using a bread machine: Measure the flour and salt into your bread machine. Add the liquid and the yeast mixtures and knead using the dough cycle, following directions for your machine. After 15 minutes, check the dough. If it seems dry, add a bit warm water a teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together. I left the dough to rise in my machine for the 1.5 hour cycle.
Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll into tight balls. Place on a flat dish and cover with dish towel. Put in fridge at least 2 hours.  Take out 1 hour before baking.

Lightly flour work suface, and roll out each pizza dough ball into a thin crust.

Place on a wooden pizza paddle that has been dusted with cornmeal. Add the toppings that you desire.

Bake them in the oven at 500 degrees on a pizza stone for 10 -12 minutes. (Watch carefully, it took less time in my oven.) You also could put your pizza stone on the grill and cook the pizzas outside (Sally's suggestion).  

Makes 4 pizzas, about 12 inches wide.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Watch Words" on the Apple Watch

I've been using the monogram feature on the Apple Watch to create a "watch word" for each week. It has been fun to try and come up with a word of 4 characters or less that gives me a phrase to inspire me or to pray about for the week!  My first watch word was "calm" - reminder for a busy week of testing in the lab.

Last week was "heal" after a tumble left me with very bruised ribs. I think I was more concerned that my watch was ok after the fall!

This week's watch word is grow - looking forward to working in my garden over the weekend. Still dealing with some pain on my side where I fell, but hopefully will be able to plant if I take it easy.

To set a "watch word," go to the clock setting on the Watch app on your phone and type it under monogram. Note that the word only appears if you use the Color watch face.

Anyone else have a creative idea on how to use the monogram feature on their watch?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nutella Snowflake Coffee Cake

So I came across this Braided Nutella Bread on Pinterest that I just had to try it. It was surprisingly easy, but I found the dough a bit tough and bland. So I followed the technique, but used a variation on  a coffee cake recipe that I use in my bread machine. End result - cute and tasty!  So here is my version of the Nutella Snowflake Coffee Cake!

Nutella Snowflake Coffee Cake

In your bread machine, put the following ingredients, and mix using the dough cycle according to your machine directions.  (If you don't have a bread machine, use either the dough hooks on your mixer or blend and then knead by hand.)  
2 1/2 cups regular flour
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into one inch squares
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons quick rising yeast (be sure it is fresh!)
I always check the bread machine while it is mixing. I like the dough to stay fairly soft, so if it seems dry add a bit more water a teaspoon at a time. Let the dough rise for a couple hours, or until about doubled.
When done, remove the dough, divide in half, and form into two balls.  Let it rest about 10 minutes.  Then roll the dough into two 12 inch circles.  Cover a round pizza pan with a parchment paper circle and set the first dough circle on top.

Spread the first circle with Nutella (I used Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread) up to about a half inch of the edge of the dough.

Top with the second circle of dough.  Pinch the edges together - you can brush the inside edges with a bit of water if it isn't sticking together. I lightly pressed a glass on top to mark the center. Then I sliced the dough into 16 pieces - first halves, then quarters, then eighths, then sixteenths - it helps to keep the slices the same size.  

Take two pieces and twist them towards each other.  I think I did 3 twists each time. It was actually quite easy to do this.

Repeat all the way around. Then let rise until about doubled, about another hour or so.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 to 30 minutes.  My oven actually died in the midst of baking these for my neighbors, so I ended up going to a friend's house to finish them. So the temperature or the time may be slightly off, so watch closely and adjust according to your oven.  Cover the top with foil if it seems to be browning too quickly.

Let it totally cool.  Doesn't it look cute??

I drizzled it with a glaze made of powdered sugar, milk, and a little melted butter before wrapping it up for delivery to my neighbors.

This recipe is definitely a keeper. Next time (after I get a new oven), I may try it with butter, nuts, and cinnamon sugar. Not sure if the snowflake design will be as obvious as with the Nutella, but worth a try.

Vintage Christmas

Before the season is over, just wanted to share a few ways that I used vintage items in my Christmas decorating.  After the epic flooding in my basement this summer, I lost a lot of my Christmas decorations. It forces me to take a fresh look at some the the things that I still had and see what I could do with them!

A friend gave me this old coffee pot when cleaning out her parents' home. A perfect spot to "plant" a little Christmas tree. Next year I will try a real mini one and see if the cats will leave it alone.

A bare spot on the wall where I hung my childhood plaid lunch box.

So obsessed with bottle brush trees. I picked up a package of them at Joann's last year post Christmas and scattered them everywhere. I like the look of this one perched on an upside down tea cup.

More trees and a snowman caught in a mason jar. (Made the snowman years ago, one of the few of my snowman collection that survived the flood.)

I had to toss all the Christmas wreaths that were stored in the basement. Here is a new one I put together using some thrift store sweaters I had stashed away and and some vintage buttons.

I sadly lost most of my vintage ornaments from my grandmother - the water melted the paint right of the them. Wish I hadn't tossed them and kept them as a plain silver color, but was so overwhelmed at the time with trying to save things.  A few were left, and I went out this December to antique stories to try to replace a some of them with some similar ornaments. Put them in a bowl under a tinsel tree.

I added a few red dishes from the dollar store to my stack of blue dishes. The mason jar has a solar light top that I discovered at Michaels - I'm definitely getting more of them!

I also bought a bunch of these cute little frames at Michaels at their dollar spot.  My brother recently scanned all of our family slides, so I added a few photos from when we kids. Will do more of these for next year. 

A few years ago I made some faux mercury class candle holders out of thrift store dished.  Mixed them with a pretty door knob. Put a few bottle brush trees in bleach to turn them white. One of my cats loves playing with these trees and I keep finding them on the floor, thus the wonky shape.

More vintage postcards. Twisted wire as holders in a salt shaker and in a door knob.

And speaking of cats, they did much better this year at staying out of the Christmas tree (at least while I was watching) but they still both had to check it out when I first put it up.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful! God's blessings to all!


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