Dec 19, 2014


{Tomorrow is the last day to enter to win a dress of your choice from eShakti. Go here to enter}
Growing up I was never a big fan of the tomato soup/ grilled cheese combo. But my husband loves it so I make it every once in a while. I made a lot of soup recently and usually just freeze the leftovers, but this time I thought it would make a perfect gift for someone so I put it in some little mason jars and added a gift tag. 
This is by far my favorite tomato basil soup. It is a replica of Zupa's tomato basil soup (when we went to BYU we went there all the time). You can easily pair the soup with a favorite grilled cheese recipe in a little wax or plastic bag. This is a go to grilled cheese recipe we use all the time.
Tomato Basil Soup
(similar to Zupas)

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 cans (14.5 oz each) of diced tomatoes (drained)
1 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a big soup pot, heat oil and apple juice over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and pepper about 8 minutes stirring frequently. Do not let the onions turn brown. Remove from heat. In the same pot add drained canned tomatoes and chicken broth and stir. Use an immersion blender to mix until smooth, or transfer half of the mixture to a blender and puree (make sure the mixture isn't too hot or the lid isn't on too tight or else it might explode if it's too warm in the blender). When fully pureed, pour in to bowl and puree the rest of the mixture. Return both halves to the pot and set on medium to medium high and heat until warm. Add butter, cream and basil and simmer for 5 minutes. Don't boil. Then add mozzarella cheese and stir until melted. This freezes well and is great for leftovers.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
2 tbls butter
1 tbls olive oil
1/2 onion thinly sliced
8 slices of Italian bread
thinly sliced deli ham
havarti cheese sliced
1 green apple or honey crisp apple thinly sliced

Melt 1 tbls butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook. stirring occasionally until soft and caramelized (about 20 mins). Set aside.

Butter 1 side of each slice of bread. Layer the ingredients on the non butter side of the sandwich: the cheese, ham, onions, apples, and more cheese then top with remaining slice of bread. Place in warm skillet or panini grill to cook. Cook until both sides of the bread are golden brown.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Dec 18, 2014


This year I kept the holiday decor pretty simple. I decorated with a lot of pine branches. Luckily, I have a pine tree in my yard that needed a lot of trimming because our Christmas tree was exactly the right height. It's usually a foot or so too big so I can use all the branches we cut off.
 I added pine branches and bulbs I spray painted gold to my floating shelves.
I made these little candle holders by glueing the candle to the tree stump then hot glued moss around the top. You could also drill a hole in the top of the tree stump that fits the candle.
I love decorating for the holidays! And Christmas is next week! So exciting.

Dec 17, 2014


While at Target the other day I saw these peppermint stir sticks. I love peppermint in my hot cocoa so I had to get them. I thought I could take the yumminess to the next level and douse the peppermint in chocolate.
I used a silicone mold I got from WholePort and simply added some melted chocolate. I let the chocolate sit for about 15 minutes for it to cool down and then stuck the stir sticks in the mold.
I sprinkled some crushed peppermint on the chocolate.
I put them in a little plastic gift bag and tied them to a mason jar filled with hot chocolate mix and some marshmallows. They make the perfect little gift for someone who enjoys a little peppermint and added chocolate in their hot chocolate.
Check out this little mason jar hot chocolate I also made for another idea.

Dec 16, 2014


Hello and welcome to this week's link party! Hey don't forget to check out this week's giveaway: one of you will win dress of your choice from eShakti. Go here for the details.
Here are some of my favorites from last week's party:
Easy Christmas Cake Pops from Pint Sized Baker

Frozen Peanut Butter Sandwiches from Couponing n Cooking

 White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge from My Organized Chaos

Holiday Pillow Slip-Cover from Lemon Thistle

 Let It Snow Mantel from Vintage, Paint and more
Party Rules:
1. Like The Winthrop Chronicles on Facebook
2. Become a follower of The Winthrop Chronicles 
3. Make sure to check out some of the other links before leaving
4. Link back to my blog, or grab a button and put it anywhere on your blog or post to share the love (link below)

This link party is for crafts, recipes or diy projects that YOU made. 

Remember to link to a specific post. Thanks!

So go ahead and SHARE IT!

Dec 15, 2014


I hope you guys had a great weekend. I feel like every weekend in December is packed with fun holiday things to do. This is the last full week before Christmas so it will be a rush to get everything done. But I love this time of year and love being busy with Christmas traditions and activities. Another thing I love is holiday get togethers and parties because it means you can get all dressed up! Today I have a giveaway for you from eShakti and they have the perfect selection of holiday attire. I just love their customizable clothing. It's often hard to find a piece of clothing that has the sleeve length and skirt length that you want. And with eShakti you can do that. I am always checking their New Arrivals because they continually have new stock. 
{heels: Gordmans, skirt: eShakti (I chose the knee length option)}
Today eShakti is offering one of you any dress of your choice. Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
*Giveaway open to USA and Canada only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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