Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Ginger Chicken Udon Soup

My mom called me this morning and told me that she was bored with food. The question: what to make for dinner? They aren't really known for their adventurous eating, but I think this recipe is a perfect Asian fusion. It's one of my favorites and I make it slightly different each time, but my husband thinks that the latest version is the best one yet!

A few years ago, I found a recipe on Eating Well that piqued my interest. The recipe below still bears some resemblance to it, but the caloric count is bears no resemblance!

Note: A Scarlet Threads Apron is highly essential for this recipe to turn out correctly.

Scarlet Threads: Ginger Chicken (Fish) Udon Soup

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb of cubed chicken breast or tenders (a light white fish works well, too!)
1 tbsp minced ginger (or to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic (or to taste)
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 medium carrot chopped
1 medium red onion chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1/2 c. of dry sherry or white wine (I've used both)*
3 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic chili paste
1 "squirt" of Hoison sauce (optional)
1 egg beaten
2 handfuls of arugula, spinach, or your favorite leafy green
8 oz. Udon Noodles**


Instructions:

1. Heat the sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the chicken (or fish) and cook for 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

2. Add tomatoes, carrot, red onion, and celery. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until the celery starts to soften.


3. Add the sherry and cook until it about half is evaporated. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic chili paste, and hoison.


When the mixture comes just to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and gently stir in the beaten egg. The yolk provides a bit of heartiness to the stock and the whites give it that great egg drop flavor and consistency.


4. Last, add the leafy greens and cook until just wilted.



Serve and Enjoy! 
Makes 4 normal servings, but only 2 in the house of the hungry that I live in.


* Tip 1: I keep those little 175 mL bottles of wine around for just this occasion. Cheap, easy, and nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid to use the whole bottle.

** Tip 2: Before you cook the soup, bring a pot of water to a boil for the udon noodles. Read the packaging because some of the noodles are already salted and you do not then want to re-salt the water. If the noodles aren't salted, go ahead and salt the water to flavor the noodles.



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Though She Be But Little...

Such a simple post on facebook, no link, no fan-fare. Just a simple heartfelt prayer and thought for a beautiful little girl and a beautiful family.

I can't seem to get the "embed post" thing to work quite right, but here's a link and the text...


This is what love looks like in a family. And, even in the midst of a trial like this one, there is beauty. If you visit the "We Love Lucy" Facebook page, you will see the love shine through every photograph and every post. It's as it should be: a baby girl fighting for her life with parents fighting right along side her.

Quite a stark contrast from the stories we often share in the Orphan Care blogosphere about loss and abandonment in the face of trial. No matter the cause - poverty being chief among the causes - a child is left to fight a battle to survive quite alone.

Not, Lucy. Lucy has an army ... 1344 strong. 19 of whom are wearing Fierce Tees in honor of their Lucy.

Simply Glorious!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

After Christmas Sale: The 12 days of Christmas

What a wonderful end to a tremendous year for us. Scarlet Threads has continued to grow in total sales and supported artisans year over year, with this year being no exception. The strong support of our online community continues to inspire us - we know that each one of you is hoping for the success and growth of our mission. As shareholders in this mission, I figured we'd share some year end highlights:
  • Our Adoption Grant Fund grew to $1000 this year and we expect to identify recipient families soon*
  • #STOrphanCare raised $7,500 through the ST Community and matching donors this November*
  • The launch of the Chin Collection extended our artisan family to several Burmese refugees in our  Midland-Odessa community and added an adorable children's clothing line*
  • Adoption Fundraising Kit orders soared realizing our mission of supporting adoptive families*
  • To-Date 2013 Sales passed Total 2012 Sales on Cyber Monday* 
*Note: Fifteen exclamation points should follow each of the bullets"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Since we've met every success metric in my book for the year, we are going to celebrate by offering selected items in our shop for up to 75% off! Here's the catch (there is always a catch) - we're only offering a select quantity of items at the sale price so you have to act fast. Deeper discounts may apply when you order more than one of a given item.

visit our Sale Page to place your order
(sale prices start at midnight 12/26/2013 and end midnight 12/27/2013)

12 Beijing Backpacks (Sale $13, Reg. $25)
11 Ornament Bundles (Sale $13, Reg. $30)
10 Snowflake Ornaments (Sale $8, Reg. $14)
09 Toddler Dresses - Summer Joy and Poppy Styles - (Sale $5, Reg. $18)
08 Noelle Collection Ornaments (Sale $8, Reg. $16)
07 Annie Jane Aprons (Sale $15, Reg. $36)
06 A Bundle o' (3) Aprons (Sale $35, Reg. $88)
05 Dragon Aprons (Sale $13, Reg. $22)
04 Fierce and Free Tees (Sale $10, Reg. $20)
03 Kai & Son Sets (Sale $20, Reg. $50)
02 Scarlet Scraps Bag (Sale $9, Reg. $20)
01 Forest Applique Tees (Sale $8, Reg. $15)

These discounts are for one day only!

Merry Christmas!

GLORY to God in the highest, 


 and on earth PEACE



 GOOD will toward men.


 ---
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas, full of warmth and cheer and lots of hand-made Chinese Christmas ornaments!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Meaning of Christmas {Ornaments}

If you have been watching the facebook page, you might have seen Carrie's mea culpa that she forgot to include the explanations of the Christmas ornaments in some of the orders. We posted the names on fb, and we're posting them here in this blog post, but you can also email Carrie for the high resolution file if you'd like a better quality picture to print.

Noelle Collection (still on sale!)


Classic Collection (sold out!)


Merry & Bright Collection



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Life Grows With Love: Results!

Thank you.

What a success for our ST Orphan Care fundraising efforts last month!  Do you remember that our campaign goal was to raise $500 for the New Day Foster Home medical fund for Talley's anti-rejection medication.

Thanks to your generosity, the ST community raised $1,895 - before the matching donations.
We lined up 3 matching donors who collectively contributed an additional $5,685.
Our total Life Grows With Love campaign contribution comes to ...

$7,580
which means
16 months of life-preserving medication.



What a beautiful gift this Christmas. The gift of life to a sweet and deserving orphan child awaiting her forever family. Our community came together to care for "the least of these" in this glorious season of giving.

-- In case you missed it --

Our fundraiser is part of a continuing and overarching effort at New Day Foster Home called Benjamin's Memorial Fund in honor of a sweet little one who passed away before he could know the love of his own family. Visit their crowdrise site to gage their progress or help them meet their $10,000 hurdle. These funds will go directly to the medical/surgical fund to sponsor children's surgeries.


Check out our November blog posts to find out more about our heart for Orphan Care and Adoption. We were blessed with guest posts from adoptive mommies about their children and we shared information about our mission to fund Talley's medication.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Gift Charity Bazaar

November 24th Scarlet Threads participated in The Gift Charity Bazaar at the Canadian International School in Beijing, China!

I (Hannah) ran two booths, one for Scarlet Threads and another, right beside, for New Day Foster Home.

 
We got there early to set up. Elisabeth, my little sister, was fabulous at taping potholders and snowflakes to the table cloths, and then making sure that everything stayed nice and presentable.


Jenny and Wayne helped to man the NDFH booth for a few hours.


The aprons were a big hit. We had many come by and say, "I just have to get one of these!" They really are an essential kitchen accessory. Do you have some yet?


Jewelry is always a hit too.


You can thank Natalie, my fearless partner-for-the-day for these pictures. Apparently I was always busy. Below are Natalie and me... being busy.


Doesn't our booth look adorable? Don't you wish that you were there?


We could not have done it all without fabulous Marissa. She was Lao Yan's partner for the day and helped all the adorable little girls try on head bands.


"Lao Yan was there?" you are probably asking in shock and surprise. YES! He joined us and the bazaar organizers happen to be the biggest Lao Yan fans ever, so they went out of their way to give him some space to do his magic.

Lao Yan made snowflakes on the spot, as well as personalized names for all of the many, many children who stopped by.


All they had to do was write their name (or have their mama do that - more readable this way) on a piece of paper, pick a color and a few minutes later... viola! A lovely piece of art to treasure for years.


Lao Yan was busy and worked hard, and was able to bring home and extra little stack of cash for his work. Yippee!


Now, how about those potholders...


Ni Hao Yall


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gifties for Thrifties

The deals below are perfect for the thrifties in all of us! We'll keep these prices constant through Christmas and we'll update this list weekly!

1. Summer Joy & Poppy Toddler Dresses - Sale $8, Reg. $18
Poppy Sizes: 12 mo., 2T, 3T  ----  Summer Joy Sizes: 3T, 4T, 5/6
We've had these dresses for years, and we just need to clear them OUT!  They are well-made and adorable with a pair of leggings or over jeans.  Simple, classic, and easy to wear... and at $5?  Why not?!


2. A Bundle o' Aprons (3 to a Bundle!) - Sale $50, Reg. $88
Deng Jia is an incredibly talented seamstress.  Her precision and attention to details is evident in every stitch.  This apron bundle would make a great stock of gifts!  You get one of each of our styles of aprons at a total discount of over 50%!  The Harper is a beautiful black and white full apron with coral trim, the Annie Jane is a reversible apron, and the Daphne is a fun and flirty half apron.



3. Fierce & Free Tees - Sale $10, Reg. $20
We're offering you half off our adorable tees for tots (and young adults)!  And the proceeds from these hand-lettered shirts go to benefit Burmese refugees living in our community.  Featuring quotes from Thoreau and Shakespeare, these brainy designs are unlike anything else in your little one's closet! 



4. Annie Jane Reversible Apron - Sale $19, Reg. $36
What's better than one apron?  Two!  This reversible apron is exquisite with a classic floral paired with the delicately modern pastels.  Each side trimmed with a hand-cut ruffle.  Adjustable neck ties in a sweet chocolate polka-dot and wide and long waist straps means this apron will always be a perfect fit.  Handmade by Deng Jia.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday! Steals and Deals!

You need in on this Cyber Monday action.

It's sad that Cyber Monday is over, but check our Gifties for Thrifties post to see what deals remain until end of year!

We used to just do one item on sale at a time, but this Cyber Monday you can pick any and/or all of the following items & bundles!

1. Summer Joy & Poppy Toddler Dresses - Sale $5, Reg. $18
Poppy Sizes: 12 mo., 2T, 3T  ----  Summer Joy Sizes: 3T, 4T, 5/6
We've had these dresses for years, and we just need to clear them OUT!  They are well-made and adorable with a pair of leggings or over jeans.  Simple, classic, and easy to wear... and at $5?  Why not?!


2. A Bundle o' Ornaments - Sale $40, Reg. $70
Get one of each of our beautiful handmade ornament sets!  That's right... 14 uniquely beautiful Chinese character ornaments and 3 snowflakes!  Handmade by Lao Yen, your purchase directly supports his beautiful family.



3. A Bundle o' Aprons - Sale $40, Reg. $88
Deng Jia is an incredibly talented seamstress.  Her precision and attention to details is evident in every stitch.  This apron bundle would make a great stock of gifts!  You get one of each of our styles of aprons at a total discount of over 50%!  The Harper is a beautiful black and white full apron with coral trim, the Annie Jane is a reversible apron, and the Daphne is a fun and flirty half apron.



4. Fierce & Free Tees - Sale $10, Reg. $20
We're offering you half off our adorable tees for tots (and young adults)!  And the proceeds from these hand-lettered shirts go to benefit Burmese refugees living in our community.  Featuring quotes from Thoreau and Shakespeare, these brainy designs are unlike anything else in your little one's closet! 



5. Annie Jane Reversible Apron - Sale $15, Reg. $36
What's better than one apron?  Two!  This reversible apron is exquisite with a classic floral paired with the delicately modern pastels.  Each side trimmed with a hand-cut ruffle.  Adjustable neck ties in a sweet chocolate polka-dot and wide and long waist straps means this apron will always be a perfect fit.  Handmade by Deng Jia.