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Assemble a simple sewing kit

By on April 19, 2010

sewing kit
photo by Andres Rueda

DEAR SARA: If you were going to make a sewing kit, what items would you add into it? I do not have a sewing kit. I have one roll of black sewing thread and probably two needles. I went to sew a hole in my sock yesterday and could not find either the needle or the thread. So I decided that I need to get a container and put some items that I may need in it. So I assume a roll of black sewing thread and a roll of white sewing thread and some needles, but what else? — Kelly, Canada

DEAR KELLY: You can put together a simple mending kit cheaply. For a container, you can reuse a baby-wipes container, mason jar, holiday tin, old lunch box or plastic tub, to name a few. Inside you can include basic color thread, such as black, white, Navy blue, off white and brown. Additional supplies to consider are various needles, a thimble, scissors, fabric glue, spare buttons, seam ripper, tape measure, straight pins, patches, needle threader, safety pins, pin cushion, embroidery floss, sewing gauge, bodkin, elastic and Velcro.

DEAR SARA: I was in a cooking funk last summer, so I bought a jumbo-size box of Lipton onion soup packets from a big box store thinking I could use them as a flavor enhancer in various recipes. Problem is, I haven’t found any enticing recipes to use them with. I have never used them for anything aside from the occasional dip for chips. Even when I make the dip, I take a rolling pin to the packet to crush the little onion pieces, as I don’t care for the chunks. There’s no way my husband and I could eat that much dip before they expire. I’m not a stickler for expiration dates, but I want to use these things up soon, so I’m looking for ideas to incorporate them into everyday cooking. Do you have any ideas so I can get these things out of my pantry? — Julie, Florida

DEAR JULIE: The packets are great mixed into meatloaf, meatballs, hamburgers, beef roasts and oven-roasted potatoes. You can visit their Web site (www.recipesecrets.com) for a large selection of recipes to try, too.

DEAR SARA: Any ideas on what to do with leftover corned beef? — Mick, Wisconsin

DEAR MICK: You can make Reuben sandwiches, hash, add it to scalloped potatoes or macaroni and cheese, or if you have a considerable amount left, make corned-beef lasagna.

Corned Beef Lasagna

1 can (27 oz) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (I use bag)
1 lb. sliced deli corned beef, coarsely chopped
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 bottle (8 oz) Thousand Island dressing
1 1/4 cups milk
1 med onion, chopped
1 tsp. dry mustard
9 oven ready (“no-boil”) lasagna noodles (I use regular, cooked)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese (I shred extra for top after taking foil off)
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (I use crumbled rye and omit butter)
1 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350º degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the sauerkraut and corned beef; mix well. In another medium bowl, combine the soup, dressing, milk, onion and mustard; mix well then spread 1/2 cup of the mixture over the bottom of the baking dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles over the soup mixture. Top with half of the corned beef mixture, sprinkle of swiss. Layer with 3 more noodles then the remaining corned beef mixture, sprinkle of swiss, a little soup mix. Add the remaining 3 noodles then cover with the remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the Swiss cheese then bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until bubbly. Uncover (add extra swiss if you’d like) and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until golden. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut and serve. — Darlene B., New York

3 Comments

  1. Sabrasue Miller

    4/21/2010 at 8:44 am

    Lipton Onion Soup mixed with a can of cream of mushroom soup makes a great combination in the crock pot when cooking round steak and pork chops. I add a little Better than Boullion, 2 cups of water and cook for 5-6 hours until tender.

  2. Darlene

    4/21/2010 at 11:22 am

    I love to keep fusable tape in my sewing box for those times when you need to do an emergency hemming job. Just iron on and you are good to go until you can do a proper sewing job.

  3. Becky

    4/22/2010 at 9:30 am

    To use up Onion Soup mix, you can combine 4 chicken breasts, 1 packet onion soup mix, 1 small jar apricot jelly and half a bottle of russian or catalina dressing. Cook in a crockpot on high for 5-6 hours or in the oven on 350 degrees for about an hour. Serve over rice. It’s delicious!!

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