Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sweet Heat

I'm back on Blogger!  My laptop is pretty much done with.  I got a new camera a few months ago and took tons of beautiful pictures.  I'm pretty good about saving my pictures religiously to my computer and getting them off my camera's memory card.  Well, a sorry-ass computer is NOT cool for keeping those pictures on!  I quickly filled it's capacity with RAW files over and over and over again!  I decided to go to an online backup saving system, and chose Carbonite.  It backs up all the files you want so you can restore your computer or access them when you're away from home.

Here we are, almost 3 months later, and Carbonite is finished uploading!  Yes, it took over 2 months to backup my 60 gigs of crap from my old computer.

Not sure if I mentioned or not before, but this past Summer began my debut of home canning.  At a local farmers market shop, I saw a beautiful display of blackberries, at their peak, and swarming with fruit flies. "Eat Me!" came to mind, and so did "Jam me, baby!"  Two for one on sale, I picked up several baskets, along with some fragrant peaches and colorful tomatoes.

And so it began.

I bought the Ball Canning book, one of the best things ever created for people who thought canning was a thing of the past, or something that you'd have to slave over.   Sure, it isn't something that you can whip up in a few minutes, but, as with most things in life, it takes time and patience and you'll be rewarded ten fold.

I began with a couple of standard jams, and moved onto a few sauces.  My absolute favorite item so far is the Tomato Jam, from the Food in Jars website.  Sweet and spicy, this jam gets slathered onto cream-cheese'd homemade bread, crackers or bagels, as a spread for veggie burgers, and mixed with mayo and balsamic for a mock-thousand island dressing in my Seitan Rueben Sandwiches, and so much more.  It's first bite is creamy sweetness, then a bit of warmth surrounds your taste buds, leaving them yearning for another bite.

This used up some of my own tomatoes (even green ones!), in my late Summer garden, along with some beautiful heirlooms from the local farmers market.  In my second batch, I used up some not-so-good-looking tomatoes from another stand (which I question the "local-ness" of), and it was equally as good.  My second batch was kicked up with some garlic, onion powder and a bit of cumin.

You'll have a large pot filled with stuff, which you'll cook the shit out of.  Mine took me about 1 1/2-2 hours, but it might take less cooking time if you use more pastey tomatoes, like Romas.  I just used what I could find.

Click here for the recipe.

Hope to be back soon!  

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Fun Fair Friday

Be sure and make it out to your local fair for an interesting time!

Have a great weekend, everybody! Pin It

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Breaded Zucchini

Drop your zucchini "sticks" into seasoned flour, then seasoned beaten egg (with a bit of milk), then into a seasoned mixture of panko and italian breadcrumbs.

Fry at 350 for about 3-5 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

We used a yellow zucchini, bought at our local Farmer's Market.  Serve with your favorite (homemade, of course!) marinara as a side, or appetizer.  Tonight, we had meatball subs. Pin It

Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY Furniture Polish


Back to the blog post. . .
I just recently ran out of my furniture polish; a bottle we've had for probably about 8-9 years.  Seriously.  Either I didn't do enough dusting up until now, or maybe it really was "a dab will do" type of product.  It smelled weird.  But my whole philosophy about going green includes not throwing away perfectly good products, just to go out and buy new ones, albeit eco-friendly ones.

I knew coconut oil was so fabulous for so many things, I thought, well, there's got to  be a way to shine this table up!  After searching very briefly, I was able to find a great collection of recipes from Joys of Lavender and make my own recipe up from there.

Lavender Furniture Polish

2 oz olive oil
2 oz coconut oil
2 oz beeswax
1/2 cup distilled water
8 drops lavender essential oil

Melt the olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax in a large glass bowl and microwave on medium for 30 second intervals.  Remove from oven and stir, until all the wax is melted.  Mine took about 90 seconds, but I also let it sit out on the counter for a bit.  The remaining heat in the bowl continues to melt the wax as it sits.  Stir in the lavender oil.  Using a hand mixer, gradually add in the water, a few drops at a time.  I was not able to incorporate all of the water before it chilled up on me and wouldn't take any more.  You'll end up with a creamy consistency.

Store in a sealable container and it's good for about 6 months.  I didn't use distilled water, so mine probably won't last as long.    To use, scoop a small amount onto a soft cloth and rub in.  Keep working vigorously until you cannot see any more of the white creamy texture.  Continue along the entire surface.  Follow up with a clean soft cloth and buff out.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Roasted Root Veggie Bites

Here we have this cute baby, who just LOVED to eat everything he was given. Peaches, broccoli, avocado, sweet potato, spinach--he would just tear into it! Then, all of a sudden, he's dropping vegetables off the side of his food tray as if they were dead bugs.

Enter the hiding-vegetables-in-cheese maneuver. Yeah, I didn't want to be one of those moms who had to freaking HIDE things to get my kid to eat them! But what are you going to do? He can't live on Pirates Booty!

I'm kicking myself in the ass right now for not taking pics while preparing these fun little patties. The beautiful pile of finely diced crimson red, sunflower yellow and ivory white beets, succulent carrots and striking blue baby potatoes was just brilliant! Ah well, there's always next time!

The great thing about these is that they are portable, great hot or cold, and packed full of goodness! You know how they like to run away from the table

You'll need to start with cooked vegetables. We often use chopped broccoli, but last night I used about 1 1/2-2 cups worth of aforementioned vegetables and a nice handful of raw chopped Swiss Chard. Stir in about 3 beaten eggs, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup bread crumbs. I added some garlic and onion powder, but you can skip this if you really want to keep it mild. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully shape into patties and bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. Turn them over, then cook for another 8-10 minutes.

We like ours with plain old ketchup, but a sour cream sauce might work great, too!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pesto Egg Sammy

Pesto, Egg, Soysage & Aged Cheddar on a biscuit. Looks freakin good, doesn't it?! Only downfall is having shit breath for the rest of the day. . .

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taking the Bull by the Horns

Or, getting the most out of your iPhone 4. I upgraded yesterday and have been playing with my phone ever since. We are not new to the iPhone world. I've had one for about 2 years now and love the heck out of it.

There are some apps I use almost every day, and some, well, they just plain suck. We'll talk about the good ones today.
The app most used on my phone is the Kindle.

I love how I can bring my book with me WHERE EVER. The iPhone version is in full color (where it applies), where the original version is in boring black text only. While this doesn't really bother me for general reading, it does add to bright colored apps my son likes to fool around with. We'll get to those later in this post.

There is also a Kindle app for the iPad, which kicks major ass, too. One of the best parts about this is you can sync up both (or all 3, if you have the original Kindle) to find the last place you've read. As you read along, you can highlight things you find important, and even look up a word you don't know. It has a dictionary that you'll download as soon as you need to use it. The text can be changed from white to black background, making the screen seem darker, and less intrusive for those little eyes trying to close while I read.

People with kids know how much they love trying to steal your phone, no matter what is going on. I really like how I can have this little gadget in my hand, instead of a book that my child will destroy.

Any woman in their child-bearing years will love the My Cycles app.

You'll be able to keep track of your periods on here, including information on symptoms and moods, like cramps, edginess, etc. For those trying (or not trying!) to conceive, this is a great tool that leaves you no excuse for not marking your important dates.

Those of you that do not know about Pandora Radio need to get on the ball. I mean, if you like FREE music!
If you have external speakers, or an auxilary input for your vehicle or home stereo, you'll be gittin your groove on in no time! You'll put in your favorite artist, song or genre and the genius little doo-hicky will play some great songs! Don't like one of them? Just skip it to the next track! Love one of the songs? You can easily click on the link to buy the album or song. Note: setting your iTunes up for instant purchases can be DANGEROUS! We rock out to all kinds of music, and also, the Toddler channel and the newly added comedy stations. Every 15 minutes or so of playtime, a short ad, of about 10 seconds plays, so it's not too annoying. Hint: don't give the "thumbs up" unless you want a more repetitive playlist.

One of my Go-To apps when searching for any brick and mortar place is Where To . If you want to find a local place to eat, get your hair cut, play at a park, or countless other places, this is the app to get! I love how it shows the distance from your current location, and gives the website so you can hop online for more info.

Another similar app, with more user-based info, is Yelp! I'm really digging the reviews! So many people complain about food at restaurants! It's like they expect made-from-scratch high quality ingredients for fast food prices, and wait staff that kisses your ass.

iPhone apps we love for our little (18 month old) guy:
What are some of your favorite apps?
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Whur Yat?

Well, I'm here! Sorry I've been so out of the loop. Little things like this keep me occupied.

Yep. Keeping up after a normal household alone with a 17 month old is hard enough. My old activities of hour long sewing sessions, late night solo batik parties, and thoughtful blog postings are pretty much out the window.

It seems like the little time I have to create is going to things for myself or my family. Today I'm painting the hallway bathroom of our new house. It's my first experience painting anything "real", besides crap I screwed around with while living at my parents house, and experimenting with, and then eventually abandoning unfinished, in previous rental houses. What a pain in the ass! What the heck was I thinking of, starting a project like this with my husband out of town?

One successful project was these seat cushions I recovered. They were passed down to us from a family member. Their old condition was a medium brown that definitely needed replacing. I could have just done a simple job, but you know me! Gittin all creative and stuffff!

Here are some food pics to help urge you into the kitchen. Sorry, no time for recipes today.

Fajita Night (Family dinner @ my folks house)

Veggie Mac n Cheese

Rosemary Focaccia

Black Bean & Swiss Chard Enchiladas

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