Saturday, August 30, 2008

<<<<<< We got Salsa ! >>>>>>

DH and I made salsa Thursday night , we had 7 qts and 1 pt. We also canned 3 qts of tomato juice from the tomatoes that we squeezed out to make the salsa.. There was 1 qt of whole tomatoes , that were leftover , so they we canned them too.
I was going to make tomato -basil sauce with the other tomatoes we had left. I harvested the best of my basil leaves , washed them and put in them in a paper towel to dry. I left them on the kitchen table and they got threw away by accident during the salsa making. Guess I'll make spaghetti sauce , since I won't need as much basil.
I still have jalapenos that need to be preserved . I'm planning to make stuffed jalapenos to freeze and will probably can a few more jars of pickled rings. After hours in the kitchen Thursday night , I rested last night but tonight we'll be back at it again. I can't work with peppers while I have the Grands , so we have to do it at night.
I'm thrilled to have salsa made , didn't think I was going to get to make any this season. It's so expensive at the grocery store , I hate paying those prices.

I've almost got the bedroom decluttered , have one more corner and the closet to do. I have got all the clothes that were stacked up , sorted and removed. It looks and feels so much better.

Hope you're having a great weekend.
~ Blessings ~

Friday, August 29, 2008

Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes

My BIL shared this recipe with me a couple of years ago. This is the first time I've made it with homegrown potatoes and fresh herbs , it was delicious. Thought I would share it with you , I did add my own extra touch. I sprinkled them with parmesan cheese when I removed them from the oven.

Small Potatoes ~ Red or White
Fresh Minced Garlic
Fresh Rosemary
Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
Wash the potatoes and cut in half , place in large bowl. I minced my garlic with a press and toss it in with the potatoes. Wash and chop fresh rosemary , add to bowl with potatoes. Pour a little oil over potatoes , salt and pepper if you like.
Toss it with your hands until oil and herbs coat potatoes. I also greased my baking dish with olive oil to keep them from sticking. I used my pampered chef stoneware to bake them , bake at 450 until done/browned. When I removed them from the oven , I sprinkled them with parmesan cheese. I only had the parmesan cheese in shakers , but next time I will grate some fresh cheese for this recipe. I'm not giving measurements , just adjust to your taste. We love garlic , so I added about 6 to 8 large cloves but your family may not like that much garlic , so add to your taste.
~ Blessings ~

Thursday, August 28, 2008

~~~ Fall Garden ~~~

I had to go grocery shopping yesterday , decided to drop by and see what kind of plants they had for a Fall garden. I came home with broccoli , cabbage , collards , cauliflower and some turnip green seed mix.
I planted broccoli and cauliflower this past spring , but they didn't do well. I have spinach seed and lettuce to plant also.I've never grown a Fall garden , hope it does well. Now , to figure out how to keep the deer away. I hope we can get started on an electric fence.

I forgot to get gloves yesterday , so we didn't make salsa last night. DH will pick some gloves up today and we'll make salsa tonight , hopefully. I did freeze 4 pints of blueberries that my uncle gave me.
Well , I need to get started blanching tomatoes , cutting up onions and garlic. Hope to have everything prepped by the time hubby gets home , then we'll cut up the jalapenos and get it all mixed up to cook and can.

Do you have a Fall garden ~ what do you grow ?

~ Garden Blessings ~

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

~ Salsa In the Making ~

I bought a case of tomatoes from a local farmer and was given some jalapenos , tonight we'll be making salsa for sure. Tomorrow , I plan to make spaghetti sauce. I just might get all my canning jars filled after all.

Last night , DH and I pickled 7 qts of jalapeno rings , we love them on beans and many other foods. Hearing those jars ping is such a Blessing.
The apples are almost ready , will probably work on those this weekend.

Hope your week is going well and your harvest is plentiful.

~ Green Blessings ~


Monday, August 25, 2008

~ Doing Not Thinking Challenge ~

So , today's Monday again , time for my ~ Doing Not Thinking Challenge ~ update. I didn't do much last week , I was still feeling stuffy & yucky , the first part of last week. I had the Grands Wed - Sat , can't get much done when they're here.
I did sort some clothes on my dresser , and put away the clothes I'm keeping , but that was it for my decluttering efforts last week.

I'm going to work in my bedroom today , hope to get it decluttered and cleaned. I'm feeling well , so no more ~~~~~ excuses. The pics above show some of the clothes clutter in my room , time to get going and rid myself of this clutter ~~~~ See Ya Next Week with a Clean/Decluttered Bedroom.

~ Blessings ~

Saturday, August 23, 2008

~ Homemade Vanilla Extract ~

I found a new blog that I've really enjoyed reading and learning from , check this site out if you're interested in homesteading , homemaking or just want some delicious recipes to try. There's a peach salsa recipe posted today , that sounds mighty delish. I'm planning to try that recipe soon.

Kathie posted a recipe for coffee liqueur August 17th on the site above , it caught my attention and I thought I would like to try it. I've also been wanting to make my own vanilla extract flavoring for awhile , but haven't found vanilla beans locally. Kathie suggested giving e-bay a try for vanilla beans at a good price. I bought some from The Organic Vanilla Bean Company , check them out at, it's a certified organic vanilla bean company , received my beans today in the mail. They smell wonderful , so I got started making the vanilla extract. I slit 4 of the beans length wise and then cut them in 1/2 inch pieces , added the beans to a pint of 100 proof vodka , put the lid on the jar and labeled. It will be stored in a dark , cool cabinet and I will shake it everyday if I remember (LOL) , can be used in 30 days or left to flavor for 3 months. I will probably let my sit for 3 months , then strain and bottle it. I've been paying 8.00 for a 12 oz bottle of pure vanilla extract , I'm sure I'll save money making my own and the flavor will be much better.
I've got to get some instant coffee and more alcohol to make the coffee liqueur , so maybe next week I can get some of it started.

Hope you'll checkout their website , it's wonderful and I think you'll enjoy it and maybe learn something too , let me know if you visit them and what you think about the site.

Well , I'm off to snap some green beans and freeze them , there's not enough to mess with canning them. Hope everyone's having a wonderful weekend.

~ Blessings ~

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

~ Gardening Woes ~

Last week while I was feeling under the weather , I didn't venture out to the garden much. The deer eat all my tomatoes , so unless we get some serious rain , my garden is through except for the peppers. No more salsa , spaghetti sauce or that wonderful tomato sauce with basil , I was planning to make.

I may check with one of our local farms and see if they have any tomatoes for sale. I love tomatoes and can't imagine going through the winter without some canned whole tomatoes , sauces and salsa. I've only preserved 2 quarts and 1 pint of salsa and 3 quarts and 1 pint of tomatoes.
I'm so disappointed , next year I hope to have a fence around the garden. It's really aggravating , putting so much time and effort into the garden and have your harvest eaten by wildlife.
Glad they don't like garlic , I've got my hard neck garlic cleaned up and ready to be stored. I'll be doing the soft necks this week , hope to try braiding some of them.

~ Garden Blessings ~

Monday, August 18, 2008

~ Doing Not Thinking Challenge ~

I didn't get much accomplished last week . I have not been feeling good , a cold , allergies or maybe a virus. I did manage to clean-up the toy area of Grands bedroom and sorted/organized the toys in the living room. It's a start , hope to get more done this week. I took before and after pics , but I accidentally deleted the before pics , it looks much better.

I want to clean my bedroom this week and get rid of clothes that just seem to clutter up , but I never wear them. I plan to bag them up and donate to our local PTA Thrift Store , the profits made at the thrift store benefit our local school.

I can't wait to get my life uncluttered , this challenge may change my life.

~ Blessings ~


Saturday, August 16, 2008

* Banging on the Pots and Pans *

I have both the Grands today , but just had to share this simple sweet moment with you. Little Missy and Little Froggy found my new pot , they had a ball , banging , clanging and spinning the top around. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend and enjoying some simple moments.

~ Blessings ~


Friday, August 15, 2008

~ Wonderful Birthday ~

My daughters surprised me with a small get together last night. They made Taco Salad , one of my favorite summertime meals. Curious J helped pick out a birthday cake , he was so proud of the cake. The girls went in together to buy me a jute rug , I had seen and liked.

My youngest daughter gave me a card , that made me cry tears of happiness. DH gave me a funny card and made a date for Sunday , to take me out to Olive Garden to eat. I'm looking forward to that , haven't been to the OG in three years , it should be really good.

~ It was a ~ Wonderful Birthday ~

Hope you have Great Weekend !

~ Blessings ~


Thursday, August 14, 2008

~ Anniversary , Birthday and It's A Boy ~

Yesterday was our anniversary , we've been married 30 years. I thank the Lord everyday , for sending me a wonderful Soulmate to share my life with. We didn't do anything special , hope we can have a weekend getaway after garden season.

IT'S A BOY ........... I went with my oldest daughter for her ultrasound yesterday and it's definitely a boy. Little Missy will be out numbered by all the boys , but I have a feeling she'll be able to handle them. She's aggressive and a little tomboy already , at 8 months. Her due date was changed from Jan 7th to Dec 29th , which means we will probably have a Christmas baby.

Today I celebrate my birthday , another year of life. A wonderful friend painted the lovely birthday card that is pictured above. She's a great artist , with a love for birds. Inside the card are some spirit feathers , they're beautiful Judie. Thank-you for the card and feathers , I love them. I plan to use the feathers in some art soon , can't wait to get started.
Hope everyone 's week has been Great. We were blessed with rain yesterday , so hopefully the green beans will keep bearing. The deer have been eating my tomatoes , need to do something about that. I think next year we will put an electric fence around the garden.

~ May You Be Blessed Today and Everyday ~

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

* Harvest Keeper Update *

Back 2 Basics Challenge

8~3~08 / 8~10~08

14 Qts ~ Vegetable Soup

1 Qt & 2 Pts ~ Pickled Cayenne Peppers

7 Qts ~ Green Beans

1 Pt ~ Frozen Chopped Bell Peppers

1 Qt ~ Frozen Blanched Bell Peppers

1 Qt ~ Frozen Stuffed Jalapenos

2 Qts & 1 Pt ~ Spicy Salsa

1 Qt ~ Tomato Juice

The garden has been doing well , but I hope we're blessed with rain soon.

~ Green Blessings ~


Monday, August 11, 2008

~ Doing Not Thinking Challenge ~

Uh-oh ~ Another challenge ................... I recently found this challenge at ( ) , if you would like to read about it , see the August 4th post. The challenge is to do , not think about it , just set a long term goal and follow through with it. I love gardening , canning and cooking and don't have a problem with doing it , but I let the housework go , to get everything else done. I need to do some serious decluttering and cleaning. I'm a pack rat by nature , so I have to much clutter.

I've been wanting to declutter this year and time has gotten away from me , I haven't got it done. When I saw this challenge I knew it was just what I needed to get started. Sooo ............. my long term goal will be to declutter my home , room by room. This challenge gives a time frame to work with , Dec. 15th 2008 , I should be able to get it done by then. I'm hoping that this challenge will stop my procrastination and help me be accountable to someone.
I'll be posting each Monday on the things I've decluttered and cleaned. I hope to start today , but I 'm not feeling well. Little Froggy has been sick , runny nose , coughing and general yuckiness ? and I have it now.
Hope everyone had a great weekend.
~ Blessings ~

Saturday, August 09, 2008

~ Herbs & Tomatoes ~

( Click on photo to enlarge )

I've finally got tomatoes and I'm not sure what I want to do with the first batch. There's so many things to make with them , salsa , spaghetti sauce , tomato juice , tomato sauce or just plain canned tomatoes. I think I will make salsa , we're about to finish up the salsa from last year.
I harvested some herbs this morning , the first basket has basil , rosemary and thyme in it. The second basket holds tri-colored sage and pine-apple sage. I'm making stuffed bell peppers for supper tonight and plan to use some sage , basil and oregano in them. I will be using some of them in the salsa , oregano and cilantro. The herbs have done well , can't wait to try some new ones next spring.
Yesterday evening I was using some rainwater in a barrel behind the pool to water my herbs and flowers and I spotted this beautiful spider. One day I hope to have a better camera , but for now if you click on the photo , it will enlarge and you can get a better view. Oh , I found my camera last Saturday night , it was in the stroller were I had left it after a walk with Little Froggy .
Hope You have a Great Weekend.
~ Blessings ~

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

~ Back to Basics Challenge ~

I started this challenge about the same time as the 100 Ft. Diet Challenge. This challenge was created by Path To Freedom ( , to can and preserve as much homegrown or local food as you can , to feed your family. I try to do this with the garden anyway , but this year I decided it would probably become a necessity with the economy slowing and food prices soaring.

On Monday , my Mom and I canned 14 qts of vegetable soup. Yesterday I pickled 1 qt and 2 pts of Cayenne hot peppers , the next harvest of peppers will be dried to make crushed red pepper , hot sauce and organic pest control for next year. I do want to pickle some jalapenos , we love those jalapeno rings on just about everything. My jalapenos aren't producing well , I'm hoping they will do better as it starts to get cooler. I harvested a few pepperoncini peppers , since there was only a handful , I pickled them in the refrigerator. I just put them in a small jar and poured vinegar over them , they'll stay in the frig and develop their flavor.

Today I have green beans to can , a few jalapenos to stuff and some bell peppers to deseed , blanch and freeze. So I'm heading to the kitchen , to get ~ Back to the Basics ~. Hope you have a great day and your garden gives you a blessed bountiful harvest.

~ Green Blessing ~


Monday, August 04, 2008

~ Sounding the Alarm ~

~ Fire Truck Cake ~
Curious J helped make his birthday cake , Saturday night. He loves to cook and enjoyed making it , as much as the party or eating it. Our cake turned out a little lopsided , but Curious J loved it and that's all that counts. My Son-in-Law , said the fire truck was just going around a curve (LOL).

Blowing out the candles and making a Wish !

Pa Pa got his tire swing hung , so I added a little decoration. At first he was a little intimidated by the swing , but after awhile ...........................

He was getting the hang of it . I'm sure he'll be swinging like a monkey before long.
We had lots of water balloons , they played a game called " Put Out the Flame. You had to take a towel and get a water balloon , wrap the balloon (Flame) to smother it and put out the flame , by sitting on it or stomping it. They couldn't get the balloons to burst , it was so funny. They finally had to throw them up in air or against something to bust them.

It was a great party , the adults had alot of fun with the water balloons too. Water Guns and Water Balloons were the perfect thing for a hot August day , most of the adults went home wet too.

I was proud of the older kids , they helped me pick-up all the busted balloon pieces , and I didn't have to ask them to help. I'm planning to use them in an art project and on a scrapbook page.

Hope you had some childlike fun over the weekend !

~ Blessings ~


Saturday, August 02, 2008

~ Happy Birthday ~

To My
Curious J

Love You More Than the Stars
Nana & PaPa

Friday, August 01, 2008

~ Time with the Grands ~

~ Cookie Time ~

I have both of the grand babies today , so I won't get much done. Today I will enjoy my time with them. They're 8 months old now , crawling and exploring everything. I didn't think , Little Missy would crawl but after watching Little Froggy ( new nickname ) for Sweet Baby J , crawl around , she has started crawling. I thought she would be walking by now , but since she has started crawling , it'll probably be awhile.

Little Missy is waving and saying bye-bye , she can say Momma and a week ago today , she said Pa-Pa. She has won Pa Pa's heart , that's for sure. She also tries to call my cat , his name is Buddy and she calls him Bu . Little Froggy will say Hey , and is trying to wave.
They bring so much joy to my life , can't wait for the new arrival in Dec.. My oldest daughter's due date has been changed to Dec. 29 , maybe a Christmas baby.

Curious J will be here this afternoon , I miss not having much time to spend with him , but I was blessed to have the first 3 years with him.
He's still curious as ever , he'll be 4 tomorrow. DH is going to make him a rope swing , just what a curious little monkey needs.
Well , I need to get off the computer and finish the grocery list for the birthday celebration this Sunday.

Have a Great Weekend and enjoy those small Blessings that come your way.

~ Blessings ~