Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

School is done for the semester!!! Wahooo Whooo!!!

Here was our turkey for Thanksgiving, we have a tradition in my family that was name the turkey every year. Paul named this guy Sir Arthur Gobblesworth III. It's the third because I stocked up on turkeys during the sales and there are two other turkeys in the freezer.

Thumbs up on a good meal from my brother.

We were slow in getting the tree up, but we did finally put it up. The tree skirt has become the popular hangout for the cats.
We tried to get Max into the holiday spirit but he wasn't too thrilled.

This weekend I have been baking up a storm. So far I've made two batches of fudge, two loafs of zucchini bread and 20 dozen cookies.
These are Mexican Wedding Cookies
Peppermint Snowballs - these were really tasty but the recipe didn't make much and they were a pain to make.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies - These were Paul's favorite of the whole bunch. The recipe made about 7 dozen.
Ricotta Cheese Cookies with sprinkles - this made a very soft sticky dough. The cookies are good.
Next on the list to do is gingerbread men, more zucchini bread, and chocolate covered pretzels.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Making Pumpkin Puree

We decorated with so many cute little pumpkins, I decided to try to make pumpkin puree for homemade pumpkin pies and other baked goodies. Here are two of the four pumpkins I used.

Cut them in half and scoop out the insides. I saved all the seeds to roast and use later for snacks.
Bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours until tender.
Move to a pan to cool.
Scoop out pumpkin and put in a strainer with cheesecloth to drain for a few hours.
Use immediately or package up to freeze for later use. I put mine into two cup packages for later. I got about 8 cups of pumpkin puree total.
Verdict: For the amount of time and effort this took, the pies had better be the best pumpkin pies the family has ever eaten!

Beggers Night

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We're off to find our pumpkins!
The first little one we found. The field had been picked over pretty well and there weren't very many big ones left.

Such a cutie!
I look like such a dork in this picture!

We wanted a big one to carve, so we drove to another place and got this guy. He's huge!
Paul and his big pumpkin
I wanted to try and show you how the pumpkin is almost bigger than the dog, but after trying unsuccessfully to get Scottie to sit next to the pumpkin I just gave up and took this picture. You can see Paul laughing at the dog and me.
Another attempt to get Scottie in the picture, he finally sat, but not next to the pumpkin or even looking at the camera, oh well.

Birthday Pics

Here are the pics from my birthday dinner last night. The family and I went out to eat at a great Italian restuarant in town. The pics look a little funny because I had the flash turned off.

Dad is the middle, John (brother) on the right and dad's girlfriend on the left.
My brother, hates having his picture taken and it's always a fight to get one of him.
Paul and I
My Favorite cake, chocolate with vanilla icing and sprinkles

John and I again, taken after way too much pasta and ice cream.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reese the Helper

Reese likes to help us while we're in the kitchen. Here she is checking pears.
I'm not sure exactly how much help she was here, but she assured me that she was helping.

She really likes to help me get ready for work but rubbing all over my nice black pants. Everytime!!

Fall Vacation

We took a few days off this week from work and I was on fall break from school so we did up some canning. I had been saving all the tomatoes and peppers from the garden in the freezer.

Here is Hot Red Sauce - 5 pints. Everything in this but the vinegar was from our garden.
Friends gave us a bushel of apples and a bushel of pears yesterday and we spent all day processing the apples. We made two apple pies (I forgot to take pics) and put in the freezer for later. Below is 9 pints of apple quarters in a light syrup. These can be used for desserts later or just to eat. My favorite item we made - 12 pints of homemade applesauce!!!! My mom always made us homemade applesauce and now I can't stand the storebought, so I was so happy to make some. It tastes so good and I'm not sharing any of it!! We bought a really cool gadget today which helped make it, an immersion blender, that thing is soooo neat. It really pureed the sauce quickly and easily.
4 pints and 1half pint of taco sauce. This was so easy and cheap to make and tastes exactly the same if not better than the store stuff.
Thursday I cooked up two chickens and made a bunch of chicken broth and took my frozen beef broth out of the freezer to can. I think there is 6 quarts and 12 pints of broth. I highly recommend making your own broth, it's super easy, cheaper and tastes better than the store kind.
Our pantry is officially full. I'm making some caramel apple jam tomorrow with a friend and Paul and I still have to do the bushel of pears, but other than that we are done with canning until next year. It sure will be nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor this winter.
I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely fall colors and cool nights!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More Quotes

I just love quotes from e.e. cummings, here's another great one -

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear…) e. e. cummings

I am not what I ought to be; not what I want to be; not what I’m going to be. But I am thankful I’m not what I used to be. – John Wooden

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

This one reminds me of my mother, who would often tell me, you have to make a mess to clean up a mess -

Life is inherently messy….But out of the messiness comes great things." Margaret Wheatly

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Catching Up

So I'm completely overwhelmed with my life at the moment, but am trying to keep up. Trying to work and go to classes and then study too is defintely testing me. But I did want to catch everyone up on the few things I've been able to accomplish lately (mostly becuase I have a wonderful husband).

We tried our hand at making salsa the other day. The tomatoes and peppers are from our garden and Paul's mom's.
Here are the peppers, there is a total of 6 different types of peppers in this salsa. Way too spicy for me, but Paul is enjoying it.
I had to study, so Paul offered to finish up the processing. It was his first time canning without my help. I'm so proud of him, I just had to take a picture :) He's been absolutely wonderful these first few weeks of school. He's taken to calling himself the house husband. I haven't had to worry about anything but work and study, dinner is ready when I get home, the laundry is done and the house is clean. Thank you Paul!!!
The finished salsa. 7 pints in total, plus a large bowl in the fridge.
I did manage right before school started to volunteer at our Red Cross Ride for the Red fundraiser. It was very neat to see all the motorcyclists out for a great ride and a good cause. As you can see it was a wonderful day for a ride.

And perhaps my favorite pictures. Max (the grey cat) always has to look at the groceries when I bring them home. Then he'll find the potatoes and lick the bag. it's so weird.
I think he's trying to teach Reese how to do it too.