SO.........I have just finished hauling 18 bags filled to the brim of fresh, picked yesterday, red ripe and juicy, Indiana home grown tomatoes out of the Durango and into the house!
(And I was going to start my sewing today.)
Easier Home Canned Tomato Juice:
Wash the tomatoes. Quarter the larger ones to fit into the intake chute of your juice extractor. Have a large plastic liner in a basket handy to empty the pulp in to discard.
Place the tomatoes through the extractor measuring the juice and emptying it into the stock pot. Season with salt, lemon juice, hot peppers, and anything else your family likes. Harry uses 3-4 hot peppers per quart. Whew!
When the processing is complete cool the jars sitting on clean tea towels for 24 hours. Store for up to a year in a cool dark place.
NOTE: This is from my first test batch and I used my large soup kettle and about 12-15 pounds of tomatoes which yielded 5 quarts of juice. I added 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers to this batch along with the salt and lemon juice. It was mildly spicy, you tasted the peppers but it did not burn. Just an FYI in case you were wondering. Now off to do more, 16 more sacks of tomatoes await me.
FOLLOW UP COMMENT: The tomato juice made with my extractor tended to have less body, pulp as does have traditionally made tomato juice. The first batch had more than the second batch. I think the difference came on my patience level and the skimming process. The first batch I simmered longer and I think there was less "foam" to skim than the second batch. Then I remembered my friend Joyce making it this way and having a similar outcome. It still tasted like tomato juice it is the the consistency and color that differs. After 2 additional batches of juice I switched to straight canning the tomatoes netting about 50 quarts of tomato product.
|I see a big bag of kitchen goodies in a cheery red bag!|
I plan to start a special gift for my best friends recently married daughter. (I have known her since her birth!) The newlyweds reside in North Carolina and enjoy day trips to the city, beach, and she likes to fool around in the kitchen a bit too. So I am planing a bright happy tote bag stocked with kitchen treasures.
So, yesterday I made it and stocked it in my mind! Next I went to the RED WOVEN crate of fabric and after touching every single piece of fabric, selected a red and white pillow ticking for the outside of the bag. Then I choose a deep deep dark red with cream fine cotton print for the liner. My next challenge was to find the correct weight flat batting to place between the layers. Happily it was in the first trunk I looked into! In my mind I saw a big antique button as the closure held in place with red ribbon and red strapping for handles. Easily these items were found and I am happy.
After finishing the loads of laundry I had going I pitched the fabrics into the washer as is my habit ALWAYS to wash and dry all of my fabrics before I start cutting! I am ready to start.
|I wish you could smell these!|
This recipe is all over the Internet. Every place I looked it was there so I have no idea of it's origins. I used the one found on inspiredtaste.net only because it was the first one I clicked onto.
Ingredients for Fudgy Brownies:
10 T. butter
1 1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. + 2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 t. vanilla
2 large cold eggs
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2/3 C. chopped nuts, optional
Place the oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an eight inch square pan with foil or parchment paper. leaving overhangs.
Form a double boiler by placing a small amount of water in a pan and bring to a simmer. Set a heat proof bowl above the simmering water, Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in the bowl and stir occasionally as the butter melts.
After the butter is melted and the mixture is stirred together remove it from the heal and cool for 5 minutes. It should be warm not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Next add the eggs one at a time stirring vigorously after each. When the batter is thick and shiny add the flour stirring until incorporated. Now beat for 40 or 50 strokes. Stir in the nuts.
|16 lovely squares of deliciousness!|
Ingredients for Mom's Hot Chicken Salad:
4 C. cooked diced chicken (Today I used breasts but I use whatever is on hand.)
2 C. chopped celery
4 chopped hard cooked eggs
3/4 C. Miracle Whip
3/4 C. undiluted cream of mushroom soup
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. minced onion
1 t. salt
Ingredients for Topping:
1 1/2 C. crushed potato chips
1 C. grated Swiss cheese
2/3 C. slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a flat baking dish, I use a 10"x,10" square corning ware dish as old as I am, and set it aside. Mix together the Chicken Salad ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight.
Before baking mix together the topping ingredients.
Spread the chicken salad in the buttered dish then spread evenly with the topping. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve "hot".
Brian loves soup for supper for a change and tonight is the perfect time to use up that head of cauliflower in the bottom of the refrigerator. Usually I make a recipe from the Lazarus Restaurant Cookbook but I am making this one up as I go for a change. I have lots of bacon on hand and a pot of fresh chives on the patio so there are multiple inspirations!
Ingredients for Cauliflower Bacon & Cheese Soup:
8-9 slices of bacon
1/2 onion chopped fine
1 carrot diced
1 stalk celery diced
1 head fresh cauliflower chopped
2-3 T. sliced chives + more for garnish
2 quarts chicken stock
1/3 C. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
8 oz. shredded cheese (I like part cheddar and part Velveeta)
Stir constantly until the soup thickens. Reduce the heat to the lowest heat until you are ready to serve. Just before you are ready to ladle up the soup stir in the cheese until it melts and is smooth add the bacon pieces and stir together. Do not bring the heat back to a boil. Only heat to serving temperature after adding the cheese and bacon
Garnish with fresh chives if desired and enjoy! Yield 8-10 servings.
|This is a square quilted by Grandma Powell.|
Thank you Diane and Mrs. B.!
I have also invited a neighborhood friend who quilts using a quilting frame next week to see if we can get one of my frames put together. Perhaps she will share some of her ways and I will be even more inspired! Excited to have you Cindy F.!
I also have come across some really, in my opinion helpful Household Hints. I am only sharing the ones I really like and will use. If you would like to read more I have not included they are found at quiltingboard.com/general-chit-chat-non-quilting-talk-f7/some-helpful-household-hints-t251852.html
Here are my favorite NEW HELPFUL HINTS:
Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallows. (I like this idea way better than stale bread!)
Create a thrifty watering can by punching holes in the top of a used plastic milk jug. (Thrifty idea.)
Cover paint trays with aluminium foil for faster clean up.(I have done this and it is well worth the effort.)
Use a large muffin pan to bake stuffed peppers in the oven--it will keep them upright. (I will try this very soon!)
To keep potatoes from budding place an apple in the bag. (I am doing this today.)
Add a half teaspoon of baking soda to the water when boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off. (Love this one.)
Use cooking spray in votive candle holders to pevent the wax from sticking to the sides.
WD40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface. (I must remember to tell son Chris about this one.)
When hanging a picture frame, put a dab of toothpaste on the frame where you want the nails to be. Then press against the wall to leave marks which can late be wiped after being guides for the nails! (GREAT IDEA.)
Sprinkle salt in the spaces between patio slabs and at the bottom of walls to get rid of weeds. Be careful NOT to get the salt near what you want to keep as it will kill your flowers too. (Love this one.)
|Fresh Peach Pie, YUM.|
I have adapted Paula's recipe to utilize the quantity of fresh peaches I had on hand as well as to my normal recipe ingredients. But it is certain it was HER IDEA, not mine and a good one at that! Her recipe held a 5 star rating out of 38 reviews which also tells the tale! As any home cook will tell you it is just as easy to mess up the kitchen for 3 or 4 pies as it is for 1 plus freezing the filling in foil and plastic wrapped disks that is ready to bake is just a wonderful idea.
Ingredients for a Fresh Peach Pie and 2 Fillings to Freeze:
10-12 C. peeled and sliced fresh peaches, 20-24 peaches
2 T. butter to top each pie before baking
1 t. salt
juice of 3-4 fresh lemons
5-6 T. instant tapioca
2 C. sugar + 2 T. for sprinkling top crust
2 t. Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid)
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. vanilla extract
pastry for 2 unbaked pie crusts, one top and one bottom
NOTE: Peaches vary in size and if they are "free stone" so the recipe may vary and need to be adapted per the amount of sliced peaches netted from peeling, slicing, and removing the pits.
Peeling and preparing the peaches: Bring a large kettle of water to a rolling boil and prepare a large bowl with ice and cold water. Drop 7-8 peaches into the boiling water and return to the boiling point. Time for 1-1/2 minutes depending on the size and ripeness of the fruit. Use a slotted spoon and remove the peaches to the ice water bath. The peels should easily slip off. If not return to the boil an additional 30-60 seconds and test again.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 nine inch pie plates with wide heavy duty foil then line again with plastic wrap. I use 2 sheets of plastic wrap placed as a cross across the foil lined plate.
Bake on the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.
To find Paula Deen's recipe I Googled Paula Deen's Peach Pie Recipe.
|Silver Grey Metallic Knit Infinity Scarf Made in Under an Hour.|
|A pretty box, tissue paper, and a silk ribbon are a good start for gift giving.|
Instructions for Making a Metallic Knit Infinity or Circle Scarf:
|Beautiful fabrics make beautiful one of a kind scarves.|
Press and straighten the fabric. Fold in half longways with the right sides inside facing each other. Note: My fabric wanted to roll a bit and so pressing was most helpful.
|Sewing the long seam closed.|
|I love this part when you turn the scarf!|
|With the folds together forming a tube hand stitch to finish.|
|This will be so much nicer when worn!|
|An example of a Coleus plant cuttings were taken from.|
|These roots sprang from a simple cutting.|
|They vary in density but hopefully will thrive.|
|These three are all Coleus cuttings.|
|These are the new cuttings placed in a pot on the porch.|
|Basil cutting on the left and a Coleus is on the right.|
|Basil on the left and Coleus planted on the right.|
|This plant gets it's name from the shape of it;s leaf and has fiery red blooms.|
|Of the two cuttings both rooted well.|
|Here they are nestled in a pot together.|
Now time will tell if my new little plants take off and thrive. I will be watching! Yesterday closed with me playing in the dirt after a big day of "catch up" from my trip.
Grilled Watermelon Caprici Salad, Blueberry Coffee Cake, Making Cookies with the Twins, & Visiting Family has Rounded off my Week Away
|Grilled Watermelon Caprici Salad|
|Jack decorates cookies.|
|Sam decorates cookies too.|
The MAKING OF GRILLED WATERMELON CAPRICI SALAD:
The most interesting new food I tried was a Grilled Watermelon Caprici Salad. It was delicious! Slabs of fresh watermelon were salted, peppered, and drizzled with honey then grilled! Meanwhile a glaze of 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar was mixed in a small pan and brought to a boil then simmered to a thick syrup consistency.
|The grilled watermelon with the tomatoes and cheese.|
|Glazed Blueberry Coffee Cake.|
I also visited my Mother and enjoyed her delicious Hot Chicken Salad which I will share with you soon and Chocolate Pudding Cake. Here is the link to the Chocolate Pudding Cake: thehiddenpantry.blogspot.com/2012/02/chocolate-chocolate-pudding-cake.html
My sisters Linda and Sheree are both caring for family members at home and I visited them both too.
It was great to see everyone and I had planned to stop and see my brother Gary and Grandma Powell on the way home but had a dead battery and had to call AAA to get me going. After that I was afraid to shut the car off for fear I would get stranded half way home! So I didn't make those planned visits this time.
Actually I made it home fine yesterday and the car ran like a top. Evidently there was a door ajar or something that ran down the cell as it is a new battery and checked out just fine!
ZUCCHINI RECIPIES I ADORE: Oven Zucchini Fries with Horsradish Dipping Sauce, PLUS Zucchini Spagetti with Quick Spicy Shrimp
|Zucchini Fries, Chopped Steak, Tomatoes, ans Horseradish Dipping Sauce.|
I made the Spicy Shrimp with Zucchini spaghetti last week but failed to photograph. I will add pictures soon as it wad so good I have already purchased the shrimp to make it again. Brian loved it!
|This Asian Mandolin has a Julianne Blade.|
|Before cooking Zucchini Spaghetti.|
|I only boil 1 1/2-2 minutes and wonder about trying in the microwave!|
My first "zucchini discovery" is to use the Julianne blades on my mandolin on zucchini making long spaghetti strands with it. Just be sure to trim off the ends and remove and blemishes before Julienning. Then I just plunge the strands into salted rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Top with my Spicy Shrimp and enjoy! Two medium zucchini will serve 2 adults.
|This looks and tastes terrific.|
1 pound raw peeled and de-veined shrimp
2-3 T. olive oil (can use part butter)
1 1/2 t. hot sauce
4-6 T. of the vegetable cooking water
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the shrimp until no longer translucent, just a minute or two. Add the hot sauce and veggie water and stir cooking a minute or two to form a sauce. Season to taste and spoon over a dist of zucchini spaghetti. Serves 2 adults deliciously!
|Delicious Zucchini Fries made in the oven.|
2-3 zucchini cut into 3" sticks about 1/4" in diameter: place in colander with 1-1 1/2 t, salt, toss and let drain in the sink for 1/2-1 hour before starting the recipe
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 C. Panko (Oriental Bread Crumbs)
1/3-1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese grated
1/3-1/2 C. flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a half sheet pan with parchment paper then spray well with cooking spray and set aside.
|Using Parchment Paper and Cooking Spray makes for a fast clean up!|
Ingredients for Horseradish Dipping Sauce:
1 C. sour cream
2 T. grated horseradish
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
Stir all of the ingredients together and serve. Yield 1 cup sauce.