Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Cookies

These did turn out edible which I was a little not sure of --lol Mostly cause they just had too much oil in there, and I should not have added in the extra peanut butter.

But they are definately an earthy, wholesome, healthy cookie-as these only had healthier ingredients-olive oil instead of butter, flaxseed, yogurt, applesauce instead of eggs, whole grain flours, honey, organic sugar, dark chocolate, organic coconut, almonds, my own handmade vanilla extract too.

They definately needed a longer cooking time-almost 20 minutes instead of 10 to 12-but they are really good, and they did hold together and they stayed moist not hard-so that's a good thing too.

So bring your cup for tea or coffee and enjoy a cookie!

Experimenting in the Kitchen

This started out, I wanted some cookies in the house-but no eggs. So, I did that search on egg subsitutes and posted a link in my links-which has lots of ideas.

I knew about the flaxseed, as I used it in my vegetarian days, and I found some in the freezer-so made that up.

I had purchased a couple jars at the amish store of organic peanut butter, it's a real earthy peanut butter-so thought it would go well in cookies.

So then the hunt for a recipe-mine are all from growing up that just have too much sugar in them for us now-found this one: a simple good looking recipe, that I could experiment with the ingredients with too.

So I start with the first half of the recipe, and then decide to just put in the rest of the peanut butter that was left in the jar, cause I didn't want it sitting around. It was about a cup-so needing to double the recipe almost now. lol

So I add in some vanilla yogurt for another egg substitute, a little more oil-which I used instead of the butter, and then added spelt flour. I had about 3 cups left I wanted to use it up-put that all in there-and too oily, so I added my gluten free pizza mix flour as needed to absorb the too much oil.

Now the dough will stick together to form a ball, but doesn't really have the right texture for a cookie-so I got it--I put in one of those single servings of applesauce-another egg substitute and that did the trick-looks a little more like cookie dough now.

I also added in some sliced almonds for the crunch and dark chocolate chips.

So, now to see if this bakes up well-hope so-as I have a very big bowl full of

I told Larry was a good decision not to do rocks today-which I really wanted to do-but just didn't feel up to-as I can only wonder what would have developed there-giggling

It's Saturday and it's Going to be Hottttttt again-Soap making

Happy Saturday, this coming week looks to be hotter than what we have had recently, and lows at night near 80-so is definately not going to be nice out there.

My asthma has kicked in with problems too this summer, not fun. I really have not had alot of problems with it since moving here after retirement. Just getting rid of the stress with work and the long commute-and talking all day (I was a telephone operator with the phone co) has made a real difference. But the air quality, even here in the woods, just doesn't seem good with the heavy humidity and hot temps.

What are you all doing this weekend? Something fun I hope. We just really don't seem to get out much anymore, when you are on a really tight income-everything just seems too expensive to do. I love just staying at home anyways-love where I live, and always have projects in the works-crafts and house projects.

I need to be in the house anyways right now, working on getting house projects finished like my rock shower-lol---I fixed the problem with the one rock I didn't like yesterday. So glad I asked hubby's opinion first before chisseling it off the wall. I was able to just scrap off the mortar that I had placed on top of the rock-to even it out more-so looks better now. I hadn't realized he was going to fill the space around the shower piece that fits flat to the wall with silicone I think he said, to give it a tight seal so no water would get under it-cool! always good to ask about this stuff. Saved me alot of worry about chissling around the faucet.

My bbq pork chops, little potatoes, and green beans in the crock pot last night was awesome! Very good and didn't heat up the house. and I also enjoyed the Woodstock 1969 concert documentary on Paladia yesterday afternoon. If you get a chance to view-very excellent.

Making bars of soap

This has been on my "want to do" list for quite some time. I even had purchased the lye and some of the ingredients a few years before retirement, and when hubby discovered I was going to make soap in the kitchen-he said No Way-has to be done outside. Soooo I brought the stuff with when we retired, and just didn't get to it. I threw out the lye, and I think I had to toss the scents out too cause they were leaking.

Anyways, I know some of you would like to do this too, or if you have done this already we all can use some tips, even a "teacher" among us. Here in Missouri, the weather is usually gorgeous first part of October.-Anyone interested in picking a weekend or a day in the middle of the week and do an "online soapmaking day"??

We would have each other for support and questions-I would have a blog for that day-and we can communicate thru the comments. Just an idea.

Enjoy your saturday!

photo found here this will be me-as I will cook over an open fire

from here

from here

from here

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wow Is It Really Friday Already?

This week has just flown by really fast for me for some reason. Probably cause of doing different things each day.
I tried my plum sauce over a bowl of frozen yogurt last night-yummy-soooo good. I am really happy with the results. It did thicken up more just being in the refrigerator, so ended up being a really nice final product. I can see this over a chocolate cake for starters-lol
Last night I was looking for something to watch on tv, nothing-really has been nothing worth watching this summer-seems worse than usual. So I thought I would go over and see what was on Palladium channel (not sure if that is spelt right) and what had just started was a documentary done at the Woodstock concert in 1969, and had been released in 1970 Oh wow, I think I will watch a bit so I know what I missed-lol
I was in college back in 1969 and a group of my friends were going to this concert and had invited me. I remember thinking from Wisconsin to NY cramped in a vehicle with alot of people didn't sound like fun to me. I remember the talk about how wild it was there, and cause of so many people the main interstate had been closed. This 4 hour documentary I am sure has been on before-I just hadn't caught it til last night.
I was hoping to see Janis Joplin sing. I fell asleep probably around the 2 and 1/2 mark-and woke up to Joplin singing. This was a very good documentary, not just the music being great, but they did interviews, and you really got a good view of what was really going on there. I checked and it is on again today from 1 to 5pm -so gotta remember to check in and watch what I missed.
Am I really that old already?? lol Happy Friday

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Stop by and sign up for this fun giveaway for a handbag pattern here

christmas fabric in July giveaway here

Plum Butter Started Updated

Around 5:30am this morning, I put the plums on the fire, which I had all cut up and ready to go last night. I had a little bit of canning syrup left over from canning the plums, so used that for a bit of liquid on the bottom of pan. I also had split and scraped a whole vanilla bean, and thru in the bean too.
It took a couple hours to cook down and get really soft. Just finished running it all thru that cone with all the holes that sits on a stand, with a wooded piece to smash all the goodies thru the holes-do they even make these any more?? I have a very old vintage one, and I have mine I bought back in the 70s. I use this all the time for making homemade applesauce. Above photo is the strained plums on the fire again.
I tasted this, and it definately needs some sweetening, so I added 1/2 cup of honey and a about 1/4 cup of organic sugar that I have a vanilla bean in-for now-tastes really good.
I can see my grandma and mom making this on the back of the wood cook stove-as I can see this will take all morning to cook down.
Has anyone just made plum sauce? These plums have such a fantastic flavor, and they hold their color thru the cooking process-if I had lots more of these I would just make up sauce and can it.
We have discovered a couple wild plum patches, that we will be checking out when they get ripe-gotta get them before all the wildlife does. If those have a good flavor I just may do that-make sauce.
Sea how is your plum butter doing?

Around 3 pm or so, I decided plum sauce it is-lol--tastes fabulous and will be delicious over all kinds cakes, ice creams, waffles and such. It did reduce and thicken up to a really nice sauce-just didn't want to go another 6 or 8 hours reducing down to butter.
I think we will use this more as a sauce too. Ended up with 7 of those cute fat wide mouth-1/2 pint jars. Had a little left over to put in the frigerator too. Will try it over my ice cream tonight-
I didn't think of it til now, I should have taken a photo of the pot before I canned the sauce, it did reduce down about 3 inches from above pan-and the color is a deep plum-beautiful

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tomorrow-Plum Butter Makin

pkuI ended up with 23 pints of plums-nice addition to my canned fruit. Will take over several pints to the couple that gave me their fruit this week too.
I only canned the most perfect plums, so I ended up with a large pan full of slightly blemished plums. I have them all cut up and ready to cook down tomorrow.
I don't have all the ingredients for one of Sea's Plum Butter recipes, was thinking of making her recipe with earl grey tea, but decided on browsing the net too for ideas. I didn't want to buy anything to make this.
These are the recipes I liked: what I like about this one, is the additon of a vanilla bean the plum butter is further down the page on this one-I liked some of the ideas with this one.-suggested making a sauce to get rid of all the peels,(like when you make applesauce) or blend up well in a processor keeping the skins, and I like the idea of cooking it down thick, and then deciding how much sweetener and or spices to add in the end.
I am definately going to use a whole vanilla bean, add in some lemon juice, and then cook down til soft. I will decide tomorrow if I want to keep peels or not, and I am going with the idea of sweetening the butter after it has cooked down, so I can keep honey or sugar to a minimum. If it doesn't need much I may use the stevia in the raw packets.
keep ya posted tomorrow.

Plums Out of The Canner

This was a real treat to have plums to can, and these are so full of flavor. Awesome!
My syrup recipe for these: 1/2 cup light honey, 1 cup organic sugar, 12 cups water and a splash of lemon juice-I cold pack can-so the fruit is not total mush

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Doing a Little Hand Quilting This Week

I decided to hand quilt right next to the embroidery lines on this center panel, so it would be quilted but not take away from the goose
More photos and information on this special quilt here 

Rock Shower-Redo

The last few days, I have been putting rocks back up.
In my photo album for rock shower 2010, I put a link to the blog post that has a photo of what I had to take down and of what I did around the faucet area first part of July. This large area had to be taken down due to some bad mortar.
I haven't gotton back to this due to the canning, and I also needed to re focus.
The first photo is of the faucets angled up towards the top-so you can see how much more needs to be done-should go pretty fast now, once I fill in this faucet area.
and the next photos are of the faucet area I just redid, and below it
Progress!! Yeh! Progress is always a good thing here in my world. lol

A Little Doings Here and Results of my Chocolate Mint Jelly

Yesterday early afternoon a big rainstorm came thru, and lasted several hours. That must have been what some of the pressure was in the air for me. We really needed the rain so am always happy when it arrives-Didn't cool us down afterwards, but that's ok, we got a a little relief from the heat. We may get more today.
I was really anxious about my jelly yesterday-kept checking it every couple of hours. This morning it still is not set up firm like jelly should be, rather it looks to me like a thickened jellied sauce-lol I don't want to open up a jar yet, will wait til I have a dessert I can use it on-and then will give you another update. I know when I tasted it before I canned it-was delicious!
Before I added the cocoa, I did a search online and could not find anything about using cocoa in a jam or jelly for canning. This may have set up better by using sugar and regular pectin-don't know. I do really love the color, so I know I will find a use for it-but would have been cool if it had set up more firm. So don't really know what the problem was for it not to set---not enough acid, didn't boil long enough-though I don't think that was it, or cocoa is a problem to jel and can. Also the no sugar pectin method is a little trickier to accomplish-but this is the first recipe that did not work this summer for me.
I think if I try this again though, cause I still will be making these with no sugar, will find some chocolate extract to bring out the chocolate, or perhaps a chocolate liqueur to steep the mint in, or as Sea suggested a good wine as the liquid base and steep the mint in there. Sounds good-don't ya think?? I know one of the farmgirls I have met for the jam and jelly swap cans alot of jellies using different wines and herbs, or different fruit juices and herbs-so your imagination is the limit.
Yesterday I didn't really feel good, I knew if I read I would just fall asleep-which I didn't want to blow the day doing, so I thought-ya know I have a quilt on the frame-I will see if I can do that for a bit.-Went great-and I quilted for several hours. I have the large goose in the middle of the quilt almost finished now-next up is to mark lines around the goose. Once the large panel in the middle is completed I can go back to the little fun quilts on the sides.
I was going to take a couple photos, but no battery-sigh.
I didn't want to take away from the embroidery of the goose, so I decided to quilt right next to the embroidery stitches; that way it will be quilted but you can't see my stitches.-Love it so far.
This morning, I am really stiff-from the quilting probably, so after my walk with Nikita, will definately try to work on some rocks.
What are you all doing this tuesday morning??
I may be back later for a post on canning chicken, I have a recipe my Mom gave me years ago from her one of her amish neighbors-is something they can alot of.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chocolate Mint Jelly

from here
I am in the experimenting mood this morning with this jelly. The chocolate mint herb tea I made yesterday was real intense with the flavors-and I wanted that. However, I still wanted to bring out the chocolate a bit more.
I did add the juice and zest from one organic lemon, but I thought it still needed a bit more acid, (cause of what I had in mind to add next) so I added an 1/8 cup of white wine vinegar to have plenty of acid without taking away the mint flavor.
added in the no sugar pectin-bringing to a hard boil.
While waiting for this to boil, I then added a bit of almond extract-still didn't bring out the chocolate enough, so I am thinking why couldn't I add a big tablespoon of darkest cocoa that I get from the amish store? What do I have to lose really except a box of pectin cost wise, if it doesn't set up? I am not sure if I will get a grainy texture-but I won't know til I make it-soooo thats what I did, and it now has a gorgeous color and flavor-and I haven't added the sweetening to it yet.

updates soon-

The jelly is in the canner-I can not begin to tell you how delicious this is. Thanks to Deb I added a couple good sprinkles of cinnamon, and that was just what it needed. I love the bit of white wine vinegar in this too. When I added in the stevia packets-I used the stevia in the raw brand-love it-which is pure stevia mixed in with the carrier sugar-and I used 5 packets-the sweet just brought all the flavors together.
I wish I would have thought to use the stevia before, much cheaper to use and the stevia goes a long way-don't need much.
Now if this doesn't seperate, turn out grainy, and sets up-I got a winner! lol Would be an awesome sauce over desserts. and the color is gorgeous with this very dark cocoa I used-photos soon

Oh and another tip, yesterday and today, I am just short of totally filling the 4th 8 ounce jar-I think some of the liquid must cook off as it comes to a boil, and as it thickens-so I need to remember to add in another 1/8 cup liquid for these jellies

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Little Recap on my No sugar pectin-Mint Jellies

My lemon balm jelly has set up pretty firm already, really happy about that. I spent about an hour searching the net for more mint jelly recipes. Most are the same; using lots of sugar, vinegar and lemon, or just lemon, or variations of vinegar-white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar along with lemon or not.
I picked a big bunch, probably 2 cups, of chocolate mint. This mint is much stronger than the lemon balm. I placed in a pan and then poured 4 cups of boiling water all over, put the lid on, and let it steep for several hours. I just strained it out and it is a very dark color and you can really taste and smell the mint-that's what I wanted.
Decided to put in the frig. and will make the jelly tomorrow morning. The no pectin box uses 4 cups of liquid (or fruit for jams) so that's why I made 4 cups of the mint tea.
I am going to use the stevia in the raw again for the sweetening, and will use one lemon-it's juice and zest, no vinegar.
What do you all like to make with your mint jellies? Diana just gave me a great idea, she makes the thumbprint cookies and uses the chocolate mint jelly for the center-I love that!
I am very happy with my no sugar pectin jams and jellies this year, they are fun to make too.

Lemon Balm Jelly

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have never attempted to make an herb jelly. I had some nice lemon balm so thought I would make a batch.
I read several recipes online, and for us, most of these just have too much sugar in the recipe for our use. So this was also another challenge for the no sugar pectin.
This is the recipe with Ball using the sugar, regular pectin, and apple juice as a base I like the idea of the apple juice as a base in these herb jellys, or even white grape juice might be nice too.
and from my no sugar pectin instructions:
1. prepare the juice, or infuse herbs in boiling water
2. prepare the jars and canner
3. combine juice with lemon juice, add in the no sugar pectin, bring to a boil that can not be stirred down.( these recipes are based on 4 cups total liquid.)
4. add sugar, splenda, or honey bring back to a hard boil for one minute-can
Here is a recipe from one of the farmgirls: she has been making lots of herb jellys too from her herbs.
and then online, I forgot to mark where I got the recipe, I found this one, which I went with, and adapted cause I liked the idea of also adding back in some fresh herbs to the jelly. and used the method from the no pectin box-above
Lemon Balm Jelly
1 3/4 cups fine chopped lemon balm-reserve a 1/4 cup to add back in later ( I did not do a fine chop)
1 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar I used 5 packets of stevia in the raw
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar-I almost did not use this, and I kinda wish I didn't, but I used 1/2 cup and I would probably only add 1/4 cup or none at all next time, or I would use a wine vinegar which I did have on hand too
2 tablespoons lemon juice-I still had some organic lemons, so I zested it and added it all in, and I used all the juice from the one lemon-nice addition
1 bottle of pectin-I used my no sugar pectin
Bring water to a boil and pour over 1 1/2 cup of fresh herbs Let steep 30 minutes. (after 30 minutes I didn't think the tea was strong enough, so I brought it back to a simmer, turned off the heat, put on the lid and let steep for another half hour or so.
Strain into pan
Combine the mint liquid, vinegar, lemon and water to a boil-I measured all the liquids to total 4 cups.
This recipe says to boil for 2 minutes, stir constantly and remove from heat, stir in the pectin, add in reserved mint. and can
I followed the no pectin instructions, so I added the powedered pectin to all the liquids brought it to a boil slowly. I also had the reserved lemon balm in there and the lemon rind. This takes about 10 minutes or longer.
I then added in the stevia packets-brought it back to a hard boil-tasted it-very good actually, and canned, processed in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
I used 8 ounce jars, was just about a 1/2 inch short of jelly in the 4th jar, but canned it anyways-and will use first.
This definately is not a really pretty jelly, but I just don't want to add in food coloring. and If I use these as base in glazes for meats I wouldn't want it to have any added colors to it.
These no sugar pectin jams and jellys will take 24 to 48 hours to set up-everything I have made this year has set up really nice.

A Nice Morning Here in the Ozarks-herb jelly

A beautiful, cooler morning today. We had a nice rain come thru last night, and we have chances of more rain today too-and temps in the 80s-how nice-first real relief in the weather in over a month.
Need to enjoy this, cause hotter temps with heat indexes returning all next week again-Oh well, I keep reminding myself-this is summer after all.
A good day for me to catch up on domestic stuff, and I have been wanting to try making some herb jellies. I have never thought of doing this before, but over on my jam and jelly swap on MaryJanesFarm forum, several farmgirls are making lots of herb jellies-so I gotta try this out-lol Of course I will be experimenting with no sugar pectin. I have some lemon balm I have brewing now to use as my first herb jelly.
I found in the store the other day a new product-stevia in the raw. I love the organic sugar called sugar in the raw, and since this stevia product is only pure stevia and sugar-I bought a box. I have been using sun crystals which is also pure stevia and sugar, but this one has 5 calories and the stevia in the raw has no calories. Sooo I am thinking of using this for the sweetening in my lemon balm jelly-will keep you posted on how it comes out. I didn't want to use honey as they may change the flavor too much, and I am out of agave.
also for diabetics there is just so much written controversy over the use of agave that I don't want to use it alot.
I don't remember using herb jelly before, but I think these could be nice as a glaze over meats. Anyways if this sets up for me, I will make some chocolate mint jelly as well.
Have any of you made these? and if you do, how do you use them?
Wow! this is neat-I was searching online for a photo of lemon balm jelly and I ran into this tutorial on how to make it I won't be using all that sugar, and I won't be adding the food coloring but alot of photos here with a recipe
and this is an excellent article all about lemon balm
now here is a neat recipe from Emeril for an herb jelly that you would make and use fresh-not can-uses gelatin check bottom of article for recipe here
Enjoy your Sunday!

Art Sundays Vegetables

My "something else" blog featuring vegetables in art
This site does not allow copy and paste--here is a painting of radishes
This is an artist that does paintings with vegetables-very different
Painting of tomatoe halves

found this painting on the first link here
a really nice still life of garden veggies here
I really like this one too
Vilmorin, The vegetable garden 1
and this is a book of plates painted in the 1800s-more here

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zucchini Bread Out of the Oven

Now to let it finish cooling, and see how it turned out

Good Morning Saturday

I got a couple fresh zucchini from a neighbor, so have been wanting to make a zucchini bread, either early or late in the day-due to the hot weather here.
Only one zucchini was good, veggies not too good here with the extreme temps, but was just enough for one recipe.
I am baking in the mini angel food cake pan my Mom gave me last year-the pan I use now for these types of breads. They bake up so much nicer-and never raw in the middle or over done on the outside edges.
Photo is of the bread ready to go in the oven, will update with "baked" photo-lol
I adapted a recipe from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. ( I love their cookbooks)
Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour, or white (pastry) whole wheat flour I used spelt flour
1 cup unbleached bread flour I used my gluten free flour mix (see my recipes)
3/4 cup sugar I used 1/4 organic sugar and 1/2 cup splenda (baking for diabetic)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt I omit
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg I also added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs I used farm fresh eggs
3/4 cup milk I used unsweetened Silk Soymilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil I used very light olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts I used very fine unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease 9x5 inch loaf pan
Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg in large bowl
Whisk the eggs, milk, oil in small bowl.
Stir into the dry ingredients until just evenly moistened
Stir in the zucchini, raisins, walnuts, zest.
Pour into prepared pan
Bake 1 hour. Check the top if its wet looking and wobbles when you touch it, tent the bread loosely with foil and bake until it tests clean in the center about 10 to 15 minutes more
remove the bread from oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. place on rack to finish cooling.

I am going to serve this with cream cheese, and fresh fruit I have a bowl of sliced peaches, fresh blueberries, rainier cherries with a touch of honey stired in.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Herbs Preserving

How do you like to preserve your home grown herbs for later use?
I have dried alot of my herbs-mostly for teas, and I dry some like thyme that I really like to use in the dried form, but lately I have been just freezing my herbs.
I just rinse them, let them dry off, and then place in freezer bags, they are wonderful to use later in cooking.
Some informative links on preserving herbs:,default,pg.html lots of tips here excellent information here, not included in other links
Herbs photo from here

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicken and Blueberries

Chicken & Blueberry Pasta Salad Recipe
Sea has me thinking about blueberries: found this for chicken and blueberries on Eating Well:
Chicken & Blueberry Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli or radiatore
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool. Shred into bite-size strips.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, about 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, place oil and shallot in a small skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to brown, 2 to 5 minutes. Add broth, feta and lime juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the feta begins to melt, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken to the bowl with the pasta. Add the dressing, blueberries, thyme, lime zest and salt and toss until combined.
found here

Kathy's Tofu Macaroni Garden Salad

This dish turned out sooo tasty I wanted to share what I did.
I also made do and used up what I had-love that too.
Kathy's Tofu Macaroni Garden Salad (just made this up just now-lol)
One package organic extra firm tofu
Brown Rice macaroni-I didn't measure-had 1/2 bag left so used it up
I used up fresh veggies I had in the frig-2 mini cabages-sliced and seperated, a handful of small fresh broccoli with leaves, sliced up, a bit of celery sliced, 1/2 fresh green pepper sliced
Newmans olive oil and vinegar dressing, Newmans caesar dressing
While you are cooking the pasta (acutally what I do now is bring the water to a boil, add pasta, put lid on, when comes to a boil again, turn of the heat, depending on size of pasta let sit for 15-20 minutes, stop cooking by straining and run cold water over) cut the tofu in cubes and place in bowl.
I had just a little left, maybe a 1/4 cup of the oil and vinegar dressing and poured that all over the tofu-it will absorb the flavors and the dressing.
add all the raw veggies, add drained cooled down pasta, and I had about a 1/4 cup left of the caesars dressing so poured that on top-toss well-chill-enjoy. The caesar dressing gives this a nice "bite" to it.
Happy Summer-enjoy!

I'm Making Up an Assortment of Salads

Decided this morning to make up several salads. When it's this hot neither one of us feels like eating, Larry sleeps alot so then I don't cook a meal-not good.

Got a few fresh cucumbers and with a couple of my tomatoes that I have been able to pick, sliced those up into balsamic vinegar. Next up someone gaves us two dozen small eggs-problem was they got the fresh from hard boiled ones mixed up. After finding one hard boiled and three fresh-I decided to just boil them all easier that way-less stress.

So with fresh hard boiled eggs I made up a big bowl of potatoe salad, and kept about a dozen eggs to eat hard boiled in the frig-those are a good quickie protein on a hot day too.

Next up I have some tofu I haven't used up yet, bought when Larry went on his hunting trip, but came home early, so that needs to get used and Larry won't eat tofu-lol. So I am boiling up some rice macaroni, will dice up this firm tofu and throw in with it, maybe a little cheese I bought from the amish store, and toss it with some newmans dressings that need to get used up. With this extreme heat, fresh veggies are scarse here, so may look for some frozen veggies to throw in too.

I also made up a big fruit salad with nectarines, peaches, grapes, tossed it up with a bit of honey and poured a little left over pineapple juice I still have left over from canning and mixed it up, I think I will go out and grab a snip of chocolate mint that Deb sent me a cutting for last year, and throw that in with the fruit too..

I still need to cook the meat I took out last night but didn't fix, but I think we are good to go for a few days now.

This will give me a little creative time too, I want to finish up a card I am working on today.

Stay cool

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Banana Jam Out of the Canner

I would definitely make this recipe again, it carmalizes and just taste sooo good. On previous post, I set up a link to the recipe. I just updated on the recipe what my changes were when I made this.
I can definitely see this used in lots of dessert applications

Busy Morning Already

I got a batch of peach brandy going this morning, and then I decided to make up a batch of the banana jam I posted
We can't do all that sugar, so I am experimenting this morning, will let you know how it turns out. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of sugar, I am using a cup of honey and sorgham mixed-mostly honey. Will see how it cooks down, and may need to add a box of the no sugar pectin.
Good morning Sunday

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Art Sunday More Garden Art

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

Garden Visitor Tonight-While Watering

What caught my attention to him, is that he is such a gorgeous green color. I don't know why he is in this pot. It is one of those tall tubes that I am using for veggie planters, this one has pole beans in it.

Sharing my "Mailart"

Over on MaryJanesFarmgirl forum, I joined a couple of the swaps. One of them is the monthly mailart. We get assigned a different partner each month, and we just make something fun and pretty, pop it in the mail, so we get mailart instead of just bills and junk mail-lol
and the inside of card
I have never worked with paper before, I have been making cards with fabric or leathers, so I see a new craft to learn-lol This looks like fun, I don't do the scrapbooks, but this looks similiar so I will be on the lookout now for some little papers to use.
Still heat wave here, missed the storms again last night, got alot of wind and about 5 minutes of little rain is all.
I had worked on pulling weeds for about 3 hours early this morning, been lazy the rest of the day-lol Need to check my peaches tonight and see if any are ready for peach brandy.
Enjoy your weekend

My partner just uploaded my card, I forgot to take photos so glad she did. I used a little vintage fabric, reproduction vintage, sun dyed, rust dyed, lavender from my garden-just fun!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back from the Amish Area

Left early this morning with my neighbor, to pick up her rainer cherries at the amish store, and also to check out the peaches.

Worked out nice, as the peach man was just pulling in when we got there. I just needed a small bag this time for eating and to make up a batch of peach brandy. I also bought a huge homegrown muskmellon, and another black diamond yellow watermelon-those are sooo good. I also bought a dozen of fresh ears of corn for eating. Sandy needed a big box of peaches this time for canning.

Off to the amish store and our favorite amish lady with the big garden for homegrown veggies. I picked up a big bag of beets, little bag of new potatoes, fresh green beans, and some baby cabbages. Sandy picked up some fresh veggies too. I am thinking in the crock pot tonight putting in some thick slices of ham, the fresh green beans, and new potatoes for dinner tonight-easy and will keep the heat down in the kitchen.

At the store, I was hoping they would have the tub of no sugar gel or pectin for fillings and jams but they didn't have. But what I did find was an assortment of bottles of balsamic vinegars, organic red wine vinegars, and a fig, a blueberry, and a pomegrante balsamic vinegar. at .90 up to 1.59 a bottle of course I had to buy one of each. I also found red quinoa for .88 for a pound so bought a couple of those.

By the time we finished up, made one more stop-the temp. was back into the high 90s again. We never got our rain or cool down, so I am back to watering my veggies everyday, and pretty much just staying inside where the a/c is.

I am caught up right now on my canning, so can now catch up with laundry, cleaning house, and perhaps even back on the rock shower. I am hoping to run into some pickling cucumbers and canning tomatoes next.

We also saw an ad in the paper for a u pick blueberry farm. I wouldn't think those would still be availble, expecially in this no rain and heat wave we are having, but we may check that out monday, cause we need to find a location for next year especially, and Sandy doesn't have any more blueberries.

What are you all up to this weekend??

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Long Canning Day Today

After I finished up my outdoor "chores", I checked my peaches and they were perfect for canning.
I have been wanting to try out a pie filling to can, but really haven't found a good recipe. I went thru my collected paper files, and came across one I copied several years ago. I also had found a container of a no sugar gel that I had bought at the amish store last year.
This recipe was alot of work, and I still don't know yet if it is all going to "gel" til the jars really cool down. They look pretty in the jars, and if they don't get real thick, that will be fine too, cause I can thicken up the liquid with tapioca when I use it. Thought these would be good for cobblers, or over waffles, even upside down cakes..
I won't share the recipe til I know it worked or not, I had to adjust some things like the sugar content for one, and ended up with 4 quarts instead of 6.
I am hoping we get the break in the heat wave tomorrow like the weather guys have been predicting, it is soooo hot here not even safe to be outside.
I decided I needed the exercise a bit ago and walked down the drive to check the mail-about 1/2 mile-and no mail-and I am hot now-lol
A huge thank you to my friend Zusiqu, who helped me figure out the code to put a button link to MaryJanesFarm on my right sidebar-I really do appreciate that, cause I could not figure it out-lol
I am really loving it over there on the forum, lots of friendly farmgirls there. Swaps to participate in, recipes to share-a really nice place to hang out-"over the fence" and chat.
Hubby took a nap due to the heat, and is still sleeping, so haven't really thought of whats for dinner yet- later

fabric giveaways

at the quilt nook   go here

little mis shabby go here

just for you   go here

I Made the Blackberry Cobbler This Morning

I used the recipe in the second link from my blackberry cobbler blog, with my gluten free flour mix. Instead of water I used the pineapple juice I had left over from canning the pineapple, reduced the sugar a bit and used organic sugar and splenda (using splenda cause hubby has diabetis), and where it said to use lemon juice, cause of the pineapple, I used 1 tablespoon and the rest water. Delicious recipe.
I baked it in my westbend slow cooker, so the top did not brown up, but did cook thru nice.
Another high heat index day-already too hot out there, but got busy fixing up the fruit for another batch of blackberry peach jam. So I need to take Nikita for her walk before it is too hot for us to go out, water my veggies again-no rain yet, and then go thru my peaches and see how much I have ripe
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Best Sugar Free Jam Yet

I had alot of pineapple juice left over from canning my pineapple-mmmm is that ever tasty.

So since these recipes need a cup of juice, I decided to make my blackberry-peach jam with the pineapple juice, also added a little agave. Very delicious!! I need to make a second batch of this one. I ran out of the little jelly jars I just bought so went to my 1/2 pints.

I guess I have a couple batches with the blackberries-but we love these, and I don't need to freeze any this year, cause I still have enough in there from last year.

Blackberry Cobbler

Doesn't that sound good?

I have enough blackberries to make something like this, too hot for me to play with fire and bake outside, so now I need to decide if I really want to the oven on for a bit-I really have had a taste for this.

I have standby recipe I use for this, and just use my gluten free mix in place of the flour, but thought I would check online first

Here are some links gluten free cobblers: I like the tapioca in this one

Blackberry Cobbler

photo from here

I need to check back on yesterdays posts, cause Sis Trish posted a couple recipes too. This may need to wait til early tomorrow morning when its cooler-but then again----

I am Filling Up One of the Dehydrators

I think I will be staying inside with a/c next couple of days

Here is our weather advisory




Sooo, I need to get outside pretty soon and water my veggie plants, take Nikita for a walk, might pick a few blackberries to eat and then need to start working up my peaches. I think I will make up a batch of peach brandy, put some in the dehydrator, and perhaps another jam. I am in a homemade jam swap with the farmgirls on MaryJanes so want a couple varities of jams

I finished canning the pineapple yesterday-they always look so pretty in the jars, and I cut up a huge yellow diamond watermelon-those are sooo good with this kind of heat. If I didn't already have some pickled watermelon rind on the shelf, this is the perfect melon to make that with.

They sent my Mom home already; which my brother and I were surprised they did so soon; since she lives alone on a farm. So need to check in and see how she is doing now-she sounded pretty good on the phone yesterday.

I went to a specialist to review my knee yesterday. My family doctor took these excellent xrays-the new machines are amazing-he showed me the arthritis and he thought like I did, I would be good with just another shot to keep the swelling down. However, when I drove in yesterday-someone forgot to make sure this doctor had the films-they wanted to just take another set of xrays-and I said "why? the set that was taken are fine, and why would my insurance pay for them twice" Oh they usually do she says-and I said no, I will reschedule and come in when you get the films-why waste money?? so thats where I am at with that. of course the doctor is going on vacation so won't be back in til august.

It's 76 degrees and humid outside already-so off to do my stuff outdoors-catch ya all later.

Happy Hump Day---anyone making anything homemade??

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicken and Agave

I really love the taste of agave, very mild and very very sweet-so a little goes along way

From Whole Foods Market--I love their recipes

Broiled Chicken Breasts with Sesame and Agave

Serves 4

These tempting chicken breasts are moist, tender and perfectly flavored with sesame oil and agave nectar. Broiling is a worthy cooking option, especially when the weather doesn't encourage outdoor grilling.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos, or more to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 bone-in chicken breast halves with skin
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Ingredient option: use tamari soy sauce instead of Bragg's Aminos if you do not require a gluten-free version.


Heat broiler to high.

Place chicken breasts, skin side down, in glass baking dish. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, agave nectar, tamari and sesame oil. Place a spoonful of sauce on each piece of chicken.

Broil 20 minutes about 8 to 10 inches away from the heat source, checking periodically to make sure chicken is not burning.

Turn chicken over. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Top each chicken breast with remaining sauce. Broil another 20 minutes, watching carefully and basting as needed so chicken skin does not burn*.
Sprinkle chicken with sesame seeds and continue to broil another minute or two, watching carefully.
*If chicken skin gets too dark and begins to burn, simply turn off broiler and turn oven on to 450�F. Bake chicken until done, sprinkling sesame seeds on for the last 5 minutes of cooking

Chili-rubbed agave chicken here

and I found mustard agave chicken here

photo of blue agave plant

photos found on google

More Kitchen "Doings" Early This Morning

These are the no sugar jams I made from the fruits in the previous blog post. Only sweetening I used was a little agave and let the fruits sit over nite to make their own juices. I added a little pat of butter to the peach jam to cut the foam. I am happy so far with this process-I followed pretty much the directions I gave for the blackberry-mango jam.
Off to take a break and give Nikita a walk, and then need to see if I have more pineapples ready to can, and decided what I want to make with the peaches.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Photos of my Kitchen "Doings" Today

Home canned pineapple-I really love this treat.
fruits making juice for jams-will make with no sugar, first one has blueberries, plums, pineapple, apple, peaches. The second one is all peaches


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