No finished object this Friday. Just a mom battling a cold and trying to feed her family. I’m over germs and I’m ready for spring air and open windows. Today is brought to you by Hamburger helper and knitting while I “cook”. After a full day at work, blowing my nose 1,100 times this was the best I could muster. And Jellybean declared it “THE BEST DINNER EVER” because it takes like macaroni and cheese.
P.S. This is my mini solutions scarf. I’ll try to do a better blog post next week if I can manage. I’m on the fifth color and you guys really need to see this. It’s amazeballs!!
I’m on a kick of cleaning and using things from my pantry. I have a squirrel like habit to stash food items so that I have a stocked pantry and then constantly buy new items weekly at the store so I “don’t run out”. This kinda means I have a few boxes and cans that languish. Well that is silly! I did some scrounging for dinner the other night and managed to pull a spaghetti dinner out of my pantry without needing groceries.
While I was in there I found a box of hot roll mix. It was on the cusp of expiring and that just can’t happen. So I made a batch of non-uniform but still tasty cinnamon rolls. I got two thumbs up from everyone in the house. But between spaghetti and garlic toast for dinner and cinnamon rolls for dessert….Holy Carbohydrates Batman! I’m gonna need to walk this one off!!
P.S. Cream cheese icing was added after this photo. But they were devoured so quickly that I wasn’t able to snap a new photo!
When one has access to A) free babysitting and B) large volumes of tomatoes…..you make sauce!!! Here are my happy three pots of sauce bubbling away on the stove.
I only managed to burn myself once, spill a million times and actually finish the day with 20 pints of pure tomato goodness. My house uses this all the time instead of store bought sauce. Note: I don’t season my canned sauce. I prefer a blank canvas to be spiced up later.
How do you like your sauce?
Between keeping up with a two month old and doing some late summer traveling….we sorta lost track of some of our garden. Our tomatoes and bell peppers aren’t doing diddly squat and worms ate our jalapenos. But wowza our zucchini went nuts and we didn’t notice…..
Here’s my hand for scale….
These were too woody and tough to eat but we made a nice vegetable dice for the deer in the nearby woods, lol. And fingers crossed we can salvage some more produce yet this summer that isn’t ginormous.
Happy New Years to all! Now, maybe it was pregnancy in general or the fact that PB (the nickname I have given this fetus = picky baby) has rejected most things I have tried to eat lately……but I NEEDED rolled sugar cookies this holiday. It was just an irrational craving I could not kick.
I baked a batch two weeks before Christmas and then promptly got an upper respiratory virus and didn’t get anything done for 15 days. I was disappointed the cookies were stale by the time I was ready to frost them. So on Christmas weekend I baked a fresh batch and nabbed some buttercream and decorations from my Aunt Barb. And boy howdy did I go to town!
Everyone else cleared out to go to Ferdinand and I had three hours of peace and frosted quietness. My decorating skills leave something to be desired but the cookies were scrumptious and JUST what I wanted. The cookies didn’t last long either!
What was your holiday craving this year?
Yesterday I shared a funny from my Christmas present. Today was a gem my mom received from her sister….
This weekend my husband took Jellybean all by himself to the Kansas State Fair and to see his side of the family. You guys….just between you, me, and the blog….I haven’t had a weekend alone in my own house for THREE YEARS. Since before Jellybean was born, for real. I’ll let that sink in….and with the recent sleep jihad by Jellybean (we have been to a doctor and we all agree that he’s having legitimate allergy/sinus/bloody nose pain and issues….my baby has to have very minor surgery and it breaks my heart but it will help him and Lord knows we ALL need to sleep better)
But I digress, I had almost the whole weekend! Jellybean got me up multiple times between 4 and 7 am the night before so I decided to be industrious after they hit the road. I pulled seven or eight gallon bags of tomatoes frozen from our summer garden and started simmering tomato sauce. This is most the ingenious thing my grandma taught me. Since my tomatoes didn’t set enough at one time to make batches of sauce we freeze them in bags after being washed and de-stemmed. When you pull them out and dunk them in warm water the skins slough right off and the flesh can go right into the cook pot. There is no blanching or peeling….its amaze-balls!
It was hot and messy but in the end I made 3 1/2 pints of super hot jalapeno salsa for the hubby. And then 12 pints of plain tomato sauce for cooking. I’m sooo happy to be filling my pantry with these goodies for a fresh pick me up mid-winter!
I did a fair bit of knitting as well while the sauce was simmering. I’ll show you that later this week….stay tuned!
I have the good fortune of making friends who happen to have cool jobs. My friends from my grad school days opened a winery about 5 years ago. Its Prairie Fire Winery located on I-70 west of Topeka. They make all their wine from only Kansas grown grapes. And last weekend they hosted a grape harvest event and I scored a ticket! Thought I would share a few photos from the event. Salud!
White wine sangria….mmm
Flint Hills view
Me sweaty after harvest
The lovely grapes
A robins nest tucked in the vines
The happy group!
My husband and I have been taking turns in the garden this summer. Okay, to be fair he’s done most of the work because Jellybean has been in a “mommy only” phase that has absorbed most of my time. But this morning I snuck out before Jellybean woke up and picked these beauties.
We planted basil, tomatoes, jalapenos, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and onions. All but the onions are thriving! I believe we will either have BLTs or fresh chunky garden salsa for supper tonight!
I had some rare toddler free time thanks to the miracle that is a friends sleepover. I decided to put my butt in gear! I harvested fresh basil from the garden and made some yummy pesto! I froze this batch into little discs to pull out this winter.
And I picked five lbs of apples for making jelly. I was a little disappointed that after cooking I only got four cups of juice when the jelly recipe called for seven. Jam and jelly require precise measuring so I had to fudge a little and used some of apple sauce pulp mixed with some purified water to get to seven cups of liquid. The jelly is very cloudy as a result and set very very firm. I’m definitely going to taste this before sharing with anyone…
I had been cleaning out the freezer and found four gallon sized bags of last years tomatoes. I decided to cook them down into sauce. I managed to get eight whole pints!
The house was very warm all day and I ended up running the dishwasher three times but it was very nice to stock my pantry and feel like I accomplished something off my list!