Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe Friday - Tomato Sauce

As promised here is how I make and can my tomato sauce.

Gather all the tomatoes you have, these are a combination from my garden and the CSA. (I saved the cherry tomatoes for salads)

Cut into quarters (or more), removing the hard center if necessary.

Place into a large stockpot.

Using a hand blender, roughly puree just to release some liquid to start the cooking. If you don't have a hand blender, puree using either your blender or food processor.

Allow to simmer over medium low heat until the tomatoes begin to break down, about an hour. Puree well and continue to cook over low to medium low heat until the sauce is at your desired consistency.

As the day wore on I forgot to continue taking pictures of the canning process. But I fill my quart jars and process at 10 psi for 10 minutes in my pressure canner. I use a pressure canner to avoid adding an acid to my sauce, I don't think it tastes right with lemon juice or vinegar added.

Here's the final result.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

I'm a week late with this post. Last Friday I was made aware of a fellow bloggers personal tragedy through this post. This woman lost her husband and requested that the blogging community make peanut butter pies as a memorial to her husband and to remind us to love on those closest to us.

After reading her post, there was no way I was going to not make a pie (even if it was a little late). In the spirit of loving on people I unselfishly let Ladybug help me make this, despite the mess. She had a blast and because we made it before bed she kept asking while we were reading if the pie was ready yet. She even woke up the next morning asking for pie.

The pictures are horrible but the pie was great.

Peanut Butter Pie

1 graham cracker crust (I would normally make this but I was short on time)

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups peanut butter (creamy)

1 cup powdered sugar

3 oz semi sweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

Whip cream and sugar together, set aside. Cream peanut butter and powdered sugar, then fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust and chill 1 hour.

Heat 1 cup cream to steaming then stir in chocolate until melted. Let cool then pour over pie. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


If you want Ladybug to eat something, just tell her Butterbean likes it. And boy did she like it!

The bone finally fell off of her tray and Chase was very quick to snatch it up. Butterbean was not happy with him.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Monday

I'm still feeling out this whole practice in the evenings thing so planning is helping but doesn't always get followed.

This week we will be having:

Monday - Smoked Chicken Quarters and Stuffing
Tuesday - (practice 6:30-7:30) Burritos
Wednesday - Beans, Hot Dogs and Quinoa
Thursday - (practice 6:30 - 7:30) Sandwich wraps
Friday - Grilled Mahi Mahi with peppers and onions
Saturday - Lasagna (making pizza pockets for freezer, plus extra lasagna)
Sunday - Hamburgers (making empanadas for freezer)

Still looking for ideas for extra potatoes or creative (fast) recipes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

CSA Sunday (Box #12)

Apparently the hens are laying again as we received 2 dozen eggs this week. This was a good sized box and the only thing we don't like is the okra.

Included this week:

  • 2 dz eggs

  • Zucchini

  • Red peppers

  • Banana peppers

  • Okra

  • Eggplant

  • Green Beans

  • Tomatoes

  • Potatoes

  • Roasted Red peppers (canned)

  • Picante Sauce (canned)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe Friday - Rainbow Cupcakes

In keeping with the rainbow theme for Ladybug's birthday this year, I took rainbow cupcakes to school for her after lunch.

So how exactly do you make a rainbow cupcake? Easy!

Divide your cake batter into thirds and then color one third blue, another third yellow and the last third red. Spoon about a tablespoon of each color into the cups and bake as normal.

Ladybug says that they taste great but next year I think I'll just fill the cupcake liners with frosting - almost none of the kids in her class at the cake!

Now for the easiest and tastiest buttercream frosting:

Buttercream Frosting

2 cups butter or shortening or 1 cup of each*

1 tsp salt

2 tsp flavoring of your choice

1 cup water

3-4 pounds of powdered sugar

Cream butter/shortening, salt and flavoring until very smooth. Add sugar and water alternately. Once everything is incorporated beat on medium speed for 8 minutes. Frosting will be very soft at this point. Let chill for 10 minutes before using.

*Note - frosting will hold up better outside of the refrigerator if there is more shortening than butter but will taste better with more butter. Please balance your priorities accordingly.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Three years ago today Chris and I went from a couple to a family.

Three years ago today we became parents.

Three years ago today the world became a brighter place to be.

Three years ago today we were given one of God's angels to look after for a time.

Three years ago today ...

Today ...

Today she is three.

Today she is full of life and love.

Today she is still God's angel.

Today she is (one of) the biggest blessing of our lives.

I can't believe that it has been three years already. She has changed and grown so much (and so have we) and blessed us in too many ways to number. She has stayed true to her personality from the beginning - determined, strong-willed and sensitive. We wouldn't have her any other way!

Happy Birthday Ladybug.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Party Time

Ladybug's birthday party was over the weekend and she had a blast. This years theme- Rainbows. So basically I just got to use a lot of different colors and call it a theme.

Food - Corn dogs, fruit (strawberries, green grapes, blueberries), chips and dip, Lemonade and Sweet Tea

A moonbounce for the kids, Ladybug could hardly be convinced to get out to open presents and have cake. She loved it!

Lots of fun presents to open.

And of course, a special cake just for her.

With a surprise inside! Her cake was such a hit that our niece requested one for her birthday.

It was a great day and I think Ladybug had a lot of fun, I know she slept well that night!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan

Menus are going to be my saving grace over the next few weeks. Ladybug has cheerleading practice from 6:30-8 Tuesdays and Thursdays and Chris has football practice 6-8 Monday through Friday. This means that i am having to come up with dinners that are both good for us and can be eaten in the car to and from practice.

This week I'm not as prepared as i would like to be but I do have a plan to do some freezer cooking over the weekend to help with grab and go meals.

Monday - Polish Sausage, Pirogi, peppers and onions
Tuesday - Meat, Cheese and Fruit plates
Wednesday - BBQ, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw (this may change if Ladybug requests something special for her birthday)
Thursday - Leftovers/chicken nuggets, fruit and veggie sticks
Friday - Roasted Chicken and Veggies with Quinoa
Saturday - Steak, potatoes, salad
Sunday - Meatloaf, Mashed potatoes, broccoli

Any hints on quick meals for the car?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

CSA Sunday (Box # 11)

No pictures this week as I forgot with all the birthday craziness. Here's what we got:

Red and Green Peppers
Butter beans
Green Beans

We have become inundated with potatoes, so any suggestions would be great for what to do with them!