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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Felted pouches

I had some solar hot water left over this afternoon and decided to use it for the wool pouches I made a long time ago.

I used brown sheep nature spun for the pink one and brown sheep  Lamb's pride for the brown one. I had not used Lamb's pride for feel felting before and I  have to say I still prefer the nature spun.

I only felt by hand so that may make a difference. All I know is that I'm wore out from those pieces!

After they dry, I'll weave in ends, attach handles and embellish. I wish I had some felting needles or a punch embroidery tool.

Oh well, I'll just hand embroider them instead. Not sure who they will go to when I'm done. Better work on just getting them done first.

Cowboy candy review

I couldn't stand the suspense any longer so I opened up a jar of the cowboy candy i made last week. I tried one straight out of the jar plain and it was delicious! Now I can't wait to eat some with food. It was a bit spicy at first but didn't linger like I thought it would.  I wanted to see what I thought of it before i made a dozen or more jars.  :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ice cream in a blender

My beloved surprised me today with a blender. I've been wanting one for awhile. It's a 14 speed Oster blender with a glass jug, not plastic. It looks similar to this. I have to be extra careful with it that it doesn't break, but I'm glad that it's not plastic. Now I can chop, dice and pulverize hot jalapeno peppers and then make ice cream later in the day.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time and finally tried it. 

It was delicious! No added sugar, dairy free, yum! yum! I would have taken a picture, but I was gobbling it up too fast. Maybe next time!

The homemade vanilla in it made it taste really good.

I'm looking forward to fall now so I can make big batches of butternut squash soup- thai style. This is the recipe I plan to try. I had some once at a relative's house and it was delicious.

I think this recipe also sounds yummy. Cream of broccoli soup with coconut milk instead of regular. I can't wait for soup weather!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sweet Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

When I had Nick plant me some Goliath Jalapeno peppers, I had it in my mind I would make these, or something similar. Thank goodness, he only planted me one plant as we've had more than our fair share of these giant peppers. But since I am not eating dairy anymore, I have been trying to figure out what to do with the excess peppers.

I dehydrated several trays worth early on in the harvest of them. And I've been making batches and batches of raw and cooked salsa. We decided we like cooked salsa the best.

This week though I decided I wanted to try something called Cowboy candy. A friend of mine suggested it a few year's back, but for one reason or another, I never made them. So, since I had collected a nice size bunch of peppers, I decided to try it out. I just wanted some to store in the refrigerator though and not go through the whole canning procedure. It's been way too hot for that!

Looking through the recipes, the ingredients called for spices I didn't have on hand and was already halfway done chopping the peppers at that point. So, I improvised. I basically used my zucchini relish bring recipe. I also didn't want to make a huge batch of these since I'm the only one eating them.

Here's how I made mine:

I chopped up jalapeno peppers 1/4 inch thick and set aside in a bowl of water. Sprinkled canning salt on top and let them sit, while I prepared the brine. It equaled to 5 cups of peppers.

Then, I mixed 1 cup cider vinegar and 2 cups of sugar in a large stockpot and added 1 teaspoon pickling spice to the mixture.

After that I rinsed the salt off and let the seeds float to the top and poured as much of them out as I could. I find now that I'm older I can't stand the heat of peppers as much as I could when I was younger.

Next, I boiled the vinegar and spice mixture for 2 minutes. Then, I added the drained and rinsed peppers to the pot and let them boil for 8-10 minutes. I scooped the peppers out and put them in one pint jar and one half pint jar. Then, added the brine to the top of the jar and let cool. Into the fridge they went. I had a tiny bit of brine leftover which I ate on some ham for lunch. It was delicious!

I haven't tried the peppers yet (will in a few days) but will let you know how they turned out.

I can't wait to try them!

On a side note- I visited a new kitchen store in a nearby town and they had samples of their candied jalapeno peppers. (I imagine mine will taste similar) They served theirs on crackers. They were delicious! It would have been better with cream cheese, but oh well...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zucchini brownies aka chocloate banana bread :-)

I made some yummy zucchini cake last week. Even my beloved tried some and liked it! Tonight I wanted to try a recipe for zucchini brownies, but when I went to get the recipe I couldn't find it. So, after searching for another one I came across a low fat version and surprisingly  had all the ingredients.

Here is the link to make it.

It's baking now...
Wish I thought to take a picture before they were gone... lol!

Update:
Can you see the picture on the link? Don't think for one minute that it will turn out like that. Now, don't get me wrong, these were delicious, and I will be making them again. But they don't really taste like brownies. It turns out more like a chocolate cake. Because of the bananas though, to us it tasted more like chocolate banana bread. I never would have thought that chocolate banana bread would be good, but oh my, it's delicious!

I'm filing these under my "dairy-free" label because they are a dessert I can now enjoy since I've gone dairy free.

If you've got a dairy free recipe, please share it with me!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Golden Ring

The Golden Ring by John Snyder is a book I checked out from the library. It is based on a true story.

It's about a nine year old girl and her father who are both having puzzling dreams about a golden ring. Read it to find out what the dream means and tell me what you think!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Papa's Angels

I rarely read fiction books. Mostly I read how-to books but the last few times I've been to the library I find myself wandering up and down the fiction aisles.

They say you can't judge a book by its cover but so far I've been pleased by my findings.

I just wander down an aisle and randomly pick up a book. So far all the books I've checked out have been good.

The book I read this week was called: Papa's Angels by Collin Wilcox Paxton and Gary Carden.

The watercolor pictures are nice to see and worth checking out the book for.

The book is about a family of seven who in the beginning of the book lose their mother due to an illness. The book is about the rest of the children and their Papa and how they find gladness in an otherwise sorrowful situation.

The book is written from a 12 year old's point of view, Becca.

Let me know what you think if you read it!

Dried tomatoes

I love snacking on dried tomatoes. They are sweet, salty and sour at the same time.

Coming to an end.

Well, summer is coming to an end. Soon, school will be starting and my beloved will be headed back to work. I'm looking forward to this fall because he won't be working so many hours. The past two years he's been gone for 12 hours. (every school day) That makes for a long day! It made me appreciate the weekends though and I did learn a lot while he was away. I've got a new perspective on several things.

I've been really pleased with the garden this year. Let me say first of all, that we don't grow a show garden. It isn't for looks, and probably won't win any awards. But it keeps us fed for the season and that makes me happy. We haven't had to buy any vegetables since spring and that saves a lot of money on the grocery budget.

I get amazed each time I pick a vegetable from the garden. To think we started with a seed in the ground and have fruit now to pick. Beloved and I picked green beans the other evening and filled up an ice cream bucket full and it was such a wonderful feeling!

I'm looking forward to the day we can stop buying meat from the grocery store. But that all takes time and for now I'm content.

I haven't done much sewing this summer. I think in the fall I'll drag my sewing machine back out and have some fun sewing days.

My knitting has sort of been put on hold right now too. I still occasionally crochet a shawl but not working on starting or finishing any extra projects right now. (besides the shawls I donate to the hospital)  I suppose when the weather gets cooler I may pull out my socks to knit.

There is coming a day when I'll get more serious about purging this home and freeing it of its non-necessities. I can feel it in the air, but it's not time yet. :-) But when that day comes, it will be a glorious one!

Veggie Chips

I am really loving my new dehydrator! I've been using it every other day drying zucchini, squash, tomatoes and okra.

I just hand slice it 1/4 inch thick and lay out on the trays. I salted and put lemon pepper on one batch, but found I prefer them plain. Except my okra, these I salt.

Today I dried some okra and added some garlic powder to them. I also cut and sliced some green beans and after blanching them, laid them to dry. I expect they'll get done tonight around 10 pm.  Oh, and I sliced up two yellow crooked neck squash too.

I wasn't sure when I bought my dehydrator if I should choose the 9 tray model or not. I thought about just getting the 4 or 5 tray one, but so glad I chose the larger tray version. So far, every time I've dried something I've ended up filling every single tray and then still having some leftover. Plus, when I rise my bread, I'll have plenty of space. I still hope to try some yogurt making too.

I've heard you can use the dried veggie chips to dip salsa into, but so far I've enjoyed just eating them as chips. They are so yummy! I love knowing that I'm just consuming dried vegetables, no preservatives and no chemicals!

I wondered when I got my dehydrator how much it would take to fill up. Well, yesterday I cut and sliced 6 large zucchni's and that filled up all 9 trays. For squash, I cut and sliced 12 of them and that filled up 9 trays.

When I dried some snack sized bell peppers, it took 33 and it left me with enough trays to dry a handful of Goliath jalapeno peppers.