Monday, July 25, 2011

First Tomatoes and Cheap, Fabulous Dinner

Today I picked about 25 little cherry tomatoes from the garden.  I have several small varieties planted so I carried in a beautiful array of tasty little tomatoes.  Here is a picture of them, halved.

The crazy weather (heavy rains and high winds) have taken their toll on my garden, but the tomatoes are still robust as ever.  The basil was begging to be picked, too, so I brought in a bowlful for pesto making.  Here is my pesto recipe:

After making the pesto, my only task was to wait for the water to boil.

The boys had hot pasta dressed with pesto and E & I had the same but covered ours with cherry tomatoes and freshly grated Parm. 

Tastes like summer and the whole meal was about $2!

Overflowing Cherry Jam

This past week has been sooooooo busy! 

Last week, I volunteered to be the Manager for T's soccer team, thinking that this role was pretty simple: emailing game times, snack sign ups, etc.  Um, yeah.  Let's just say that I now understand why God was telling me to take some things off my plate.  No complaints, though, because I am so excited to meet new families and friends and be a light in my community.

Mid-week, Mr. Kerr called to tell me he had some cherries and wanted to know if I would like some.  We drove to his home and he gave me about 12 pounds (yes, 12!) of amazing bing cherries.  They were dark, sweet and ready to eat.  Obviously, there is no way we could eat those cherries without having serious intestinal we made jam.

My nails and fingers are still slightly tinged with purple from the massive pile of cherries that I pitted.  I used the immersion blender to chop them since I know it would create more juices than chopping by hand.  Stirred in the sugar to absorb the juice and then the pectin. 

This is some scary delicious jam.

We drove a jar to Mr. Kerr later in the evening.  What a wonderful gift he has given us by his generous heart.  I did not mention that he also gave me mini organic Brussels sprouts, red peppers, yellow peppers, organic carrots and 5 packages of Emmantaler cheese from Whole Foods!!!  Yep, those will be in the freezer until fondue night. 

On a side note, if AMy K. or Julie C. or any other size 0-2 gals are reading this, I have a very cute pair of Paper, Denim and Cloth jeans (dark) that I thrifted.  Up for the first taker!

This photo was from 1 year ago.  Our fun trip with Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles & all the cousins.

This week:
-I surpassed over $1K profit from etsy since I started a few months back:)
-We had a date night at the Wyndham!
-DG was lambasted with insane thunderstorms
-Our A/C crashed, but it was an inexpensive fix
-I started reading an updated "My Utmost for His Highest" to go along with my old school copy-it's been wonderful reading them side by side.

Off to the post office to ship a huge set of Pyrex bowls.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to Our Not So Little Guy

We had a relaxing day today and let Charlie play with his toys and take nice long nap.  We had leftover cupcakes from his party and just enjoyed family time.

Last night was the official "party".  We chose to keep it very, very simple as T was being picked up at the airport close to noon and we had R & I (cousins) spending the night.  Store-bought cake, veggies and chips and salsa were on the menu.  No stressing!

Happy Birthday, Charlie!  You bring us so much joy:)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Zucchuni Bread Variations

Charlie is having some down time after a busy morning of puzzles, play dough & baking.  We had a big old bag of zucchini on Sunday and we used about half of it to make the delicious zucchini chips I posted about last week. 

The other half I shredded and covered tightly with plastic wrap, waiting for a day that seemed a bit cooler for turning on the oven.  Baking with Charlie is always an excellent lesson in patience for the height of our baking, here is what the island looked like:

I pulled up some tried and true recipes and made my usual pineapple zucchini bread since it freezes so well.  My pantry is stocked with canned pumpkin that I bought last winter for 50 cents since I love making pumpkin gingerbread, pumpkin crunch & allrecipes Downeast Maine pumpkin bread.  Charlie & I made a new recipe that we invented today-let's call it zucchini pumpkin bread.  When they come out of the oven, I will post a pic.  The house smells sooooo good right now.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup apple butter (I used my homemade stuff, but you can use oil here, too)
2 Tbs. oil
1 (15oz) can pumpkin
2 Tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
2 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Mix eggs, apple butter, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in pumpkin.  Add rest of ingredients, except zucchini and nuts.  Fold those in last.  Bake at 350 degrees until done.  We made mini loaves and giant muffins.  They will probably all finish at different times.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary

It's been a great adventure in just 4 years.  Looking forward to a long journey with my best friend.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jill's Zucchini Contribution

Next week is my anniversary, although that has nothing to do with this post.  Just a favorite pic from our honeymoon, before the remnants of my spray tan washed off...

My sister Jill found a new recipe off allrecipes this week:  My younger sister, Lisa, got us all hooked on allrecipes back in 2003 and we have been swapping recipes every since.  Jill has her Masters in Chemistry and true to her chemistry roots, the girl measure everything with precision.  Lisa cooks a bit more like me, tossing in a bit of this and that.

The dish was polished off by everyone, even the kids!  We kept snacking on them while we prepped the salad, etc.  My mom also made a really great salad with toasted walnuts, bleu cheese, spring mix and tart apples.  It was dressed with a light homemade vinaigrette-yum.

It is for baked zucchini chips and is sooooo good.  She brought it for dinner at Aunt Betty's house with a dish of warm marinara for dipping.  Today I am stopping at Meijer because they have 49cents per pound zucchini and often they are locally grown. 

Will make a batch and share.  Share pictures, that is.  Etsy has kept me crazy busy! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pickled Carrots and Jalepenos

You know those little dishes of carrots and peppers that are placed on your table along with the chips & salsa?  Well, my husband really likes to eat these and they are so simple to make.  I have tried several different variations and they all have been to his liking.  One of the stores where I buy much of my produce had carrots and jalepenos on sale-39 cents per pound.  These are really good-we like them warm (just "cooked"), but they are super fresh and crisped out of the fridge.
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced thin (no baby carrots)
6 large jalepenos, sliced and stems removed
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 cups white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, sliced or a few shakes of Adobo seasoning
shake or two of kosher salt
handful of sugar (maybe 1/4 cup)

Boil vinegar, salt, sugar and Adobo.  Add carrots and cook about 4 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients, cook 2 more minutes.  Turn off heat, cover and let cool.  Store in jar in fridge. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Etsy Items

My little vintage shop has been hopping!  The goal is to have around 100 items listed and I am well on my way.  There is a lot of time involved cleaning, researching, listing, but so far I have turned a profit that has exceeded my small goals for each month.  Here are some cute summer finds:

For the 80s prepster in all of us:

For the Kitschy Kitchen Nut (oh, wait, that's me):

Tman went to DC this morning.  We drove to the airport and waited until his plane left.  It is an odd feeling to see your child board a plane and then watch that plane pull away from you.  Thankful for the many verses that give me comfort, especially 2 Timothy 1:12 which says "...for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return".

Time for my quiet time.  Will post a new summer recipe tomorrow.   It has been too hot to bake these last few days.  Think I will make a batch of knox blocks tonight for C & E.  Raspberry.  Or lime?