Friday, November 9, 2012

Menu For The Coming Week

Thought I would get back to blogging with our menu for the coming week.  This will at least help me to be accountable to getting that planned.  Breakfast is almost always Get Your Own; so I just make sure that most of the items are available and then everyone can choose.  Sometimes on Saturdays I will change it up and make them pancakes or French Toast or something that takes some time.  During the week it is just easier to do this.  It also helps that my kids are big enough to get their own.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I get my own and Wee One's as well. Those days I check with A2 to see if he wants what I am fixing.  My sweet husband, gets his breakfast during the week because he blesses me by letting me sleep in longer then he needs too.

Enjoy seeing how we roll here for eating.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!


PS. I noticed some typos as I blew up the menu so please just pretend they aren't there.  Thank-you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Some like it hot!

There has been a couple requests lately for the actually salsa recipe that I use.  So I thought I would make my first post back to blogging in a while be the recipe for that salsa that I use.  My friends who use Tapestry of Grace and participate in the Secret Sister program at Christmas have had it sent to them, when I have them for my secret sister.  Rumor has it that last year's secret sister has rationed out hers to even now a couple tablespoons left in the jar in the refrigerator.  So that she and others can enjoy it throughout the year, here is the recipe.

I got this recipe from The National Center For Home Food Preservation.


Preparing and Canning Salsa

Chile Salsa II
  • 10 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cups seeded, chopped chili peppers*
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup vinegar (5 percent)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
*A mixture of mild and hot peppers is recommended.
Read more about ingredients. Yield: 6 to 8 pints
Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.
Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.
Preparing Peppers: The peppers do not need to be peeled, but many may prefer to peel certain types. The skin of long green chiles may be tough and can be removed by heating the peppers. Usually when peppers are finely chopped, they do not need to be peeled. If you choose to peel chiles, slit each pepper along the side to allow steam to escape. Peel using one of these two methods:
  • Oven or broiler method to blister skins - Place chiles in a hot oven (400°F) or broiler for 6 to 8 minutes until skins blister.

  • Range-top method to blister skins - Cover hot burner (either gas or electric) with heavy wire mesh. Place peppers on burner for several minutes until skins blister.

  • To peel, after blistering skins, place peppers in a pan and cover with a damp cloth. (This will make peeling the peppers easier.) Cool several minutes; slip off skins. Discard seeds and chop.
Hot Pack: Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into clean, hot pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Chile Salsa II in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 25
The only changes you can safely make in this salsa recipe are to substitute bottled lemon juice for the vinegar and to change the amount of pepper and salt. Do not alter the proportions of vegetables to acid and tomatoes because it might make the salsa unsafe.
Nutrition Information (Estimated values using Nutritionist Pro™ software)
Per 2 Tbsp: Calories 10, Total Fat 0 g, Sodium 75 mg, Fiber 0 g, Protein 0 g. 
Daily Values: Vitamin A 5%, Vitamin C 27%, Calcium 0%, Iron 1%.
Percent Daily Values based on Dietary Reference Intakes.

Adapted with permission from Salsa Recipes for Canning, PNW0395, by Val Hillers and Richard Dougherty, Washington State University. Pullman, WA: Pacific Northwest Extension Publications, 2000 revision. (National Center for Home Food Preservation, August 2004)

The revisions that I make to it are the following:  I use 5 cup of sweet bell peppers(any color) to 1 cup of jalapeno peppers.  

I also peel and chop the tomatoes-by hand, removing the seeds.  Cut the Roma in half length-wise and just run your thumb through the tomato to remove the seeds.  Then cut each half in half and into 3-4 pieces.  You want them fairly large as they break down some during the cookdown process.  Leave them overnight in the strainer so that the juice runs off of it.  You can see about the size of things in the pictures below.

For the onions and peppers I place them in the food processor and pulse it to the size we like.  Then we put it into a gallon ziploc bag overnight and poke holes in the bottom of the bag, squeezing out the juice before putting all of the ingredients into the large stockpot and adding the vinegar and salt and pepper.

Hope you enjoy this!  Have a great week!


For the onions and peppers I place them into a gallon ziploc bag overnight and poke holes in the bottom of the bag, squeezing out the juice before putting all of the ingredients into the large stockpot and adding the vinegar and salt and pepper.

Cooking down

All done and ready to rest on the table for 24 hours.  If they don't seal you can try to redo, or just open and eat it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My friend's blog

I have this really sweet friend-across the pond, as she would say.  She actually does a better job of regular posting then I've been lately.  Today, however, I'm posting here about her because she is having a give-away for this very interesting looking book and I get an extra entry for mentioning it here.  I know, it is shameful that I'm only posting right now to get a shot at this.  The schedule looks good this weekend for getting some updates in.  I've found my office, graduated A1, and am in a short down-time before the garden goes crazy(we've been watering).  I do need to work on planning A2's schedule for his junior year, but think and hope I'll be able to update and post here this weekend.  So in the meantime, head over to and see what she is up to.  Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Year, New Goals, New Lessons

It is truly amazing that you haven't given up on me and my ramblings yet.  Life has been throwing me many balls, some straight up, some curves, but at times too many to juggle on my own.  The thing that God has been pressing upon my stubborn, hard-headed self it that He is the one in control, not me.  I can plan and think that is how it is all going to work out for the day, week, or year and put the balls into play.  However, He has the final say in what really happens.  The changes and "interruptions" that really threw me for a loop when we first brought A1 and A2 home don't seem to throw me quite so much anymore.  The exception to that is the day or week that I forget that I'm not in control.  So after realizing that I've been learning just as much as my children since we've brought them home, just not the same lessons in history, English and math, as well as having the last two to three books studied for Sunday School be on contentment and God being in control with a few bricks falling on my head and 2x4's knocking me down; I might have finally learned this lesson.

In January, while Andy and A1 were in Puerto Rico working the winter nursery, I was able to get to my office. It had been buried for over a year with things that I couldn't seem to get to, things I planned daily to get to but didn't.  There actually was one basket that had a bunch of books that I needed to get listed to sell that had really sat there for a whole year.  The bills were being paid on time, the papers graded almost on time, just the "extra" office work was being put on the back burner.  I can now see the floor, run the little heater on my feet and have a "plan"-I use this word fairly loosely-in place for staying on top of things.

It has taken a long, long while for me to get there, but I think I've reached the bottom-no pun intended and I can only turn up. After talking this over with God, I felt compelled to let my family know that I needed them and their help. So Sunday's are blocked off.  No more working for me; I'll still cook and help with dishes, but nothing major.  I get to do fun things like relax, read for fun, take a nap, take a walk, watch a movie, play a game, and blog.  We'll see how it goes after the big admission that I can't do it all-if I get the help.  To their credit, usually if I asked for something to be done it will get done.  I just want them to look around now and see it for themselves so I don't have to continue to keep track of it in my head along with house budgets, Andy's business accounts, my Zija business accounts, things for school to do/check/prep for, who needs to be where/when, what papers need to get turned into college at what time, what we are having for breakfast/lunch/supper, where their things are at that they can't find.  I know this has to sound familiar-the long list running in your head. This time I've not put a specific time of day on jobs that I'm responsible for, except for teaching classes with the kids, I've just made a check list of what I need to accomplish for the day and what I want to accomplish for the day and what I hope to accomplish for the day to keep our house running smoothly.  When I let my family know that I needed their help, I had let them know where this list would be so they could see what I might need help with if they would happen to get done early with school or home early from work, and wonder why I don't have time in the evenings to sit with them and watch movies on Netflix or play another game of Catan.   

I'm getting excited for the new things that are coming down my path as I transition this year.  A1 graduates in June and will leave for college in the fall.  A2 is driving with his permit and in two years-that will go too fast-be graduating and leaving for college as well.  Wee One-my girlfriend's 1 year old daughter, that I watch 3 days a week, will fill part of that transition.  My new business with Zija, as a distributor, is another part of moving down this path.  My daily reminder that I'm not in control happens before I even put my feet to the floor is "Lord, you know what I have scheduled for the day, but I know that may not match up with your plans.  Help me remember that you are in control and that you have my best interest at heart."  Usually, this keeps the stress levels down as I try to only pick up and juggle the balls that He gives me for the day.  There are still some curves, but when I remember to start my day with just that little "Good Morning!" my glove is on and I can catch it and make the play; with His help, guidance and with those He has placed around me.