Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finally...I finished them all!

Okay, I finally finished all of the kids new scrubs (from material we picked out while we were visiting Becky in Yuma forever ago). The boys' have been done for awhile, but I just finished Penny's today. I've been promising these pictures forever so enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Salsa (no canner needed)

A friend had a recipe for salsa that didn't contain cilantro. Since I really don't like cilantro, and tomatoes were also on sale, I was anxious to try it. Since it also involved a new method of canning and I like to learn new things I was extra interested. I ended up with 14 half pints from one batch. It looks so pretty with all of the multi-colored peppers, but I have heard that it is fine to do it with whatever is available or on sale. So without further ado, the recipe for the salsa:
Open Kettle Salsa

12 cups chopped roma tomatoes 1 anaheim pepper
3 cups chopped sweet onion 1 jalapeno pepper
3 green bell peppers 1/2 cup white vinegar
3 yellow bell peppers 1/4 cup sugar
3 red bell peppers 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs plain salt (not iodized) 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 cup lime juice
5 cloves garlic

Slip the skins from the tomatoes (place in boiling water for a few minutes) After the skins are removed place tomatoes in a food blender and grind up, be sure to cut off the top of the tomato(core it) and throw away. Measure 12 cups and put in a large heavy 8 qt pan. Cut up the peppers, garlic and onion or use a food processor or blender to chop them, seed the jalapeno if you want it to be less spicy leave seeds in for more spice. Add the chopped peppers to the tomatoes as well as the rest of the ingredients and boil for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
Place clean jars in the oven on a low temp. about 200 degrees, and let them heat up. Heat a small pan of water to boiling. Place the canning lids in it. Pour the salsa in the jars, coming to 1/2 inch from top. Wipe the top of the jar with a clean cloth and put the hot lid on and then the ring. Twist the ring tight. Set the jars aside to cool.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hand prints

While visiting Grandma once upon a time, the oldest fry had left a hand print on her window. She taped off the area and left it up until the tape deteriorated and it just had to be washed. So I thought I would make her some permanent hand prints for her fridge that she wouldn't have to worry about washing off. I started by enlisting my husband's help to get the hand prints. We just did them on white card stock. Since we were cutting out around them we didn't have to worry about placement, and had to redo a few hands twice. While the paint was drying, I looked up pictures of the kids to put in the middle. I printed those off and cut them out in circles. I also cut out a slightly larger circle to make a little frame around the picture. When the hands were dry, I cut them out and glued the pictures in the middle. Then I laminated them, cut them out again, and added a magnet. Viola! Permanent hand prints for the fridge.

Preserving Peaches

Peaches are on an unbelievable sale here so I have have been stocking up. I invited my canning tutor friend over Saturday to show me what to do. After having difficulty trying to peel half a case we decided they weren't quite ripe enough yet and so those peaches became jam. There was a little bit that didn't quite fit in, so we snacked upon it. It was quite tasty.
Then yesterday I tried to can the rest of the peaches by myself. I got them all done, but the Small Fries felt very neglected. Some of the jars I tried the No Added Sugar method, and others I did the regular way. I ended up with 18 half pints of jam, 52 half pints of peaches, and two more cases of peaches to jam, and preserve, and freeze (what can I say, they are on a very good sale). I do the half pint sizes because I have little children, and they are just the right size for pulling out for lunches and not having to worry about leftovers. I was just going by the instructions in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It took all morning and half the afternoon, but I feel accomplished.

The end result: four cases of 40 peaches each turned into 18 jars of peach jam, 10 jars of peach butter, 81 half-pints of sliced and diced peaches, three freezer bags mostly full of frozen peach slices to add to smoothies, and unknown numbers of peaches eaten just the way they were because they were so tasty. Add to that the peach freezer jam that was made the week before with the peaches left over from our camping trip, and I think we are set in the peach department for quite a few months.

Girl's Night Out

I went with some friends to one of those ceramic places where you pick out a piece, paint it, give them all your money and they fire it, and you pick it up a week later. It is the kind of place I would have absolutely loved when I was a teenager, but as a cheapskate with small children I had a hard time picking a project. I could just see everything getting smashed into little tiny pieces. I finally decided that the light plate which screwed into the wall would have the hardest time getting broken. I was going to paint a train on it until I was shown the little ceramic train. I was trying to paint Thomas from memory (his wheels, it turns out, are blue). It was fun hanging out with friends and painting, but we won't tell the Thomas-loving fry that he could have had the plush Thomas pillow for what I spent on his light switch cover.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Family Home Evening Board

Not a great picture I know, but it will have to do. This was my other living room project. Or projects. For Christmas a few years ago my mother-in-law had given me the family frame. It was a nice wood color, but it was the only thing that color in the room, so I finally painted it black to match everything else. I also took my Cricut and added the "together forever" along the bottom of the pictures, just because I could. (I also updated the photos, since the middle fry was a baby in all of them). The board and FHE vinyl were given to me by a friend. I painted the board, put the vinyl on, and added some hooks. Then I found some wood stars and painted them, added some ribbon to hang them, and cut out our names. Now I feel a little more organized.

The perfect tissue box

We go through a lot of tissues at our house. Sometimes it is because a small fry gets a hold of the box and dumps them all out and rips them to shreds, but usually I think it is because of allergies (I didn't think I had allergies till I moved here). And because I like things to be matchy-matchy I was always less then thrilled with the colors that my Puffs with Lotion came in. I finally found just what I was looking for- Michaels had a plain wood tissue box holder (and it was only $3 or $4). I painted it, and then set to work playing on my Cricut. I decided to take some patriotic words and phrases and do that subway art thing that is popping up all over the place. Now I can blow my nose knowing that my tissue box matches my living room.

While the kids were away...

The kids spent a glorious week with Grandma (and Grandpa and Uncles). While they were away I got to work on some projects that one does not normally get to do with children around. Such as wall painting. There is no way that I wanted the middle small fry with all of her graffiti artist tendencies (I have crayon all over the place to prove it- including the TV screen) to see me coloring on the walls. The location was the kids' bathroom (it also happens to be my guest bath, but I don't really recommend it unless you are desperate). The before pictures
And the other side (I know, it is a small bathroom).
And the end results. This is the wall where the all important potty chair resides. If only it was a very used potty chair... :(
And the sink area.
The view from the door. I was pleased with how it turned out. I like my froggy theme. (Granted, the oldest fry came home and told me I had "poops" on the wall. Oh, well).