Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pepper Jelly

I had an abundance of Hungarian Hot Wax peppers from my baskets the last couple of weeks.

I decided to make a batch of pepper jelly with them.
I made it a couple of years ago from a different recipe and it was good but had more of a vinager flavor than I like. 

The new recipe is really good but could have been a little warmer.  I think I should have added a jalapeno to the mix...
I had to open a jar today and have it over cream cheese for lunch to try it out.

 It has a great flavor and would be mild enough for even Jennifer or my sister who don't do anything hot...

Pepper Jelly

2 large Bell Peppers (I used yellow)
1/4 c. hot peppers (I use Hungarian wax, jalapeno peppers will work; rinsed, seeded and chopped)
6 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. white vinegar
4 oz.  liquid fruit pectin (it was one and half packets of the brand I used)

Put bell peppers and hot peppers in a blender or food processor and finely chop. Place in large pan, add sugar and bring to a boil then remove from heat. Add liquid pectin stirring until mixture thickens.

 Fill hot cleaned jelly jars. Leave 1/8 inch headspace. Wipe rims with damp cloth. Cover and process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Yield: 6 cups.

You know my dream pantry

I'm 5 jars closer...

I turned my jars upside down trying to get the pepper pieces to not all be at the bottom, now they are all at the top...and the air space is at the bottom...

On a different note, we had a tarantula on our side walk and I am looking for a place to move that doesn't have tarantulas...I was going to share a picture but I can't look at it without crying so I spared you the trauma.  Your welcome.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fresh from the garden

I am loving the weekly baskets of fresh veggies that I am getting from a local farm.

I love that she includes a list of what is in the basket. 
See the big green peppers?  Those are Corno di Toro green peppers.  They are a little sweeter than green chili's but still have a little warmth to them.  I decided to roast them and use them like a relleno and that was a great choice.  They had a great flavor and I wish I had more of them.

One of the other things in the basket this week was "lemon" cucumber. 
They are a heirloom variety with a mild slightly lemon flavor.  I sliced them for part of the picnic for Kellie's show last night.  I also made little mason jar peach cobblers with the white peaches in the basket...

It was the last night of Pinocchio and my sweet friend went to keep me company... 

Here is the recipe I used the peppers in tonight.  It was a hit...

Chili Rellenos Casserole

2 (7oz cans) green chili's drained (or 6 fresh large peppers roasted, peeled and sliced)
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 cup shredded Monetary jack cheese
1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1 (5oz can) Evaporated Milk
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 can tomato sauce or 1 jar taco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray.
Lay half of the chilies evenly in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with ground beef, half of the Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and cover with remaining chilies. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and flour, and pour over the top of the chilies.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, pour tomato or taco sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with remaining Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and chopped green onion if desired, bake an additional 15 minutes and serve.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I survived!!!

I am just home from church camp.
What a week!
It was completly different than the camp I've worked at before and I had a great time!  I'm not sure how I was lucky enough to be asked to go since I was by far, the oldest counselor this year.  Every other counselor could have been my child.  Really.  And if I had started earily enough I could have had the youth minister and his wife. 
Since I was the counselor/nurse I was pretty much the mom of every one...
"do you have sun screen... yes, I have tylenol... come here and let me look in your ear...what did you eat...don't hit him in the trachea..."  and that was all said to counselors.  I think I gave out tylenol to one student and a few bandaids to my own child and that was it student wise!
I realized my age when the four hours a night of sleep just wasn't quite enough.  And there was no nap.  None.  That would have meant missing out on fun...

There was lots of incredible kids

crazy games

free time

and amazing worship

Justin Cofield Band was great.  The speaker was Afshin Ziafat who had an amazing testimony and could preach it!!!  You should watch this quick video of his testimony.  I was really interested in it since I was living in Iran at the same time he talks about. 

And great time getting to know some really sweet girls

I am glad to be home.  I sure missed my girl that didn't go....
Elvis the bulldog seemed to miss me the most. 
I was so glad to shower at home where there is water pressure.  I'm exciting about sleeping in my bed that isn't a dorm room bed that was so far off the ground that getting in it was a challange and getting out of it without injury was a miracle.  And most of all I'm excited about coffee in the morning! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This should be fun

Tomorrow I am heading to youth camp with our church.

They have gone to Colorado every summer till I offered to go.  We'll be headed to San Angelo.   Where I'm sure it will be very non Colorado like...
I offered to go as a nurse.  That turned into counselor/nurse. 

I am going to be with eleven middle school girls and my middle school girl isn't even getting to go.

I am the only 'old' person going or as the youth ministers wife said "you are the person with the most 'wisdom' going"...
That just means old...
 The rest of the people going are either college or twenty to thirty year olds.  But they are really good group and I'm excited to see what God has for me this week and all of the youth going.

I did hear that there is coffee and Diet Coke there and the leaders share a room... with no kids in it...

I can do. 

I think I can. I think can.  I think I can....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The little things

The last couple of days I have been trying to really enjoy everyday of this summer that will go so fast. 
Trying to enjoy every minute I get with the kids that don't spend that much time with me anymore...
Every minute with that teenager that will only be here all the time for a couple of more years...

I've always known that the little things seem to make me the happiest....

Some things that have made me happy this week

Lunch with a sweet friend and getting to hug on the softest, sweetest baby!

finding her sweet daughter left me some surprises on my phone while she was playing with it

my weekly basket of farm goods a sweet lady brings to me with the sweetest white peaches I have ever tasted

A favorite restaurant of mine just opened one here in Lubbock... happy, happy, happy...

a little time at a roof top bar on a beautiful evening

with a sweet sweet friend

thunderstorms...see all that hail...I could live without that part

I hope you're enjoying all the little things this weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I love summer days with no plans. 
This is why I work in a school and not in the blood and guts nursing I still miss.  A little. 
Days with no plans. 
Days with not much accomplished.
Don't tell Mike.  I've assured him I am very busy everyday.
I have had some very productive days.  Today just wasn't one of them.

Speaking of Mike...
Last night, I told Mike and the girls I was going to the gym.  I went.  I walked.  I came home.  Later, Mike came in and asked me if I wanted to go to the gym with him... I explained I had just gotten home.  He never knew I was gone.  I wish I could be that clueless to what is going on around here. 

Next week I'm going to church camp as a counselor for Middle school girls. 
Go ahead and start praying for me now please.
and my middle schooler isn't getting to go because of her summer acting gigs...
So, I am just hoping Mike remembers he has her here and where he dropped her off last...
It should be interesting.

Today I had two of my favorite girl friends over for lunch.

It was wonderful girl time.

One of the things I made today is a favorite of mine from the Dove's Nest Restaurant outside of Dallas...

Cheddar Almond Bacon Spread

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
12 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup mayo
dashes of Tabasco

Mix all ingredients.  Serve as a spread on sandwiches or as a dip. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dinner, not in a basket?

Our evenings have been taken over by Pinocchio.
 Dress rehearsals and last night was opening night for "Child number 5"...

that is her in the center back
 her two besties came to watch
one of my friends came with her kids... Katie is their favorite babysitter...

It has been fun. Kellie is really enjoying the show and is glad she did it!  I'm sure it will be worth every penny of that $30ish dollars they are paying her!

So the last few nights dinner has been eaten at the play... I should get a freq. drink discount from Sonic...

Last night was burgers, stuffed peppers and banana pudding

Stuffed mini peppers

6-8 mini bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
3 ears fresh corn cut off the cob
6 oz goat cheese
2 green onions finely chopped
season salt and pepper to taste

Mix corn, goat cheese and chopped chives till blended

fill cleaned peppers with corn mixture
Bake at 375 approx. 20 minutes, till bubbly and peppers soft.  I think these would be even better cooked on the grill.

Tonight I was the bad parent and just dropped her off.  Seeing it three nights in a row this week was all could take!
So, tonight we ate dinner at home!  I tried a new shredded beef recipe tonight and you need to make this!  I mean it.  It was that good!

Shredded Beef for Taco's

1 sm. Beef Roast
2 pk. Sazon seasoning packets
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic
1 lg onion chopped
1 Chili in Adobo chopped
1 1/2 cup beef broth

Rub Sazon seasoning on roast.  Sear roast on each side in hot skillet, approx. 5 min. on each side till browned.  Move roast to crock pot.  Using beef broth de-glaze pan.  Add chili powder and cumin.
Pour over roast.  Add Chili in Adobo, onion and garlic.  Cover and cook on Med. 6-8 hours. 
Serve on tortillas and top with your choice of toppings, cilantro, feta or cotija cheese, chopped tomatoes, etc.

It got great review from the picky husband and the family I took dinner to...

On another tragic note.  Pepper the hamster passed away.  I discovered it this morning...  Mike "took care" of things before Kellie even got up.  She wanted us to get him back out of the dumpster so she could have a "funeral, light candles, say a few words...." 
That didn't happen. 
I have been surprisingly sad about the rodent death....
You see every morning during the school year when I go to wake Kellie up, I would open his cage, he would come running, let me pet him and then I'd give him a little hamster treat.
Katie has decided that since summer started and I had not been doing that as often, that he must have died from sadness...
Thanks for the guilt Katie.
I haven't heard yet if a new hamster is in my weekend plan....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The first of many summer picnics

Tonight we watched the rehearsal for Kellie's play that starts this weekend. 
I packed a picnic and we sat outside and enjoyed the nice weather.  It lasted four hours and I sat on the ground.  I will not forget my chair again.

But the picnic was good.

Katie thought the selection was a little crazy but I liked it...

This was one of the treats from my foodie pen pal and I had planned something much more fitting for it but tonight, it called my name as I was packing the picnic.  So, animal crackers dipped in this was a wonderful treat!  I think I might need to go to Fat Toad Farm...

I also brought us Raspberry Rose Pots de Creme.  I also received rose water in my pen pal box along with this recipe. 

This is the second time I've made it and it is good!  I would have never thought about rose water in a dessert but it gives it a very clean finish, not so much a flavor...
Try it, it's easy, fun to eat and good!

Raspberry Rose Pots de Creme

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries, mashed ( and I strained mine)
  • 4 packets pop rocks for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, and rose water over medium-low heat until warm, about 4 minutes.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture. Stir in the mashed raspberries.

     Using a ladle, divide the mixture between 4 ramekins. Place the ramekins in an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes until almost set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool while still in the water, about 1 hour.
    Remove the ramekins from the water and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until set.
    Top with Pop Rocks when ready to serve.

    It's a good thing...

    I did a little trading

    Remember all the vintage things I dug out?

    I did a little trading and came home with this big boy!  I am going to paint it and use it for some pictures... I'm a little excited.  Jennifer did a little modeling in it for me...

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    family, fun, and a little crazy thrown in...

    So, Jennifer came to town with her old car that we have bought for Katie. 
    She had it washed, detailed and looking brand new for Katie.  She even called me half way to tell me was stopping at (the world's worst) Sonic half way but was going to eat outside so she didn't make a mess. 
    I had a bottle of my favorite new wine cold and dinner hot when she finally arrived...

    Do you see that tiny serving of salad on that plate?  It is fresh lettuce.  From the basket of fresh produce a lady brings me on Fridays.  It makes me happy.

    Now, I'm the only one eating all unusual things in the basket and can't wait for it be summer vegetables...  She includes a recipe for the unusual items like the day lilies... imagine my family if I served them some sauteed flowers!  Those just looked pretty instead....

    We have enjoyed nights on the patio and a lot of catching up! 

    We did have to do some shopping the first night she arrived since she didn't remember her luggage.  She was a little irritable about that at first but quickly saw it as the reason to do a little shopping. 
     I tried to tell her we have every girl product known to man and I could wash her one outfit but she felt like she might need underwear and such....
    Why is it that when you go to Target you see a ton of things you want UNTIL you need something and then, the selection is not so great... it took a couple of stores to get her all fixed up....

    Katie is excited about learning to drive in her new car instead of the suburban...

    Here she is leaving with her dad as we were leaving to go somewhere.  I got a text shortly after that said "please don't make me drive with him again.  He yells at me and played tunes older than me"

    Jennifer and I have spent a couple of days scouring thrift stores looking for short brown boots for Kellie, better known as "child number 5" in the Lubbock Moonlight Musial Pinocchio...
    We stumbled upon a couple of really cool vintage shops and today I drug out a few items to take there to try to sell...

    turn your head and you'll see that Jennifer told me I looked like I was running away to hop a train...
    If you see me at the depot with my suitcase that is as tall as me and  my hat box don't be jealous.