Saturday, July 31, 2010

In and around the kitchen

Summer is always a busy time for everyone and we aren't any different.  And even as busy as we are we tend to add more to our plate.  For years I have wanted a pergola, but "G" didn't agree.  Well he has finally come around so we are preparing to build that in a couple of weeks.  While shopping for pergola parts we walked through the kitchen area at Menards.  That turned into us deciding that we needed new counter tops, which led us to decide that we should go ahead with new appliances before that gets here.  So walking though the hardware store for bolts has turned into a kitchen remodel, but that tends to be how we roll.  While all this is going on the garden is thriving so it is officially salsa time!  Speaking of salsa, "G" entered his first salsa competition and came in fourth. He was awarded a ribbon and $10.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  And you my lucky blog readers will get a copy of his famous recipe.  Read on!

The kitchen appliances have arrived, here is the before and after!  Don't mind the canning production going on in the after!  These are Frigidaire Professional Series.  The stove is great, it has a giant center burner perfect for canning!
Tonight was a great night to dine alfresco, so here is the new patio set that will go under the currently "invisible" pergola! 

We have become big fans of the sweet potatoes from Schwans.  I put them on the grill, sprinkle on brown sugar and drizzle with some Indiana maple syrup!  We also had tilapia on the grill tonight, just use foil and roll up the sides!  Use what ever seasonings you like.  This was a great buy at Aldi, a bag of about 8 filets for $3.50.

A trip to the farmers market today and I bought a bag of Indiana peaches, they were very ripe and perfect for jam.  I love these freezer containers from Ball, and the freezer jam mix makes it super easy. This spring I made strawberry.  Instructions are on the back of the package but all you need is four cups of fruit and a cup and a half of sugar plus the pectin packet.

And finally the first salsa of the season!  The house smells great.  I love the apron, "To Hot to Handle!"  Gotta love a man comfortable enough to wear an apron!

Salsa - Sweet & Mild
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 t. pepper
1T. salt
1 green pepper
1 cup onion chopped
1 small can tomato paste
4 cups of tomatoes chopped
1/2 c. sugar
1 cup vinegar
8 jalapeno or 3 habenero chopped

Combine garlic, green pepper,jalapeno, and onion in food processor.  Dice tomatoes separately.  Combine all ingredients in large pot.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for minimum 30 minutes. 
At this point you can follow household canning methods to keep it longer or store in fridge.  Makes great gifts.  Enjoy 
Monday, July 19, 2010

ho ho ho Green Giant!

"G" is quite the man in the kitchen and has become very good at canning! We really have reverse rolls, I would be happy in the garage working on a car and he is happy in the kitchen. I have my moments in the kitchen as well but those moments are far, few, and in between. We have picked cucumbers on a nightly basis, I call it gerkin hunting. So tonight he made me refrigerator pickles, they are great and super sweet.
Sliced and ready to go
So he just happened to be wearing green!
This is his new toy a granite pot with a wire rack for the jars.
A nice warm bath
He is famous for his salsa and that production will start soon when the tomatoes are ready. Until then we will make the best of the pickles!
Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peppers from a distant land

This spring I had the honor of traveling to Hungary, Slovokia, and the Czech Republic as a member of Class 13 of the Indiana Ag Leadership Program.  It was a great trip and created so many wonderful memories.  This was my first over seas visit and it was a long way to get there. 

 We were there for two weeks in February and March so it was still cold.  But it was an incredible trip.  Just to be exposed to new things was amazing.  You also miss the comforts of home so we had to hit McDonalds and I had to pose with the picture of a Royal with Cheese (remember Pulp Fiction?)  Sorry it was windy and my hair product didn't adjust to the new environment!

 Slovakia featured many farm visits and we got to see just how similar we are with our foreign neighbors.  Prague was a great visit and I hope to return one day.  Prague Castle was a sight to see as well as the rest of the city.

 So this post is not to go backwards in time, but to show you the fruits of the trip that are just now coming on!  While in Hungary we stopped by Tesco, their version of WalMart.  I picked up Hungarian Pepper and Paprika seeds.  They made it though customs and we started the seeds inside this spring.  They are doing great and it is another reminder for me of the trip of a life time.  Hungary is well known for their paprika.  I also picked up paprika powder while there and it is much more potent then what we currently have to sprinkle on our deviled eggs!

The paprika still has a ways to go, the peppers have to turn red before they can be picked.  They can then be hung to dry and ground into fresh paprika.  I'll keep you posted on the progress!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A little about me

My family are a very important part of my life.  Since this is the begining I better introduce you to the characters in my life as I am sure they will appear on the WALL in the future.

The love of my life is "G" this year we have been married for 10 years. We dated 4 years prior to that so we have been through a lot together.  He is truly my best friend and he completes me!

I have reached that stage in my life where I have realized I am my mothers daughter!  Things that I say and ways that I stand that drive my husband crazy are direct genes passed down from my mom!  Everything that I am I owe to her, the best trait I could inherit is her creativity!  That comes through on a daily basis.  She owns her own successful business, The Gingerbread Shed.

My dad was blessed with a great wife and two fabulous daughters.  Lucky for him we have a lot in common.  I have always had a love of cars, as a kid we spent many summers at tractor pulls, and this year we took him to a NASCAR race in Michigan. 

I have one sister, JB, who has given me the greatest gift, a nephew we call "little man".  He is just that, born at 10 pounds 3 ounces he was never a baby.  Now at 15 months he is already in 2T clothes!  He is the light of all of our lives. 

Here's little man and JB at his 1st birthday party!

And so it begins!

My motto has always been to stay on top of new technology, because I don't want to be like my parents and not know how to turn on the vcr! So I get a new cell phone whenever I am up, currently I own the new iPhone 4, I keep up to date on new cars, and I try to keep up on the latest of social media. So I have expanded from facebook and have created a blog. I enjoy reading other blogs and think I have some good things to tell the world so here I am! I look forward to sharing the goings on in my life and hope you enjoy the writings on the WALL!

About Me


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