Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recipes

I'm popping up some recipes that people have asked me to share. I have some great works for me Wednesday ideas, but they'll have to wait until next week!

Canned Salsa

A case of Roma Tomatoes (skinned and blended, leave some a bit chunky- I don't skin mine)

2 large bulbs of garlic diced and mashed

10 onions (more or less to taste)

10 green peppers (to taste)

10 hot peppers (more or less)

2 large bunches cilantro

sea salt (to taste)

8 to 10 tb lemon juice ( I do 1tb per quart)

It's really simple: Puree half the tomatoes and other half leave chunky. In the pureed batch I put in cilantro, garlic, onion, and green peppers. My blender does a great job. If you want it chunkier pieces place in with the tomatoes you are doing chunky.

Pop everything into a 13 quart stock pot (that's the size I have). Add salt and juice to taste. Juice is needed for extra acidity because lots of our tomatoes are lower acid. (I've never had a problem though)

Let all ingredients simmer for a couple hours in the pot.
Water bath quart jars of salsa for 20 minutes. Store for about a year.


Blender Salsa

Large can of peeled whole tomatoes (Warehouse Size)

2 onions

2 green peppers

2 to 3 hot peppers ( whatever I have available)

1/2 bunch of cilantro

6 cloves (or so) garlic

sea salt ( to taste)

Blend whole tomatoes lightly for chunkiness.
Blend all other ingredients to desired consistency in the juice of the tomatoes.
Add lime or lemon juice if desired.

This makes around a gallon. Great parties! I also freeze in container for dinners.

Last recipe!

Kim M. Stuffed Jalapenos

jalapenos

8 0z cream cheese

8 oz cheddar cheese

Seed as many peppers as desired. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Mix cheeses. Stuff peppers and pop under broiler until crispy!

I hope you enjoy!

Julie

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Many Thanks, Lets bake!

Thank you to all my birthday well wishers. I REALLY don't feel my age and since 40 is the new 20....I'm only 19!

I had a wonderful weekend starting with my crafty girlfriends on friday night. On Saturday we took the older chickadees to Winter Jam. Hawk Nelson and Toby Mac. We also continued work on my B-day room (which I'm still hoping to post pics of this week). We had a slumber party and roasted weenies and marshmallows in the fire place. The little chicks found this to be great fun!Next weekend we are celebrating with my parents.So my diet has been having some trouble... I was hoping to keep the weight loss big, but who knew what one piece of cake could do. I had 2 cakes made for me so far... They were delicious!

With Superman taking the last 2 Mondays off my schedule has been out of whack. Today is usually my baking day, but I also had to throw in laundry. So this is what I accomplished:


2 Great Loaves and 1 little chef

The start of a Italian Baked Sandwhich


The finished product...



4 lunches for Superman. I like to put in different fillings, bake them and freeze. Then when he leaves for work he can pull one out of the freezer and reheat at work.

Filing ideas:

meatballs and cheese

pepperoni and veggies and cheese

ground beef, veggies and cheese

fajita mix and cheese

turkey and cheese

You see the common theme...cheese. It's very important;)

Julie

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday!

It's been quite a while since I did a WFMW post. Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more great tips;)
I have 2 tips to share. First off I really like Mr. Clean Sponges. Have you tried them? Well this past month I found the ones I bought and put away in my really organized (so much so that I couldn't find them) laundry room. I forgot I had so much new storage! Anyway, I bought the Dollar Tree store brand (not Mr. Clean) and guess what? They work great and at a 1/3 of the cost. Can I get a Yippee!!?!!



Tip #2~ These made Superman's weekend. It's nice to see a boyish smile on your husband's face and all for $3.

We've been trying to get away from using plastic for quite awhile, but held on to our green tumbler until now. They're a bit hefty, but I needed to start weight training!



He likes to fill them up with 1 liter of sweet tea. Where I would rather have a decaf coffee drink. Yes, I did say 1 Liter! We like big glasses for iced tea and lemon water.


My coffee shake ,cooler etc. recipe is:

1 1/2 cups raw whole milk

1 Tb decaff instant coffee (don't scream my furry friends!)

1 tea cocoa powder

stevia to taste

ice cubes to desired consistency

Blend it up and pop it in your cup! I also put a dollop of whip cream on.


Superman's tea:

1 gallon freshly brewed green tea

3/4 cup Sucanat with honey.

This usually last him all weekend. During the week, he's a water man.

So what works for you?


Julie

Goals 2009

I have so much on my mind today. Some happy and some not so happy. I'll let you in on my thoughts over the next couple of weeks. Be forewarned, it doesn't always come out the way it sounds in my head!

But before I go any farther I wanted to share with you a simple project Farmer Girl and I made together. It was her 1st experience with the hot glue gun! Yikes!!
We took a simple basket. (The kind that produce comes in and makes you feel like you live in the country and home grow everything.)

Then, last summer I happened upon a bed canopy for 70 cents at a thrift store. We used this for the interior.
It already had a ruffle so we cut the ruffle off and hot glued it on to the outside of the basket.
We then finished it off with pink ribbon, a white button and lots of hot glue.

She is very proud of herself.

The Little Chef was the happy recipient on Christmas morning. We hope to make bedding now that Farmer Girl has her new Janome Hello Kitty Sewing Machine. Words cannot describe how much she likes that machine. She says it runs like butter!

Home and Decorating Goals 2009

By now most of you know that I'm really working on the old bod this year (down 13lbs as of this morning). Well I've figured out I need to put my energies to other areas. I used to knit like crazy during reading time with my girls (just to keep myself in check and give them the freedom to make mistakes without Mommy going off the deep end :) So I explained this to Superman about how I needed to use my somewhat creative juices. He was happy, then he was not because normally my projects entail him having a new project! Well I assured him, other than my Birthday Project ( I hope to post next week) and some moving of furniture I didn't foresee needing his expertise. Okay, he knows and I know that something else is bound to come up in a whole year!

So without further introduction here's the list~

-Birthday Project

-Paint chickadees bedrooms

-Have garage sales to come up with the moo la for wood bunk beds. I would like 2 sets with new matress'

-Re-do headboard in MB

-New curtains for School Room (I stole them for my Birthday Project)

-Make all Christmas gifts/ find ideas

-Make all Birthday, Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts

-learn new knitting stitches

-Open an Etsy shop- in hopes of supporting the chickadees music lessons. I'm just not sure. When I make things for us there is no pressure and some of the items I would make and sell may not be allowed with the new lead legislation. I can't afford the certification. So I'm not sure. What do you think?

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. We also have outside goals for this summer and next fall.

Thanks for all you lovely comments;)

Blessings,

Julie

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Financial Goals 2009!

Yippee! It's time to talk money. In December or a bit earlier of 2007 we decided we wanted to become debt free. So in Jan '08 we started. We ended up getting to take the Dave R. course that Jan. Great timing.

What a interesting journey this past year has been. We had to refund our emergency fund 4 times, due to dental problems! We stayed on budget and didn't rack up any more debt than we alredady had. We also were able to pay down about a third of the debt.

We put our home up for sale. But even with an ELP on our side it didn't sell. FL's market is flooded with foreclosures. But we did what we felt we were called to do. So for now our plans of more land and country are on hold.

This Year:

-Make a little over minimum payment to debt each month.
-Sock all extra money into EF to get it up to 6 months (not sure about Superman's job this year- if all goes well we will pay off debt and start working on refunding the EF)
-Save all the extras I can towards a new to us car. I would really like one now, but I'm hoping we can hold out another year.
-Take care of our wills (i know,i know)
-Refinance house to lower rate- possibly 15 years

Last year we learned that we needed to have a base EF of $2000 for our family size etc.

So in some ways I feel nothing has changed and we keep just plugging along, but that could all change this year!

What is your plan for this New Year? I love to hear!

Holiday in Review- Part #1

Hello and good morning. I'm taking a break while the chickadees let the chickens get a bit of exercise. Actually, I'm hiding from my pantry that I tore apart........more to come tomorrow on that subject.
I wanted to share some of the Christmas gifts I made for my family this year. In the spirit of being frugal (we hope to be out of the pit by this summer!) and wanting to make pretty and usable items. I put on my thinking cap.... okay, okay.
I got out my coupons and hit the craft store. In the early spring we had lots of 50% coupons and boy did I use them. Each set cost apx. $7 to make not including the hours I spent making them. Lets just say I have 4 left for the girls hope chest that won't be started for quite awhile!
This 1st set was for my now adult niece...she's still a kid to me.
Set 2 were given to my mother. She really likes all blue but I thought a splash of color might be nice.Set 3 are for the Bride ~ my little sister. She likes purple. Set 4 were my Bobcia. I think she really liked them.
Here are the sock monkeys. Penelope, Mabel,Lucy,Isabelle, Cletus,Anabelle,Matilda,Cleo and I can't think of the last ones name. (it's that darn pantry calling me)

And here are some of the surprised and happy recipients!Have a great one! Now get back to work! hehehe:)

Julie

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Goals

I've had an on going goal all of my adult life to stay at a healthy weight.......sigh.... Don't worry this is happy!
I've made a covenant, promise, deal (whatever you'd like to call it) with my Father, that I would never give up working at it, conquering it, or just hold on with my last bit of energy. Through times of crying out and rejoicing I have been reminded of my promise. At moments I have clung to it so tightly and at others I've tried to fool myself into believing that maybe I actually hadn't made this commitment.

Well I did and I'm back in the game!

Superman is my biggest supporter. He wants me healthy, just as I want him to be healthy! So over these many,many years of diets, programs, ways of life. I've sat back and looked at what has worked for me and what hasn't. I've gained a bit of knowledge about myself (which I really need to write down).

Here's a few:
-my body runs better on high protein low carb
-i would rather eat sweets and breads all the time
-if i start out with exercise in my program i put on muscle and tend not to lose much
-i have to make sure i'm never starving * that's when i crave sweets the most
-i do have self control * i just need to couple with some other key ingredients
-i'm a stress eater, joyful eater, bummed out eater
-i like food and cooking it
-i don't like it more than my Father or my husband and children.

So here I am!
My goal is 100 pounds this year. I still will not be at a healthy weight but alot closer.
(I can't believe I'm divulging this)
I've decided to really rely on my husband when I'm on the brink.
I've decided to give myself some free days (if I want them), but I must be back on the following day. Holidays already planned out.
I've chosen to do a full body cleanse.
I've chosen to eat lower carb, but not NO carb.
I've chosen to talk to people about it when I need or want to (I got me some girls!). I find it helps.
I've chosen to exercise in a fun manner in a couple of weeks, biking, walking, swimming, jumping.

So this is me keeping it real. Please feel free to ask how it's coming along.

I will NEVER give up!

I can do all thing through Christ who gives me strength. This is definitely something He wants me to do!


Julie


I'll post more goals later..








Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Birthday My Little Chickadees!

Well it's been extremely busy around here. Between 2 birthdays, Christmas, New Years and various other things..... I'm tuckered out. I was gonna say pooped, but I didn't want to gross anyone out!
Birthday #1. She's just to cute and pictures just can't capture all her amazing qualities. Her dream... to be a farmer's wife and raise horses and any other type of animal you can think of! Happy birthday cutie.

Birthday #2 We interrupt this birthday... It's also 4-H day. Look what cutie #2 pulled out of her patch in January!

It weighed in a 14 pounds 4 ounces!!!!! That should keep my chickadees happy for a day or so. You just can't see how really big this is. I know lots of you probably experience this every summer, but this is are 2nd go at it. Our home garden is not doing so good. I'll post more later.


Ahhhh. Here we are. Happy Birthday sweetie. Her big sister made this cake. Her little sisters helped her eat it. She ended up getting 3 parties this year. Lucky Duck! She is also amazing, if I do say so myself. The love of reading has really kicked in. I can't keep her away from books and what a crazy, zany sense of humor!

School is in full swing. My goal is to be done by the end of April, then undercover school starts. The fun kind they really don't call school.
I hope to post more on: goals for this year, gardening, the makeover room, and the gifts I made for Christmas. So please stop by again!
Blessings,

Julie