Friday, July 31, 2009
Here's what I'm doing with my romas. I learned this trick from my mom. She said to freeze the tomatoes as I go that I intend to use for sauce. When I thaw them, the skins will slip right off! So, as I harvest roma tomatoes, I'm laying them out on a cookie sheet so they won't stick together (not sure why I bother since it's probably okay if they stick...) then when they're frozen, I put them into a freezer bag. So far I have 2 gallon sized bags of them. It'll be a fun project to thaw all of the tomatoes and make a huge pot of sauce to can. (and by "fun", I mean really messy and time consuming but I'm already looking forward to it! :)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
It started getting cloudy a few days ago and then I noticed the mold growing on the top this morning. :( I'm so bummed. I'm not sure why it didn't work. I guess I'll be buying my Calendula oil online this year.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The first time I had flourless chocolate cake was in 2002. Jon and I were in Baltimore and we decided to go to Little Italy for dinner. We were dressed very casually. We found a little restaurant named "Aldo's" . We had no idea we had picked a fine dining restaurant. It was really early and no other diners were there yet. Not sure what the waiters thought of this couple in their early 20's walking in dressed for a restaurant like Applebees. We realized as soon as we opened the menu that we were way out of our league. We thought about leaving but we figured we'd kiss our budget goodbye and stay. I remember asking for a glass of water and the waiter asked "Sparkling or non". I almost giggled outloud at that one. When I said, "Non". He brought me a goblet and a bottle of Perrier. Jon and my eyes got wider when the waiter would come with a comb-like instrument to sweep away the crumbs on our table. Though I can't remember what we had for dinner... I remember dessert VERY clearly. I asked the waiter what dessert he would recommend. He said the best was their Flourless Chocolate Cake. A small, round cake in the center of the plate with a bit of whipped cream and a strawberry was set in front of me. It was so delicious! The center was a bit molton... not overly gooey but just right. The cake around it was dense and just sweet enough. Jon and I loved our evening at Aldo's. I think half the fun was realizing we had no idea what we were doing. It was quite an adventure. We returned to Aldo's (appropriately dressed this time) for our 1st anniversary when I was 15 weeks pregnant. It was great but I think it's more fun to go in jeans :)
So, back to the cookies... Here's the recipe
These cookies are the answer to every chocolate craving! They are a cross between a candy and a cookie. There are very few ingredients and they are heavy on chocolate flavor! I put a handful of chocolate chips in the batter but I think they were overkill. The batter came out pretty thick so they weren't quite as flat as the picture. The great news is that they freeze really well. I put most of them in the freezer and took 2 out yesterday and let them thaw on the counter for a little while. They tasted just as great as they had just after I made them. I think I'll be keeping a bag in the freezer from now on for Chocolate emergencies :)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Many of the skin products I want to make call for Calendula infused oil. Here's how I made it...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I recently came across this picture while looking for baby pictures of my sister for her wedding. I hung it on my fridge and looked at it every time I walked by. I love this picture.
My mom was my first teacher. She taught me to sew, cook, garden, and endless other activities. She taught me the basic skills needed to take on almost any hobby I can think of. I may not have appreciated the gardening at the time but now I draw on those lessons while working in my garden.... a garden that provides me with great joy. She taught me to eagerly seek out new hobbies while holding on to much loved ones. Through hobbies, we have found a way to fill ourselves up... a way for me to hold on to Becky when she threatens to disappear in a sea of diapers and sippy cups.
My husband has told me before that he never knows what kind of hobby I'll pick up next. He gets the sweetest smile on his face whenever I talk a mile a minute about how I can't wait to start making soap, or soup stock, or matching Steeler hats. :)
I have my mom to thank for this. Thanks Mom for teaching me all the things I needed to make this life as wonderful as it is. I love you.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Evan put a bathtowel on his head and then topped that with his cowboy hat... he then ran around the living room jabbering away.
Evan loves to put buckets on his head (again, ever the entertainer). He put his drum on his head and then found that if he stomped his feet, the drum would bounce on his head making a drum sound. He proceeded to bounce around the living room.
Better go. He just ran from the room... never know what he's going to get into next :)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Like my flip-flop tan lines?? :)
I'll be back next week :)
Friday, July 10, 2009
This is a Howden's Field Pumpkin. I didn't know we had any pumpkins forming yet until Jon was cutting the grass. This bit of vine had grown through the fence. This pumpkin variety won't get huge. This little guy is the size of a small melon at this point.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
They both contain Sweet Potato! I know with the fries it's obvious but believe it or not, the brownies have sweet potato puree in them... and yes, they're delicious! Here are the recipes.
Sweet Potato Fries
Peel and cut sweet potatoes into french fry size. Toss with a bit of oil and salt. Put them on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the tips brown. These will not be crunchy like french fries. They stay pretty soft but man are they sweet! The salt on them really brings out their flavor. This is my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes.
While waiting at the doctor's office one day, I was reading a Martha Stewart magazine (she usually makes me want to gag but this time I found an interesting article). This article said that people often use applesauce as a substitute for oil in recipes but it can make things taste a bit fruity. They suggest using sweet potato puree as a substitute for some of the fat in these brownies since it gives a rich flavor and texture.
We love these brownies. They are fudgy and dense without being chewy. They hit the spot when I want something sweet and chocolately.... and as long as I don't think about how good my mom's real brownies are, I'm happy with these. :)
Make sure to cook them until the middle seems firm when you gently press it. If you don't, they'll be too gooey to take out of the pan.
Here's the article... the recipe link is at the end of the first paragraph where it says "fudge brownies".
We'll see how long the pan of brownies last in this house. :)
Monday, July 6, 2009
#1- Top and tail the beans while watching TV in a comfy chair (very important) :)
#2- Put on Dora to keep the kids busy while you do the following:
#3 Boil a pot of water
#4 Get a big bowl (or sink) of water and ice ready. I put my colander in it to make taking the beans out easier.