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Showing posts from September, 2014

"Flowers" for him...

Every now and again my husband goes out to buy me flowers. I love it. It actually happens more often now, because if he is shopping with Mikail and Mikail sees flowers, he will often say 'We should buy Mommy some flowers.' Sweet boy is learning from his Daddy, that's for sure.

Jason is a gift giver. It's one of his love languages. If I am having a challenging day at home with the kids, he knows just what to do to make it better and often it is in the form of a little gift. Nothing extravagant, but a gesture of love none-the-less. Jason is such a 'go with the flow' kind of guy that he doesn't have challenging days very often. That has changed since we have moved. This new job is challenging him in new ways all.the.time.

Our roles have changed lately. I am now the encourager. I have the opportunity to consciously lift him up, encourage him, and carry him when needed. I say 'consciously' because I have to remember to do this. I have to remember to ge…

Canning Tomatoes

We feel so incredibly blessed to still be able to can and freeze produce this season. It is the first year in a long time that we haven't had a garden and when we moved I mourned the fact that we wouldn't be able to can and freeze like we had in the past.

Between family being generous with their produce, co-workers dropping off produce on our step, and the local farmer's markets, I have canned more this year than any year in the past. What a blessing.

Tomatoes have been plentiful, so I have been canning using my old trusty recipes as well as a few new ones. I think we are set with two types of pasta sauce as well as pizza sauce. I still hope to make salsa, but am rather scared. I've never made salsa before. All that chopping. Oy!

Here are my favourite tomato recipes this year:

Canning Unsweetened Applesauce

We are on a canning roll here these days. Our latest fun has been applesauce. Jason came home with an 'apple machine' to help with the peeling and coring part of the project and I am so glad he did. It sped up the process sooo much. I thought these machines would be too pricey, but he found a PC Brand one for $12. It is metal and sturdy. The only thing we didn't like about it is that it doesn't clamp down, it is kept down with suction, which isn't a very smart design considering the apple juices get under the suction part and 'unsuction' it.

So, here is our first attempt at making applesauce:

What you will need:

Everyday Miracles

And just like that summer is ending and fall is beginning.
 And somehow we have become acclimatized to the warmer temperatures in our new surroundings, because yesterday it was 22 degrees Celsius while we had our picnic, and I was ccccold. Jason laughed because 22 degrees was a hot day to us when we lived up north. 
 It's been a rather challenging start to our move here.
No regrets. Just challenging.  These picnics and walks have given us much joy and inspiration. Such an economical way to 'get out' and explore our world while spending time together as a family.
 Looking for the tiniest hint of God's everyday miracles and beauty around us. And we always find them. In nature...  ...or in a mixture of man's innovations and God's creation.
In the wonder of our children as they discover the world around them.  "Mommy, me need to feel the grass, okay?"
And it's in these moments where the simplicity of life reminds us that everything will fall into pl…

Dry Mixes: Cornbread

This is one of my absolute favourite mix recipes that I use. I never liked cornbread until I went to the southern USA where they just know how to make it right. This recipe is a close second to the real southern dish.

Be warned, this is a large recipe. What you see in the picture is 1/2 the recipe minus 1 batch that I made right away.

4 cups flour
4 cups yellow corn meal
2 cups dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking powder
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp salt

Combine well and store in an air tight container.

To make:
1 1/4 cups cornbread mix
1 egg
1/2 cup milk or water (buttermilk tastes the best)
2 Tbsp oil

Pour into an 8x8 pan and bake at 425 deg. F for 12-15 minutes.

Dry Mixes: Shake 'n' Bake

Sage Shake 'n' Bake for Pork

5 cups bread crumbs (I got the giant box of Panko Bread Crumbs at Costco)
5 cups white flour
1/2 cup dried onion
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 tsp ground sage

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Shake well before using.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use 1 cup of mix per 4 pork chops. I shake the pork chops and mix together in a bag.
Cover in a greased baking dish.
Bake for 40 minutes
Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.

Shake 'n' Bake for Chicken

3 cups white flour
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
2 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tabsp taco seasoning (you may have made that earlier this week)
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano

Use 1 cup of seasoning per recipe.

A couple of recipes I have used:

Shake 'n' Bake Chicken Thighs

You will need 4 chicken legs with backs attached.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F Put 1 cup of seasoning into a bag (larg…