Thursday, June 2, 2011
Hubby has decided it's time to go back on a diet so therefore he has begun counting calories. I am therefore on a quest to cook more healthy things. As part of this quest, I have joined a produce co-op in our area. Pickup is every 2 weeks, and it has been a really great thing! For just $23, I get a bag filled with a minimum of $50 in produce. I learned of the coop from my mom who heard about it when she was in a couponing class. Everything has been really great so far, and it is fun to try new recipes with the things I receive in my bag.
One issue with the coop is that we often get more fruit in a week than we can eat. So, my solution is that I am going to take up canning. I read an article today that talks about the standards for ready made foods (i.e. 1 rat hair is allowed per 100 g of peanut butter) and I was outraged. I would like to have more control over what is in my food! Making my own sauces, peanut butter, etc would not only allow me to know what is in my food but it will also save money and be overall more healthy- especially for hubby who is trying to lose weight!
So, off to Amazon I went to pick up a beginners book on canning. I ended up going with Put Em' Up! A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook. It had really good reviews and has lots of recipes, so it looks like it will be a good investment! It should arrive today, so I am really excited about getting started on this journey! I already know for sure I would like to make peanut butter, salsa, strawberry and grape jam, etc.
My hope is that I can track my canning progress and recipes on this blog. I think it's fun to keep updated with what worked and what didn't and maybe get input from readers as well. For last night's dinner, I made spaghetti and roasted red potatoes. Overall, I would say both dishes turned out well!
Spaghetti Noodles- I used Market Pantry brand from Target
Pasta Sauce- I use Garlic and Onion chunky sauce from Schnucks
Fresh Roma Tomatoes- from the coop, chopped and put into sauce
1- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spaghetti noodles and cook for 8 minutes.
2- While water is boiling, add pasta sauce to a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat.
3- After noodles are cooked to your liking, drain off the water and replace noodles into large saucepan.
4- Combine sauce and pasta in large saucepan, stir, and serve.
Roasted Red Potatoes
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. marjoram, dill weed, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, thyme, salt
4 red potatoes, cubed
1- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
2- Mix olive oil and all spices in a large bowl. Add cubed potatoes and stir until well coated.
3- Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Posted by Patsy at 11:36 AM
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
When we bought our house, we converted the upstairs bedroom into our office. A few months ago, Jason decided he wanted to pick up drums again and so we were faced with a dilemma of where to put the drums. I didn't want them upstairs in the office because of the noise levels. The office is directly adjacent to our bedroom and not too far from the living room so the noise level would be a little unbearable. We decided that we would create an office space by framing out/drywalling/flooring one corner of our basement. Once that was done, we decided to finish off the 3rd bedroom in the basement by painting the walls and installing carpet. The office space downstairs therefore freed up the upstairs office/bedroom to become my CRAFT ROOM! It's pretty much my dream come true...I've always wanted a place of my own! Over the next month or so, I debated whether or not I wanted to paint the room or just keep it. When we moved into the house, we painted every room. We had chosen a 2 tone green paint scheme for the office (3/4 walls are lighter green and we have the other wall as a darker accent wall). I thought about painting it a tiffany blue color with black and white accents. Before I purchased paint, I decided to make a trip to Joann to look at fabric choices. I didn't find anything I just loved in black and white, but I did fall completely in love with this pink and green fabric. That pretty much made up my mind- I was keeping the green! We had to sink quite a bit of money into Jason's drum room, and I decided that I didn't really want to spend a lot but I still wanted my room to look cute so I decided to sew my own curtains (hasn't happened yet), and make my own artwork. I made 4 pieces of art.