Under Costruction.....


Just like life building (rebuilding) a blog is a journey.... please stick with us as we make this blog better. Thanks y'all!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Better then Shopping......

mercy me, i have shopped more in the last three weeks then i think i have for the entire year combined. i don't think it is any secret i would rather shop for food, but this is the week to get ready for school...since they all decided...including my soon to be kindergartener...they would rather go to school then stay home in their pj's with me!  i know, i know....there should have been no contest! but there i was and i lost, so like the gracious looser that i am

{picture my #4 with her left hand up to her forehead in an L shape....yes...dearies...I know that you apply this to your dearest mother!}

i promised that i would not wait until 7 pm on the saturday before school to go shopping....again i am not a fan....but because i have many wonderful fashion forward friends

{who secretly apply the L shaped formation to their head for my fashion decisions...or lack of them.....doesn't cargo maternity pants count as fashion forward?}

that inspire my darling girls and offer to take them shopping for the newest and greatest fashions and thus further pushing me down the who's cool ladder...and my fear of what they will bring home....I ventured out.

with a good attitude i might add!  my knees and feet would later curse me as would the twins (though they adored the shoes!) and the baby...who really didn't care as long as she got fed......and again thank you sweet sales lady for the use of the fitting room....or was it the 90 bucks my daughter dropped when buying your jeans.

did i mention i had a good attitude....because it wasn't my buckaroos being spent, the gurlies have been working hard all summer and used their own money!


did you hear the echo?

that and my husband had instructed me that it is a mother daughter tradition that i need to learn to love...or fake it....

so i have survived the starter-gun-goes-off-and-the-rush-of-sweaty-smelly-buses-smashed-lunches-and-hands-held-out-for-money-begins...

aaannndddd...........because we are all hectic and running around like crazy, at least i am, and need something easy and relatively quick to make that is healthy and semi nutritious, and not loaded down with fillers and preservatives.... and then a wonderful friend shared this french bread recipe from Tasty Kitchen here, after she was sweet enough to make lunch for a frenzied few of us! it is fabulous...my kiddos love it so much we have made it three days in  row....it's that easy!


  • 2-½ cups Warm Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive/coconut Oil
  • 6 cups Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Yeast
  • 1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl combine warm water, salt, sugar, oil*, 3 cups flour, and yeast. Beat vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the remaining flour and then leave the dough (spoon still in the bowl) for 10 minutes. Then beat down the dough.
Let it sit for ten more minutes and then beat down again. Repeat this process until you have beaten down the dough 5 times. This part of the recipe is not very forgiving. A few minutes here and there won’t mess it up but don’t leave your dough for longer than 15 minutes or it will change the final product.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead just enough to coat the dough in flour, making it easy to handle.
Split the dough in half and form each half into loaf. Coat pan with oil and, if desired, dust with cornmeal.
Place loaves on pan(s) and let rise for 30 minutes.
With a very sharp knife make 3-5 slashes on the top of the loaves and brush the top and sides with the beaten egg.
Put in a preheated 400 degree oven immediately and cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan immediately and cool on racks.

so good warm slathered with butter, a bread & butter pickle sandwich and french toast!!!  I can't wait to make pizza on it!!!  But I will have to make some more!!

and oh yeah...#2 may kill me for the picture...we were both in tears before she left for school...her first day of high school......but she looks so much better then I when bawling!!  She did great..and we both survived.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

pickle me some.....

What do all these things have in common.....

22 trips to the grocery store

2 girls registered for school...though I would rather just keep them home...
26 chocolate chip cookies that had to be eaten

4 gazillion times I sat on the couch and nursed a baby girl....well not just a baby girl..my baby girl

4 gazillion and 1 times that I looked at facebook, my hubs thinks I am slightly addicted

1435 loads of laundry

3 laborious and soul searching shopping trips...have you seen the grunge and eighties fashion going on....I may be having nightmares...worse then being nekkid.....okay maybe not that bad....

6 episodes of Big Rich Texas (I heart Texas)

1 pre-season highschool football game....GO #62...that was his dad's number if ya remember or want to know

5 chauffeured rides for  #2 to go to work.....and thus....the three shopping trips....

14 pints of bread and butter pickles just like granma's

1 calming drive to a little highway town

0 miles on the treadmill

400 times that I cleaned up a potty mess......and we are no closer to being potty trained

36 quarts of dill pickles

2 dinners that included grilled corn on the cob

did you guess? do you get it? you need another hint?

um...no post here this week....i am a slacker, i admit it...i did visit other blogs when I found that fb was a repeat....

all those blogs are inspiring and hopeful and knowledgeable.....

and so i will pass along my incredibly knowledgeable and awe-inspiring blogging at 12:30 am on a saturday morning because i didn't do it during the week.....

hold on a moment, time to take a look at the (venison) that is now hanging up in my garage...thank you  #2!

so what knowledge will I pass along? only what I know....

and I will spare you the long and labor inducing stories of birth...so the next best thing is food, canning and preserving those oh so yummy and nourishing summer fruits that we will all be craving this winter.

I love cooking and the love for cooking has expanded to canning and bottling fresh vegetables and fruit to make sure that my family have all the nutrients from homegrown food and to try and live as if I am on my farm.

This year there was no garden......because as you know....I have no farm, let alone a house with a yard....BUT there is a wonderful self pick farm down the road and luckily farming communities that share their labor of love (you have to love farming...or you wouldn't do it!) and in another few weeks and we will be knee deep in tomatoes, and thank heavens because we are plum out!

canning always makes me feel nostalgic and oh so thankful that i have a/c as my kitchen is an oven and i can't imagine what it was like to only have an open window to cool things off. and can you imagine what it was like when the breeze didnt' blow and the rain didn't fall, and yet you still had to bake the bread and bottle the peas and what not because that would be your only food come winter?  again, thank heavens for bought air!
this is my sweet sister and her family with my granma...she looks better then I so I will post her picture!

and today as i prepared the bread and butter pickles i couldn't help but think about my granma and how she loved these pickles with homemade bread and butter...nothing else needed.... i do not know if she made them, she certainly loved them and i know that she bottled other foods, so today's post is to her and my sweet memories of her as i grew up... and her unconditional love and support of me...and that she kept the renderings of my farms for 30 years!

i managed 14 pints, all beautiful and yummy...we (me and the mctwins) were eating them while they were still warm and in the pot!  and they were oh so crunchy! i was a little sad that I had already eaten two rolls today...

and with trying to loose the baby muffin....bread is on restriction to me, by me. if only i stuck to it! so enjoy this recipe and don't eat your allotment of bread until after you have made these!

Bread and Butter Pickles

30 cucumbers, thinly sliced
5 onions, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons diced garlic (I just use the bottles prediced garlic...because I go through it like crazy and it is just easier this way!)
1/2 cup salt
4 cups cider vinegar
7 cups white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons celery seed
3/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons alum

1. In a large bowl, mix together cucumbers, onions and salt.
Allow to stand approximately 3 hours. (if you don't use the alum, then you will want to put ice in the mixture to create a more crisp pickle)
2. In a large saucepan, mix the cider vinegar, white sugar, mustard seed, celery seed,
whole cloves and turmeric. Bring to a boil.
3. Drain liquid from the cucumber mixture. Stir the mixture into the boiling vinegar
mixture. Remove from heat shortly before the combined mixtures return to boil.
4. Process the pints for five minutes in a water bath.

thank you aunt Diana for having and keeping all these recipes for me to try and fall in love with all over again!
i made dill pickles too!!! i made dilly beans last year and since my dear cousin wants the recipe, i will share it all with you too! they are such a refreshing change to pickles and so easy to munch on when you just need a quick pick me up and, and, are you ready for this, it helps the munchies go away!  really, if i munch on them, I am not craving other foods.

6 cups water
1 cup pickling salt
6 cups distilled white vinegar
8 heads fresh dill weed (i just used dried)
1/2 cup pickling spice
1/2 cup mustard seed
8 dried red chile peppers
16 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon alum
5 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and
1. Sterilize 8 (1 pint) jars in boiling water for at least 5 minutes, or in the dishwasher like i do and i use wide mouth jars for the beans because it is easier to pack them and get them out later!
2. Combine the water, pickling salt and vinegar in a large pot, and bring to a boil. When
it begins to boil, reduce heat to low, and keep at a simmer while you pack the jars.
3. In each jar place the following: 1 head of dill, 1 tablespoon of pickling spice, 1
tablespoon of mustard seed, 1 dried chile pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/8
teaspoon of alum (the alum is necessary as it keeps the beans crisp!). Pack beans into the spiced jars in a standing position.
4. Ladle the hot brine into jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Screw the lids onto
the jars, and process in a hot water bath for 6 minutes to seal. Store for at least 2
weeks before eating.

well there you have it, this is what i have been doing and what i will be doing for the next couple of months, i heart bottling, it makes me feel complete and like i did something good for my family...even though it leaves my kitchen a disaster and I am mopping the floor at midnight!  it is all worth it...really.....because after all you will be creating food that has no HFCS or MSG or other preservatives that make us sick slowly but surely.  tonight is not the night for my soapbox, but rest assured i feel strongly about not putting food in our body that has ingredients in them that you can not even pronounce

and, um...stay tune......i will be sharing my experience with you on cooking and trying deer liver....it is good for you...but i still have nightmare stories about sitting at the table until i finished nasty fried liver that tasted mushy and burnt and a whole lotta other things ....but game liver is fresh and not stocked full of grain and soy products..... this could get interesting!

luv yer guts and then some!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate makes everything better.....

I've been writing this post in my head for two weeks now....

I've had to erase and edit, and start over, yes...even in my head!

I bawled through the first one, the morning after Utah's pioneer day celebration....

Whao!  I am that moved by the day.....that, and i am still pondering, ok, totally questioning, why the fam and I have yet to be able to fulfill our (my) dream...and hopefully that of my husband....and seek out our own green acres. Just like our pioneer heritage.....

We drove around a little farming/ranching community, that I have loved since we moved north...and can't seem to return down south.....

grammies sitting on the porch rocking, the tick and hiss of sprinkler hitting the the grass whispering in the wind, the cow dogs yipping after their little boys....gardens, thick and green, getting heavy with ripening pods...

I could go on and on....but I won't. Let's just say that my granma, was still finding my farm layout drawings when she was still with us.....

we had had a conversation about my layouts just a few weeks before she died...she asked me what I was doing to fulfill those plans that I had had in my head since I was at least 8....the brood mare barn (forget vampire books, I devoured every girl and colt book there was to be had), the apple orchards...treats for my horsey pals of course, the pastures, my house with the wrap around porch....and so on and so on.....i said it must not be meant to be...she told me nonsense, keep trying.....at least I had found my cowboy....she always found the positive!

my mr. says I want it too bad.....so the universe says no...really? serious??

i cried some more, when my city gone country cousin blogs that she has cows...I am happy for her, thrilled for her....i encourage her to get chickens...then wonder.....why not me?

could it be that we chose to have eight kiddos in a down economy and didn't have our education finished until we had half our family......(that's a hint peeps...finish school before...or not....whatever feels right! but i do encourage my girls to go to college, go on a mission, play, travel, have fun.....but if you fall in love at 18 and marry...so be it....but please wait.....that could be just two short years away....I'm not ready..I still have babies at home.....and I mean literal babies, I am not ready for grandbabies....yet)  is it because I am wishy washy

 could it be that my husband choose a vocation in public service because the ranch/farm was already crowded, and well.... working for the gov, stinks? but thank heavens for insurance!  could it be that it is just not meant to be, that i have a different mission in life then I want....

who knows, except the Lord...and He seems quiet on the subject.....

so like i do in all irreconcilable dilemmas...I think about food and how i would do it if i did have my white farm house and picket fence....so i will leave you with this recipe, homemade chocolate syrup, without preservatives or chemicals or corn syrup....

so far we have had it on ice ream and shakes, in milk, added powdered sugar to it to make a glaze for homemade donuts, recipe here......and yes, even by the finger full....why dirty a spoon my son said....needless to say it was a hit.....

see...chocolate does solve everything....i even put it in my chili...yep.....seriously! i will keep you posted about my dream....i now have a deadline, i put us on the waiting list for a miniature jersey dairy cow....how fun is that?  and a post for another time!

Chocolate Syrup

2 cups Powdered sugar (you can use granulated, but the syrup tends to be more coarse and grainy)
1/2 cup cocoa (imagine dark chocolate here too!)
1 cup water
1/4 t vanilla
1/8 t salt

mix sugar and cocoa together, then stir in water and bring to a slow boil, not to fast or it can boil over! Boil for three minutes. Take off stove and stir in salt and vanilla. As it cools, it will thicken. I stored it in a mason jar for the ease of dipping a spoon...aka...finger...

store it on the top shelf in the fridge..because it will go fast!!

just so ya know...I just made a fresh double batch and stirred it into my homemade blueberry shake....totally rocked! and i licked the pan when i put it away

thanks for listening to my woes, which are more then one, since I licked the chocolate sauce pan!
luv yer guts
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts