Saturday, September 17, 2011

More domestic stuff.....

Some might call it 'nesting,' but I really just don't want all this yummy produce to go to waste!  I got some tomatoes from the garden when I went to Kansas last weekend.  I wanted to make salsa, & also canned crushed tomatoes.  Since Mike is allergic to onions, I use alot of crushed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, chili, etc...any tomato based stuff...most of all store bought stuff has onions.  Anyway, I came  across a post saying that you could puree your fresh tomatoes (skins & all) and freeze them in freezer bags to use whenever!  I thought that sounded so much easier than trying to stand over the hot stove canning all these tomatoes.  So I tried it!  I did have enough peppers to make Mike 1 3/4 qts of salsa!

This little gadget came with my blender & attaches to it.  It has a bigger blade...I guess its kinda like a food processor!  It works great, I have used it more in the last 2 weeks than the whole time I've had it.  *Side note* My mom & mom -in- law both have their blenders that they got when they got married (37 & 36 yrs.) And I already have had to replace my blender once in 12 years (probably about 4 years ago).

So I ran the tomatoes through here & then transferred them to a bowl

Then I used this ladle to put the tomatoes into the baggies.  The ladle measured just about 1/2 a cup

I filled each bag with about 3 cups.

I ended up with 8 quart size bags of crushed tomatoes..can't wait to use them!  But...I should probably use the canned grocery store stuff that is in my pantry.  That way, when it's super cold & wintery, I can use my "fresh/frozen" tomatoes and they will taste so much better!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mmmmm...Peach Rhubarb Jam

So, I bought 2 boxes of Colorado peaches recently!  YUMMY!!  I could easily just eat them fresh, but part of the fun is extending their goodness through the cold of fall & winter!  I have been looking for things to use them in.  I will be freezing some & also dehydrating some for snacking!  But I thought..hmm...jam sounds yummy!  Then I remembered I still had some rhubarb in the freezer from earlier this summer!  I wondered what the combo would taste like. So I asked my friend google...and it seems like many people pair the two off season fruits together.  So I decided to try it!

I used this basic Peach Jam recipe from Martha

Then I modified it just slightly to add the rhubarb.  I adjusted the amount of peaches to include the rhubarb.  I didn't take into consideration that the rhubarb was frozen & therefor a little more watery as I used it, so the jam did not thicken as quickly.  But all in all, it was fun & it tasted yummy on my toast today!  I made 3 jars & also have a little dish in the fridge!

Chopped peaches added to food processor!
Blend them up!...So pretty!

Cooking everything together! YUM!

Pretty easy & very tasty!  Have fun!

Date to the 'Mountain'

Since we moved here, Lincoln has been obsessed with the 'MOUNTAIN' (Scotts Bluff National Monument).  He has been wanting to go there so badly. One evening, the boys & I drove out past there & then he got really excited, because he could see the tunnels.  The next night as we were leaving church, he told Mike that he wanted to go on a date to the mountain!  A picnic date!!  So, Mike told him that on Wednesday, we would go!  He was so excited!  Tuesday night, I asked him what kind of food we should take on our picnic date to the mountain.  We decided on: meat, cheese, & crackers, strawberries, cookies with chocolate candy in them, and root beer!  So much FUN!

On Wednesday, I told Lincoln that it was time to get our clothes & shoes on so we could go to the mountain & his response was, "Is it WEDNESDAY?!?!" So, off we went... all four FIVE of us!

We had a blast!  The boys loved climbing & hiking on the rocks!  Mommy did pretty good worries, I didn't try to do any climbing, but we did have a nice walk!  The season pass cost us $15 and it is good for a whole calendar year!  We have a card & as long as Mike or I are in the vehicle, we can use it!  I originally thought that I would be able to take the boys sometimes when Mike was at work...HA!!!  There is no way I will be able to do that for a LONG time!  They are so busy up there.  Mike had to stay very close to them the whole time.  Absolutely not a great idea while I'm pregnant for sure, then when I have the not a good idea!  Oh well, we can still go very often!

Well, here are some pics from our day!  Enjoy...OH & come visit & you can join us on a picnic date to the mountain!

My guys!!
So strong!!!

My climbers!!!

Lunch time!!!

View on the way down!

The tunnel(s) there are 3 of them to drive through...THE BOYS LOVE THEM!!!

All of us...the best I could get! love these guys!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Backyard Fun!

We had a great night tonight!  We set up our little fire pit & built a fire, cooked hot dogs for supper & then roasted marshmallows!  So much fun...the boys had a blast!!! 

We had some funny moments...I wish I could remember them all!  One time Lincoln said, "I love marsh(buuuurp)mallows!"  LOL I said, "Lincoln, what do you say when you burp?"  He proceeded to "pretend burp" too funny!  I explained...about 'excuse me'  Oh BOYS...what fun, they are!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


OK, so I know its technically not fall until September 23rd...but this weather is so not summer!! I AM SO HAPPY!

First of all, our nice little window a/c unit does well for the front room.  Actually, it does too well for the front room, (cold) but the rest of the house is still stuffy & warm.  This girl can't sleep when it's HOT (preggo or not) I actually slept on the sofa a few times, because I was uncomfortable!  ANYWAY, yesterday we actually got to open all the windows & turn the little a/c unit off!  IT WAS AMAZING in our house! top it off, the smell of sugar beats or feedlot were not invading my house along with the cool breeze..YAY!!!! And I actually slept in my room & had to use the sheet to cover up with for a bit...I was actually a little chilly!

Secondly, FOOTBALL!!!! YAY for FALL FOOTBALL!!! Is there really a better time of the year....EVER??? especially in Nebraska...hello?  I love Husker football & I can't wait to see how this season unfolds.  There is so much uncertainty...the newness of everything, the conference, the offense, new places to play, etc....I am matter how it turns out each week, I anticipate Saturday!!!  (of course, it's always better if the Huskers win!)

Next, cooking & baking!  I told Mike the other day that I was so excited because it was finally almost soup season! He laughed & said you eat soup anytime!  I know...but I explained that somehow soup always tastes better when you don't have to cook over the hot stove to achieve a tasty pot of soup!  YUMMO!  Plus, I am kinda "famous" for my chili making skills!  But I also enjoy making beef n noodles, chicken n noodles, veggie beef stew, cheeseburger soup, & potato soup!  MMMMM.....
Oh and many yummy flavors to choose from!  This morning I got up & noticed that Justice had taste tested 4 large apples in the fridge & returned them!  HA!!  So I cut out the teeth marks & then sliced & cored them.  This afternoon, I made apple crisp!  YUM!  I love making things like this that don't require a precise recipe!  After all, how can you go wrong with ingredients like, apples, oatmeal, a little flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, & butter?!!
So really, this also comes down to temperature...really who likes to cook when its 100* outside?

A few more things I am anxious for this fall!

  • BABY SANDER #3...HELLO!!! Can't wait til October...or whenever this little munchkin decides to join us!?! 
  • New wardrobe...actually for me..2 times!  I love change of seasons when you can pull out all the things you haven't worn for months...for me I get to do this a few times!  I will (maybe) get to utilize my fall maternity clothes & then also pull out all the non-maternity things I haven't gotten to wear for awhile. 
  • Pumpkin patch with my boys!! HOORAY!!!
  • The fact that summer is actually gonna be's not been an easy one :)
  • Cooler weather (already said that, didn't I?)
  • Outdoor parties!  We have a ginormous backyard & I can't wait to spend some more time out there in the evenings! Gotta have people over!!
Anyway, I am extremely excited for the change in weather that has sparked all of these thoughts in my head!  Hopefully, it's not just teasing me...I really would like it to be here to stay!