Sunday, September 28, 2008
If I don't have a menu plan, then I have to admit that finding the inspiration to come up with something nutritious and delicious that the kids will eat at the last minute is next to impossible. So, it is with this purpose in mind, that I decided to add the "On Our Table This Week" box on the right. I will update it each week with what I am planning, in case you need a little inspiration. And please, if you have a great recipe, send it my way!!! Note: I usually plan 5 meals a week, because on the other nights we eat leftovers or eat out, or on crazy nights we eat scrambled eggs or oatmeal or something.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
1 yellow cake mix
1 can mandarin oranges, not drained
3/4 c. canola oil or butter
16 oz. cool whip
1 can crushed pineapple (not drained)
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Directions: Mix together cake mix, mandarin oranges, oil (or butter), and eggs until thoroughly mixed. Pour into two or three round cake pans. (Three layers just makes the cake look fancier, but two works just as well.) Bake at 350 degrees. For two pans, it takes 30-33 minutes; for three pans, it takes about 25 minutes. (Ovens vary, so be cautious. A sure way to dry out a cake is to overbake it. I like to err on the side of slightly underbaked.)
For frosting, combine cool whip, crushed pineapple, pudding mix, and walnuts and mix well. If cakes aren't cooled yet, put frosting in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Cool cakes, and frost between layers, sides, and top. I like to garnish with pineapple or walnuts. Last night I used raspberries, since I had them and it looked great. Just use whatever you have on hand. Refrigerate until serving.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
My little helper.
4. Prepare your syrup. I always use a light syrup, because if your fruit is ripe and sweet, you don't need extra sugar. I used 6 cups water to 2 cups sugar, but you can find charts for different syrups at homecanning.com or anywhere for that matter. You want the syrup to be hot when you add it to your jars, but not boiling.
5. Now, just peel and cut the peaches in half and put them into the jars. You want to fill them pretty tight, so simply tamp it down on a towel and the fruit will settle so you can fit lots in. Leave about 1/2 inch of space on top. (You can see from the pictures that I actually cut my peaches into sixths. I do this because I can fit more into the jars and my kids want them cut up when I serve them, so doing it in advance cuts down on dinnertime mayhem.)
5. Meanwhile, simmer the lids and screwbands in a saucepan, for sterilization and to soften the rubber on the lids.
6. Ladle hot syrup into jars to cover peaches, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup.
7. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. 8. PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes (for quarts), adjusting for altitude (homecanning.com). Remove jars and cool on a towel. They are HOT. 9. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
9. Label jars and stock your shelves.
A full pantry is joy to me. Just call me mother squirrel.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
So, I try to prioritize, and when I have a few seconds, I dabble. I dabble in whatever suits my fancy that day. Usually in 10-15 minute increments, between running the kids to and from or following my two-year old around the house. My goals are much loftier than my completed projects, which has led me to an overabundance of good fabric, paper, ribbon, and cookbooks. One day I will get to it!!! I will, I will! I absolutely love to create and I'm realizing more and more how fulfilling it is. So, this personal blog is a way for me to share the goodness of cooking, sewing, creating, reading, and mothering with you.