Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Suitening" up some APPles

Look what I got...YAY!

I have to tell you, we know some pretty fabulous people. One of those FABULOUS PEOPLES gave me LOTS of yummy homegrown apples. Are we happy?! OH YES! I "suitened" up a bag of these babies today and canned ME some Apple Pie Filling.
7 quart jars to be exact!
Thought I would share the recipe I used. It turned out super yummy!
(This was the first time I have canned ALL ALONE! I did it! Well, I guess I did have a little help!)

6 - 8 pounds of apples (enough to tightly pack into 7 quart jars)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup of quick cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
5 cups water
5 cups apple juice

Mix sugar, brown sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl.

(Just in case you don't know, this is what a box of tapioca looks like. I found mine at Walmart, it was cheaper than using the clear gel stuff)

In a large stock pot add vinegar, apple juice and water.
Cook on medium high heat. As liquid begins to warm pour in sugar mixture, stirring
WELL to get the tapioca to plump and to keep it from sticking to the pot.
Cook until it comes to a rapid boil that wont stir down. Boil for 2 minutes. It should turn into a thick syrup.
(Sorry no more pictures! This step of the recipe goes fast and I didn't have enough hands to do the camera too.)
Pack lots of apples into hot jars tightly.
Ladle the hot filling into the jars of apples.
Using a wooden or plastic utensil, poke around in your apples to release the air bubbles and to help the filling get down to the bottom and in between all the apples. Finish filling each jar with additional filling leaving at least 1/2-inch
head space. Filling will expand a bit during
processing. Wipe the tops clean
(I use a disposable paper towel) Adjust hot
lids to top of jars.
Tighten bands with finger tips and process in boiling water
bath for 25 minutes.

Here they are! They get to sit and rest for 24 hrs so they can seal. My favorite sound is the little pop you hear when it seals. Guess what?! THEY ALL SEALED. WOO HOO!
Here, go ahead and take a gander. They are so pretty!

You know how I love jars!

Especially filled with something yummy!

Not only was this a lot of fun, I was able to put some of Grandmas jars and her other canning tools to good use. I could almost sense her here with me for a little while. She always loved homemade and handmade stuff. I hope I make her proud. Love you and miss you Grandma. You are always here with me and I can feel it! Hope you have a fabulous day everyone! Oh, and here's to a HAPPY FALL!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yet Another {kitchen zone}

I'm back with yet another fabulous kitchen zone, DONE! So, after thinking it over, I decided to move my {baking zone} over to the other side of the kitchen by the oven. I know you don't have to say it...I'm brilliant! RIIIGHTT. Baking stuff by the oven just makes sense.
To replace my {baking zone} I added a zone we have never had before. It totally makes sense for our family. We added a {lunch/breakfast zone}. Let me show you around. Here we are again at our same little cupboard area. Same place, different stuff.
Here we have our essentials for our PB&J sandwiches. I have the bread up on the top shelf.

This basket is for our quick breakfast foods. Like poptarts, microwave oatmeal or homemade granola bars. Just grab and go!

Warm fuzzies are the yummy warm drinks for fall and winter mornings. Coco and herbal tea are our favorites. Once again I upcycled a jar for our coco.

Here we have our oatmeal we buy in bulk...

and cracked wheat for pancakes. If we're feelin' like normal pancakes, we've got mix for that too.

Do you remember the baking drawer? Well, it is now our lunch packing drawer. (Can you believe these hideously green baskets. RAN OUT OF PAINT! There were no small black baskets at my dollar tree. Oh well, another day:)) We have our baggies and spoons and lunch bags just in case their bags are still in the laundry to be washed.

This is the bottom cabinet that used to house the mixer. I picked up three large baskets at dollar tree and filled one with extra lunch bags, one with water bottles, and one with bowls, cups and plates. Everything is at a level where the boys can reach and get what they need. Oh, I can't forget our little ol' toaster is in there too. Pull it out if we need it! More counter space for me.

On the counter we do have our pretty cereal dispenser. I got it from CSN. I was able to do a review and thought one of these babies would be fun. LOVE IT! Twist and serve. You've got breakfast.

That's it. I hope you enjoyed your tour. I'll be back with yet another zone! See ya!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dollar Tree Baseball Parte!

Here's yo ticket! SO ya comin'? I know,I know, it's too late! We had so much fun, I thought I would bring the party to you.
SO, this was the party invite. I just whipped this baby up on my scrap booking program. I printed it out right at home onto some card stock. Jace thought it was the coolest thing EVER!

I usually don't share my parties but this one is a little different from all the other parties I have thrown. This was what I would like to call a "Dollar Tree Baseball Parte"! Yep, I bought just about everything from dollar tree except for the cupcake stuff. SWEET DEAL!
Here are some pictures and I'll list what exactly is from Dollar Tree. ONE DALLA, BABY!
Okay, so nothing here, except for the balloons. I found a huge bag for what? That's right peoples, One buckaroo! The cupcakes are supposed to look like baseballs just in case you couldn't tell. Shoot, who cares what they look like. Chocolate cake with more chocolate M&m's on top! PERFECT! Jace is totally my son;)

Now here we have our plastic popcorn buckets 2 for a dollar! I made my own batch of Cracker Jacks, for the recipe go HERE. SO YUMMY! I found red, white and blue tootsie rolls and tootsie pops. That is what is in the apothecary jars.

Water bottles, dollar! You know I can't let anything go by without vinyling it first! Bat and ball, Un dolar. This was our little thank you. I had a little ball tag that said," Thanks for making my Birthday a hit!"

The games were also easy and cheap. We cut out fish put a paper clip on them and wrote single, triple, double, home run and strike on them. Then they fished them out with a magnet at the end of a fishing pole. If they got a single they got one piece of candy, triple, three pieces, home run they got a sucker. You get the drift.

The second game was a perfect pitch game. We stacked cups and had them underhand pitch to see it they could knock down all of the cups. CHEAP!

Then last we purchased some dollar water balloons and we pitched them a balloon to hit. They loved getting splashed.

This was seriously the easiest and cheapest bday ever. Thanks Dollar Tree! YAY! It was a "HIT". Now I can go and finish my kitchen! Happy day to ya.

Monday, September 13, 2010

{Suite ZONEd Kitchen}

I'm back...HEYyyy! I have been workin' hard gettin' things under control around "The Suite". The first project I want to share with you girlies is my kitchen. Why? Because, our kitchen is usually the first place that gets trashed and the last place I want to be after it's been trashed:) AHHHH! Then, I don't know if you noticed this at your house, the rest of the house falls into pieces? WE SO CANNOT HAVE THAT HAPPIN'!

I have heard many times that the kitchen functions much better when broken up into zones(been there done that:)) My problem was nothing was in it's proper zone. BAD...I KNOW! I decided to tackle my biggest problem zone yet, {My Baking Zone}. DUN, DUN, DUUUUUN!

This cupboard was pretty much empty. (side note: we don't have a pantry in our loverly kitchen. All our food and larger food items are stored in a different location of the house. Crazy, I know! WE DO HAVE FOOD! Time to put these kitchen cupboards to good use!)

Here's what I did:

I upcycled a few of those old jars that were in the cupboard by painting lids black and labeling them with vinyl. I filled these with dry goods that I'm always in need of when baking.

I even threw a label on my big jars that I already had. CUTE, right?

I stocked up on baskets from 99 cent store. Painted them black. Purchased a few small frames to add to the baskets as labels. One basket has all my baking spices and the other has all my sprinkles and cupcake stuff.

Next, I cleared out a drawer and added an organizer to it. I filled it with all of our measuring stuff.

Then I organized a bottom cabinet so I can have all my baking dishes and pan in one spot. Oh, and I was able to slide in my little mixer so I have extra counter space now too.
ALL DONE! I now have a FABULOUS {Baking Zone}. Do a little dance with me...WHOOT, WHOOT! I've already been "in the zone" a few times. It is so much more functional and I know exactly where everything is. LOVE IT!

I'm on my way to finish up some of our other zones, I'll be back!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OUTTA ConTrol!

This past week was a good one for me. After lots of talking and thinking and quietly praying I came to realize, I am a TOTAL control freak! And guess what? I've completely lost CONTROL! AHHHHHHH! Talk about madness. I'm not sure why, but, this whole "Back to School" has been way crazy for me this year. I am SO not complaining. I seriously have been blessed like no other. I know this. I'm just letting you know that I am still here! SOMEWHERE! I am just taking a little break and slowly but surly getting my life back under MY CONTROL. So, what else have I been up to?
Ummmmm, not much!:) So, here is to a new school year to stretch and grow and become the person I am supposed to become. Or better yet, so I can eat my ICE CREAM in total peace!
I WILL be back soon, I promise! Just give me a minute. Thanks for being here! Happy day to you all:)
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