Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Sorry for not announcing this sooner. We had a fun weekend with family staying over and canning lessons going on. The winner is
Anonymous Brandy Brady said...

Wow Erin how come I never seen this before..your Summer Bruschetta recipe looks good going to try it some time this week..I will be checking back on your blog a lot more often now that I know it's here.

Thanks everyone who entered and we'll be doing this again soon. Brandy catch up with me on Facebook and send me your address please :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cherry Clafouti

Have you ever seen a show called the Fabulous Beekman Boys? If not you should it is fabulous! I'm not sure how I ran across it but after seeing the first episode I was hooked. This is a recipe from their website here. I'd never heard of Clafouti but it looked so yummy I had to try it. It was super simple, cheap ingredients (we had cherries on hand) and so quick to make. It tastes a lot like my brother's bread pudding. Yummy! So if you have a few handfuls of cherries left and need a quick dessert try this you won't be disappointed. And don't forget about our giveaway going on this is the last day to enter!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Easy Tomato Sauce

We have tomatoes coming in fresh every day but it never seems like we have enough to can any of them. We are going to need way more plants next year. To use the tomatoes we did have sitting on our kitchen counter we decided to make up some basic tomato sauce to freeze for later use.
This is a deep sided roasting pan with an assortment of tomatoes including one of the super sweet yellows we grew. The instructions for this came from the Old School blog where you can get some of the best tips and old school learnin' you crave. Anyway just clean up the fruits of your garden or local market and spread down some yummy olive oil with a few cloves of garlic and throw that pan in the oven at 450 until the skins crack and blacken. When you are done you have a hot mess like this. Most of my tomatoes were not super meaty ones so I have a lot of juice in the bottom of the pan. But I like my sauce to be thick so I scooped the tomatoes into a largish sauce pan to cook down some. Using the magic potato masher I came up with a very nice sauce. If you let the tomatoes cool even young children could help with the mashing. The white stuff in the pan is the garlic. That I did pull out separately dice up (along with an extra clove or two) and sauteed in a little more olive oil. Then just let this all simmer down stirring it once in a while so it doesn't burn. You can also add more herbs to your pot as it simmers. Since I wanted this to be a plain base sauce for future projects I just added a little bit of parsley. This is a photo of my finished sauce all nice and thick. If you don't like the idea of the tomato skins you could pull them off before mashing but I like the rustic-ness and you can't really tell they are in the sauce.

Hello yummy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's our Bloggaversary!

I can't believe that it has been one year since starting this blog. I will admit that it hasn't been as smooth going as I would have liked but darn it we are still here and since you are too I want to give you a present! Check out the fun at the bottom of this post. But first I've got a great little recipe to share that we had for dinner last night. It was supposed to be a snack but it is really filling. Hope you enjoy!
Summer Bruschetta

Start with a fresh baguette, slice about 1/2 inch thick or thinner if you prefer.

Melt about 3 TBSP of butter and throw in three crushed cloves of garlic. Simmer together for about five minutes or until the garlic doesn't smell 'raw' any more.

Brush the melted butter over both sides of the baguette slices. Bake at 200 degrees (or a toast setting on your oven) for 30 minutes or so per side. You want your slices to be nice and crispy when they are done. Let them cool off and start the next step.

Cut up one nice meaty tomato such as a hefty Beef Steak and add an equal amount of cucumber. These are about 1/4" thick pieces ya' want them small enough to sit on the baguette. Add a health dose of dill, fresh is awesome but dried will work just fine. Mix together.

To build smear your baguette slices with veggie cream cheese and then a spoonful of tomato and cucumbers on top. Absolutely delightful! Summer all in one delicious bite.

Now for the fun give away. This is a set of vinyl words from Stampin' Up! and a set of canning utensils. There maybe some other surprise items in your box but these two will be in there for sure. Just leave me a comment before Friday August 27th at midnight eastern time. Your comment can be about anything, your favorite thing to can, a story, maybe even a quick family dinner recipe. You can get a second chance to win by following our blog just leave me another comment. Don't forget to make sure that your email address is right because is would be a bummer to not be able to get a hold of you. Just so you know what the vinyl pieces look like this is the same set on one of the canisters I bought myself this year. BTW unfortunately I can only ship the prize to the continental United States sorry :(

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Compost Bin

One more project we've gotten done this summer is a compost bin. We've looked at lots of different patterns for bins and even looked at the ones in store but they are so expensive and we haven't found any more big barrels like our rain barrel (any ideas where to get them?). As Photo Dude and I looked through a gardening book we saw an idea that we could actually accomplish. It was actually fairly simple and went up in no time. For some reason I had the photo of the gorgeous full bin in my head and was truly a little disappointed to realize that it didn't magically fill. Although if compost had started falling from the sky I would have freaked out.

Making Butter from Scratch

I had some heavy cream left over from another cooking project and wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I decided that I should make butter! Homemade butter is so much more awesome than the butter in stores and it isn't that fake yellow color. I decided to use my handy food processor for this because I did not want to try doing this by hand. Really this can't get much easier. Start by throwing your cream into the food processor and Whoosh! away it goes. It doesn't take long for a nice foam to start. I did throw in a dash of salt just 'cuz. The first thing you get is whipped cream. It would be yummy except the added salt and lack of sugar. The first time I made whipped cream after moving out on my own I didn't know you where supposed to add sugar, I quickly learned. After some more time you the cream starts to separate from the liquid. I drained the liquid off and processed a bit longer to make sure it was all out. Next I added a half cup of ice cold water at a time to 'wash' the butter. This is to make sure all the butter milk is gone. Just keep adding and draining the water until it is clear. You don't have to do this step if you are going to be using your butter quickly but if you want to be able to store it then this will help it last longer. When you are done you will have beautiful creamy butter that is different than anything you've had from a store. This is a wonderful time to add other flavorings or seasonings like garlic or herbs.