Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tourtiere and Stories

 Gotta say this is a great meal for those gusty fall days. The recipe for this Tourtiere I found in the Harrowsmith Country magazine. It is excellent. The days have been so dark and wet lately. Thankfully we had been out of the storms path here in Southern Quebec. Also family in Southern Ontario did not feel much of the Storm hit either. But prayers are with those who have suffered through it.
 With this type of weather I wonder if it has been making me feel more tired? All the dark clouds that are gathered in the sky. Each time I look out the window I see within the frame a beautiful mosaic of clouds in an array of blues. As I was driving I looked up and there appeared to be levels. It made the sky look like you could drive to it and hop on a cloud to step up and climb higher and higher.
 This extra time spent indoors and feeling tired sure makes one want to curl up with a book.

All sunny skies would be too bright,
All morning hours mean too much light,
All laughing days too gay a strain;
There must be clouds, and night, and rain,
And shut-in days, to make us see
The beauty of life's tapestry

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Buried Treasure

 This is what I read on my perpetual flip calendar at the end of my long day in the kitchen...
 The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer. In the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees. We should establish ourselves in a sense of God's presence by continually conversing with him. -Brother Lawrence
 I was able to make some buried treasure (frozen veggies), with getting a really good deal on large 10kg. bags of carrots and onions. I par-boiled the carrots to freeze well.
 Method: Peel and slice the carrots of course. Have a large pot 1/2 full of water set to boil as you are preparing the carrots. Once the water is boiling, dump the carrots in and bring to a boil and then let them boil for 2 or 3 min. Have a bowl of cold water set near by to ladle the cooked carrots out with a slotted spoon and into the cold water. This stopps the carrots from cooking any longer. Then dump into a collandar.

Once dripp dried, I bagged them in clean milk bags (which make great cost efficient freezer bags and is a great way to make use of somthing regularly discarded right away) and closed them off with a milk bag closure.
Apple Loaf
I reciently bought a bushel of apples so I'm gunna be baking a lot of appley things. I made two of these with the following recipe and brought one to bible study. Itwas liked so much, that the recipe was requested.

2 cups peeled chopped apples (about 3 med. apples)
2 cups sugar, mixed with the apples
3 cups of flour
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup of butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
-- > Heat oven to 325. Grease two loaf pans. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Stir in the apple-sugar mixture. Mix in the remaining 3 (wet) ingredients. Divide into the 2 pans. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

After all the chopping it was refreshing to get out for a walk and enjoy all the browns and yellows left on the trees. This oak behind the kids was so beautiful. The diversity and mixture of colours of and on each leaf  was gorgeous!

"Come on guys, smile nice!"

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tomato Soup Sky

 This was the sight out of my kitchen window the other morning...ahh so beautiful

And this was our fuel for the afternoon while my sister and I chopped and stacked wood. This soup was adapted from a recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook. It makes a non-tomato-soup-liker into a tomato-soup-lover. So here is my lower cost & calorie version (and you can use up some tomatoes from the garden for this recipe):
1 med onion, diced
6 tbsp. butter or margarine
8-10 small tomatoes washed and stems cut out. To remove skin, place in pot of boiling water until you can see the skin begin to peel away and get wrinkly. It takes about a min. Then dunk into cold water, and the skin will slip right off.
5 cups tomato juice or cocktail
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. chicken soup base
2 cups milk (I used skim)
2 tbsp. each: dried parsley and basil

Process --- > Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onions. Then add the rest of the ingredients, plus a cup of water, excluding the milk and herbs. Simmer the soup over medium heat. Turn off the heat just before it boils then add the last 3 ingredients. And now if you have a hand mixer that will make it easy to puree the soup to make it smooth. Now that is some yummy soup.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

/ / Pause Button / /

It is possible for us to live in the very sense of the Lord's presence, under even the most difficult circumstances. If you and I are going to enjoy the peace of paradise during this life, we must become accustomed to a familiar, humble, and very affectionate conversation with the Lord Jesus.
-Brother Lawrence

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fall is . . .

 Colourful canopies of leaves

Wearing cosy sweaters outside

Re-exploring what feels like new surroundings

Stacking wood to keep cosy

Playing in the cool crisp air

With smells of earth and leaves

and Enjoying what the harvest has turned out

and turning it into creations such as

Tomato Salsa
This is the recipe I use every time I have a big batch of tomatoes.

8 cups peeled chopped tomatoes
4 cups chopped peppers
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups vinegar
1 or 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers
8 cloves garlic, minced
5.5 oz. tin tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TB. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. oregano

Put it all in the pot and bring to a boil over med.-high heat. Lower heat and simmer for at least an hour. Although I did for about half the day because I like a thicker salsa.
For storing, I like keeping it simple, so I just freeze batches in plastic containers.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Falling in love with Fall

I do love fall. But it makes me sad that summer is over and gives me a little anxiety that winter is just around the corner. But I do Enjoy Autumn!

Monkey see ...

monkey do!

Tree babies, three in a row.

So many reasons to head outside and walk, hike and play this time of year. My two favourites: The colours - which I didn't get much of in these pics. :(  and the temperature is so comfortable.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Pumpin out some Pumpkin Recipes!

I don't know why I haven't grown pumpkins other years! I love pumpkin and its so awfully expensive in those cans in the grocery store. So here is a little of what I have been doing with my pumpkiny goodness...
I was gunna post a close up of the pie for the recipe,

oh well... here is the recipe for this Pumpkin Pie:
Mix all these ingredients and dump it into an unbaked pie crust,
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp each: nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
Bake at 375 degrees for an hour or until knife inserted near the centre comes out clean.

Just in case you are wondering about how to get that pumpkin puree out of your cute little pumpkin. Here is the easiest way I have found. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff. Save the seeds (more on that later), place cut side down in a baking dish with an inch of water. Put in the oven at 425 degrees for 30-45 min depending on the size of your pumpkin. To check for doneness, just stick it with a fork. If it pierces easily, its done! If not....cook it longer :)

Seeds can be washed off of all the stringy slime, let air dry on a cookie sheet. Then mix in a bowl with a little oil (1 tbs.), spread on the cookie sheet, and sprinkle on a seasoning like salt mmmm. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-45 min.

And now you can turn the heat off because the oven has been on for so long that its nice and toasty warm from all the baking being done.

Next up in my Pumpkiny future is: Pumpkin soup, and Pumpkin Buns! 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Savoring the last days of Summer

These here are Phil and Susan, the resident frogs here at this near by island. ;)

Violet let them go, so that Phil could finish collecting dinner for Susan.

Lake was having a heck of a time whacking down the biggest and toughest weed I have ever seen.

Holly was having fun running around with Buttercup.

MacMurray looking handsome.

Buttercup is doing pretty much what I did the whole afternoon we were on the island. Stared. I quietly enjoyed the weather, the sights and loving doing nothing but enjoying my family. 
Why do we (I) ever try to clutter up life with unnecessary things that $$ buys when there is such an abundance that the Lord has blessed us with?
I'm sorry if this is boring but for me (and maybe for you to), I'm gunna list off the free blessings I had on this day before me to acknowledge the fact that no unnecessary $$ needed to be spent. Here is what there was to freely enjoy:
Gods gift of eternal life, my husband, my children, our health, a free country to live in, a warm sunny day, a place to kayak to, kayaks, our puppies, food to eat on our picnic, the sand between my toes, clean water to swim in, places to explore, animals to find and watch, sunglasses and swimsuits. I could find others...
With that I want to end this off with stating that our family is going to go on a spending fast. My husband heard of this womans blog on the radio and how she got out of debt going on a spending fast. That for us, I believe will help us get a good perspective on how we view money and possessions. Pay off debt and appreciate the simple pleasures in life, leaving behind the belief that one needs to spend money to enjoy life. We still have some decisions to make regarding the "rules" but we basically want to follow most of the ones on the blog. 
Hebrews 13:5
Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.

Proverbs 22:7The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.