Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grandma's Apple Butter

 My Grandma Queen is on my mind and is always in my heart. I am going to share her recipe of Apple Butter. This is one of the things that she made that I adored. She made the best biscuits to go with the Apple Butter! She also made a variation with cinnamon heart candy, but I can't find that written down anywhere.( Which I loved the very best)
  •                Apple Butter

    5 lbs Granny Smith Apples, cored and peeled

    3 cups water

    3 cups white sugar

    3 cups brown sugar, packed

    1 box powdered pectin

    1 TBS ground cinnamon

    1 tsp ground allspice

    1 tsp ground cloves

    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

    Cook the apples in water until soft enough to mash. 
    Add all ingredients and boil for 2 mins. Stirring constantly. 
    Place in clean pint jars while hot.  
    Makes 6 pints. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Challenge!

 I am challenging myself. Our grocery budget is completely out of control for four people at home!
 So my challenge is to cook with what is in the kitchen with out running to the grocery store, multiple times or at least minimally.  We shop with at list, that helps, but I am not a meal planner. :( That is something I must rectify.
 I work six days out of fourteen day period. My hours are 7am-7pm with a twenty minute commute each way. So with the days off, I should be better organized for dinner and the girl's lunch.
  I have couponed over the years, BIG problem though, I usually don't have a coupon for most of what we buy and use. I have read multiple sites and have signed up for updates to glean tips and alerts but alas.. the most success I have had  is any where from 1-10 coupons for the things that I purchase. Granted, most purchases are store brand products with several exceptions. There are those must have name brands; such as Heinz Ketchup, French's mustard, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, Scott tp, just to name a few.  Wouldn't it be awesome to go shopping and come out with all my needs for under $50.00, like those extreme couponers!!
 The few items that has to be in my pantry for my security are: #1....Drum roll please... Kidney beans. That's right, Dark Red Kidney beans, my all time fav!! At least 6 cans! Or else anxiety ensues! 2) Black beans 3) Chick Peas 4) Cannellini bean 5) Diced tomatoes 6) Rotel mild stewed tomatoes 7) Whole wheat pasta 8) Paul Newman's spaghetti sauce (sockaroni) 9) Rice.
So with those staples, one would think I could throw together a gourmet meal on the fly. But I don't have the skill yet but that is a goal that I plan on remedying for 2013!

Yesterday, I pulled out the crock pot to try a recipe that I found on # Overnight Crock Pot Oats. I was very satisfied with the results. I had tried to do steel cut oats on stove top before and it was an EPIC fail. This recipe gave me the courage to try again and I am glad that I did.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I Have A Confession!

     I have a confession to make: I love catalogs, magazines, recipes, cookbooks and books!! My Grandmother was very influential in my life. Minnie Ruth F. Queen, a very wise woman that had a strong faith in God, and the backbone of our family. She was a woman that read everything she could get her hands on. She loved to cook and try new recipes. Even though her family was one picky bunch. She loved to travel, but never had the chance to travel abroad. My Grandmother was a LPN and supported me through out my college endeavors to become a RN.
     I believe my Love for catalogs and all reading materials began with a copy of 1900's Sears and Roebuck. As a little girl, Gran and I would sit at the kitchen table and pour through that book. We would laugh and discuss the fashions of the time, ooh and awwh at the furniture and kitchen ware. Spin a fantasy of how we would decorate our home with the furnishings.
    I miss my Grandma! She passed away 13 years ago in January, of a stroke. Things happen daily and I think I need to talk with Gran. Grief washes over me anew.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year, New Resolutions, Back To The Schedule

 January 8, 2013
Today, the girls go back to school. They have not attended school since December 20, 2012. And they are not morning people!! So in a few short minutes, I will have the house to myself, and Buddy, of course.

I was/am a goal oriented person, though I never really made New Year's Resolutions per say. I was reading #Pioneer Woman/Ree Drummond's blog the other day and started thinking of what I would like to accomplish for 2013.
1) Make sure that God is first in myself, my marriage and my children.
2) Read the whole Bible in a year, not just parts of it. (Jimmy and I are reading together, The One Year Chronological Bible together)
3) Make sure that my Hubby and girls know that I love them to the moon and beyond!!
4) Count my blessings....Reread One Thousand Gifts......
5) Began "CLEAN" eating
6) Be more consistent with my exercise...running and weights
7) Learn to be a better cook, meal planner....
8) Become Debt free, well at least all but the mortgage.
9) Save more money
10)FINISH my MANY PROJECTS that I have floating around.....
11) Declutter... Vague I know, but I need to... Downstairs closet, shelves, kitchen cubbards, Master closet, kid's closet...Really, they don't wear half what they have!!

So here's to another Blessed Year!! Thank You God!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Honey Roasted Pears; a delicious treat!

   The very first recipe of 2013 is..... Honey Roasted Pears.

3 Pears
3/4c Honey
1/2c Walnuts
I used three Anjou Pears, halved and cored. Placed them on a baking pan. Preheated the oven to 425*. Dusted them with Cinnamon. Baked them for 20 minutes. Filled the cores with walnuts. Drizzled the honey across the pears. Placed them back in the oven for 5 minutes.

They tasted very good. I was happy with the results. I had seen a recipe earlier, but could not find it, so I concocted my own version. And I forgot to take a picture.... : (

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thanksgiving, A New Year 2013

   Party like it's 2013, O' wait, it is! I worked New Years Eve and so after four days of work, I was absolutely bushed! I slept the new year in. I have been off since and haven't accomplished much, except a few runs. January 2, Jimmy and I did a 6 mile run at Melton Lake Park. It was so cold. I however, prefer to run outside. I just can't stomach the treadmill much.
  Today feels like a Harry Potter kind of day. So the 1st movie is in. It is 39* outside and seems like about that inside! Minnie has made her some hot chocolate, while Chey is spending the day in her room after being dishonest.
   I have been very slack at  "blogging", and besides, my husband I'm not sure anyone out in cyberspace read my words. I live a pretty tame life, that most would think as boring, repetitive. It is a good life that I live. I am blessed by The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Jimmy tells me to be raw, however, I want this blog to be positive and inspiring. Raw, to me would be all the nitty gritty let out. Mind you, I am human and erred as well with mistakes and regrets a plenty. I have a God given grace and redemption.