"I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way…gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

After I made a bunch of pumpkin puree, I was left with a lot of pumpkin seeds that I couldn't let go to waste. So, I turned to my favorite chef, Alton Brown, for a delicious recipe.

 Wash and dry the seeds. Let dry for at least 8 hours.

Over medium heat add 2 tsp olive oil, once that is good and hot add 1 cup pumpkin seed,  1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until seeds are nice and brown.


Place the seeds into a paper towel lined bowl to wick away excess oil. Store seeds in an air tight container. Consume with in a week or freeze up to a month. Good luck getting them to last that long. My toddler was eating these by the handful. 

Pumpkin Puree

We all know that fresh tastes better, yet I always just used canned pumpkin. Why? I'm not sure. Now that I have discovered the delicious and heavenly taste of fresh pumpkin puree in my baked goods, I will never be returning to the can. Here's the scoop so you can enjoy the "liquid gold" as well.

Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size. Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage. Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem. Preheat your oven to 375°.

                                                           Cut a slice out of the pumpkin. 
    Clean all the guts off the slice.Free of all string and seeds (set guts aside to roast the seeds later)

Place meat side down on a jelly-roll pan. Try to keep the pieces the same size to ensure even cooking.
Once your pan is full add a bit of water to the tray to prevent the pumpkin from sticking and to steam it as it bakes.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until the meat is soft. 

Allow the pumpkin to cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your fingers. Then remove the skin.

    Place the cooked, skinless pieces in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
 Transfer the puree to a bowl and allow to cool before placing in freezer safe containers for storage.

Then make delicious baked goods such as pie, cake, cookies, and bread.

Here's my pumpkin bread recipe:     2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
                                                       1 cup whole wheat flour
                                                       3 cups sugar
                                                       2 tsp. baking soda
                                                       2 tsp. cinnamon
                                                       1 tsp. nutmeg
                                                       1 tsp. salt
                                                       16 oz fresh pumpkin puree
                                                       1 cup oil
                                                       4 eggs
                                                       1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin puree, oil, and eggs.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend well. Add chocolate chips. 
Bake for 60-70 minutes. 
(if you use canned pumpkin puree, (this won't taste as good) you will need to add 2/3 cup of water to the above recipe.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dill pickles

 I have made multiple recipes of dill pickles over the years and I think this recipe is my new favorite.
                              The recipe is on the back of the Ball Kosher Dill Pickle Mix.
For every 2 quarts of pickles, you will need:   3 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers
                                                                  2 cups water
                                                                  1 cup vinegar
                                                                  1/4 cup ball Kosher Dill Pickle Mix
                                                                  2 quart jars with bands and lids

This recipe worked well for me this year as I was growing my own cucumbers and rarely had a large batch to do at once.  Wash and cut the ends off the cucumbers. You can cut them into spears, sandwich slices, halves etc.
             Combine water, vinegar, and pickle mix in a medium sauce pan. Heat to a boil.

Pack sliced pickles into hot jars. Ladle hot pickling liquid over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
For preserving up to 1 year process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. For best flavor, allow pickles to stand for 4-6 weeks.

           Processed pickles ready to eat within 4-6 weeks. Waiting is the hardest part :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Green Beans

The wonderful thing about being back in the Northwest again is that I can grow a lot of fruits and vegetables right in my own backyard.  The Territorial Seed Co. Blue Lake Pole Beans have done exceptional in my garden this year. I have already picked 20 pounds and they are still producing. I have jarred the beans, so I may enjoy them year round. Here's how:

Pick your beans when they are about the diameter of a pencil, but you cannot yet detect the individual beans inside the pods. The Blue Lake variety will be about 6-7 inches long.

                                                    Wash the beans in cool water.

Trim the ends, remove the string that runs down the outside
 of the beans, and break into 2-inch pieces.
Pack beans tightly into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. If desired, add 1 tsp. salt to each quart.

Ladle boiling water over beans leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles. Adjust the two-piece cap. Hand tighten the ring and place in your PRESSURE canner.
                      Process quarts for 25 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner.
Once the processing period is complete, turn off the heat. Allow the canner to cool naturally. Do not remove the weight until the canner has depressurized and returned to zero pressure. Once it is at zero you may remove the weight. Let the canner cool for at least 10 minutes before removing the lid. Then wait another 10 minutes before removing the jars and placing them on a towel on the counter.


Star Lake Ward Relief Society Meeting  Tuesday October 15, 2013 5-9pm
Orders and money are due by September 29, 2013. Sign up sheets will be at church. Money will be given to Sara Miller or placed in the sign up sheet binder.
Please bring your favorite fall treat (and the recipe) to share.

 Burlap Wreath- Free Tutorial (bring own supplies) (One 14" Styrofoam wreath, 2 yards burlap (any color-Hobby Lobby has a good selection) cut into 4"x4" squares for quick assembly, 90-100 quilting pins, Any desired embellishments(fabric will be available to make flowers)

 Prophet Frame- $6    Paint colors vary, picture included
 Pop Can Ornaments- Free limit 2 (bring own pop cans)

I Spy Bag- $6.50
Fabric choices for I Spy Bag

 Spooky Banner- $1

Family Blocks- $5     Bring 4 photos size 3x3.

 Chalk board-$3

 Holiday Frame-$3    Paint colors and printables vary (all are Christmas related)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Movin' to the country I'm gonna eat a lot of peaches
Peaches come from a can they were put there by a man woman. :)

You don't have to move to the country in order to eat a lot of peaches. And they don't have to come from a can in a factory downtown either. If you preserve them correctly you can eat peaches everyday.

Alright, enough with The Presidents of the United States and onto canning peaches.

                                         Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 20-30 sec.

                                              Immediately place them in an ice water bath

  To remove the skin I cup the peach in my hands and twist in opposite directions. The skin just falls off. Other suggestions are to use a rag to do the same thing. That might give you a better grip.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. If you made sure to get cling free, or freestone peaches this task is simple.

Soak the peaches in a lemon juice/water bath to prevent browning.

Make a light syrup (5 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/4 cups sugar) and keep the syrup hot, but not boiling.

Pack peaches cavity side down into hot jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over peaches leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe the rim of your jar clean. Adjust the two-piece caps and place in your boiling water canner.

                                                       Process quarts for 20 minutes.

                                                               mmmmm peaches!!

Regrowing Green Onions

I had heard that green onions, even from the grocery store, will continue to grow once you have harvested the main stem. I decided to put it to the test.

 I purchased these green onions from Winco and used them for our dinner. Normally, I would compost this, thinking it was waste.

 This time I put it in a dish of water. Daily I replaced the old water with fresh water. Within 3 days I noticed that the green onion was GROWING.

                            After a few cuttings from the "new" green onion I put it in a pot of miracle grow soil. That made it really happy.  I have since moved the green onions into my herb garden. The same bundle I bought from Winco has been growing new harvestable green onions for 3 months now.

                                                   It also works with romaine lettuce.

I wasn't able to successfully move the plant out into the garden, but I did get 2 cuttings off of each one. It didn't grow as tall or as thick as it originally was when I bought it, but I consider it a win that I didn't have to buy additional lettuce as often.

Plums (Italian Prunes)

A wonderful lady in my church let me pick plums from her tree. My parents had the same type of plum tree in our backyard growing up. I was so excited to be able to have a little bit of my childhood back :)

I picked a 5 gal bucket with the help of the kids.
                                                           I washed them in cool water.

                                                        I cut them in half and removed the pit.

                       I gave them a quick dip in a lemon juice/water bath to help prevent browning.

                                         Then I laid them all pretty like in my dehydrator.

                                                                       Hello gorgeous

With the dehydrator set on 135 degrees and roughly 10 hours later
I had perfectly dried, yet still pliable, plums.