Monday, August 29, 2011

Baking Apple Bread and Pumpkin Rolls

My two nieces trick-or-treating

Fall season is right around the corner. I love this time of year. Fall has such wonderful things to offer us. Yummy foods, cool crisp mornings and beautiful decorations. Now that it's getting cooler my oven is getting a work out.

I had two request this week for baked goodies. One was for Apple-Honey Challah and one for a pumpkin roll. After church yesterday I got to baking. Got both of the baked goods made and delivered. I have another request for a pumpkin roll from my 5 year old niece. She's lucky I have leftover pumpkin.

Some other Fall goodies I like to make are homemade marshmallows, fire side coffee, homemade apple sauce and pumpkin muffins. I can't wait till Thursday, my day off, time to cook.

Some of you might think I'm a little crazy for "loving" to cook, but that is my passion. You get this warm feeling inside when you take out that creation from the oven and watch your loved ones devour it. I love knowing what is going in my food and my body. It's a great experience, try it sometime.

Do you love to cook? What is your favorite thing to do in the Fall?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

6.0 Earthquake here in Virginia

Yesterday was a pretty scary day. We had a 6.0 earthquake that lasted about 30 seconds. It seemed to last forever. Grocery stores are closed do to clean up, windows are broken, schools are closed. Things like this usually don't happen around here.

The epicenter was about 40 miles from my home. The quake knocked off a bunch of my pictures and broke a few dishes. Pretty scary stuff, but we are grateful no one was injured. The after shocks are a little frightening as well.

I wanted to send out my prayers to everyone affected by this earthquake. Stay strong and God will provide.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade Spicy Salsa

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Every where there are tomatoes. This is a good thing though. You can make homemade spicy salsa. It's so tasty and good for you too.


1 1/2 cups chopped peppers (red, green, yellow, purple)
6 cups chopped peeled tomatoes (use hot water bath to get off skin)
1/4 cup spicy jalapeno peppers
1 onion (diced)
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cajun bayou (this is spicy, could also use cayenne pepper)
2 minced cloves of garlic

Chop all of your vegetables pretty small, unless you like your salsa chunky. Pour all ingredients in a large crock-pot, stir and cook 5-6 hours on low. Do a taste test after an hour or so to see if you want it spicier. If so add some more cajun bayou.

You can freeze in freezer bags or can them for later use. Yummy!! Makes 4 pints.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract: It's Done!!!!

If you have been around for a while you can remember when I started a project of making my own homemade Vanilla extract. It has been almost 6 months and the vanilla is done. I have tried it in a few recipes and love it. Much better than the imitation stuff you buy from the stores.

This was one of the simplest things to make, you wouldn't believe. I thought at first the 6 months were going to take forever. With all the summer staycations time has flown by. Now the vanilla is ready for bottling.

These are going to make great Christmas gifts along with the homemade apple pear jam. Guess you'll have to see if your on the nice or naughty list this year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Delicious Apple-Honey Challah

Apple-Honey Challah from Martha Stewart. She is one of my ideals. Love ya Martha, sorry, had to get that out.

This is one of my favorite bread recipes. It does take a few hours to make this from start to finish. Well worth the time. I took a piece into work the other day and gave it to my co-worker, he called it "heaven in a bag." You gotta try it, yummy!!

Sorry I don't have any pictures of my own to post. My computer has been in the shop for a week now. Hopefully I'll get it back soon.

I've been canning up a storm the last few weeks. Made 12 quarts and 9 pints of peaches, 8 pints of sweet pickles and 6 half pints of sweet relish. Hoping to get some tomato sauce made this week. It's amazing how much you can get done when you have no computer to play on.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Staycations: Part Two

The staycation is over with and now it's time to go back to work. I really enjoyed this years staycation. We got a lot done around the house and still enjoyed our time off. We visited a few places on our staycation as well.

We went to Monticello and visited the home of Thomas Jefferson. We got really cheap tickets and went to Kings Dominion one day. We took a two day trip to Va beach. I love the beach!

There's nothing better than the sand between your toes. Relaxing on the beach listening to the sounds of the waves hitting the shore. Jumping over the waves as they try to knock you down. Did I mention I love the beach. :) Sorry about that, I was off in lala land. Back to reality.

I wanted to get some canning done on my staycation. I decided since it was peach season to can some peaches. My local grocery store carries local peaches and I bought 40lbs. That in turn turned out to be 12 quarts and 9 pints. Minus a few we ate. They are going to be so yummy this winter to eat in a peach cobbler or just straight out of the jar. We also made home made peach ice cream, yummy.

We are very blessed to have an apple orchard a few miles away, Fruit Hill Orchard. Saturday we picked 50lbs of apples. Made applesauce, apple pie and going to make apple bread soon. The apple bread is to die for. It's a Martha Stewart recipe, I will share with you later in the week. Delicious!!

All and all we had a great time just relaxing and enjoying family time. What did you do on your vacation or staycation?