Monday, October 27, 2008

I did it!

What I'd like to be doing....

Remember a few weeks ago, during my week in the life project, when I posted the photo above about wishing I had time to do some knitting? Well, I made time and I also made my first completed project......


...a new scarf! I'm so glad I made myself find some time to sit down every evening and let my hands stay busy while my mind relaxed. I started teaching myself to knit last fall, knitting ( in a practicing sort of way) all the time, but always unraveling each piece until I could get it "right." My kids thought I had a serious problem with all the unraveling I was doing, but I was never satisfied - until now. The needles felt better in my hands, the stitches were cast on, and the project flowed like it was supposed to. Of course, this was a simple project, easily completed in a couple of evenings, but I'm still so glad that I finally finished something worth keeping, lol!

finished scarf

Oh, I think I could certainly get used to this and all the wonderful, soft, knitted projects that I could work on. The beautiful yarn, the colors, sitting next to a warm fire every night, the busyness of hands that brings peace of mind...yes, I could definitely get used to this.

knitted scarf

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Feeling Thankful's hanging around everywhere

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."

~Mary Jean Iron

I'm just feeling incredibly thankful for my present life, the present blessings, the present love that's all around me ~ the precious present moment. May I not hold on too tight to yesterday or dream too deeply of tomorrow, but enjoy the moment I'm in right now.

Wishing You a Happy Thursday! :)

For an addictive little song I'm loving right now, listen to this.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

When I wasn't sewing.....

This is what I was doing........

pumpkin butter

I've been in the canning mood lately. I've canned quite a few jars of diced tomatoes and also made some yummy pumpkin butter. I love pumpkin....stuffed pumpkin (here is my recipe...just excuse last year's photos, lol...I'll try to make some better ones this year), pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin butter. One of my most favorite things about autumn is pumpkin! And what better way to make this wonderful season last the whole year through than by preserving the taste of fall in pumpkin butter :)

All you need is a pumpkin, some sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and a few canning jars.....and you can have this delicious Pumpkin Butter! It is really very easy to put together.

Here's how you do it...... Wash and clean out your pumpkin as shown. Then cut into large wedges.

pumpkin wedge

Next, cut those wedges into chunks and add them to a large pot of boiling water. Boil them for about 20 - 30 minutes, until really soft. While your pumpkin is cooking, wash and prepare your canning jars and lids. For about 8 cups of puree, you'll need about 5 or6 pint jars.

pumpkin pieces

Then, get out your food processor and gather your sugar and spices. With my medium size pumpkin, I ended up with about 8 cups of pumpkin puree, so adjust your spices accordingly to the amount of puree you have and, of course, your taste :-)

spices and jars

Peel the skin from the boiled pumpkin, after it cools a bit, then load it in the food processor. Puree it until it is smooth, then add it into another large pot. To the 8 cups of puree, we add 4 cups of sugar, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger. Then, of course, you mix it all very well. Cook again over low heat (covered) for about 20 minutes to let the mixture thicken and take on the taste of the spices. After about 20 minutes, when the mixture has a thicker consistency, remove it from the heat and spoon it into jars. Fill them, wipe the rims and put on the lids and bands. Submerge them in a stock pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes or so. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water and place on a dishtowel to cool. As the jars cool, you'll hear the joyful "pop" of the lids sealing.....yay! You're done!

pumpkin butter

Now, just put the jars in your pantry...or, better yet, give these as holiday gifts! You know, the holiday season is right around the corner! And who wouldn't love and appreciate a basket of homemade goodies!?

pumpkin butter

You can use pumpkin butter in many ways, including toast, bagels, on pancakes and waffles, warmed up and spooned over vanilla ice cream and topped with a sprinkling of pecans, swirled around in your Thanksgiving cheesecake recipe.....the possibilities are endless!

Have a yummy weekend! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SPC :: Mirrors :: Week 2

out and about

Life is too short for traffic. ~Dan Bellack

I had to go into town today and got this shot through my visor mirror. I thought this quote was funny since I totally despise the city and know, life is too short for all the hustle and bustle. Besides, what are people buying at these malls on a continuous basis?? I may go to the mall once or twice a makes me wonder. But, sometimes, one must go into the jungle for some new jeans ;-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall.........

Self Portrait Challenge

The new theme at Self Portrait Challenge for the month of October is Mirrors. Here's my simple interpretation for this week.

See more interpretations of Mirrors here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Recipe Box Swap

I'm joining Randi at I Have to Say for another recipe swap. This month's theme is Lunches....and this is an area that I find so hard to keep interesting. I am SO looking forward to seeing everyone's ideas :)

We do have one lunchtime favorite that we all agree on. It is easy to make, perfectly portable, yummy, healthful, and you can change it in so many different ways. We call them wraps - here they are.....

Ingredients (per wrap):

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • Mayo, mustard, ranch dressing, any sandwich spread.....whatever you like
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • roasted red peppers (these are sooo good on these wraps - they really make the flavor 100 times better)
  • pickles, jalapenos, olives.....anything else you want to add
  • cheese - or cream cheese spread

lunch wrap

Lay out your wrap and spread on your ranch dressing, add cheese, lettuce, tomato, red peppers, and whatever else you want to add. Arrange it to one side of the wrap, then fold in the ends, and wrap tightly toward the other side. Cut in half and enjoy!

lunch wrap

You can make these with warm chicken, turkey, taco fillings, peanut butter and jelly.....anything :) We've used these for birthday parties several times and everyone loves them. We take them on picnics and they're easy for little ones to handle because the ends are folded in. And, as I said before, the roasted red peppers really make the wraps. You can get them in the pickle section of your grocery store. It's fun to change the ingredients around and make them different each time, warm the tortilla after you make it, add in corn chips for crunch....I could go on and on. Anyway, you get the idea....have fun with it!

So, click over to Randi's lunchtime swap and check out the other great recipes :)