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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Where is your happy place?

The other day my grand daughter asked me where my favorite place is in the whole wide world. I told her - with my family and my bed, (it's so comfy). Since then I've thought about her question and one of my favorite places is my deck. Yes, the deck on the back of my house. It is where my family and friends meet to barbecue, eat yummy food & to visit and laugh about the past and silly things we've done. It is where we celebrate birthdays and where my grand kids play and where I watch them play. It's where I can sit and enjoy the beautiful mornings or look at the stars at night and think about what is beyond. It's where I read or write or just rest. It's a solace for me.

I was sitting on my deck and a cool breeze was rustling the aspen trees and giving me that lonely feeling ~ the one that tells me that the season is changing and fall is upon us. I look out at our garden and see a mass of tomatoes that are turning red and will be soon made into salsa. I look at the cucumber, squash and bean patch that has provided clean, healthy food for not only us, but our family and friends too. Beyond the garden our apple trees are loaded, waiting to be nipped with frost so the apples they can be eaten, bottled and dried. The black raspberry vines are finally bare as I've picked from them daily, freezing them until I have enough to make jam.

I love fall. Not only because of it's brilliant beauty and abundance, but because of the feeling. There's a ambiance in the air as the year matures.

I can't help but think about my life and how blessed I am. When I watch the news and know about the craziness going on all around me, I'm so grateful to live in my precious little corner of the world. I'm grateful that my happy place is so simple and with the people I love.


Where is your happy place?

Hugs

Carol:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I know it sounds silly to some people, but one of my favorite hobbies is bottling the food we grow. Some people call it canning, but I put food in bottles so I call it bottling. It's almost a year since I last wrote and I posted some apple and plum recipes so you may want to scroll back and look at them. I just bottled 27 pints of sweet cucumber relish and have some people asking for the recipe - so here it is:

CUCUMBER RELISH
6 cups ground unpeeled cucumbers
1 ground green pepper
1 ground red pepper
3 ground onions
3 cups finely diced celery
1/2 cup salt
3 2/1 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. mustard seed

Grind veggies with a course blade on grinder. Combine in
a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with water if not enough
liquid from veggies. Let stand 4 hours or over night. Drain
and press all the water out of the veggies ... DO NOT rinse.
Combine sugar, vinegar, celery & mustard seeds & bring to a 
boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in drained veggies.
Simmer 10 minutes. Pack in clean, sterile jars 1 inch from top.
Water bath 10 minutes. Makes 5-6 pints. I 3x it and get 16
pints. 

This relish is awesome on hot dogs, in macaroni salads, deviled eggs,
tarter sauce, (mayo, mustard, relish:) and mixed with tuna or chicken
and mayo for a yummy salad.

Have a beautiful day!

Hugs

Carol:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life ... every day a gift

The name of this blog has been "Dare to Dream" but I've decided to rename it, "Life ... every day a gift." That doesn't mean that I'm finished with the Dare to Dream phrase, it just means that I'm at a different level now where life is still about dreaming, but it's also about doing, finishing and enjoying every day.

It sounds like I've had a close call with death or something. I haven't. But, I have had to make decisions the past few years that have altered my way of living ... and thinking.

"Life comes at you fast" takes on a whole new meaning at this point in life. Each birthday brings with it the thought, "What the heck? When did this happen? How can I be this old??" It was only yesterday that I was 18. I look back though and my life has been a whirl wind. I think I even knew it at the time, but I was so busy living each crazy busy day that somehow they slipped by me.

 As a kid, I grew up in a world where a kid was allowed to be a kid. Life was simple. Me and my brothers and sisters played outside and had to make our own fun. We had a TV but we didn't spend much time watching it. It had 3 channels and the TV Guide was our link to the world. Christmas advertising was looking at the Sears Christmas Wish Book.We had a lot of stores and people shopped in them. We very seldom went "up north" to shop in big stores. We grew a huge garden and had to water it through furrows with irrigation water from a ditch. Our garden was our main food source. We never bought processed food. It seems like we always worked. We sold night crawlers for .25 a dozen for spending money and I remember helping my brother, Ronny with his paper route. I cleaned old Mrs. Henry's house on Saturday mornings for .50. As teenagers it seems like we had a lot of free time as every minute wasn't scheduled. We would "drag main" looking for our friends or someone to hang out with. We went to each others houses and honked for them to come out, not text. Neighbors took time to sit on the porch at the end of the day and visit. Time seemed to pass slow then.

Then after getting married and having kids, that's when the whirl wind began and that's what brought me to this point - wondering where all the years went. I don't mind where I'm at age wise, but I sure don't like where I'm headed.

Sooooo ... that's the reason I'm changing my blog name. It's about living each day to it's fullest, enjoying life and sharing my insight and hopefully fun stuff with others.

Feel free to go back and check other posts I've written.

Hugs

Carol:)


Monday, October 13, 2014

WHAT DO YA DO WITH THESE PLUMS??

WHAT ARE THESE THINGS???

Italian plums are awesome! Cut them up and put them on your dehydrator and they make a yummy treat! It takes a while to dry them, but it's worth it.

 Here is my favorite fall plum recipe:)

PRUNE PLUM BUCKLE

BATTER:
1/3 melted margarine or butter                  1 1/3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup sugar                                              1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg                                                           1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cup flour
Mix all ingredients together and pour batter in a greased, floured 9x13 pan.

Puree about a quart of Italian prune plums in a blender and carefully spread over batter.

TOPPING:
3/4 cup flour                             1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup oats                               3/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar

Mix until crumbly and sprinkle on top of pureed plums.

Bake @ 375 45 minutes and broil for a few minutes if you want it crisper.
Serve warm or cold with cream or ice cream.

This dessert is so pretty and YUMMMMMMY!! Kinda tangy tart:):)

 



Sunday, October 12, 2014

MORE APPLES RECIPES:)

I LOVE to cook! And I am an avid recipe collector. I like tried and true recipes that don't use a lot of weird ingredients. AND...most of my recipes are definitely NOT for those watching their figure.

My APPLE PIE FILLING is in my last post so you can use it, or canned filling for a couple of these recipes. I promised more apple recipes so here they are:)

APPLE CARAMEL CAKE

2 cups flour                                   3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar                              3 eggs
1 tsp. salt                                       1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda                          2 apples, peel, core & chunk
1 tsp. cinnamon                             1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix oil, sugar, eggs & vanilla. Add dry ingredients & mix well. Fold in apples & pecans.
Spread in 9x13 greased & floured pan. Bake @ 350 for 50 -55 minutes. If center not done, reduce heat to 300 and bake 10 more minutes.
(You can also bake in a 10 " tube pan and bake 1 hr. 15 minutes at 350. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before removing to a serving plate then drizzle caramel glaze over cake.)

CARAMEL GLAZE

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk

Combine ingredients in small pan, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil and let boil 1 - 3 minutes depending on how thick you want your sauce. Spoon over warm cake. Serve with whipped cream.
 Sooooo yummy!!!!


((This is one of my favorite Dutch Oven desserts!)
BROWN BEARS IN THE ORCHARD

Pour 2 quarts of my apple pie filling (Recipe in my last post)
(or 2 25 oz jars applesauce) into a 12" dutch oven. (Line oven with foil for easy clean-up)

Mix 2 - 14 oz. boxes of Gingerbread cake & cookie mix with 2 cups water. Pour over apples. DO NOT STIR.
Bake 45 minutes @ 350 in the oven or using 10 briquettes top and bottom of dutch oven

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream


APPLESAUCE COOKIES

1 cup thick applesauce                               1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (no oil)                        2 cups flour
2 eggs                                                         1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon                                       1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda                                       1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

Put applesauce & soda in a bowl and mix. Set aside. In another bowl, cream shortening & sugar until mixed well then add eggs & beat until light and fluffy. Stir in applesauce mixture and sifted dry ingredients. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.  Bake @ 375 9-12 minutes on top rack.


OLD FASHIONED APPLE CRISP

4 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 3 apples)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice (optional)
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine

Place apples in a greased 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats and spices; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake @ 375 for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.


I have made some fun cookbooks for my family, but have never published one. That is on my bucket list though.

 I will post Italian plum recipes next:)

Please post any questions if you have any. Enjoy!!

Talk soon:)xo




Friday, October 10, 2014

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THOSE APPLES!!

HAPPY FALL!! This is truly the best time of year -- the foliage is vibrantly beautiful and the harvest is bountiful. What a blessed season!

We have been taking orders for the most amazing apples, grown at the base of the Monroe mountain and I promised to share some of my favorite recipes with those who are ordering. I decided to share with everyone! (If you live near Manti, Utah and want to order and pick up, let me know asap:)

This apple pie filling is the BEST!! We use it for dutch oven cobblers, apple pie and I open a bottle or two to serve with pork roast dinner. YUM!! Enjoy:):)

                          APPLE PIE FILLING

 SYRUP: 
 4 1/2 cups sugar                                3 Tbsp. lemon juice
 1/4 tsp. nutmeg                                  2 tsp. cinnamon
 1 cup cornstarch                                3 drops yellow food coloring
 1 tsp salt 

 Whisk together sugar, cornstarch & spices in a nice size pan. Stir in 10 cups 
 water & cook, stirring until thick and bubbly. Add lemon & coloring.
 Pack peeled, sliced apples into clean, sterilized jars leaving 1" head space.
 Carefully fill with syrup. (Use a spatula to distribute syrup.) Clean top of bottle
 well before putting lid on or they won't seal.
 Water bath 15 minutes pints - 20 minutes quarts.
This recipe makes 7 quarts so adjust as needed. If you don't want to bottle the filling, reduce the recipe and just make a couple pies.
 *Best when used within 1 year*

  For Pie:)
  Prepare 8-9" crust. Put your yummy pie filling in and adjust top. Cut slits and
  Bake @ 400 for 50 mins.

More recipes to come...

Talk soon:)xo


                           



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life is fragile....

We go about our everyday lives thinking that each day will be the same as the last. We go through the motions and rarely take time out to realize our blessings and tell those who mean the most to us that we love them.

Then in an instant, something happens; an accident, death, illness...and everything changes. The things that you thought were so important becomes insignificant. You turn to your loved ones and God.

Ironic...because they're the only things that mattered to begin with.

Love your family and friends and tell them...
Love God and trust in Him....

Life is fragile...