Thursday, May 31, 2012


I'm tired. And I really need my flowers to start blooming so I can feel happy and have fresh cut flowers to put in my vases. I have one. Yes 1 flower blooming in my fairy meadow/grandma's cutting garden pot. ONE!!!! ugh its gonna be a long summer. I'm short on words today so on to the pictures.

 My one lone bloom....

 Just a close up. BECAUSE I CAN!!!

 See how sad the one bloom is in that big ole container. Sigh.

 I'm planting these in another container that housed my dead honeysuckle plant. 

Cilantro just kinda magically sprouted up here. Its only sad looking because I watered it, but its doing quite well and seeding already.  

 See. seeded.
Say that 5 times fast.

Blogging soundtrack: Tangled the movie. Again. =/

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adventures in canning.

Let me preface this by saying I don't can, ( or is it cann? see how little i know). I have never canned in my life.  So I figured tonight was the perfect night to try it.

This all started with a search for BBQ sauce recipes. And a quick trip to Jamie Oliver's epic bbq sauce recipe . He mentions at the bottom about essentially canning the remaining bbq sauce so it can keep. Whaaaa??  

Why have I never thought of this before... oh wait because I have never canned anything in my life.

The directions are fairly simple. Sterilize your jars and lids in boiling water for 10 min, fill your jar with sauce, close lid tightly, put back in boiling water for 10 min, let cool and bam homemade bbq sauce that will keep for 6 months.. hmmmm I could do this.

Since we all know I enjoy sharing through pictures, you won't be surprised there are pictures for this YAY!!!!

Ok sorry i have too much time on my hands finding these gif's. I apologize. kinda.

Alright here it goes. Canning my homemade bbq sauce for the first time ( and hopefully not the last time)
Step 1. Pick a good sized pot that will hold water AND cover a can fully. fill with water, set to boil.
Step 2. realize that it takes forever for water to boil, decide to make Fun in da middle cupcakes while you wait
Step 2b. water has reached boil, place jar, and lids in pot. Wait 10 min.
During your wait you can do many things, get a mini facial with all the steam coming off the pot, clean your dishes from your cupcake mess, eat leftover pizza from dinner. Lots of things to do during your wait.

Step 3. when your timer beeps take out your jars and lid pieces and place on a towel gather your canning items and start filling your jar(s)

Step 4. once your jar is filled close the lid tightly. I'm talking baby huey tight. At this point I was cursing that the baby had started to wake up and the hubby had to go in the room because I really really needed him to close the lid to this jar. Luckily he came out before too long and he baby huey'd that sucker closed.
Step 5. place jar back in boiling water and wait 10 min. During this time you can check on the cupcakes you made earlier.
mmm cupcakes. 

oh wait... here's the jar of sauce in water. ( i know exciting)

Step 6. take out the jar of sauce after 10 min and put back on towel to cool. Very important to allow the jar to cool before you put it in say your fridge. Last thing you want is an exploding jar of bbq sauce to clean up later. I'd put a picture up but it be the exact same picture of after I filled and closed the jar. Instead enjoy this gif of Ken modeling from Toy story 3
* wipes tear from eye* makes me laugh every time. lol

So now you know how to can your own bbq sauce. I 'spose I should put my base bbq recipe so you can get started.

BBQ sauce base
Tomato paste
Liquid smoke
Worcestershire sauce ( for the record I had to google that because I STILL cannot spell it)
brown sugar
garlic powder
onion powder 
salt, pepper
dijon mustard

Ok notice I didn't put any measurements. This is because I suck. Ok no really its all about taste. So you if you want a more tomatoey taste you can use more ketchup and more tomato paste. If you like it sweeter try dark molasses and honey ( this makes a super awesome caramelized look on your meat when you grill) I usually start off with 1/4 cup of ketchup a small can of paste, 1/4 cup brown sugar and then just start piling on the other things. You can always omit the brown sugar if you want add Sriracha or chili paste if you want a spicy kick to it. Mix it up taste it, add something, taste it some more. You'll find what you like.  
Just in case you've been living under a rock this is Sriracha aka Rooster sauce

and this is chili paste
(just FYI not my pictures. I'm far to lazy to take any more pics right now. They are from a google search. much easier lol.)

Go forth and make your own bbq sauce you'll never want to buy pre made again!!!!

As a closing picture. my cupcakes are done. mmmm cupcakes.

Blogging soundtrack: Channel 7 news. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How my garden grows

This year I'm starting off late... And I managed to kill some things along the way ( no surprise there). This year however I decided to not plant in ground. Only in pots, which limited what I would plant. I made a decision ( a horrible decision) to not plant tomatoes except for these jubilee seeds I had laying around from last year, that didn't make it either. In all honesty it really started because one of the twins brought home a cabbage plant from Bonnie's 3rd grade project..... 

Lemme just rant about this for a moment. Both my third graders brought this home this year the boy twin brought his home first ( because he goes to a different school). I planted it for him and watered it because lets be honest what 3rd grader has the interest to deal with a plant that takes forever to grow??? Anyway. The premise of this project is they give 3rd graders a cabbage plant, they grow it, take a pic, the teacher submits the class winner and then they get put into a running to win $1000 scholarship. Sounds easy right.... Except cabbage does best in fall, winter and early ( read cold) spring. Other wise it bolts and bye bye cabbage plant. So now I have 2 cabbage plants that are growing at the speed of drying paint. But what bugs me is they wait till its HOT to give these kids these plants. This sucker isn't gonna make it outside, it has to be inside, which means I have to find a big enough pot x2, and a place that Stitch ( aka the baby) won't decide its a sand box. Ugh. and did I mention I'm still the only one who cares about these plants.... /rant

I sort thru my seeds and decide that this year I want to mainly focus on herbs, since I'm only planting in pots. I get this super cute little green house and get busy planting. ( ftr my mother in law started a garden at her house, which is nice because she has like nearly a 1/4 acre of land to work with.. I'm so jelly, I gave her the rest of my seeds) 

I forgot to label, which was problem #1, then one set of seeds didn't sprout anything. *sad face* But I don't know what it was because I DIDN'T LABEL!!!!! anyway. I start trying to harden my plants off so I can get my pots out of my kitchen window... along with the gnats that popped out of nowhere. grrrr.
The wind decides to whip back up.... * waves goodbye to seedlings*  My dill died out, and I lost 2 mystery plants, and my chives look sad and pathetic.  So much for a lovely herb garden. My cilantro is looking rather pathetic as well.  I just don't think I'm cut out for lots of seed starting, at least with food.

With these set backs I get a bug that I really should get tomatoes. Off to the store I go. I get 3 plants and a topsy turvy because I just. can't. help. myself. I get Black Heirlooms ( which are a gorgeous dark purple tomato) cherry tomatoes because I love those, and an early girl for the topsy turvy. Then I may have also bought some sweet basil because it smelled amazing. 

Now its time for some pictures... 

These are my cutting garden flowers/fairy meadow flowers. As you can see the mystery plant next to it has died. thank you wind.

my 2 new tomato plants, sweet basil ( in the red container) and I believe that is lupin in the small container.

The topsy turvy I couldn't resist getting. I should have bought the larger hook but The husband said nah that one will be fine... riiiiight sure it will. Back to lowes tomorrow.

Mystery plants. Could be lavender, could be tarragon, who knows. Its a mystery.

Not pictured apple mint (now planted in) this adorable Donkey lawn ornament.. Isn't he adorable???

My cilantro, zinnias and ONE chinese lantern are also doing meh ok. I'm still pissed I only managed to get one chinese lantern plant to sprout. what a rip off.

To be continued....