Canning Salsa

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You asked me to bring it!?!?!? Well it's been brought!!!
{LOL Sorry no more bad movie quotes, I promise!}

I've had a bunch of requests for this Honestly The Best Salsa You've Ever Had recipe. After getting the go ahead from Kara, who kindly shared this gem with me, here it is...

Here's the coveted recipe, verbatim:

5 tomatoes
4 mild chilies
6 hot chilies
1 Spanish onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
3 cloves of garlic
1 can tomato paste
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T salt
2 t paprika
2 t cumin
3 T cilantro (fresh)

-chop everything and put into a large pot -blanch tomatoes, chop -chop chilies (use gloves), peppers, onion, garlic, carrots, celery -add paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, paprika,cumin -mix well -bring to boil over med. heat, simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stir occasionally -add cilantro or parsley, simmer for another half an hour -spoon into hot sterilized jars -process 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts

And now for the details....

My fresh ingredients {75% of which were grown in our backyard}

Throwing my tomatoes into a quick boiling bath {aka blanching}.

What both of my hands and right foot looked like after attempting to blanch tomatoes last year {ah, yeah, that hurt!} So use extreme caution or you too may bump the pot full of boiling tomatoe water off of the counter!

Pulling the tomatoes out of their bath.
I use my Pampered Chef chopper ~ HUGE time saver!!

The rest of my ingredients ~ yes that's Cilantro {I had no idea what it was supposed to look like either}

Throwing everything into the pot {I doubled the recipe}.

After simmering for 1 1/2 hours.

Pouring my salsa into Mason jars. I "borrowed" my moms canning supplies ~ I think that she's forgotten I have them! That funnel thingy is a must have!

Processing ~ doubling the recipe yielded 5 jars of salsa.

Another must have canning tool!

My finished product...

and the pay off!

Linking to these fab parties!

Monster Dolls

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I would like to introduce you to my silly {not scary}
Monster Dolls!!!!
I created these little guys to act as delivery boys {and girls} for the boys' birthday party invitations. You can check out Part I here.







I'm posting a tutorial soon! Thanks for peeking in!
 Linking to these fab parties!

Hamburger Soup

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You're going to LOVE this one! This Hamburger Soup recipe is one of my favorites from The Best of Bridge cookbook series. I have made it a ton of times this summer!

You know when this soup is perfect? When you know you have company coming to visit but you're not sure when they are arriving! Let it simmer in the crockpot all day... serve with garlic bread for lunch and add a green salad for dinner. YUM!

Some of the colourful ingredients include: browned beef, onions, carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, beef broth, canned tomato soup and rice.
I just chop everything up in the morning and throw it in my crockpot to simmer the day away. The house smells divine!

This is also a fall favorite! 


Inspiring Creativity Wednesdays {IX}

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thank you for visiting and participating in Inspiring Creativity! Check out these fabulous projects that have been linked up:

Staci from Just Sew Sassy shared this gorgeous headband tutorial!

Jocelyn from Inside BruCrew Life has the yummiest recipes! Check out these cupcakes!!

This fab futurama cake from Jackie at I Design would be a hit with all of the boys!

Girls feel free to grab your "I Was Featured" button from my sidebar! Now lets party....

The guidelines:

1. All projects, parties and inspiration welcome.

2. Please no links to Etsy or online shops.

3. Link to your specific post.

4. Please grab my button so that others can get in on the action!

Dragonfly Designs

5. We all love comments, please try to comment on at least two other posts.

I can't wait to see your projects! Here we go...

Monster Party Invitations - Part I

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My babies are turning 3 in October! Boo hoo! The terrible twos ~ times two has certainly been a challenging year but I don't want them to grow up too fast! Check out these invitations that I have created for their party...

Monster Inspired!

"Mash!" is written on the inside with the party details.

These {too cute to be scary} monster stamps were found at Michaels.

I used a waterbrush and ink to 'paint' my images.

I love this little detail on the envelope, it tells a story..

"What's hiding under the bed?"
"It's a monster..."

These are being delivered by some very special Monster Dolls {did you see yesterdays SNEEK PEEK??} Check back soon!

Monster Party Invitations - SNEEK PEEK

Monday, August 23, 2010

That's all you get..... for now. :D

Feature Friday - Cookie Monster Cupcakes

Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome to Feature Friday! I love finding goodies like these in my inbox! My friend Jen sent me these delish looking photos AND the recipe! {Next time, Jen, I would love some of these in my mailbox ~wink, wink, nudge, nudge}.

Alright peeps, get this.... the cookies are baked right into the cupcake! Yummo!

Jen helped to make these for a friend, who's daughter was turning one. How sweet!

I love the 'hairy' blue icing!

Cookie Cupcakes

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
2 Hrs 40 Min

Servings  24


•1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

•1/4 teaspoon baking soda

•1/4 teaspoon sea salt

•1/2 cup butter, softened

•1/4 cup white sugar

•1/2 cup brown sugar

•1 egg

•2 teaspoons vanilla extract

•1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

•1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix

•1 1/3 cups water

•1/3 cup canola oil

•3 eggs


1.Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls; place onto a baking sheet, and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

2.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

3.Beat 3 eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer to break up. Add the cake mix, water, and canola oil; continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the cupcake (not the cookie dough ball) comes clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack

Seriously!?!?!? These look SO yummy!!! Don't be surprised if you see a Cookie Cupcake test kitch soon! Jen, Thanks for sharing!!

Monster Cake Tutorial

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh My Gosh you guys! I love how this cake turned out!!! If these words could jump off the screen with excitement they would!!!! Woo Hoo!

This little guy {and cutest monster ever!} is actually just a 'tester' for my boys' birthday in October. I know right?!?! Wish I could freeze him 'til then! Cheryl from Sew Can Do shared an awesome recipe for modeling chocolate a while ago. It looks just like fondant!! I love it ~ very easy! Thanks Cheryl!

Did I mention that I have never baked a round cake, never baked a cake in a mixing bowl and never made modelling chocolate let alone iced with it??! No? Well here we go....
I picked up white candy melts and food colouring from Michaels. Basically you microwave the chocolate according to the package instructions then gently mix in 1/2 c light corn syrup. This made enough chocolate to completely cover my cake and decorate it with extras.

I spread out my chocolate mixture on a saran wrap lined baking sheet, covered with more saran and let sit for 3 hours.

Meanwhile I used a stainless steal mixing bowl as my cake pan, put it in the oven and crossed my fingers. I baked my classic white cake at 325 degrees for 1 and a 1/2 hours!!!! That's how long it took for the centre to be completely done.

Thankfully I remembered to grease and flour my mixing bowl so the cake came out beautifully! {BIG sigh of relief}

I started working with my modelling chocolate again and divided it up into sections that I coloured using paste and regular food colouring.

I worked the food colouring into my chocolate, covered with saran and put into an air tight container. Apparently it will last for months like this.

I 'dirty iced' my cake with butter cream. Ha ha {dirty ice} ever watch Cake Boss??? I get a giggle every time they say 'dirty ice'. :P

Then I rolled out my largest section of modeling chocolate {dark green} and draped it over my cake. This was actually fairly easy {whew}! I cut off the excess with a butter knife and smoothed seems with my fingers. I used cornstarch to keep my chocolate from sticking to the counter while rolling it out - I think that I may have used too much as I had little white dots in my dark green... oh well... that's why he's a tester!

Using miscellaneous kitchen tools to cut out circles...

I cut out lighter green circles and stuck them onto my cake using butter cream icing.

My workspace...

Creating my little monster's features.... he's almost {almost} too cute to eat! The chocolate mouth was a pain in the bum... it kept drooping! LOL

Adding chocolate arms and legs... YUM! er I mean cute???

Definitely a winning Test Kitch!

He's a keeper!