Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still holding my breath

Ravings: A child in a school uniform with a backpack that’s half as big as they are never fails to put a smile on my face!

House update: It looks like we are buying a house. After some tense negotiations over the weekend, we came to an agreement on price and signed all the paperwork. Now it’s just a matter of getting home inspections and all the mortgage paperwork. Because Jason recently started his job, we have to wait until he has 4 weeks of paystubs, so we can’t formally apply until mid-June. We are pre-approved so getting financed shouldn’t be an issue, but I’m still holding my breath. The universe can be a bitch and we’ve already established that she doesn’t like me. I haven’t even started packing because I don’t want to jinx it. Which is funny because we have renters planning on moving in Aug 1st, so we kinda have to leave no matter what!

Maybe I’m just avoiding packing up an entire house!

Cravings: My sister and I tackled 10 quarts of strawberries this weekend, resulting in 24 pints of strawberry freezer jam. Ironically, both of our freezers are completely packed with beef that we just purchased, so she had to do some re-arranging to fit it all in. After the freezer jam jars were sealed and refrigerated, we took a trip to the store to buy some containers to put all the steaks, roasts, ground beef in and hopefully make enough room in her upright freezer. I will have to get a picture of that! I'm not ever sure if she's taken on that project yet. We decided it didn't make much sense for me to transport half of the jars to my freezer just to have to pack them up again in a few weeks (hopefully!). My awesome sister took some pictures of the process without getting either of us in the photo. This is one of the reasons I love her so much!

This is while we were still working on the last batch.

Strawberry Freezer Jam (ingredients shown are per batch. We did 3 batches at a time)

3/4 cup hulled and mashed strawberries
2 Tbsp Ball Real Fruit Instant Pectin
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Hull and then mash the strawberries using a potato masher. We did this in a shallow dish so it would be easier.

Hulled strawberries

turned into mashed strawberries
In a large bowl, mix together the pectin and the sugar.

Can you tell this isn't the first batch?
Stir in the strawberries until well mixed and then spoon into jars. Let them sit for about 1/2 hour, then wipe them down and put the lids on. Store in the freezer.

We actually had a lot of fun. And the kids "helped" for like a minute, and mostly they just tasted!

I also have a dinner recipe to share. This one was super easy and both Jason and CJ loved it. I thought that I had some fresh basil in the fridge, but I didn't so I just made up a pesto with fresh herbs that I did have. Jason killed my basil plant, so I now have to buy it and it doesn't last long.

Notice how the parsley leaf mimics the leaf on the plate? I totally didn't plan that!

Pesto Quinoa

1 pint grape tomatoes
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1 stalk broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

Spread tomatoes on a sheet pan and roast in 350-375 degree oven while chopping up the other veggies, about 15 minutes. Add the other veggies and roast for another 15-20 minutes. While that's roasting, bring quinoa and water to boil in a pot over med-high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. To make the pesto, put the walnuts, oregano, parsley, salt, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor and blend together. You may need to add more oil to make it a smooth consistency. Once everything is done, mix it all together in a bowl and add the toasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!!

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