Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired Challenge @The CSI Project

I almost missed the deadline again! Last week I missed entering the CSI Project’s Spray Paint Challenge, and I spray paint almost everything…I was determined not to miss the PB Challenge, cause PB knock offs are some of my favorite projects! Well I barely made it as the challenge closes at noon today…
I am entering my Bird Bath Candy Dish from back in March!!
When I went to enter, I was distracted at all the amazing projects!! My “to-do” list just got miles longer! Go check them out here!
Don’t blame me if you spend a week there! :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Apple Pie Filling, Jelly and Apple Butter From the Same Apples!

Yes, you read that right! You can get all three, from the same apples…and it’s easy as well as thrifty! I followed a recipe several years ago for apple jelly and apple butter from the same apples. I couldn’t find it this time when I tried, so I did a little research for recipes that sounded good individually and then used them together!
Most of my pictures of the whole process are on the same card that my Mason Jar Soap Dispenser pics are on, so I am borrowing some and recreating some to try and give some visual, I know it’s not the same, but this little secret was too good not to share, even without the proper pictures.
First, you have to go pick some apples…

then, prepare them for

Miss Kitty’s
Apple Pie Filling
Prepare your apples, enough to fill 7 quarts. Fill your clean jars with apples. Pour over the apples this mixture, that you have boiled until clear:
8 cups water
6cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1TBL salt
1TBL cinnamon
Wipe jar tops, screw on seal and bands and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. A quart is enough for a 9 inch pie.
I used my apple corer, slicer and peeler on my apples and it makes nice slices for the jars.
It also makes the process faster. I take the leftover skins and the cores and put them in a pot, put enough water in them so that you can almost see the water through the top of the apples. Bring to a boil and simmer til mushy. While they are simmering, I filled the quarts with apples and liquid for the pie filling.
When I finished putting the pie filling in the jars and put then in the water bath canner, the skins and cores were about ready I put them through a strainer, and saved the juice and discarded the “muck”. 000_0185
I reran the juice through the strainer and a layer of cheese cloth.000_0186
Saving the apple puree that remains in the cheesecloth.  I had about 4 cups of apple juice to use for
Red Hot Candy Apple Jelly
4 cups apple juice
1/2 cup  (or more) red-hot candies
3 cups sugar
Bring juice to  a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of sugar.Boil for 7 minutes. Add last cup of sugar and boil for 10 minutes. Ladle into hot jars seal with hot lids and process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
I had almost a cup of puree left after I strained the apple juice. I put that into a plastic container and put it in the refrigerator to wait for the apple butter. I made a total of  4 batches of the apple pie filling, strained the juice each time and ended up with enough juice for 4 batches of jelly. I made up one batch of the apple jelly and froze the rest of the juice to make into jelly later. At the end I also had almost enough apple puree from straining the juice to make a small batch of crock pot apple butter!
Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter
4 cups applesauce (I used the puree leftover from straining the juice and added a little home canned applesauce to get all the way to 4 cups.)
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 14 to 15 hours or until mixture is a deep brown.
Spoon hot apple butter into hot sterilized jars and seal, then process half-pints or pints 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
So, here is the end result, minus several jars that have been eaten or given away! there are 3 bags of juice in the freezer too!

One batch of apples can go a long way!

I’m going to share this at Ott, A’s party . She is having a canning/canning jar linky party with giveaways!Click the button below or in my sidebar to join me! I’ll also be linking up to some of the other great parties in my sidebar!


My Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

I have wanted one of these for several years.


My sis in law has one in her bathroom….I have mason jar envy every time I wash up! I’m too cheap  thrifty to buy one, I mean I have boxes of empty canning jars so it seemed like a lot of money to pay for an empty canning jar with a dispenser lid…but I still wanted one! lol  I even thought of trying to find just the lid for sale and buying only that. I didn’t think it would be possible to make the lid. But, some very creative person figured out how to make a lid from a plastic soap dispenser! I don’t know who the first person was. In the last month or so, I’ve seen these at almost every linky party that I’ve joined, made with clear or colored jars and different color dispensers. Some of the posts I read, linked back to Heather Bullard 

Mjar1_edited-1and she does have an awesome tutorial. So rather than do it all over again, I’ll just point you to her tutorial.

I followed her tut with a couple of differences. Oh, and after taking some careful pics (I remembered, even in my excitement), my camera card has decided not to share them with me…I can’t get my computer or camera to recognize that card…any suggestions?

So I have retaken  a few, but I know, it’s not quite the same! First, I liked the Oil Rubbed Bronze color better than the zinc for my kitchen, so after I glued the dispenser on, I covered the it with blue tape and gave the lid a couple of coats of ORB. I had originally intended to paint the dispenser the same, but I realized that with as much use as this would be getting in my kitchen, it probably wouldn’t hold up, so I left it clear.

I also found a one piece jar lid that I liked better than using the two piece ring and seal that I have for canning. This type of  lid can be found sometimes on a jar at the thrift store or if you purchase honey or some product in a mason jar at the store. I thought these might fit the jars,

blog pics 134

but they don’t. :-( 

This is one of the easiest projects I have ever done and doesn’t even look like a knock off! I love easy!

blog pics 133

***Thrifty Tip***

I would love to be able to fill my lovely new soap dispenser with an awesome smelling hand soap, but for the same reason I didn’t spray the pump ORB , I won’t…too much use! The soap would be gone in a day!

So, here’s how I make having hand soap in the kitchen a little more economical. First I buy an anti-bacterial hand/dishwashing soap (see it even says “hand soap” before dishwashing liquid!)blog pics 135

I buy it with a coupon and don’t like to pay more than .30 bottle! Then, when I pour it into my dispenser, I add half as much water and shake! The new soaps are all concentrated, but do the kids read the labels and think “Oh, I only need to use half as much as I used to since they have concentrated this”? NO! At least mine don’t…they push that pump down two or three times for good measure and then wash all that wonderful soap down the drain! So, by putting the water back in, they can pump away, and have a good water/soap mix and no one has ever walked away form the sink with hands that were still dirty!

Happy Hand Washing!

I’m going to take this to Ott, A’s party and share. She is having a canning/canning jar linky party with giveaways! Click the button below or in my sidebar to join me!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday News Flash #3

Happy Friday! Where has the week gone?? I have not even posted once?!?!? Busy…Busy…Busy! I was going to say that I don’t even have anything to show for it, but I realized that I do, I’m just not ready to show it yet! :-) So, I’ll just share what I’ve found in the few minutes I stole took to look around and see what everyone else had going on this week. First, I forgot to enter over at the CSI Project and their theme this week was spray paint!!! How could I forget that??!?! I’m known in my family and among IRL friends as the “Queen of Spray Paint”…I was covering things up and making them knew with spray paint way  before it was “cool” and when the colors were the primaries, black, white and primer gray! Oh well, next week is Pottery Barn Inspired! Maybe I’ll remember that! You can see all the other projects at CSI Here:


And now, for the rest of the news:

News FlashFamily News 

Most of my busyness this week has either been cleaning or family oriented. The cleaning and organizing will be a post next week!

My Mother in law had her surgery and is doing great, the doctor feels that they got everything and her lymph nodes are clear! We are thankful and rejoicing in that! My daughter turns 15 and wants a book to study for her learners permit…scary! We had a bonus 3 days with my oldest daughter and grandsons because their air conditioning died in the middle of the hottest summer I can remember here! While waiting the weekend for someone to check it out, they packed up and came to Gram’s House! Throw in trips to the orthodontist, chiropractor and grocery store and it’s been a rather full week!

Parties and Giveaways!

Since my focus has been on cleaning and organizing, this party came at just the right time for me…to visit, not to participate, since I don’t have anything finished yet! You still have time to enter here:

Organize and Decorate Everything

There is a giveaway going on and some great links to check out! Here are a couple that I know I would like to do at home:

The Great Pantry Make Over

Under the sink makeover @ House of Grace

2010 06 01_4468

Craft Closet Makeover @PS I Made this

Another fun Party/giveaway!

Some Fun Finds!

I browsed a few linky parties and these things caught my eye:

A set of Mini Topiaries @ Less than Perfect Life of Bliss

Drawers to beautiful shelves @Make the Best of Things!

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser @Blissfully Content

I really want to make some of these! I have seen them everywhere, don’t remember the first one that I saw, and since this one popped up today, I’m sharing it! :-)

Have a wonderful weekend!





Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friday News Flash #2!

News Flash

Welcome  to the second edition of Friday’s News Flash!

Friday Finds

As I traveled around to the many awesome linky parties this week, I found a lot of inspiring “Back to School” projects! Here are some (in no particular order) that stood out to me as some I’d like to try in the near future!

Organized “school wall” with labeled buckets @ Domestically Speaking

Definitely “a place for everything and everything in it’s place!” I love the chalkboard labels on the buckets!!

Fabric Covered Notebooks

@ RedHeads Craft More Fun!

These are too cute and super simple! My girls cover their journals and will love this!


Field Journal @ Craftopotamus

I LOVE this idea! It could be used for a boy or girl! My son is an avid birdwatcher, outdoors lover. I’d love to have him make a keepsake like this!


I really want and NEED one of these! Giveaway ends Saturday, so head that way!!


Visit this party for Halloween/fall craft ideas! By Your Hands is also holding a Handmade Sampler Giveaway, sponsored by Deena Davis of Ewe-N-Me Printables. Deena is offering a $20 gift certificate to her website, Ewe-N-Me Printables. A winner will be announced August 27.


Hot Pink Patent Wallet

Savvycents for the fashionably frugal!

pink wallet

@ Scene of the Grime

When I wasn’t visiting around the blogoshpere I was visiting around the thrift stores! This is what I came home with this week:


Another apothecary (like I need another one!), a hummingbird feeder, a regular birdfeeder made of green glass,  a wire basket for the garden and a metal container, yeah I needed another one of those too! :-)

A quick visit into TJMaxx yielded this watering can on clearance for $2.50, because the spout needed to be glued back on and a bag of fall type decor balls and filler for $3.

119_8005No trip to my daughter’s orthodontist would be complete without a stop at Dollar Tree!

119_8004 Some basic organization stuff, a really interesting book on stuff to teach your child about being an American see that hot pink star??? That is about to become a template for my next project!

I have been invited to a couple of new parties this week! Will you join me?

Punkin Seed Productions
A great place to visit and make new friends each Friday:

New Friend Fridays

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Green Beans and Apple Pie

Today my family was supposed to go pick apples at a friend of a friend’s home but we couldn’t all get connected…so hopefully we will get another chance to go. I have great plans for making applesauce, apple butter, red hot apple jelly and Miss Kitty’s Apple Pie Filling! Miss Kitty was one of the finest examples of a Christian lady that I know! She passed away earlier this year. She was an awesome gardener and cook. Her recipe for Apple Pie Filling is amazing! My family would eat it right out of the jar! I didn’t get to make any today, but thought I would still share the recipe!
Miss Kitty’s
Apple Pie Filling
Prepare your apples, enough to fill 7 quarts. Fill your clean jars with apples. Pour over the apples this mixture, that you have boiled until clear:
8 cups water
6cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1TBL salt
1TBL cinnamon
Wipe jar tops, screw on seal and bands and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. A quart is enough for a 9 inch pie.
I love having this on the shelf in the winter! It makes dessert easy, fast and delicious!
Since I stayed home today, I was able to harvest from the garden and just in time…some of my green beans and cucumbers got a little big! :( I   feel so wasteful when that happens! Here is what I found when I walked in the garden:
I found this pepper plant at Ingles, a local grocery store. I had to buy it because of it’s name, “Costa Rican” …I have a special spot for anything Costa Rican after having visited there with my daughter! Someday, I’ll go back! Anyway, it finally has a pepper on it!
I am actually going to have some eggplant this year!
The okra is finally blooming and bearing. I was able to pick a few today.
The second planting of squash is bearing now too!
I actually have a few flowers that have survived the dry weather!
Today’s Harvest
I was able to put up 13 quarts of green beans from that basket! It was a very profitable day even if we didn’t get to pick apples!
 I'm sharing Miss Kitty's Apple Pie recipe at the parties in my sidebar. Check out the food related linky parties! I’ve found some awesome recipes there!
I'm also sharing my garden at Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday/Flaunt your flowers! Check out some amaing photos of gorgeous gardens here!