Sunday, June 29, 2008

Strawberry Jam

Every year when I was young, there was one day when I would come home from school and find my mom and grandma in our kitchen canning. I remember tomatoes mostly and a big mess! The one thing I don't ever remember is being asked to stay in the kitchen and watch. So that is probably why the thought of canning food for later use is completely overwhelming to me!

Instead, I make recipes like this one, but only make enough for us to eat across a week or two. Plus, this recipe only takes about 30 minutes instead of all day.

Strawberry Jam

4 cups mashed strawberries (about 3 pounds whole)

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

Mash the strawberries in a food processor in small batches so that everything gets pureed. In a large sauce pan (I use a stock pot - it boils up much larger than you'd expect) mix the pureed strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring often. Transfer mixture to a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Kay: It is really good. It is better than the store bought kind. I wish the strawberries we got this year didn't have so many rotten ones so that we could make more.

Mom (Dana): You'd think we'd get tired of it but since we only get it once a year, we enjoy every last drop!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vegetable Pita with Pesto Hummus

Kay has been on summer break for a week now and we are starting to settle into the new schedule. Last week she went to a gymnastics camp each evening so that was a little hectic but she had a lot of fun. It was shocking how much she learned in just one week.

In the middle of our busy week, Kay had her palate spreader removed (she can now talk normal again) and her braces went on. So for a couple days she was back on a smooshy food diet. She is still having some pain but has done a pretty good job of dealing with it.

This sandwich is based on a recipe from a cooking magazine. I changed it quite a bit though based on what we like and what we had in the fridge. Kay had to disassemble hers in order to eat it but she said "This is actually pretty good". Shocking!

Vegetable Pita with Pesto Hummus

For spread:

2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup prepared hummus

In a small food processor, chop the garlic and basil. Add the oil and blend. Add the hummus and blend until smooth.

Pita filling:

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped cucumbers
1 cup orange bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.

To assemble:

Warm a pita in the oven for a couple minutes. Spread the inside with the spread. Fill with the salad. Eat.

Kay: I didn't think I would like this but it was really good. I went back for seconds.

Mom (Dana): This time I used a store bought hummus. I have a recipe for a really good hummus but I think the store bought blends a little better with the pesto for this recipe.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Javagirlkt has tagged us to do a meme and since it is hot, humid and the first day of summer break, this is about all we have the energy for! We'll both answer the questions.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Kay - I was 1 year old so I was probably sitting on the floor watching Barney!

Dana - I had a one year old and working full time so I was ripping my hair out! Actually I was working as an auditor with a different business than where I am now. Wait - I just remembered. I was completely fed up with that job and searching for a new one which I found in August. So I was just on the verge of my career taking off although at this point I had no idea! That's kind of exciting to think of now! We had also been in our house for about a year (yes, we had several life changing events all at the same time!) so we were starting what was to become the neverending renovations!

What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
Kay - Watch tv, play on computer, play outside if it doesn't rain, go shopping, listen to music

Dana - Looking at Kay's list makes me wish adults got summer vacation too! I am shopping (obviously since Kay doesn't drive!), doing laundry, planting herbs, reading, and hopefully just sitting around!

Five snacks you enjoy?
Kay - Ice cream, oreos, nutella and peanut butter sandwiches, popcorn, biscotti.

Dana - dark chocolate, tofutti cuties, guacamole, salsa, cucumbers.

Five things you would do if you were a billionaire?
Kay - Buy a Wii and all games, get more pets, buy a big house, buy a water park, buy a limo.

Dana - Finish all our home improvement projects, go to the grocery store without a budget, go to Europe, seriously - I don't know! I'm way to practical for this question!!

Places you have lived:
Kay - In this house!

Dana - In two houses and one apartment all in this same town and then 2 dorms and one apartment in Bloomington, IN while at college. (I think I'm becoming more boring by the second!)

Jobs you have had:
Kay - feeding the cats, sorting laundry, watering plants, cleaning my bathroom and bedroom, mopping the kitchen.

Dana - Babysitting, selling knives, working at a bookstore, pharmacy tech, collections administrator, investment consulting assistant, and then all the levels from staff auditor on up to the top of the audit department.

Future jobs.....
Kay - Architect, interior designer, veterinarian, or a teacher.

Dana - Hopefully still auditing. I love it so much that I just hope the economy allows me to keep doing it. Please please please let my current company not get bought out!!!

To reverse this question, I'll post what I thought I wanted to do when I grew up: store lady (I thought cash registers were really cool!), lawyer, architect, accountant. I actually decided on accounting when I was 14 because like I've said over and over, I'm really boring!!

Now to tag people:

Ms Mac
Holler at Tinned Tomatoes
Melinda at Anything Said
Randy at Possum World
And Bill just to make him post on the blog he made us set up for him!!