Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crockpot Applesauce

I had some mealy apples just sitting in my fridge waiting for them to turn bad enough to throw out, so I decided to make applesauce. I saw an article about how to make crockpot applesauce a few weeks back and I really wanted to try it! It is super easy- everyone should make this soon!!

The recipe had measurements, but since apples aren't really in season and as sweet as they could be, I threw the measurements out the window.

I made 2 crock pot batches, but I will give you the recipe for 2 pints of applesauce.

10 apples- cored and chopped- I left the skin on because I am lazy and it is more healthy
toss the apples in a little lemon juice to keep them from browning- put them in the crockpot
I did a handful and a half of brown sugar and covered the top layer of the crockpot with sprinkled cinnamon- 1/2 c hot water and a splash or two of vanilla

I am apologizing in advance for these grainy, poorly lit iPhone photos
The plastic thing in my crockpot is the best thing ever invented, a crockpot liner, so you don't have to wash it- worth the extra money!!

this is after about an hour and a half- I was impatient

Cooking time/level: you have 2 options and it depends on how much of a hurry you are in- last night I wanted applesauce immediately so I did them on high for 3-4 hours until soft- when I decided to make my second batch because I was hooked- it was 11 pm so I did it on low from 11pm-6 am- once your apples are soft throw them in the food processor or blender (my blender takes up less space in the dishwasher so it won)- I bought some canning jars and since the stuff is still really hot the lids seal themselves.

You don't have to can it, you can just eat it that day, but I am really into food hoarding and saving and stuff (and apparently lots of commas in my sentences in this post)

3 pints pictured because I made 2 batches and one jar isn't shown

Sorry if this post is a major run on, etc I just downed a grande caramel macchiato.

Monday, May 16, 2011

look how awesome I did!!!

Coupon Success!! I read on a couponing blog that Target had up and up ibuprofen (the small 24 count size) for $1.09 and their website had a coupon for $1 off of ibuprofen- any size as long as it wasn't a trial size- so I would pay only $.09 for each 24 count bottle.. not too bad! So after school- I was there until 6:30 helping kids get ready for exams and finish end of the year projects, I headed out to Target. Our Target had the ibuprofen for $.99!!!

 I had printed 2 of the $1 off coupons at school. I was so excited when I checked out- my original total was $1.98 and then I handed over my coupons and the total was $0.00 I was so smiley- the cashier didn't even act like it was cool that I had such a great coupon success.. I guess I was happy enough for both of us.

 So now I have 48 ibuprofen tablets for FREE! I am going to print out 2 more coupons from my home printer and go get a few more bottles.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Confessions

I confess that this makes me so so happy- like all is right in the world...

I confess that my favorite smell is of the inside of library books- the kind with the crinkly clear plastic cover over the cover and the glossy smooth pages.

I confess that when I am driving I am constantly looking for car patterns.. red red blue. Or if I am driving on a multi-lane highway I *might*  *most of the time* cut off cars so that I can complete the pattern (if there is a blue car and a red car behind it in one lane and then next to that there is a red car.. I speed up to be the blue car behind it)

I confess that when my students are sitting at my table working on math my OCD flairs up and I constantly correct them on how to line up their problems.

I confess that these songs speak to my soul. I can't help but feel this way and I know it sounds crazy.. just listen or read the lyrics.

Okay that is all.. maybe I'll remember to do confessions again next Friday

Thursday, May 12, 2011

the best thing I ever ate

Have you ever seen that show? I think it comes on Food Network (maybe?). I love the idea, but I just can't watch it. It seems to come on late at night and it makes me hungry and then cranky because I have no possibility of having that food or getting it any time soon.

I love food and I love going out to eat- so I am starting a new series on here called "the best thing I ever ate".. there will be no rhyme or reason- this isn't a Thursday only series.. I just take pictures of food I like and then I'll post it :-)

We have a new restaurant in town called Chimes- we have eaten there a few times, but in general I LOVEEEE oysters and it is understood that if there is bread pudding on a dessert menu- I always get it.

chargrilled oysters- this was my last dozen because they are out of season and milky now

huge hunk of bread pudding that served our table of 4

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day weekend

This last week has been a whirlwind! I've said this before, but I work with high school students with learning disabilities- they are in the regular classroom, but come to my class as a support class. We have 2 1/2 weeks of school left, so this is the dreaded "exam prep" time. Not only are we preparing for exams, but we are also trying to finish up tests, projects, and papers from the current topics. It is so stressful getting 12 students ready for exams when we are all ready to be out of school for the summer. I find myself singing to myself "just keep swimming.. just keep swimming". In other news my best Louisiana friend got engaged last weekend!! I am so happy for her :-) My roommate in college was planning a wedding so I've been through this before and friend of the bride is a pretty stressful position, but I love it and I can't wait for their wedding. I bought her an engagement gift years ago to give her when she got married (still haven't given it to her yet so I will wait to tell ya'll those details)- so this is such a happy time!

We randomly decided to go try on dresses last week- we are going to some more stores this weekend :-)

Here are some cutie Sunni Dog pictures- my roommate has a pitbull and all of his toys are in this clothes basket.

On Friday night John David and I went to my dad's house to see my cousin and his family who were passing through- I haven't seen them in 4 years so it was really fun to catch back up.

Feeding the fish and the ducks

Saturday, I headed up to Mississippi to stay with my mom and my grandmother for Mother's Day. I stopped at the cemetery is Osyka on the way to put flowers on my grandmother and my great grandmother's graves.

I also brought 2 baby ducks to my mom's house. My mom lives on a lake in Mississippi and every year a momma duck abandons her duckling so they have to paddle out in the canoe and rescue the baby. Almost every year we have raised baby ducks so it really isn't a big deal, but since there was only 1 baby, it needed some friends so that it will be easier to release it back to the wild when it is time. I picked some up in Covington when I left. Here is Sunni checking out their first swim.

Sunni loved watching the babies.

not the best picture, but you get the idea- their names are (from left to right) Zola, Quinn, and Sophie

We had a Mother's day dinner with my mom and grandmother so during the day I helped Bailey make this rabies virus model for extra credit in Biology- I love projects! Both Bailey and my mom don't so I had fun helping with this.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

eve of garbage day... the big hunt

Friday is trash day in my neighborhood.. they come at like 6 am so everyone puts their stuff out the night before. Driving home today I saw all of everyone's stuff out for garbage day and it reminded me of this..

My family is a family of collectors. My grandfather was very handy and my grandmother was crafty so if they ever saw something that could be fixed or refurbed in the trash they would pick them up and take them home. We always had storage rooms full of stuff waiting to be fixed and a lot of the things in the house were picked up out of people's garbage.. from shelves to chairs to toys we picked them up. Growing up my mom followed this tradition.. I can remember sitting in the car as a kid and preteen mortified as my mom stopped in front of peoples' houses shining our headlights in their windows getting things out of their trash. I can remember her saying "If they didn't want it to go to a good home, they wouldn't have put it out so early!". The funny thing is my cousins all recount eerily similar stories of their parents... As I got older sometimes I would willingly join my mom on these adventures.. one time we took a huge wooden garage door that would make an awesome headboard. We had to take my grandfather's old, loud, stick shift truck to a borderline area of town- we waited until midnight to get it.. it was quite the adventure! Anyway, today I found myself looking at the garbage piles as I drove home searching for treasure.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

I want to make something cool for Cinco de Mayo tonight so be looking for another recipe post soon. Two nights ago I made this really easy Chicken and Dumplings recipe. Chicken and Dumplings has always been one of my favorite meals, but the traditional way of making the dumplings is a mess and takes a lot of time. I have experimented with the "biscuit method" in a couple of different recipes, but it took a long time for me to find a recipe that the biscuits as dumplings didn't taste like biscuits or have biscuit texture if that makes sense. Also this recipe calls for a whole fryer chicken.. I tried that whole cut it up and use the pieces thing and it was a pain.. I think it is well worth it to just buy a spinning hen (rotisserie chicken) from the store for about $5 that is already cooked.

Chicken and Dumplings
1 whole cooked fryer chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box of chicken stock (I think they are 36 oz)
2 small cans of buttermilk biscuits- cut them in quarters and toss them in flour
3 T butter or margarine
milk (to thin)

Boil the can of cream of chicken soup and the box of broth while you cut up and flour the biscuit dough- add these in and boil 10-15 minutes- do not stir and make sure they are all covered in the broth mixture. After 15 minutes add in the cut up chicken and the butter- if it seems thick or there isn't enough juice in there add in milk as needed- I add probably close to half a cup because I like the juice thin. Cook for another 10 minutes on low- salt and pepper. I serve this over rice.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

what I've been up to

Just a warning.. this is a picture heavy post. I feel like I haven't updated in forever.. I'm going to try to get back into the habit of posting daily again. I just feel like since spring break I have been completely zonked and really busy and all of my spare time has been spent catching up on sleep so I don't have much energy for blogging.

This weekend John David and I drove down to the Gulf Coast and shopped a little in Gulfport then we drove along the beach. It was really fun, we had no idea how close the beach was so we want to plan a day trip soon. Waveland is only about 35 minutes away and Gulfport is a little over an hour away. As you can see in the pictures the area is still ravaged from Katrina and it has been almost 6 years. The majority of the waterfront lots are vacant.. some are still living in RVs on their property and a fair amount of people have rebuilt.

Bank vault standing alone on an empty lot

On Sunday, John David and I went to our family's camp in Mississippi and met up with my mom, my sister, and some of her friends. We had a great time cooking out and exploring the creek. John almost stepped on a snake with his bare foot though.. scarrry. Sunni Dog had the best time of all running and digging in the sand and I was really impressed with her sticking her head all the way underwater in the creek.

some kind of blue bellied gecko

Bailey never made it to the water..


Sunni LOVED the creek