How To: Can Tomatoes

The other day I was down at my grandma’s and she made a comment that really kind of stuck with me. As you know I started a garden this year. This is my second attempt but first successful attempt at a garden. That’s cool, right? I planted green beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers (assorted), and carrots. At my house, we really don’t eat many raw tomatoes, so I called my grandma up and asked her to help me can them. She agreed. So what exactly did she say that stuck with me? That she was proud of me for learning how to do this because it is becoming a lost art. Wow! It was one of those things I thought of but never really made note of.

How to: Can Tomatoes

Midwestern at Heart: How To: Can Tomatoes. This is my Grandma's tried and true method of canning tomatoes so you have fresh tomatoes from your summer garden all year long.

The first thing you want to do is decide what you think you’ll use these tomatoes for. I told her I was going to use these for tomato sauce or pasta sauce eventually. Keep that in mind when trying this method!

I have a mixture of Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes in my bucket.

Midwestern at Heart: Bucket of Tomatoes

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Grandma’s Cookbook

Grandma J's Favorite Recipes Cookbook

If you know one thing about me, you probably know 100, but here’s another tidbit of information about yours truly… I love cookbooks. Yes, it is a fact that I absolutely LOVE cookbooks. I swear, I have a cookbook addiction. Some days I think it’s a bad thing and other days I absolutely love it. The funny thing is, you can probably find any and every recipe you want on line these days, yet I want those hard cover cookbooks. It’s just the thing that I need to have. I love the feel of the paper and the weight and having it right there all spelled out for you. I get frustrated when I get flour on my computer or my iPad goes to sleep before I’m done following a recipe.

Why do I bring this up? Well, for Christmas last year my grandma gave me a present I truly cherish. She compiled a bunch of her favorite recipes into a small three ring binder. All the recipes are in protective pages so I can pull them out if I need, but are easily cleanable should I get stuff on them. And best yet, a lot of them are in her handwriting.

Jump forward a couple months and she went into the Church to give pie crust making lessons. I don’t really know all the details, but I just know that a bunch of the ladies in her church wanted her pie crust recipe and wanted to learn the lessons from her. My Christmas present is a copy of one she made herself. When the ladies at the church saw this cookbook, they wanted one too. That’s when, Grandma’s Cookbook was created.

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Eetza Birthday Partaey

For about a month leading up to Abug’s birthday she begged and pleaded (okay, that’s a bit of an extreme but we are referring to a toddler here….) that she wanted cookies and a cake and cupcakes for her birthday. I promised her I would take care of her. Now, she was back and forth between cupcakes and cake, but the cookies… they were definitely a want.

She chose Princess Elena of Avalor theme for her party so the cookies were Princess Elena’s dress. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. At first, I wasn’t so sure but once they were done, I was pleased. This year I took cookies to the lake for her “lake birthday.”

A couple days before her birthday I decided on cupcakes in the shape of a Princess Elena dress to go along with the theme of the cookies. She prefers chocolate cake over vanilla although she isn’t really picky, so I went with chocolate cake into cupcakes. I made the yellow sash with a piece of ribbon. It was easier than trying to do it with icing and I was afraid a red sash wouldn’t stand out.

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Dream Big but not too big

One of my new favorite movies has got to be My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I remember when the first one came out, it was cute but I never thought it was nearly as funny as everyone else did. When I was in grad school we learned that your perceptions of the world are changed over time due to age, learning, experiences, etc. Now I like the first one, too, but I still think this is the better one. Normally it doesn’t seem like seconds and thirds of movies are as good as the first, but I believe this one is and I hope that there are more.

Let’s ponder one of those above thoughts… life experiences change how you perceive things. Hmmm… why would I pick that to focus on? Simple… a couple weeks ago I spent the week at my aunt and uncle’s in southern Oklahoma with Tbug. She’s 14 now. How in the world did that happen, she’s just 6, right? No, unfortunately she has moved on to those teenage years.

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Cozumel Mother’s Day Part 2

About half of our group or so stayed an extra few days in Cozumel. 3 different families brought their mothers/fathers/daughters and we wanted to play “tourist” with the additional family members. One of our excursions were to jump on the ferry and travel across to the mainland. Our destination… Chichén Itzá.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Cozumel, I’d definitely suggest taking the ferry across to the mainland. It was about 45 minutes. The cab driver that dropped us off at the ferry station recommended to buy a one way ticket since there are multiple ferry companies that travel back and forth and they won’t accept another ferry companies tickets. It just keeps you from getting stuck for 3 tickets when you only need two.

So this is a real pirate ship that travels around Cozumel but it is actually a dinner cruise from what I’ve researched.

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Cozumel Mother’s Day Trip Part 1

In May we headed to Cozumel Mexico. By the time we left I think we all needed a vacation. It was hubby, Abug, my mom, my MIL, and me who were able to go this year along with some other people to round out our trip. It was a lot of fun and after the way my day started I’m ready for some more Vitamin D and Vitamin Sea until my attitude changes!

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10 Reasons to Visit Cozumel, Mexico

I keep mentioning Cozumel and our trip. Are you sick of hearing about it yet without hearing about it? Yeah, me too! haha. So here is 1 of a couple posts on Cozumel… But this one is Why You Should Visit Cozumel!

1. The SCUBA Diving! Oh my gosh, the SCUBA diving in Cozumel is amazing. The water temperature is like 80-84 degrees F year round (26-29˚C). The sealife is out of this world. There are reef and nurse sharks, turtles galore, fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and so much more, including if you’re lucky a potential Hammer Head Shark AND Seahorses. No, the sharks aren’t scary. At first I thought they would be, but they aren’t. When people yell or give the Shark sign, others go running, camera in hand. The visibility seems endless. You could be at the surface, see the ocean floor, take off for it and it’s sitting at 80-100 feet down. I mean the visibility is a dream.

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Sundae Cupcakes

I’m really hoping that one thing I will gain from this Cupcake Challenge I put on myself is to learn to make the most perfect, most consistent cupcakes. So far…. It hasn’t happened, but I am getting closer…. maybe…

I truly think that out of all of these cupcakes, this is one that most everyone was looking forward to. I know I was kind of dreaming about them. And they definitely top the cake over last months. maybe top the cupcake? Would that be icing… like the icing on the cake. Okay, I’ll stop now!

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School Daze

We may have been dangling school in front of Abug to try and get her potty trained. She’s talked about wanting to go to school for as long as I can remember it seems. Then one of the local schools around offered summer classes for students of all ages. They had a 2 1/2-3 1/2 year old class that is one day per week for an hour for $10. It was first come 1st serve. We actually got her signed up. She’s been back and forth on being happy and being scared. Luckily parents stay with their kids that whole time so it’s a great way to break her in to a classroom type setting.

About a week before we went she had a breakdown one night at bedtime saying she DIDN’T WANT to go to school EVER. I’m talking this was almost an hour breakdown about going to school. It was sad but funny at the same time. I guess I’ve always been kind of a nerd and kind of liked school (quietly). I was excited to be able to give her this experience.

Last Thursday was her first session. That morning I couldn’t get her to get out of bed. She threw a fit and cried and everything else. I was able to get her out of bed by brushing my teeth. She immediately jumped out of bed and said, “I have to brush my teefps (teeth).” The kid loves to brush her teeth… no joke. Otherwise, that blanket, that’s where she was hiding.

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