Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Homemade Freezer Corn


Corn on the cob is a pretty big deal around here. Especially for Hubby.

When we were first married, I remember a shocking moment of seeing Hubby eating away on a fresh, just husked, uncooked piece of corn. I am pretty sure I gasped and said something like, "uh, ew gross".

He assured me that this was one of the best ways to eat fresh-off-the-farm corn on the cob. I assured him I would take his word for it. To this day, I am still taking his word on it.


Just like Hubby I have fond memories of eating Summer corn...eh hem...just not without cooking it first. I remember once during a Summer living in California we were able to pick corn at a family friend's house. We went as a whole family grasping large plastic trash bags.

We picked and filled those bags until we practically had to drag them to the car.

My next memory of this corn picking event is the glorious bi-product.

Not the cooked corn on the cob, but the freezer corn my mom made.

I watched her husk, de-silk, and cut off the kernels with some really scary jagged teeth contraption. Then I remember having bags full of freezer corn...I may or may not have remembered any other steps.


Hence why when we had some corn early in our marriage, and I froze said corn and then tried to eat it...it was well completely nasty. My 10 year-old self didn't seem to pay really close attention to every single step.

I seemed to have missed the part where you actually had to cook the corn a little bit before freezing it...

Oops.

Well, now with some more decades under my belt I know how to properly freeze corn. Yeah, I am so grown up now.

Do you want to make corn? Did you already know? Indulge me...pretend you didn't...hahaha.

It is really simple to make your own freezer corn. So simple to make the taste of Summer corn last all year long.

Freezer Corn
corn
sugar
salt
butter

First, husk all your corn.


Then cut the kernels away. We used a boning knife...but there are handy dandy tools that help you do it faster. Cut as much of the kernel away as you can, do not go back and re cut a row you have already cut. That will lead to a different texture.



For every 4 quarts of corn, add the corn to 3 cups of water is a large stock pot.

To the corn and water add 2/3 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 6 tablespoons of butter.

Once everything is in the pot, bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once it is at a simmer, let it continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

As soon as they corn is cooked, remove from heat into a large bowl. Set the bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Once the corn kernels are have cooled, divide evenly on cooking sheets. Spread the corn out so that it is in a single layer.

Freeze the corn.



Once the kernels are frozen, store in freezer safe bags.


We stored some of the corn in large gallon bags for adding to recipes. Then we also stored some in smaller bags that could be heated up for a side dish to a meal.


Now we have the glorious taste of Summer corn whenever we want it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Fever



Like most of the world, we have gotten Olympic Fever.

We watch it when ever we can. 

Are you watching?

What is your favorite event? Our family really likes swimming. 

When we aren't watching it, well, we are participating in our own little family Olympics.

Okay, so really when we aren't watching it Hubby is finishing first in the yard work event and I am breaking house records in doing the dishes and getting the baby to sleep in record breaking time.

However, the boys, they are participating in their own Olympics. In fact, they even made numbers for their backs.


After participating in indoor stair running, they headed outside in the blistering heat to start the cul de sac bike race.

On your marks. Get set. GO!



During their 10 laps, Little stood on the side lines.


Getting in a small run here and there.


He got the track ready for the next set of racers.

10 laps around the culd de sac.


Feet of fury.


Okay, maybe 1 lap is good.


After all, it was crazy hot.

They then moved the competition inside.

Then some medals were handed out.


My Tutorial Here

Have you caught the Olympic fever?

Family Olympics are pretty fun. Throw in some easy homemade felt medals and make it legit.

Friday, July 27, 2012

4 Months


I think we are getting the hang of this being a family of 6 thing.

Four months in and no casualties. Victory.

Of course it helps that Bean is a pretty good baby. AND of course it helps the the other Little Men are only marginally crazy.

Yes, we are hanging in there. Bean is pretty special to all of us and we are grateful he is part of our family.

He laughs and smiles more than any of the other boys. He also seems to be a little more active, if that is possible to know at this point. We think he might be starting the teething process already. We love staring into his ultra baby blue eyes. We have determined that he truly does look like Middle. We will see if that continues.

He knows to sleep if it is dark outside, so I kind of can't wait until fall and winter when it starts getting darker sooner...shock...did I really just wish Summer away? Why, yes, yes I did.

These monthly updates have been fun to do. They let me see what stays the same and what changes each month. I wonder what will happen this next month?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pork and Bean Chalupas


Years and years ago on a Fourth of July, we had these AH-mazing, mouth-watering, Navajo Tacos. I still occasionally dream of them.

We were with some friends and their family. I don't remember who made them, how they were made, or anything much about that day except those tacos and watching the parade.

I have been wanting to make Navajo tacos since that day. Alas, since I didn't know or remember anything specific about the original tacos (besides the fact they were delightfully yummy), I never tried to make them.

I finally found a recipe for flat bread that seemed good. Then I actually came across a recipe for a possible filling.

I decided to give it a go and see if I could recreate that delicious memory from oh-so-long ago.

AND guess what?

I don't know if I recreated the recipe, because well, I realized I really can't remember anything about those dang tacos except that I liked them.

Hahaha.

However, I did L.O.V.E. this recipe.

So basically, I have a new memory of deliciousness.

Hence why the title of this post forwent any mention of Navajo Tacos. I bet you were confused for awhile and thought I was one crazy lady for teasing that the recipe was for Pork and Bean Chalupas, then I wouldn't stop going on about Navajo Tacos.

Let me explain. Since I was unsure of the validity of these being Navajo Tacos I decided to name them after the ever wonderful chalupa.

Clear as mud?

I sure hope so.

On to regaling the chalupa now...

Chewy, fry bread starts the base of the chalupa. Resting right on top is a mixture of slow-cooked shredded pork and pinto beans.

I am talking the slow-cooked for 5 hours in a pot kind of slow-cooked. You know the slow-cook where you put in hard beans and then when you are done you have softer beans packed with flavor...

Yup, that kind of slow-cooked.

Next these chalupas get topped with fresh lettuce, cheese, sliced tomatoes, and some sour cream.

So good.


I mean for reals people.

The good news is that this pork recipe also makes enough to have left overs. The left overs can be used over rice, in a tortilla, or over lettuce for a salad. Possibilities endless.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

Pork and Bean Chalupas 


Pork and Beans:

2 1/2 cups pinto beans
3 lb pork roast
7 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 TBS salt
2 TBS chili powder
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp oregano
2- 4oz cans of chopped green chilies
2 oz jar of pimentos

Fry Bread:

5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 cups milk

First, start the pork and beans. Rinse the beans to make sure they are clean. Put everything into a heavy stock pot. Cover and simmer for 5 hours, stirring about every hour. If the liquid cooks out too much, add a little more water.

After the 5 hours, take out the roast and shred with a fork. Remove fat. Return the meat to the pot, stir and cooked uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Start the fry bread. Combine dry ingredients the bowl of a mixer. Slowly incorporate milk. Once dough starts forming a ball, dump onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Then form the dough into a ball and rest on the counter for 5-10 minutes.

Heat up several cups of oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot enough, tear off small pieces of the dough (a little more than golf ball size). Stretch out without tearing. Roll out with a rolling pin till about 1/4" thick in the shape of a circle. Cut a couple of small slits in the center.

Fry 1-2 two at a time 30 seconds on each side.

Drain on paper towels.

When the pork and the fry bread are both done, serve up. Top with shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Sharing it here-

Party Time: The 36th Ave
Friday Flair: Whipperberry
Linky Party: Somewhat Simple

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Summer Skirt






I sewed for myself.

Woot! Woot!

I found this fabric for $2 a yard at The Mart. Yup it is true, sometimes you can still find cute fabric while shopping for milk, eggs, and bread.

Right away I knew I wanted to make a skirt from it.

I looked over my Project Pinboard and came across this skirt I had pinned.


I decided this skirt was just perfect for my striped material.

I wanted my skirt to hit high at my natural waist and I opted out of the bow, but those are the only changes I made.

This skirt was easy to sew and I did it in an afternoon.


I even put in an invisible zipper...not super well, so don't look close. BUT hey I did it now and I feel a little braver.


This skirt is super fun and a great addition to my Summer wardrobe. I feel super lovely and all girly while wearing it. Boy I love wearing skirts. It is pretty much the best part of Summer for me.

Once again Pinterest, I love you.

What have you pinned lately? Do tell.

I am still a pinning machine. To keep up with my oh-so-fascinating pins, follow me on Pinterest.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lemonade Stand


My boys' didn't have a lot on their lists of things to do this Summer. Most of the things were Summer normals, like camping, swimming, riding bikes, and staying up late.

There was one special request.

They really wanted a lemonade stand.

Really, really.


So for at least a month and a half, I have been gathering ideas and supplies, spray painting, sewing, and making a "menu" to make them one killer, very special lemonade stand.

I really wanted a super cute stand that they could use year after year. I also wanted a cute stand because well, I am insane like that and I like making things much harder and  more complicated than they need to be...hahaha.

So a day before the lemonade stand we hung this flier up through out the neighborhood.


Then the time rolled around and Hubby and Middle walked the stand (it folds up) over to the spot we chose. The rest of us drove over with all of the goods.

Then we set everything up.


The boys were looking like just about the most handsome lemonade sellers EVER.


We found these simple aprons at Target. They are wearing kelly green shorts...LOVE. I got those at Children's Place. The bow ties I made.


I painted some old frames green. Then I used spray chalkboard paint to paint inserts for the frames. PS...I used cardboard...it totally worked. I hung them onto the lemonade stand with some simple hooks.

I decorated with fresh lemons and limes and some baked goods.


I told the boys I would make some baked goodies for them to sell in addition to the lemonade.

I made:

lemon truffles (recipe coming later)
lemon supreme cookies
lemonade Chex mix (sharing on Somewhat Simple)


The truffles were my boys' favorite. The Chex mix was the crowd's favorite.

I also sewed up a really simple fabric pennant banner.

I used scrap material and cut it into different sized flags. Then I simply ran it through my machine one piece at a time a sewed it all together.


We served two kinds of lemonade. The first kind was good old traditional Country Time. We also made a special kind of lemonade. The recipe was a pin from my Recipe Pinboard on Pinterest.

I even threw in Oldest's favorite candy, lemon heads. They served as a great treat to eat up during the slow selling times.


My boys did an awesome job. They stayed out there for 3 hours. They waved nicely at cars as they drove by. They said "thank you". Oldest was a mean adding machine. They poured. They served. They worked hard.


They sold a lot of lemonade and almost every single treat.


Much to their relief there were two things of lemon truffles left. Whew. They were really stressed for the last 10 minutes that they were going to sell out of them. They were really happy to be able to take them home and eat them.

They really enjoyed themselves, AND they were able to make a little bit of money to put in their banks.



I am so grateful for all my friends, family, neighbors, and the strangers who supported my boys in their little lemonade stand. It meant the world to them that people stopped to buy their lemonade.

I love that they got to have this experience.

Today I am over at Somewhat Simple sharing this recipe for Lemonade Chex Mix. Like I said, this was a crowd pleaser. This mix was SUPER yummy.



Thanks for letting me show off my Little Lemonade Entreprenuers.

Sharing my stand here-

Party Time: The 36th Ave
Friday Flair: Whipperberry
Linky Party: Somewhat Simple

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Life Gave Me Lemonade


At the beginning of the Summer, Oldest approached us about having a lemonade stand. He is quite the money minded Little Man.

He still has birthday money from two years ago. He just saves it up waiting for a big purchase. 

In fact, a couple of weeks ago he asked me if we could go to The Mart. When I asked him why, he replied and I quote...

"I want to go to Walmart so I can price iPads."

Oh well, yeah sure, what 8 year-old doesn't want to go to The Mart for that purpose. 

I unfortunately had to inform him that he was still quite a ways off from having the money to purchase said iPad, so a trip to The Mart was off.

Back to selling lemonade.

He really wanted to sell lemonade. So hubby and I promised him and Middle that we would help them put together a little lemonade stand.

We were lucky enough to have the previous owners of our house leave us a portable lemonade stand that the husband had made. 

Now I know Hubby was totally prepared to roll out the stand, mix up some country time, and let the boys sell till their hearts content.

Me on the other hand...

Well my brain went a little overboard right away.

I know hide your shock please.

I will have you know I have held back a lot. I just got so excited with how excited they were and I wanted them to have just a wonderful summertime lemonade stand memory.

I won't give all the details away now...post to follow.

However, I thought I would share the little flier I made for them to put up around the neighborhood.

I was so excited when I was done. I love the bow tie. I love the apron. I love how legit it looks. Gotta love Picmonkey.

Hopefully everything will come together and most importantly, my Little Men will have a great time and make a little spare change for themselves.

Happy Saturday!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Homemade Strawberry Jam Labels


I love homemade strawberry jam.

I remember as a little girl devouring my grandma's strawberry freezer jam.

I slathered it on fresh bread, toast, and graham crackers. Heck I ate it by the spoonful right out of the container.

I lived for that jam.

Once in college after some affectionate begging, I even got some jam from her. Yup, it is true. Freezer jam on ice given to me while so far away from home.

Then when I was newly married I decided it was time for me to learn how to make my own freezer jam. After some fingernail biting, I called her and she told me how to go about it.

And went about it I did.

From then on, every summer I gathered fresh strawberries and went about making our family a freezer full of jam.

This summer was no different...

Okay so it was a little different.

First, we did not go traipsing about our favorite Ohio strawberry farm picking and eating strawberries to our hearts content.

No strawberry picking here. Sad.

So instead we relied on our good old Zaycon Foods. Remember when I wrote about it HERE?

So we picked up our strawberries...our lots and lots of strawberries.



Before we set out to make jam, we had ourselves some berry eating.


Then I made up some freezer jam up. I mean, I had to it is tradition.

However, the other difference to jam-making this year...

Well friends, I busted out my ever growing mad canning skills and I made some cooked jam.


Booyah.

I decided to try making cooked jam because then I could put it on the shelf in our food storage. Hence, not cramming my itty bitty chest freezer full of jam leaving no room for oh, like, I don't know, things like chicken, beef, frozen veggies...minor details.

I bought myself a water bath canning pot (that is the technical term for it).

Then I got to work.

When all was said and done I had jars and jars of jam.


Beautiful and yummy jam.


In fact I made so much I have enough to hand some out here and there as little homemade gifts.


All I had to do was top the lid with some cute fabric and put a simple label on the front.


I made up these simple labels, and I am gonna share them with you.

Just 'cause you know I like ya and all.



Just right click on the image below and save it your computer as a jpeg.

Then all you need to do is open it in a document like Word and print it off. Someday I will master the whole pdf thing. Be patient with my technical ignorance.

Back to the jam.

Add your name. Put it on a jar of your own homemade jam.


Make someone super duper happy.

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