Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #209 (and a giveaway!)


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Deb has a great giveaway. Adorable Note cards!

Are they not the cutest? Head over, say Hi to Deb and see how to win. It is easy, peasy!

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? Does your kitchen smell of freshly baked pumpkin pie? Are you planning wonderful side dishes? Do you raise your own turkey or do you get it from a farmer nearby?

Our kitchen is in prep mode, but not for Thanksgiving cooking…Do you see a fridge or stove?


We are smack dab in the middle of our kitchen remodel and there are no appliances in sight. But sanding is going on tonight on our wood floors. They will be beautiful by the end of the weekend. IMG_20151120_173613272

Then we must leave for 7 days so they will cure. So we will head to my mom’s and dad’s for a lower key celebration and hopefully cook up a storm for Christmas!

Whatever you are doing have a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope you spend it with people you love and I hope you have much gratitude in your heart.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, go visit Deb, enter to win and join in the blog hop!

Roasted Tomato Sauce

I love canning tomatoes. I love trying different things with them. I have several ways that are my “tried and true”. But Roasted Tomato Sauce is a favorite. Not just because of how it tastes but because it is EASY. AND easy is my friend this year. I have short periods of time that my stove is plugged in and available since floors and walls are being done in the kitchen. This past Sunday, with no construction folks around, I took to another round of canning. One thing I made was this sauce. Super easy! Here’s how you do it!

Half your tomatoes and pop them on a cookie sheet. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes on 375. No need to peel or season. Just roast.


Note: These are Granderos which are a type of Roma. I highly recommend adding them to your garden. They just keep going and going and going. I am in Indiana and I just picked another 25 pounds yesterday! (yes on November 2). 

When they come out you can peel them. But like I said I do this because it is easy so for me that means NO PEELING. Yipee!! I throw them in the Vitamix and puree.



That takes a few seconds. You can see how taxing this process is. :-)

Then grab your strainer and pour that lovely sauce from the Vitamix into it. Turn your handle a few times and the seeds and remaining peels are removed. Since they have been roasted and pureed this is the easiest thing you will ever do in your strainer!


Minimal waste. Below pic shows all the waste. AND this is not a large bowl, it is a little cereal bowl to give you some perspective. Easy and efficient. Even better huh?


Pour the lovely sauce into a pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or longer for a thicker sauce. I do not season this sauce. I prefer the sauce plain to season as I use it.



It is such beautiful sauce.

I add 1/4 tsp citric acid to each jar and add the sauce. I follow my water bath directions to a T. Mine said to process 35 minutes, lid off, wait 5 and remove jars. Follow your directions for safety!


It is pretty, easy and delicious! If you still have some tomatoes to get through I would encourage you to try this.

Do you have a favorite canning recipe?

Happy Unleashing!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #208 and Happy Halloween!

apronFall is official with the coming of Halloween and turning back of the clocks this weekend. I will once again be tempted daily to put the jammies on at 5pm as the darkness approaches. Does the early darkness get to you too?

Deb’s been busy with company and viewing the most incredible fall landscapes out east. Be sure to stop by to see her pretty pictures.

We have been busy trying to extend our season (since it has been a slow one) and we are now reaping our summer harvest and canning in our kitchen that is really torn up. 

Looking outside today it truly looks like a fall day – clouds in the air, some trees still with colors and others have now dropped their leaves. I can tell that November is approaching. I truly love this time of year!


Since the house is in remodel mode, my interior fall decor is not out, but I have added a couple fun things to look at right outside.



I must try the canning the Seasoned Tomato sauce from Grow a Good Life that was shared last week. I still have ALOT of tomatoes this will get added to the repertoire.

And I am always a sucker for Mac and Cheese so I MUST try the Mac and Cheese with a kick. Thanks to My Maple Hill Farm for sharing. 

What are you up to? Halloween activities this weekend with family? Fall sightseeing like Deb? Stop by and share. We love reading!

Canning While Remodeling

Our kitchen is in major disarray. No cabinets remain except the one that is holding up the sink. No cabinets mean no counters. The stove gets moved around on a daily basis, so it could be anywhere at any given time.

With the garden slow to produce this summer I have not had to figure out how to preserve and can food. That was a little blessing in disguise, but as I shared recently, we did all that we could to extend our season and the fruits of our bounty are now here and awaiting attention.

With the assistance of a couple carts on wheels from the basement I put together a nice area to can in.




The long cart is actually longer than my previous counter so I had an added luxury here of space. After I set up everything, I was on a roll.

First came the whole tomatoes. This is just the first round of many to come and it felt so good to be canning after a long summer’s wait. I love the clickity clack of the canner as it comes and stays on a boil.



I am not sure if it is the late harvest or what the cause, but the tomatoes peeled beautifully this year. Better than years past. Blanching and ice water is my typical process (sometimes I roast them), but the skins literally slid off for me making the process fast. Before I knew it I was done smashing whole tomatoes into jars and they were hanging out in the canner.


Seven pints came out looking good.


With that under my belt and my rolling carts working so well, I decided to tackle the tomatillos. We have already had several harvests of these. For those of you that grow these you know that quantity is never an issue! They are pretty prolific. Previously I roasted them with jalapenos and garlic, pureed with some cilantro and we ate it right away and then froze a bunch too. With the canner hot and ready I decided to can this round of them. I still roasted the jalapenos, but not the tomatillos.



I simmered onions, jalenpenos, tomatillos, red peppers and lots of seasonings. And I mean lots– I thought the cumin said TBL when it actually said tsp in the recipe. Good thing we like it!


It turned out beautifully- I got 8 1/2 pints and 1 full pint. It smelled so fantastic. I can’t wait to dump some on top of a burrito or quesadilla or eggs.


I still had a little time left and the canner was still hot and available. I made some terrific chunky Italian tomato sauce and threw it in as well. That produced 7 jars as well I still have a ways to go on the preserving, but I made a good dent! I froze some peppers and put the basil in the dehydrator. All in all and great day! Since my pantry is a bit cluttered right now, I cooled my jars on my currently empty shelves in the dining room area.


The day gave me hope that even with a kitchen torn up I could figure out how to do this. When our contractor came last night he asked me if it was ok to work. He said his mom did not like movement in the house on canning days. :-)

Do you like canning? Freezing? Just eating it fresh?

Happy Unleashing!

Late Harvest

The weekend of the 17th and 18th was the first frost and hard freeze of the season. We had about 300 pounds of veggies still in the garden and we thought we would do our best to try to save stuff. We built a structure out of cages and PVC and started building.IMG_20151016_175041630

We draped with frost cloth and had our tent.


The frost and freeze came. The plants looked rough but the veggies still looked great. We kept it covered through last week; Friday we removed it as we were expecting rain and the cold temps had left (for now).

Last night, I went out and harvested all of this!

Green tomatoes that will turn into beautiful slicers in a week or so.


Bags of 3 kinds of lettuce, beets and radishes.


A five gallon bucket was 1/2 filled with tomatillos. Roasted salsa verde is coming!


Beautiful romas that will be canned today.


Our cold frames not only survived but the stuff is so huge that we will be adding height to them this week before we need to cover them again.




The best part was a delicious salad last night with the goodies topped with a vinaigrette and smoked mozzarella. Oh my goodness.


IMG_20151026_200656292I am so glad we took the time to cover our stuff. The season has been an odd one and my summer garden still had work to do! We bought ourselves about 2 1/2 weeks more of harvest. We have now peaked 300 pounds of veggies picked and we have some still to go.

Are you still gardening or is your season totally at a close? Do you garden in cold frames or tunnels to extend your season?

Happy Unleashing today!



Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #207


Hi there and welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! I know it seems like a monthly hop instead of a weekly but Deb and I have been busy just like ya’ll with fall chores and wrapping up summer stuff. We rushed to cover tomatoes last week before the hard freeze and we were successful in saving them and buying ourselves another 10 days on the vine for them!


Yesterday was my birthday and look at this lovely place hubby took me to for lunch.


It is Stream Cliff Herb Farm and Winery. Their history dates back to 1821. They are Indiana’s oldest herb farm.


It was beautiful, peaceful and oh so yummy. Best news is that it is only about 20 minutes from us so we will frequent again (and again…).




The added bonus was their Bourbon Bread Pudding! We split it after lunch and we pretty much licked the bowl clean. It was amazing!

Later hubby made me spaghetti and meatballs, baked a cake and we just hung out at home (which was wonderful!)

Deb has been busy cooking up some fall fare. Her Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash with Craisins looks amazing. Some of our squash will finds its way to this! Be sure to visit and check it out! 

What have you been doing to enjoy fall, your kitchen or your garden? What things have to go on to prep for the colder months ahead?

Deb and I are looking forward to connecting again here this week. Thanks for stopping!


Patience is a Virtue (but a Challenge!)


I finally was able to pick a BUNCH of veggies today. 15 pounds of summer squash, 5 pounds of green beans, alot of beets and greens, beautiful lettuce and a couple pounds of basil!

My hubby accused me of being an “impatient” gardener a couple of weeks ago. Honestly that is so true! And I am working on it… but fine tuning virtuous characteristics takes some time (there’s my impatience again!).

We planted late due to the rainy spring, one large garden was drown and killed and well… I still want to be harvesting like I did last year and on the same time frame.

So just like watching a pot of water and waiting for it to boil, I am watching and trying to hurry things along.

Today, I saw tomatoes turning red. The plants are gorgeous and have tons of tomatoes, green ones that is. But in the last couple of days red is appearing!


My zucchini that was a goner (or so I thought) has made an amazing come back and is giving me lots of beautiful zucchini as a bumper crop!


The squash that I planted very late in July, is thriving and has more yellow squash than I can eat! So freezing was the game today.



Our garden that drown earlier in the year was the one with our beans. I had several varieties and none of them made it. I planted some bush beans in early August and I picked 5 pounds of them today!



Lettuce and beets also filled my basket


and we will be indulging in those tonight along with the pesto pizza which is courtesy of our basil that is happy and growing into bushes. I did have to fight our bees to get some today!


I am so happy to be picking and eating from our gardens. It has been a wait this year! I am trying to be more patient and to be aware when my words and actions aren’t in line with that. The seasons have their own time frame. I need to enjoy and appreciate it.

I planted a cover crop on the washed out garden. It looks beautiful and is starting to come up.


I think however that a winter cover crop is the ultimate in teaching me some patience as I won’t see the results of this until after the fall, after snow and after blooms in the spring begin. It will be some of our bee’s first food. We will all just wait until it is ready….

Happy Unleashing!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #206


Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! I cannot believe it is September! We are in 90 degree weather to which I say “whew!” and “yipee”. Yipee is because my 80 tomato plants need some more hot weather!! So bring it on.

The basil also loves it hot and I am busy making and freezing pesto this week. I adore basil and to have pesto in the winter is so amazing. I wish you could smell the garlic and basil…


We are also busy putting in our cold frames and low tunnels.




Deb is up to her eyeballs in blooms! And they are so pretty. She has a sample of a bridal bouquet up on her blog. Please stop by, look at the pretty colors and say hi. She is turned into a real Flower Farmer this summer!!!

I am sure your kitchen smells as good as mine (although maybe not so messy as we are in a DYI remodel). How are your gardens? Do you garden for fall or are you over it! :-)

It is time to blog hop! Share what you are up to and HAPPY LABOR DAY!!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #205


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #205

Fall is in the air here – 57 degrees this morning! I loved it, but I really need more hot days to turn my tomatoes from green to red! This time of year has me dreaming of fall- cooler temperatures, time in my craft room, fall gardening… BUT it is still August and I have green beans, basil, peppers and tomatoes in full swing. And grass still to cut. Fall is approaching but my world is still full of summertime.

Deb is in the same mode— she is dreaming of painting and crafting but still has gorgeous blooms and Farmer’s Markets to come.

How about you? Fall or Summer or somewhere in between?

Stop by and visit Deb to say hello. We hope you join in and share your antics. Let’s get hopping!

Have a great weekend regardless of the season you are feeling!


My Favorite Things – Light of Day Organic Tea


We all have those things that are our favorites. I was introduced to Light of Day Organics tea about 2 years ago while on vacation. I was hooked! I have ordered it via the web ever since. I am not a coffee drinker but I do consider myself a tea snob. I love good tea and will seek it out and pay for it. This is one of my favorites.

Light of Day Organics is Michigan’s only tea farm. On our trip to Michigan in July we visited and it was everything (and more) that I hoped it would be.

As you approach you see their certifications. These are folks committed to organics and local. Thebulk of their teas are grown on their Biodynamic farm and are certified by the National Organic Program and by Demeter.


The founding director is inspiring as she founded this out of her own passionate journey in health and holistic well being for others and for herself. You can read her full story.

We had fun tasting tea, learning about the different types of tea, seeing how they are produced and then simply took in the surroundings wandering around. There are special places to seat and sip on your tea.



The gardens are beautiful and inviting.







Who wouldn’t want tea from here (or her own tea farm) after seeing this beauty?

And she has a Kubota which is my absolute favorite.


Visit them on the web and experience their beautiful teas and story. If you are in Michigan they are just west of Traverse City and so worth the trip. This is NOT a paid endorsement of any kind; I just love their stuff and wanted to share the beauty with you.


I am going to go steep a cup of tea and visualize the pretty flowers that went into it.

Happy Unleashing in your tea pot!