Saturday, August 31, 2013

Canning Salsa

After Dinner Dave and I canned 12 pints of salsa.  This was the first time we had ever made salsa and it was a bit runny!  We didn't strain the chopped tomatoes.  But it still tasted yummy!!!

Here is the recipe I used this time from HGTV Gardens...  I doubled this...  And don't forget to strain the chopped tomatoes...

Canning Salsa

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cup bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice

Blanch your tomatoes in boiling water just long enough that their skins start to crack and slightly peel.  Then immediately put them in ice water.  Remove the skins.

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy pot and bring to boil at medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle salsa into sterile pint jars, leaving 1/2” headspace.

Seal jars with bands and lids and process 15 minutes in water bath.

(Note: if you want it a little thicker you can add some tomato paste)

A week later we  made more salsa (well, I chopped the tomatoes and strained them, put them in the fridge over night, then the next day I was sick so Dave finished the salsa) and we 1.5 times the recipe above and 1 times this recipe (so we combined the 2 recipes)...

10 Cups Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 1/2 Cups Hot peppers
5 Cups bell peppers
5 Cups onion, chopped (I put some red onion in)
3 cloves of garlic
2 TBL parsley, chopped (original calls for cilantro, but I don't like it, so I used parsley)
1 TBL sea salt
1 1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar

Dave got 13 pints and 3 quarts out of the second batch we made.

We 1.5 times the first recipe because it was based on how much chopped tomatoes we had after we strained them again, after sitting in fridge over night.  Dave decided he strained the tomatoes a little too much.  This batch was a lot less juicy!  Again it is still very yummy!!!!!!!  But next time we'll do a happy medium between the first and second batch, 3rd times a charm, right?  Either way though, it's very yummy!!!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Play Kitchen Spices

When I used all the chili powder I washed out the container, leaving the label, for Mackenzie to use in her play kitchen.  She LOVES it!!!  She loves to sprinkle it on her food!  It was so cute to watch her play with it!

Sure do love this fun little girl!!!!
 When she sprinkles it she makes a noise too, I have no idea how to even spell the noise she mades, but it's a sprinkling spice kind of noise.  Just too cute!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

DIY Lava Lamps

We made Lava Lamps today.  They super easy and the kids love them!
You need a bottle, vegetable oil (or baby oil if you want clear oil instead of a yellowish color), water, food coloring and Alka Seltzer tablets.
Since we were doing 4 bottles we did 2 where we first put the water in and colored it.  Then we put the oil in.  Then the other 2 we put the oil in first, then the water, then the food coloring.  You want it to be about 2/3 oil and 1/3 water.  Leave 1/2-1 inch space at the top.
When we did the oil first, then water and food coloring it took a few minutes for the food coloring to get to the water and mix with it.  The boys enjoyed watching it, well JJ sort of got impatient waiting.  But he got pretty excited when it started to mix.  The top left picture below is when it first started mixing with the water.  The other pictures are bubbles that form when you drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet.  I read to break it either in half or quarter pieces.  Then someone told me you can do it whole, but we found when you do it whole, it stays on the bottom for a little but then floats to the top.  The smaller pieces stayed on the bottom making more bubbles for the kids to watch.  The loved watching the bubbles coming up!  When it stops and the tablet is dissolved you can put another piece in.  You can close up your bottle and re-do it many, many times, until it gets cloudy.
Top Left pic is the dye mixing with water.   The others are bubbles from the Alka-Seltzer tablets.

JJ putting the dye in.

Mackenzie and Kolin got so excited to see the bubbles!


Tanner putting an Alka Seltzer tablet in.

Tanner putting the dye in and watching it mix with the water.

Kolin watching the bubbles.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grass People

The kids got to give them their first hair cut!  They were so excited!

Jayden and Mackenzie with Grandpop


To make the Grass People...
You can find the idea here on Family Fun's website.
Basically all you did is clean a yogurt container.  We had the kids color a paper to glue around the cup, ideally they were decorate it like a shirt.  Then you use those stocking socks, put about 1-2 teaspoons of grass seen in the toe then fill it with soil.  Tie a knot and leave the end hanging down, it will act like a wick for the water.  Then you can glue eyes on and draw a mouth.  Then put fill the cup with water and put it in.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rock Candy

Back on August 1st Tanner helped me attempt to make rock candy.  You do 3 parts sugar to 1 part water.  You boil the water adding 1 cup of sugar at a time, stirring until it's dissolved, then adding another cup, until it doesn't dissolve anymore.  Then you let it sit for 3-7 days. 
 You cut the tip off a wooden skewer and use a close pin to keep it close the middle of the glass and leave it about an inch from the bottom.  And you can use food coloring to make it different colors. 
 The first batch never crystalized!  I guess we didn't have enough sugar.  So I ended up re-boiling it.  I combined the red and clear, boiled it and added more sugar till it really couldn't dissolve anymore.  Then I combined the blue and green and added more sugar.  This time with in a day we had crystals forming.  The kids were so excited!
We finally had rock candy a few days after I re-boiled it and added more sugar.  However, I think I added too much sugar.  All the blues were stuck to the bottom of the glass, I had the the skewer too close to the bottom.  I managed to chip away with a butter knife and free one blue one.

Tanner didn't want to eat any!  So the other 3 ate them...
Kolin, Mackenzie and Jayden
 Because I believe I had too much sugar, we had a lot of crystals on the glass and I was only able to get 5 successfully out of the glasses, without breaking too much of it, because of it being stuck to glass.
And I had those glasses soaking in hot water for days until all that sugar was dissolved and gone, the stuff that got stuck to the glass.
But it was a fun experiment for the kids to do and watch!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Painting Canvas

I bought some canvas and had the kids pick out some new acrylic paints.  I taped their initial on the canvas using masking tape.  The painters tape wasn't really sticky enough, so I used masking tape.
Then I let the kids paint them!
Again, I only let them have one color at a time.
They had so much fun!!!!



Kolin, I babysit him.
Before they were totally dry, I pulled the tape off and then let them finish drying.  Here they all are...
Mackenzie, Tanner, Jayden and Kolin
Super cute!!!  I sure love them!!!  I should have taken a picture of my kiddos hanging up in their room. I love looking at them in their rooms!  And Mackenzie loves her's too!  She'll point to it and say "my M, for me!"  I just LOVE the kids art work!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nature Scavenger Hunt and Grass People

I had seen some nature scavenger hunts on Pinterest and I thought it would be fun to one with the kids. We decided to do it on part of the Appalachian trail.  And we met up with Jessica and her boys.  She was also babysitting 2 cute little girls that day.
It was very cloudy, very humid and had a chance of rain, but we went anyway.

 Here are all the kids that Jessica and I hiked with...

My kids were so excited!  And while we waited for Jessica and crew to show up they started finding things.
 But once we got started they kind of forgot all about the scavenger hunt part of the hike.  Jayden and Tanner took Caleb and sometimes the older girl, Brenna, and hiked way far up ahead of us.  I was not happy that my boys couldn't listen and kept going so far ahead, out of site!  I've been having a hard time getting my boys to listen to me and stay with me, very frustrating!
in the picture below, Jessica has her point and shoot camera linked to the back of her shorts, she did not sit in anything.
 Like I mentioned before, the bigger kids were way far ahead and totally forgot about the scavenger hunt.  But we stopped to look and some soft stuff growing on some rocks.
 They found a big rock they wanted to climb and discovered some spiders on top of it.

 There was a really cool tree that was burnt on the inside, but not the outside.  I had asked Dave about the burning we had seen and he said he believes they burn the brush, so it's a controlled burn.
 Cutie-Pie Mackenzie... I carried her most of the time!  I didn't want to bring the back pack because i knew she'd want to get down.  And she did get down often.
 After our hike it was raining but we still went to a park and had a picnic lunch under the pavilion.  Then we headed back to Jessica's place to make some grass people.
You can find the idea here on Family Fun's website.
Basically all you did is clean a yogurt container.  We had the kids color a paper to glue around the cup, ideally they were decorate it like a shirt.  Then you use those stocking socks, put about 1-2 teaspoons of grass seen in the toe then fill it with soil.  Tie a knot and leave the end hanging down, it will act like a wick for the water.  Then you can glue eyes on and draw a mouth.  Then put fill the cup with water and put it in.

And here are JJ's, Tanner's and Mackenzie's...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Painting Our Baking Soda Clay

The kids were with me at AC Moore when we picked out some new colors of Acrylic paint.  They were super excited to paint!
To hopefully not mix the colors I put each color in a bowl and each color had it's own brush.  The kids could only have one color at a time.  And too keep the paint off their clothes I just had them go shirtless since it was summer.  The smocks I have don't cover their sleeves, so I figured it'd just be best to go shirtless.
Instead of spreading lots of newspaper out, I just put a cheap $1 plastic table cloth on the table.  It worked great!  And after the paint on it dried, I folded up and used it again when we did the second coat of paint.

 Mackenzie got pretty messy, so I was glad I took her clothes off!  She had so much fun painting and was really into it!  She also did a great job!!!

 Tanner is so serious when he's painting.
Here are the finished paint pieces drying, and waiting for a second coat of paint or painted designs on them.

Here are the finished pieces, after I sprayed them with clear acrylic, except Kolin's because he took his home.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Marble Track

It was a rainy day so I decided to make a marble track with the kids.  I had seen this idea on Pinterest and I thought JJ would just love it!
We spent awhile building a track that worked well.  Then Tanner came and knocked it over and I didn't have the time to help build another one.  So when Daddy came home he helped JJ build a bigger and better track!

 The boys loved it!
 There was a little jump and a tunnel...

Here's a video clip of JJ putting a marble down...

Here's a video clip fo Tanner...
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