2014 Canning Update

Ready or not canning season has arrived in a hurry.  It appears fruit is especially early this year!  Today I am sharing our update of fruit for 2014 for my records.  Not super exciting but helpful for me next year :)


This year we canned 2 bushel of lemon Elberta Peaches ($20 a 1/2 bushel)
which did 24 quarts.

We have also discovered that just over 1/2 a half bushel fruit box will yield 7 quarts of tomatoes.  So far we have had 14 quarts off of our garden this year!

Last but not least we cooked up a new batch of peach butter this year.


Not sure what to do with it?  Try this recipe HERE for BBQ Peach butter chicken.


For our recipe I combined information from Taste of Southern  (They have beautiful pictures!) of the process, Smitten Kitchen (more great pics and lots of info) and the ball cookbook.

In the end here are the highlights of what we did

  • 27 peaches (*if large I would cut back to 24 next year) yielded just over 4 quarts peach pulp
  • Added 4 cups of sugar
  • End result: 6 1/4 pints


With the leftover peach puree I froze it in ice cube trays and Purplicous has decided it is perfect in a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast! Hooray!

Posted in Canning, Fall, Seasonal | Leave a comment

Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake

Today I am sharing a new recipe we tried out on our camping trip this summer.  It received a thumbs up all the way around.


Since there is still possibly a weekend or two left of good camping weather I thought we would share it!


Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake

from:  Everyday Dutch Oven

  • 1 package of chocolate cake mix (16 0z
  • 1 package of instant chocolate pudding (3.9 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


We lined our dutch oven with parchment paper.  Then in a large bowl whisk milk and pudding until thickened.  Stir in cake mix and mix well again.  Batter will be VERY thick.  Spread batter into dutch oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.

Bake @ 30 minutes with  12 coals in a ring around the base, and 18 in a ring on the outside and 6 evenly on the center of the lid.


Posted in Cakes, Camping, Cooking, Dutch Oven, Treats | Leave a comment

Pears and Lemons

Exhaustion is setting in as I type this up.  We bottled 2 bushels of pears for a total of 51 quarts of pears.  We used just over a quarter of a bushel of pears to fill the dehydrator too! It must be fall!


In case you are in need of a treat this lemon ice cream was recently a hit around this neck of the woods!


Luscious Lemon Ice Cream

from: Mel’ s Kitchen Cafe

Yield:  About 1 quart


  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixed well.
  2. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according manufacturer’s directions.
  3. Place ice cream into a freezer safe container and let set 3-4 hours until firm and easy to scoop.
Posted in Canning, Cooking, Fall, ice cream, Seasonal, Treats | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Have a lot of extra Zucchini piling up?  We had several on the large size as of late and Purplicous decided to give a new recipe from Jamie Cooks it Up a try.  It was a BIG hit around here.doublechocoloatemuffins

I tweaked the cooking time just a little and turned it into mini muffin bites the 2nd time around and the munchkins are LOVING taking them to school in lunches.  They freeze wonderfully!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Adapted from:  Jamie Cooks it Up!


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  •  2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


  1. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk.  Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir, junst unil combined.  Fold in the chocoalte chips and you are ready to pour into muffin pan.
  4. Line your muffin tin with cupcake holders and fill a bit more than 2/3 of the way full.
  5. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.


Optional:  If you want to make mini muffin bits we dropped the temperature to 325 simply sprayed the muffin tin with a little PAM and baked for 11 minutes in a pan like this

img source: Internet


Posted in Cooking, Kids, Seasonal, Summer, Treats, Zucchini | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Craft Camp

This week Purplicious has been attending a craft camp in the neighborhood.  Today we decided to feature 2 of her projects completed so far.

First up:


The tile(this Masonite) was pre-painted.  She got to apply the vinyl add the button for the flower and tie the ribbon.


Second project:


Light switch covers.  First clean your base plate with rubbing alcohol to allow the tape to stick better.  Then add washi tape across it.  Next cut out the holes and fold the tape back.  Finally brush mod podge over everything and allow to dry before installing.


Pretty cute and fun don’t you think?

Posted in Crafts, Kids | Leave a comment

Change and Ice Cream

Hello hello!   I hope each of you still taking the time to check in now  and then (THANK YOU!)  are enjoying a lovely summer!

A few quick items of change

Item #1 – I will continue reunion info in the near future however it is going to be interrupted for a bit.  (Truthfully I still haven’t taken the pictures needed to complete the post) :)

Item #2 – I am going to be switching from blogging M/W/F to Tuesday/ Thursday.  I promise I have tons I want to put up but I am just not keeping up.  Between wanting to be in the moment with my family, my continued limited time allowed sitting in a computer chair staring at a screen etc. and a need to de-stress I am backing off of my self imposed schedule.  I hope you will still take the time to drop in though!

Now onto a lighter topic – Who doesn’t love ice cream??

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month?  We have been celebrating in style with 4 new flavors to share in the coming weeks.

Tonight’s flavor is Funfetti Golden Oreo ice cream.  Adapted from Blahnik Baker.

This flavor was a real kid pleaser! (Can you ever go wrong with sprinkles??)


I think the best part of homemade ice cream with our current ice cream machine is the ability to watch in eager anticipation for it to start to thicken and look like ice cream!


Funfetti Golden Oreo Ice Cream


  • 1 cup whole milk, chilled
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 c heavy cream, cold
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1 c chopped Golden Oreo cookies
  • 1/3 c sprinkles
  • a pinch of salt


1.  In a large bowl whisk together milk, sugar,vanilla bean seeds and pinch of salt on low- speed until sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes.

2.  Stir in heavy cream until combined.

3.  Pour into your ice cream maker and churn until thickened.  During the last 5 minutes of mixing add in the chopped Oreos.  During the last minute add int eh sprinkles.

4.  Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze for 2-3 hours till firm.

5. Eat and enjoy!



Posted in Cooking, Holidays, ice cream, Kids, National Ice Cream Month, Summer, Treats | Leave a comment

A chance to give

I know I don’t generally post on Tuesday but this is time sensitive:

Yesterday I saw a note asking if you had time to send a Birthday card please take a moment to read the link.  So I clicked on the link and found a story that was done on abc News about a little boy named Danny

Photo from abcNews click on the picture to go to the story


He has been battling an inoperable brain tumor since October and his Birthday wish was to receive a bunch of birthday cards.  If you want to read more please click on the picture to be taken to the abcNews story.

Needless to say the story tugged on my heartstrings a bit and the munchkins and I decided to spend sometime yesterday creating Birthday cards for Danny.


It was also chance to have a really good sweet conversation with my kids about life, death and sickness while doing something to brighten someone’s day a little.

I thought I would put it out there and share in case any of you fabulous readers wanted to take a moment and send a card:

Danny Nickerson, P.O. Box 212, Foxboro, MA, 02035



Posted in Birthday, Kids, Service | Leave a comment