ChocoMom

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  1. Made a vat of Uncle Carl's sloppy joe recipe over at the new house. Used a bit for dinner, plus 1 quart for lunches tomorrow. And..pulled out that magical wonder- the pressure canner- then proceeded to can another 6 quarts for later use. This new BlueStar stove is amazing. I ran it on the lowest setting, and it kept the pressure perfectly for 90 minutes.
  2. I guess I'm pretty flexible with chicken salad. For the cracker type applications, I prefer shredded- so long as it is finely shredded, and not stringy like. For roll ups, or sammies, finely diced works well. Over salads, thin slices or larger chunks are perfectly fine. I prefer it with a bit of green onion, finely diced celery, even nuts and diced apple.. The dressing part is typically mayo with a little sour cream or cream cheese. Depends on what is in the fridge, really. The salad I get sometimes from the deli has shredded chicken, sliced almonds, and celery...and is delicious! When I make it at home, it is almost certainly from leftover chicken breasts that have been either baked or cooked in the slow cooker.
  3. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 1)

    If the chili vodka will work on sinuses, then I shall head out to find some NOW. If the local grocer doesn't have it, I will head to the ShottleBot. If they don't have it, I will try to make some. Just soak chilis in a bottle of vodka, I assume? A little Jager might do the job, come to think of it..... that stuff will scorch anything in its path! So perhaps a shot of that in some tea? Hmmm. Thank you kindly for the tips. I cannot stand having my head under so much pressure while trying to tile floors---so off I go. I shall report back as to what I find, and what works.
  4. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 1)

    @quiet1 I feel for ya! Soup is not always enough for a meal, or desired for breakfast. This current sinus "event" has led me into desperation, so I am having TEA. Just tea. Homemade, no less. My daughter (18) insists that hot pepper sauce will open things up. Not a big fan of hot sauce, and the selection around here is pretty limited. So, I made tea. Squeezed in the juice from half a lemon, cut up a piece of gingeroot- 5-6 slices, threw in a cut up dried chile of some sort...it had a Scoville rating of 5. added a few cups of water and simmered. I poured a bit of honey in my mug, then strained the "tea" into the mug. Hindsight being 20-20, the honey was not really necessary since I can't taste anything at this point, so I haven't a clue what the flavor was like....but damn! it was hot. My mouth is still burning. One of the sinus passages is clear now, though.
  5. Regarding the flooring in the shop, I did the same kind of hybrid stick tiles- part stone- part linoleum. I left no room for grout. BUT, I was intrigued with the idea of dark/black grout, so for the three bathrooms and laundry room I laid natural slate tiles, and grouted using Charcoal or DeLorean Grey. It looks excellent, so thank you for that idea! I still have a little to finish, and then take on tiling the shower. (The porch will be last, as the floor in there is buried with cases of oak flooring. ) For the counters and sinks, I ordered SS pieces from The Restaurant Store in Lancaster. Ended up with free shipping, which saved more than a few smackaroonies. And those ill-sized cupboards I mentioned? Well, they ordered me new ones at no cost, and let me keep the old ones....so DH (love that guy!) installed them above one of the worktables in the shop. It is wonderful!!! I am feeling more "at home" and comfortable in the new setting. The hard part is restraining myself from working in there now, while simultaneously forcing myself to finish the tile work. We still having a ways to go with the flooring, stairs, and railings/balcony, thus we are aiming to be in there completely by March. @keychris As for keeping the shop clean.... I'll give it about a week.
  6. Its been a while since I posted an update, and things have been moving along-- sometimes fast --only to come to a screeching halt due to broken countertops, wrong sized cupboards, and I won't even go into the pain its been getting the stair nose. Today, however, was a joyous day, with the delivery of deliciousness delivered to my front door: Guittard galore, Felchlin, Pralus and Cacao Barry. Let the games begin!!!
  7. Freezer Storage

    I went through the same thing. Prior to our house burning down, I had multiple freezers and got a little spoiled with all that space. Even so, I still filleted the meat from the turkeys and chickens that I had butchered, because those carcasses take up way too much valuable space. Post burning, I have the tiniest freezer (for which I am immensely thankful- though it is tiny!). So, I learned to pressure can broths, soups, meats, etc. I have to say, the incredible convenience in locating, and using the canned items has led me to not buy another large freezer for the rebuilt house. There is no thawing, no digging around, and a lot more space in the freezer. I would encourage anyone to try out the pressure canning- as it is not nearly as intimidating as I had first thought. My family has gotten spoiled royally by the ease of finding and fixing meals this way. I have too! All that being said, the shelving and organizational options here are fantastic, and I'd employ those too. But the canning option is my new go-to process for dealing with all of those other items that take up space. Best wishes on your quest!
  8. Pine cone jam

    I was intrigued by the title of this thread. Never even fathomed the cones were edible! I read it, and I am SO DOING THIS in the spring!!!! We've got a total of 240 acres with pine trees EVERYWHERE. Time to make good use of them. =) Thank you so much for posting this, Shain!
  9. Breakfast! 2016 (Part 3)

    Such gorgeous and yummy looking breakfasts!!! And to think I had M&ms and coffee for breakfast. I gotta get with the program! thank you all for the beautiful inspiration!!!!
  10. Thank you, Oli! Next up are desserts 2, 3 and 4. One blueberry and two raspberry streusel-type things. Garnished with raspberries and mint leaves.
  11. Dessert #1 for today's dinner..... French Vanilla cake; raspberry filling, butter cream icing, and a bunch of gum paste poinsettia. I made this over at the new house, since they installed one of the ranges. The house is not done, but, parts of it are functional, so I am trying to get used to it. Fun way to break in the new range!
  12. Small eggs

    I'll weigh in on the turkey eggs, since Ethel (the pet turkey) still lays them. As far as size goes....If you take two typical large chicken eggs, OR one and half extra large chicken eggs, you'd get a turkey egg. (I had some doozies - equivalent to two XL chicken eggs.) Depending on the turkey, they can end up being enormous. (My bronze turkeys laid larger eggs than the butterballs.) I've used them in place of chicken eggs when making cakes. 2 turkey eggs instead of 3 chicken eggs. The yolks are extremely dense. I think they'd make fantastic, monstrous deviled eggs! Ethel was laying so many one year, that I was going to sell them. But then I came across some interesting information....now I don't know if the law is antiquated, no longer in effect, or what.... but it used to be illegal to sell turkey eggs in the US. We used to have small chicken eggs in the grocery stores--- haven't seen them in years though. Medium eggs are about the smallest I've seen.
  13. For the venison, I've canned everything except the backstraps. I liken the backstraps to a beef tenderloin. Sliced into "steaks" or medallions, those are just so nice and tender - we eat those as soon as I cut them out and cook. I did do the roasts, the shoulder area, and the legs. I kind of slide the knife blade down the sinew to remove that stuff, and then cut the meat pieces into smaller chunks. The legs seems to have the most sinew. Shoulders- a little, but not as bad as the legs. You don't really have to practice on chicken, if you have some venison handy. Beef, chicken and venison all get processed the same in the pressure canner. You can add whatever you like for additional flavors- like onions, garlic, peppers, hot sauce, maybe a little smoke flavoring. Just make sure you get that tsp of salt in there. The soup turned out great with the beef. I did a chicken - vegetable too. Its amazing how tender all the meat becomes. Once you try it, you'll be hooked. =)
  14. Dinner 2016 (Part 11)

    The family ate dinner too fast for me to take pics. But, I carved out the 30" backstraps on the buck, slice them into medallions, and cooked in olive oil and onions. Hubby said he couldn't tell the difference between that and filet mignon. It was a melt-in-your-mouth kind of meal. Complete with mashies and beans.
  15. @Shelby One of my friends, a retired nurse, got me hooked on this. When our house burned down in February, she and her husband stocked the pantry over here at the condo, and in it- she put canned beef and canned chicken that she had pressure canned herself. (Ironically, the beef she canned was the same beef she bought from us in the fall!) This is all pretty easy - now that I've done it. Not nearly as intimidating as I thought. First, run your jars through the hot rinse cycle on the dishwasher to sterilize them. Next, add a tsp of salt to the quart jar. Then, pack in your raw meat- I cut it into roughly 1" chunks, sometimes larger. I add in sliced onions and beef bullion. Put your lids on, and then the rims. Set in the canner, and the canner should have I think about 3 quarts of water in the bottom. I can fit 7 quarts in at a time. You get it up to 10pounds of pressure and hold it there for 90 minutes. I turn the stove off, and just let it depressurize overnight, and take the jars out in the morning. That's just the basics. The venison is done exactly the same as the beef. And, you almost can't tell the difference. I did get some organic grass fed beef at the store in October- on sale. With almost no freezer space, I ended up canning. I wanted beef-veggie soup that was ready to eat. So, I put beef bullion in the bottom of the jar, added in about 2c of beef cubes, then added a mixture of carrot chunks, potatoes, celery and onion, then more meat and dash more bullion powder. I canned it just like that. I opened one a week or so later for my husband's lunch, and he said it was the best he ever had. I did plain beef and plain chicken - only adding salt in. My in laws were able to easily shred it up, add BBQ sauce, and make pulled beef and pulled chicken sandwiches. I'll see what pics I can find. But, I will say that once you try it, you'll be hooked!!