Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our Most Recent Gardening Adventures!

Gardening is a hobby that my husband and I started when we first bought our home almost 5 years ago. There are many reasons why we initially started this hobby!

For starters, gardening provides a way to cut down costs at the grocery store! This is why we try to keep it going year-round with fall/winter crops, and spring/summer crops. Additionally, it's nice to know what's used (and what isn't) in the process of growing our food!

So what's currently growing in our garden? Well, we've got as follows below:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Radishes

We had black eyed peas as well, but the frost got those a few weeks ago... We also had accidental cantaloupe (no joke) that started growing from our compost pile, but I'm pretty sure the frost squashed those out too!

I'm very happy with the last two weeks though because we got our first pickings for broccoli and cauliflower! 

 We used the broccoli to make a chicken broccoli cheese & rice bake in the oven, and it was delicious!

We haven't used the cauliflower yet, being as it was just picked today, but I'm actively browsing Pinterest for ideas! Probably the BEST part about gardening is the reward you get in the end, and being able to create anything you want with it!

If you have a garden of your own, what do you like to grow in yours!?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

#MakeItYours Christmas Cookies!

This post is sponsored by Country Crock, who sent me a coupon to get a tub of Country Crock free, in exchange for creating my own "Make It Yours" recipe. I love creating things in my kitchen, so I was really super excited about this!

Country Crock's "Make it Yours" recipe is as follows below!


1 Cup Country Crock
1 to 2 Cups of your choice of mix-ins
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda


Preheat oven to 375. Mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, Country Crock, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in large bowl until well mixed.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until blended (dough will be soft and creamy).

Add mix-ins (such as chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts, dried fruit, etc.) into the dough until every spoonful of dough has some of the delicious mix-ins.

I personally used semi-sweet morsels, and white chocolate morsels for mine!

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets 3 inches apart. 

Even though it says to drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, I decided to get creative, in the spirit of "Make it Yours," and the spirit of Christmas!

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden. Cool 1 minute on wire rack. Remove from rack and allow to cool completely. 

Our cookies came out big and puffy, and CHRISTMAS-Y!!!

If you're using Country Crock's Make it Yours recipe, how do YOU plan on making it yours? I'd love to know!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Homemade Orange Jelly (My Happy Week of Canning)

I've been very busy in my kitchen since last weekend!! To give a little background info, I absolutely LOVE orange jelly! I'd found a recipe a little over a year ago that I tried, and was very pleased with the results...I actually almost cried when I used up my last jar of jelly!

Never Fear....ORANGES are Here!!!!!

One of my husband's friends has orange and lemon trees on his property. It came up in conversation one day that I'd made orange jelly last year. Well, on Thanksgiving morning, he brought a big basket full of oranges to our house! 

I immediately hopped on over to Farm Girl Tails, which is where I'd originally found the recipe that follows below.


3 and 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice (I personally use my Hamilton Juicer)
1 box of pectin (1 and 3/4 oz.)
5 cups of sugar
  1. Juice the oranges (around 8-10 medium to large oranges)
  2. Pour the juice into a large pot, and then add the pectin and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, and then add the remaining sugar. Return to a rolling boil again, stirring constantly for 1 minute (I usually do mine for between 3-5 minutes).
  3. Ladle the jelly into sterilized jars. Clean the rims, and place the sterilized lids on the jars, followed by the rings.
  4. Process the cans in boiling water for 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove the jelly from the boiling water and let it set on a towel or wire rack for 24 hours to allow the jelly to set.
Below are pictures of the finished product from round 1 of my canning this week!


I ended up with 18 jars total from the oranges that were brought to us!!

A few days later, we were brought MORE oranges!!

I got a good 20 jars out of the 2nd batch of oranges! Not all of them are pictured, however, being as we've given some away to different friends and family.

The basket pictured above was only HALF oranges. The bottom half of the basket was filled with lemons. I've found a few recipes for THOSE that I'm super excited about, and hope to be able to share some canning adventures for those very soon!