Tuesday Tutorial - Canning Spaghetti Sauce (Yes that's right it's back!)

Sorry I have been a slacker with the tutorials I actually took pictures for like 10 but I never get to upload them on Tuesday. But this week I made a special point. For the record my mom and my grandma never taught me how to do this I just did a little research and did it on my own.  Although it does make me wonder if my grandma jones used to can things as I don't think grandma kelly did much other than jams.  But despite the fact I only got 2 jars from this batch of tomatoes I had the best time doing this and it makes me want to grow more tomatoes next year.
#1 - Gather Ingredients - I used lots of mine from my garden including this super awesome green pepper - Yum!
  • 10 -14 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped (or three or four if you use the baby ones homegrown style)
  • 2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
#2 Chop up the chopables (notice how sexy they look on my blue counters)
#3 Blanche Tomatoes - blanche basically means drop them in boiling water until they split.
#4 - Remove promptly into an ice bath which needs to be in some super groovy Pyrex - I prefer the partridge pattern because it is my favorite one.
#5 When Cool Enough to Handle Remove Skin
#6 My Favorite part - Squeeze to remove the seeds (seeds = ick).
#7 Chop up about 3/4ths of the tomatoes and 1/2 the basil and put in blender.
#8 Puree (hehe I like that word) & chop remaining tomatoes
#9 Saute onions/peppers in oil and butter until onions are translucent - then add in tomatoes, puree, wine and spices
#10 Bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 1 hour.  Add in Tomato Paste then Simmer for another 1.
#11 In the meantime sterilize your jars, rings and lids. You really only need too for this much. (photo is misleading)
#12 Pour into jars and and add the jar lids and rings.  Tighten loosely - to ensure good seal submerge the whole jar into boiling water for 10 minutes that will do the trick - note the water should only be as tall as the rim of the jar or lower.  Jar will pop when sealed. And Ta Da Spaghetti Sauce.
Can you say Nifty!


oh the living room that never gets finished

sometime before 2011 I want to finish the forever unfinished living room.  (I'm sure you are all reading this and saying "finish it instead of blogging again women").
I wish it was that simple. I keep trying to figure out what I want it to look like - I know I want it to look lived in.  I've even been looking online for inspiration here's some of what I've seen that I like.
I like these throw pillows and the white walls (did I mention I painted mine white already)  but I'm not so wild about that sofa
I like the funk of this sofa but not so much that pattern, I need some funk.
(source lonny mag)
I love the color of this sofa - but I have pretty much ruled it out. 
source two elle.
I love the idea of yellow and bookcases but probably not with that blue, and bookshelves but I have like 5 books.

I need something that works with windows and a room that is always a walkthru.
(source design sponge.)
I'd like something that works well with my crate table I just finished. and maybe there's a cozy spot for me to work.  I'd also like some more crates so if you see someone getting rid of some score them for me.
(source design sponge)
And I want the photo wall to return and I need to have lots of storage (jono see this dresser is cool).
Source - Apartment Therapy.
And I want to make a quilt to keep in the living room.  
Oh some day I will have a living room that doesn't have tools hidden in the corner and people have sit in camp chairs.

there was this one time

at karaoke that went a little like this...
m and t are no long karaoke virgins
I did some dancing that may or may not have resembled "Elaine moves" - SJ pretended not to watch
Apparently I also know the words so well I don't need to look - who believes this??
The back to back champions were all about sweet caroline but that shouldn't be a surprise since we were in boston metro area.
There was a little Soul Sister Sing-Along
And even jackie got into the fun.
what is not to love about some good old fashioned karaoke


In the next Photobooth

Image from here.
Jono are you down with that?  I also do so enjoy their backdrops much classier than my blanket on the wall.  Off to ride the bus with Lita today won't that be fun!


All things giant at the state fair & a ferris wheel ride

You will be excited to know I went to the state fair this year and decided it shouldn't be the year of pigs but rather the year of all things giant!  First all of I should thank my Big Guy Approving Brother Schreve for the free ticket and parking or else I would have missed all this big awesomeness.   I saw all sorts of giant while at the fair.  Including but not limited to the world's largest boar, a giant rootbeer barrel, elephant ears bigger than your head, lemon shake ups that are really in a bucket (okay not really but I decided I should not pay $4 for them ever again when I can make it myself at home for like $.25).  I even bought a giant jar - who knew the fair was all about the oversized?  ;o)
 Other things giant seen...
Smokey the Bear
A Big Cow

Giant reproduced Art - I do so love this despite my lowly depressing sort of look  I was trying to be serious

Giant Strawberries
I was delighted to learn it was $1 ride day before noon and so I got to ride the ferris wheel for $1 instead of $4 (woot woot)! This makes #4 for my #17.
Me on the ferris wheel I like the reflection in my glasses

And my friend lynley

Awesomeness of ferris wheeling

No No Thank You!

All in all it was a good day at the fair!

Oh and I don't think I ever blogged about ferris wheel number #3 which was not at the state fair but the mall of America - it was the lamest ferris wheel ever but still a ferris wheel nontheless.

Butterflies Sunflowers and Chicken and Dumplings

Remember when I planted my garden? Well it grew up really big and really tall. We used just a tad (maybe a teaspoon) of these seeds called the butterfly mix (I know super informative) but that's what the packet said.  And they grew wildflowers like crazy some are this giant sunflowers which I'm determined are out to get the mailman because they are one step from being able to knock him out good thing they are super strong and don't topple over like my roses.    Anyhow they really attract butterflies we have seen several different kinds getting their groove on with they flowers all summer long.  And Jono decided yesterday to snap a few of this butterfly which I think is a monarch.  I think the pictures turned out nice although some are little out of focus.
Don't you love butterflies? They just make you want to smile. Anyhow I also crossed something else off my list this week.  Make Chicken and Dumplin's for Ash aka #15.  I hadn't made them since my days with crackerbarrel but not to worry I still knew how to make them although next time I think I need to make them with buttermilk biscuits too.  Hopefully you enjoyed them Ash I know Jono did he took leftovers for lunch and said they stuck together so he had one BIG dumpling hehe.
Back soon with more happenings at the bungalow.


Jono's Birthday Weekend (and #13)

Around here we like birthdays. This weekend was Jono's birthday weekend so we spent the weekend celebrating him. We need to reback and celebrate Lita yet but I might do that for her 18 1/12th birthday in September because things have been so busy around here and her gift hasn't come yet. Anyone so because we couldn't take our trip to Ocean City as originally planned because of baseball games we did the next best thing and did tapas and canoeing!  So first up Tapas + cake + birthday presents...
The Jones & Co crew pooled our monies so we could buy Jono an iPod for his birthday - I wanted to have it engraved how Jono got his groove on - but alas I needed to order it online for that.  So I wrote it in the card instead. I think in this photo he was singing "Hey Soul Sister" for uncle paul but maybe not.
Tapas is lots of small plates and I think it's confusing to people but I like it.   (note how confused people look?  Justin and Alex I think were so confused because of the spanish too that they just got drinks but we fed them anyway).

They sang jono happy birthday and put him on the spot I do so love that.
And we also went canoeing. Can I just tell you what a horrible canoer I am??? I suck yup that's right but what I discovered this weekend was - I might suck at canoeing but I'm a pretty good kayaker? I need less balance in the kayak or something anyhow that was #13 on my list so consider it DONE.  The place we went is straight out of a horror movie I swear it's literally like chainsaw massacre goes canoeing it used to be cuter now it's like you think someone is going to attack you when you are paying for your canoes.  I should have take more photos of the place sorry I only took a few and most were in the bathroom, as there was a bus seat in there and no doors on some of the stalls.  sketchy I tell you.
 But you know the canoe trip was fun.
Oh and there was this "near death" experience where joe and I navigated into a tree, and then some random other canoers hit us and capsized us. Luckily I grabbed the car keys and my camera before all our belongings went down the river like my shoe.  After that it was back to the kayak for me because canoeing is not my friend.
and oh boy am I burnt and sore today I smell like icy hot and aloe.  I have decided that sunscreen is pretty much not effective for me, but it does smell nice so I will keep applying daily.