Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pickled Vegetables

Recently I made homemade quick pickles and they were such a hit that I decided to make some quick pickled vegetables and see how they turned out. I mean who doesn't love fresh, crisp, pickled vegetables?

New to the whole pickling of vegetables I decided to just use the same recipe I used on my pickles with some little tweaks here and there.

I started off my chopping up my head of cauliflower and slicing some carrots, cucumbers and jalapeños. There were a few strips of onion in there, but I didn't care too much for them. 

Once everything was chopped and sliced I started layering my ingredients just like I did with the pickles. Then I poured on the brine, sealed the jars and placed in the fridge. Voila! There you have quick refrigerator pickles.

I would really like to figure out a way to be able to seal these so they have a shelf life instead of having to be refrigerated.

Next time though I will be using bigger jars, these pints are not big enough! 

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

1/2 tsp black peppercorns
a little more than a dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp dill seed 
1 clove minced garlic
1 whole head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
6 jalapeños, cut into slices
1 medium bag of carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium white onion, cut into thick strips

Combine :
3 TBS kosher salt
2 TBS sugar 
1 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
2 cups of cold water

Add the dry ingredients to the bottom of the mason jar. Then add the chopped veggies to the jar, alternating layers. Be sure to pack them in tight, but not too tight. Pour the liquid mixture over the veggies. Seal the jars and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. It is tempting to want to eat them before then, but I promise that the wait is worth it! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

no more UGLY floors!

When we moved into our house nine years ago we knew that there were going to be things that needed to be updated or just replaced all together. I have already removed the carpet throughout the house (except the bedrooms and they are next) but the floors in the entry and the bathrooms needed to go. Unfortunately it has taken us this long to start working on them.

These were the floors that I hated most looking at day in and day out. I had tried to get them out on my own, but they were a special form of terra-cotta tile that just happened to be cemented to the floor. Every time you would take a hammer or a chisel to it it would just shatter the top layer. And sadly because of this I gave up and let them sit like they were for over 8 months. I feel ashamed that I went for so long with these awful looking half removed floors. 

Here is a closer look...

Then one day Michael decided that an air hammer would work great at removing the tiles. So off to Harbor Freight we went! Let me tell you a little secret... If you are looking for some cheap tools to do a few things around the house Harbor Freight is the place. They may not have top quality items, but they get the job done for a fraction of the price. 

Two and a half hours of hammering and a quarter inch of dust later the floors were gone! GONE!

It is so nice to walk through the front door and not have that tile staring back at me. Now we just need to decide what kind of flooring we are going to install next!

Next was the awful guest bathroom floor! Luckily the linoleum was WAY easier to remove than the tile. I purchased a little multi too at Harbor Freight that had scraper attachments made just for these projects. Even with the right tools it still took me about 5 days to get it off the floor. And to be honest there are still spots that I need to work on around the edges. It now looks better than it has in years! Now we are decided whether to put waterproof wood flooring or tile. So many decisions! 

Sorry no after pics yet, but they are coming soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

quick pickles

Have you ever tried making pickles? 

Well I have... lots of times.

And I will tell you that it is a pain in the butt. Plus you have to let them sit forever before you get to eat them. No fun! But I found a recipe for some quick refrigerator pickles that is a-may-zing!

Start by washing your cucumbers. 
We don't want any dirt in those pickle jars!

Next cut your cucumbers into spears. 
You could slice them, but I have found that they are easier to eat when you cut them into spears.

Add your dry ingredients to your canning jars.
The recipe calls for dill seed, but all I had was dill weed the first batch. I got pretty much the same results with both batches. Dill seed is just a little bit messier.

Pack your pickles in the jars. 
Pack as many in there as you can comfortably, they all turn out the same. 

Add your liquid mixture to the canning jars.

24 hours later... Open the pickle jar and enjoy the wonderful pickles!

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

1/2 tsp black peppercorns
dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp dill seed 
(I used dill weed, but dill seed works a lot better)
1 clove minced garlic
5 lb. of pickling cucumbers

Combine :
3 TBS kosher salt
2 TBS sugar 
1 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
2 cups of cold water

Add the dry ingredients to the bottom of the mason jar. Then add the cut cucumbers to the jar. Be sure to pack them in tight, but not too tight. Pour the liquid mixture over the cucumbers. Seal the jars and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. 

Eat and Enjoy

Monday, April 21, 2014

chaos with a capitol 'C'

Well Howdy! It has been a really looooong time since I have posted anything.

Sixty nine days to be exact!

That's okay though. It has been pretty chaotic around here and things have finally slowed down enough for my to jump back on the blog bandwagon. You would not believe how much I have to blog about!

To start things off, just recently we thought we found a new house. I am always looking, but I found one in our price range and in the neighborhood I wanted. I could have so lived there. It was definitely not my dream home, but it had more room for entertaining and it was really nice. We really liked it. After putting in our offer I was okay for a day or two but then I started to have serious cold feet.

What if our dream house came along? What if I moved in and absolutely hated it? What if we decided we wanted to move away? What if we can't sell our house? How will we pay for everything?

These were all questions that I had not really considered and I just had this horrible gut feeling that something was just not quite right. So I prayed and prayed every day that God would show me what he wanted me to do. I just wish I would have listened sooner. After tons of talking it over with my husband, a few beers and several bouts with hives from stress we decided to opt out of the contract. I do feel horrible we cam this far in the contract, but this is what was best for me and my family and I hope the other people are not too mad at us. But I also believe that they will get buyers for their house  who absolutely love it and are meant to be there.

Now that we are not stressed and losing sleep over what to do about the house I have more time to spend on our current house and to do a few things I have not been able to do in a while, like blog :)

I hope that you all have had a great couple of months and I can't wait to get all caught up on the blog-o-sphere!