links to freebies!

thinking about canning?  paula deen has a great article that will give you helpful information....home canning 101.

here are some great canning labels, too!

winner, winner...chicken dinner!

chicken 'n' dumplins, that is!  ronnie bought a whole chicken at the grocery story yesterday. ususally i would roast the chicken with onions & rosemary.  this morning ronnie suggested that i make chicken & dumplings.

now my family likes chicken 'n' dumplins southern-style...no veggies, just chicken, dumplings, & broth.  i did a search for recipes via pinterest.  this is the recipe that i settled on...

and the ending result...

maddison compared my chicken 'n' dumplins with those from cracker barrel.  ronnie thought they were better than mama dip's!


a very productive friday!

yes ma'am!  the morning began with a new experience that i will add to my 45 before 45 list...canning!  my aunt trisha used to make this delicious tomato sauce that we used for pasta: spicy homemade ketchup.  i know, i know, it doesn't sound like something to pour over pasta, but it is wonderful!  the recipe includes onions, peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, spices.  yummy!  i decided that i would like to attempt to recreate the recipe.

justin, my cousin, provided me with 20 lbs of homegrown tomatoes.  these were washed, cored, cut, & juiced.  i also blended the onions, garlic, & peppers in the tomato juice.  all of this went into a large stock pot.  i added the remaining ingredients & cooked for about 4 hours.  the house smelled wonderful!  for lunch, maddison & i "tested" the sauce to ensure its flavor...delish, just as i remembered!

i sent my canning jars through a cycle in the dishwasher & scalded my lids & rings.  the next step was actually filling the jars.  11 pints, people!  i was so excited to hear the pop of each lid letting me know that the jar had sealed.  i did use a hot water bath for two jars & shortly after pulling them from the water, they, too, made that sweet pop.  ah!  sweet success!

during this 4 hour wait for my sauce to reduce, i did a little sewing.  remember this...

Source: curbly.com via tammy on Pinterest

well, i completed this...

this sweet little bag was gifted to jackie, one of the ladies that i am teaching to quilt, in celebration of her birthday!

that's right, i am leading a small group of ladies in creating a lap quilt.  last night was our third friday night.  we are making a rail fence quilt.  at this point, we have cut fabric, sewn strips, cut squares.  we are now in the process of sewing the squares into rows, the rows into a quilt top.  we are close to adding borders!  

our small quilting group consists of 7 people as of last night...we have grown by one person each week!  we meet at a small country church & have fun sharing food, stories, & sewing! ...so my day ended with quilting!

here is a link to the pattern that we are using...



25 random facts about me...

·     i was born and raised in a small southern city…i still live there!
·     i married my high school sweetheart…we have been together for more than half of my life!
·     i have two children
·     a former house #, 1137…current house #, 1317
·     i love to read
·     literacy instruction is my favorite part of the instructional day
·     summer is my favorite season
·     green is my favorite color
·     i drive a green vw
·     i had a 10 lb fibroid tumor
·     mountain dew is my favorite drink
·     costumed characters frighten me
·     thirteen is my favorite number
·     i love mac computers
·     i don’t like to talk on the phone
·     i may suffer from a mild case of ocd… alphabetically speaking, cdo!
·     i love bags
·     and sharpies
·     chocolate…it is a food group, right?
·     i love to make things…knit, crochet, sew
·     my aunt taught me to crochet when i was 8
·     i taught myself to knit when i was much older than 8
·     i am quiet
·     i am sarcastic
·     i am learning to love cooking...and i am not being sarcastic!



what's cooking?

tonight, we actually had leftovers for dinner, but yesterday, the kitchen was a busy place!
on the menu for lunch: paula deen's chili, minus the biscuit bowls...

for dinner, onion strings from the pioneer woman cooks & steak fajitas from america's test kitchen...

Source: google.com via Ashley on Pinterest

i will leave you with a cookbook recommendation.  ree drummond is the pioneer woman.  she blogs about her life on a ranch as well as fabulous recipes with step-by-step photo instructions.  everything that i have tried has been delish!  she is the author of the pioneer woman cooks.  you will also be able to see her on food network beginning on august 27!



motivation for monday

i love the internet!  typically i open 6 tabs in safari: gmail, google reader (for my daily blog fix), facebook, ravelry (seaching for new partterns), outlook, & pinterest!  it is my new obsession.  once you establish an account, you can create pin boards that will allow you to pin an inspiring photo...it could be a recipe, a craft tutorial, an organizational idea.  the photo will allow you to link to the original post.  think of it as a visual bookmarking system!  additionally, you can follow others as well as search for topics of interest!

are you pinning?  no, well take a moment to look at my page...tammy's pins.  want to join me on pinterest?  message me with you email address & i will send you an invite.

motivating me...

Source: curbly.com via tammy on Pinterest

Source: google.com via tammy on Pinterest

stay tuned...some of these may appear on my 45 before 45 list!



a birthday, a goal, a blog...

in just a few weeks, i will once again mark a milestone in my life...birthday 44!  now, i am not one to fret over another birthday...after all, it really is just a number...you are only as old as you feel, right?  in celebration of this occasion, i am challenging myself to explore everyday curiosities...live & learn...by completing 45 new experiences before i turn 45.  you must know that i am one who is happiest at home, so these experiences may not be adventurous to the average joe, but i hope to use this challenge to learn something new.  it may be a craft project, it may be a new recipe, it may be a new adventure.  i will use this blog, which, by the way, will be experience #1, to document my attempts to meet this goal!