Saturday, December 20, 2008

To Blog or Not to Blog

I have so many friends and acquaintances that are now doing the "blog" thing, that for some time I've thought "One day I'll start a blog too."

Well, as I'm looking over the past year, appreciative of the things that are so right and evaluating the things that need improvement in my life, I've decided that "one day" is here. It's now or never.

I have so many interests that I would like to blog about. Gardening, Cooking and canning, my frugal lifestyle, motherhood, my goals and accomplishments while doing the TMMO, losing weight this next year (hopefully), housekeeping and organization, self improvement, politics and other things that interest me.

The main obstacle that has kept me from blogging before is, "What do I have to say? and who the heck cares?"

Well, I've decided that even if I don't really have anything important to say, it might be a fun experiment anyway and what do I have to lose? Stating things in a diary type of format might be fun for me. I have an excessive love of spreadsheets, I use them for budgeting, grocery shopping, home inventory, etc. I was thinking that as much as I love putting things on paper (or computer) for planning and goal setting, already, that it is just a natural progression to blogging. So I might as well give it a try.

So I guess the format that I will try is just following my weekly plan. Whatever I'm doing that day is what I will be blogging about.

Today I've canned some Christmas presents (a cinnamon apple jelly and a jalapeno jelly for my DFIL) and I'll be making a few of my candies and cookies for my cookie platters that I will also hand out as gifts.

To make the Jelly:

8 cups apple juice
1 pkg red hots (about 8-9 oz)
2 pks pectin (powdered kind)

mix and bring to a boil

Add a bit at a time about 8-9 cups of sugar and boil for another good two minutes or so.

Add to your 8oz jelly jars (with new seals/lids) and then flip. If you flip the jar while it's still hot you can get a good seal and can skip the water bath canning step. On such a high acid food like jelly, a water bath is not really necessary. You can do a water bath if you choose but I've found it's not necessary with these types of recipes.

For the Jalapeno Jelly

I am making some modifications on this base recipe. I don't have the liquid pectin so I'll be making some out of the powder. I believe half a package of the powder dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water will make the liquid. Add enough COLD water to make 1/2 cup. (I will only use half the mixture and will hope to find another recipe I can use for the remainder's good for a week)

I'm also mixing up my cut out cookie and gingerbread recipes today to chill until tomorrow.

The candies I'm making today:

Peppermint Bark

It's merely 1cup crushed candy cane, 2lbs of white chocolate melted and peppermint extract (just a touch)

Baked Fudge (this recipe comes from my Aunt Sharon)

4 eggs
2 c sugar

add in:
1/2 flour
1/2 cocoa

Then Stir in:
1 c melted butter
1 c pecans
2 t vanilla
1/4 t salt

pour into 9x9 pan and put that pan into another pan of boiling water. Bake @ 325 for 45 mins or until set. (center will still be soft but it will set up)

Then I'll be making my Grandmother's recipe for Bon-Bon's and a new recipe that I saw on a forum that I read ( for Chocolate Mice. I can't wait to try these!


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