Sunday, September 12, 2010

One of those better mistakes ..

So, I should know better than to try making salsa late in the day,
especially when the evening agenda includes heading off to a meeting,
and more so when I can't decide which recipe to choose and
so, we make up two different batches.

But hey...I had helpers :) and so we took it on!

While my sister and I chopped away for the cooked versions...

a very capable young man whipped up a batch of fresh salsa
to be enjoyed post haste!

It was delicious and we were quite pleased to have some to tuck away in the fridge. here's what led to my big blunder:
  • fresh salsa mixed & sampled - yummmmmm, so I already said that
  • first recipe - cooked and nicely packed into jars
  • second batch...hmmm...ready to cook just before I have to leave for said meeting
  • I re-read the recipe which says cook for several hours so I figure I'll leave it cooking while I'm away...ONLY because I have a helper staying behind who agrees to stir once in a while
  • sitting in the meeting I realize it should only be simmering during this time and at my first opportunity I'll call and have it turned down .... WHICH ..... I promptly forget when we take our break
  • meanwhile, my poor helper hardly gets time for leisure and feels quite obligated to watch this cooking pot rather closely
  • I get a call a couple of hours later which went something like this, "Uhm, there's not much left of this salsa!" "It's pretty much cooked out - what do you want me to do with it?"
  • I RUSH home and sadly look into the pot which was uhm, let's say, well reduced
  • positive note - this sure smells and tastes like fantastic tomato paste!!
  • solution - mix in the remaining fresh salsa, bring to boil/simmer for just 10 minutes and jar it
The RESULT: the most fantastic tasting salsa ever, EVER!!! I'm not kidding - I quickly jotted down what I did wrong differently and next year I will be making what I call "Sara's Screw-up Salsa"

What I plan to do different:
~ simmer half the batch for about an hour until it's reduced,
~ add the fresh salsa and simmer 10-15 minutes more and jar it!

Oh, and even better ... I saved on adding tomato paste - didn't need it! Duh!

Rave Reviews! more very important thing I learned...

You see those tiny beautiful lime green peppers?
habaneros to be exact
WELL ... they shall now be my favourite hot pepper to use
even if they are hotter than ever,
because even through the heat, you can still enjoy all the other flavours
and the heat doesn't linger on forever as with "other" hot peppers.

Ok...that's all for my lesson this week! Hope you had a great one :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Yesterday I searched for something yummy and quick to make for supper.

I came across this recipe on several sites so not sure whom to give credit,
but I believe recipezaar finally made me cave and make this.

I love that site, now known as,
as you can check out recipes according to how others rate for me!

As for the method, I changed it up due to time limitations
and it turned out fantastic!! The wonderful aroma had two hungry
boys questioning when it would be ready.


4-5 boneless chicken breasts (I used 3 for the 3 of us)
1 (15 1/2 oz) can black beans, drained (I rinsed them)
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained (I used frozen which I think tastes fresher)
1 (15 oz) jar salsa (I used medium heat)
1 (8 oz) pkg of cream cheese (I used 4 oz)

Put frozen chicken breasts into crock.
Add beans, corn and salsa on top and cook for 4-5 hours.
Add 1 package cream cheese on top for the last half hour. Stir.


MY METHOD: I wanted this done within the hour so I used fresh chicken breasts
and browned them in a pan until almost done.

Meantime - in a separate saucepan I placed the beans, frozen corn
and salsa and let it simmer while the chicken was cooking.

When the chicken was ready, I placed it in
with the sauce ingredients and covered them up with the sauce.

Simmered for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
(when I found this getting a little dry I added about 1/2 cup chicken stock which
I happened to be cooking at the same time as well so it was good & hot)

Place cream cheese on top, cover and let heat through,
then stir well into the mix.
Add a little cream if you think it's too thick at this point, I did,
along with a touch more salsa.

I served mine with wild & white rice veggie pilaf.

This was so delicious, we all agreed! The only thing I would do differently next time
is break up the chicken just before serving,
which is what ends up happening anyway as it's so tender :)

Oh, and I plan to use the ample leftovers for chicken enchiladas...
that is if I can get to them before someone else does!


Monday, August 2, 2010

It's a Jungle!

No should see my garden!

The plants are huge and they've all grown into each other
to the point that we no longer have rows...
just one big mass of leaves.
I have to pick my beans while standing in the cucumbers!

It's a little scary... I mean, first of all I never know what's lurking
under all that bush...
and secondly,
I'm getting tired just looking at it!

Hubby, on the other hand is excited as ever.
This is totally his element and he happily picks when I get chicken!

Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful for the produce
and all the other yummy things to come,
but I'm also somewhat of a perfectionist (I know ...working on it)
and all these rows growing into each other's space
and not keeping orderly, doesn't sit well with me
and they better not show a hint of invading my perennial space, or....or

I'm going to make some bean soup now because we really do love it,
and then I have to figure out what to do with
today's crop of cucs
'cause they grew out of control when I specifically
requested they be smaller!

BTW...anyone need some cucs
or dill, or summer savory, or lettuce, or basil????
I actually can't remember what else is under there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Heat!

This summer has just been so busy with this, that & the other. Truth is

I just don't take the time needed these days to blog about all that's going on,

exciting stuff (besides my last post)


sweet little birthdays

a reunion & visitors ..

a wedding ..

our 30th Anniversary ..

(a post I started but didn't put up)

our first solo road trip as a couple

since our honeymoon!

(I'm not talking about attending 3-day conventions either...

so refreshing :)

Shame on me! I won't be showing you my 'drafts' page either :)

Today we're celebrating 2 more birthdays! Our oldest grandson is turning 5

and since they'll be away when his little sister turns 3,

we'll celebrate that one today as well.

I'm so looking forward to it - parties do a soul good !! :)


(unrelated but had to post this pic since these weren't
supposed to be in my garden this year...they volunteered
and I'm loving them!)

Hope you're all enjoying this beautiful summer we've been given....this beautiful DAY we've been given,

we're never guaranteed tomorrow!

I'll try my best to post more pictures later!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Here he is...

little smirker (notice the milk moustache :)

finally a little shut-eye after a long night

proud big sister

happy family

no words...

thankful hearts!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


What a great way to end the week...Praising God for a new life that this Nana's arms are just aching to hold some more :)

The little man came into the world at 2:30 this morning and we just couldn't wait to head to the city and meet him...

I know one little boy who will be so excited to have a boy cousin, though he's been very happy with all the cute little girls he lovingly calls his sisters :)

I'll let mommy and daddy post more along with pictures....coming soon!

Friday, May 28, 2010

You just never know

I love the sound of trickling water outside ...
mind you, not the ground-soaking, gutter-busting downpours
we've had the last couple of days!

I've been pondering how to incorporate some type
of water feature in the back yard
that would be safe for the little ones.. definitely NO ponds!

This past Mother's Day Les bought me a fountain...
which til now, has been sitting in the box.

"It's time", he said Wednesday night.
So, I assisted in the unpacking and sorting of pieces
and then ran off to pick up a few groceries.

When I returned... he had picked the perfect spot
and it was up and running! :)

(sorry about the quality, it was getting dark)

He built a little fire
and we sat and enjoyed the fruits of his hard work.

It was quiet and peaceful
and I took in as much of the "sounds" as possible
before we retired for the night.

Notice the moon peeking up over the trees?
That's something we haven't taken time for yet this spring...
duly noted!


This morning I took a quick peek out the back door to check how
the garden was fairing with all the rain.

I noticed the fountain didn't need a pump to make it overflow..

The downpours continued relentlessly and when the rains let up
for a wee bit I stepped outside for another peek....

I gasped when I saw this...

We just may have got the timing wrong after all!

Tho this does make me sad :(
I know others have had much more 'turmoil' with all this rain,
and I am so thankful we're still on dry, un-shifting ground,
the basement isn't wet,
and as far as I know...with the flying branches, falling trees,
no one here.. in sunny Manitoba.. has been hurt!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pulling up roots..

I LOVE SPRING and the changes that come with it...

I love getting down and dirty in my garden, when my strength allows,
pulling out weeds and prettying things up...

I love anticipating how I'll move things around for a bit more enjoyment...

I love seeing the results of hard labour, when things are growing and blooming
as they were meant to.

The sad part though is ... when you think all is lovely ..

but then you get a closer look and see the weeds...UGLY weeds!

In order to save a remnant I'll have to uproot much of this plant!

I found them elsewhere too,
creeping in between every nook & cranny,
some safely tucked under rocks ...
some posing as part of a plant (the nerve!).

Some were easy to control - others required some major digging.

It's like they sprang up overnight, and yet, I know
that's not how it happens!

Life's a little like that isn't it...

The 'weeds' can come in oh so subtly... and, given the chance to flourish,
they'll choke out the beauty that God intended to be there.

We need to be constantly keeping things in check.

I know what I'm doing today... see you outside!
That is, after I spend a little time with my gardener :)

Oh, you might be wondering how I did with the spring cleaning...
let's just say it didn't go as planned,
the weather turned nice :)

All is good!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning Anyone?

Desperately awaiting spring here as many of you are. At least it looks like we've got our sunshine back. Wasn't that fog unbelievable!

I've decided that today will mark the start of my spring cleaning...maybe that will help me feel that green grass and tulips are really just days away!

I'm going to start in our bedroom since that seems to be the place where things end up that don't have a place of their own. I'm telling you this year I really want to change that and keep my bedroom off limits to strays! And it's time to get rid of excess everywhere else too!

Our ladies group is making an annual event of a spring de-Clutter the Clutter auction which has been so much fun. I'm already thinking I'll have a few extra contributions this year.

So, here's hoping I stay on task! It's far too easy for me to think of other worthwhile things to baking... Oh shoot, that is a pretty good option. Anyone want to come over and bake while I do some cleaning?

That reminds's time for lunch :) Right after that though, I'm definitely turning up the tunes and diving in!!

Oh and I came across these never know what you'll find in my house...sometimes there's some pretty fun stuff amongst the clutter!

Oh my...just looked at the time...better get started!
Have a great day all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'll take that!!

Seems like forever since I've been on here... life has definitely been busy, but I do want to share two huge praise items with you.

These last few weeks I've been quite busy with my mom attending various appointments with her doc and specialists due to some health issues. She has been "through the wringer" so to speak with numerous tests, etc., and we can thankfully say that our worst fears have been relieved, at least to the doctors' knowledge.

What they did find is treatable. We still need to get to the bottom of a couple of issues, but hopefully nothing else is going on that they aren't detecting.

I have to say we were quite worried, yet trying all the while not to be since we need to be trusting God in all things...especially times like these! I just wasn't prepared at all to lose her yet and the memories of what Mom T went through became all too fresh again.

Last week was especially difficult. On Wednesday, as we pulled into the hospital parking lot where Mom was scheduled for more tests, I asked her if she was nervous. She quickly replied, "Not at all". I admitted that I was and so we took a moment to pray together which was wonderfully calming for me. I'm grateful for the peace she displayed and oh so thankful for God's presence and that they didn't find what we were hoping they wouldn't find.

Still with me?
Good...'cause the 2nd praise came only two days later and was the icing on the cake!

Emery Shae was born early Friday morning. The call requesting one of us to sprint down the street to watch over the slumbering came only 2 1/2 hours earlier. What a relief when things went quickly. As one who has been through this "process" on four separate occasions, I ALWAYS pray for a good positive birthing experience (you ladies know what I mean).

We've been praying daily that God would protect this little one (and mama) for this day. I added a little something to my prayer on Thursday see, Friday would be my sister's birthday and she mentioned several times how she was hoping to for this bundle to arrive on her I threw in an extra little request. What fun it was to be able to call her with the news - apparently she had prayed the same prayer!

We're so happy to finally be able to hold this little babe...and of course, her mama is feeling much more comfortable too!

So... my dreaded week ended up being more wonderful than I could have imagined - Isn't God amazing!!

And's wayyyy past my bedtime...good night all!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ready for What/Who Comes's finished!

Managed to sew and cut it in one day...
quite an accomplishment for me since I don't have
a designated sewing area...hoping that will change
one day :)

Projects often get started, and then get put away to finish
up another day... or *gasp* never!

I'm hoping the little munschkins enjoy using it
when they come for naps...

(B's idea of nap time)

Or to cuddle up for story time...

I love how soft it is.
I think I want one for me too!

Even g'pa can squeeze under...
that's the most fun of all!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

We Remember..

It’s been a year now, our tears have dried

It’s been a year since our hearts have been denied

It’s been a year since we had to say goodbye

to you, DAD

It’s been a year reflecting on memories tucked away

It’s been a year of praying that all would be ok

It’s been a year of longing to have just one more day

with you, DAD

As we look to tomorrow and say goodbye to yesterday

We remember your heart's desire for your family, always

We will forever remember you DAD

There's a hole in our hearts that no one else can fill

...see you later!

~ Your Family ~