New Life For Your Leftovers!

New Life For Your Leftovers!

I find it near impossible to cook for 2, which is the number of people I feed each night; therefore I always have leftovers. Unfortunately I don’t really like leftovers and that presents a problem.  I had to get creative and trick myself (and C) into thinking they weren’t leftovers! I have done several “status updates” on the facebook page about things to do with leftovers, but the problem with that is, status updates often are hard to find again when you are looking for one from months ago.  So, I created a page here on the blog to house all the great ways to reinvent your leftovers!  It will always be in the same spot, a little tab at the top of the page that simply says “Leftovers Reinvented.” when you need inspiration, head there.  When you have an idea you would like to share, head there.  If you have something I haven’t listed an idea for, leave a comment on the page, or write a post on the facebook page and I will be happy to help you out! But whatever you do, don’t toss those leftovers!

To check out the page click on the picture below!!

Welcome to the world of reinvented leftovers!

Welcome to the world of reinvented leftovers!

https://burlapandbutterknives.wordpress.com/leftovers/

Infinite Faith, Hope and Love Tattoos

bw ink

“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time
to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” –  Tecumseh

Faith, Hope and Love;  this is what I am made of.  Everyone has faith, whether they realize it or not. Even atheists have faith, it might be faith in “nothing” per se, but it is a faith none the less.  Farmers have faith that the seeds they put in the ground will grow.  We ALL have faith.  1 Corinthians 13:13.   “Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.”  It is the last verse in a series of verses about love.  I have always loved that, it always stuck a cord in me.

And now… the long awaited explanation of each tattoo….

 I have faith. It is the base of my beliefs, it IS my belief! It is at the core of who I am!  That is why I put it on my neck. The neck is the stem of our being, everything connects there, it is our base, our core. I have faith in everything, faith in hope, faith in love, faith in my spirituality and faith in myself.  Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as this:   “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  If we don’t have faith, whether it is in that the seeds we plant in the ground will grow, or that the sun will shine tomorrow, then we have nothing.

I have hope.  Hope and faith very similar, but also different. Faith is a belief while hope is a feeling. You can have hope without faith but that’s just wishful thinking. My friend Beth pointed out that “Hope without action is meaningless, so it is fitting that it is on my right, aka dominate, hand.”   Hope and faith work hand in hand. (wow, as I look at my wrist, didn’t intend that pun!)  I even have faith and hope in love. My love life, well it’s complicated. But I hope for things to work out as they should, and have faith that it will happen. Interesting then that faith is on my neck, connecting love and hope together. My tattoos seem to reveal more of themselves each day.

I have Love.  I have a lot of love in my life.  I have an amazing family, who through good and bad, we always love each other. Not all of us, but most of us, why, because sometimes love is a decision you make.  I have the world’s most adorable nieces Taylor and Olivia. A brand new nephew Connor.  I have two little brothers whom I have learned SO much from, they are such a blessing to our family.  I might not say it much or talk about them much, but those little guys have taught me so much about life and love.

I could go on forever about my infinite belief in faith, hope and love, but I think that’s about it for now.

FYI, I am NOT 100% happy with the ink. I had them done at a shop in Hopewell Junction NY. The first session was a disaster, after waiting FOUR HOURS (and I booked an appointment) once she started the girl kept saying, oh my god I am SO tired….. and she messed up big time!!!!! Then I had to go back again, for her to finish them.. My wrists as exactly as I wanted them, although she went MUST too deep with the needle and caused scarring, and the ink they used did not heal black AT ALL. It is completely faded. And my neck.. oh I won’t even get started on how messed up the neck is!!!  But maybe that is the lesson, that faith isn’t perfect? 😉

Canning Resources

Some of the questions I get asked most frequently are “How do I get stared canning?”, “What is the best place to go to for canning information, recipes, resources?”, and “What is the best book I can buy to learn to can?” I My response to that is usually quite lengthy, because there are SO many fantastic resources, books, websites, and facebook pages that you can utilize to really learn everything you need to know! And the greatest part? Most of them are FREE! Yes you can go out and buy books if you want (we all know I have a lot) but the best thing to do when starting out is use the free sources available, and learn from others. Utilize your local library! I cannot stress this enough! Local libraries are a wealth of knowledge, and their supply of books is seemingly endless. In many areas, if your most local library does not have a specific book you want, but another library in “their system” does, they will get it for you from the other library! How great is that?!

homemade pickles!

homemade pickles!

Canning can be intimidating when you first start out. To be totally honest, I was terrified of poisoning people when I started, that is actually the most common fear that I hear from people.  If you use tried and true recipes that have been tested, and follow the directions; you will have nothing to fear!

Learn to Preserve
http://www.facebook.com/LearnToPreserve?fref=ts

http://www.learntopreserve.com/

 

Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-Wheelbarrows-Kitchen/244106631312

http://www.mrswheelbarrow.com/

 

SB Canning
http://www.facebook.com/pages/SB-Canning/130750240327122?fref=ts

http://www.sbcanning.com/

 

Food In Jars
http://www.facebook.com/FoodinJars?fref=ts

http://www.foodinjars.com/

 

Canning Across America
http://www.facebook.com/CanningAcrossAmerica?fref=ts

http://www.canningacrossamerica.com/

 

Canning Food
http://www.facebook.com/canningfood?fref=ts

 

Ball
http://www.facebook.com/BallCanning?fref=ts

http://www.freshpreserving.com/home.aspx

 

Cornell Extension
http://www.facebook.com/CornellUlster

 

The first chapter in the USDA Guide, “Principles of Canning”
http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%201%20Home%20Can.pdf

 

The ENTIRE USDA Guide to home canning, COMPLETE pdf, ALL chapters! (you will want to print this!)
http://growtestdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/canning101.pdf

 

This site gives you the options to print out the above guide, chapter by chapter
http://www.foodsaving.com/canning_guide/

 

Natural Center for Home Food Preservation
http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

I will add more as I find them, but for now, these are my “go to” links! I hope this can help and happy and safe canning! And if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

 

***This originally started as a note on the blog’s Facebook page, however I know not everyone is on facebook, so I wanted to share the information here as well!  ***

Work it out

This isn’t food related, let’s just file this under life.

I started working out.  That is a big deal, because I don’t work out. Yes, I go to the gym and swim, or leisurely walk around the track;  usually it is more like time in the sauna though.  But nope, I’m actually sweating, and sore.  Like, gummy legs about to fall down the stairs SORE.  To tell the truth, it feels great! I love the burn, I love the rush, I love having more energy and knowing I am doing something to change. I’m using my trusty old Wii fit. Crazy right?  I got Wii Fit a few years ago when I was visiting Florida  it whipped me into shape, and then I got lazy. So I am using it again. You might think, wow, really, a video game workout? But I’m serious, this is NO JOKE.  I’m not going to give you stats, or pounds, or inches. But I am telling you because maybe if I tell you, then I will be accountable and stick with it the entire 30 days. That is the hope.  🙂  Yesterday I didn’t want to work out, and I texted my brother and said “I am working out. Not because I want to work out, but because my desire to change is stronger than my desire to be lazy.”   Hopefully I have that attitude everyday!

feel good body

I want to be in better shape, I want to be the best me that I can be.  I want to climb mountains, and swim lakes, and not be tired! I want to know what it feels like to be in the best shape I can possibly be.

hot and sweaty

I really don’t have much else to say today.  I am going to stick to it!  Here is a picture of me taken after I cooled  off a little while, and fyi, I will probably never post a picture this “raw”, this bad, again! lol.

Perfect French Toast; Breakfast Worth Waking Up Early For

Perfect French Toast; Breakfast Worth Waking Up Early For

I seem to be on a bit of a french toast kick lately.  No I am not pregnant.  I just seem to be craving it; I even made it for dinner one night! Sweet, but not too sweet, carby, a little crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. That is the essence of perfect french toast.

French Toast and Bacon

French Toast and Bacon

You can use almost any kind of bread in this. Challah and Brioche are my favorite choices, rye and pumpernickel might not be a great choice, white bread, wheat bread, half stale bread, pretty much anything is fair game! Check the day old bread at the bakery even, once it is soaked in the sweet eggy goodness and pan-fried in butter it won’t matter!

Another great thing about French Toast, you can flavor it pretty much anyway you want!! One of my favorite things to do is to add some pumpkin puree to the mixture, about 2 Tablespoons, for a nice fall flavor.  Applesauce or Cider is another great fall addition. Or even drizzle caramel on top rather than syrup! In the Spring and Summer months, I love to add jam between the layers of french toast, and whipped cream.  The only thing that limits the flavors is your mind!

French Toast

  • 4 pieces bread
  • 4 Eggs
  • Generous 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup (Or Mrs. Butterworth if that’s what you’ve got!)
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • Sprinkling of Cinnamon
  • BUTTER, BUTTER, BUTTER

Method:

  1. Assemble your mise en place, also known as everything you will need for to make the recipe
  2. Heart a large frying pan on medium high heat
  3. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, maple syrup, milk and cinnamon
  4. Reduce the heat under the pan to medium and toss a general 2 tablespoons of butter into your frying pan, or enough to generously coat the entire bottom of the pan
  5. Immediately after tossing the butter in, put your first piece of bread into the egg mixture, let it sit in it for several seconds, and then flip it over
  6. As soon as you flip the bread to its second side in the egg mixture, give your frying pan a few shimmys and a shake to evenly distribute the butter in the bottom of the pan.
  7. Set that pan back down on the burner, and then, bringing the egg bowl to the pan, gently lift that bread out of the bowl and place it directly in the pan to begin cooking
  8. As soon as you set that piece in the pan, repeat the bread/egg process again, this time without the shimmys and shake of the pan.
  9. Allow the bread to cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the bread and the heat of your burner. It should be a nice golden brown on both sides as shown when it’s done. (see the pictures below)
  10. The last step is next, and this is VERY important, do NOT skip it.
  11. Immediately after taking the bread out of the pan, butter each piece of that french toast, and then slather it with syrup! Don’t be shy, this will be GOOD, VERY good!  And enjoy!
This is how it should look in the pan

This is how it should look in the pan

Close up of the toast

Look at the browning on those babies!

Possible Flavor Additions: 

  • A tablespoons or two of pumpkin puree
  • Apple sauce, or cider
  • Dollop of raspberry, blueberry, strawberry or blackberry jam between the layers, or even try it in the batter
  • Whipped cream topping
  • Caramel drizzle
  • Sauteed bananas and brown sugar
  • A dollop of lemon curd
  • Sliced fruit
  • Candied bacon
  • Virtually anything you can imagine! (I think another day I will delve into the world of savory french toast)