Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In the Kitchen with Pam: Garden Salsa Style

Today we are visiting Pam in her kitchen, while I had very little tomato success in my Garden, Pam had tons of tomatoes to play with!!
This year I had lots of tomatoes in my garden but not as many peppers as I would have liked.  I used the peppers I did have to make salsa.
Here's my recipe:
10 cups of chopped tomatoes
5 cups of chopped onions
5 cups of green peppers
2 cups of hot peppers
4 chopped cloves of garlic
1 cup of vinegar
1 tablespoon of salt
I normally make a few batches of medium and a few of wow is this hot!  Adjust the temperature by how many peppers you put in.  I have a small food processor and I chop up the tomatoes, peppers and onions and I end up dumping everything in  a big pot and then I let it cook for at least an hour.  I put it in small jars like the kind you normally put jam in and then I do a hot water bath.  I found the recipe several years ago in a Taste of Home magazine and I've made some changes over the years.  I think the original called for cilantro and I don't like it so I don't put it in!  A word of warning when making salsa - if you wear contacts don't wear them the day you are making salsa!  Wear gloves when you chop the hot peppers! 

Written Word in Knitting

So, Interweave Press is holding a contest that involves knit writing. I saw the ad in one of my Piecework Magazines and have been rolling the idea around in my head since I came across it.

My one big issue with this is that one of my favorite literary scenes is just that - a scene. For some reason it's the images I build in my mind from the words an author has written that sticks with me more than the words themselves. I've never been terribly good at reciting poetry from memory, or memorizing favorites lines from books. I fear that I would end up trying to spell out a whole page of writing from my favorite books, and that would mean an afghan instead of mittens! (The picture shown in the magazine is of Piecework's Poetry Mittens).

The only real reason I'm even tossing around ideas is because I already have an entire alphabet charted. Actually, I have two whole alphabets charted. I charted them when I was working on new sayings for the talking mice. I really like the idea of a hat...with the words spiraling up from the band, starting big and getting smaller...and maybe have the hat taper to a long tail like those ski hats that were so popular when I was a kid. Then I could use more words! :) Of course that leads to a lot of logistical problems. Knit letters can really only get so small. Plus, it would be a ton easier to not have the lines spiral, but I think the spiral would be the coolest. Another way to make a spiral would be to knit one long strip and stitch it together to form a spiral. But I don't see that working very well in a hat setting...unless I taper the starting piece...hmmm....

What do you think? What would you knit? And what literary piece would you quote? (My favorite is below....)


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Sheep

It's no secret that at Hide and Hair we love sheep. Really, who doesn't? They are big fluffballs that you get to shear every year and play with raw wool!! That love extends to household goods depicting sheep, and here are a few of our favorites from Etsy!

Little Lamb (8x10 Print of baby lamb with soft turquoise background)
Little Lamb Print from enrouge
Wool and Flax Art Print 11x14 or 12x18
Sheep Print from Mary's Montage
Lamb with a Blue Tweed Scarf- Needle Felted Christmas Ornament
Felted Lamb Christmas Ornament from Bossy's Feltworks
Sheep earrings

Sheep Earrings from Stickman Jewelry

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Changing Seasons

We went for our Autumnal Peet's Hill walk this week, and got some really great images of Bozeman. Our fall came on a little strangely this year, at the beginning of the month we had a snow storm that damaged trees and knocked out some power across town. Some of the trees went straight to dead leaves, while some struggled through to give the beautiful display below. We hope you enjoy these photos! The first set is our Summer to Fall shot of the same street, and the others are the town views of changing leaves!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tip

Between work and school I haven't had time to do much of anything fun, or have any adventures, or even do any knitting! But tonight I am doing something I love to do - making my first batch of fall soup. Tonight will be just plain old Chicken Dumpling Soup. (Turns out, plain old Chicken Dumpling soup is my favorite!)

When I first learned how to make this soup I was working at a restaurant that sent home chicken with me each Sunday. I would get home from work and pull all the meat from the bones and freeze the meat for later use. I made so much soup in college that it constituted the better part of my diet, and is probably why I only gained 40 pounds eating the cookies I sold at the other job. :)

These days though, I don't work in a restaurant so I have to find my chicken from other sources. Walmart, surprisingly enough, has given me the solution in the form of cold rotisserie chicken. When I have enough time I actually boil the chicken and make my own chicken stock, tonight however, I will just pull the meat from the bones and use my Better than Bouillon to make the stock.

The tip, well technically the second tip, since my first tip was to tell you to buy Walmart rotisserie chicken for your soup needs, is regarding the dumplings. When I was a kid I remember Mom trying every method she could find for making dumplings, and they always tasted terrible! Except for the dumplings she made in the pressure cooker. Those were pretty good.

The trick to dumplings is to boil the little buggers. You need to have a rolling boil going before you start dropping them in. For the batter itself, I start with a couple of eggs, and then stir in lots of flour. You want the dumpling batter to be thick, but not super thick. I don't use exact measurements, so really it's more of a "test out your dumplings" method...everyone likes different textures...so try a few different consistencies to find the kind you like! Anyway, that's all I put in my dumplings. Flour and egg. Then get the rolling boil going and dip your spoon with the batter right into the water. After a few times you can kind of fling the dumplings in until they get stuck again, then just dip them in the water. You keep this cycle up until your dumplings have doubled in size and you've finally gotten through your dough :) Or if you have older kids, hand off the bowl to let them make dumplings for a bit. Or if you have hungry neighbor kids, tell them they can eat at your house tonight if they make the dumplings. Basically, what I'm saying here is that making dumplings isn't the most fun a girl can have in the kitchen. But they sure can be worth the effort!

So there you have it folks, rolling boil, dip the dough. Simplest way to make dumplings for all of your fall soup needs!!
This is the Immersion Blender Soup fiasco, but the dumplings were fantastic! :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Animal Drawings

Given that I have absolutely no talent for drawing, I am fascinated by what others can accomplish. Here are a few items on Etsy that I would love to showcase in my home!

Fox Drawing Illustration Print 8X10 (ink bubble drawing reproduction print)
Fox drawing by VIZArt        

Deer print. Home decor deer art . Deer wall decor.
Deer print by VictoriaSemykina

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Garden Bounty

So my garden this year wasn't terribly productive...I may have trimmed too many suckers on the tomatoes, and apparently peppers do not grow here. But, I did get some good root veggies! Last week I finally pulled them from the ground (after a decent amount of snow fell on said veggies).

I then cleaned them, chopped them, vacuum sealed them, and froze them. I now have veggies ready for my upcoming winter soups, stews, and boiled dinner :) I also have a new plan for my garden next spring/summer, but more on that later!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bobcat Attire

We are well under way into the Bobcat Football season here at MSU in beautiful Bozeman MT. I decided I wanted to show off my school spirit by mocking up a few new Bobcat mittens, hats, and scarves, so Mom dyed some gorgeous blue and yellow yarn and I got to knitting. I haven't decided if I want to try to sell them here in town yet, or put them on they Etsy shop...so sadly they have been languishing in a basket while I try to determine their fate. Maybe I should just keep them and wear them to the Bobcat games myself!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Etsy Weekends - For the Critters

I love seeing all of the nifty things people make for their pets on Etsy. Some of the items I think I could make work in our house, and others I dream of some day incorporating into our dream home. Here are a few of my latest finds on Etsy!

Dog Ramps, Cottage Chic, Dog Steps, Pet Steps, Cat Steps, Dog Bed. Pet Items, One of a Kind Piece of Furniture.
Ramp from Hampton Bay Pet Steps
Hardwood Cat Shelves from Kitty Overlords 
Cat Bed from Incredible Cat

That's all we've got for you this week, come back next week to see what else we have found!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Tip

Wow there are a lot of words that go well with Tuesday aren't there?

Here's a fun story from Pam:

The other night I went to feed the sheep and when I came back through the garage I heard a beeping. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Both the car and the truck were in the garage and at first I thought it was one of them. Then I thought maybe it was our septic tank, because it has a warning buzzer on it. I told Randy and he wandered around too and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. So he drove his truck out, and then I drove my car out. We still had the noise. He went back in the house while I kept trying to find it. I got out my stopwatch on my phone and noticed it was going off every 30 seconds. Bright spot, I did throw a way a lot of stuff even though I couldn't find the source. Then Randy came back and he discovered it was coming from the garage door opener. He couldn't see anything causing it so I asked my phone! We have a Chamberlain garage door opener and it was the battery backup. It allows you to open the garage door during times of power outages. When the battery can no longer charge it will beep every 30 seconds. Who even knew we had a battery backup! We received directions on the best way to remove the battery and even where we can buy it! Now no more beeping!

Ah, the joys of technology, our smart phones can really be useful can't they? 

So there you have it folks, our Tuesday Tip is, "Keep your garages clean, and if you hear a beeping...it might be your garage door opener!" :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Etsy Weekends - Cuffs

I love bracelets, and especially love the look of cuffs. You;d almost never know it though, since even when I do wear jewelry it's usually rings and a watch on my hands and wrists. I have one gorgeous bracelet that is locked in the vault at Mom and Dad's house. Someday I'll have my jewelry in my house...but for now I have to drool over what I could buy from Etsy.  
Playing with Fire Orange Patina Copper Cuff Bangle Bracelet
Copper Cuff from Kim Forrer Designs
Hammered Brass Cuff Bracelet, A Rustic Handmade Red Brass Bracelet, With A Slight Heat Patina- Windblown Blossoms
Brass Cuff from Febra Rose
sterling silver hammered cuff
Silver Cuff from Revonav
S A L E  Light Blue Translucent Cuff Bracelet  Asian Ornate Design, Handmade  Jewelry by theshagbag on Etsy
Clay Cuff from The Shag Bag

That's it this time, come back again next week!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Silly Sheila

There are too many silly pictures of Sheila to share, but I found a few really great ones. :)