Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Torture By Salsa

Last night I finally did it.  I took the 2 huge bowls of tomatoes that have been sitting on my counter top for 5 or more days and decided I better take care of them.

By taking care of them, I mean making canned salsa.  Really, it was why I planted a garden in the first place.  I was determined this last spring to learn how to do some canning so I planted things I knew would get used.

Well...that was last spring when I wasn't 7 months pregnant, and it wasn't 95 degrees outside!  My non-heat tolerant self was N.O.T in love with the idea so much anymore.

Well, I finally bit the bullet and guess what?  It was every bit as much work as I thought it would be!  Gah!

It took me 4 long hours to prep and chop all of the vegetables.  Then comes the boiling of the salsa, ladleling (sp?) it into the jars and then boiling, again, everything in the cold pack canner. 

This is what I ended up with...

Seven pints of homemade salsa.
I did it, it is one hundred percent done.

I'm still trying to clean up my kitchen from the huge mess I made.

If you are interested in self torture with, I admit, some small sense of satisfaction, here's a recipe you might want to try.

It's my mother's who laughed her head off when I called to complain.  I swear she can be really cruel hilarious sometimes.  Must be payback for my youth, and the torture I caused? 

3 qts. peeled, cored, chopped slicing tomatoes
3 cups chopped onions
6 jalapeno peppers, seeded, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 long green chilies, seeded, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 (12oz.) cans tomato paste
2 cups bottled lemon juice
1 T. salt
1 T. sugar
1 T. ground cumin
2 T. oregano leaves
1 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner.  I sterilize the jars and lids before putting the salsa into them. Then I process in the canner.

20 minutes at 1,001-6000 ft.
15 min. at 0-1000 ft.
25 min. above 6,000 ft.
yield:  7 pints

Well, that's my latest adventure. 

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Linking to:

Home Stories of A2Z
Between Naps on the Porch 
Not Just a Housewife 
Home Savvy A to Z 
Savvy Southern Style 
The Thrifty Home 
Someday Crafts 
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Delightful Order
Tickled Pink 
Addicted 2 Decorating 
Just A Girl

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I just painted my bathroom. This is something that I've needed to do for a loooong time.  It's part of my master bathroom redo project.  Remember a couple of weeks ago, I showed you the repainted cabinets?  The wall color in this photo doesn't look that bad but, believe me, it REALLY was.  This bathroom doesn't have much natural light so getting an accurate picture seems to be impossible.

 The color was/is (it's still in my master bedroom) a  peachy, yellow color that just does-not-float-my-boat!

While I was at it, I decided to get rid of all the wood towel racks that matched the old cabinet finish beautifully....YACK! 

So long uglies! 

I had to remove the anchors holding up the racks, putty, and sand to prep for paint.

This photo is getting closer to the true color previously on the walls.  Yeah, I really staged this pic well, jeesh I could have at least shut the closet door!  Oh well.

I don't think I've shared what inspired my color choice yet so here it is. 

This is the Pottery Barn duvet cover on my bed that I got for 50% off at Down East.  I've had it for awhile and haven't gotten tired of it (this is a small miracle) so why not use it for a taking off point?

After 2/3 of a day spent prepping and painting, I'm done.  There is a bit more of a blue/green tone than what shows up here and I'm in love with it!

Here's another shot, and yes, I plan to do something with the light fixture.

The fun starts now.  I get to work on accessorizing!

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Linking to:

The Stories of A2Z
Not Just a Housewife
Savvy Southern Style
Dittle Dattle
Domestically Speaking 
House of Hepworths 
Somewhat Simple

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


 Hey everyone! 

I'm just giving ya'll an update.
I've decided to separate my personal Facebook page from my blog.  Hopefully, this won't bother anyone.  The opposite I'm thinking.  Haha!

I know I should have done this when I started the blog but I'm learning and fixing as I go.

If you are one of my blog followers, and are interested in its content and not my day to day activities, please "Like" me on The Blacks Best.

You can then "Unlike" Heather Thompson Black here and I'll be ok with that.;-)

Of course, if you like my day to day musings and all the stuff associated with my blogging world, follow me and like my blog, and I'll be EC.STAT.IC!

P.S.  I also added a Pinterest {My newest obsession} button to the right side bar of the blog if you would like to check out some of my latest and greatest inspiration.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zucchini and Chocolate is a Great Combo!

I had a problem yesterday.  Too much zucchini.  I'm not saying this is a bad problem, turns out it was a pretty good one.;-) 

Ya see, my garden this year is starting to produce a good amount of green stuff.  What do you do with too much zucchini.....zucchini bread of course!  Oh, and don't forget the chocolate chips.  Chocolate makes everything better, right?
I happen to have lost my recipe for this sweet stuff, so I googled one up that was pretty yummmmm.y.  I was assured of the good factor when my husband, kids, and I ate (I swear it was mostly them, not me) an entire loaf within about an hour of it coming out of the oven.  

Here's the recipe I found.


 Mom's Zucchini Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

The only changes I made are that I added about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of zucchini since that's how much I needed to use up.  Oh yeah, I didn't add the walnuts either since I pretty much think nuts in baked goods are a sin.  

Moist, sweet, zucchini chocolate chip bread...mmmmm!

This is all good!

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Linking to:

Jam Hands
The Stories of A2Z
Between Naps on the Porch
The DIY Home Sweet Home Project
Today's Creative Blog
Not Just a Housewife
Blessed With Grace
The Tattered Tag
Under the Table and Dreaming

Friday, August 12, 2011

Woot! Woot! I'm Guest Posting!

Hey everyone! I'm excited today because I'm guest posting over at Tausha's blog at Sassy Style Redesign!

She has been an awesome blogging friend and great at encouraging me to keep sharing my experiments creations.  Go by and check out all of her inspiration for us budget friendly people!  I hope you'll be as impressed as I am.

I'm off for a last ditch camping trip before school starts up again next week.:)  It always amazes me how much work it is to get a family of 5 ready for camping...uuugh!

Hope you all have a fun packed weekend!  
I'll be enjoying dirt and kid chasing for sure.

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