Saturday, October 22, 2016

Halloween Sherbet Punch!

The time is nearThe Halloween party for the goblins in your family/ & friends.  You might be planning it for next weekend!  If you are searching for a beverage that has a yummy, yet creepy look, Orange Halloween Sherbet Punch is great!  It's easy to make & is a treat at this time of year.  This punch has always been a family favorite for us.

It has 2 ingredients!  How easy is that???  When they are combined a frothy brew can be enjoyed by "children of all ages".  

Halloween Sherbet Punch 

 For each 1 Quart of Orange Sherbet
 Use 2 Bottles 7Up - 2 Liter size bottles (refrigerated)

  1.  In a large punch bowl place 1 Quart Orange Sherbet.
  2.  Pour 2 bottles 7-Up Soda in punch bowl, pouring some over Sherbet.
  3.  Stir a little to mix.  Results in frothy, softened Sherbet on top.
  4.  Ladle into cups adding some of the Sherbet.
  5.  Replenish the 7UP + Orange Sherbet, as needed.
The disposable cups will soon be filled with a frothy orange brew!


Friday, October 21, 2016

~Reminders of July~

Halloween candy is advertised & on the shelves in our local stores.  The leaves are changing colors & with a gentle breeze, some are falling down from the tree branches.  The calendar reminds me that it is the month of October!   But, looking at my front garden, I may forget for a moment.

The Stella D'Oro Daylily & the Rose bushes are enjoying the weather.  A Rosebud, a blossoming Rose & a Yellow Stella D'Oro are enjoying the season.

What a beautiful time of year!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Autumn Colors

Looking up!
This is the time of year when looking up whenever I'm outdoors definitely has its rewards!  Our green leaves on the trees are changing color.  Bright yellows, brilliant oranges & Burning Bush reds are all in view.  If a breeze is blowing, it looks like Impressionist paintings are just waiting to be admired.

While taking the daily walk these are 3 of the sights that were gorgeous in my neighborhood!

A beautiful sight!

A little farther down the street-

A medley of colors
Every day the colors change a bit more.  Every Autumn we enjoy this assortment of colors on every street- just by stepping outside.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Hearty Turkey Veggie Soup

Hearty Turkey Veggie Soup
Portions ready for the freezer!
Oh, it is a bit chillier in the AM these days!  It happens every October, but I'm never prepared for the sudden need to wear a jacket when taking the daily walk.  My Marigold & Zinnia seeds are stored away to plant next spring, so it's probably time to take out more of the long sleeved jerseys.  Thinking of those long sleeves brings the thought of a hearty soup at dinner time!  A soup that contains a few colorful veggies like tomatoes, spinach & carrots with rice.

Two years ago my large Dutch Oven would contain a yummy Sausage Soup.  Alas, that was 2 years ago.  Now, I'm keeping cholesterol in mind even more than before.  I've learned that my yummy Sausage Soup tastes mighty good when I substitute browned/ drained Ground Turkey for the browned/ drained Sausage!  Add more spices into the pot when this soup is simmering and it's oh so good!!!  So good, that yesterday I was searching for it in our freezer.  Well, that quick JG Take Out Meal was not to be seen on any freezer shelf.  Looks like Ground Turkey needs to be added to my grocery list!

Hearty Turkey Veggie Soup


1 lb. Ground Turkey
4 cans (14.5 ounces each) College Inn Light & Fat Free Chicken Broth
1 can (14- 20 ounces) Dice or Whole Tomatoes, drained
1 box (8- 10 ounces) chopped frozen Spinach, thawed
1 Cup White Rice, uncooked
1 lb. Baby Carrots (rinsed)
1 pkg. (10- 14 ounces) defrosted Green Beans- optional
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
3/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley

  1. Brown Ground Turkey & drain.
  2. Place in large pot or Dutch Oven.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to pot.
  4. Bring to a boil & reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer about 45- 60 minutes- until Rice has cooked.
Could this be any easier?  No!  Serve with a slice of Rye Bread.

After enjoying a bowl of this hearty soup at dinner, you'll notice there is a quantity left in the pot.  No problem here!  This soup freezes very well.  After the soup cools, I place 2 portions in freezer containers, date/ label.  Into the freezer they go.

There is nothing like searching for a quick dinner in my freezer on a cold day & finding this hearty soup.

***The Rice absorbs the liquid when the soup is cooling, so I add Chicken Broth when reheating to enjoy again.

***When reheating for 2 Servings-  I add almost 1 can (14- 20 ounces) of Chicken Broth into the sauce pot along with the soup.  It's yummy!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Looking Forward- Zinnia Seeds!

This past weekend some of the colorful Zinnia blossoms were snipped off from the plants.  My plan has started.  After these flowers dry, I'll save the seeds for next year's gardens.  The bug?  No, that's not part of the plan.  :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Saving Marigold Seeds

2nd Generation Marigolds
(File Photo)
Oh yes!  It's that time of year!  Time to save the Marigold Seeds!

All summer we've enjoyed our vibrant yellow & orange colored Marigolds.  They add a beautiful touch of color to our yard.  The plants with the orange flowers are 3rd generation from a single plant that my wonderful cute grandsons gave me for Mother's Day 2 years ago.  I have every intention of keeping that original plant family going for more years.  It's becoming a FuN tradition!  Saving the seeds to plant again next spring is my plan!  It is easy & does not take much time.

Saving Marigold Seeds
  1. Look for the dried blossoms on the Marigold plants (in lower left photo above).
  2. Break off the dried pods.
  3. Place in an open envelope to continue drying.
  4. After a month or so- when completely dry, separate all of the seeds from the pods.
  5. Place seeds in another envelope.  Label/ date/ seal envelope.
  6. Store until next year!
Marigold Seeds

    This year I used a long planter on our deck for my "special crop"!  It's been a hot dry summer, but currently, these orange colorful flowers are overflowing the green planter.   

    3rd Generation Marigolds- 2016
    Looking forward to the 4th generation Marigolds!  I've started saving the seeds to Enjoy again!

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    ~Peach Freezer Jam~

    Peach Freezer Jam
    In the spring I'd read in our local newspaper that the MA Peach crop would not be good.  In fact, it would probably not exist this year!  What, no way!  That was an eye opener to me!  Our local peaches make the best Peach Freezer Jam.  O.K., decades ago I used nectarines rather than peaches, but Peach Freezer Jam is my hubby's fave jam.  Skip forward to last week.  I called the local orchard hopefully thinking that just maybe there were a few peaches this year.  No such luck for local peaches, but they were selling New Jersey peaches.  Yes, yes, yes!  The New Jersey peaches saved the day for me!

    After purchasing them, the next step was placing the peaches in brown paper lunch bags (closing the tops) to ripen on my kitchen counter- 3 per bag.  It took about 3- 4 days for my kitchen to have an aroma of peaches.  After opening the bags, they were stored in the fridge.  I could prep the jam!

    Yesterday, I was ready.  I read through my Helpful Hints for making Freezer Jam & found the needed supplies.  Click here for Helpful Hints.  The directions for preparing the Freezer Jam are located inside the box of Certo.  Follow the directions, exactly!

    The first step was preparing the Peaches. 

    To remove Peach skins:
    1. Bring a pot of cold water to Simmer on the stove.  
    2. Carefully, using a slotted spoon, place each peach in the pot for about 45 seconds. (1- 2 at a time.)
    3. Then with the slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel lined plate.  
    4. After the fruit cools, the skins are easy to remove.  
    ***A potato masher is a useful utensil when crushing the fruit.

    After filling the 1 Cup containers with the jam & snapping on the lid, each container was labeled/ dated.  They sat undisturbed on our Dining Room table for the required 24 hours.  This afternoon the containers found a home in our freezer.

    As you can see in the above photo, I've used these 1 Cup containers before for jams.  My favorite shape is a circular shape, but they are no longer produced by Ziploc.  This year my reused containers have a colorful blue label.

    Three Cheers for New Jersey Peaches!!!

    Do you prep & store Freezer Jams?  They are just the best!  So much better than the commercial jams, too!