Coffee, Chaos and Christ

The misadventures of a Mother and business owner.


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Lavender Jelly

Who doesn’t love lavender? The smell, the beautiful flowers and the benefits.

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We have a lavender plant that we bought from a farm in Virginia called White Oak Lavender Farm a couple of years ago and it is thriving. If you are ever nearby you should check it out. It is beautiful and everyone there was so nice and helpful. I hope to return next month while we are at Massanutten with family.

I recently started selling Young Living essential oils and lavender oil is very popular. Lavender has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. It’s this dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products. Here are some of the many benefits of lavender:

  • Reduce anxiety and emotional stress
  • Protect against diabetes symptoms
  • Improve brain function
  • Help to heal burns and wounds
  • Improve sleep
  • Restore skin complexion and reduce acne
  • Slow aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Relieve pain
  • Alleviate headaches

It has always been a favorite scent of mine and I just love the flowers. My bees really like them as well. I use the oil on an almost daily basis because I love it so much.

I have used lavender in other jams and jellies in the past but decided to make it the star this year with its own jelly. It was really easy to make and the house smelled amazing for a couple of days. It only requires a couple very simple ingredients and does not require a lot of time, which makes it even better in my book. The recipe calls for dried flowers but I decided to use fresh flowers straight from my garden and it still worked really well.

The jelly turned out beautifully, it is always so rewarding to see the finished product. The lids popping to indicate that the jars are sealed is the best sound ever when you are canning. Very satisfying, we all listen for them once we remove the jars from the canner. Lavender Jelly Jar

 

This is the recipe that I used, I found it through Genius Kitchen and it is super easy to follow.

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup dried edible lavender flowers

1 lemon, juice of

1 (1 3/4 ounce) boxes dry pectin or 1 (3 ounce) envelopes liquid pectin

4 cups sugar

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in dried lavender flowers. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers.
  • Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Over high heat, bring the mixture to a hard rolling boil (a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down).
  • Add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.
  • Boil Times:.
  • 2 minutes – soft gel.
  • 4 minutes – medium gel.
  • Testing for “jell” (thickness – I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jelly is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1 teaspoon to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.
  • After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.
  • Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars to wire rack and let cool before serving.
  • Makes five 1/2 pints

Recipe from Genius Kitchen, you can find the recipe here http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/lavender-jelly-412026

Would love to hear your comments if you decide to try this recipe. Hope you love it as much as I do.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard (lavender), very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” (Gospel of John, 12:3)

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Basil Jelly

I tried an amazing new jelly recipe this year.
I always grow basil in the Summer because we love caprese salad. I just love the smell and taste of it. So I thought to myself, I wonder if there is such a thing as basil jelly. We all know how much I like making jams and jellies! So I did some searching online and I found a recipe by Taste of Home and tried it. It turned out wonderfully and it is now a favorite of mine. It is so unexpected and it turned out so pretty. I can’t wait to make more! 
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I have the recipe below or you can find it here  https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/basil-jelly/   
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Process: 15 min.YIELD: 6 half-pints.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
  • 3 drops green food coloring, optional
  • 5 cups sugar

Directions

  • 1. In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and, if desired, food coloring. Return to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in sugar. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
  • 2. Ladle hot liquid into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. head space. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • 3. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have! Please let me know if you try it, would love to hear your comments.

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.


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Going big or go home!

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So we stepped out of our comfort zone a little bit and have ramped up our gardening game. We plowed approx 1/4 acre and have planted several different types of pumpkins, cantaloupe, butternut squash and corn. Over 1,000 pumpkin seeds! How unreal is that number? We are going to have tons of pumpkins if most of the plants flourish. So exciting! This is addition to the normal garden we have every year. We will be sitting up a roadside stand to sell the fruits of our labor this fall. They kids are involved and working to earn some money, which they are super excited about. The money part, but not the work part.

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The crazy thing is, we just planted these seeds this week and we already have pumpkin plants popping through the dirt. So exciting and validating to see those little green plants when you have spent so much time and sweat getting everything perfect for them. Now we just need some rain so that we can give our well a little bit of a break.

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I think it is important to teach our children about hard work, that you have to work for the things that you want in life. Nothing is just given to you. These lessons are important so that our kids grow up to be responsible adults.

Genesis 1:29

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

 


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Family favorite dinner

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This is one of my families go to dinners. Super easy and really tasty. The kids love it and they get involved by making their own pizzas. All you need is Texas Toast garlic bread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and your favorite topping. Once you make them you just pop them into the oven and they are ready in under 10 minutes. Just follow the cooking instructions on the Texas Toast.

I like to cut everything up and have everything laid out so they can put whatever they like on their pizzas. You can go as simple or as fancy as you like. Serve with salad or fresh veggies and you have dinner. Perfect for nights where they have practice or games. You can cut up the toppings ahead of time to make dinner quicker.

Fast, easy and the kids are involved and engaged in making their own dinner.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.