Coffee, Chaos and Christ

The misadventures of a Mother and business owner.


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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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My renewed obsession..

I learned to crochet a long time ago. My grandmother used to crochet a lot and she taught me the basics. She was an amazing woman who I looked up to her a great deal and miss her everyday. I find that crocheting is a lot like meditating. For me it is a mind dump. I can stitch out all my feelings and thoughts and come out fresher on the other side. Much cheaper the therapy to.

I have been making blankets for the whole family. Hats, scarfs and even wash cloths. Lots and lots of wash cloths, lol. The are quick and easy to carry with you to pull out and work on when you have time. I have been loving working with the 100% cotton yarn. There are so many great colors and combinations to choose from. The wash cloths I have been making are very simple. Here is what I have been doing.

Sugar’n Cream 100% cotton yarn. Size H (5mm) hook. Gage not necessary. 

Row 1: Chain 31, single crochet into the second stitch from the hook and in each chain across. You should have 29 stitches. Row 2: Chain two, turn and single crochet into each stitch (29). Repeat                                      until you have 21 rows. Finishing: Weave in your end and you are done.                                 Simple but pretty and functional. 

I like the single crochet because it gives you fewer holes and a really nice look. It still works up quickly. They just have a nice feel. Hope you enjoy my short and sweet free pattern. I think you will enjoy making them as much as I do.


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So much going on, so very little time.

I am sure that many of us experience this. We as a society have become busier and busier. Always rushing from one place to another. We try our best to slow down and enjoy life more but it just doesn’t seem possible.

Kids have school, and sports, and friends….That list can go on and on. I have one graduating this year, so that means graduation and college prep. That in itself is never ending. You have work and home. Yard work and pets. Etc, etc.

I know I am preaching to the choir. Everyone I know goes through the same thing. Rush, rush, rush. I have been working on trying to slow things down some. As most of you know we have chickens, about 50 of them at the moment. We have rabbits and dogs and a cat. We even have a parrot. You have to make yourself slow down so you can care for them the way they need to be cared for. Go back to the earth a little bit. I do a lot of gardening and canning and I love every sweaty back breaking moment of it. It is the best kind of therapy for me. I am sure most of you think I am nuts, but it’s true. You should try it.

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We are busy prepping for getting the garden out as soon as weather permits. We are also working on the fence and getting ready to build a new rabbit hutch. We have been breeding our rabbits a little bit. They are just so very cute. You just can’t get over how cute they really are. So magical watching them grow. And of course the kids just love every minute of it.

More soon, there is a lot going on around the “farm” and the family.


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Is 7 years to long to call it baby weight?

Just wondering, because that is what I have been calling it all this time. My twins will be 8 in July.

I have never had issues with my weight except during pregnancy. I am not one of those ladies who have the cute little baby bumps. I gain weight, and I gain it every where. Belly, face, fingers, you name it. After my first pregnancy I did lose all the weight within about a year and a half. With the twins it has been a completely different story. I was on bed rest for approximately 5 months when I was pregnant, which did not help with the weight I am sure. After having the twins I was so busy taking care of them that I did not take time for myself. To take care of me. But I need to change that, I do believe it is finally time to get off my butt and actually do something about it.

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Today I am starting Nutrisystem and I am finally going to do something for me. I will also be starting on the treadmill daily and cutting way back on my Dunkin Donuts coffee intake. Which is going to be a HUGE thing for me. If you know me then you know that DD coffee flows through my veins. But I can not keep drinking my calories, no matter how much I love and enjoy it. I will also be introducing more exercise into my schedule as my wrist injury allows.

New year and a new me, tired of hiding behind this fat suit. Here we go.


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Mama’s Asparagus Casserole

Nothing makes you feel more at home then Mama’s cooking. This is one of many favorite dishes that I had growing up, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I will be sharing lots of my favorite recipes so make sure you keep coming back for more.

 

Asparagus Casserole

 

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Honeysuckle is in bloom!

Honeysuckle in bloom

Honeysuckle in bloom

Honeysuckle is in bloom so that means it is once again time to make honeysuckle jelly. Time consuming process but oh so good. The flowers themselves are quite beautiful and the smell is one of my favorites. It brings back memories of childhood, standing around sucking the nectar out of the flowers. I wish the blooms lasted longer, but this jelly allows to enjoy it all year-long.

The original recipe that I followed says that it should yield 7 half pints of jelly but I have never gotten that many. The batch I made today yielded 4.5 half pints. I will just refrigerate the half pint that was not full to use right away.

The most time-consuming part of the process is picking the flowers and removing the small green base from the flowers, once that is done it is rather easy. It is a quick process once the infusion is ready.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. This is a jelly that you don’t see everyday, I find it tastes a lot like honey, it is one that will surely please.

Honeysuckle Jelly Recipe

 

 

 

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Are we turning into urban farmers?

Most of our friends think we are a little nuts, lol, but that is ok. Nothing tastes better than fresh eggs for breakfast, and they are so much better for you. We have 4 full-grown hens that we bought at the NC State Fair last year. Two La Fleche and two Minorca, they are all black with the prettiest feathers. I need to get some good pics of them so that I can post them. About two months ago we bought 6 new chicks and three ducklings. The chicks are a mix of White Leghorn and Rhode Island Red so they should be good layers. The ducks are  Rouen ducks, and well, we bought those because they were so stinkin cute. They are bred for meat but we are just keeping them for pets.

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Yesterday we had to go to Tractor Supply for more chicken feed and of course we couldn’t walk out of there with out some cute little babies, lol. Talk about obsessed, they are just so adorable to me that I have to bring them home. We bought 4 Batam’s and two more ducks. Maybe one day soon we will actually get the chicken coop completed. I think hubby is going to stop taking me a long to the farm supply store, lol.

 

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I am sure there will be many more photos to come. I just love these ladies and gents and they are so fun to photograph.