Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Answers

About a year and a half ago, my very dear friend Grace moved away. We are still great friends, but I began to pray that God would bring a new friend that lived nearby as well.

Nine months later, I went to the first session of our Women's Bible Study at church. And, as we each went around and introduced ourselves, there was a beautiful woman across the circle from me who introduced herself and shared that she was married, but did not yet have any children.

God touched my heart to pray for Melissa ~ I could sense her desire for children and I wanted to ask God to bring a child into their family.

Not long after that, I wrote her a note to let her know I was praying. But, the next time I saw her, I was suddenly too shy to give it to her. We'd only "met" once in a group and would she even understand who this note was from?

We were both invited to a stamp party where I learned she used to live in Colorado Springs and near St. Louis - two places that are familiar in my life! So, after that I mailed her card.

Then, we were assigned as prayer partners at one of our next Bible Study mornings and over the next weeks and months have truly become dear friends! She is a kindred spirit! And, look how God answered my prayer for a friend!

But, I continued to pray earnestly for a baby to join their family. At some point this spring, God placed it on my heart to pray that the next time I was pregnant, she would be too. At first I wondered if it was ok to ask for this! And, I would never want to detract from any of her happiness at walking through pregnancy.

But, I did pray. There were opportunities for discouragement and even doubt in these prayers. However, I kept at it and prayed, "Lord, let YOUR will be done. Let all of this bring YOU glory."

A few days before we went to Colorado ~ we confirmed that WE were expecting our 3rd baby! Half of my prayer was answered - but I didn't know how God would choose to answer the other half. I thought, "Ok, Lord ~ there are nine months ahead for both of us to be pregnant at the same time!"

But, I was also struggling just a little to tell my sweet friend. Oh, I knew she would be so happy for me and genuinely rejoice ~ but I wanted HER to have a baby too!

Two weeks later, on the 4th of July ~ Melissa called my Mom's house to tell me that they are expecting as well! I screamed! I cried! We prayed and thanked God - I was so full that day. Oh Lord - increase my faith and forgive me for my moments of doubt!

So, we are now both expecting. I am due February 19th and she is due March 9th! We will indeed experience the entire pregnancy together!

I share this now to give God all praise, honor and glory ~ for He alone has accomplished this.

After my Mother's Day post - I was keenly aware how many of you share these desires for a baby to join your family. I am praying for you.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." ~ Psalm 27:14

Great Deals!

I rarely go to Eckerd's (Rite Aid), but after reading their ad yesterday, I could not resist all these good deals ~ here are the best deals I've found for this week! If you know of others, please let us all know!

Eckerd's (Rite Aid):
* Herbal Essence shampoo or conditioner, mousse or hairspray - free after mail-in-rebate. Combine with manufacturer's coupon from last Sunday (?) for Buy One Get One Free and get two bottles free.
* Lady Speed Stick 24/7: on sale for 0.88, 0.75 coupon in the paper yesterday. Total cost: 0.13
* Colgate: on sale for 0.88, $1.00 off of 2 coupon in paper yesterday. Total cost: 0.38 each
* Kotex: on sale for 2/$5; mail in rebate -$1.00; coupon in paper yesterday for $2.00 off 2. Total cost: $1.00 each
* Garnier Fructis: free after mail in rebate. NOTE: read the details of the rebate carefully because the ones marked free on the shelf in our store are not the ones included in the rebate. Our store is notorious for this. They did not have the ones offered for free, so I did not purchase any.

Total spent for all items above: $2.89; I know - not as good as free - but not bad!

Walgreens:
* Vicks Early Defense Hand Sanitizer: free after mail-in-rebate.
* Looks like there may be some good deals coming up this month, but they will have to put the things on sale first!

Staples:
* Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens, 5/pack: free after easy rebate
* Microsoft Windows Live OneCare: free after rebates (to upgraders only)
* McAfee PC Protection Plus 2007: free after rebates
* Bic Ball Point Pens: $1.99/box of 12 on sale for buy one box get one free after mail in rebate. And, there is a $1.00 coupon off the purchase of two Bic products that was in Sunday's paper.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sisters' Shoebox Swap!

You are invited to participate in the first Sisters' Shoebox Swap hosted by two real-life sisters: Carrie and myself!

Our swap theme is refresh. Isn't that such a beautiful word?

Now, here are the details of this event:

* To sign up, please send an e-mail to sisterswaps@hotmail.com and include your name, mailing address, e-mail address and blog address if you have one. You do not have to have a blog to participate in the swap.
* When we receive your request to sign up, we will send you a short list of questions which will be sent to your swap partner to help them get to know you and what you like.
* The swap goodies should all fit inside a shoebox (please include several items) and be built around the theme of "refresh". This is a broad idea, so there is plenty of room for creativity! There are no specific expectations about types of items, for example there does not need to be a homemade item, though that is fine if you so choose.
* We will accept international swappers on the basis that we have other swappers who are willing to ship internationally. Please indicate this when you sign up.
* Sign-ups will be open from Monday, July 30 through Wednesday, August 8. Swap partners will be assigned and sent out as quickly as possible after that date. Boxes should be mailed no later than Friday, September 7.
* Please make sure that if you sign up, you really want to participate and will follow through so that no one is disappointed. Also, please mail using a delivery confirmation number, which should be sent in to sisterswaps@hotmail.com so we make sure everyone gets a swap.

HAVE FUN! Feel free to post the button and info on your blog with a link back to either of our blogs ~ we'd love to have great participation!

Family Night

This week for Family Night, we celebrated a birthday for David's brother. We grilled out and I made my much-loved oven fries (recipe follows). For dessert, I made my favorite apple pie and then we played a competetive game of Settlers of Catan!


Oven Fries

Peel and slice one potato per person plus one extra if desired.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray ~ lay strips of potato in a single layer and spray tops of potatoes.
Sprinkle both sides with seasoning: 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. paprika ~ this makes enough for about three potatoes. I make a big batch of this seasoning and just keep it in a spice jar to be used whenever we have these!
Bake for about 30 minutes at 450 flipping potatoes over half way through.

We often just eat these plain, but if you want them to be more restaurant-appetizer-like, add a few strips of crumbled bacon and some shredded cheese. Layer everything together and voila!

Ice Cream Sundays


Homemade Blizzards (Butterfinger for David and M&M for me) were on the menu this week ~ yum, yum, yummy! I haven't decided yet for this coming week - so will post the recipe later in the week!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Winners!

The winners of our fun giveaway are:

Toile Canvas Bag: Kristi

Hedgehog Pincushion: Jodene

Congratulations, ladies! I just e-mailed each of you - so let me know where to mail your goodies. Thanks to everyone who entered.

I'm already contemplating fun giveaways for the next round! So, stay tuned!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Whew!

Yeah! I'm all caught up on back posts, questions, etc... - so thanks for hanging in there during this whirlwind week of posts!

I sure enjoyed all your comments and, my goodness, who would have thought I'd ever have way over 100 comments on the giveaway?!

Drawing winners will be posted tomorrow!

Mitford Moment: Inviting Invitations

A favorite spot of Father Tim's to get away and relax is Meadowgate Farm! The way it is offered to him makes me want to go too!
"...be ready at eight o'clock in the morning and I'll pick you and Barnabas up in the truck. We'll spend the day at Meadowgate, chasing rabbits and looking for woodchucks. For supper, Marge'll make a big chicken pie, and I'll bring you back in time to get your beauty slep for church on Sunday."

If he had gotten a call to say he'd won the lottery, he couldn't have been happier.

Do I offer such inviting invitations that come with no pressure and no strings attached? I want to offer invitations that are peaceful and relaxing!

Be watching for a fun idea I have brewing on an inviting invitation for girl friends!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

First Birthday Party

Yes, little Rachel turned one this past week and I know you are all just on pins and needles to see what we did. Ok, probably not - but I'm going to share anyway!

Starting with her cake - pictured above - I made two round cakes (recipe follows), then cut in half and flipped to put the round edges together. Then, I cut out notches to make the wings of the butterfly. Now, I just have to tell on myself here because there was a very near catastrophe with the cake.

You all know how hard it is to frost CHOCOLATE cakes right? Meaning all the crumbs that get stuck in the frosting?!?!?!? Well, I had intended for this little darlin' to be purple, but the purple icing was just loaded with crumbs. What to do?! I nearly panicked, but remembered Martha talking about a "crumb coat" ~ so I decided to give it a try.

I popped the whole crumby mess into the freezer to chill for about 15 minutes. The icing was firm and I made a fresh batch of pink icing and spread it over top of the messy purple - voila! Cake rescued! Whew!

Then I decorated the top with yellow and green using this handy little gadget - wonderful for cake decorating!

The antennae are made out of two long birthday candles and there is a border of Easter M&M's around the bottom. Yes, I know you all wonder why I was saving Easter M&M's. Well, that is how long I've been planning this cake - I saved them for this. There was a picture of a cute butterfly cake on the back of the bag which was a mosaic made out of M&M's - but I opted for just a nice trim around the bottom.

You can see that Rachel loved every bit of her piece!

Now, for the table ~ it turned out so cute, I thought. All the plates, cups, hats, etc... were given to me by a friend (thanks Grace!) and by my Aunt! So, I went with the butterfly and flower theme that was represented on those items.

For the table cloth, I used fabric strips in bright pink and bright green - these were left from being used at my sister's bridal shower! I wove them together across the table to make it look "quilted". Then, I filled mini glass flower pots with sugar and a pinwheel left from my tea table two years ago - these are super easy to make! I sprinkled more M&M's on the table and added a couple of party hats and blowers to finish it off.

Then, she had fun opening presents! Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Devil's Food Cake (from Betty Crocker cookbook)

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 2/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. shortening
2/3 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs

Beat all ingredients in mixer to blend. Spread into two round cake pans that have been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing (from Betty Crocker cookbook)
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. stick margarine or butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. milk

Mix together and color as desired.

Bake Over

This is such a fascinating idea created by Mary Jane Butters of Mary Jane's Farm. She has created a deep 9" skillet and a recipe for you to create any number of meals and desserts from. So, when I saw the biscuit mix that my Mom had on hand and learned she also had the Bake Over pan - I really wanted to try it while we were at her house.

This was so yummy! And, we just kind of decided as we went along what sounded good together. The wonderful thing about her products is that they are all organic and great for taking on a camp out as it is all measured out for eating on the trail (or in the comfort of your very own home).

Here's the general idea: saute your choice of vegetables, meat, beans, fruits, etc... in 2-3 Tbsp. oil. Stir in cheese. Prepare biscuits according to package or make from scratch. Roll into an 9" round and lay over top of goodies.

Place entire skillet in oven and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Flip the contents upside down onto a plate and serve.

So, what we used was Mexi-Corn, black beans, cooked and diced chicken, cheese and onion. YUMMY!

If you love the simple and homey "Farmgirl" ways, you will love her book! Mom, thanks for sharing! I loved this meal!

Mitford Moments: Walk

Taking walks is a very Mitford like activity. It is enjoyable and provides exercise as well. One of my favorite places to walk is the North End in downtown Colorado Springs ~

The houses and yards are often quaint and I like to imagine myself living there! One thing I miss most in the south is sidewalks! There are no sidewalks in our neighborhood and, while I do still take walks, I miss this part!

Do you have a favorite walking spot?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Family Heritage Dinner

While we were in Colorado, my Mom had this great idea of planning a Family Heritage Dinner. We used recently inherited family china and silver. And, accented our meal with family recipes including my Granny's Golden Glow salad and apple crisp representing the generation who owned an apple orchard.

After dinner, we sat on the porch and looked at family photos, read letters and newspaper clippings, saw leather leg protectors worn during WWI and learned more about our family history. What a great way to preserve our heritage.

My sister had a great post up about this after she got home - go here to see pictures and read more details!

Mitford Moment: Start the day right!


Father Tim marvels at how his morning readings in the Word stay with him throughout the day. And, how they can be applied and help him to meet what comes his way that day.

If I pull a thought from what I read in my morning quiet time and carry it with me all day - I am amazed at how God teaches me through the day in that regard.

Lord, let my mind be more disciplined to CHOOSE to focus on Your words throughout the day. Open my eyes in awareness of my needs to know You more and to be made more like You and Your word.

Today, I read Psalm 25 and pray that He would lead me in His ways, guide me in His truths and teach me for He is God my Savior and I hope in Him all day long.

Tagged

I was tagged by my sister, Carrie, to share five reasons why I love Jesus.

The answers that immediately popped into my mind are perfectly worded in Isaiah 9:6

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

In addition to the four titles mentioned here, I would easily add Savior as the fifth reason I love Him.

If you want to join in, consider yourself tagged. (Jthemilker - I could not find your tag???)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another great giveaway!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away $300 in Horizon Organic products!!! Wouldn't that be a great prize? Scoot on over and sign up for their drawing - thanks, Megan, for the tip!

Garden Update

Well, our garden did not fare very well during our absence. Somehow no care shown for nearly three weeks = overgrown with weeds?!

Our growing season is pretty well ending as it is just so h-o-t for those little plants out there right now. The tomatoes continue to ripen and we pick a dozen or so every other day!

David also planted the pumpkins in hopes of having some for the Fall. I did big ones and little ones just for the fun of decorating with them. I hope they are more successful than their cousins the zucchini (which produced zilch)!

So, the final update is: our garden was a HUGE success this year compared to my previous attempts. I definitely learned some things and am excited to do it again instead of considering never planting again - like I was last year! All-in-all a very positive experience that provided some yummy produce for our table.

Ice Cream Sundays

We resumed our Ice Cream Sunday treats this week! And, I made ice cream sandwiches using the molds that came in my swap box.

I learned some things - but overall, they turned out well. I used chocolate chip cookies and Bunny Tracks ice cream!


This week, I think we'll do homemade blizzards!

Family Night: Chuck E. Cheese

Well, we braved the over-stimulating wonderland of Chuck E. Cheese this past week for our family night. I was a little nervous about it because Rachel is usually so quiet and home-loving that I thought she would be so stimulated she would get fussy. Boy, did she surprise me! She LOVED everything and both girls had a wonderful time! This was a bit risky since it is about an hour drive for us each way.

I found some coupons that were a good deal and we all played for two hours. We had so many tokens left over at the end (since Emily and Rachel played on the free stuff mostly) that David and I got to play our favorite, Skee-Ball! A highlight for Emily was the Veggie Tales silly song that played over the video monitors! We picked out a couple of fun prizes with our tickets and were ready to call it a night. In the end, a good time was had by all and we all slept well that night!

So, who of you remember going to Show Biz pizza as a child? What was your favorite thing to do there?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Catching Up!

I have so many posts waiting to be written and posted! It feels like there is so much to catch up on after being gone for nearly three weeks. So, this is officially my blog-catch-up week! Meaning, there will be multiple posts possibly each day to get to everything. So - buckle up and read quick!

Thanks to those of you who have written questions, tagged me and asked about our garden - I'll be addressing all of these this week!

Summer Swap: My Box!

My swap box came and I'm excited to share its contents with everyone! Thank you, Jolena, for a fun box!

Look at how cute this is:

Everything was labeled with these cute tags:

Ice Cream Sandwich molds - so thoughtful, and perfect for our Ice Cream Sundays summer tradition! I've already made some and will post that soon!

An orange and yellow striped pillowcase - funny thing, I almost bought this for my swap partner at a thrift store as well - our thrift store had the sheets and pillowcases!

A great beach bag made out of thrifted cloth napkins - I'm thinking library bag!


This great crocheted table runner which I am thinking will be perfect in the Fall!


Plus, all of these little goodies - stickers, cute barrettes for the little ladies, some yummy smelling soap and mango lotion and a cute handmade soap bag!

Such fun! Thanks again, Jolena!

Blueberry Muffins

"tas" wrote and asked if I had a recipe for Blueberry Muffins for a bake-off coming up in her area. Here is the recipe I usually make for our family. It is from the Betty Crocker cookbook with a couple of modifications!

Have other suggestions for her? Please leave a comment with your favorite twist on Blueberry Muffins!

Blueberry Muffins:
1 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil (or use 2 T. oil and 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. (or dash) cinnamon
1 c. fresh (or frozen) blueberries

Mix together and spoon into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Streusel: (use your crumb topping in the freezer or the following recipe)
2 T. firm stick margarine or butter
1/4 c. flour
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Bake muffins at 400 for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Dog Days of Summer Giveaway


Thanks to my sister letting me know about this! I am excited to give away two homemade goodies to anyone who is interested...

Here's the deal - leave a comment sometime this week indicating which item you're interested in. Please leave your e-mail address as well. You do not have to have a blog to participate. Also, I'm willing to open it up to international addresses as well.

You have until Friday, July 27th to post your comment. On Saturday, I will compile all the names - and have a drawing for the winner of each item which will be announced Saturday, July 28th.

To see a huge list of other give aways - visit Rocks In My Dryer!

Toile Canvas Bag:


Hedgehog Pin Cushion:

Have fun, everyone!

Update: Please, please, please include some way of contacting you! Lots of you have entered with no blog link and no e-mail address. I am so sorry, but if I cannot figure out how to reach you - I will have to remove your name from the drawing. Thanks for helping!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mitford Moment: Scripture

It stood out to me that this was Father Tim's answering machine message:

"Persevere in prayer, with mind awake and thankful heart. This is the office of the Lord's Chapel. Please leave a message at the sound of the tone."

Isn't that great? I love the simple ways of surrounding ourselves with Scripture ~ new recordings on our answering machines anyone? Let me know what you come up with!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Old-Fashioned Fourth!

We had a great 4th of July! My Mom and I had attended this Old Fashioned celebration several times before, but this was a first for the little ladies!

Rock Ledge Ranch opens their homestead for this event. They have a garden, animals, stilts, croquet, homemade icecream, tours of the homes, demonstrations and more. Our stamina was limited by nap times, but we did get to do some fun things. In the upstairs of the barn, they have lots of fun games for little ones (not quite as little as ours) to play!

Emily and Rachel both enjoyed the duck pond and the prizes:

They also had balloon darts, clothespin drop, toss the beanbag into the milk can, etc...

We saw sheep, pigs, horses and chickens! Then, we found a place to sit and eat our "traditional" 4th of July picnic.


While we were eating, a local orchestra played patriotic music. Rachel has just learned to clap and wanted to join in the fun:


That was followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Everyone was in period costumes - it was great! Hmmm, wouldn't it be fun to plan something like this at my house for my friends next year?

Our traditional picnic always includes:

Homemade Chicken Salad served on Oatmeal Muffins
Chips (this time including chip dip!)
Fruit
Dessert (this time - Brownies, made by my friend Susan!)
Drinks

Chicken Salad:

4 boneless chicken breast halves cooked and cut or shredded
4 stalks celery cut in small pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 c. green grapes halved
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. mayonnaise

Mix and chill to blend flavors. Take to picnic in a canning jar! We like sliced almonds served on top of ours for a little extra crunch!

Oatmeal Muffins:
1 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. oats

Add:
1 egg
1 c. milk
3 T. oil

Stir just to moisten. Spoon into prepared muffin tin and bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Makes: 12 muffins

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Coffee Cake Muffins

I am such a muffin girl - warm muffins and cold milk is just about my favorite breakfast! Emily helped me make these yesterday! These are one of my favorite recipes to make.

1 1/4 c. flour
1 egg
2/3 c. oats
2/3 c. milk
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. chopped nuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all ingredients just until moistened. Spoon into muffin tin. Prepare streusel topping or use crumb topping from freezer.

Topping:
2 T. chopped nuts
2 T. flour
1 T. brown sugar
Cut in 1 T. margarine

Sprinkle 1 tsp. over each muffin.

Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

* Note: muffin batter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to seven days. Topping can be stored in a separate container and then assembled when ready to bake.

Makes: 12 muffins

Chip Dip

One of the special things my family often makes when they know I am coming, is this chip dip. I really never make it for myself - it never turns out as good when I do. It is best made by my Mom, Aunt, Grandma and Sister! We recently enjoyed two batches while in Colorado! So far, it has been enjoyed by five generations of our family!

The Famous Chip Dip

1-8 oz. package soft cream cheese
1 jar pimento cheese spread
1/8-1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 T. or less lemon juice
2 T. mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients with a mixer. Chill overnight to blend flavors. Serve with potato chips or raw veggies.

So, what do others prepare for you when they know you are coming?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Summer Swap!

I initially really struggled with the color theme of the Summer Swap - but am super excited about the results of my box! I mailed it off last Monday, so my partner should have received it by now! Hope you liked it, Jolena! Yes, I came in under the $20 max and included a homemade item and a thrifted item!

Here is what I sent:

My partner mentioned that she liked Pottery Barn style, and I noticed in their summer catalog that shells were popular. So, I found this cute yellow bowl and included a bag of shells I picked up on the beach in Florida!

I found these cute orange dinner napkins on clearance at Target!

This is my thrifted item - I just love this! An old yellow measuring cup!

Look at these cute filing folders! Filing can be fun again!

This is my homemade item. I purchased orange/white gingham and yellow fabric and whipped together this summery tote with four big pockets inside and yellow and orange flowers on the ribbon!

I also included a pair of orange flip-flops from Old Navy, a spool of orange ribbon with yellow polka dots and the cute yellow striped cardboard container! What fun!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tomatoes!

We've been coming inside with this many or more tomatoes every other day or so and they were starting to pile up! Some have been eaten, some given away - but what was I to do with all the others?

I remembered a sweet friend from church offering last year to let me help her can tomatoes, but I was on bed rest awaiting Rachel's birth. So, we got together this past Saturday and canned our little hearts out!

Note: Only a small fraction of the tomatoes we used were actually from my garden! The rest were from a local farm.

All my canning gear ~ ready for a fun day!

Here is what we made:

Tomato Sauce

24 lb. tomatoes washed and quartered
1 1/2 lb. onion
1 c. olive oil
15-18 lg. garlic cloves, peeled
4 tsp. canning salt
1 tsp. pepper
Fresh basil

Peel, seed and core tomatoes or run through a mill and set aside. Peel and chop onions and garlic and place in a pan with olive oil, cook over medium heat and until onions begin to turn a light golden color.

While cooking, puree tomatoes in food processor (unless already put through food mill). Puree onions and garlic and add to tomatoes. Cook over medium heat about four hours or until there is no visible liquid. Scrape foam off during cooking time.

Place one sprig basil in each jar and fill with sauce - add one tsp. lemon juice to each quart. Process quarts for 45 minutes and pints for 35 minutes. Remove basil when serving.


Salsa

10 c. chopped, seeded, peeled and cored tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs. chopped onion
1 poblano and 1 long green pepper chopped and seeded
1 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in pan - bring to a boil. Puree some of the salsa and mix back in. Simmer 10 minutes.

Process 15 minutes for pints. Makes 6 pints.

* Note: wear gloves when chopping hot peppers!

We also made a yummy cream of tomato soup for the freezer, but I seem to have gotten home without the recipe, so will post that in the future.

I simply love canning - I think it feels so wholesome, homey and pure. And, you know that music to a canner's ears is the little pop when the lids seal after coming out of the canner!