Thursday, January 25, 2018

Encouraging Hearts and Home 1/25/18


Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

Well... January is almost over and February is just around the corner! How many of you are gardeners? Are you getting excited about seed starting? I sure am! Come join in on all the great conversation at the new Facebook group that I've started! It's an open place to talk anything plant! Flowers, Fruits & Veggies, Succulents, and more! We even hope to plan a seed exchange sometime very soon! 
Here is the link: 869317766570281

Many times gardening can bring up great memories and experiences, read about one of my special memories here:
small-memories-make-big-impact.html
Are you ready to start some seeds?  You can read a little more about that here:
lets-get-it-startedgardening-that-is.html
Like to follow along last year's journey... see what I was excited about here:
goats-and-eggs-and-seeds-oh-my.html

The Encouraging Hearts &Home Bloggers


Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

Amy at A Nest in the Rocks




The most clicked post from last week's Blog Hop was:






Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!


How to Link Up


  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you'll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!


  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!


  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.


  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts' blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

  •    

    Other nice things you can do


  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host's blog.


  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!


  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com








  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Encouraging Hearts and Home 1/18/18


    Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home!

    I hope that this week finds you all well! Here in Kansas it's really cold, and getting out every day is slightly dreaded. I'm bundling up, giving quick scratches and loves, and back to the house I go! It's a great time to catch up on reading or finish/start projects! I wonder what all the bloggers are up to this week? I'm sure something will find you encouraged and inspired! I made pasta! Go look for my link, along with many others down below!




    The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers


    Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home Co-Hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!

    Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

    Amy at A Nest in the Rocks





    The most clicked post from last week's Blog Hop was:





    Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

    How to Link Up







  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you'll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!













  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us













  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.













  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts' blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.












  • Other nice things you can do







  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!













  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com











  • Come Join me on Social Media:


    Playing around with the Pasta maker!


    So, how many of you just LOVE pasta?  Yup....most of us do!  I mean....carb loaded energy infused deliciousness ....who wouldn't?  Here awhile back we got a "warm spell".  Well, for winter that is, lol!  And my darling ducks thought hey....I'm happy and I'm going to lay eggs!  I was getting several a day, and they started accumulating!  What a better thing to do than to make some super yummy homeade pasta!  One day...what seems forever ago, I had gotten this cool Kitchen aid attachment used on a local for sale site!  I had used it before, but never really took time to play with all the different settings!  I got online and read a simple egg, pasta, and water recipe recomended by the company.  I did however find that I had to adjust the water because duck eggs are different than chicken eggs in that the album (white part) is much thicker.  I then rolled the dough into walnut sized pieces and went to town playing with my "new to me" attachment!  










    Isn't this just the coolest thing ever?  Look all that beautiful home made pasta!  This particular model makes 5 different styles of pasta!  I mean....wowow!  I love how pretty it looks drying on the counter!     I had the best luck with the large macaroni extruder!  I'll keep practicing on the others!  Depending on how fast you have the mixer going, and how quickly you can lay the pasta down before cutting again really makes a huge difference on the look and quality of the end product.  Needless to say ... my family gobbled them all up!  And to think I did that myself with my own eggs from my farm!  Pride people....it's a sense of true pride! 

    What's your favorite Pasta recipe?  Do you have a Kitchen Aid?  Maybe one of those hand crank rollers?  Or do you use a fork and knife like granny used to?  Let us know in the comments below!
      

    Here is where you can find the products I used:

     
    (If you were to click on one of these links and purchase anything from Amazon, I may receive a small kickback that would be used to continue to explore, create and share content on this blog.)




    Thursday, January 11, 2018

    Encouraging Hearts and Home 1/11/18


    Welcome to Encouraging Hearts &Home January 11th 2018

    This year has gone off with a bang for me! I started the year out on a big family vacation! You've heard me talk about my family and how we ALL just LOVE to get together! Well...my grandma, her children, grandchildren and almost all of the great grandchildren traveled to Branson, rented some houses and had a week long gathering! It was GREAT! All the while all of you were celebrating with me on my one year Anniversary of the adventure of being "The Inquisitive Farmwife"! Thank you so much for all your support, it is AWESOME to get to know all of you! Then we came home and immediately got a Family cow, and there is sure to be future stories in that! And then this morning I wake up and find we are in a winter weather advisory! Yikes! Hope you all are safe and warm! I just may go do some canning today! Check out this weeks story about canning beans, you're sure to get a laugh! https://inquisitivefarmwife.blogspot.com/2018/01/home-canned-pinto-chili-beans.html




    The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers


    Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!

    Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

    Amy at A Nest in the Rocks









    Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

    How to Link Up






  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you'll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!






  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!






  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.






  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts' blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.









  • Other nice things you can do

    Follow and/or subscribe to your host's blog.






  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!






  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com





  • Come Join me on Social Media:

    Monday, January 8, 2018

    Home Canned Pinto Chili Beans

    Well Kansas has seen it's first snow....short lived, but it did happen.  This means colder weather and what is better to serve than Chili!  If your not an avid canner you might ask yourself why would you want to can your own beans rather than just buy them?  I mean....there is a lot of work and time involved in canning!  


    Well, there are many reasons to can beans for yourself.  For me, it was all about doing something that I had not done before!  You know...the whole inquisitive thing...ya...that's me!  I have canned plain pinto beans for various recipes including homemade refried beans, but never a chili version.  I did keep track of the cost, and it's actually quite a bit cheaper to purchase dry beans and can them yourself.  Even if you make them all fancy like!  LOL!  And of course if I was going to do that!  I mean, if I'm taking the time to do this now, I wanted to save myself time later!  


    That's another big reason people can, it will save not only money, but time in the future!  So...on a busy night this winter all I have to do is thaw some meat from the freezer, brown it up and add my jar(S) of beans, and tomatoes if you like! All the seasonings and veggies are in there.  (My tomatoes had already been canned...so those were separate.)  If it's more about saving money....just omit the fresh veggies and stick with the dried spices!  It nearly cuts the cost in half!  

    For me....I wanted it to look pretty and taste amazing.  Even more so this time because I was using Pinto Beans rather than the typical Red Bean.  Why you ask?  Well, I was curious.  Ha ha ha!  Could this be done and turn out ok?  Would the flavor and texture come out the way I desired?  And the answer was yes.  Otherwise...let's be honest, I wouldn't be here writing up this blog!  Ha ha ha....oh my!  I was also able to purchase the dry pinto beans at a bulk price, and the red beans would've been smaller bags at a larger price.  So that certainly played a factor too.  I knew that with it being the "off season" that veggies were going to be more costly, and I had not saved back any from my garden for this purpose!  So there you go.... that is my explanation of my experimentation!  Hee hee hee!  

    At this point I'm going to assume that you have canned before.  And that you have all the canning supplies including a pressure canner and have had some experience with it.  You also know some of the terminology and will understand "canning terms" as we go through the steps.  If not, just enjoy the story until you are comfortable with your own home canning experience and come back again and follow the steps closer when you're ready!  Anther option for non-canners is to instead cook your beans, veggies, spices, ect. in a pot until veggies are soft, and place into freezer safe containers to be frozen for future use!  But trust me, either way you'll want to keep reading, funny stuff ahead!

    Let's BEGIN!

    So, I kinda tend to do things in big quantities!  A typical person trying something new might go out and buy a 2# bag of beans....but me being me decided a 12# bag would be the way to go. So when it was time to sort the beans for soaking, I got comfy and put on a movie! You just need to sort through and make sure there are no foreign objects like tiny pebbles, and then discard any broken or funny looking beans.  Give them a good rinse, and place in a bowl and cover beans almost double in size with water.






    I put my beans to soak for 36 hours, to give a good chance of them plumping up and to save cooking time later.  Yes, you can do for less...but really a minimum of 8 hours is suggested!  (There are dry canning methods but I like a softer texture...all up to the canner really, just do your diligent research!)  Any beans that float to the top, go ahead and discard!  Rinse them very well and put in a pot of water to start warming.


    Gather your clean jars and make sure you are getting them hot!  I use my dishwasher for this!  I add vinegar to the rinse compartment and it helps with our hard water stains! 
    I would suggest using wide mouth,they're easier to fill, and easier to empty!

    While the dishwasher is going and the beans are heating, you have time to prep your veggies!  I used red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.  This was by accident because the grocery store was out of green, but it was a happy accident because they look so pretty.  Of course they did cost a bit more, but ya know...beauty comes with a price!  ha ha hee hee  The green color came from the jalapeños.  



     Now...I'm going to take a moment and tell you all something.  Back when I was preparing for this big project I forgot the big can of tomatoe sauce at the bulk grocery store.  My dear sister was going there the next day, and said she'd pick it up for me!  Of course this led to the whole...what are you up to now conversation....and that lead to "Oh, I'll come help".  Poor thing....she really didn't know what she just got herself into.  Fast forward to canning day....she is on jalapeño duty.  I'm busy cutting away at the bell peppers and onions while she worked diligently cutting such small chunks of these jalapeño peppers.  At first we didn't think they were very hot, but I forgot to put out the plastic gloves for her to use, and the seeds were actually quite pungent!  Her hands proceeded to nearly catch on fire and with each slice of the knife a bit of juice would pop out and ever so strategically land in her eye.  She was nearly blinded, but did not leave her duty, and stayed at the jalapeño station until her job was done.  It may be awhile before she offers her assistance in one of my "new projects." 


    Alright, back to the canning.  Let's see....we've chopped the Bell Peppers, Jalapeños, and Onions.  Yes...we need to clean the garlic and gather the dry spices, open the can of tomatoes sauce (I know, homemade would've been better)!  I chose to use black pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and canning salt.  Get everything lined up in an assembly line and put the jar lids in the just boiled hot water.  We are ready to grab some jars and start filling!



    To each quart jar we added 3 cups of the drained beans, 1/3 cup of bell pepper, 1/2 cup onion, 1 tablespoon jalapeño, 1 large clove garlic-pressed, 2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon each of paprika and cumin.  Topped it off with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and hot water to the 1 inch fill line.
       



    It was quite exciting to watch the process take place.  They look so pretty as you layer them with all the colorful veggies, spices, and sauce!  And quite interesting how the water kinda diluted it all and slipped around each bean....mesmerizing almost!


     De-bubble and add more hot water as needed!  Leave at least 1/2 inch headspace...I did a whole inch.  Wipe down your jar with vinegar to clear it from any spills!  This also gives you one last chance to inspect the rim for any chips or dings!  Place lids on and add rings on finger tight and place into prepared pressure canner.


    Don't forget your 10 minute release time before adding your weight, and double Check what is suggested for your area/altitude on pressure and time! (Typically it will be 10/11# pressure. 90 minutes for quarts.) When it's safe to open the lid and take out jars, place on your countertop on top of a towel to cool for at least 12 hours.  They will continue to boil for hours!  



    Because I had so many, it took me several batches.  Tip: You can keep your filled jars warm in a pot, or even in the oven on low while you're waiting for the next batch to go in the canner!  


    You'll notice that the beans swelled a bit more and soaked up the  juices!  This is a good thing...they're taking on all that flavor!  As time passes they will take more and more of that flavor on, infusing the beans!  Yeah baby, that's what we want to achieve!  If you wait a few weeks to use them, the flavor will be better!

    Once jars are completely cool take of rings and clean with soapy water and rinse with vinegar water.  Check each seal carefully as you do this.  Any that are not sealed, or questionable, put rings back on and place in the refrigerator to use right away!


    They look so pretty!  Take pride in what you've just done!  It was a big accomplishment and it took planning, time, and determination to get here!  As much as we want to leave them out on the counter for all to see, canned goods are best stored in a cool dark place.  Mine is "the cave", lol!  Actually it's a storm shelter that I kinda have taken to a new purpose, lol!  But under a bed, in a cabinet, you can always find corners to stash your jars!

    I had 2 that did not seal.  So later that week I added 2# hamburger and 2 pints of previously canned tomatoes chunks to the pot. With some scratch made cornbread and butter, we had a nice meal!  It turned out incredible!  I will definitely do this project again...especially if I don't have to cut the jalapeños!  Sorry Sissy.... because you're experienced with Jalapeño cutting and all the side effects, I'll let you continue to do it!



    Hope you all enjoyed my experimental experience ... and I'd love to see if you tried this recipe and how you chose to store it!  




    Throughout the blog you may see affiliated links to Amazon products that I use.  When you click on one of these and choose to purchase from  Amazon, this will give me a small kickback.  Any money received will go towards future blog content.  (Mostly the animals or garden.)