1
How to Make Tomato Powder Out of Tomato Skins
2
Best Store Bought Protein
3
SLOW COOKER Creamy Onion Dip
4
Crazy Tomato and Watermelon Harvest – 83 pounds worth!
5
Traveling Emergency First Aid Kit – How to Make Your Own!
6
CHOCOLATE CHIP Carrot Bread Recipe
7
2 MINUTE MAPLE SYRUP BREAKFAST SANDWICH
8
What I LOVE: My Awesome Dad and his Garden Peppers
9
Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
10
How to Store Lettuce to Last for a Month
11
No Canning 24 Hour Dill Hamburger Pickles
12
Best Vacuum for Cats

How to Make Tomato Powder Out of Tomato Skins

How to Make Tomato Powder out of tomato skins! You’ll never throw away tomato skins again!

It’s raining tomatoes!  Don’t I always say that during July and August? Well it’s true.  You won’t believe how many pounds of tomatoes we grew this year and I’m not going to tell you because I will save it for the big Summer harvest weight chart post coming sometime in September.  You guys know I love my Stewed Tomatoes recipe but with that comes alot of extra tomato skins.  I’ve been composting them for years but this year I was set on using them in a recipe.  

How to Use Tomato Skins

I wanted to use the tomato skins in a unique way that can be enjoyed in different recipes and ways throughout the seasons.  So making tomato powder and tomato flakes it is!

What can you do with tomato powder?
-Sprinkle on slices of pizza.
-Use on sandwiches on subs.
-Throw in soups, stews and chili. 
-Use as a meat seasoning.
-Throw in tomato sauces for more tomato flavor!
-Popcorn. (Thanks Kelly!)

It’s up to you if you want to make tomato powder or tomato flakes.  Both are dried the same way, but the decision comes in how you process it.  Do you want it flaky? Or fine powder? For a powder use a coffee grinder, and for flakes use a food processor (or even a mortar and pestle would work).  

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Best Store Bought Protein

The body uses protein for energy, to keep us up and running every single day.  That makes protein real important y’all.  I was feeling down with super low energy at the beginning of the Summer because of a diet change and that resulted in low protein.  I started to skim the labels on my food and realized I was only getting 20% of my daily needed intake of protein. It was time for me to take a trip to the grocery store and walk the aisles to figure out what protein was right for me.  

The best sources of protein are meat products (beef, chicken, fish), dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), eggs, tofu, lentils and beans and soy.   Did you know that after water protein is the most plentiful substance in the body?  Our muscles, organs, and immune systems are made up of mostly protein.    Even more important is if you’re a vegetarian you need to pair your meals wisely and eat protein filled snacks to get your daily intake.

So let’s walk into my kitchen and look at some of my favorite store bought food items, filled with protein. These are my go to breakfast and afternoon snack foods to keep my energy going for the day.

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SLOW COOKER Creamy Onion Dip

THE BEST PARTY SLOW COOKER Creamy Onion Dip is so easy to make.  Caramelized onions are mixed with sour cream and mozzarella cheese to make a extra creamy homemade dip!  This simple recipe is best served hot with potato chips – perfect for a Super Bowl party dip! 

SLOW COOKER Creamy Onion Dip is so creamy and easy to make. Caramelized onions are mixed with sour cream and mozzarella cheese to make a extra creamy homemade dip! This simple recipe is best served hot with potato chips - perfect for a party dip!

We grew many onions this year.  Do you remember when we planted them all? Well it’s time to pick them now!  We have 4 big creates that are full of onions.  We let them dry in the sun for a few days and then ran up to the roof when we heard thunder and thankfully got them inside before it started to rain.  Close one!  Now they’re living inside and we’re storing them in pantyhose (great tip) and baskets.

THE BEST PARTY SLOW COOKER Creamy Onion Dip is so easy to make.  Caramelized onions are mixed with sour cream and mozzarella cheese to make a extra creamy homemade dip!  This simple recipe is best served hot with potato chips - perfect for a party dip! 

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Crazy Tomato and Watermelon Harvest – 83 pounds worth!

This week was a big harvest weekend where we spent a whole evening picking vegetables and the entire day of Sunday making stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  I am pretty sure that I will never need to buy tomato sauce again.  This Summer we bought a mini storage freezer just for our garden and it’s about 75% full and we have a good 2 months left of gardening this year (not counting Fall veggies).  I’m going to have open a produce stand, anyone want to stop by?  I give veggies out for free! :D)

(I apologize for the quality of these pictures, it was already dark out by the time we got the tomatoes inside)

First up tomatoes.  We picked 43 pounds of tomatoes this weekend!  Wild, right?  
This is a really heavy crate, too heavy for my weak arms.  I picked it up, Matthew snapped the picture, I threw the crate down and then fell to the floor in weak power.
Hahahahaha...help!

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Traveling Emergency First Aid Kit – How to Make Your Own!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias

How do you feel about traveling?  I love exploring new places, meeting new cultures and enjoying all the new foods.  I also feel that traveling is extremely exhausting.  I think it’s the whole process of getting there and getting home is what wears me out.  Who likes waiting in airport security lines for them to check your hair bun?  And who likes hearing their plane is going to be 4 hours late?   Also, I’m a homebody.  I love my own bed, my own tea cup, my daily routine and especially our cats.  I miss those critters so bad while I’m away, I can’t wait to walk through the door and pick them all up in big hugs. 

 When traveling you need to be prepared.  When we went to the Middle East earlier this year there were certain things that we couldn’t bring into the country and there were some things I forgot to pack that we definitely weren’t able to buy there.  I really don’t like to waste money on a new bottle of aspirin when a sudden travel headache comes up when I know I have a brand new bottle at home waiting for me in the medicine cabinet.  That’s why I always travel with a first aid kit.  It has the basics of what you need when away from home, in case you have a headache, get a cut or need some energy when you get 2 hours sleep.

Ever feel like this? This was in Berlin when we landed and got to the hotel.  Yawns.  Even worse, the bed was super comfy which meant we never wanted to get up.
photo 1.JPG

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CHOCOLATE CHIP Carrot Bread Recipe

EASY CHOCOLATE CHIP Carrot Bread recipe! This homemade loaf uses fresh carrots and takes 1 hour to bake! The bread tastes just like cake – it’s so moist! This is one of my BEST carrot recipes! Serve for breakfast, dessert or snack!

There’s something magical about a warm piece of homemade carrot bread, isn’t there?  Maybe it’s the love that goes into making it.  Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that fills your kitchen.  Maybe it’s the feeling of Fall being around the corner.  Or maybe it’s just the great feeling of knowing there’s a bunch of vegetables in this bread and that makes it healthy, right?  I love this carrot bread recipe!

EASY recipe for CHOCOLATE CHIP CARROT BREAD! This homemade loaf uses fresh carrots and takes 1 hour to bake! The bread tastes just like cake - it's so moist! This is one of my BEST carrot recipes! Serve for breakfast, dessert or snack!

With a whole bunch of carrots just picked from the garden and a whole bed of seeds just planted I’m stocked with carrots.  We’ve been eating some processed junk for dessert lately so I was on the mission to bake something delicious that could use our batch of just picked vegetables.  My mind immediately went to the carrots, what could I make?

What’s your favorite carrot dessert?

There’s carrot cake, carrot cake cupcakes but I wanted something a little more savory without the frosting on top, so carrot bread was what I started daydreaming about.

EASY recipe for CHOCOLATE CHIP CARROT BREAD! This homemade loaf uses fresh carrots and takes 1 hour to bake! The bread tastes just like cake - it's so moist! This is one of my BEST carrot recipes! Serve for breakfast, dessert or snack!

This bread is delicious and really hits that Autumn dreaming spot.  I can imagine this would be a Fall or Winter favorite on those chilly days where you’ll curl up with a blanket, book and a hot cup of tea.  This can be a delicious breakfast or a dessert and it would be a perfect hit at holiday dinners, potlucks and friendly get togethers.

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2 MINUTE MAPLE SYRUP BREAKFAST SANDWICH

These taste like FRENCH TOAST! EASY, YUMMY breakfast sandwich made in 2 MINUTES! This Maple Syrup, Egg, Ham and Cheese Sandwich recipe is great for a quick breakfast! You can freeze the sandwiches to make ahead too!

It’s almost September! Yipee!  You see, I’m a Fall girl so I love everything about these next upcoming months.  But with Fall, comes early mornings.  Maybe it’s back to work (or maybe it’s regular go to work), getting your kids on the bus, making your loved one a on the go sandwich, or throwing together a quick dinner sandwich after basketball practice.  This Maple Syrup Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwich is crazy good, will fill you up and the best part, it’s made in seconds.  I’m serious.  You can literally have this made in under 2 minutes!

EASY, YUMMY breakfast sandwich made in 2 MINUTES! This Maple Syrup, Egg, Ham and Cheese Sandwich recipe is great for a quick breakfast! You can freeze the sandwiches to make ahead too! They taste like french toast to me!

The sandwich is based on a popular fastfood sandwich, but homemade so you know what’s going into it and you can use the best ingredients.  It hits the spot of being savory (ham, egg, cheese) but with a touch of sweetness (maple syrup).   You can serve it up for breakfast, pack it for lunch (just put the syrup on the side) or make for dinner.  I’m a fan of breakfast for dinner, so make these up and serve with some greens on the side and you’re set.

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What I LOVE: My Awesome Dad and his Garden Peppers

In this new series, I’m sharing current things that I love.  Maybe it’s cats, maybe it’s a new restaurant, maybe it’s a new cookie, maybe it’s… anything!

The title of this should also read: Dad’s Green Peppers, AKA My Dad Is Cool

We grow peppers and they do pretty good.  We grow bell peppers and jalapeno peppers and we pick multiple pounds a week.  But then my dad shows up and shows me how he grows them in Pennsylvania.  Goodness gracious, Pennsylvania grows them good.  

Every year my dad starts a garden in the back yard.  As a kid we had a very small yard but he would still grow tomatoes.  The tomatoes would grow so tall they would block the kitchen window.  It also made it easy because we could use the sink hose to water these tomatoes out the window.   My dad moved into a new house a few years ago and he has a much larger garden area now.  Every Spring he buys his plants from farmers and he always buys alot more than one person usually buys.  And every year halfway during the Summer he tells me he’s never buying them again because he has too many.  And then the next year comes around and he does the same thing.  And this Summer he continued this tradition and bought even more.  My dad has over 20 pepper plants, for one man.  I laugh because it’s funny, cute and amazing all at the same time. 

A few weeks ago when he started planting the peppers he made a joke that he would ship me them as they started to grow. I laughed.

So you can imagine that I burst into laughter when a big box appeared at my door and when opening it up, I saw this:

 Dad Rules Green Peppers_1

 That’s right, my dad shipped me peppers.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe

HOMEMADE Soft Pretzels Recipe! You won’t believe how easy it is to make buttery soft pretzels at home!  This recipe shows you how to make them with step by step instructions.

As a kid one of my favorite treats was soft pretzels.  We didn’t make them from scratch in my house, instead Mom always had a frozen box in the freezer.  These were easy, take them out and throw them in microwave for 1 minute and then cover in their little salt packets.  Boom, a soft pretzel was made.

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

Well these homemade soft pretzels take a little longer than 1 minute to make but I promise you they’re easy to make!

Many years later, I still have that craving for a soft pretzel.  Often in NYC I walk by a soft pretzel vendor and suddenly crave a pretzel for the rest of the day.  At a baseball game? Yes, very nice gentleman carrying a tray of soft pretzels on his head, throw me one for $8.00, it’s the price you pay for love.  

But when I’m at a home in my kitchen, I can relax and make my own soft pretzels.  You’re almost guaranteed to have all the ingredients already and they’re ready in less than 45 minutes (that’s counting the 30 minutes it takes for the dough to rise).   Although I loved those frozen soft pretzels as a girl, nothing beats a homemade buttery soft pretzel that is warm when you break it apart.  Goodness, I’m getting all dreamy just thinking about it.

easy soft pretzels recipe on cookie sheet

When I’m craving a soft pretzel I don’t want to wait hours to let the dough rise, I kind of want them right now. Right in my belly. In this recipe we’re only going to let the dough 30 minutes and then let them bake for 10 minutes.  How easy are these to make?
butter soft pretzels

So dive in, get your hands covered in flour and twirl around some dough to make Homemade Soft Pretzels.

soft pretzel dough

Here’s how you’ll want to form each pretzel.  It might take a couple times to get it right but pretty soon you’ll be a expert!
how to form pretzel dough

You’ll love what comes out of your oven in a bit!
homemade oven baked soft pretzels

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HOMEMADE Soft Pretzels Recipe! You won’t believe how easy it is to make buttery soft pretzels at home!  This recipe shows you how to make them with step by step instructions.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe

HOMEMADE Soft Pretzels Recipe! You won't believe how easy it is to make buttery soft pretzels at home!  This recipe shows you how to make them with step by step instructions.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 and ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt for sprinkling on top of these yummy pretzels coarse, pretzel salt or even regular salt if that’s all you have

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat or grease baking sheet.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir with a spoon to mix it around.
  3. Add salt and sugar and continue to mix.
  4. Add flour and mix good until dough is thick. If you feel like the dough is still too wet, add ¼ cup of flour additional until you get it thick.
  5. While in bowl knead the dough for 2 minutes. Knead it good. Form dough into ball and let sit for 30 minutes, covered.
  6. Rip apart 8 sections of dough, approximately same size. Each section equals the size of your pretzel.
  7. Flour counter surface and roll each individual section out to a rope that is about 20-25 inches long.
  8. Once ropes are made then wrap them up to make a pretzel shape.
  9. In a small bowl beat the egg and then lightly brush all surfaces of each pretzel with it. Place on baking mat and sprinkle with salt.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn your broiler on and bake for 3-5 more minutes. Keep a eye on the pretzels so they don’t burn. As soon as they reach desired brown/crispness on top, remove from the oven.
  11. Enjoy and eat these pretzels!

Recipe Notes

Makes 8 pretzels

 

How to Store Lettuce to Last for a Month

How to Store Lettuce to Last a MONTH!  This easy tip shows you how to wrap your lettuce in aluminum foil to keep it fresh in the refrigerator.  The lettuce stays so crisp after a month I can even use it for salads! 

Lettuce only lasting a few days? Never again! With this easy method using aluminum foil you can store lettuce to last for a month!

In June we pick lettuce.  We pick lots of lettuce.  I’m talking so much lettuce you begin to get lettuce anxiety.  Have you ever had it?  It’s when you dream of lettuce chasing you with baskets to capture you.   It’s rough.

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No Canning 24 Hour Dill Hamburger Pickles

NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn’t require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles! This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

It’s the beginning of August which means it’s pickle time.  The cucumber plants are thriving and we’re picking kirby cucumbers by the basket.  Between this and my Half Sour Pickle recipe, I’m all set with pickles for the rest of my life. 

This pickle recipe is easy and tastes just like the best Dill Hamburger pickles you can buy in the store.  You don’t need canning experience because these are no boil needed.  You throw them in the refrigerator and they’re ready to crunch in 24 hours.   Also this recipe doesn’t use vinegar because you all know my hatred for vinegar, so for all of you who have gotten to this recipe because you typed into Google “I hate vinegar, please give me pickles”, I got you covered.  I love these pickles, they’re win win all around.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

We’ve been picking a bunch of kirby cucumbers in the garden.  We grow our cucumbers in 27 gallon containers and we’re always surprised by how well they grow.  We try to pick them  before they get too big, but sometimes one giant gets through because we miss him (they’re boys).
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

I always love the odd ball shaped pickle too.  Don’t discriminate, they all  make delicious pickles.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!  

First thing, cut up you pickles into slices. You’ll want 4 cups of pickles for this recipe. If you’re doing more or less than 4 cups, then you’ll have to do some math with the recipe.  
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

While cutting the cucumbers, throw a few in your mouth because you deserve it. Aren’t they delicious?
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Throw your dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them around.  If you want to make sure they stay crunchy, make sure to pick up some Pickling Crisp.  I get mine from Amazon for $8 and it lasts forever.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Throw your pickles in 1 pint mason jars.  Then throw your dry herbs and seasonings on top.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Now add your sugar/salt water mixture evenly into the 3 mason jars.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Now close the lid and shake these babies up.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

All ready for refrigeration…
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Throw them in the fridge and wait 24 hours.  No peeking, no opening.  I know the urge is hard but do it!
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

And once the 24 hours is up, dive in!
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

They are the perfect taste of dill with a nice crunch.
NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Now the hard part.. not eating them all at once!

Enjoy!

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NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles!  This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

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No Canning 24 Hour Dill Hamburger Pickles

NO CANNING 24 Hour Refrigerator Hamburger Pickles! This easy recipe doesn't require vinegar and tastes just like the best dill pickles! This is one of my favorite homemade recipes to use for our garden cucumbers! I love how crunchy the pickles are!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups kirby cucumbers sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon pepperscorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut cucumbers into slices.
  2. Clean 3 one pint mason jars.
  3. Mix garlic, dried dill, peppercorns, mustard seeds and pickle crisps in small bowl.
  4. Mix sea salt and sugar in water in bowl until salt and sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Place cucumbers into jars.
  6. Evenly distribute the spices into each jar.
  7. Pour the water mixture evenly into each jar, to the very top. Close jars and give them each a shake.
  8. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  9. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Makes 3 one pint mason jars.
Best eaten within 1 month.

Best Vacuum for Cats

Best vacuum for cats! Here’s my review of the Dirt Devil 360 Degree Reach Pro Pet Vacuum!

I live in a furry home.  
My kids have paws, fur, tiny little toes that pitter patter when they chase balls, and they cuddle with purrs.  My kids rule.  Most of you who read this blog or follow me on Instagram know I’m a #catlady.  I love cats, I love them all, the entire cat population is my best friend.  

Did you know we have 5 cats?  You might have thought we had 4, but in July we adopted a new girl who needed a immediate home.  I’ll do a entire post on her because she’s awesome. Her name is Toes and she’s a sweet heart x a million.

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