Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Bruschetta in a Jar and chit chat

 I decided to try another recipe from Ball.  Hopefully it will taste as good as it sounds.  I'll be doing a taste testing before making it again (if I do make it again).  Has anyone canned this?  (that is pizza sauce in the back)

The recipe is in this book:

You can also get it online here.

Bell peppers are also getting flash froze, but golly I have to keep my brain in order to remember to get them bagged before I forget they are in there.  I doubt I will be getting enough to freeze stuffed peppers this year.  Due to the weather they are small and we are not getting as many as a typical year.

Not sure if you all heard, but the BP oil company was sold to a Canadian company.  I believe the actual switch will be this coming December, and our two younger girls will lose their health insurance with us.  Not sure this is going to be good for us or not, but it's happening.  The girls have been told, so they are working on getting health insurance (so sad this is happening to them with inflation right now).  Also, the cost for our health insurance goes up for us.  I may be needing to go back to work, which would take a toll on growing a garden.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Attack of the Tomatoes and other Tidbits

 The pizza sauce recipe is in this book:

Ball also has a freezer pizza sauce recipe here.  I have not tried the freezer recipe.

As hard as I try, I cannot keep up with anything but canning this week.  I gave up on weeding the flower bed, or the garden.  It's been super crazy busy with tomatoes.

It's raining this morning.  It's dark and dreary, so canning resumes.  Last night I was in a pickle.  I canned pizza sauce, and realized I needed both a breakfast and a dinner.  Problem solved - biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs.  Now we have breakfast, but a ton of dirty dishes.  I need to unload and reload the dishwasher and get this day started.  My husband said the tomatoes are screaming for me, ha ha!

We were relaxing on the porch last night, and it got very quiet for a few minutes.  Then we heard a crazy screaming sound coming from the woods across the street.  Most likely a few fox fighting or attacking something.  If you have never heard this sound just google it and YouTube has a few where you can hear this crazy sound.

I have been in contact with the island store.  She's getting back with me soon, in regards of a re-order of camper ornaments.  I asked her because I only have two made right now.  I also had to raise my price, and she may not re-order, but like everything the cost of supplies has gone up terribly.

  Like I said - attack of the tomatoes.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Happy Homemaker Monday

Tomatoes are still rolling in.  I am thankful for that.  Bell peppers were picked but smaller than a typical harvest.

Several craft/fall festivals are happening, but I have zero time to participate.  I have created one new item while watching the canner pot.

Cute watermelon keyfobs.  I only got one made, but super cute.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

I will link up later when she posts.

The weather . . .

Rain.  Rain for the next two days.

As I look outside my window . . .

It's raining, and cloudy.

Right now I am . . . 

Making another pot of coffee, filling the canner pot, measuring and weighing tomatoes.

Thinking and pondering . . .

How much propane to pre-order, cleaning the living room to get the chimney swept soon, what I will can tomorrow with tomatoes, messaging the island store (they sold all of the camper ornaments I took over early summer), and packaging them this time.  I'm pretty sure we'll be gifting the kids canned tomato items this Christmas (they love tomato soup too).

How I am feeling . . .

So-so.  Overly busy.  

On the breakfast plate . . .

Most likely egg, cheese and sausage muffin sandwiches.  

What I am reading . . .

My canning recipes, ha ha!  

On the TV . . .

Mystery Channel

On the menu this week . . .

-sausage, green beans, onion and potato sheet pan
-chicken, broccoli sheet pan dinner
-possibly homemade corn dogs, I only make them once a year

Looking around the house . . .
Tomatoes!  Tomatoes everywhere!

To do list this week . . .
-can pizza sauce, more tomato sauce, more ketchup and tomato soup
-freeze bell peppers
-make a breakfast
-wash bedding
-water plants indoors

There won't be much time for anything but making these tomatoes turn into something canned.

Something fun to share . . .

I bought two of the girls a fun pearl jewelry kit.   They had fun opening their mussel.  You make a wish before you open the can and then put your pearl inside the turtle.  Just something fun for them to do.

From the camera . . .

....from the garden yesterday.

Devotional . . .
I still have not found my devotional.  I need to put that on the to-do list too.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Canning Tomato Sauce (seasoned) and other tidbits

The recipe I used for the sweet chili sauce is online with Farmgirl's Dabbles. 

I got a half batch of tomato sauce canned (22 1/2#).  I canned a full batch one year all at once and swore I'd never do that again.  It was just so much work at once.  

I'll make another round if we have more tomatoes.  

I have another new recipe to try using tomatoes, so hopefully it will happen next week.  I know I will have more hot peppers too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Hot Peppers ~ Sweet Chili Sauce ~ Hot Pepper Jelly ~ Lemon Seed Fail


It's been crazy busy around here.  I cooked a meal and delivered it to a family friend who had foot surgery, and we had to drive 3 hours to go pick up our truck keys.  Just strange all around, but we have the keys.  I just don't have the truck ha ha!

It is still in the body shop getting fixed from the deer hitting it.  I however, have not run out things to do.

Our hot peppers are doing exceptionally well this year.  The bell peppers however are still small and a small harvest.

I canned some sweet chili sauce - new recipe.  I cannot wait to taste it.

Canned hot pepper jelly. 

Taco sauce got canned.

I purchased Meyer lemon seeds from someone on Etsy.  I tried to sprout one all summer.  Every single seed was a dud.  Guess I'm spending a fortune next year on a plant.

It's getting difficult to not only budget other food we need, but to even find what we need.  Daughter E cannot find her cat's cat food anywhere.  I could not either.  She had to try a different brand and mix it with his usual.  Hope he's okay with it.  He's older. 

I needed some shout for the laundry.  I could not find that either.  I had to search around and found a different brand.

Some how, I misplaced my bulk bag of bay leaves.  I think they got lost when we tore out half the kitchen.  Anyway, I asked my husband to bring home a small jar for now.

He paid $12.49 for this!!!

The tomatoes are rolling in daily, so I apologize for blurps in blog posting right now.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Canning Continues

 I've been busy with tomatoes, and more are turning red now.  It's been a strange season.  The squash didn't produce a lot, and is now ready to get yanked.  Same with the cucumbers and green beans.

Some tomatoes are splitting open, and some rotting due to the weather we are having.  Not sure how much we will get this year.

Took advantage of needing jalapenos in the recipe, and saved seeds for next year.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Pickled Jalapenos ~ Freezing Jalapenos ~ Color Wheel

New recipe this year - pickled/canned jalapenos.  It not only eliminates the sugar, but the high priced pectin I use for cowboy candy.  I am sure we'll like it, and it cans so quickly.

I also froze a large pan of sliced jalapenos for meals over winter.  Tomatoes are slow to turn all at once.  Sort of frustrating, so I brought some in to turn red inside.  We'll see what gets canned next.

I finally bought myself a color wheel.  It will come in handy crocheting blankets to use up some yarn stash.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Putting up Tomatoes ~ Loofah


Tomato soup and ketchup canned so far.  I brought in more tomatoes.

I also brought in another pound of jalapenos, so I'm putting those up today.  I brought in a few more hot banana peppers, but all of the other types are slow to harvest this year.

My kitchen heated up to much, so the AC went back on.  I was literally sweating.  I didn't want to do that, but I do like to be comfortable.

Canning ketchup takes all day to reduce, but I managed to put chicken in the crockpot early, and right after the ketchup came out of the canner, I baked us some bell pepper fries with homemade dip.  So good!

My loofah plant is about 3 1/2 feet tall now.  I don't see any sponges yet.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Foggy Morning

 It's still been great being able to open windows, but today it will reach the 80's.  The garden will love it, but the tomatoes are starting to die already, and before all the tomatoes have turned red.  They are so far behind this year.  I may be bringing in green tomatoes to ripen inside.  Time will tell.

The to-do list continues, but today I will need to spot clean carpet upstairs in preparation to move stuff up there and out of the living room.  I'm so not ready for this, but it must be done.

My husband stopped by the free fair on his way home, to pick up my favorite French waffles. They had zero.  In fact, they had 3 food trucks and they were not even open (and no waffles).  Many food trucks went out of business in 2020.

I'll be checking tomatoes today again.  Tomato days in the kitchen are long days. Thank goodness for crock pots and leftovers.  

In between all the canning right now, I got on the computer and ordered us new keyfobs for the truck.  The hotel never called saying someone turned in our lost keys.  The other keyfob stopped working.  

I also booked some camping trips.  I'm am hoping we don't have rainy weekends if it all works out.  We still have to get a new fresh water cap, because we lost that too.  Not sure how, but it's not on the camper anymore.

My computer area in the kitchen has become my "craft" area.  I try and get a few small items made while reducing tomatoes on the stove.  My husband keeps making jokes about my yarn supply, so I'm trying to use up small stash right now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Canning Day ~ Leftover night

It's another canning day today.  The paste tomatoes are rolling in and I have 38# in my kitchen.  

Looks like we get to enjoy leftovers again tonight.  I made a sheet pan chicken fajita dinner and it I am loving it.  Sheet pan dinners are quick and meat and veggies, and less dishes to wash.  Work is buying lunch for the employees, so I only had to pack breakfast for my husband.

Breakfast was thrown together with what I had - zucchini, onion, garlic, eggs, tomatoes and fresh basil from the herb garden.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Happy Homemaker Monday

We took advantage of a rainy day, and got work done inside Sunday.  I guess we'll be looking at new kitchen faucets soon.  We took it apart, blew air threw the lines, soaked parts in CLR, and we still have no water pressure in the kitchen faucet.  Sprayer works great, but not the faucet.

We finally installed the new kitchen island light.  It's been sitting in the garage for two months.  It was a lot of work, as we had to move the wires from one area to another, cut a new hole, etc.  I'll have to wait for him to patch the old hole before I can paint, but I love it.  The old light never matched the kitchen and never turned on.  It had those long florescent bulbs an looked like it was installed as a used light. Anyway, it's up and my kitchen is bright!

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I'll link later after she posts.  My morning is a busy one today.

The weather . . . the 80's all week, but once again a rainy weekend ahead.

As I look outside my window . . .

Morning doves are pretty noisy this morning, and our hummingbird is busy with our flowering bushes.  There is a layer of fog out there, and it's a bit warmer than the weekend was.

Right now I am . . .

Brewing coffee.

Thinking and pondering . . .

Possible camping trip.  I'll be working on that soon.

How I am feeling . . .

Tired, but ready to tackle the day.

On the breakfast plate . . .

Coffee and toast until I get a casserole baked.

What I am wearing . . .

T-shirt, sweatpants and slippers.

On the reading pile  . . .

My canning recipes.  Just checking to make sure I have all the ingredients.

On my TV this week . . .

Anything that looks good.

On the menu . . .

-Fajitas, baked bell pepper fries
-BBQ chicken, green beans

Looking around the house . . .

I'll be working in the living room, so we can get that project started next.

To do list for the week . . .

-clean kitchen
-check garden
-bake a breakfast
-order new keyfobs for the truck
-shampoo carpet upstairs
-put trash out
-run dishwasher

From the camera . . .

Here are the cute wine glasses with lemons on them I found.  They match the lemonade wine cocktail bottles, and everything is citrus themed in the silent auction basket I put together.

Devotional/prayers . . .

Prayers for 6 puppies that were picked up by a rescue transit company in TX.  After one person dropped them off to another transit company, they were lost (last co. says they are all dead), but prayers they find them.  Also, there are 18 people in the county we live in, that have E. coli.  They have not found the source yet.


Sunday, August 14, 2022

Play Day!

 It's a no picture post today.  Saturday we took off on the motorcycle for a ride.  We first went out for breakfast, followed by scheduled hair cuts with Daughter E.  I also got a treatment and french braids.

Shortly after that however, rain arrived (when it wasn't supposed to until evening).

It changed our plans, so we hopped in the truck, took another load of donations and dropped them off, picked up a big bag of meal worms for the ladies (chickens), and I picked up some very cute wine glasses to go into a silent auction basket I am donating.  I'll get a photo hopefully to share.  

I can't say the entire day was "fun" but we were not working in the garden or the house either.  It was nice to have a day off, so it's back to work in the house today.

The rain is still falling, but a slow and steady kind.   The garden will love it, but the weeds will double.

First thing this morning - clean my kitchen.  It's a bit out of control again, plus I am bringing in paste tomatoes, so canning will resume this next week.  Hubby will take apart my kitchen faucet and see what's going on with it.  We still have almost no water pressure ever since the water was turned off to repair the bathroom.

Well, at least I can cross "hair cut" off the to-do list and get back to it.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Total Melt Down ~ Garden Updates

I had a total melt down the other night.  I'm missing Mom in the worst way, and it came out of no where.  I think I know why.  These items are haunting me I swear.  The top belonged to Dad and the bag was Mom's.  I  have handled both twice, and they were Daughter K's last.  If I had her address, I'd box these suckers up and write a note "no take backs" on it.  I do not have her address, and she lives one hour away. 

I put the last of her stuff by the road with a free sign.  People took her stuff, but not these, and our guy came to mow, so I had to take it out of the yard.  I just can't find homes for either.  Mom didn't want her belongings to go to Goodwill.  We have one place I could take both, but it's a drive.  The shells are falling off the bag, and there is melted candy inside it (part of Mom's story behind the bag).  I just can't get myself to throw it out.   I have a tote with some things for her, so they are going in there for now.

The tomatoes are turning red, the bell peppers are starting to get harvested, and we are still getting squash.

I've already made yellow squash patties.   These are so good with sour cream on top.  My husband likes chopped jalapenos in his.

I brought in some goodies and more tomatoes.  The paste are turning red finally.  The recent heat kept them all green way too long.


Friday, August 12, 2022

Garden ~ Extreme Clean


We are still getting beans.  The green beans are doing much better than the wax beans.  I may change what I plant next spring.  Either way, it's way more than we got from last year's garden.

There was a possibility of rain, but we didn't get any.

The giant pile of donations has left my kitchen. There is one box left in the truck however.  So happy for that, so I resumed cleaning the last of the trash upstairs, vacuumed and pulled posters off the walls (yes they left them all over the upstairs, sigh).

I'm now ping-ponging from room to room, but progress continues.  The cooler mornings and evenings are a bit of a worry that summer is ending, and we still need to repair the living room floor.  

While waiting for the corn to cool, to freeze, I whipped up this cute set of hair clips for fall.

Daughter K was the inspiration.  I have only made one set, as I have the garden keeping me busy too, but so happy how cute they turned out.

What is your go-to dish to take to an outdoor potluck?  I'm coming up with the same ol' thing, and want to change it up a bit.  I am thinking of a cold pie, but wondered what your favorite is to take.