Pumpkin Seed Ornaments | Handmade Christmas Ornaments

A few years ago my relative gave my mom a christmas ornament made of seeds, they were the cutest thing ever! Now about 10 years later, I decided to remake them for Christmas gifts this year, I would have posted this sooner, however,they were gifts, I couldn’t! 🙂

Here is a picture of the final product:

Here are the supplies you will need to make them!

1. Dry pumpkin seeds
2. Something for the center, either a coffee bean, I used red peppercorns from bulk barn, or even another seed.
3. Ribbon to hang them
4. cardboard fro a cereal box or cardstock from your srabooking supplies.
5. Glue gun and glue sticks

Instructions
Here they are in image form:

1. First cut a circle out of paper.
2.  Glue the ribbon to the paper well!
3. start gluing an outer seeds, make sure to put the near the edge and glue them well
4. When starting the second layer, glue them in between the other seeds, put lots and lots of glue, no skimping:)
5. glue the center in and let dry!

I have also painted some and added glitter but I like the natural look the best:)

Autumn Spiced Buttery Caramels | Homemade Caramels | Valentines Day Gift

A few years ago I had some Autumn Spiced caramels from a store on etsy, there were autumn spiced with a fall, Christmas type flavor. After about 5 tries I got this recipe and it is AWESOME. Here are the instructions I use without a candy thermometer. This is a great Valentines Day Gift Idea.

Ingredients
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup and 2 tbls salted butter
1 cup of whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of white corn syrup

In a pot  add 1/4 tsp each of cloves, ginger and nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
about 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of whipping creme. (will try 3/4 of a cup next time for butter content) and heat on low-medium heat.
Grease a pan, I used to tinfoil a pan and butter it, but no longer, just directly in a pan works, but do not forget to butter it.

In a separate +pot add 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of white corn syrup and stir gently to mix then do not stir, put on medium heat, and boil to a golden brown, DO NOT STIR

As for testing the caramel use a glass of super ice cold water and test it often, you want a soft ball to form, I always get harder caramels then necessary, but still good. When done immediately pour into your greased pan and wait and hope!

Tortilla Recipe Homemade | Whole Wheat Tortilla Healthy

I love saving money and trying new things, attempted tortillas today, a healthy whole wheat tortilla and they turned out great!  I will never but tortillas again, it was super simple to make them! I am pretty sure you could just sub in all white flours if you prefer white.

Tortilla Ingredients
2 cups white flour
3 cups of whole wheat
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water
tsp salt

Directions with pictures
1. Measure out the 5 cups of flour  in a bowl and salt.
2. Take olive oil and rub into flour till it resembles crumbs.
3. Now boil some water in your microwave, and pour in and mix with a fork, keep mixing until forms a ball of dough, similar to playdough texture, then roll into golf balls.
 4. Put your dough balls into a container and cover with a moist towel for an hour!
 5. Now time to roll! hehe, take each dough ball and roll out as thin as you can with flour.

if you are fussy you can cut out perfect circles:)
6. Heat a non stick frying pan to medium heat, and fry on one side till bubbles start , then flip and watch, about 1 minute in total.

Bubbles!
7. let the cool and then store in an air tight container.
You can also freeze them if you do not think you will use them all:)

Birds Nest, Bird Saving, Bird Feeders Homemade, Just a lot of info about BIRDS!

New! Birds Nest Necklace! I will be selling these shortly! The eggs will be able to be different colors if you choose, what do you think? Cute eh?

Now this is an interesting story, my step-daughter and myself are the early birds, so we are usually up before the boys either watching tv, or baking or even cleaning. Maddy is always wanting to help me with anything I am doing <3. That morning Maddy asked me to go feed our live in ducks(they never leave our pond/yard here’s a youtube video of Riley Feeding them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4hwbQKHFNQ), I say sure, and about 2 min later she comes running in saying there is  a bird trapped in our garage she thinks, so  of course I grab my camera and run outside in my PJ’s and found this guy:

He was frantically trying to get out, slamming into the windows, even the doggie door(which is how I figure he got into the shed).  We had opened the big garage door at this point and were trying to shoo him out and he just couldn’t figure out which way to fly. I can imagine he was a tad scared considering the two huge monsters that just came in(lol ) so Maddy steps up to the plate, walks over to the window, pets the bird, takes two hands, scoops him up and lets him go out the garage door, it was almost like a Disney movie lol Maddy was freaking about it, and honestly, so was I. They say the early bird catches the worm, well in this case, the early risers catch the birds hehe.

Also as a side project this fall, we decided to make pinecone bird feeders, I think this one was Mike’s idea.

To make these just melt a bit of peanut butter and roll in bird seed, note, tie the string on first! 🙂

Small Batch Sweet Mustard Pickles | Mustard Stain Removal Counter top :)

First time making pickles Mistakes!
So for the first time ever, I made some Sweet Mustard Pickles!!!!!  This was my first time canning and boy, did I ever learn a lot! My biggest lessons:
1. A canning funnel is a must, or a funnel of sorts that will fit pickles!
2. Reg dollar store tongs(the tongs with the sharp edges pic) to get the jars out of hot water and the covers(the sharp edges help to get uder the covers that lay on the bottom of the pot), should be a must, those things were hot!
3. Mustard sauce will stain your counter, next time I will sit jars on a plate.
4. Mustard stains off the counter, plastic? Yep it will come off,  paper towel folded up and held over the top of the bleach bottle to wet, then wipe over the stain and gone! (then wash the counter afterwards good) My counter is the plastic kind.
5. Do not peel the cucumbers, jsut remove the seeds(or don’t)! I peeled my first batch thinking it would taste better.. WRONG lol They need the skin for the added crunch.

Overall they were edible, but here is the RIGHT recipe with detailed instructions for  beginner pickling! 🙂

Recipe Small Batch Sweet Mustard Pickles:

  • 2-3 large cucumbers not peeled but seeded and sliced
  • 1-2 cups cauliflower florets (1 small head washed and rinsed well)
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced(use rubber gloves to cut if you donot like the onion smell on your hands afterwards)
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt(not regular salt, apparently it makes a big difference)
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard(got spices at Bulk Barn in Yarmouth cheap!)
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 cups vinegar white or apple cider 5%
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. THE DAY BEFORE: Combine salt with  water, stirring until dissolved in a large container(they say to use non reactive but i really have no clue what that means? maybe not metal? but thats what I used? ok moving on! 🙂 ). Cut the ends off of each cucumber and cut in half. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds by dragging it down the middle of the cucumber half.  Cut into quaters and cut into thick slices. Place cucumbers, chopped up califlower and sliced and parted onions in the salted water.  Make sure vegetables are covered in the water, or dissolve a table spoon of salt in a few cups of water and pour over to have them covered.
    I use gloves for cutting up the onions because I hate the smell it leaves on my hands, then you dont ahve to wait days to get the onion smell off your hands! 🙂
  2. THE NEXT DAY: Get a large pot of  water and put jars and covers in the pot and start the boiling. You need to get your jars ready, you cannot over boil them so take your time!
  3. SOOO its been 24 hours! Drain the vegetables well, and rinse them well in cold water a few times, you want to get the salt taste off a little!
  4. In another pot, combine sugar, flour, mustard, celery seeds and tumeric in a large saucepan, stir these dry ingredients until well mixed. Mix in vinegar and water. (while stiring proceed to step 5!!)Then bring to to a boil over high heat stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  5. Remove hot jars(not covers, keep them boiling) from boiling water(with tongs) while the sauce is cooking. Stuff with just the veggies and sit aside uncovered(I used the funnel and a cup to get the veggies in)
  6. When the sauce is done, pour immediately into the jars(using the jar funnel again if you have one) watching the sauce sink and waiting for it to go through the veggies, take a butter knife to remove the bubbles!!!! 🙂
  7. After jars are full, remove covers(the tongs should get them out leave the water boiling), wipe rims with a damp cloth and using over mits or a dishtowel, put the covers on tightly and immediately return to the boiling water. NOTE: you may need to remove some of the water as the jars are now full!
  8. Process 10 minutes for pints (500 ml) jars and 15 minutes for quart (1 L) jars.
  9. Now take the jars out of the boiling water, I dump the water down the sink and grab the bottles with oven mitts.
  10. Wait for the popping!!!! To know the jars are sealed, you will hear the covers pop as they cool, this could take 2 minutes or 2 hours, but you can always check by pushing the cover to see if it moves.

These instructions are as detailed as I can remember to answer all the questions I had as this was my first time, my second time went much better this these few mistakes corrected!

Why make pickles? Well honestly to save money, it’s cheap, they make great gifts and I enjoy it! 🙂