Saturday

Canning Jar Labels from Canning Crafts

Archived Post:

Now that I am exploring the world of canning, I thought I'd check to see what kind of fun things there were out there for my new-found love.

Thankfully, I came across Alison's Canning Crafts site on etsy.  Alison makes adorable labels for both regular and wide-mouth canning jars. She even customizes label art or creates new designs for specific canned goods.

When Alison first got started with her Canning Crafts business, she combined her gift in graphic design with her love for gardening and salsa making. She started to design her own canning labels because she ouldn't find anything unique enough to dress up her salsa that she was giving away for gifts. Her husband told her to just write on the lids with a Sharpie, but the artist in her couldn't do it! As a result, Canning Crafts was born.

I got to personally check out a few of Alison's labels...and I love them. I promptly put one of them on my jar of canned cherries that I made last weekend with a friend. They are self-adhesive and come in a sheet of 20 for $4 (that's .20 cents per jar for all my frugal friends out there! Not bad to add just the right touch of embellishment for a gift or even in your own home. I love to look at pretty things too, you know!)

I think these labels are such a great idea. Canning itself is new to me, but in the past I've given jars of homemade chocolate syrup and such away and it drove me nuts that I didn't have a quick, easy way to embellish the jar just a tad to make it gift-worthy. I've found my solution in Alison's labels. (Not that she has labels for chocolate sauce but she did send me a generic one that would work just fine!)

Here is a peak at a few of my favorite labels from her etsy shop.


























Here are some of the ones I get to use (plus the salsa recipe-thanks, Alison!)



And a few canning tips in general (can I even give tips since I'm new to it myself!!) But, from the little bit I've done this is what I've learned...If you're new to canning you might want to pick up a kit like this. It makes the process go much smoother!





Also, a good reference is the Ball Blue Book. This handy little book and I plan to get well-acquainted this summer!


Be sure to check with friends and relatives who don't can any more. They're probably more than happy to pass on their canning supplies to you. It will help get you started anyways.

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This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Preserving the Season's Bounty: Tomatoes




Archived Post:

I have found something that I really enjoy doing: canning salsa and stewed tomatoes! It's funny because growing up I never liked tomatoes in any form (except, ketchup of course...but that's a far cry from a tomato!).
However, over the last couple years I've branched out and started using canned tomatoes. I suppose that started as a result of a great Chicken Cacciatore recipe (I make my own version of Lipton Onion Soup now if you want the recipe) that my sister-in-law gave me. After falling in love with that recipe, I decided I really could eat stewed tomatoes after all! It was a baby step for me!

Then last year I decided that I wanted to learn how to can our own tomatoes. So this past spring, my husband planted our very own tomato plants. About 17 in fact!

Now, you still won't catch me eating a fresh tomato (unlike my dad who eats several each day in the summer!). However, I love stewed tomatoes and even better, in salsa (yes, it was this same sister-in-law who got me hooked on salsa too!)

As I mentioned in my cherries post, my friend Rachel gave me my first canning lesson. After that, I decided to try my hand at a salsa recipe given to me by Alison from Canning Crafts. I was still a little unsure of myself, so my Mom came over that first time to give me a few tips. I had such a fun time canning that day with my mom!.

I'm so glad I tried this salsa recipe. (Thanks, Alison!) It was super easy and really gave me a boost of confidence in canning. We eat a lot of salsa around here and I'm glad to have a homemade variety for cheaper than I can buy it at the store. Plus, I know what's in it!

I really like the salsa and my husband mentioned several times how much he liked it and that he thought it tasted professional! (What a nice compliment!)


So, if you want to give Alison's recipe a try, here it is:

Yummy Salsa
8 c. peeled, chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 c. onions, chopped
1 1/2 c. green peppers, chopped (I didn't have green, but used orange and yellow)
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
6 cloves, garlic, chopped (I used my Pampered Chef Garlic Press)
2 t. cumin
2 t. black pepper
2 T. canning salt (found in the canning section at the store)
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. white vinegar
15 oz. tomato sauce
15 oz. tomato paste
1/4 c. cilantro (optional)

Combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Put in hot water bath 15 minutes for pints, or 20 minutes for quarts. Recipe usually yields 8 pints.

It's a great recipe and an easy one to help you get your feet wet with canning. :)

Also, I should share a tip for getting the peals off of your tomatoes. (Something I did not know my first time around!). If you blanch your tomatoes, the peels will come right off!

Simply boil a big pot of water. While you're waiting for it to boil, prepare another large bowl of cold water and ice cubes. Once your pot is almost to a boil (not necessary to have a complete boil) carefully plop your tomatoes in. Wait about 30-60 seconds and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Place them quickly into the cold water. After a few seconds, take them out and place them on a clean towel until you can peel them. The skins will slip right off.

What are your favorite salsa recipes for canning?

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This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Monday

Tick Slayer Spray

I recently partnered with Aroma Foundry to bring you a review of their essential oil product line. After looking over the essential oils to choose from, I settled on the following oils: Citronella, Cedarwood, Mandarin, Tangerine and Fir. When I chose these oils, I wasn't thinking of anything in particular that I would use them for with the exception of the Citronella. I thought that one would be great to use in a beeswax candle or in my bug spray. The rest I chose because they were all scents that I hadn't used before.


However, a few weeks after I received my oils we found out that ticks were in our area. This was something that we NEVER had to deal with before and I've lived in the same area my entire life. 

Saturday

Writer's in Residence {A Comprehensive Language Arts Review}


If I had to choose one area of learning that I have found difficult to find good curriculum for over the years it would be writing. I have looked at or tried using several different approaches only to feel confused or I notice my children feeling burned out using it. When I discovered that Apologia had come out with a new writing program by Debra Bell called Writers in Residence I knew I wanted to give it a try because everything I have used from Apologia I love. In fact, we've been using their biblical worldview series and their Young Explorers science series for years.

Wednesday

Economics for Everybody: Applying Biblical Principles to Work, Wealth and the World {Review}




Our oldest is venturing into Junior High in the fall and while initially I thought it might be a bit daunting to homeschool a child that age, I'm actually finding it quite exciting! I'm a planner by nature so I usually start in January planning for the upcoming school year. That way I have plenty of time to pray for direction, gather ideas, ask questions from other homeschoolers and curriculum companies and pin lots and lots of ideas on Pinterest.

Homeschooling has been such a blessing to our family. We are truly thriving in it and all glory goes to our Heavenly Father for the strength, direction and help that He gives on a daily basis. I'm learning so much right along side our children and I feel as if I'm getting a second chance at childhood. 😊

Although there are plenty of challenges that come along with educating at home, there are tremendous blessings as well. I love the freedom to choose the curriculum that we want to use and that we get to do it on our own time table.
For example, I recently stumbled across this economics course that we will use with our oldest in the fall and it will count towards his high school economics credit.

With this course you can choose the workbook and DVD like we did or you can choose a digital or streaming option. Economics for Everybody covers 12 lessons. It can be used in churches and small groups, with middle and high school students or with families and individuals. The videos are conversational in nature but interesting and entertaining as well. In fact, when I sat down one day to go over the lessons, our four older children all sat down to watch the entire lesson with me. (*Take note, please, that Lessons 2, 7 and 11 do have some scenes that may be upsetting to a younger child. I'd suggest that you preview these ahead of time.)

R. C. Sproul Jr. wrote the study guide and hosted the DVD for this curriculum. He is the father of eight children and I love the approach he takes. The study guide is very thorough and establishes biblical principles for economics right form the start. The study is founded on the Word of God which I found to be very helpful in my own life as I studied the book. The DVD format is conversational as R. C. Sproul teaches. It also includes movie/video excerpts which can be an aid in learning. I love, love, love this curriculum. My suggestion would be that you do not wait until the end of high school for your child to take this course. It would be better, in my opinion, to do it early on so that as your child develops more independence in regards to money and has more earning potential that they have these biblical values already established in their heart and mind.

This curriculum is absolutely fantastic. In fact, I recommend that adults use it as a personal study of economic biblical principles as well. I have no doubt that it will impact any age that chooses to invest their time in a worthy manner such as this.

Facts You Should Know


  • Economics for Everybody is written by R. C. Sproul Jr. and is for ages 14+.
  • You can download two free lessons here if you want to try before you buy.
  • Economics for Everybody is currently on sale!
  • This course is available in several formats: DVD, Download, Streaming
  • It counts as 1/2 high school credit
  • Covers the following:
    • how economic freedom is directly related to religious freedom
    • examines the roles of trade, markets, money, and entrepreneurship
    • explores the differences between socialism, interventionism, and free markets
    • Explains how stewardship is at the heart of a healthy economic system

I'm incredibly grateful to have stumbled across this resource from Compass Classroom. They offer many resources for churches, families and students and even have a Free Resource section so be sure to check that out.


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Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. Stay connected so you don't miss a thing:

This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.
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