What I've Been Reading

Summer is here, and usually I take on the typical summer books, but while browsing through a clearance section at Kroger a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a book called, Fated: The Soul Seekers.
The synopsis didn’t provoke much excitement or curiosity from me, but I have been in this book slump for months and I really just needed to read something...anything…to get me back in my book groove.
I took the chance and bought it. Needless to say, the book did not disappoint.  

The first couple of chapters were a little slow, but it is all necessary material so that you can understand the rest of the book. Don’t worry though, it quickly became a page turner till the very end!  I was actually bummed when it ended because  I wanted more!  Luckily for me, this is a series and the next book will be released on November 13. 

Fated: The Soul Seekers By: Alyson Noel

Alright, now if you are rolling your eyes and groaning: not another teen drama book with creepy werewolves…, just stop right there.  It isn’t.  There are no werewolves, or vampires, or witches.  The book is good.  Plain and simple.  In fact, don’t be surprised when you see a movie trailer for it within the next year.  😉 


Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy. ~ taken from the books website.

Here is a 50 second video clip of the book trailer.  There are more videos on the Alyson Noel website.

Hot peppers?

As beginner gardeners, we have taken the learn as we go approach.  

So it was no surprise that when we finally saw our jalapeno peppers coming in–looking big, smooth, and shiny–we jumped the gun and picked a basket full of them.  The Bubbster even cooked them that same evening, making his favorite stuffed jalapenos only to find out that weren’t packing any heat.  
Have no fear though! We tried again…this time letting them age a couple of days before biting into one. 
Alas, it was still lacking the heat.  
And if you’re the type of person who enjoys mild peppers–ahem…me–then these peppers are great!  But if you’re the Bubbster, then mild peppers are considered flavorless and made for wimps.  
(Which is me.  I’m the wimp.)

Not wanting to be quitters, we decided to take another approach.  This time we waited longer to pick them.  And you know what weird thing happened?  A few of the peppers turned red…or grew red.  Whatever.  Either way, it had us scratching our heads.
But we continued to wait.
And wait.
And wait.
And guess what?  Our patience paid off.

But do you want to know how we knew?  It was actually pretty simple.  Once the peppers began getting these white streaks on them…like stretch marks from growing…then we picked them.  And they were hotter.  That’s our trick for knowing.  The more streaks there are = hotter pepper.  Ha! Who knew.  
Okay, a lot of people knew.  But I didn’t think to ask them so I had to figure it out for myself. 

Any way, here are some pictures of the peppers with the streaks on them, so now you can try and see if it works for your peppers.  
Sorry for the blurry pictures.  It wasn’t my best picture taking day with the iphone. 😉

Happy Picking.

The Sweet Taste Of A Peach

I really wanted to share these photos with you guys simply because I thought it was super cute to watch Scout taste his first peach, straight from the tree.  I tried making a gif, but I can’t seem to get it to work anymore so I’m just going to toss a bunch of pictures your way.
After I had picked the peach and handed it to him, he didn’t know what to do with it.  
He ended up carrying it around for a bit before sticking it in his mouth.  His first taste wasn’t so sweet; instead it was fuzzy.  (He only got the skin) 
But he persevered and tried it again, finally hitting the sweet stuff.
Hey! That was pretty tasty!
Hmmm…I think I’ll take another bite.

 and another…
 and another…
Now it’s just an addiction. 🙂

Mmm hmm.  I should have seen this coming. 

Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Most people will say their recipes are simple to make when boasting to their friends, but I really mean it when I say that this sauce is simple.  If you can operate a can opener and you know how to stir with a spoon, then you can make this sauce.  

Here’s what you need:

2 garlic clove (diced)
1 onion (diced, small)
2 cans of tomato halves
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 cans of tomato paste
1 large can of spaghetti sauce
1 t basil
1 t oregano
1 t parsley
1/4 t rosemary
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t Italian seasoning 
1 t marjoram
salt & pepper
Here is what you do with all of that:
Throw everything into a large pot except the herbs.  Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer.  Let it simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.  After one hour, get a potato masher and mash up the half tomatoes. Next, add your herbs and continue simmering for another thirty minutes or so.  
Now you have a fabulous pot of sauce that you can either can or use right away. ;D
Canning The Sauce

Fill your mason jars with the sauce and place the lids on them.
Place the jars into a water bath.  You will need to boil them for 40 minutes to 1 hour. 
Next you will take them out and let the jars cool completely without messing with them/lids.
After they have cooled, then check to make sure they have sealed by touching the top of the lids.  If it “pops”, then it did not seal and you will need to boil them again. ;D