I love three day weekends.  Something about that extra day where I feel I don’t have to be productive every minute of the weekend, because I have one more day to get stuff done.  This weekend was a perfect balance of rest, relaxation and productivity.

I think I told you our gas grill died.  RIP – you served us well these last 10+ years!  But I had a boat load of tomatoes I needed to char up for salsa, so Mr. Weber stood in.  Well, let me tell you, charring the tomatoes on the Weber took me about three times as long, but it was worth it.   These are only 3/4 of the tomatoes I got for $6.  The rest made a gallon of marinara sauce!

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I used my new totally deluxe canner.  Wow, what a breeze to can with that machine!  Clean jars went into the canner where they steam for 12 minutes.  You only use SIX CUPS of water in the canner.  After the 12 minutes are up, you take a jar out, fill it with salsa, put the lid on and put it back in – I could fit 4 pint jars at a time.  Then just hit the “salsa” button and it did all the work.  It only took 40 minutes to can the salsa, and then a green light comes on when it’s cooled off enough to open the lid.

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While I can’t do that many jars at a time, I love the fact that I don’t have to heat up the whole kitchen with the water bath method I usually used.  This will be put to good use!

I am sure most of you have seen Half Baked Harvest’s website.  She’s super creative, has the longest recipe titles which crack me up, and she’s doing what she loves.  She’s actually in the process of converting a barn on her families property into a totally deluxe kitchen/pantry/photo studio and will live in a bedroom above the studio.  #jealous

Well last week she posted a recipe for chipotle burgers with corn fritters.  While I knew Tony wouldn’t touch a chipotle burger to save his life, the corn fritters intrigued me.   It kind of reminded me of a kicked up hush puppy.  She pan fried hers, so I had to adapt her recipe a bit since I was using my deep fat fryer – I needed the batter to stick together a bit more so they would hold their shape once they hit the oil.  I also left out the jalapeno, but if you can handle the heat, I would add a seeded and diced jalapeno to the batter in a heart beat.  And of course, left out the green onions.   I added the panko bread crumbs to thicken the batter.


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Holy balls were these good.  With a bit of ranch dressing on the side for dipping – these were wonderful – and best of all – Tony loved them!  Crunchy on the outside, yet tender on the inside.  We seriously could have made a meal with these alone.  Thanks for the idea Tieghan!

We hung outside Saturday night – Tony indulges me with 80s music every once in a while – he pretty much hates 80s music, so I appreciate the gesture.  We also listened to a Doug Benson podcast.  Love his smile!

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I ended up running a bunch of errands on Sunday.  I had to laugh at this product.  One, because I almost bought it and two, well, isn’t everything better with bacon?!

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My Mom came over yesterday.  I try to make things for her that she wouldn’t normally cook for herself since she lives by herself.  I know she loves ribs, so that was easy.  I ended up making a kick ass baked bean side dish – recipe to come later this week.  We ended up hitting up my local grocery store to see if my Mom could score some tomatoes off the $1 rack – it was full of eggplant – gross!  But we lucked out because they had VINE ripened tomatoes for .39 cents a pound!  She bought 5 pounds of tomatoes and 5 years of corn and her total bill was $2.39!

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That’s the picture I sent to my brother (check out his latest post on beloved Ramen noodles) and sister, reminding them that our Mom was spending another holiday with her favorite child.  Not the most appealing dinner plate I’ve ever put together, but it was super tasty!

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And then Mom and I brought wine out and Scrabble and played a quick game before she headed back home.  For the record, I won! (by 68 points, but who’s counting?!)  My Mom is actually an awesome Scrabble player, I just lucked out with the letters.

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Remember last week when I showed you hot peppers an old friend sent me from his garden?


Well I forgot to buy jalapenos at the store, but decided to use these peppers for my salsa.  I had tried pretty much all of them, but decided to take a bit out of the two bigger ones on the right hand side.  Holy shit.  I have never tasted anything so hot in all my life.  My face got red, I started sweating, I couldn’t stop making saliva – it was awful.  Swigs of milk did absolutely nothing.  I ended up slathering my tongue in Chobani to cool down the heat.  About an HOUR later my mouth was almost back to normal – I went on Facebook and told the story to my friend, wherein he informed me that those two peppers are in fact Naga Jolokia or aka “ghost” peppers – only the hottest pepper known to man.  Check out where it sits on this chart – 1,000,000 scoville units!  I can eat jalapenos like apples, so this will tell you how hot those were – I actually threw them out – even if I took out the seeds, it would still be way too hot for me.  Lesson learned!


What was the highlight of your weekend?  Me – hanging out with Tony and having my Mom over.  Tonight I am having dinner out with Hannah and my Mom – Hannah had to work all weekend.   We are going to Wok N Fire – I think I am going to get their thai red curry tofu stirfry – its so good!  And maybe my body could use some vegetables – they were lacking a bit this weekend.

And thanks to everyone who commented, sent me emails, posted on Facebook or Instagram about my trip to New York.  And I don’t have any details yet of exactly where it is, or if it will be televised or anything – I’ll keep you posted!  Make it a great day!