Margarita & Strawberry Daiquiri Jam

Ok…so last night while the pizza was in the oven and I had the Monday Night Football pre-game show on…and a margarita on the rocks in hand ~ I made up the last two jams I had started on Sunday. Let me tell ya…one should probably wait to drink the margarita until after the canning process is in the water bath stage, especially one made by myself. 🙄

Anyhoo ~ the recipes used asked for liquid pectin and I’ve never used that before. So I was a little disheartened when I took the jars out of the water bath and the jams were still very runny looking. 😥 The only thing that made me feel better was the wonderful sound of canning lids tinging and binging away in the kitchen.

This morning as I stumbled to the kitchen to feed the cats I picked up the jars and looked at them…after focusing my eyes I noticed they jelled up…into a gooey gelatinous goopy glop. In other words…kid snot or that slime from that 80’s show You Can’t Do That On Television. 😮 I set it back down and thought I’d better go take a shower first, maybe it’ll look better then. After the shower the verdict was still out…although it didn’t look as bad as it did at 4:30 a.m. in the morning. I’m not sure I like the liquid pectin. I’ll check again after I get home from work. I must say they both smelled great and the licker was very tasty!

UPDATE: Margarita Jam definitely jelled…looks like jello. Strawberry Daiquiri is more jam like.

Jam on the left is the Strawberry Daiquiri and the one on the right is the Margarita Jam.

The Strawberry Daiquiri has crushed strawberries, crushed pineapple, rum, fresh lime juice, sugar and liquid pectin. The Margarita Jam has fresh lime juice, lime zest, tequila, triple sec, water, sugar, and liquid pectin. My margarita was made in my Guinness pint glass with ice, 1/3 full of tequila, margarita mix, a splash of fresh lime juice and a slice of lime…with salt. 😀

Both recipes came from 175 Best Jams, Jellies, and Marmalades by Linda J. Amendt, one of two books I bought earlier in the year when I put my garden in. The other is Canning & Preserving for Dummies ~ GREAT Dill Pickle recipe and Jalapeno Pepper jelly recipe in that one.

Weekend Ramblings ~ jams, knotting, and a movie

While my husband was down in Carson City helping some friends move, I pulled out the mangos and jalapenos for a jam session! 😉

OMGosh! I made some AWESOME jam, if I say so myself!

I peeled and cut up 8 large mangos; roasted, peeled and diced 10 jalapenos (both green and red, wanted some color) and 2 Hatch green chiles; added some sugar and pectin and boiled away. I got 9 half-pint jars out of the batch with 1/2 cup leftover that I devoured with some Wheat Thins.

Here is the makings for my next batch of jam ~ Margarita Jam! I’ll have to have a shot for good luck. 8)

Smashed 5-1/2 cups of strawberries for another batch of jam I have planned ~ Strawberry Daiquiri jam. Need to get a small bottle of rum for that one. Don’t drink rum, so I do not have any on hand in the house.

I finished the shark’s tooth necklace and started in on another necklace for the other kiddo. Not sure who is getting which one, so I made them both beach themed. I had a 1″ round handmade bead (I can’t remember who made it! I think it’s off of etsy) with a sea turtle…so I knotted 20-pound hemp into a spiral necklace.

Finally saw Wall-E that was showing at the Grand Sierra ($3 movies) yesterday afternoon. I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who was tearing up over that silly little animated robot when he didn’t recognize Eve at first. Sheesh. And I absolutely loved the wee cleaning robot! LOL!

For Today ~ 29 September 2008 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 29 September 2008

Outside My Window…Was pretty dark when I got to work this morning…the sky is orange now with Canada Geese flying in formation…plane contrails criss-crossing the sky..the sun is just hitting the dark grey clouds giving them a red gold lining.

I am thinking… I don’t want to be at work today! I’ve the makings for two batches of jam made up in the frig. DA BILLS! 4-0! Go figure! Hee! 😀 Wonder how many people will be at the Obama/Biden rally on campus tomorrow morning. Glad the Harley Davidsons are all going home (Street Vibrations)…was hard to get to sleep with them revving the engines all night long. Men and their toys…sheesh.

I am thankful for… That we can still make ends meet and pay our bills and still give out cans of food when kiddos come to the door collecting for the needier.

From the kitchen… – JAM! JAM! LIMES. STRAWBERRIES…and some rum and some tequila, and some triple sec…Hee! Am going to make Margarita Jam and Strawberry Daiquiri Jam tonight. I juiced & zest 8 limes for the Margarita jam last night. Sliced and crushed 5-1/2 cups of strawberries. Will pick up a take-n-bake pizza from Papa Murphy’s on the way home…start in on the jams…and listen to Monday Night Football. This Monday is looking to be a very good Monday, indeed!

I am wearing… My brown/white sundress with berks again. Hair up in a ponytail.

I am creating… I made curtains for one of the big windows upstairs (104×58)…we went to Savers yesterday and I found a really nice muslin colored king size sheet for $4 and a pretty queen size sheet (sorta sage green with spicy mustard yellow fleur-de-lys design on it) also for $4. I used the queen sheet to cut out ruffles for the king sheets. Turned out nice for $8.

I am going… …have to get up in a minute and add more paper to the copy machine, class lecture notes are being run and I’m pretty sure it’ll be empty soon.

I am reading… The Twilight series ~ almost finished with the third book.

I am hoping… that the temporary job my husband is working will take him on full-time.

I am hearing… The copy machine and NPR News on my computer.

Around the house… I’m cleaning out one room at a time. I just finished the icebox room (our house was built in 1915 with an ice cold room…has a 10″ thick door) which houses our laundry and my soap making supplies. I’ve down-sized my supplies and it now houses a PANTRY! Imagine that. I’ve room for my canning and other staples. 🙂

One of my favorite things… Watching geese fly in formation.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Never did get the quilt sandwiched. Big sigh. Guess I’ll keep that on my list to do.

Here is picture thought I’d share with you… My front door yesterday.


The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook will take place each Monday.

Here’s how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideasI have listed below onto your blog. Be as descriptive as you can! This makes it more interesting to your readers. (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook.)

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Hmmmm…Was it just me or

was McCain afraid (or more disrespectful, is more like it) to look at Obama tonight?  What’s up with that?  Not once did he look at Obama. He’s stuck on surge and that’s it…it was just awful. Very painful to listen to. 

Once again, as stated before…this registered Republican will be voting for Obama in our early elections here in Nevada.

For all of you in the Reno area…Obama and Biden will be at UNR in the Quad September 30th at 8am.

Barack Obama in Reno
Please join us Tuesday, September 30th, for a rally with Barack Obama in Reno:

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89557

Tuesday, September 30th
Doors Open: 8:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP using the form to the right.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Recipes ~ Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last night I tried a couple of recipes ~ one of Rocco DiSpirito's recipes from the Biggest Loser.

Grilled Chicken with Warm Mango Salsa.

Click on above for the recipe ~ and below are my adaptations.

Instead of chicken thighs (which I don’t like) I used 4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts. I don’t know what nu-salt is, so I didn’t use salt at all. I peppered the crap out the breasts and then bbq’d them.

Then for the Mango Salsa I used 3/4 of a large red onion, 3 Roma tomatoes, 2 roasted Hatch Green Chiles, 1 large mango, juice and zest of 3 limes, and 1 cup of cilantro.

I only used 2 of the chicken breasts as there are only 2 of us ~ cut them up in strips and piled it onto our plates with the Mango Salsa and served with warm corn tortillas. Both my husband and I LOVED IT! Very tasty!

Leftovers will be used in a salad tonight…will use romaine and spinach and slice the rest of the chicken with mango salsa on top.


Next was Dutchess' Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I love, love, love Pumpkin ~ so had to try this recipe when Dutchess posted it on her blog.

If you click on the link above, that will take you to her recipe. I added 1/2 cup more pumpkin and 1/4 cup more flour…didn’t have almond extract for some reason (must pick some up as I’ll need it this autumn) so I upped the vanilla. And used pecans instead of walnuts (walnuts hurt my mouth…and pecans taste better!). The chocolate chips I used were Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips.


I didn’t know if the cookies spread while baking so I placed them far apart on the cookie tin. FYI ~ they don’t! Pack ’em on that cookie sheet! 😀

Very good cookies! I highly recommend them!

Drying Herbs and Pepper Seeds from the Garden

Well…I putzed out front for the first time in a while ~ pulling weeds and looking at the flowers when lo and behold! When the heck did that Italian Parsley plant get so big?! Holy Moly!

I cut a lot off of it ~ brought a grocery bag full of it to work and hung three bags up to dry. I also cut back my Thyme plant to hang for drying. Basil will be hanging up there pretty soon too.

I’m very happy with how my peppers have be growing in the garden so I’ve cut open a few to harvest their seeds. Also cut open the last of my New Mexican Hatch chile peppers so I can grow them next spring. Along with a pumpkin that grew faster than the rest…

My dad came up last month with a box full of stuffus…inside were 3 boxes of these great little jars. I’m using them to store all my dried herbs and seeds. Below is what I dried last month just to see if it would turn out…

Portola Railroad Museum

I won’t bore you will all of my pictures…here are a sampling of them. I did not know that there were pirates running amok at the rail yard! 🙂 And while hopping from one caboose to another I glanced back at the snow blower and saw the US Flag flying in the the window.

The Feather River Canyon Highway 70 in Plumas County

Over the weekend we drove to Chico (tour the Sierra Nevada Brewery) and then drove back home through the Feather River Canyon on 70. Was a beautiful weekend, not too hot ~ here are a bunch of pictures of the canyon. Our last stop before home was Portola…we like their little park across the street from the library. Ate lunch there and then went to the railroad museum.

Here are a few pictures of Quincy, Ca buildings. I have a bunch of the Portola Railroad Museum, but will put those on another post.

For Today ~ 22 September 2008 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 22 September 2008

Outside My Window…A beautiful Chilly morning. The air smells wonderful. I wish it would stay this cool (46F) all day long, but it will climb into the 80’s and the high 80’s this week.

I am thinking…I really like the Chico, Ca area. Really liked the pecan orchards in Live Oak, Ca. Wishing I was still in the Feather River Canyon taking pictures of all the train trestles and bridges. Very cool. Did you know you can drive to Chico from Sparks, NV (take 80 west, up to Yuba City then to Chico) then back down towards Oroville area to catch 70 back through Quincy, Portola, to Sparks on one tank of gas?! 🙂 We drove 400 miles and I still have a quarter of a tank. Here is my mind scattering again…da Bills! My guys barely won…1 point! 🙂 And that Aaron Rodgers of the Packers is one cute kid.

I am thankful for… That the temporary job will last 3 more weeks for my husband.

From the kitchen… – nothing much…the dishes are washed. I threw together a whole wheat pasta dish last night with turkey sausage and veggies from my garden. I may stop by Raley’s on the way home and pick something up for dinner tonight…Monday Night Football will be on.

I am wearing… jeans! Haven’t had those on in a long time! 🙂 Berks and a brown t-shirt.

I am creating… a new ipod list…need to update my playlist.

I am going… …think about taking the afternoon off. I’m real tired from our weekend trip to Chico.

I am reading… The Twilight series ~ I’ve just started the third book. Didn’t get a lot of reading done over the weekend.

I am hoping… that the temporary job my husband is working will take him on full-time.

I am hearing… The hum of the chillers…and me typing. That’s it.

Around the house… The boys (Max and Leo) were very happy to see us come home and the jays were too.

One of my favorite things… Fall…Autumn…crisp cool mornings and nights. Trees changing colors. Critters scampering around looking for winter food.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… same as last week: sandwich the Underground Railroad quilt together and pin-baste it. Cut out some blocks of the Dear Jane quilt so I can start hand-appliquéing.

Here is picture thought I’d share with you… FEATHER RIVER CANYON


The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook will take place each Monday.

Here’s how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideasI have listed below onto your blog. Be as descriptive as you can! This makes it more interesting to your readers. (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook.)

2. Copy the “permalink” from your “The Simple Woman’s Daybook” post, not the link to the front page of your blog. This will make it much easier for others to find instead of looking through the entire list of entries at your blog for your “daybook”. This will save time for all of us.

3. Come back here and add your permalink to Mister Linky.

Some Favorite Recipes ~ All Desserts

I think today I’m just going to share a couple of my favorite dessert recipes ~ some family ones and others are ones I’ve found and adapted to my own tastes.

Picture taken off of the Reno Gazette Journal a couple of years ago…this is looking at Slide Mountain/Mt. Rose from Pleasant Valley.

After Blaze talked about eating Elephant Ears at the fair it got me thinking about my Grandma Stickles recipe for Knee Patches (same thing as Elephant Ears). My dad said the recipe came from a neighbor when he was little, a Mrs. Raurseyer (I think that is how it was spelled). Not sure if it’s from Minnesota or when they moved to Southern California. Anyhoo…here is the recipe:

KNOE BLATZA (Knee Patches)

4 eggs well beaten (about 5 minutes)
6 TBSP sour cream
1 lb flour (4 C. sifted)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Mix all together like bread dough. Keep in refrig for 2 or 3 hours. Roll Thin!, then stretch.*** Fry in deep shortening (crisco or other vegetable shortening).

***I use a dish towel over my knee and stretch as thin as possible. Paper thin! Then instead of making big ole elephant ear sizes, I cut into 5″-6″ pieces with a knife then throw them into the oil. Then I sprinkle with either sugar, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.

These are best eaten within a day or two. So I’d keep the dough in the frig until you’re ready to eat them or give them away.

Caramelitas are a big favorite of mine…how can you go wrong with caramel, chocolate, pecans and oatmeal??!!!??? I first had these in college…I was in an archaeology class that met on weekends to go out and learn field methods. We took turns bringing breakfast and lunch…and beer. 🙂 I can’t remember her name…can still picture her though, petite blondish hair cut short with a braided rat-tail…she brought a pan full of these deliciously sinful bars.


2-1/4 C. flour, divided
2 C. quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 C. cold butter
1 pkg of semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans (I add a wee bit more)
1 jar of caramel ice cream topping

In a bowl combine 2 C flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. (I actually stick my butter in the microwave to soften it a bit) Set 1/2 aside for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Sprinkle on top the chocolate chips and pecans. Mix together the caramel topping with the remaining flour and then drizzle over the pecans. Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture over the caramel. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool for a couple of hours before cutting…or just take a spoon and dig in! 🙂

Here at work we always have a Halloween/Nevada Day/Fall Potluck ~ it’s usually me and one of the grad students from a different department that heads it up. I try to make something with pumpkin…pumpkin chili, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cobbler. The following is the Pumpkin Cobbler recipe:


3 eggs, beaten
15-oz can pumpkin
12-oz can evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1-1/4 C butter, melted
1 C chopped pecans (you can use whatever nuts you like)

Mix the first 8 ingredients together; pour into an ungreased 13x9x2 baking pan. Sprinkle cake mix over the top; drizzle with butter. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Top with nuts and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

We make these Ginger Cookies every Christmas…but I start making them in the fall. I just love ginger and cinnamon. These are really cool to wrap up with a tea cup/mug and tea for a present.


2/3 C Canola Oil
1 C sugar
1 egg
4 TBSP Molasses
2 C flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ginger
sugar for dipping

Mix oil with sugar, add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg/molasses mixture. Form balls ~ drop and roll in sugar. Bake in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes (depends on if you want them soft or crunchy…I like them sorta hard on the outside and chewy on the inside so I take them out around 10 minutes).