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Showing posts from August, 2011

Yellow Pear Tomato Jam (Plus Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe)

This is my first year growing yellow pear tomatoes and I have a bajillion of them! These little tomatoes are only a couple inches long and have a nice golden color.  They are less acidic than red tomatoes, which gives them a more mellow, sweeter taste.  They have been very prolific in my garden this year, producing far more than any of our other tomato varieties.  They make a nice addition to salsas and look pretty in salads.  I also dehydrated a batch and packed them in olive oil, and am looking forward to using them. My latest culinary creation utilizing my abundance of yellow pear tomatoes was jam.  Now, at first when you hear "tomato jam," it may sound weird, and even kinda gross.  But trust me, this jam is anything but gross!  It somewhat reminds me of sweet and sour sauce, and it's got a little bit of spice to it, which I find to be absolutely delicious.  You can use this jam as a topping for toast or biscuits, poured on cream cheese as a cracker spread, or

How to Make Infused Oils

Infusing dried herbs and spices in oil is a great way to preserve their therapeutic and aromatic properties.  Infused oils can be used in the kitchen and will add extra flavor to your recipe.  They can also be used for medicinal purposes, for beauty, and even to clean. Before you begin making an oil infusion, you will need to decide which herbs or spices you would like to use.  Following is a list of various herbs and spices that I have infused in the past, along with a short description of what I use them for: Calendula (aka Pot Marigold) ( Calendula officinalis ):   The dried flower of this plant makes a skin-soothing infused oil that can be used for dry skin, bug bites, rashes, and a myriad of other skin irritations.  In a past blog, I describe the procedure for making a skin soothing salve out of Calendula flowers. Catnip ( Nepeta Cataria ):   Catnip infused oil can be rubbed onto the skin for a mosquito repellent.  But beware if you have cats!  They may try to latch onto


It's been rain, rain, rain around here!  The garden is getting squishy! But at least the cucumbers are loving it.  I found a bunch yesterday that I didn't even know were growing. And, as you can see, I've got one lonely roma tomato ripening.  Have a great Wednesday!

How to Use Homemade Rose Water

In my last post , I described how to make your own "steam distilled" rose water.  In this post, I will suggest a few ways to use your rose water now that you have made a batch.  Rose water is great for the skin, so it has a variety of uses for skin care; rose water is also useful for hair care, and even has culinary uses. Using Rose Water for Skin Care Toner My favorite use for rose water is as a skin toner.  Rose water will help to improve your skin's tone and texture.  After I cleanse my skin with a mild soap or my oatmeal cleanser , I like to follow up with rose water as a toner.  Dab a cotton ball into the rose water, and apply it to your face, using short, upward strokes; do not rinse it off.  You can also get a little more creative if you'd like, and mix the rosewater with a splash of witch hazel or vodka.  This will create a mild astringent helpful for removing any dirt your cleanser may have missed and tightening pores. Help for Skin Irritations Sun