Sometime over the last year a good friend convinced me that Amazon Prime was the way to go…. We would go for walks and she would tell me about all of the things she ordered on Amazon. I mean, I had shopped there before, but some of the things were items I never would have thought to check for. I decided to sign myself up for prime and over the course of my membership, I’ve ordered many things and also developed a real friendship with my UPS man. He knows all about my work at Sweet Clover, as often times he pulls up our driveway to find me out there painting. He drives by me running and waves and beeps at me. One day I was driving on my way to work and he flashed his lights and pulled over because he had a next day package he was about to deliver to my house so he figured it was important. You guys, he’s pretty much one of my best friends at this point. 😉 I have Amazon Prime to thank for this friendship. The past couple of weeks I’ve been honing in on my domestic side and ordered a bunch of items from Amazon to help me. Today I wanted to show you what I put in my Amazon cart and give you my thoughts on it all. (And yes, this post does contain affiliate links, but these are all items I purchased and just wanted to share with you!)
After attending Haven in Atlanta, we spent a couple days with my brother’s family. My sister in law Viri had a couple of great cookbooks that caught my eye. I thumbed through them and took note of the names so I could order when I arrived home.
When we arrived at their house, this cookbook was sitting on the island, and I have to admit I picked it up to say, “Really, Viri? You bought this one?” But then I flipped through and read some of the excerpts and it was actually quite humorous and the recipes looked delicious. Chrissy Teigen, the glamorous model and wife of John Legend has compiled a beautiful book filled with images of tasty goods as well as photos that poke fun at her own life. Viri and Dana (my brother) had made the dutch oven pancakes, and have since made a couple other recipes from the book and have been thrilled with all of them. We have yet to try anything from it, but the recipes that are calling my name are sweet chili and mustard-glazed salmon fillets, roasted tomato soup, and yellow cake baked oatmeal (totally healthy, right? I mean, it’s oatmeal, people!). We’re also growing our own Brussels sprouts this year, so this shaved Brussels sprouts with grapes and almonds is calling my name!I’ll be sure to let you know how the recipes pan out over here, but on Amazon it’s gotten great reviews. And one thing I know fur sure is that you can almost always “trust the people.” If I am on the fence about anything, I read the reviews.
Viri also had a book about canning, which is something I was planning to do as soon as we returned home from Atlanta. Our garden produced a great amount of tomatoes this year and I wanted to save those babies! Food in Jars is a great book for the beginner (me!) because it’s got lots of ways to can in smaller batches, which I find less intimidating and more likely to happen over here anyhow. I used the salsa recipe in this book, to jar our first salsa- only varying it by omitting the sugar, and using whatever tomatoes we had on hand. Our salsa combined sky reacher, green zebras, and regular garden variety tomatoes. In the past I’ve made fresh salsa, but now we’ll get to enjoy it months from now. As you can see from my collection of jars, I’ve been canning tomatoes to save for soups and sauces this winter as well. A friend of mine passed on his mother’s technique, so I followed the directions he sent me and didn’t use the book for that. (The green jars aren’t relish, but are our green zebras- my absolute favorite tomato variety.) Aside from recipes to be preserved and canned, this book offers some other items that can be saved in jars that would make great Christmas gifts, such as flavored sea salts, baking mixes, and more! I am headed to the farmer’s market this weekend and hope to find peaches and other goodies because I am on a roll and want to can all the things!
Last year I made the easiest applesauce with a food mill I purchased from Amazon as well. I had borrowed all of the other supplies from a friend but this year decided that I needed my own if this was going to become a habit.
I purchased this granite ware set for less than $40 and it has pretty much everything you need for simple canning. I’ve owned it for one week so far, and it’s already been used and abused several times.
Here it is being used in my kitchen earlier this week! The towels are there to set the scalding hot jars on, and in my case I needed another towel because homegirl filled up her pot too much which lead to water boiling over onto the stovetop. Whoops. Did I mention this was all new to me and I am learning as I go?
This year was the first year that we truly had a legitimate herb garden, and I wanted to make the most of it, and have fresh organic herbs straight from our own garden all year round. A dehydrator is the most efficient way to dry herbs hygienically and quickly. The Excalibur is the one that I really wanted and is supposed to be the “mac daddy” of all dehydrators. However, it wasn’t in my budget. I took to the amazon reviews, and also googled reviews online, and eventually settled on the Nesco Dehydrator which is a fraction of the cost. We had an abundance of basil, which is our favorite, so I spent time this week harvesting it, and trimming it to dry. I set the leaves on the trays and let the machine do its thing and dehydrate.
It took a little longer than anticipated but I think that’s because I had washed my basil leaves and they were still a little damp when I laid them down. I have so many more herbs to harvest and dry and will be working on that over the next few weeks! Once dry, they should be stored in a cool dark place and in a solid jar if possible. I had some clear glass jars available, so am using those, but storing them in a closed drawer.
And in exciting chicken news over here, all 5 of our hens are now laying! We collect 5 eggs each day, and were in need of somewhere to store them. Eggs that are fresh from the chicken do not need to be refrigerated and will stay fresh for a while, so I wanted something that would look nice in our kitchen. I love the ceramic egg storage containers and wanted one in aqua, but I know that in all practicality, an egg basket would be much easier to use. Emmy loves to check for eggs each day, so I needed something she could carry. I ordered this fun green egg basket and it sits on our island showing off our bounty. And I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious eggs from our own chickens are! Yum! My mother in law suggested I serve some of our homemade salsa on scrambled eggs, and I am thinking that just may be the Saturday breakfast menu over here this weekend.
And finally, just because I can’t have you thinking I am just a nerdy homemaker these days, I have to share some good reads with you, too. When I placed my order for all of these items, I also added a smutty young adult read, The Selection.I had just finished reading Red Queen, which I adored (SERIOUSLY- go get it!), and the sequel to that was only out in hardcover. I decided to wait for the paperback version and whet my appetite with something else. So this weekend I hope to dive into The Selection, all while my herbs are drying, of course. 😉
So while I am over here reading cheesy young adult books, shopping at the farmer’s market, canning, and drying herbs, what will you be up to this weekend? Just try to top my level of excitement if you can. (Pun intended… womp womp womp).