To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Time for Grippy Socks!

Any of you that have kids learning to walk or have ones that aren't so steady on their feet know the importance of owning socks that have grips underneath. I love the ankle socks that you see in the picture because they stay on the kids feet better than any other socks. The only problem is they don't make them with grips underneath. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was genius. I can't believe I never thought to do this. Our whole downstairs has wood flooring and the kids tend to slip and fall a lot. 

I happen to have a lot of fabric paint on hand so I got to work. I started simple, with dots, to get used to using the fabric paint. I'm not artistic so there would be no "batman logo" like the link showed but I thought they came out pretty cute. And now I know Jena won't slip around when she's wearing these socks. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Time for Canning Jar Storage

Please don't notice the set up of this
cupboard too much. It's a work in progress
as I figure out what to do with it!

I have been using mason jars for several years now to store food. I just love the look of mason jars and they're a practical way to store food, especially bulk items, which we do buy a lot of things in bulk. 

One day when I was browsing on Pinterest I saw this idea for storing loose leaf tea. I loved that the cover was spray painted in chalkboard paint and she had written the name of each type of tea on the lid. I thought, this system could work really well for me since I already use canning jars in this way. The other reason why I wanted to spray paint the covers is because I wanted them black. 

The blog where this idea came from did not mention where she was able to find chalkboard paint that you paint on with a paintbrush and I couldn't find any. I have only ever seen it in spray paint form so that's what I used since I had it on hand anyway. I will say this is not the easiest, cleanest or most efficient way of doing it. One I laid out all the lids and bands I started spray painting them (in a well ventilated room, like a garage with the door open). It took several coats to get the bands fully covered. Once they were dry I was able to put the lids back on the jars and start labeling. What I like about this is if I decide to use the jar for something different once it's emptied,I only have to erase the label and write it on again. I am really pleased with the look and am happy I tried this. It's a cute idea for gift giving too!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Time to make-over a trash can!


I have been wanting to do this project for a couple of years now. The trash can to the left is the trash can we use in our house. It's big and that's what I like about it. What I don't like about it is how ugly it is. I have been wanting to paint it but was worried about ruining it, knowing that if I did ruin it I would be stuck with it because my husband had told me NOT TO PAINT IT! :) He jokes with the kids that someday he's going to wake up painted because I paint everything.

Once my dad finished painting the cabinets (pretty cool aren't they?) I was determined to paint the trash can. I am happy to tell you that I am thrilled with the results!

To do this project, here's what you'll need:
1 galvanized metal trash can 
1 can self etching primer
1 can Rust-Oleum spray paint (you choose the color)

1. In order to paint any galvanized or stainless steel metal you first need to prime it with self etching primer so that the paint will adhere to it. I wasn't able to find this at any of our local hardware stores so I ordered from amazon and was able to get free shipping! 
2. Next you'll need to choose your color. I chose Rust-Oleum Gloss Protective Enamel in Regal Red. 
3. Wash your can well and make sure it's completely dry before you spray the can.
This is what it will look like
after 2 coats of primer
4.  Follow the instructions on the can of your primer. You will want to spray your can in a well ventilated room, like a garage with the door open or outside. This stuff is incredibly strong! You will want to put on at least 2 thin coats of the primer before using the paint. You only need to let it dry about 10 minutes between coats. Let it dry 24-hrs after you are finished spraying the can with the primer.
5. Now you can start spraying your can with the paint. Again, you want to be in a well ventilated room and spray on several thin coats. It took me about 4 coats to get it completely covered. Let it dry a few minutes between coats of paint. When it is fully painted and you are satisfied let it dry a day or two before using it. 

If you are really artistic, which I am not, you can really have some fun painting a design on it if you want to really customize it.
I'm so happy with the results. Not only does it look ten times better in the kitchen but it also cleans better. I bought an extra can of the same color to have on hand in case I need to do any touch-ups. I'm not sure how it is going to hold up to the every day abuse it will take but I'm hoping for the best! 

***If you noticed none of my canning jars have covers in the picture above, that's because I'm working on a project that I can't wait to share!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Time to find a GREAT deal!

It will come as no surprise when I say I love thrift stores! The chain ones can be good, I buy all the boys jeans at Savers because they are only $5 and are like new. They are going to put a hole in them 10 minutes later so I can't justify $20-30 for jeans for 5 kids. But my favorite thrift stores are the ones tucked away in a small corner of a town. That's where the best treasures are! Yesterday was a purging day. Phase one of our household purge: Books. So I took a load of books over to a little thrift store in town. I didn't plan on staying long, the kids were in the car with my dad, but on my way out I noticed a huge bin of Legos. I couldn't believe how much there was. I asked the guy how much he wanted for them and he said "$30". I know that is still considered a steal to anyone who buys Legos but for me I really didn't want them that badly. Then he said, "well I could let them go for $20". So I grabbed them. The crowning jewel of this set is the Lego pirate ship that came with it. My boys, Owen especially, are obsessed with ships of all kinds.
Oh yes, my little tom-boy
loves them too! 
I'm not thrilled to have so many Legos. I hate how small the pieces are and I don't like the fact that now we have thousands BUT with boys who are growing up you can't not have Legos so I am thankful that if I HAVE to have them, at least I got a steal!

My other great finds included: Two LL Bean fleece jackets for Noah and Owen for next year that look brand new for $2 each. I also scored a Polo winter jacket for Gabe for this year. The zipper broke on the one he had and I was really not wanting to buy him a new jacket but I was able to get one that looks like it was hardly worn for, again, $2. You just can't beat it. And by saving money like that I can now not feel guilty about getting my hair cut and colored!!! Everyone wins!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Time for Spaghetti Sauce

Growing up I only ever knew homemade spaghetti sauce. My Memere, Mom and Aunt all made their own. I don't remember having sauce from a jar but if we did it was never to put on spaghetti. Italian Spaghetti at our house meant a homemade sauce with meat and lots of veggies that simmered on the stove all day. I have come to a point now that I've made it so many times it's become my own. I have tweaked it over the years to get it just how Ben and I like it. So the recipe that follows is the basics, because so many have asked me for the recipe. The rest you'll have to add yourself as you try different things till you get it just the way you like it. 
The following is a recipe for a very large stock pot of sauce. This freezes very well so if you're going to make it, make a ton and then freeze it for meals later on in the months to follow. The recipe I make yields about 6 or 7 gallon size freezer bags with some left to eat for a meal the day you cook it. 
2 lbs lean ground beef
5 or 6 carrots, peeled and cut into medallions
2 medium onions, chopped
2 lg. green peppers, chopped
1 lg. package of fresh mushrooms, washed and cut in half
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed 
1/4 or less of olive oil. Enough to coat the bottom to cook the veggies in.
4 lg. (29 oz)cans of tomato sauce
4 lg. (29 oz)cans of crushed tomatoes
About 1/4 c of sugar. This is to taste so start by adding the sugar by tbs. until you get the taste you want.
2-3 Bay leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tomato paste
***You will need spices. This is the part that I can tell you what I use but not amounts. It's all to taste and I eyeball it, I don't measure. You can add or eliminate spices as you like. **
Crushed Red Pepper (Use sparingly. The sauce should have just a hint of the crushed red pepper. No one should be reaching for a glass of water when eating your sauce!)
Granulated Garlic

1. To start, wash & cut all your veggies, while you are cooking your ground beef. Once the beef is cooked through, remove from heat and set aside.  Heat oil in large stock pot and add the carrots first. Cook them on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Now add the green peppers and onions. Cook them for about 10 minutes.
3. Turn down heat a bit and add the mushrooms and garlic. Put salt & pepper to taste on all the veggies and stir them well. Let all the veggies saute together till the mushrooms and onions are cooked. Now you can add the ground beef to the veggies. On low heat simmer the mix, covered, for about 15 minutes. 
4. Now you are ready to add your cans of tomato sauce and crushed tomato. Once all the cans have been added stir well.
5. Now I add the sugar. As you get used to making the sauce you'll know exactly what you need but to start add sugar gradually and taste till you get the sweetness you want. Stir well after adding the sugar.
This is the second seasoning
6. Add the spices you want. I use a lot when I am making a huge recipe. The whole top of your sauce should be covered in seasonings. Stir it in well, taste to see what is lacking, and repeat. You WILL need to repeat, especially when making such a big sauce.

This is what it should look like
when it's done!
7. Taste the sauce again, make sure it's to your liking, and repeat as many times as you need. My advice is to start off slow. Add the spices in small quantities to start. Once you get used to it you'll be able to dump them on like I do but it's better to have too little and have to add then something than have too much that you can't take out. 
8. I very rarely need to use tomato paste but if you find your sauce is too watery, then add the paste. I use a small can of paste when I have frozen my sauce. When I am thawing it in a sauce pan I will add the can of paste to thicken it. 
9. Saute the sauce on low heat for as long as you wish. My memere, mom and aunt all simmer their sauce for the whole day. I don't do it for quite as long. Usually a couple hours. Stir the sauce often to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom. If it is lower your heat. 
10. Make sure your sauce has cooled completely before transferring to freezer bags if you plan to freeze some. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Time for Ultimate Cranberry Pudding Cake

A couple years ago, at a dinner we hosted, a friend brought this desert. It is the most amazing cake! I had forgotten about this recipe and found it at Christmas time so was able to make it for everyone. It's an easy recipe considering how rich and delicious this cake turns out! It is sure to be a hit.

Ingredients for Cake
6tbs butter
4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 (12oz) pkg. cranberries
2 C white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 C evaporated milk

Ingredients for sauce
1 C butter
2 C white sugar
1 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease & flour a 10" bundt pan. Mix together flour, baking powder & salt. Set aside. 
2. In a large bowl (I used my mixer) cream together 6 tbs butter & 2 C sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Take the flour mix you have set aside and add it to butter & sugar mixing alternately with the evaporated milk.
4. Stir in the cranberries.
5. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack & cool completely.

Make the sauce while cake is cooling.

1. In a sauce pan combine 1 C butter, 2 C sugar and the heavy cream. 
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
3. Once its boiling reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
5. Serve a slice of cake with a generous amount of sauce over it.

*You can make the sauce then refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. Heat the sauce in the microwave and stir very well till combined. Pour over cake warm.