Louisiana Bride

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Strawberry Fig Preserves

I've said I wanted to can for years, I even sat though a mini seminar on it at the Minister's Wives Retreat (Louisiana Baptist Association has a great one that a few of us went to in our youth minister days) about 4 years ago just dreaming of canning everything on Earth like the teacher was doing. 

I also grew up with a grandmother who canned and a good friend of mine's mother spent the summer canning. Plus my step mother-in-law is a major canner. 

So I had to join in, and I have to say no one has died of botulism yet and it tasted really good. 


This recipe was a combination of scavenaging off the internet, my mother telling me about my great grandmother's recipe, and remembering what I ate after standing on a ladder in a fig tree one summer.

It's crazy easy to make, if I can do it I promise that you can too.

All that to say, next summer I'm planting only tomatoes and cucumbers and canning my heart out.


Strawberry Fig Preserves


9 cups of masked figs (I used a combo of red and green, it's what was ripe)
9 cups of sugar
3 large boxes of Strawberry Jell-O

Directions:
Wash and stem figs in a sink full of water. Place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. To get a smaller size consider quartering them before mashing.

Place all ingredients in a large pot stirring often at medium high heat for 25 minutes. It is done when a liquid droplet will hang off the spoon.

Pour into sterile canning jars, top with hot sterile lids, and seal with canning rings. Process in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Depending on the altitude you live at you may need to adjust your time, Google it before starting.

We live in basically below sea level so I processed mine for 10 minutes.

After they are done remove the jars and place them seal down on a dishtowel for about 30 minutes to cool and make sure the hot liquid reaches the seal. After that turn them right side up and you'll start to hear popping.

In the event a jar doesn't seal you will need to use it up first, otherwise the rest can go into your pantry for a year.


Happy Canning!

Now if I can only get my hands on a ton of cucumbers and tomatoes this season! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Meal Pinning Monday

Is anyone else confused about what week it is? For days I've been convinced that today was the 4th of July.

It's possible that I just need to go back to sleep.

Also I think I cook in themes, these are basically all recipes from Candace Bure's book Reshaping It All. I read it years ago when it first came out but have kinda rediscovered it in this post baby I forgot how I use to eat limbo, in case you were wondering. 



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Turkey Tacos

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday - Grilled Chicken with Green Bean Salad

Thursday - Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs with Salad and Watermelon

Friday - Chopped Salad

Saturday - Eating Out

Sunday  - Lunch - White Chicken Chili

Dinner - Meatloaf with Roasted Potatoes with Brussel Sprouts

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Few Places to Eat in NOLA

If you follow me on IG or Snapchat you would have seen a bunch of photos from our little adventure in Nola this week. It was mainly to have a mini vacay and take the baby to the aquarium (post to come for grands) but it was also an excuse for the two of us to try a few restaurants that have opened up since we were in and out of Nola all the time. 


I tried to pick family friendly places, no one likes to be somewhere with a ticked off baby with nice dishes and table cloths. Some were friendlier than others, but I'll get to that later on as I discuss each restaurant. 


District Donuts has been on my list for quite some time, thanks Instagram! It definitely didn't disappoint. We got the Banana Split, Cookies & Cream, and their Chicken Biscuit. We both also got Nitro Coffee, it was interesting.

Hands down favorite donut was the Banana Split, but the Chicken Biscuit was pure heaven. I'm not he most committed coffee drinker, so the Nitro was fun but the taste wasn't my thing. It's basically iced coffee served the same way as beer, hence the nitrogen.

While we loved it, I have heard other people say they didn't like it. If you are a dozen hot glazed kinda person you probably won't like this. Then again every place I've been to with this type of gourmet donut doesn't serve them hot. They were fresh, just not piping hot. (The Chicken Biscuit was made to order though)


Yet another on the list of places to visit that we are just getting to is Hansen's, last year we intended to go but going out of town with a 5 month old tends to make you want to go home with no extra stops. 

They were the most amazing snow cones though, I got us both Cream of Nectar with Cream of Ice Cream. The guys making them said that was "classic" Hansen's, and it didn't disappoint. 

The baby sleeping in the car while I got these didn't disappoint either. 


If you've been to New Orleans and haven't been to Mother's you basically haven't lived.

The intent that morning was to actually go to Humble Bagel, but seeing that they were closed midweek (who does that?), Jeremy suggested we hit up a place we haven't been in a few years. I'm just not one to repeat restaurant often when we travel.

By the way if you go get the special, 2 eggs, grits, biscuit or toast (get the biscuit), and a meat option. I got the debris and Jeremy got the black ham. If you're interested in the notion of black ham, I've got a really good copy cat recipe right here<<<


Now for my favorite dinner, The Company Burger.

I found this place via the chef Jeremy and I worked for in college, well his IG account. If you're in Monroe ever check out Cotton, we haven't been yet but he was amazing when we worked for him at Sage.

So, Company Burger...

The burger was amazing, the pickles were so good I wanted to eat a bucket of them, and any place that serves ranch dusted pork rinds as a side has my vote for best place on the planet.

We ordered Harrison their Chicken Sliders, he ate those as well as half of my pork rinds.

Oh and they have a mayo bar.

All the heart eyes for that mayo bar.

I was so busy dipping bread from Harrison's sliders in the garlic mayo that he decided that was the thing to do as well. He "dipped" every bite he took in my pork rind dust, it was more of an action than getting any actual dip on something.



Next to the burgers, Slice was my second favorite meal. I don't know though, they just about tie, that salad was amazing. Plus the prices were great, I got a half salad for 6 and a slice of pizza for about 3 bucks. Aside from Company Burger this was high on the baby's list of favorites. 

On a scale of child friendly, this was really great. The bartender even happily let me park my stroller under the bar, it's a shot gun house style building, so there wasn't just a ton of room. 


If I'm being honest St. James Cheese Company was probably my least favorite restaurant. The food was great but we went to the one in the Warehouse District instead of the one closer to our B&B in Uptown. We were there during peek lunch hour and it was crazy busy, filled with obvious business lunches, and loud as could be. Because it was packed we ended up at a table for 2, which anyone with a baby knows is not ideal. They happened to come out with out plates when Jeremy was away from the table, before I got all of Harrison's stuff ready, and he was grabbing at the plates and carrying on. 

It actually took awhile to get a seat since it was so crowded and in that time standing around (no waiting area for such a time) we knocked over a drink into the cracker display while juggling a manic hungry toddler who wanted to walk around. It's not like we could even walk around outside, because well... Warehous District. 

Definitely go to the Uptown one if you have kids. 

The food was really good though. I would have enjoyed it more had we not been within baby reaching distance of the next table. He seriously tried to take food off the table next to us. Luckily I'll never see those people again. 


If I had to pick between Creole Creamery an Hansen's I have to say it wouldn't be possible. It was everything I dreamed it would be, I'm quite the ice cream junkie.

My mini sampler was Peanut Butter Fudge Pie, Cookie Monster, Petit Four, and Creole Cream Cheese. Jeremy had the PB Fudge Sundae. Harrison acted as scavenger, his primary role in all dessert situations.

I seriously loved this place, super family friendly, free street parking in that area, and tons of families were parking strollers right outside the shop.

.................................................................

Hopefully this gave someone an idea of somewhere to go in NOLA that isn't your typically hangouts. I for one am an Acme Oyster House lover but try to eat at new places when we are in town.

So I have to ask, what are some of your favorite places to eat in New Orleans? 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June Favorites

Today I'll be sharing a few of my favorite products I've either found or finally started using this June, I know we are still early in the month, but hey! 
I guess I'm not a big clothing shopper, I've tended towards beauty products and makeup since I was in high school. I would rather have less wrinkles when I'm older than have a new shirt. 

Maybe I'm weird. 

Back to the favorites...

#1 on the list is Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, I found this one at T.J. Maxx and was super disappointed that it was the only one. Especially after I looked on their website at what they charge for it, I paid half of that. 

On the upside, if you're willing to spend it, this worked better on me than any deodorant has ever worked on me. I'm not one of those delicate flowers either, I've tried everything on the market to keep from sweating and smelling. As I got older I gave up on the sweat blockers and just focused on smell. This seriously worked, I can't say that loud enough without being that person using caps lock. 

#2 is Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, I bought a bar as well as the Sid Suds to use for all purpose cleaning and mopping. I've been thinking about using this as body soap for a long time but the price of Bronner's is a bit high for me, I splurged on our laundry detergent but can't pay that for daily body use. I did run across Kirk's Coco Castile at Wal-Mart and will be buying that as our body wash as soon as we run out of Dove. 

Jeremy has been passing judgment on me though, the soap and deodorant combo has him saying I smell like a hippie health food store. The only health food store he ever went into with me happened to be the most hippie of all (the one run by Ina May Gaskin on The Farm), so he now thinks I smell like a hippie commune. 


#3 is another product I found at T.J. Maxx and it's Alba Botanica Mini Peel. I love this because it doesn't have all the extra chemical junk I can't name in it and it has great reviews. I've only used it twice, but my goal every summer is to clean out my skin after a school year of constant makeup. 

I talked about it on the blog years ago, but I have a no make-up on Saturday rule during the school year and a make-up only on Sunday rule during the summer. Expect for special occasions. 

Back to the face mask, it only takes 5 minutes and is way less messy than other products I use. Hence motivation to use it several times a week. 

#4 is a Konjac Sponge, the one I bought was for sensitive skin, but next time I will go for wrinkles or blemishes. There's just no reason a 30 year old should have hormonal acne. (like literally crying a river over this one & praying that once that last nursing session goes away and I'm not a dairy cow that my hormones will level back out.) 

I like that you can use this sponge with or without a face wash, I go between using nothing, castile soap, and lye soap. Also, it lasts 2-3 months. Just wash it out and hang to dry. Simple, and super easy for travel in my opinion. 

What are some of your recent beauty finds?


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Meal Pinning Monday

I didn't intend for this to be a European themed week, for the most part, but it seems to have turned out that way. Minus the 2 meals I didn't get to last week. Oh and the avocado pasta.

Maybe the 2 British-esque recipes and pork cutlets are over powering my brain space.

In other news I'm making a Mary Berry recipe tonight, and I might be the only person excited about that.

#anglophile



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Taco Zucchini Boats

Tuesday - Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Wednesday - Toad in a Hole with roasted carrots and potatoes

Thursday - Bangers & Mash (Whole30 cookbook heaven)

Friday - Pork Scallopini & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Saturday - Avocado Spinach Pasta with Chicken (over zoodles for me)

Sunday - Father's Day & Jeremy hasn't made his decision yet. 

Thursday, June 09, 2016

My Updated Laundry Detergent Recipe

I started making laundry detergent back when Jeremy was in graduate school to save money. I actually tried to make it two years before, but at the time we weren't broke enough to convince him to let me give it a try. Now he's hooked and it's been a solid 5 years of detergent. 


However, in the past year or so I've been trying more and more to remove unnecessary chemicals from the house. Borax rated pretty high on the list, and so I set off to find an expensive way to remove it from our detergent. 

Below is the final recipe for how I replaced some of the cleaners in my beloved detergent recipe, and honestly I think it smells even better this time around. 


Homemade Borax Free Detergent


4 - 4oz bars of Fragrance Free Castile Soap (I used Kirk's & Dr. Bronner's)
4 lbs baking soda
3 lb 7 oz Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 lb container of OxiClean Clear (or use Baby)
28 oz Epsom Salt

Directions::
Grate Castile Soap and combine with other ingredients in a large tub. Use 2 tbsp of mixture per laundry load.

*I used a combination of Kirk's Coco Castile and Dr. Bronner's because at the time I didn't know WalMart sold castile soap. I highly suggest buying this at Wally World, it was way cheaper than the almost $5 I spent per bar at the health food store.

Next week I'll be sharing a few of my favorite "greener" products I've been using lately and trying to replace our standard products with. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

Meal Pinning Monday

This week has definitely thrown the plans off track, you see, originally we were supposed to be in New Orleans the beginning of the week on a mini vacation. Well, Jeremy finally got in to see his another ENT about his ear situation and he was immediately told there was a surgery opening for Tuesday!

Tuesday!

We could potentially be fixing this man's hearing this summer, so pray all goes well.

Now for the meal plan I wasn't planning on...



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Spring Chicken with Herb Sauce, Spinach, and Roasted Potatoes (never got to it last week)

Tuesday - Burger Bowl

Wednesday - Taco Zucchini Boats with Cauliflower Rice

Thursday - Puerto Rican Pork (chicken) with Avocado Salad & Sweet Plantains

Friday - 5 Spice Beef & Broccoli

Saturday - Spaghetti Squash Carbonara (my hands down favorite find from the Jan Whole30)

Sunday - Roasted Sausage Supper (because who doesn't love Mary Berry?)
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