Monday, October 20, 2014

Free Pumpkin Labels

A few weeks ago I made pumpkin bread for a bake sale to support an animal rescue group. I thought they breads looked a little plain so I jazzed them up a bit with these labels that I made. I'm kicking myself for not taking any pictures, but I was in a crazy hurry to get them out the door. These labels are for individual sized loafs, but I'm sure you could do something with them for full sized loafs. A circle printed out with a ribbon would look lovely. I guess I need to make more pumpkin bread. It disappeared way too fast. 

This is the first time I've offered a printable here, so please let me know if you have any problems printing them out. Circles are 3 inches when printed at 100% scale. You could use these for cupcake toppers too. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Homemade Ketchup

First let me say that I love Heinz ketchup. I really don't care for other brands a whole lot. They are too sweet, spicy, vinegary, etc. I can tell the difference. I think I might be one of those super tasters. Seriously, my sense of taste is on overload. So why would I make my own? For shits and giggles really. I wanted to see how hard it was and what it tasted like. The recipe I used had a lot of good reviews and took all day in the crock pot. Before my boyfriend tasted it, he told me that he probably wouldn't like it. He's a Heinz guy too.

I followed the directions almost exact with a few spice exceptions. I didn't have dried mustard or celery salt on hand, so I just didn't add those. Several reviews said that it was too sweet, but I used the amount it called for. After I made it and it cooled, I tasted it by itself and it did taste a little sweet, but when I tasted it with some fries, it was fine. Rather tasty in fact. Better than I thought it would. I honestly didn't have high expectations, so I was surprised.

The whole house smelled like ketchup, so I was craving french fries all day. It takes 12 hours and needed to cool, so I had to wait until the next day.

I've made fries several times since I first made the ketchup and today the consensus was that it was really good and definitely could take on the big boys in a taste test.

This recipe is easy to make, but does take 12 hours in the crock pot and needs a stir once in a while, so it's best to be home or don't go out for too long if you plan to make it. Do plan on having french fries the following day!

Update: We ran out and had to buy some. My boyfriend said that he actually preferred mine. Woo hoo! Go me. Or the person who actually developed this recipe, which I found on All Recipes. 

Yield: Three cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes


2 (28 ounce) cans peeled ground tomatoes

1/2 cup water, divided
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 whole clove
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


Pour ground tomatoes into slow cooker. Swirl 1/4 cup water in each emptied can and pout into slow cooker. Add sugar, vinegar, and spices; whisk to combine. 

Cook on high, uncovered, until mixture is reduced by half and very thick, about 10 -12 hours. Stir every hour or so.

Smooth the texture of the ketchup using an emersion blender, about 20 seconds. 

Ladle the ketchup into a fine strainer and press mixture with the back of the ladle to strain out any skins and seeds. 

Transfer the strained ketchup to a bowl. Cool completely before tasting to adjust salt, black pepper, or cayenne pepper. 

Argh Matey!

How awesome is this place? I took this picture with my iphone a few years ago right before Halloween. It must have taken some serious time to do this. It might be hard to tell, but it was built in their front yard and attached to their wrap around porch. They had cannons that were smoking and tons of skeletons.