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Freezing Tomatoes

100 Pounds of Frozen Tomatoes

Did you know that you can freeze tomatoes for use later? You can freeze them peeled or unpeeled, whole or cut up.

Normally, you blanch the tomatoes to get the skins off in preparation for processing them, but I cheat and throw them in the freezer whole. When they thaw (or when you run the frozen tomatoes under warm water), the skins slide right off, and then you can process them however you want.

Freezing is also useful if you don’t have enough to do a full batch of sauce or whatever. You can just throw the tomatoes in the freezer until you have enough. Plus, if it’s really hot outside, you can delay the processing until a cooler day – if you have room in the freezer.

Just thrown into the freezer like shown above, I’ve had the tomatoes in the freezer for a couple of months with no issues, but normally, you’ll want to store them in a way that protects them from freezer burn. If you plan on keeper them in the freezer for any length of time, you’ll want to get them bagged or placed in airtight containers to avoid freezer burn. Properly stored, the tomatoes can keep in the freezer for several months.

It’s important to make sure that you are freezing firm and not mushy tomatoes for best results. The tomatoes will be mushy when thawed, so this method is best for use in sauces, soups, or any cooked tomato recipe where you don’t need fresh tomatoes. Don’t forget to wash the tomatoes prior to freezing – especially if you’re cutting them up.

Right now, I have 100 pounds of tomatoes (shown above) waiting to be processed into spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and tomato soup. I’m taking advantage of all the lovely bulk tomatoes available through my CSA right now, and I plan on processing them when the weather gets a little cooler. Yum!

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Book Review: Little Book of Book Making by Charlotte Rivers

Little Book of Book Making by Charlotte RiversSpecial thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a review copy of this book.

Book Description:

Crafters, artists, writers, and book lovers can’t resist a beautifully handbound book. Packed with wonderfully eclectic examples, this book explores the intriguing creative possibilities of bookmaking as a modern art form, including a wide range of bindings, materials, and embellishments. Featured techniques include everything from Coptic to concertina binding, as well as experimental page treatments such as sumi-e ink marbling and wheat paste. In addition to page after page of inspiration from leading contemporary binderies, Little Book of Bookmaking includes a practical section of 21 easy-to-follow illustrated tutorials.

About the Author:

Charlotte Rivers is the author of 14 design books, including Little Book of Letterpress and I Heart Stationery, and has contributed to a number of design magazines, including Cent, Grafik, and UPPERCASE. She blogs regularly about art and design as Lottie Loves at

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (August 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770435149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770435141
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Retail Price: $22.99
  • Electronic Version also available

Little Book of Book Making by Charlotte Rivers

My Thoughts:

I originally thought this would be a really fun book for Munchkin as she loves the idea of making her own books. What I didn’t realize was how fun this book was going to be for me to browse. The first four chapters are filled with amazingly creative works of art in the form of books. I have no idea where these people come up with the ideas, but they are just way too cool. They use all different mediums to create the books. There are even books that look like slices of cake. Very cool.

I liked how each artist/book maker had their own feature. It told their story, and the story of their books. Of course, there were always full color images to capture your imagination and help your creative juices flow. The main technique(s) used in that particular book is then referenced to the book making section of this book.

The Bookmaking in Practice chapter of the book is where you get to put your skills to work. It starts with a basic overview of the tools and materials of the trade. It then dives into several different types of books, stitches, binding, papers, and covers. Each of the techniques shown contain written instructions as well as images to help you with the process.

This is where Munchkin felt a little disappointed as she would have liked to see step-by-step images to go along with the written instructions. Yes, many of the stages of the process were shown, but not all of them. When you’re first starting out in this process, it’s nice to have everything laid out in one place – especially for a visual, hands-on learner.

Because you can pick from the different types of books, stitches, covers…, you have to flip around to figure out the type of book that ultimately you want to create. While this isn’t a big deal once you get the hang of things, it’s a little intimidating the first time around. She would have liked to see one book created from start to finish with detailed instructions and illustrations before jumping into all the choices.

I personally liked the option of building your own book based upon the style that you desired, so it really is a personal preference thing. Overall, we both liked the book and all the ideas and skills that it presented.

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Lilla Rose 72 Hour Sale

Lilla Rose 72 Hour Sale

Lilla Rose 72 HOUR SALE – 10% Off Brand New Styles and 20% Off Soon To Be Retired Styles. Thursday August 21st at 12AM Pacific to Saturday August 23rd at midnight Pacific.

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To Live is Christ – Putting My Faith to the Test

Bible with Oil Lamp

On Sunday mornings, we are studying the book of Revelations in church. This past Sunday, pastor talked about how we here in America didn’t really understand the concept of being persecuted for Christ, for our faith. While we may have some trials and hardships placed on us if we live our faith, we do not have to fear true persecution, yet. We take the fact that we can openly worship, read the Bible, and share our faith for granted.

All throughout history Christians have died for their faith. They’ve had to go underground to meet together for fellowship. They’ve had to hide the scriptures (if they had them). They’ve memorized large portions of scripture because Bibles were not allowed. They’ve been given the choice to live and renounce their faith in God or die.

Today, we are seeing this played out in a huge way overseas. Entire families are being wiped out because of their faith in God, because they are Christians. Knowing this, they still believe and live for the Lord. How hard would it be to watch your spouse, your child, your mother, your father, your family, your friends be killed because of their faith? Would you be able to stay strong in your faith if it meant dying?

We have many Bibles in our home – at least one in every room. We have Bibles on our computers, phones, Kindles, tablets…. We can freely worship, pray, and read His Word. Yes, Christians are being targeted by various groups for their beliefs, and yes, some of us face some very real hardships if we live out our beliefs. Yet, we are not daily living our lives in fear of being killed because we are Christians.

As I see the things going on around the world, I find myself thinking “what if”, and I pray that my faith is strong enough to live out my faith if there ever comes a time in this country where I need to pick between life and dying for my Lord. We’ve seen in scripture where the disciples, who walked with Christ, turned their backs on Him out of fear for their lives. We’ve also seen many examples of those who laid down their lives for Him.

I will continue to pray for those who are currently being persecuted for their faith today. I will pray that my family will grow in their faith in Christ, so that we may be able to be strong in Him no matter what trials and tribulations we may face. I will pray for our country that we may get back on track and turn back towards Christ instead of away from Him.


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Book Review: Trinity Icon by Steve Wilson

Trinity Icon by Steve Wilson**Special thanks to the author for providing an electronic copy of the book for review purposes.**

Book Details:

Poland’s past and present collide in an epic quest for peace and treasure.

In Central Europe, Poland has rejected plans for an anti-missile shield—until a threat from beyond their borders causes disaster. During testing, an Iranian ICBM veers off course with tragic results, and the Polish government turns to NATO—and the United States—for protection. With the defensive shield now back on the table, National Security Advisor Willis Avery envisions an even broader network of emplacements. His strategy depends on the cooperation of the breakaway states—and the help of Captain Michael Neill. Tasked as a liaison, it’s Neill’s job to convince the republics. He enlists the aid of an old friend, General Andrei Ulyanov—and, if he can keep her alive, dynamic and beautiful journalist Viktoriya Gavrilenko. The stage is set for increased tension when the Russians threaten an arms race. Avery is targeted, and along the way, Neill becomes caught up in the search for a lost religious icon, foretold by legend to restore the faith of a disheartened people . . .

Steve WilsonAbout the Author:

Steve Wilson is a multimedia designer for a large metropolitan newspaper, and has worked in advertising for over 25 years. He is a prior service Marine, now serving as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force Reserve. He is the father of two grown sons, and lives in Florida with his wife.

Over the course of his military career, he has received the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In 2010 he was named the Air Transportation NCO of the Year. His ties to the armed forces—as well as short-term mission trips—have taken him to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe and the Pacific, as well as the former Soviet Union. These experiences have helped to shape his story lines.

You can connect with Steve on Facebook and his blog.

Book Details:

  • Series: The Michael Neill Adventure Series
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: White Feather Press, LLC (July 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161808108X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618081087
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Retail Price: $15.95
  • Electronic version also available

My Thoughts:

In Trinity Icon, readers are greeted by some familiar characters and introduced to a few new ones. One character is an interesting twist to Michael’s background story that we thought we knew as readers of the Michael Neill novels. I loved the new dimension this particular character added to the story, and while it drove me nuts, I liked that not everything was revealed in this book.

Michael has spent some time stateside, but it’s time for him to head back overseas. This particular assignment fits him perfectly due to the location. During this assignment, ghosts from the past come back to haunt him, and things are revealed that take him by surprise. While he’s dealing with the riggers of the current assignment, he is also trying to sort out his feelings for his fellow Marine which is complicated by the fact that he is an officer and she is enlisted.

Trinity Icon moved a little slower for me than the previous two Michael Neill novels, but it did not fail to hold my attention and keep me reading. There was a lot of information and history packed into the story which caused me to need to pay more attention to the details to get a better picture of everything taking place within the story. In fact, the book started out with the history of a certain town and relic before jumping into the present day. It then went back in time to that same story at the conclusion of the novel.

Once again, Steve Wilson’s understanding of the military allows his books and characters to feel natural and realistic. Of course, I can’t wait to see what will be revealed in the next book as there were a few details that were left up in the air in this book.

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