Homemade Marinara sauce

Yesterday my neighbor brought me a bunch of homegrown tomatoes, so I decided to try making Marinara (something I have never done!)

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I tried a recipe from food network and gave it a shot.
I had some fresh basil from my garden and some other organic produce from the store.

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First I puréed half an onion and a bunch of garlic. Chopped the other half of the onion normal. Sautéed these with olive oil until translucent.

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Puréed some carrots and celery and added these to the pot

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Lightly pulsed the tomatoes and basil in the food processor and added them

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Lastly, I added a touch of Marcela wine, salt, and black pepper. Simmered everything on low for about an hour. About halfway through simmering I added a large can of Tomato sauce just to give it more body. ( Hopefully next time I will have enough tomatoes to not need this )

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    Cookies for the Dexter Crew

    So today I am going back to Dexter for a couple hours to fill in for my friend.

    I decided since I am in baking mode to bring them some cookies!

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    My chocolate chip cookies are adapted from a book in my collection

    Flour
    White sugar
    Brown sugar
    Eggs
    Vanilla
    Choc chips
    (plus I added)
    Brewed coffee (usually I add instant espresso powder)
    Corn flakes
    Nutella (just a scoop)
    Vanilla bean paste

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    Still need a few more minutes …

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    All done 🙂

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    Little chicks!!

    Last Saturday I went to Cooper’s hardware in Sylmar, CA and picked out my chicks. This is the day I brought them home.

    I got 2 Rhode Island Red and 1 Barred Rock.

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    This was the first set up, they’ve gotten an upgrade since then.

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    They are growing so fast!!

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    This is Lucy, she is the lighter of the two Reds and is growing the fastest! She is already trying to fly and escape the brooder.

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    This is Ethel, the darker of the two.

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    This is Starla, the Barred Rock. She’s a hard one to get a decent shot of, she also seems younger than the other two.
    She is growing a little slower and is just starting to sleep less. She also likes to scare me by sleeping in odd positions.

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    That’s all for now, I will keep updating as my little pullets grow!

    Backyard Veggie Garden update #7

    Hi all!

    I’m finally back to posting about the garden! And I think it’s about time for me to plan the next round of seedlings.

    Here where we are at:

    Sugar pumpkins
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    Corn and tomatoes

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    Basil
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    Jack be little pumpkins

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    Sunflowers

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    Lettuce bed

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    Carrots and lettuce (by the corn)

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    Bell pepper and jalapeño (still itty bitty)

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    Squash
    (i finally harvested my first veggie!!)
    There were two others almost ready, one yellow and one Zuc, but the bugs got both of those.

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    Watermelon and cantaloupe
    (still not taking off)

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    Dill and other tomatoes

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    That’s all for now!

    Oh! Does anyone know when to harvest pumpkins ? I have no idea when to cut them off

    Chicken coop build

    So this week i just finished building my chicken coop (with a lot of help from my brother) so I can get chickens soon. Just for eggs not meat. Over the past two weekends we have gotten it 95% complete!

    We found a coop we liked off Backyard Chickens and designed ours very similar.

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    Here’s some pictured through the process:

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    Testing the sturdiness. There are many ways to do this, my brother thought doing gymnastics on it was the best way. (it passed the test)

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    This was all the first weekend just the planning and frame.
    Here is the second weekend, and where we are at the moment:

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    The window for light and ventilation, at this point I’m not putting a solid cover on this, just chicken wire. I don’t know if thats going to be good or bad but since we are in southern California and a very mild part I think it may be okay.? ( please share your thoughts on this!)

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    The side wall with the roost waiting to be installed

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    The big coop doors waiting to go up

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    The run door

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    And the coop to run door
    (we almost forgot to make the ramp, that will be done next weekend)

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    The nesting boxes, we had a few problems with these and built them one and a half times but in the end they came out great!

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    (I have no idea what the puppy is staring at, haha)

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    That’s where we are at now! The yard has been cleaned up and the sawhorse put back together, haha.

    This weekend I will be cleaning it out, putting linoleum in (for easy cleaning), and spray staining the outside!

    I’m will also be going to Coopers hardware in Sylmar, CA this weekend to get my chicks! Just three! 🙂

    Backyard Veggie Garden Update # 6

    The sunflower finally has its first bloom!! I love it!

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    This one is going to bloom soon

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    Here are the pumpkins! I can’t wait to bake

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    Squash (two kinds)

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    Basil and another sunflower

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    Jack be little pumpkins

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    Tomatoes
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    Corn and tomatoes
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    Romaine lettuce
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    Swiss chard/rhubarb

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    Cabbage ( the only one still alive, something is eating them!)

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    Various lettuces

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    Watermelon

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    More yellow squash

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    Bell pepper

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    Raised bed with Tomato, Dill, and Onion

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    That’s all for now! I’m going to go harvest my first squash!