Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day from The Fountain Family!
May you remember all the ways that God has blessed us and may we be thankful for them today and always. God Bless & Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mystery Host Pampered Chef Party!

In case you haven't been paying attention... we only have 30 days until Christmas! Still have Christmas shopping to do? No worries - I am here for you! Why don't you take a look at my online catalog and tell me what you'd like to order and I can have it delivered to your door!

Be a part of my Mystery Host Catalog Party!

I am taking orders from now until Saturday (11/27) morning at 10am. Once I get all of the orders in my system, I will put the names of everyone that ordered into a hat and draw a name that morning. I will call or e-mail you to let you know that you have won.

You'll earn a host special, free and discounted products, and free shipping and a 10% discount on all Pampered Chef products you order for the next year...just for being a valued customer! You won't even have to leave your home! What a great way to shop for Christmas and earn more Christmas presents for yourself or someone else!

Tell your friends, family and co-workers about this great opportunity. If they order (and say that you referred them), their name will get entered into the drawing and you will receive another opportunity to win! Want to order online? Enter "Morgan" "Fountain" as the host name and add your order to this show. When I select the winner, I will change the host name from my name to the winner's!

Want another opportunity to be the winner? Blog about this party - you'll get an extra entry for anyone that orders from me and found me from your blog!
One more chance to win? How about 3? Refer someone to this party and if they place an order AND book a party for January or February - I'll put your name in the drawing 3 extra times!
You can't beat that!
Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemade Strawberry Jam

A couple of months back, Pioneer Woman did a couple of posts on canning. Specifically, jam. Strawberry jam to be exact. I have been wanting to try my hand at canning for awhile now, so after reading her post - I decided to try it out. I finally made the jam this weekend. Now, all of you know I am not a photographer and I really should leave the picture taking to Darren, but I got all excited to tell y'all how easy it was to make this jam, I took pictures to show you. Ok, here is the recipe:
Homemade Strawberry Jam
  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and mashed
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (fresh) lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered fruit pectin

First, you want to wash and hull (remove the green, leafy part) the strawberries. Or talk your husband into doing it and gripe at him to "hurry up already" while you watch him and call it "bonding". Place the hulled strawberries in a bowl or on a baking pan and mash them up with a potato masher. You want small strawberry pieces, but you want to them pretty fine. Measure out 5 cups, and put them into a pot. Add 4 tablespoons of juice from a large lemon. Turn on the heat to your pot and bring strawberry/lemon juice mixture to a boil.

While you do that, put your jars in a big pot of water and put it on to simmer/low boil. Its great if you have a canning pot and rack, but I don't and it worked just fine - you just don't want your jars clanking around all willy nilly. Lay them down if you have to. You want them to get heated so that the hot jam doesn't bust them, but you don't want them to bust or crack while you are getting the jam ready.

On another burner, put the lids (not the screw part) in a small pot and get them to simmering as well.

Then add the 7 cups of sugar to the strawberry mixture (measure it out before hand so that you can add it all at once). Mix together to incorporate. Leave the heat on high and bring the mixture to a strong rolling boil. The kind of boil that doesn't calm down when you stir it with a spoon.

Add half a pat (tablespoon) of butter, to help reduce the "foam" that will start to form on the top of the strawberry mixture.

Then, just mix it in with your spoon.

Then, mix it in with your spoon and let it get to boiling again!

This foam will form on the stop of the mixture. Just use your spoon to get as much of it off, as possible. I recommend that you save that discarded foam, for later.

Then, shake the excess water off your jars, and with a wide mouth funnel, start pouring in the jam, one cup at a time (it makes it easier and less messy that way, trust me). Ok, I know that you are staring at that jam splatter on my counter thinking "trust her, its not as messy that way? there is the messy proof, right there". But, I assure you, you would be picking out the one clean spot in a bright red, strawberry, sticky mess of a counter if I hadn't done it that way.

Continue until you have all of the jars full (leave about a fourth of an inch from the top). Then, run a butter knife around the edge of the jars to get all of the air bubbles out.
Put the lids on and seal them (do not tighten the screw lids). Then, stick them back in the boiling water for 10 more minutes. Then, turn the heat off the water and leave them for 5 more minutes.

Remove them from the water and let sit out on the counter (un-touched) for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can tighten the screw band if you need to and then you are good to go.
Then, I like to get some cute fabric and cut it into a square and place over the top of the jar and then tie it with a cute raffia bow. It's cute, it's simple, it's homemade and it's delicious and everyone that you give it to will love you!
I plan on giving a jar out with a cute little Thanksgiving card, to all of my guests at Thanksgiving. And remember that discarded foam or that sticky pot you cooked the strawberries in? They are just sitting there, waiting for you to enjoy them! It's not as "pretty" as the jam you just made, but its just as delicious!

Yes, yes that is a finger mark where I swiped some jam and "tested" it, right out of the pan.
It will definitely make you talk your husband into going out and getting a loaf of bread at 9 at night so that you can have a nice piece of toast and strawberry jam "gunk" before you go to bed.
Not that I did anything like that, I'm just saying...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Pets

Kelly at Kelly's Korner is hosting "Show Us Your Life - Pets" today and of course...I couldn't resist an opportunity to post (more) pictures of my baby girl Coco.

December 6, 2008
That was the day that I picked Coco up from the breeder. We haven't had her quite a year, but oh how she has made herself a part of our family! Pretty much, our world revolves around her. She is our fur kid and our precious baby girl! I know, I know - I'm sure it will change when we have "real" children, but for now - we enjoy spoiling her rotten.

She is a genius, plain and simple. She is very smart and is easily trainable. We have been very good about training her on certain things and unfortunately, were lazy in other areas.

She was completely 100% potty trained in 4 weeks, she rings a bell to tell us that she needs to go outside, and she has been completely crate trained since the first month she was home with us. She sits and lays down and she walks on a leash, well - she prances on a leash. She loves every single person, animal or child that she comes in contact with. She is great to take the the store, run errands or to play dates. It doesn't take her long to make "friends".

She has energy when you do and is lazy when you are. She loves being outside when its nice and inside when its rainy and cold. She snuggles, loves naps and steals kisses anytime she can! She does struggle with seperation anxiety, but is getting better with age.

She wants to be right in the mix of things and is very nosy. She has an attitude and a personality that is matched by no other person or 4 legged creature I have ever met. She has completely stolen our hearts and taken over our home and I absolutely, completely adore her and wouldn't have it any other way. She started out as a Christmas gift from Darren and has turned into the best gift our little family could have asked for.

We love you Coco!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I think the best way to say this, is to recall the words to the song we played during our first dance...

If you know all about passionate kisses,

And long walks in the dull day sunset,

If you've ever been held up so high on a pedestal,

That there's no more line between what's real,

And what your dreams are made of.

Then you already know my love,

You've already filled my soul,
You know what I'm thinking of,

Cause you already know my love.

Love's been known to be a game of chance, But I'd like to think of this as more than that,

And if you know all about passionate kisses,

And long walks in the dull day sunset,

If you've ever been held up so high on a pedestal,

That there's no more line between what's real

And what your dreams are made of.
Then you already know my love,

You've already filled my soul,

You know what I'm thinking of,

Cause you already know my love.

I can't say there's a hundred percent chance

That this will turn into a storybook romance,

Hell, we might not even make it through the first dance

But I bet the odds are pretty damn good,

That if you dreamed of what it's like to be loved right

And held tight, then I'm telling you, you already know my love. Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! You have made me happier than I ever could have imagined. I can't wait to spend many more wonderful years with you!