Monday, August 30, 2010

Jammin' Peach Jam

Growing up, my mom jammed all the time. She was most famous for (among our immediate family & friends) for her plum jam. It was amazing!! I have so many fond memories of watching my mom jam, licking the spoons, and helping her out as much as I can.

With that being said, my grandma gave us both some white peaches from her friends tree at my grandpa's birthday dinner. I was originally going to make peach pie with my portion of the peaches, and experiment with making different kinds of pie. However, my mom gave me the idea to combine our peaches, and make peach jam. The results were amazing!! Plus, we had so much fun in the process!! It will be a lot of fun baking, jamming, and cooking with my mom, now that I am a married woman. I am looking forward to making some good & yummy memories with my mom!! Love you mom! :)

Recipe for Jammin' Peach Jam

1. Wash your canning jars in hot, boiling water (it makes about 6, 8 ounce jars of jam).
2. Dry and set aside.
3. Keep jars & lids heated in boiling hot water.
4. Fill pan half-full with water.
5. Peel & pit peaches until you have 5 cups of peaches (cut or puree until desired consistency).
6. Combine the peaches with 1 cup of water or unsweetened fruit juice (we used white cranberry peach juice in our jam)and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a 6-8 quart sauce pot.
7. Gradually stir in pectin (so you do not get it lumpy), and bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly (so you do not burn the bottom of the pan).
8. Laddle hot jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Wipe rim & threads with a clean, damp cloth.
9. Place each jar upside down on a cutting board, until they have fully-cooled for 24 hours.
10. Enjoy!

~A view of our results, in the upside-down position.~

~A close-up view of the consistency we chose for our jam.~

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Since Adam & I do not have internet in our apartment (yet), all my blogs get posted behind schedule. So please, bare with me during this time :) Also, since we don't have internet yet, we only use the internet when we visit either one of our parents. So this blog will be a combination of blogs I would have posted one-at-a-time.

Life has been very interesting but so fun as newlyweds! I love married life, yet there is a lot to get accustomed to; cooking, housework (24-7), and not to mention, living with another person 24-7. All of these things I enjoy very much, however, we both do each of these things very differently, which is where the hard part comes in. I've had a lot of fun cooking and trying out different recipes, and baking, and that part of married life I love! It is so much fun learning and growing with each other, which will occur for years and years to come, too!!

So, for the details in life that I have been late on:

I cut my hair! I have been waiting and waiting for the time to cut my hair, because it was bothering me so much. However, I was growing out my hair for the wedding, so I could have an up-do. So, the day after we got back from our honeymoon, I snipped all my hair off (mostly) and donated it to Locks For Love, for the second time. Locks For Love is a charity that I am completely passionate about. So many times I have seen women/girls who have long hair and when they cut it, the hair goes to the trash, instead of to people who are in need. Think about this the next time you cut your hair. :)

Also, on August 11th, I celebrated my 22nd birthday. On the last couple of birthdays I've had, I check one item off of my bucket list. For example, on my 19th birthday I skydived, on my 20th birthday I parasailed. I was so focused on planning our wedding thr last couple of months, I was not focused on planning my birthday. Therefore, I decided that I would spend my 22nd birthday for the first time, with my husband :) It was an awesome birthday. We slept in, and decided that instead of making breakfast, we would go out to lunch. I decided that we would go to Bennihanas, since we both had never been there before. It was awesome!!! I love it there; plus the food was amazing! Then we watched a movie, played Wii, and went to my parents house for a dinner with my family & both of my grandparents. It was such a nice day! Thanks to all for the birthday wishes!

Here are a few pictures from my birthday:

~Bennihanas restaurant in Ontario, Ca. ~

~A candid of me with my new haircut in-front of Bennihanas~

~Me with my free birthday dessert, strawberry ice cream.~

Hope you all are doing well! Until next time,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Living Our Love Song

Adam and I were very fortunate enough to have the honeymoon of our dreams; and that is in fact exactly how it ended up being. It was perfect in all ways. It was amazing to spend nine days straight with each other, getting to do anything that we wanted: with each other! It was amazing!

If anyone doesn't know our story about how we paid for half of our honeymoon, it was by recycling. We both avidly recycled for about a year and a half before our wedding to save for our honeymoon. It was a challenge, but was well-worth it, and paid off!!

We went on a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise, which stopped in the Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico, and Honduras. The cruise left out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We stayed our first night of marriage in LA, right by the airport.The Saturday we left out of LA, to Ft. Lauderdale, and spent the day exploring the city, and especially our Hospitality Suite at the Westin, graciously given to us by Adam's Aunt & Uncle. It was amazing! The weather there was humid, and smoggy, but we didn't mind, with the view we had of the beach from our hotel windows!! :) On Sunday, our cruise left port in the late afternoon, and we were off on our adventure. The cruise line/ship we went on was Celebrity, Solstice. The ship itself was AMAZING! It was humongous, and there was so much to do; from putt-putt, to listening to music-entertainers, to seeing production shows, to great buffets & food, to basketball, swimming, and so much more!! We never were really bored, because there was always something to do, or something going on in the ship. Adam was definitely right at home on the ship, with his go, go, go attitude, which left me exhausted by the end of the trip ;) As far as excursions go, we went on two of them. Here is a list of what we did on every port-of-call:

Cayman Islands: Excursion #1: Swimming with the sting rays. So much fun & not scary! We spent the rest of the time exploring the shops on the port, which ended up not being very good; however I was able to find some cute earrings (on a side-note :)

Cozumel, Mexico: We walked along the coast, and looked at shops. There were great shops at this port!

Costa Maya, Mexico: Excursion #2 (given as a wedding-gift by my Aunt & Uncle, which we were so grateful for!!): We toured the Mayan Ruins of Chaccoban. We loved this excursion. It was very interesting and beautiful. It was as if we were in a different environment. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, and spoke English very well. Following the excursion, we took a taxi ride into the city and walked along the coast. There was an incredibly beautiful view of Belize from the city!

Honduras: We took a taxi ride around the west-end of the island, stopping at shops along the way, and to walk along the coast. We also stopped at the well-known Tabbiana Beach in West Bay. It was beautiful! We were so disappointed that we didn't bring our bathing suits on this day, since we decided to do it very spontaneously.

Each of our favorite port was Costa Maya, Mexico. This is a MUST SEE if you ever get the chance to stop there!!

When the cruise ended on the Sunday, we stayed the night in Ft. Lauderdale one more night, and continued our journey of exploring the city. We left back home on the Monday, to return to reality, and to start our new-life together as a family (which is going well by the way! :)

Here are a few pics; as you will see, the weather is very smoggy in most of the pictures. So smoggy in fact, that the humidity would blur the camera lens. Everyday it would rain for a minimum of 15 min-to at maximum 2 hours on two occasions.

~Just half of our room at the Westin!! ~

~A view of our ship~

~Swimming with the Sting Rays~

~In downtown Cozumel, Mexico~

~The Chaccoban ruins in Costa Maya, Mexico~

~Tabbiana Beach in Roatan, Honduras~

We are so blessed to have each other, and to have been able to have spent such a great time together!!

As Jason Michael Carroll would say, "It feels good to prove 'em wrong, living our love song." :)