Sunday, September 9, 2012


I love sunflower seeds.  But only if they are salted.  So the thought of roasting my own never sounded that great to me. 

Until I learned the correct way to do it.

I was so excited when my sister, Maureen, came over and announced she had a gift for me.  She handed me a bag and inside I found this!

I was so happy.  Some of you may be saying "what in the world is that!"

It's a dried sunflower.  You see, Maureen grows sunflowers almost every year in her garden and this year she was kind enough to dry one and give it to me.

This is what it looks like close up.  Can you see the tops of all the sunflower seeds in there?  A lot of the time, birds get to these and you miss out. 

It's very easy to get the seeds off.  Just run your fingers along the seeds and they will fall out.  Start at the outside though or it won't work to well.

See, they fall right out.  They will be some what softer then the ones you may be used to.  Remember they are not roasted yet.

You can get a better view of the seeds now.

You won't be able to get all the seeds out because towards the center they are not fully developed yet.  I stop getting them when they start to come out pretty thin.  You can tell the seed inside the shell is not developed yet.

Since I was making salted roasted seeds I used Kosher salt.  It melts easier.  If you don't want your seeds salted you don't need to add this.

I put 1/2 cup of salt in a bowl and filled it up with water.  Next time, I will either use more salt or not as much water.  I like my seeds pretty salty.

Stir the salt until it dissolves and add your seeds that you have rinsed and cleaned.

The seeds float to the top so I put a bit of waxed paper down on top of them and then a plate to hold them under the water.

Let them sit for at least 8 hours.  You can leave them in there longer if you like but it will take at least 8 hours for them to start soaking up the salt water all the way through. 

I left mine in for about 20 hours.  I stirred them around a few times to make sure they all got in the water good.

When they are finished soaking, do not rinse them off!  Just drain them and pat dry with a paper towel a little bit.  Then put them on a cookie sheet in a single layer.

At this point, I sprinkled a little bit more salt on them.  Yes, I love salt!

Roast them at 300 degrees for 30 mins.  Move them around 1/2 way through.  You don't want them to burn.  Check to see if they are done.  I put mine back for 10 more minutes as the inside seeds were still a little soft.

Once they are done, they will be nice and dry and crispy.  Just like the ones you buy at the store.  Only these will have much more flavor!

I put these in a cello bag and tied a ribbon on it and put a little sunflower on it.  I'm giving these to Trinity.  Maybe next year, she will want to plant lots of flowers so we can make tons more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This time I used Serrano peppers but you could use any kind you like.  I've done this before with other peppers and they all come out great.

I cut the Serrano peppers in half and put them in the dehydrator.  I wanted this to be hot so I left all the seeds in too.

Serrano peppers start out green but if you let them stay growing they turn to red.  The red is hotter.  You can see I do have a few green ones too.  I just mixed them in with the red as it doesn't really matter.

This is the kind of dehydrator I have but all brands look a little different.

I do my hot peppers outside because the steam (that you don't even see) gets in the air and you will feel it in your eyes, nose and throat.  This of course causes watery eyes, runny nose and coughing.

I did 6 racks of peppers this time.  I started them out on low for several hours and then as they were pretty close to being all dry I kicked it up to high so I wouldn't have to leave the dehydrator on all night.

However, I did search on line and found out that you really can't over dry these.  If you want to rehydrate them, you may wish to be a little more careful but to turn them into pepper you are good to go without the worry of over drying them.

Mine took about 12 hours.  It would be faster if you turned up the heat.  Just be sure to follow the directions on your dehydrator as they are all different.

I ended up getting one quart and one 1/2 pint full of dried peppers.  Be sure to keep the seeds if you want your powder to be a bit hotter.

I tried to blend peppers up using a food processor before but they didn't get fine enough for my liking.  So I went out and bought a spice/coffee grinder.  This works wonderful and it was about $11 so, to me, it was fully worth it.

Again, I take the peppers outside to grind them up.  The powder will fly around and you will cough, get the runny nose and burning eyes much worse then even when you dehydrate them.  You may wish to even wear a mask. 

I didn't do this.  Being outside, really helps and I didn't need it.

Grind the peppers up in batches.  I ended up getting a full pint of Red Serrano Pepper Powder.  That's a nice amount.

This can now be used in soup, stews, salsa, as a rub or what ever you want a little kick added to your dish.

It's also a great and easy way to have all those peppers last a lot longer then if you left them whole and tried to use them up all at once.

This jar is going to my brother as he is the one who grew them.  I'm sure he will be thrilled to get this.

You can also do this with onions, garlic and about every type of veggie to make powders. 


Just a little something to make you smile.  Have a great day!  Don't forget to hug and love your dogs.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Isn't this a darling, bright and cheerful door mat?  It makes me smile every time I see it.

Even though I didn't make it, I think it would be pretty easy to do.  Can you tell what it's made out of?

Here take a closer look.  Does it remind you of anything?

It's made from flip flops!  Can you see the tread?  I think you could cute up your flip flops, wire them together and make your own mat.  What do you think?

This is what it loo likes sitting outside our sliding glass door.  You could make any design you wanted if you made your own.  You could even spell out your name.

Of course it's much quicker and easier to just buy it.  This one was found down at one of the little shops by the beach. 

Even though Summer is about over, I think we will leave this out all year.  It's cute, works great and makes me happy.