aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Month: September, 2014

link love


Sorry for the silence on here, I just haven’t gotten around to posting much since we got back from our road trip at the end of August. We explored and discovered so many places! The image above are some natural treasures I picked up on Washington’s beaches, one of my favorite places.

this week I loved:

Simplifying your kitchen for the tiny house, or in my opinion, any house!

When simple feels complicated on The Art of Simple.

How to create a life with room for what matters most on More with Less.

Another post by Courtney Carver, including a smoothie recipe, and why we should do things we don’t want to.

A pretty hair tutorial.

I absolutely love the white interior of this small house!

Facts about palm oil and rainforests is something we all need to read up on! Some images of Borneo’s vanishing rainforest on National Geographic.


tomato sauce

Tomato Sauce | home canning

We had lots of tomatoes this year from my parent’s and grandparent’s gardens, so I made some sauce with my Mom. She makes a ton of it every year, and has taught me how. We use this sauce for pizza, spaghetti, and in other dishes.

This post is more of a how to than a recipe since I didn’t include measurements. As a general rule 20 lbs of tomatoes will make 7 pint jars, but it also depends on how thick you like your sauce. For my sauce I don’t remove the tomato seeds or skins, and instead blend them up together in a blender. It’s quite fun and easy, without the mess of pressing them through a sieve or using a food mill.

Tomato Sauce

paste tomatoes
fresh basil
fresh oregano
lemon juice

Wash, cut off ends (and bad spots), and core tomatoes. Place into a large pot with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Cook tomatoes until they are swimming in their own juices. Pour tomatoes into a colander to drain (you can save the nutritious tomato water if you wish). Blend in batches that fit in your blender with garlic and fresh herbs. The amount of seasoning you add is up to your taste buds, but I generally added 2-3 cloves garlic and a small handful of fresh herbs to each blender batch. For a plain sauce just omit the seasonings. Pour the pureed tomatoes into a pot, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook to desired consistency.

While sauce is thickening up (it shouldn’t take too long since we already got lots of the water out), set up your canner, jars, and lids. Put 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in each pint jar, or 2 Tbsp. in each quart jar depending on what you are using. When sauce has reached desired consistency, ladle into jars, wipe jar rims, and screw on lids. A helpful guide to water bath canning can be found here on the Ball website. Process jars 35 minutes.


laundry day

laundry day

I love laundry day. Hanging laundry on the line, bringing it in, and folding it relaxes me. I especially like washing sheets because of the way they billow in the wind like the sails on a ship. Sometimes, when I go out to bring them in and the wind has picked up I feel like I am taming a wild animal. Then I get to put them back on the bed, so crisp and fresh smelling, I just want to lay on the bed for a while.