Easy Canned Applesauce

A friend of the family had some extra apples she had picked up from the Amish. Guess what I got two bushels! That’s a lot for our little family. We also love applesauce. Applesauce can be versatile and can be a substitute for oils or sometimes butter in baking recipes. Plus a healthy alternative. If you haven’t tried brownies or cookies with applesauce you guys are so missing out!! I’m  talking moist cookies, cake, brownies etc. Very yummy!!  Here is my take on canning applesauce.

I did about 6 to 8 pounds at a time in pint jars. Less waste for us. You can can the apples in quarts I just choose not too. Any ways the hardest part of this whole is the peeling and coring of the apples. 

Once your apples are peeled and cored place them in a stew pot, cover,  with 1 inch of water, to prevent scorching. On medium heat cook the apple slices till soft. You may want to remove some of the juice the apples will create as they cook, if you dont want soupy applesauce. I ladled the juice out till there was just enough juice that covers the bottom of the pot still. I put the juice in a pint jar and canned it right along with the applesauce. 

Once the apples have cooked down completely, pour the apples into a food processor. Puree down to a smooth consistency. Unless you want the applesauce chunky, then with a rubber spatula, stir to break up some of the bigger pieces until desired consistency. 
With your sterilized jars pour the applesauce in the jars, leaving a half inch headspace. Wipe the rims and apply the lids and rings finger tight. You can use either water bath canner or a pressure canner. With a water bath canner, can for  20 minutes for quarts or pints. In a pressure canner,  process at 6 pounds for 8 minutes for quarts or pints.

Now if you want to play up the flavors. You can always add in pears, bananas, peaches, cinnamon / nutmeg. 

I hope you all enjoy the newest recipe! Please share with your friends! Make sure to follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/frommyhometoyourhome

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Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

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Just want let everyone know I apologize for being absent the last couple of weeks! Sickness hit our home hard the last month. Now that everyone is feeling better I’m hoping to catch up on several posts I had planned for everyone! Here is the first one!

And yes these are so very yummy! A recipe my mom came across. And yes I had to go make it my own. Just a little bit! My kids inhaled them. Even my picky step son tried them! This is very simple to make that even the most beginner cook/baker can do!

Here is everything you will need:
3 cups self-rising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp powder sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup cold buttermilk
2 Tbsp salted butter

Oven: 450 degrees, 12 minutes

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First add all your dry ingredients. So mix the flour, baking powder & sugar.

*Using self rising flour will make a huge difference in the recipe, than regular flour.

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Cut the butter in small pieces and add them to the flour mixture.

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Stir in Buttermilk. Knead mixture to form a dough ball. Place dough on a flour surface. Continue knead dough for 2-3 minutes.

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Cut the dough into equal portions and roll each into a ball. Place each dough ball on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.

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After biscuits have baked and out of the oven brush them with the melted salted butter. Serve warm. Unless its my kids then it wouldn’t matter to them. They’ll eat them cold too.

Super easy recipe to make. And very yummy! As always drop me a message. Follow me on Facebook as well http://www.Facebook.com/frommyhometoyourhome
Please share with all your friends and family!

Melissa Olsen

White Chicken Chili

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One dish we make a lot in our home is chili. We have made chili many different ways. When it comes to chicken, there are many variations of chicken chili. I have used other recipes (that I did not tweak with) that had no taste and others that did have taste but not enough.

This particular recipe has just the right amount of everything. From the use of cumin to the chili peppers to the fresh squeezed lime juice. It doesn’t carry high acidity that regular chili would and more of a soup. Which is wonderfully delightful with all this cold, winter weather we have been having! Best part is that this is a one-pot recipe!

This is what you will need:
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cubed
1- 11 oz can Corn, whole kernel
1- 11 oz can Navy Beans
1- 11 oz can Pinto Beans
1- 11 oz can Great Northern Beans
2 Lg Roasted Chili Peppers
4 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Oregano, dried
2 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 Lime

Cube chicken in 1 inch cubes. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken, cumin, oregano, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook approx 5-7 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

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Add minced garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

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With a colander drain and wash all 3 cans of beans and can of corn. This may sound weird to some of you. But this is something I learned a long time ago especially with canned beans. By washing them this removes all the excess sodium/salt from the beans.

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Add chicken broth, beans, corn and roasted chili peppers. (Make sure chili peppers have the skin taken off and seeds removed. I have directions on how to do this in a earlier post). Up the heat to med/high heat and bring to a boil. Once boil is achieved turn hurt down to low. And simmer for about 15 minutes. Add cheese and freshly squeezed lime juice and stir till cheese is fully melted.

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Serve. You can garnish however you like. I used a dollop is sour cream, sprinkle of shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

Enjoy!! This is wonderfully delish! As always I enjoy hearing from everyone. Shoot me a email or leave me a comment!

Melissa Olsen

Fresh Homemade Sausage Links

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This is my husband, Aaron, recipe. And his crazy idea to make these. We had been talking about it for so long. Seriously for about a year now. And he finally got around to doing it. It is fairly simple to do this, just takes some time to bring it all together. It was a team effort by the end! Trust me it was all worth it!!

*this does require the use of a electric meat grinder with the proper attachments.

5 pounds of fresh pork butt roast
Sausage seasoning
Meat Grinder
Sausage Casings; 3/8″

The pork roast will need to be cut up into 1 inch chunks, with the fat still on. So no trimming. Place all the meat into a bowl filled with ice and place in the fridge over night. Chilling the meat in ice over night will help the meat to grind better.

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After the meat has chilled all night. Drain the ice and any liquid out of the bowl. You then add the sausage seasoning. We just got a generic bottle sausage seasoning. (You purchase it at Academy, Bass Pro, Cabela’s etc) It contains seasonings such as : sage, crushed red peppers, pepper, salt and other amazing seasonings!

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The ratio of seasoning to the meat is 2 Tbsp of seasoning to 1 pound of meat. After you have added the seasoning, with clean hands, mix the meat and seasoning fairly well.

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Now we are going to get the casings ready on the grinder. Although there’s many different sizes of casings, we used a 3/8″ casing. Again you purchase the casings at Academy, Bass Pro or Cabela’s. Anyways slide the casings onto the sausage funnel on your grinder. We did it in sections, where there was only enough to stuff 5-6 sausage links at a time.

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This is the part where a second person comes in handy. It took my husband and I about 30 mins to do all 5 pounds of meat. With him controlling the stuffing of the casings, while I push the meat thru the grinder.

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You can definitely cook some of your sausage up right away, whether on the stove or in the oven. If you choose to wait you can definitely freeze them and use them as needed.

If you choose to freeze lay the links flat on a cookie sheet(s) and place them in the freezer for about a hour. We used our deep freezer and they were ready in about 40 mins. After they have firmed up in the freezer you can bag them up in freezer bags.

*Note: If you prefer sausage patties or ground sausage. You can definitely still use this recipe just skip the casings and just ground it all up into a bowl. From there divide them up into 1 lb portions and bag them up into freezer bags. Either way you do it, it still tastes amazing and so much better than store bought processed sausage!!

Hope you enjoy and as always let me know how you like it in the comments, or shoot me a email! Be share with all your friends!

Melissa Olsen

Easy Peppermint Bark

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My kids have been begging me for 2 weeks to make Christmas candy. So yesterday we did! If you like chocolate and you like peppermints? Then you will love this candy! Its super easy and fun to do!

Here is what you need:

16 oz of milk chocolate chips
16 oz of white chocolate chips
1 tsp of peppermint oil
12 candy canes, crushed

*be sure to use actual chocolate chip pieces. Not the the morsels or anything.

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In a microwave safe bowl pour in the milk chocolate chips. In 30 second intervals melt the chocolate chips until smooth.

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On a baking sheet with baking parchment paper pour the melted chocolate onto it. Spread the chocolate out evenly. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm.

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Once the milk chocolate is firm we will then start on the white chocolate chips. Again in the microwave safe bowl pour in the white chocolate chips. In 30 second intervals melt until smooth. Once melted add the teaspoon of peppermint oil and fold into the chocolate a couple of times. Now pour on top of the milk chocolate and spread evenly.

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Now take the 12 candy canes put them in a ziploc bag. Take your rolling pin or a meat tenderizer hammer and break up the candy in small pieces.

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Sprinkle the peppermint pieces all over the top of the white chocolate. After this I lightly push the candy down into the chocolate, so they won’t all fall off once you start to eat it. Anyways put the baking sheet back in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.
Once firm you can break the bark into shards or cut into pieces. I broke mine up into shards. So there is smaller pieces for my kids and bigger pieces for us bigger kids.

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There you go TA-DA! You did it you made peppermint bark! This makes a great gift for friends and neighbors or for your get togethers. Or just because! Hope you guys love it! As always I love hearing from everyone. Leave a comment and share with all your friends!

Melissa Olsen

How To Clean And Roast Pumpkin Seeds

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First: Cleaning the Seeds

Get yourself a fairly large bowl and throw everything in there. Seeds, pulp, stringy stuff. Fill the bowl with water. Rinse the seeds. Pick out all the extra pumpkin pieces.

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After you have picked out as much of the stringy stuff and pumpkin pieces as you can. Then dump the seeds into a colander and rinse. Clean even more of the stringy stuff off as you can. Throw the seeds back into the bowl. Fill with water. You will repeat everything above again.

Repeat as many times as needed to remove all of the stringy stuff and pieces as possible from the seeds.

Once your seeds are completely clean we move on to the yummy roasting part!

The Fun Part: Preparing and Roasting the Seeds
Salted Pumpkin Seeds

You can do this in the microwave or in the stove. But in either a large bowl (microwave safe) or a large pot add 4 cups of water and 3/4 cup of Sea Salt.

I used my microwave for this by the way. You can purchase sea salt for a couple of bucks at walmart.

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Heat the water in the microwave until the salt has dissolved. About 5-7 mins in the microwave.

Add your pumpkin seeds to the water. Now for the boring part. For the seeds to have that good salty flavor, the seeds must soak for 3-4 hours.

After your seeds have soaked for the alloted time we must now prepare to roast them.
Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Drain the seeds in the colander.

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On a cookie sheet spread the seeds into a single layer. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of Sea Salt onto the seeds. Stir the seeds around to coat them before spreading them back into a single layer.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 15-20 mins (depending on how large and how many seeds you have). Be sure to check the seeds every 5 mins or so. Rotate the cookie sheet each time. Once the seeds turn white they are done. But do not let them brown!

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Store seeds in a air tight container. And enjoy! As you can see in the above picture, my daughter and husband dived right in. I seriously barely had them out of the oven and in the jar before my husband swiped them!

As always feel free to comment and let me know how you liked it! I always love hearing from you guys!

Melissa Olsen

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

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Who loves everything pumpkin? This lady right here does! How does a homemade pumpkin pie sound? Or homemade punkin bread or even muffins?! It sounds delish to me! And I have a easy way to make pumpkin puree for that delicious pie. Or even bread, muffins or what ever catches your palette!

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First cut the tops of the pumpkins off. Then cut in half from top to bottom. Proceed to clean the stringy stuff and seeds and place them in a bowl. Set aside. After you have cleaned the halved pumpkins, you will then quarter them.

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Place the quartered pumpkins on a cookie sheet(s) & place in a oven at 350 degrees. For about 1 hour to 1 hour 20 mins. Or until fork soft.

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Once your pumpkin is done you will begin to remove the skins of the pumpkin quarters. With a small knife you will peel away the skin.
*Note for all you fellow gardeners you can use the the skins in your compost! Yay!

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Place your peeled yummy goodness in a bowl. Once you got it all peeled and in the bowl we will now puree it all.

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So in a food processor (or a blender works just as well) start to puree a few chunks at a time. If your pumpkin is dry, it is ok to add a tablespoon or two to the puree. Now puree the orange goodness like there is no tomorrow!
*Note if your pumpkin happens to be watery when you puree it. Use a cheesecloth to strain it or a fine mesh strainer.

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Once you have your pureed pumpkin done. You can use it right away or freeze it for later use. I chose to freeze it. (I plan on making pumpkin muffins for Christmas morning!)
Anyways I chose to freeze my pumpkin puree. First grab some quart freezer bags and you can freeze in precise measurements (such as a cup per bag) or throw it all in. I chose to throw it all in. Yes I know I’m a rebel.

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Fold over the opening edges outward. It helps control the messiness. And keeps the pumpkin away from the zipper part of the bag.

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Now go ahead fill up those bags! I used only two quart bags. If you decide to use precise measurements make sure to write it on your baggies! And as always lay flat to freeze!

There you go you just made your own pumpkin puree!!! Go you!! Now for those pumpkin seeds I told you to set aside. Well check out my next post on How to Clean & Roast Pumpkin Seeds.
As always I enjoy hearing feedback from everyone! And be sure to share with all your friends!

Melissa Olsen

Corned Venison

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I come from a family of hunters, who hunt on a regular basis. With it being deer season in our area right now, we have fresh venison to eat. My husband loves corned beef (me, not so much) and wanted to try making Corned Venison. And I am willing to try something new, as always. And let me tell you, we made something pretty darn awesome! Here is what you need:

1/2 Gallon of Water
1/2 cup heaping Kosher Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 ounce Instacure (Sodium Nitrate)
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Cracked Pepper
1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
6 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 tsp Caraway Seeds
1 Cinnamon Stick
6 Cloves
5 Chopped Garlic
3-5 pounds Venison Roast

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In a small skillet on low to medium heat. Add olive oil, coriander seeds, bay leaves, mustard seeds, cloves and caraway seeds. Toast or warm the seasonings together till you hear popping sounds (3-5 mins).

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In a stew pot, add together the rest of the ingredients except the roast. And when your toasted seasonings are done. Take the bay leaves out and crush them as you put them in the stew pot. Add the rest of the toasted seasonings to the pot. Cover.

Bring to everything (except the roast) to a boil. Once boil is achieved, turn the heat off & cover. Let stand to room temperature. About 3 hours.

To prepare the roast. Remove any of the silverskin but leave the fat. Once your brine has cooled to room temperature. Find a container large enough to hold the roast. Place the roast in the container with the brine covering the roast. If you are unable to cover the roast then flip the meat everyday. Cover & place in the fridge for 5-7 days. Depending of the size of the roast such as a 2 pound roast it would only need 3-5 days. The longer the roast soaks, the saltier the roast becomes.  But you do want the salt & sodium nitrate to work it’s way to the center of the roast.

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After the alloted time has passed for the roast to soak. You have Corned Venison! Yay!

Now to cook & eat. Rinse the roast off. Place in a pot large enough to cover with water. Again the stew pot is good. You don’t want a to big of pot or you will start to lose flavor from the meat. Partially cover the pot & simmer (Do Not Boil!) for at least 3 hours (up to 5 hours). The meat cooks in about an hour. The longer cooking time allows for the sinews and connective tissues to soften.

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You can eat your Corned Venison hot or cold. My husband says I now need to make sauerkraut!
Eat & enjoy! As always I enjoy hearing feedback from everyone!

*to locate the sodium nitrate. We had to get ours from Bass Pro.

Melissa Olsen

Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

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Here is a easy way of making Pico De Gallo. Seriously really simple! It’s fresh and absolutely delightful to eat!

All you need is a few simple ingredients :

6-8 medium tomatoes, sliced & chopped
1/2 of a medium white onion, chopped
1/2 of a med red onion, chopped
3-4 jalapeños, chopped
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
Lime zest & juice of 2 limes

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First start by slicing and chopping your tomatoes. I used about 6 med to large tomatoes  (whats left from my garden). And place them in a large bowl.

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Next chop your red and white onions. And add them to your bowl with the tomatoes.

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Now for your jalapeños. I used three good fat jalapeños. You can add to or use less jalapeños depending on the amount of heat you want in your Pico De Gallo.  Chop your jalapeños and add them to the bowl as well.

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I used about a 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro. This is another item you can use less or more with. You will then add this to your bowl as well.
Lastly the two limes. Zest them both and add to the mixture, as well as the juice from both. Gives it some tang to the mixture as a whole.

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After mixing the mixture up some. You will want to store in a air tight container. I used a couple of my quart size canning jars with lids. Keep in the fridge and use within a week.
There you have it easy-peasy Pico De Gallo! Yum! Enjoy everyone!

And as always let me know how you like it, I would love to hear about it! I always welcome tips and suggestions.

Melissa Olsen

Princess Elsa Pumpkin

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Alright who’s kiddo is not in love with Frozen?  My girls absolutely adore the movie. My 5 yr old, Grace, response to why she lives the movie so much. “Because Elsa and Anna are sisters. And they love each other. Elsa and Anna are like sissy and me. Sissy and me are sisters and I love my sister too. Just like Elsa and Anna.” Yeah I can’t top that answer. Makes me smile.

This year for Halloween (the girls call it “My Halloween Day”) they wanted a Elsa Pumpkin.  Ok…so how in the world was I going to come thru on this one? I searched Pintrest to get ideas. There were different variations of a Elsa pumpkin. This was our take on it.

Here’s what you need:
1 large pumpkin
I can of Krylon Sky Blue spray paint
Glitter
Rinestones
Hot Glue Gun
Newspaper
Mod podge
Foam Brush
Clear spray paint (top coat)
Tiara

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It was windy the day I painted the pumpkin. So I nixed the newspaper and just sprayed the pumpkin. You will still need the newspaper later on. This is after 1 layer of paint. We ended up using a half a can. Be sure to let each layer to dry so there won’t be any drips.

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Here’s is after a half a can of paint. To completely dry I left the pumpkin for about a hour before picking it up.

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Now time for glitter. I used a white glitter for this project. With the foam brush, brush the mod podge on the pumpkin in sections. You will cover each section with the glitter. I did the stem as well, but you don’t have too. My girls wanted me to so we did. I did two complete coats of glitter all over pumpkin. We let the glitter dry overnight.  And then the next morning i sprayed the pumpkin with a layer of clear top coat spray. Let it throughly dry for the recommended time, about 30 mins. Now time for rhinestones!

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My 2 helpers loved this part, next to the glitter. At 6am after I got off work these 2 monkeys needed to finish thier pumpkin. As you can see from thier excitement  (me, I was exhausted ).
Yes each and every one of the rhinestones was hot glued on. Yes it took awhile, but it’s worth it. It took me about 45 mins to hot glue the rhinestones on.

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Using a tiara from the girl’s dress up box, we have our finished craft. A Princess Elsa Pumpkin! It does take some time to do but the girls love thier pumpkin. We will be entering it in a pumpkin contest the week of Halloween. I hope the girls do well! Will update on how they did!

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Melissa Olsen