Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tips on How to Survive a Long Wait at the Doctor

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' Long wait tips

Seems like we wait for everything these days; to pay for your groceries, to see the bank teller, and the craziest of all . . . to see the doctor. It's pure insanity to wait an hour and a half to two hours to see a doctor when you are sick or hurting. They ask you sit in their hard, uncomfortable chairs and try not to pass out until you can be seen.

Its nothing to wait an hour before being called back. Then, you wait another 45 minutes before you see the doctor. It drives me nuts that after all this waiting, they want to take your blood pressure and want to know why its so high. Hello?
 
Well, I've learned the hard way that you have to occupy the mind. The longer I sit flipping thru magazines that don't interest me, the more annoyed I get. The more annoyed I get, the more I hurt or sick I feel.

I'm not above taking a cushion with me. When I ruptured a disc in my back and was in excruciating pain, I would take a memory foam cushion with me every where I went. When I went to a doctor's appointments, I took a cute soft sided bag, threw in a cushion, a book and some magazines. These things helped keep me sane. Take a cushion, a small throw blanket, what ever helps to make you more comfortable.
 
Prepare for the worse and hope for the best.  In other words, be prepared to wait for an hour or two. Set your mind that its going to take that long and if it doesn't, you will be pleasantly surprised.
 
Always take something with you that interest you; you're favorite magazine, a good book, a fun game on you're phone. My favorite way to pass the time is also relaxing. I like to surf the web on my phone, searching for places I'd love to travel. However, if the office you're at doesn't offer free wifi, you'll need to watch your usage, which could cause stress all on its own.

If you're a writer, take a notebook and pen with you and brainstorm new stories. You never know what could be inspiring; the receptionist, nurse or another patient. If you enjoy drawing, take a sketch pad and charcoals. Sketch the waiting room, doctor or nurse. These could become memory albums.

If you have a party that you need to plan, take a notebook and search the web on your phone for inexpensive ideas of how to make it awesome. You can even mention what you're doing to others and they may offer you ideas. Search pinterest for decorating tips and gift idea.
 
The bottom line, we're always gonna wait for something, its what you do with that time that determines if you're gonna be miserable or not. Why not do something that you never take time to do, like read or dream or plan? You might just be surprised at how fast the time seems to go by and get a few things done that might otherwise fall to the wayside.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Contest for our Subscribers, Followers and Friends



Southen Expressions Redneck wine glass





Our first Contest. 'Bout time, huh? Well, hopefully you're as excited about it as we are.


Here's what you have to do.

No, raffling. No jumping thru hoops. Simply subscribe to this blog, follow our pinterest page, or friend us on facebook. When you've done at least one of these, come back to this post, and comment your name.
 

Details

Two subscribers will be chosen at random. Both will receive one item from of our new product line, As Southern as Grits & Gravy . . . Hand Painted Redneck Wine Glasses With Southern Expressions. The contest runs from Saturday June 29 thru July 6. Winners will be announced on this blog on Sunday July 7.  If your name is announced, you will have until July 14 to claim prize before another contestant will be chosen. Claim by sending us your name, email address, and mailing address, thru our contact form on blog.
 

Small Print

No purchase necessary. Items will be shipped at Mint Juleps 'n Muddin's expense. Your personal information is never shared with an outside source.

Good Luck.
 
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

 

Ingredients

 
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (baked)
1 - 8 oz. block of cream cheese (cubed)
1 - 16 oz. jar of salsa
1 can of chicken stock or broth 
1 - 8 count flour burrito shells
8 oz. of Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
 
Bake chicken breasts and shred.  In a large microwave safe bowl, place chicken, cream cheese, and salsa. Put chicken mixture into microwave and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Mix well.
 
Spray a large casserole dish with non stick spray.
 
Take a shell and spread 3 heaping tablespoons of chicken mixture on one end and roll. Place at one end of the dish and roll up another shell. Place it next to the last roll and continue this process until all filling is used.
 
Pour chicken stock over rolls and cover with foil.
 
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 or until all stock is absorbed. Remove foil and sprinkle rolls with Mexican cheese shreds.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
 
Enjoy.
 

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Refinishing Cabinets

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin': How to refinish cabinets

Supplies


Several jars
Sand paper or sanding blocks
Paint thinner

Paint (Valspar with Kilz in it)

Cordless screw driver
Magic eraser

Dawn dish detergent

Sponge brushes
Roller brushes (short nape)

Paint pans
Drop cloths

rags

 
First, let me say that the project of refinishing your cabinets is not something to delve into without giving it a lot of serious thought. It is a project that is going to take days not hours, so you must be willing to put in the time; not to mention the work.

It’s also a messy job. Your kitchen will be torn apart and junk will be everywhere. You’ll have sand paper, paint thinner, brushes, drop clothes, tape and paint lying around. You can pretty much forget about cooking unless it’s cooked in a crock pot.

Once you decide to refinish your cabinets yourself comes the next very important decision; what color to use. You must decide on a color that you think you can live with for several years. Very, Very Important:  The type of paint is everything. I would suggest Valspar with Kilz. It’s expensive but worth it.

Then, you must decide if your current hinges and knobs will work with the look you are going for.  Walk around a home improvement store. Find cabinets that you like and decide if you think you can pull that look off with some fresh paint and knobs.

Don’t get fixated on one set of knobs and hinges. Figure out the material and color you want and shop around. Also, look on the websites of the home improvement stores. They offer several more items online than they do in their retail stores and you might be surprised at how much cheaper some of the items are.

With all that said, if I still haven’t talked you out of refinishing your own cabinets, then, here is a step by step guide of doing it yourself.

Make sure you can have windows and doors open to allow for good ventilation during all these steps.

 
Day One:  With cordless screw driver, remove all hinges and knobs from doors. Use jars to store screws with their counter parts. Take all doors outside and wash down with Dawn dish detergent, water and a magic eraser. This is to remove all grease. Now, do the same to all the cabinets. Allow everything to dry. Make sure your doors are out of the weather, if you decide to leave them outside over night.

Day Two:  Take rags and wet down with paint thinner. It doesn’t matter if you start on the cabinets or the doors, but this is a long process. Rub down an area of cabinet or door with thinner, and then, sand. The goal here is to take the shine off the old paint. The old paint will still be there but it will be dull looking.

Day Three:  Put down your drop cloths because you’re gonna paint.  Very important:  Sponge brushes and rollers are less likely to leave streaks in your paint, so for this method, that’s all we used. I would suggest lying out all your doors and rolling the paint on them. Do one side and when it dries, flip over and do the other side. Make sure you use short nape roller brushes.

Paint cabinets starting at the top and working your way down. This way you can catch any runs above where you are working before they dry.

Day Four:  Paint everything again.

Day Five:  Now, you’re ready to put everything together. If you’ve bought new knobs and hinges, now is the time to break those out of their packages and install.

Sit back and admire all your hard work.


 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making a Centerpiece From Medicine Bottles


Mint Juleps 'n Muddin':  How to make a centerpiece from medicine bottles

 Supplies


Several medicine bottles of the same size
Hot Glue & Gun
Spray paint that will adhere to plastic (any color you wish)

1 jarred candle

Floral water beads


First, find the jarred candle that you want to use. I would suggest one at least 4” tall and about 3 ½” in diameter.


Next, determine how many medicine bottles you will need. Sit the candle down and place bottles around the candle.  Hot glue the sides of each bottle to the next. Allow glue to dry.


Flip circle of bottles upside down and spray paint; making sure to cover every one completely. You will need 2 to 3 coats. Allow to dry.

Finally, flip bottles upright, and place candle in the center.  Fill bottles ½ way with water beads and put any flower that you wish in each. Picture below, I used every other bottle for placing flowers.


Mint Juleps 'n Muddin': How to make centerpiece using medicine bottles

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' :  New uses for old medicine bottles
Candle shorter than bottles
 
 

 
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Make Pickles Using the Dishwasher and Microwave

Mint Juleps n Muddin': Simple way to make your own Claussen Pickles
  


Yes, you read it right. Canning Pickles using the dishwasher and microwave.
First, start with our tutorial Canning Made Simple. It’s a really simple method to can just about anything and will help you get set up for this tutorial.
Note: Both steps will include handling extremely hot items, so be sure to have oven mitts or towels on hand when pulling out of dishwasher or microwave.

Supplies

3 lbs of cucumbers (sliced into chips)
¼ cup of Ball’s Kosher Pickling Spice
1 cup of white vinegar
2 cups of water
2 quart jars and lids
Ladle
In a large, microwave safe bowl, mix spice, vinegar and water. Put in microwave and cook on high for 20 minutes.
When the microwave stops, take a hot jar from the dishwasher and pack in cucumber slices; filled up to ½” from the top. Take bowl from microwave and ladle liquid over cucumbers; fill to 1/8” from top. Wipe rim with clean paper towel, making sure no residue will get caught under lid or band. Seal. Don’t push on lid; allow it to seal on its own.
Then, pull another jar from the dishwasher and repeat process.

After jars seal and cool, throw one in the fridge. Allow 2 weeks pickling time before eating.
These pickles have the taste and texture of expensive refrigerated Pickles.
Yields 2 quarts of pickles. 

Note:  You can make spears using this same recipe, however, they requires more jars due to their size, and not being able to pack them as tightly as chips. If you choose to make spears, you may want to invest in the wide mouth jars for easier filling. You can also double or triple this recipe to make more.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Make a Pound Cake From a Box


Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' Directions to make a pound cake from box cake mix
 
The easiest way to make a pound cake is by starting with a boxed cake mix.  The follow directions are for a sour cream pound cake.
 

Ingredients

1 box of cake mix (sifted)
1 cup of all-purpose flour (sifted)
1 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 tsp of salt
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter (melted)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
6 eggs
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.
 
In a large bowl, sift together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Pour in buttermilk, sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla.  With an electric mixer, stir all ingredients until no lumps remain.
 
Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake in preheated oven. Time varies by ovens and pans but will take about an hour to an hour and twenty minutes to cook. Bake until top is golden brown and when a tooth pick is inserted, it comes out clean.
 
Enjoy.
 
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Refilling Lysol No Touch Bottles

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' How to refill Lysol No touch bottles
Did you know that you can refill Lysol Not Touch Bottles?  I spent nearly $4.00 a bottle on these things every time they emptied, until my sister told me about this little trick.  Thanks, Sis.

Here's how you do it.

Wedge the tip of a tablespoon, under the lid. Do this on one of the sides where there are no labels. (The thinner the spoon the better.) With a little force, the lid will pop right off.  Fill with your favorite liquid soap, and push the lid back on; you will feel a little pop when the lid is back on tight. Now, its ready to reuse.

Homemade Southern Chicken Salad Recipe

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' Chicken Salad recipe

Ingredients

3 chicken breast (baked)
1 medium onion
1 1/3 cup of mayo
1/2 teaspoon of celery salt
black pepper to taste

A day ahead, season and bake chicken. Allow to cool, and then, refrigerate.

Next day, dice chicken and run through food processor. Chicken should be shredded as pictured below.

Dice onion and run through food processor. Onion should be shredded as pictured below.


In a large mixing bowl, add chicken, celery salt, and pepper. Mix. Next, add onion and mayo to chicken and stir. (Note - You may need to add more mayo depending on the size of your chicken breast and onions.  Add a tablespoon at a time until all chicken is coated.)

Yields about a quart of salad.

Refrigerate and serve cold. (Note -  Do NOT add more salt on the first day. The salad gets salter, the longer it sits.)

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

How to Make Febreeze


Recipe for febreeze

Essentials

1/4 cup of Downy Softener
3 cups of water
4 tbsp. of  rubbing alcohol
1 - 32 oz. spray bottle

In spray bottle, pour softener in first. Then pour alcohol in with softener. Finally, pour in water. Swirl bottle around to mix. 

Now, its ready to use. 

How to Make a Box Cake Taste Like Homemade

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' Recipe to make box cake more like homemade

Did you know that you could do a few simple things to make a boxed cake taste like homemade? 

What to do

First, substitute buttermilk for water. Where the directions call for 1 cup of water, substitute with 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk.

Second, substitute butter for oil. Where the directions call for 1/2 cup of oil, substitute with a 1/2 cup of butter.

Third, add more eggs.  Where the directions call for 3 eggs, substitute with 4 eggs.

Forth and final, add vanilla extract.  Now, to give it that real homemade taste . . . add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or any flavorings that you desire.

No one will ever know its from a box, unless you tell them.


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Make Your Own Lysol Power and Free

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' How to make your own Lysol Power and Free
 
I absolutely love the Lysol Power and Free cleaner.  Its doesn't have that harsh smell that bleach does and it works wonders on so many different things; including whites. I tried it when it first came; when the manufacture was giving dollar off coupons. I fell in love with it then, but now that they are no longer giving out those coupons, it is a bit pricy. Solution; make your own.

Power and Free Recipe

1 cup of Dawn Dish Detergent
1 small bottle or 2 cups of Hydrogen Peroxide

Pour Dawn in spray bottle, then pour in peroxide. Replace spray bottle lid, and gently, tip the bottle over, again and again until mixed. Do Not Shake due to pressure that can build up and possibly causing the peroxide to lose its strength.

This works just as well as the store bought, if not better, and you can make it for less than $ 1.50 a bottle.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Removing Gum From Clothes

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' How to remove gum from cloths

You guys know that there are very few commercial products that I promote. I prefer to make my solutions because its cheaper and usually works better than the store bought. However, there are a few things on the market that are must haves.

My closet is always stocked with Dawn Dish Detergent, Magic Erasers and Oops multi-purpose remover.

Gum really isn't a stain but it can ruin your day if you get it on your clothes.  And yes, my little nephew recently sat in gum at a movie theater. YUCK! I'll save the soap box speech for now, but it left the family scrambling for a solution to save his clothes.

My sister-in-law tried the ice method before reaching out for help. Putting an cube of ice on the gum will sometimes freeze it and allow you to pull it off the clothes without damage. But if its been stretched and smeared across the clothes, you can give it up.

Stain - Gum   Solution - Oops multi-purpose remover.

I must tell you to do a swatch test on a hidden area of clothes before spraying down your entire garment with this product. However. the clothes my sister-in-law sprayed were red and black and she didn't experience any color fade. I never have either.

Spray gum with Oops and allow to sit for 5 minutes or more. Take a scrub or tooth brush and rub the gum in a circular motion. You should see gum falling apart. Remove all gum particles and wash alone, just in case you missed some.

Keep a can of this on hand, just in case. It also has several other uses like sticker, glue, paint and tar removal. So if you don't need it for gum, you may need it for something else around the house.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Use for Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls



Mint Juleps 'n Muddn' Make your own Biodegradable planters

Make your own biodegradable seed planters.

Supplies

Toilet paper rolls or Paper towel rolls
Newspaper
Scissors
Water
 
Start saving rolls a few weeks before you start this project, so you will have several to work with.
 
Cut toilet paper rolls in half and paper towel rolls in 2" sections.
 
 
Cut 4 sheets of newspaper into 6" squares.
 
 
Stack newspapers and fold into triangle and fold again.
 
 
Place newspaper triangle in water. Saturate all layers.
 
 
Unfold paper and gather at sides as shown below.  Insert into 2" roll section.
 
 
Setting on a hard surface, push paper to bottom of roll, being careful not to rip out bottom with fingernails.  Begin separating paper folds and rubbing on sides of roll. Flip excess paper over sides of roll and rub. (This will help keep wet roll from falling apart).
 
 
They're not beautiful or sexy, but they'll do the job. Once dry, put in potting soil and plant. Place planters in a container with small holes drilled in the bottom and store out of the weather.
 
 
 When you're ready to transplant, plant the entire planter and seedling. The paper will decompose over time.
 
 
 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No Prep Chicken Casserole


Ingredients

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
1 can of Cream of Mushroom
1 can of Cream of Chicken
1 large can of Mushrooms (drained)
1 cup of diced onions
1 box of Uncle Bens Long Grain and Wild Rice Herb Roasted Chicken
1/4 tsp. of Garlic Powder


In a large mixing bowl, mix Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, Mushrooms, Onions, Rice and rice flavor seasoning.

In a large casserole dish, place raw chicken breasts side by side and season with Garlic Powder.

Spoon rice mixture into casserole dish.  Cover with foil and cook at 375 degrees for 1 hours. 

And Yes, your rice and chicken come out fully cooked and tender. This dish is to die for.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to Make Chalkboard Labels for Jars

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin':  Recycle old jars with chalikboard labels
 

Save all the jars you can get your hands on. They are great for storing spices, nuts, bolts, screws, drill bits, cotton swabs and any small items. Use for displaying flowers, decorative stones and beads. 

Here is a simple way to label your jars and relabel over and over.

Supplies

Jars with lids
Newspaper
Painters tape
Chalkboard paint
 
 
Spray paint lids and allow to dry. You will need to do this at least 3 times to get a good coverage and allow 24 hours drying time before use.
 
 
Tape off a label shaped area on side of jar.
 
 
Spray paint side of jar that you taped off and allow to dry. You will need to do this at least 3 times to get a good coverage and allow 24 hours to dry before use.
 
 
Now, you can use for anything your heart desires and easily label each jars, over and over.
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

2 Liter Bottle Planter Waterer in One


Mint Juleps 'n Muddin' Homemade automatice waterer

Supplies

2 liter bottle washed and dried
2 - 12" pieces of yarn or string
Scissors
Hole punch
Measuring tape
Potting soil or peat moss

 
Measure 7" from the bottom of the bottle and cut all the way around, cutting off top.  Take top half and punch 3 small holes in the side, at about 3 1/2" from the top and about 3" apart.
 
 
Pull the 2 - 12" long pieces of yarn or string through neck opening and through the 2 outside holes in top of bottle.
 

Fill bottom half with about 2" of water.


 Fill top section with a wet peat moss or potting soil. Starting with wet soil helps to keep it in place.


Place top section into bottom section, making sure water in bottom part is not touching top part.

 
Push strings into water to get them wet. They will wick moisture to the soil. Now, plant whatever you wish in the top and it will water itself.
 
 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cat Head Biscuit Recipe


I'm not sure how many folks have ever heard of Cat Head biscuits, much less eaten one, but they are slap your mama delicious. Unlike the biscuits we make today, these are made with some sort of animal fat. Whether you use lard, bacon grease, or butter, Cat Head's are not good for the body but great for the taste buds.

Ingredients

2 cups of self rising flour
1 cup of buttermilk
2 Tbsp of lard, butter or bacon grease.
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour. Place lard in middle of flour. Slowly pour in milk as you hand mix lard and flour. Continue until all milk is incorporated. Dough should be so soft that when you pick up a cut biscuit with 3 fingers, it just falls apart. Flatten to about an inch thick and cut with biscuit cutters. Lay on baking sheet and rub tops with melted butter.
 
Cook at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
 
Enjoy.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How to get Grease or Oil Out of Just About Anything

Mint Juleps 'n Muddin': Dawn Dish Detergent Stain Remover

You've heard me sing the graces of Dawn dish detergent in the past but did you know that it is The Best thing to use on greasy clothes?  No joke.

Dawn testimony.
Countless times I've laundered an article of clothing only to find an oil stain on it after pulling it out of the dryer. Years ago, I would have sprayed it with everything on the market, scrubbed it until my hands were raw, washed it a zillion times, and eventually give up, and throw it out. Not anymore. Now, I don't panic. I just pour straight Dawn on the stain, throw it back in the hamper and wash it again a day or two later with the rest of the laundry. I don't scrub. I don't rub. I just let it set and allow the Dawn to do the work for me.

Putting Dawn to the test.
If the last claim wasn't amazing enough, I've got one to top that.  My son's vehicle broke last year and he and a friend worked on it. After repairing, they both came in with thick grease all over their clothes. Now, the white t-shirts, even Dawn couldn't save but the jeans, the jeans were a different story. I poured straight Dawn on them. Allowing the jeans to sit over night, I then wash them alone in the washer. To my amazement, they came out of the wash stain-free. Afterwards, I ran laundry detergent, a tablespoon of Dawn, and bleach through an empty load just to make sure no grease was left in the washer.

One more testimony.
My brother was working on a tractor with a hydraulic leak; in new clothes.  Hydraulic fluid poured all over his pants. Straight Dawn on those saved the day and kept him out of the dog house for ruining a new  pair of pants.

It works on butter, meat grease, vegetable oil, motor oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission oil, gear grease or rear end dope, and just about any oil or grease that a mechanic can get cover in.

So the moral to the story.
Don't throw out clothes that are covered in oil or grease before trying straight, cheap, blue Dawn on it first. You might just be amazed at what you can save.
 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Canning Made Simple

Mint Juleps n Muddin: Easy Homemade Canning

Its that time of year. The time of year where Southern men start harvesting from their backyard gardens. And Southern women get the task of figuring out how to store all those vegetables.

Well, if you're like me, you grew up with your mom standing over a hot stove boiling jars, fruits and vegetables. I remember those days far too well to want to experience what my little mama did. Red faced, sweat rolling off every inch of your body, trying to get everything peeled and boiled, all while screaming at children as they fought over some petty crap. Oh no, that does Not sound like fun.

For years, I froze everything just to keep from canning, but I was limited as to what I could do with those items. With a little trial and error, I came up with a method that makes canning so much easier. So easy in fact, that you will not believe it.

Easy Canning so simple you'll laugh. Place all your jars & lids in the dish washer and wash.

Start preparing whatever you wish to can; jelly, pickles, tomatoes, etc.  Folks, I don't stand over a stove cooking this stuff unless I just have to. Tomatoes: put in a bowl, cover with water and stick it in the microwave for about 3 to 4 minutes; just long enough that the peel starts to wrinkle when touched. Depending upon microwave strengths, you may have to cook a bit longer. When the skin wrinkles when touched, pour water off tomatoes and run cold water over them. The meat of the tomato will still be hot, so be careful as you pull the skin off. De-core all tomatoes and dice each one into a large microwavable bowl. Microwave in 20 minute increments. Every time the microwave stops, stir. Reset for 20 minutes and continue this process until tomatoes are cooked down and juice is thick.

While your cooking the vegetable, your dish washer will finish washing. Now, turn it back to rinse cycle and run the jars and lids from there.

When your vegetables have cooked down and are ready to can, your jars and lids should be in the drying cycling in the dish washer. Pull out one jar & lid at a time and fill each to about a 1/2" from the top. Make sure the jars & lids are still extremely hot (you may need a towel or oven mitt to handle them). If you get anything on the rim of your jar, be sure to wipe it off before placing lid. Continue this process until all tomatoes are canned. If you have some left over that will not fill a jar, throw it out or put in a jar and refrigerate.

Allow jars to cool at room temperature. Do not push down on your lids; allow them to seal on their own, otherwise you may end up with a false seal and your vegetables will go bad. Once sealed, store in a cool, dry place, as you would any canned goods.

The keys to canning are hot jars, hot lids, hot ingredients, filled to 1/2" from the top and clean jar rims and seals.  If you do these things key things, you should have success every time.

Happy Canning.