Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Salsa! Kiddo Safe :)

I can not tell you how much I enjoy canning. It has opened my eyes to how much money you can save, quantity and doing the math and just realizing how much you get for sooo little. Its been a fun experience to do with my daughters. The taste is amazing and your not eating all those little extras that the companies put into the food you buy. This recipe all by its self is great for those little mouths that love chips and salsa. If you want something a little hotter or mild, you can add whatever you like to this. This recipe is also on the sweet side, even though there is no sugar added to this. All in all my favorite salsa and will be making many variations of this.


If for whatever reason and your like me and you want to save your seeds from your peppers. So you can grow your own pepper plants next year......Copied from facebook post.......

Salsa Recipe:

7 pounds of ripe tomatoes peeled if desired
3 cups seeded and chopped fresh Anaheim or poblano chili pepper ( I used Anaheim)
1/3 cup seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno chili peppers ( 3 large )
2 cups chopped onion ( 2 large )
1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1 cup vinegar
1/2 can of 6 ounce tomato paste ( I used the whole can)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Seed , core, and coarsely chop tomatoes ( you should have about 14 cups, I didn't seed or core mine I threw it all in a blender and got it to the consistently that I liked ) Place tomatoes in a large colander. Let drain for 30 minutes.
Place drained tomatoes in a large stainless steel sauce pan. Bringing to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered about 1 and 1/4 hours or until thickened, stirring frequently. Add chili peppers, onions, cilantro, vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Return to boiling. reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Ladle hot salsa into hot canning jars. Leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. wipe jar rims, adjust lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Start timer when water comes to boil again. Remove jars cool on racks and make sure they sealed. Enjoy!

Sweet Pickle Relish

Don't have much to say except Taste Amazing! Super easy to make, a little time consuming but worth it~!

Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe:

6 cups chopped cucumber ( I used my blender)
3 cups chopped green and/or red sweet pepper ( I used my blender)
3 cups chopped onion (Used my blender again a lot quicker process then chopping)
3 cups sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 Tbsp celery, and mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Combine vegetables in an extra large bowl. Sprinkle with pickling salt, add enough cold water to cover. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
Pour vegetable mixture in colander set in sink. Rinse with fresh water and drain well.
In a 6-8 quart sauce pan combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, mustard seed, and turmeric. Heat to boiling. Add drained vegetable mixture, return to boiling. Cook uncovered, over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Ladle relish into hot sterilized canning jars. Leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims, adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Start timer when water returns to a boil. Remove jars let cool and check for good seal. Enjoy!

Jelly Jam Time!

SO I have had a break with the garden things are growing and I was really wanting to do something! So I tried my hand in Jelly and Jam today. Really excited that it was sooo easy, was really quick to make. All in all I will be doing this more and getting crazy with flavors. :)

So I make what they call mixed juice jelly. OMGOSH I'm in love my fav. I had it done and processed in like 30-45 minutes. Super easy and quick. I would have taken pictures but things were moving and getting done so fast there was no time.
So here is the finished product.

Jam I like to call this one 2.1 I know a little weird but its all I had. It called for a cup of each berries that you wanted to use. But I had more blueberries than the others so, it was like a 2 to 1 ratio hints the name 2.1 lol. This is the favorite of the kids and the Mr. They darn near finished a jar at dinner time. Makes me happy and smile goofy that they enjoy what I make so much. Makes me want to continue to do it. Not to mention the money we will save. Will definitely be putting more things in the garden next year. We were testing the waters this year. It has gone way to well and there is expansion plans in the making. :)

With both recipes I will be including in this post you can really do whatever you would like. All one berry or juice or what not combine two, three, four. Possibilities are endless. Today I will be making just grape, apple. I think I might do a apple grape and I have a raspberry apple juice I think. It could be tasty. We sure will find out. I also know this sounds like a lot of jelly to have but great for gifts and we like our jelly :)

Here's the jam! I hope you enjoys these as much as my family.

Juice Jelly Recipe:

4 cups juice ( not low calorie) mix and match juices for different taste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1.75 ounce package regular powered fruit pectin. ( I used http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-realfruit-classic-pectin-4-7-oz/shop/382653/ , only because its way cheaper to buy this than one package of pectin.)
4 1/2 cups sugar

Poured desired juice and lemon juice into a 6 - 8 quart sauce pan. Sprinkle with pectin. Let stand for a minute or two, stir to dissolve. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stir often. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam with metal spoon if any.

Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars. Leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Start timer when water returns to a boil. Remove jars, cool on racks until set. Make sure they seal.

Jam Recipe:

4 cups crushed berries ( I tossed them in my blender, speed the breaking down process up a little. ) Mix and match your favorites. *I used 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup raspberries, and 1 cup black raspberries.
4 1/2 Tbsp Real Fruit Classic Pectin ( can be found here http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-realfruit-classic-pectin-4-7-oz/shop/382653/)
3 cups sugar
6 quilted Crystal Jelly jars. ( I may have added a bit more berries, and I always heat up extra jars just in case I'm off a little.) Jar can be found here: http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-half-pint-8-oz-quilted-crystal-jelly-jars-set-of-12/shop/237410/

Combined berries in saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil, that can not be stirred down. Over high heat stirring constantly, add entire measure of sugar. stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat skim any foam if necessary off top. Ladle into to jars leave 1/4 inch from top.

Process for 10-30 minutes. Remove lid let stand in water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and let cool on rack for 24 hours. make sure they sealed and enjoy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tangy Relish

I am a big lover of relish, though I haven't gotten to try this one yet. I will be soon maybe tonight Ill make up some hot dogs and have a cookout. Yeah that sounds amazing! So it was a little bit of a process but really not that bad. I used my blender for the majority of all the cutting. depending on how fine or chunky you would like it is up to you and how much you want to blend it. I have small children so I like mine finely cut.

Other than that I gathered up my materials and got to cooking.

Everything combined and resting for the hour.

Fast forward.......walla relish!

But here it is for you from me :)

3lbs cucumbers
2-3 sweet onions
1/4 cups pickling salt ( if your like me and you cant find it in town any were go to http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-pickling-salt-in-pouch-32-oz/shop/382695/
3 cups white vinegar
3/4 cups sugar
4-5 garlic cloves minced, I use a hand cheese grater makes quick work of it.
2 tsp dill seeds, mustard seeds, and celery seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp corn starch

Finely chop cucumbers and onions. Place in large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir well. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain mixture in colander, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Pressing out any excess water/ moisture. In a large pot bring vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill, mustard, and celery seed to a boil. Add cucumber mixture, boil again. Stir frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. After 9 minutes mix corn starch in with simmering juice mix until thickened. ( I noticed that when I added it I just plopped it in and it was hard to stir in, maybe sprinkle across top or something.) Remove from heat and add turmeric and mix well.

Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rim. Seal with lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let sit for 24 to make sure they seal properly.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

BBQ Sauce

In the past two days I have had the pleasure of harvesting 72 tomato's, doesn't sound like a lot, but it is for the two plants that I have, lol. So I really wanted to make BBQ sauce. I found a couple different ways to make it and will slowly make them all to see what we like.  I will tell you with this one, not one of our favorites in favor to traditional BBQ sauce. It never gets real thick it stays thin. Maybe operator error, or this is just how it is suppose to turn out. I don't know. Anyways it still taste really good. Our intentions with this BBQ however have change. I use it as a marinade, it is WONDERFULLY delish! Two thumbs up.

Last night I took Hillshire Farms smoked sausage its a staple in my house, and I sliced it up poured some BBQ in let it come to a boil then simmered till ready for dinner. Lets just say the girls kept asking for more "hot dogs" there were no leftovers. I also have intentions to try my good ole pulled pork with it too. Let it cook in that BBQ alllll day. Sounds like a great plan! :)

This part in the instructions I think I will hold off and skip next time. Didn't feel like it was necessary, but if you try this you make the call. Maybe you know what your doing more than I do with a sieve.

Smells YUMMY! :)

The finished product! I hope you enjoy trying this and if you have young ones, its not hot or spicy at all.

You will need:

20 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes (about 21 medium)
2 cups finely chopped onions (about 3 to 4 medium)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp hot pepper flakes
1 Tbsp celery seeds
1-1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp salt
1-1/2 Tbsp ground mace or nutmeg
1 Tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


1.) COMBINE tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot pepper flakes and celery seeds in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
2.) TRANSFER mixture, working in batches, to a sieve placed over a glass or stainless steel bowl and press with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid and pulp. This can also be done using a food mill. Discard solids.
3.) RETURN liquid and pulp to saucepan. Add brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, mace, mustard, ginger and cinnamon. Return to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbecue sauce, about 30 minutes.
4.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
5.) LADLE hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.



Just really quick wanted to throw out there about canning carrots. I had some carrots that I bought from the store that I knew were not going to get used up as quick as I thought so I canned them. I cut them up for general cooking and then a did like a roast type carrot cutting them long.

This is the recipe I used: found at http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=40

You will need:

1 to 1-1/2 lb (about 6 to 9 medium with 1- to 1 1/2-inch diameter) carrots per pint jar
Salt, optional
Pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


1.) PREPARE pressure canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) WASH peel carrots. Wash again. Cut carrots into slices or leave whole.
3.) PACK carrots tightly into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1 tsp salt to each quart jar, 1/2 tsp to each pint jar, if desired.
4.) LADLE boiling water over carrots leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) PROCESS filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 25 minutes for pints, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

New addition to the family

Soooo I went to town to grab a few things from the store one day. I couldnt resist what I saw outside. He was free too! Even better, so I really thought the Mr. was going to chop my head off for bring him home. To my surprise he DIDNT. He was acting like a little kid right beside the girls! That was a close call. So I would like to introduce Mr. Jumpsalot!

Dont worry he was only held capitive in the box untill his house was ready. :) He is happily living in up with his toys, tunnel, ice block, and treats. There is plans in the future to expand his home. I just have to finish my other projects first.