Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Take a minute to thank a soldier for all
they give and have given.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Strawberry Salsa

This recipe was from the Complete Book of Pickling.
Peppery Strawberry Salsa

6 cups crushed strawberries (about 3 1/2 lb)
4 cups diced red bell peppers
2 cups diced yellow bell peppers
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup minced seeded jalapeno peppers
2 tsp pickling salt
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or mint

Prepare jars, lids and bands.

If berries are very juicy (they squirt when crushed), spoon 3 cups into a sieve and set over a bowl. let drain for 30 minutes to remove about 3/4 cup excess juice, reserving the juice for another use.
In a large pot, combine strawberries, red and yellow peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, salt, cumin, vinegar and honey. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until onions are translucent and salsa is slightly thickened. Stir in cilantro.

Ladle hot salsa into prepared jars leaving a 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Process jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Adjust time according to your altitude.

Makes: 12 half pints or 6 pints

Week 57

Sometimes I check the blog stats to see what people are looking at. For some reason this week, I've had 166 people look at my Jay Leno post. Odd. If you're looking at it, let me know how you found out about it and why are you looking at it?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Time...

,,,dehydrating tomatoes.  In my effort to not waste food, I took 2 tomatoes that were a bit on the soft side and am dehydrating them.  It's only one tray, but with our solar electric, it doesn't cost anything to run the dehydrator.  That means there is a net savings of two tomatoes.  Okay, I was dying to dry tomatoes so I could pulverise them into a powder.  I have been wanting to do that for a while and our tomatoes are not ripe yet.  Why is it, that when you want lots of tomatoes there aren't any, but when you have tons, you can't figure out what to do with them?
Here is another onion recipe from one of the canning forums. If you haven't tried caramalized onions, you are missing out.  They are great on sandwiches or to serve with cheese platters. You'll be amazed at the subtle taste of the savory jams.

Caramelized Onion and Garlic Jam

This savory jam is very good served with meats.

4 whole garlic bulbs
1 tsp vegetable oil
5 cups chopped sweet onions (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
6 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin

Remove papery outer skin from garlic (do not peel or separate cloves).
Cut top off garlic bulbs; brush with oil. Wrap each bulb in heavy duty
foil. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until softened.
Cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a Dutch oven, sauté onions in butter for 30-40 minutes or until
lightly browned. Squeeze softened garlic into pan. Stir in the cider
vinegar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, ginger
and cloves. Bring to a rolling boil.
Gradually add sugar, stirring constantly. Return to a boil for 3 minutes.

Add pectin; bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Remove from the heat; let stand for 3 minutes. Skim off
foam. Pour hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust
caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Adjust time
according to altitude.

Yield: about 7 half pints

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Week 56

It's gettin' to be onion time in our garden.  DH planted yellow, red and white and we have bunches.  Can anyone really have too many onions? I think not.  So for something a bit different I am going to try this recipe:

Caramelized Red Onion Relish

From Small Batch Preserving: Over 300 Delicious Recipes by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

2 large red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
3 fresh bay leaves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)

Stir the onions and brown sugar together in a large, heavy bottomed enamel pot. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the onions are very soft and deep brown in color, about 25 minutes. If the onions stick while cooking, stir in 1/4 cup of water and stir vigorously, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the wine, vinegar, and herbs. Turn the heat to high and bring the onions to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove the relish from the heat, pick out the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Pack the relish into hot half pint jars, seal, and process for 10 minutes. Please refer to Ball Canning Book for more detail on canning.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ramen Recipes

I found this link for 100 ramen recipes. So if you ever find yourself with nothing but ramen to eat, try one of these recipes.  They even list a jell-o and ramen recipe. Yikes.

Whale Watching

No whales, but we did see harbor seals and dolphins. DH is enjoying the view with friends off Newport Beach.

Week 55

I'm late posting this week.  I do have a recipe that I made the other night. Many of the ingredients you probably have on your shelves. I'm am going to try making corn tortillas again.  When I lived in Guatemala, I would occasionally get to try my hand at it.  It loved the thick tortillas made by hand.  Machine pressed tortillas just aren't the same.

Enchilada Casserole
2 cans red enchilada sauce
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (12 oz) package corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet brown the beef with garlic salt and onion powder, drain fat.  Mix the refried beans with 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce and the meat.

Dip enough corn tortillas to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan, in the remaining tortilla sauce.  Arrange tortillas in the dish.  Spoon in half of the meat mixture, covering the tortillas.  Spread half of the cheeses over the meat.  Cover with another layer of dipped tortillas.  Spoon in remaining meat mixture and top with a final layer of tortillas dipped in the enchilada sauce..  Pour any remaining sauce over the layers and top with remaining cheese.

Cover and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes: I used a can of green and a can of red enchilada sauce.  Instead of ground beef I used ground pork.  I also got some fresh onions from the garden and cooked those in olive oil, then added the ground pork.  If you don't have canned refried beans, the instant refried beans from the cannery work well.  I had a container of 4 blend Mexican cheese, which I used in place of the Jack cheese.  I made this up earlier in the day and kept it in the fridge before cooking.  If you plan on doing this, cook it for about 40 minutes to get it thoroughly heated.  Top with sour cream and sliced black olives.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day 2011

Happy Mother's Day to Moms past, present & future!

Good Buys for May

The Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer season, so keep an eye out for great buys on these items.


Ground beef
Hamburger and hot dog buns
Condiments (ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, relish)
Salad dressing
Ice cream
Frozen pies
Bottled water

Party supplies (disposable plates, cups, napkins and utensils)
Grill supplies (charcoal, lighter fluid)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dehydrating Celery

This time I took more photos to show you the befores and afters.  I saw a great buy on celery this week at my fav mercado Latino.  They had celery on sale, .49 a bunch.   I bought 3 bunches. Since it's only DH and me at home now, we aren't going to go through that much celery that quickly. (However, I do have a tip-when storing celery in the fridge wrap it in aluminum foil.  It will last almost forever and stay crisp.)So dehydrator here I come.

As you can see the 2 bunches that filled 4 trays, dehydrated down to very little.  I let the dehydrator go overnight, probably 12 hours.  Since there is so much water in it, the volume was significantly decreased. Two bunches filled a pint sized jar.  I again used the jar attachment on my Foodsaver machine to suck out the remaining air and provide a vacuum for the lid.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From the Garden

This is what I did on Monday.  Picked onions from the garden to thin them out.(I think every one of the onion sets came up.) So, I washed and sliced the onions thinly and tried out our Snackmaster Jr. Dehydrator for the first time. In less than 24 hours, I had several onions dried and vacuum sealed in a pint sized jar.  I used my Foodsaver vacuum lid sealer to suck the air out of the bottle. I feel so accomplished!  I am perusing the grocery ads to find what veggies and fruits are on sale to try it, again.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 54

My new favorite smoothie flavor is from food storage.  Remember all that pineapple I canned last year? Today, I blended pineapple, fresh mango, yoghurt and frozen blueberries for a tropical smoothie.