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Archive for the ‘canning’ Category

We have been blessed to overflowing with cucumbers this year.  I don’t know if the wet/mild summer is the reason, or if the Good Lord just saw fit to teach me how to make pickles.  😀

I’ve made pickles 4 times so far – two batches of bread & butter, 2 batches of dill.  I can’t say which is my favorite yet.  I’ve eaten a jar of both almost by myself!

The dill pickles I’ve been making are fabulous.  I found the recipe on RecipeZaar:  Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles .

Changes I made to the recipe:  I put a healthy dash of pickling spice in each wide mouth jar along with minced garlic (from a jar), dried dill weed and dried dill seed.

I also kept the brine boiling and filled jars, then put them in the canner as I went.  I followed directions listed on the website the first time and the jars didn’t seal as well (I suspect because the brine had cooled off too much).  Keeping the brine boiling worked much better for me.

Now…where’s my jar of pickles?  🙂

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Well, I finally ran out of the enchilada sauce I canned in October, and after paying $1.79 for one teeny tiny can at the store, I decided it was time for another batch.

I made spaghetti sauce yesterday and canned it today.  While I have the canner out,  it was now or never on the enchilada sauce.

I did adjust my basic recipe for the whole batch – cut back on the cumin and water.  After simmering for a couple of hours, it worked out perfectly divided between 9 pint jars.

Process at 10 pounds pressure for 15 minutes.  Voila!  😀

Here’s the mondo batch recipe:

1 – 106 oz can tomato sauce (Contadina is my favorite – Sam’s carries it)
2 to 3 onions (or one LARGE onion), chopped, sauteed in olive oil, and pureed in the blender
6 1/2 teaspoons oregano
9 Tablespoons chili powder
6 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
6 or 7 teaspoons ground cumin
several tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 tomato sauce can (#10) of water
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

You could also add cayenne pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

Enjoy!

We use this on chicken enchiladas, bean burritos, tacos, etc.

For easy bean burritos: take 1 pkg large flour tortillas, divide 1 can of refried beans between them – spread a hefty tablespoon (at least) down the center of each tortilla, then spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce on each, and lastly top with cheddar cheese. Roll up into burritos, place in a 9×13 pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes until they’re hot.

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Guess what was on sale recently?  🙂    I pressure canned several pints of baby carrots and also quarts of chicken breast (it was $1/lb at our local grocery store).  I froze some of the chicken breast after cooking/chopping and separating into ziploc freezer bags.  It makes quick meals so much easier if the chicken is ready to go.  This will be used for chicken spaghetti, chicken & dumplings, mexican chicken, and lots of other dishes!

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My pressure canner just came in, and I have a stack of recipes to try.  I’ve been water-bath canning for several years now (jelly, spaghetti sauce, etc.), but wanted to try preserving some other things as well.  I need to make some grape jelly before I get too carried away, but I have pear honey on my “to do” list, and also cheese sauce.

I found the instructions for canning cheese at:  http://jordansfarm.wordpress.com/recipes/ – scroll down towards the bottom of the page.  She has tons of great information on her blog! I bought a #10 can of aged cheese sauce and am going to attempt to break it down into smaller quantities.

There is just something about seeing rows of filled canning jars on the shelf that makes me smile!  😀

I’ll try to get my spaghetti sauce recipe posted one day soon.  It’s a multi-tasker in my kitchen – I use it over pasta, on pizza, and also as a dipping sauce for breadsticks.

Have a wonderful day!

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