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Monday, August 29, 2011

Zucchini Brownies

Hoards of zucchini in the garden?
Sneak some into this...
Zucchini Brownies
2 c. flour
1 ¼ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. cocoa powder
½ c. oil
2 c. grated zucchini (if you use yellow squash you will need to increase the liquid a little)

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Pour into a greased 9x9 pan.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick insterted comes out clean.
Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baking Powder Biscuits

 These come together quickly and taste great with butter, jam, honey, you name it.  An easy breakfast or side dish recipe.
Baking Powder Biscuits
From The Ultimate American Cookbook

2 2/3 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in pieces
1 c. milk

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Pour in the milk and stir with a fork to form a soft dough.
Roll out dough about 1/4" thick.
Cut out circles with cookie cutter or rim of glass.
Place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Roasted Jalapeno Salsa

I decided to can salsa for the first time.
After the first batch I decided it was not worth the time.
But then a couple of weeks went by and I had already single handedly consumed 2 jars of it.
Long story short, I ended up making it over and over again, each time I picked a new batch of tomatoes from the garden.
So, yes, it is time consuming.
But it is totally worth it.
Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
Recipe modified from Epicurus.com

6 lbs. ripe roma tomatoes
2 jalapenos
1 large white onion
16 cloves garlic
1 1/3 c. chopped cilantro
4 generous tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar

Remove stem of each tomato and place on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Remove the stems from the jalapenos and put on the sheet.

Broil tomatoes and jalapenos for 6 minutes or until darkly roasted; blackened spots or splitting skin is good.
Turn over and broil on the other side for an additional 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice onion into 1/4" slices.
Smash garlic cloves with a knife and remove the peels.
When tomatoes are done broiling, turn the oven down to 425.
Use a turkey baster to suck up all of the liquid in the bottom of the cookie sheet (do not reserve).

Lay onion rings and smashed garlic cloves on top of tomatoes and roast in oven for 15 minutes.
Lay out to cool.
Suck up any remaining juices with the turkey baster again.

Use a spoon to scoop up the jalapenos (leave whole with seeds), the onions and garlic, and put in a food processor; pulse until desired consistency (I like it fairly smooth).
Once tomatoes are cool enough to handle, skin and squeeze out all of the juices into a garbage bowl.
Use a food chopper to rough chop the remaining flesh and add it to the jalapeno/onion mixture.

If there is any liquid in the salsa pot squeeze it up with the turkey baster.
Stir in cilantro, vinegar and salt.
Season to taste, if necessary, with more salt and vinegar.

Bring pot of salsa to a boil.
Fill hot, sterilized jars with hot salsa.
Process in a steamer or water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes ~10 cups:
2 1/2 quarts OR 5 pints

For a more detailed tutorial (with lots of pictures), click here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Broccoli Salad

 There are so many textural aspects going on here - bacon, broccoli, grapes, nuts, cheese... all delicious.  This is a definite winner.
Broccoli Salad
2 heads broccoli, broken into small pieces
1/2 red onion, diced
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 - 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. honey roasted peanuts
1 lb. purple grapes, halved

Combine all ingredients.
Add dressing just before serving.

Dressing
Whisk together and pour over salad:
1 c. mayonnaise
4 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 c. sugar

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chili Sauce

This is pretty much a Bishop family favorite.
We use this to make our taco sauce, serve it over eggs, and (my personal favorite) roast beef.
Seriously.
My husband refers to it as 'glorified ketchup'.
Either way, I always make sure that I have enough to last me the whole year when canning season comes around.
Chili Sauce
Recipe from Sandy Bishop

15 lbs. peeled tomatoes
8 large red peppers
8 large green peppers
8 large white/yellow onions
2 jalapeno peppers (with seeds)
1 c. canning/pickling salt
5 1/2 c. sugar
5 c. apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 oz. mustard seed (1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp.)

Blanch tomatoes.
Peel and quarter, placing in a large colander (do not reserve juice).
Put all vegetables and tomatoes through a veggie/meat grinder (you should have about 4 gallons, or 64 cups, after everything is ground).

Sprinkle with salt.
Put everything into double layered cheesecloth bags and place bag in a large colander in sink.
Let drain 6-8 hours, or until draining has stopped.
Amount should decrease significantly.

In a large stock pot bring sugar, vinegar and mustard seed to a boil.
Add drained vegetables and bring back to a boil.
Add hot chili sauce to hot sterilized bottles.
Boil lids momentarily.
Steam for 10 minutes right after filling bottles.
Makes 10-12 pints (amount will depend on juiciness of tomatoes)

If this is WAY too much for you, here are some smaller conversion recipes:

Makes ~6 pints:
7.5 lbs. peeled tomatoes
4 large green peppers
4 large red peppers
4 large onions
1 jalapeno, whole
(ground vegetables = about 2 gallons, or 32 cups)
1/2 c. canning/pickling salt
2 3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. vinegar
3 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. mustard seed

Makes ~4 pints:
5.75 lbs. peeled tomatoes
3 large green peppers
3 large red peppers
3 large onions
1 jalapeno, whole
(ground vegetables = 1 1/2 gallons, or 24 cups)
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. canning/pickling salt
2 c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. + 1 1/4 tsp. mustard seed

Makes ~3 pints (or 6 half-pints):
3.75 lbs. peeled tomatoes
2 large green peppers
2 large red peppers
2 large onions
1/2 jalapeno, whole
(ground vegetables = 1 gallon, or 16 cups)
1/4 c. canning/pickling salt
1 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 c.vinegar
1 Tbsp. + 1 3/4 tsp. mustard seed

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Raspberry Peach Freezer Spread (Reduced Sugar)

My husband refuses to eat jam after he saw how much sugar it contained.
This recipe (although still very sweet), uses half the amount of sugar vs. fruit.  It is VERY easy to make, and very delicious.  It can be made with any variety of smashed fruit, but I particularly love this combination.
This recipe uses Ultra Gel (a modified food starch) instead of Pectin.  It can be purchased in most stores where canning supplies are located (and it has a LOT more uses than pectin).

Raspberry Peach Freezer Spread
Recipe from Ultra Gel

2 c. finely chopped fresh peaches
2 c. crushed raspberries
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 c. sugar (or sweetener equivalent)
1/2 c. Ultra Gel

Combine crushed fruit, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl.
Gradually add in the Ultra Gel, stirring constantly.
Let stand for five minutes to thicken.
Stir again until smooth.
Package in jars or freezer containers.
Keep frozen for up to six months.
Yields: 5 cups

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bottled Peaches

Bottled Peaches
mason jars, lids and rings
Lemon Elberta peaches
sugar

In each quart mason jar put 1/4 c. sugar.
Pour about 1 c. boiling water into each and shake bottles to dissolve sugar.
Peel, core and half peaches.
Place in mason jars, pit side down.
Pour hot water over peaches until jar is full.
Remove air bubbles with a knife or plastic spatula by running it down the sides of the bottle.
Steam quarts for 35 minutes, pints for 30 (do not start timer until steam is consistenly coming out).

New to canning?
For more detailed instructions, click here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chex Muddy Buddies

Anytime chocolate meets peanut butter I am bound to love the results!
Chex Muddy Buddies
9 c. Chex cereal
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Pour cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.
Stir, and microwave an additional 30 seconds, or until mixture can be stirred smooth.
Stir in vanilla.
Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
Pour into a 2 gallon resealable food-storage bag.
Add powdered sugar to bag.
Seal the bag, and shake until all pieces are well coated.
Spread on waxed paper to cool.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bottled Pears

Bottled Pears
mason jars
sugar
water
bartlett pears
orange slices (optional)

In each quart mason jar put 1/4 c. sugar.
Pour about 1 c. hot tap water into each and shake bottles to dissolve sugar.
Slice oranges and place one slice in the bottom of each jar.
Peel, core and half pears.
Place in mason jars, core side down.
Pour hot water over pears until jar is full, leaving 1/2" headspace.
Remove air bubbles with a knife or plastic spatula by running it down the sides of the bottle.
Steam quarts for 35 minutes, pints for 30 (do not start the timer until steam is consistently coming out).

New to Canning?
For a VERY detailed description (with lots of photo's), click here.