Dehydrating Garlic For Garlic Powder & Its Benefits

dehydrated garlic finalOne of the most important herbs a person can use is garlic. Aside from giving our dishes a fantastic flavor, it has many health benefits as well. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin.

According to one scientific review, Garlic’s main mechanism involves a molecule called alliin. When garlic is physically disturbed through chewing, slicing, or crushing, it releases an alliin metabolite: allicin. Allicin turns into a variety of fat and water soluble sulfur-containing compounds. In fact, these compounds are so volatile, they give off hydrogen sulfide, which is part of garlic’s unmistakable smell and taste. By tapping into the hydrogen sulfide signaling system, garlic relaxes the blood vessels and provides a variety of health benefits. Garlic also uses the hydrogen sulfide signaling system to exert its anti-cancer effects.

Raw or aged garlic reliably reduces total cholesterol and Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL-C), while increasing High-density Lipoprotein (HDL-C). Garlic also provides a variety of anti-cancer properties. Eating garlic daily (10g or more) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of prostate, colon, and stomach cancer. It can also induce fat loss and adrenaline secretion, though in a minor way. Garlic appears to mildly and unreliably reduce triglyceride levels.

Some other benefits Include:

  • Combats sickness, even the common cold
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Cholesterol Levels
  • Contains Antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer and dementia
  • May help you live longer and improve your athletic performance
  • Detoxify s heavy metals in your body
  • Improves bone Health

That being said, I like to dehydrate fresh garlic and turn it into my own powder. The taste is much stronger and there is no added chemicals or salts. I will walk you threw my process below.

I prefer to use my own home grown garlic but lets face it, we do not always have that and not everyone grows their own. So for this article I am using a 3 pound bag of already peeled garlic gloves I buy at Sam’s for about $5.00.

peeled garlic final

You can chop of the ends if you want but I usually don’t unless its just an extremely large area of hardness. I put as much as comfortably fits in my Ninja blender and pulse it until it has a nice minced texture but not blended and juicy. (Note: the ninja Blender system I got was only about $70.00 Verses the extremely high version for over $200.00. I didn’t need all those extra attachments so I went simple. 🙂 )

Ninja final

Spread minced garlic out onto your Excalibur Dehydrator Tray evenly and then set to dehydrate on vegetable setting. (125° F) If you  do not have a dehydrator tray then you can set your oven to a low setting (under 200°F) and dehydrate them in the oven. You will need to check them more frequently and make sure they are not sticking or burning to your tray. I personally prefer to dehydrate with a tray so my house doesn’t get extremely hot. I also do not like to run up my electric bill using the oven for hours on end. The last time I checked it was .07¢ per hour with the dehydrator.

chopped garlic final
Allow to dehydrate for several hours checking periodically. I like to turn the trays and move the garlic around a little to check the progress. We are going for an extremely dry consistency. No moisture at all. The crunchy effect.

garlic trays final

Once you get a dry consistency you will transfer the dried garlic into a small blender/mixer to blend it into a powder form. I prefer to use the Bella Rocket Blender but the Ninja works great to. I have had it for years and it has never failed me when wanting to make powders or smoothies.

dehydrated garlic done final

garlic 14 final

Voila!! Homemade Fresh Garlic Powder!!

dehydrated garlic final

 P.S. For the very cute and functional ball lids (as seen in picture) that you can use on any wide mouth jar click below:

Creamy Tomato Soup ~ Meal In a Jar

Grilled-Cheese-Tomato-SoupI LOVE tomato soup with a hot grilled cheese sandwich. Especially in winter!! So when a friend of mine (Phinecia Ham) sent me this recipe I had to share it with all of you. The recipe below is for one pint size jar of soup, however I like to think beyond that.
We have about 3-4 months of cold weather per year so I am going to incorporate this into our winter meals. So about 17-20 of these pre-made up would allow us to eat this wonderful soup once a week for 4 months. Of course if you want to eat it more than that you can just double up. Sound good?
If you wanted to add more calories you could also store crackers or boxes of jiffy cornbread mix right along side of your soup. (Ingredients are below the video)
 Cooking Directions To Print For Jar:
  1. Add mix to 4 cups boiling water. Reduce heat then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle cheese on top when serving.

Directions:

  1. Layer all ingredients in jar except cheese.
  2. Place cheese in a sandwich baggy and fold tight.
  3. Put cheese on top of mix in jar.
  4. Wipe rims and place lid on the jar.
  5. Use vacuum sealer and attachment to seal the jar. Then screw on the ring. (Or use oxygen absorbers.)
  6. Print/Write cooking directions and attach to the jar along with the date.
  7. All finished!!!
(Serves 4 people and makes approx 1-2 cups per person. Only you can figure out how much it takes to fill up your family.)

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Dehydrating tomatoes is very easy. Pick some nice big tomatoes from your garden or the store. You can season them and have dried tomatoes for a salad or snack. I also put them in my bullet blender and make home made tomato powder for flavoring, tomato paste, creamy tomato soups, or a base for a vegetable or minestrone soup.

dehydrated tomato

Below are the tools I use:

Mandoline:

  • mandalineA Mandoline to create evenly sliced pieces. Making sure to get any fruit or vegetable that you dehydrate uniform in size is important so that they all dry fairly easy and in the same amount of time. You will always have a few that need a little longer, but slicing or cutting your food evenly helps the process. The Mandoline I listed is the kind I use. (Informative Video. This mandoline rated as the number one favorite.) I have tried several different one and this seems to be the easiest to use and clean as well as the safest I have found. I have never cut myself. (knock on wood.)

Dehydrator:

  • 417WlMFWdmLA good dehydrator is always needed eventually, weather it is for fruit, vegetables, fruit leather or beef jerky. I bought the Excalibur 5 tray dehydrator about 3 years ago and I have not had to replace anything on it and it still works fabulous.

Directions:

  1. Wash your tomatoes and pat dry.
  2. Using your Mandoline, slice your tomatoes using the thicker slicing tool. If you do not have a slicer feel free to use a sharp knife if you are comfortable doing so.
  3. Gently push the seeds (guts) out.

guts of tomato    4. Line the tomatoes on the dehydrator tray and turn its settings to Vegetables. (125°F/ 52°C) Most articles I have found say dry them for 4-6  hours, but I have found the temperatures really do vary. You have to feel the tomatoes and judge for yourself. After I think they are dry I turn the machine off and let the tomatoes sit in there until the next day. Next, I put them in a mason jar and screw the lid on. Then I keep an eye on it for the next 24 hours and look for signs of condensation. If there is some then they go back in the dehydrator.

temps

tomatoes

At this point it is up to you if you want to keep them whole or turn them into a powder. When I turn it into tomato powder I put it in my blender and then store it in a mason jar that is dated.

 Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Home Made Fruit Yogurt; Only 180 Calories

canvasOne of my favorite food for breakfast is yogurt. As many of you know I like to make my own things so I have a better idea of what is in it. This recipe is very versatile with the ingredients, but you will have to recalculate the calorie count based on what you add or take away.

You will need:

  • 4-5 half pint size mason jars

Ingredients:

  • 6- Frozen Sweet Dark Cherries, or any frozen fruit you desire, smashed
  • 3/4 cups of Fage Yogurt, pronounced Fa-Yea
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon sliced Honey Roasted Almonds, (I get these in the salad topper section.) I like to switch up the toppers and use things like granola or oatmeal.

yogurt 1

Directions:

  1. Layer ingredients as follows: Smashed Cherries/Fruit, Yogurt, honey, roasted sliced almonds.
  2. Place lid on jar and put in refrigerator.

I usually won’t eat it until the next day. Mix the fruit up into the yogurt and enjoy. You have a delicious, low calorie breakfast or snack.

 

 

 

 

Canning Jalapeños

jalapenos finalThis is one of the many, many recipes I have used to preserve jalapeño’s from the garden and gotten good reviews on so I am sharing it with you.

Warning: Anytime you are cutting jalapeños or any hot pepper please wear gloves. (Especially if you wear contact lenses.)  They are .97¢ at walmart in the pharmacy section for 8 vinyl gloves. I store them IN my canner because the kids never look there. Seriously though, unless you want the fiery gates of hell to bare its wrath in your eyeballs then wear gloves.

Ingredients and Tools Needed:

Add ingredients below to each hot sterile jar before adding peppers and brine:

Directions:

  • Prepare your jars for processing by washing them in the dishwasher and leaving them on the heated dry cycle while you work. If you do not have a dishwasher then please wash them by hand and follow normal water bath procedure. Keep jars warm until its time to use them.
  • Prepare your work station and put on your gloves. Slice your freshly washed jalapeños about 1/8 of an inch and then toss the stems in the trash bowl.

jalapeno final 2

  • In a sauce pan add your vinegar, water and sugar. Heat on medium high until it just starts to boil.
  • While your brine is heating up, place your jars next to the stove and add your pickling salt, bay leaf, garlic clove, coriander, cumin and black peppercorns to each jar.
  • Pack the sliced jalapeños into the jars as tightly as you can get them without crushing them, leaving about an inch head space at the top.
  • Using your canning funnel and canning ladle, start pouring the brine slowly into each jar until there is 1/2 inch head space left.
  • Now here is the fun part. Tap your jar gently on the counter/towel until you see all the bubbles float up to the top. I use a spoon and push the peppers down gently as I do this, but it’s not necessary. For some reason air seems to hide well in-between the peppers. You can do this with a wood chop stick or skewer as well. Which ever floats your boat. 🙂
  • Once the air is removed, use a paper towel dipped in vinegar and wipe the rims clean.
  • Place lids and rings on snugly and put jars in the WBC. Process for 12 minutes AFTER the water returns to a boil. After 5 minutes remove jars and place on a towel. Allow to set undisturbed for 24 hours. You can eat them right away, but it is better to let them cure for 4-6 weeks before opening.
  • For any jars that may not seal, store in the refrigerator and eat them first. Sealed jars have a shelf life of one year.

I hope you have fun canning and if you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the comment box below.

jalapeno final 3

 

 

 

 

 

Canning Peach Pie Filling

peachesIf you’re from the south then you can appreciate a good home-made peach pie. I came across about 120 pounds of peaches this past weekend and decided to quart up some peach pie filling. Don’t panic though, this recipe isn’t for 120 pounds of peaches, I wouldn’t do that to you lol. For this recipe you only need about 7-8 quarts sliced peaches.

When I can pie filling I like to can at least 12 quarts of that particular pie. (One Quart = One Pie) The reasoning may sound silly, but it goes like this. If you can 12 each of peach, apple, cherry, blueberry, then you can bake 4 pies a month for a full year. Or you can choose to keep it in your food storage. We do not bake that many pies in our house each month, but it sure comes in handy around the holidays, church pot luck dinner, reunions, or unexpected company. Pour a jar into the crust and pop it in the oven. Voila! Dessert is done.

toolsTools Needed:

 

 

Ingredients: 

  • Capture7-8 quarts of peeled, cored and sliced peaches. When selecting your peaches make sure they are ripe and ready to eat. These peel the easiest.
  • 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup Clear Gel (I have used ultra gel and it works just as well for me. Others have said they do not like using it with pies because you have to use a little more than the recipe calls for. I have never had that problem personally.)
  • 5-1/4 cups of cold water
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon, optional but recommended
  • 1 3/4 cups of Bottled lemon juice
  • Fruit Fresh, this stops fruit from browning.
  • White distilled vinegar (For wiping the jar rims)

Directions:

  1. Begin warming your water in your WBC on medium high heat.
  2. Run your jars through the dishwasher and the heated dry cycle. Leave them in there to stay warm while you get everything ready. If you do not have a dishwasher then wash and rinse by hand. Place jars upside down on the jar rack in your WBC and place lid on canner. Your jars will sanitize and stay heated for your pie filling when the time comes.
  3. Wash and blanch your peaches. Then cut into slices or even sized chunks.
  4. Sprinkle fresh fruit on your peaches and turn with your hands to coat evenly.
  5. Combine water, sugar, clear gel and cinnamon in a large pot. (2-4 qts works for me.) Stir ingredients together and heat over medium/high heat until mixture begins to bubble and thicken.
  6. Add the lemon juice and boil the sauce for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  7. Combine the drained peaches with your boiling mixture and continue to heat for 3-4 more minutes.
  8. Remove jars from your WBC and set on a towel next to your peach pie filling mixture. Turn the WBC on high and replace lid so it comes to a boil.
  9. Using your jar funnel, fill the jars leaving a one inch head space at the top. Gentle tap the jar on the counter to try to push the air to the top and help the filling settle in the jar.
  10. Run a small spatula, knife or chop stick long the inside of the jar slowly to help get rid of air bubbles. (preferably not a metal tool)
  11. Using a paper towel or rag dip a corner into some vinegar and wipe the rims clean of any filling that might be on it. If you skip this step you are running the risk of an improper seal. It is very important.
  12. Place seals and rings in place. Screw rings on finger tight.
  13. Place the filled jars on your canning rack and lower gently into the water. You should have at least 1-2 inches of water covering your jars at all times.
  14. Processing times are as follows:

 

10645096_10201528405571243_6967743142670642951_n15. After processing time is up remove your jars carefully with your jar lifter and set on a dish towel undisturbed for 24 hours. Expect to see some air bubbles in the jars. I freaked out when I saw them, but learned it is common and your product is still safe. The only time you need to worry is if they are bubbling (multiplying) or the lid starts expanding.

 

That about wraps it up! All that’s left after this is to pour a jar in a pie crust, top it off with some pretty lattice-work and bake it in a preheated oven set at 450° for ten minutes and then drop the temperature down to 350° and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until the crust is brown and the mixture is bubbling through the lattice-work. If you notice the outside of the crust is getting to dark to fast, then cover them with strips of aluminum foil about half way through cooking.

Serve with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and your family/guest will have a little bit of heaven in their mouths that day. 🙂

10600450_10201542414201450_3796662151967085073_n

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canning Blueberry Pie Filling

DSC_0166I found a pretty good deal on blue berries at Sam’s Club. They were selling them two pounds at a time for $4.98. So I thought to myself that some dehydrated blueberries would be good to have on hand….and then I thought about pie and blueberry cobbler and thats all she wrote. 🙂

So as I am canning this delicious blueberry pie filling I got to thinking. If I canned 12 quarts each of Apple Pie filling, Blueberry Pie filling, Peach Pie filling and Cherry pie filling that we could have 4 pies a month for a year if we wanted. (You could change it up and do blackberry or something also if you wanted to.) The holidays would be great because I wouldn’t have to buy the ingredients. I would just have to make the crust. Please feel free to leave pie ideas in the comment section.

The recipe I am sharing will get 3 pint size jars out of it. This is the first time I have done a large amount all at once and I personally did them in batches based on the recipe ingredients. I didn’t try to cook all 6-7 pounds of blueberries at once.

 

toolsTools you will need:

 

 

20140803_081605Ingredients:

  • 7-8 cups of blueberries (2 1/2 – 3 pounds of blueberries)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar, I use Zulka pure cane sugar because I love the taste and flavor of it but any granulated sugar will do.
  • 2/3 cups of Clear Gel. I use Ultra Gel because its non GMO and Gluten free and does the same thing as regular Clear Gel. Clear Gel is a modified corn startch and an absolute MUST for any canning recipe that contains corn starch. If you read a recipe that tells you to use cornstarch then look for a diff recipe. I made that mistake once. 😦 (Why Can’t I *Can* that?)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • A dab of Wiltons’ Violet food coloring, optional. Berries tend to lose their vibrant colors during cooking processes so I add a little bit of the food coloring to enhance the appearance of the pie filling. You could also use regular blue (8-12 drops) and red (2-4 drops) food coloring to make purple as well.

Directions:

  • You will want to follow your basic water bath canner instructions for setting up.
  • Wash your berries and lay them out on a paper towel. Pick any stems off of them that may have been missed.
  • Fill one of the large pots about half to 3/4 the way full and bring water to a rolling boil. Pour in the blue berries and blanch for one minute. Remove from heat and pour into strainer. Pour berries back into the pot and put a lid on them to keep them warm. Make sure they are not on a hot burner.

20140803_083843(1)

  • In a separate pot, pour your sugar, clear gel, and water. Whisk it together until very smooth and there is no clumps. Make sure to take a spoon around the edges to get any that may have clumped there.

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  • Add food coloring at this time if you are using it.

food coloring 2

  • Put pot on stove set to medium high heat. At this point, you do not want to walk away from your stove. You will need to stir constantly to prevent scorching. Expect the mix to start to thicken and maybe even clump pretty fast. Just keep stirring. The goal is to get a somewhat gel consistency that you can still stir smoothly. Once it gets somewhat stiff, add the lemon juice and stir it in.

20140803_083542

 

  • Add your berries and fold the gel into the berries. Remove from heat.
  • Use your canning funnel and ladle to add the mix to the jars one at a time. Leave a one inch head space.
  • Use a dip stick or anything that is not metal to scrape the sides to rid the jar of any air bubbles. This is a very important step, don’t skip it. I use a kabob stick for mine.

20140803_084857(1)

 

  • Next, using a cloth or paper towel, dip it in white vinegar and wipe the edges so they are clean and free of any of the mixture. This is another important step in making sure the jars get a good seal.
  • Place lids and rings on jars finger tight.
  • Put jars in rapidly boiling water in your water bath canner for 30 minutes then remove and place on towel.
  • Do not move for 24 hours
  • After 24 hours take a sharpie or label and write the date on the jar as well as what it is.

20140803_103247 To bake a pie you would need two of these pint jars for one pie. We choose to can them in smaller jars because we often use them to top ice cream, cheesecake and many other yummy desserts. You can always can these in quart jars as well by doubling up on the recipe for however many quarts you desire. There are several different recipes out there, but I really hope you enjoy this one. Our family does!!

Keeping It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal 🙂

The list below is a different recipe I got from canningusa.com, but is just as good. 🙂

Ingredients 4 Quart Jars Per Quart 6 Quarts 8 Quarts 10 Quarts 12 Quarts
Blueberries 5 cups 30 cups 40 cups 50 cups 60 cups
Granulated Sugar 3/4 cup 4-1/2 cups 6 cups 7-1/2 cups 9 cups
Water 1 cup 6 cups 8 cups 10 cups 12 cups
Lemon Juice (Required for Canning) 1 Tbsps. 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsps. 1/2 cup 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsps. 3/4 cup
ClearJel® 1/4 cup 1-1/2 cups 2 cups 2-1/2 cups 3 cups
Salt (Optional) 1/2 tsp. 1 Tbsp. 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. 2 Tbsp.
Cinnamon (Optional) 1/2 tsp. 1 Tbsp. 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. 2 Tbsp.
Nutmeg (Optional) 1/4 tsp. 1-1/2 tsp. 2 tsp. 2-1/2 tsp. 1 Tbsp.

 

 

Canning Asparagus

Grilled AsparagusOne of the reasons I do not grow asparagus is because it takes 2-5 years to produce. Maybe I am just lazy in that aspect, but it is just easier for us to buy it in bulk and can it from home.  Recently my neighbor brought us a big box of frozen asparagus. The tips and ends already cut. I don’t know about other canners out there, but seeing a box of vegetables like that is like Christmas morning for me! I get super excited.

Below I am going to walk you through the steps I use to can asparagus for our family and our food storage.  If you have any questions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comment section. (Links added to article are the equipment I personally use and am satisfied with.)

Safety First and Following your manual~ If you lost your manual and have not read it, I suggest doing so before doing any canning. Safety always comes first.Presto Canner Instruction Manuals.    All American Instruction Manuals. (I personally own and use the All American Pressure canner. I have never had to replace it.)

Tools Needed:
  • Pressure Canner ~ Not a water bath canner! Asparagus, like most other vegetables, does not have enough acidity in it to prevent the growth of bacteria. The temperature of a water bath canner does not get high enough to kill the bacteria spores. (Note: If you are pickling the asparagus then a water bath canner is safe to use.)
  • Canning Utensils ~ For grabbing hot jars etc…
  • Large Pot ~ For boiling water.
  • Ladle ~ To spoon boiling water into the jars.
  • Canning Jars ~ I use pint-sized jars but you can also use quart size jars if you have a larger family. We have 2 adults and 2 kids in our home and the pint size seems to work fine for portions.
  • Salt ~  One teaspoon per quart size jar or 1/2 teaspoon per pint. Salt is optional.
  • Asparagus ~ 10 pounds is a guess as to what we had and it made ten pint size jars.
Directions:

Preparations ~ In other words, get your work station ready!! Wipe down and sanitize all counter tops, tables and stove tops.  Fill your large pot with water and set it on low heat so it can begin to boil as you get your jars packed. Put 2-3 inches of water in your pressure cooker and set that to low as well so it doesn’t boil down dry. If it does boil down simply add hot tap water so your water level is at 2-3 inches again. Place your jars in the dishwasher to clean and sanitize your jars. Leave them in there on the heated dry cycle so the jars stay hot.  If you do not have a dishwasher then you will have to do it the old-fashioned way.

IMG_20131109_074225

Prepping your asparagus ~ Wash your asparagus with cool water. Break/cut off the tough bottom piece of the stem and then wash again.

IMG_20131109_073928

Cut~ Using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, snip the asparagus into 1 inch pieces similar to the size of canned green beans. Another option is to cut them into spears to fit your jar making sure to leave 1 inch head space.  (Tip: I usually turn up the water at this time to get the rolling boil process closer to done.)

IMG_20131109_083144

Packing your jars~ Fill your jars with the raw asparagus leaving one inch head space.  There is no need to cook these before hand. The temperature from the pressure canner will do that. Tap the asparagus down on the table to get a tighter pack. You can also push it down as well. Just make sure not to squish it to tight.  Add Salt to the jars at this time.

IMG_20131109_090646

Adding water~ Ladle boiling water into each jar still leaving a one inch head space.

Seal the jar~ Put on your lids and rings tightening the seals finger tight.

Add to pressure canner~ Your water level should be at 3 inches before doing this and if not add some hot tap water.  At this time, assuming your water is still boiling,  use your jar tongs to gently place the jars on the canner rack.   Once your canner is full, place the lid on and twist into place leaving the regulator weight off at this time. Turn on high heat. Let canner vent steam for a full ten minutes. Begin timing when it is at a full steady stream of steam.

granny miller photo

After Venting~ After the full ten minutes, add the weight regulator to the valve on ten. Allow pressure to build to 10 pounds or the pounds according to the chart below for your area.

IMG_20131115_083244

Below is a process chart to follow according to your area:

table asparagus

Once the gauge hits 10 pounds, (or recommended pressure by chart) start your timer going for 30-40 minutes. Make sure to adjust the heat level to maintain the amount of pressure suggested. Once you are adjusted, your gauge should rattle once or twice every minute.

When Processing Is Over~ When your timer goes off, turn off the heat under the cooker and let your canner cool until the pressure drops to zero by itself.  This could take up to an hour. Do not open the vent!! If the pressure drops to fast you will lose liquid from the jars. (I made this mistake a lot before I learned that trick.) Once the pressure drops to zero, begin opening the canner by lifting the lid from the back first away from your face.

IMG_20131115_080912Remove the Jars~ After removing the lid, use your jar lifter to remove the jars carefully and place them on a towel making sure not to touch/bump the jars together.  Do not touch until completely cool. (usually over night) Once your jars are cooled you can check to see if they sealed by pressing down on the middle of the lid.

DSC_0532If it pops up and down then the jar did not seal properly. If a jar did not seal, that is ok. You can place it in the fridge and use that jar with dinner or as a snack. 🙂

IMG_20131109_091320Voila! All Finished! I hope this article makes canning asparagus as easy for you as it can be. Any comments or suggestions are always welcome in the comment section below.

Canning Meat Loaf Balls Safely

meatloaf-making-4-300x225Mom’s Meatloaf Ball’s

(Note: Please be sure to read my Friend Stephanie Dayle’s note posted at the bottom of the page after reading this article. It goes into detail about canning eggs and milk.)

Canning meatloaf balls can be a pleasure to add to food storage.  In the long run, it can save you money when the price of meat sky rockets and its easy to grab a jar if your hungry or want to make meatloaf balls for dinner.

There are a few different ways to make meatloaf balls out there.  The way I do it is a little different from your basic recipe, but tastes delicious.  Keep in mind, if you prefer the traditional way, then please do that way.

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 pounds of lean hamburger (I use Angus 90/10)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (or plain)
  • 2 sweet yellow onions, diced (about 1 1/2 cups when finely diced
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 2-3 teaspoons black pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce (original)
  • 1 cup powdered milk, prepared
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for sautéing onions and garlic

For the Glaze:

  • 2 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (original)
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients to make the glaze.  Mix well and set aside.
  2. Adjust your oven rack to lower middle position.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions and garlic until onions are caramelized and golden brown.  (about 5 minutes string occasionally.)  This will bring out the sweetness of the onion.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients;  Eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and half of the glaze you made earlier.  Use a fork to mix well.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, browned onion/garlic mix, and wet ingredients.
  6. Using your hands mix ingredients quickly.  You don’t want to overwork it but you want everything distributed evenly.
  7. Form mixture into 2 inch round balls and place on 2 baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until balls are firm.

While your meatballs are baking, get your pressure canner and supplies ready.  Put your extra glaze in a sauce pan and get warm, but not boiling.  You may even want to make another batch of glaze at this time.  It really depends on how much glaze you want to add to the jars.

After your meatballs are cooked:

  1. Using wide mouth quart jars, place your meatballs in the jar and fill about half way.
  2. Spoon in your glaze sauce until jar is about half full.
  3. Fill jar the rest of the way with meatballs leaving a generous 1 inch head space.
  4. You can add one or 2 more tablespoons of sauce on top of those meatballs if you want, but it isn’t necessary.
  5. Remove air by gently tapping the jar on a dish towel or using a plastic utensil to push the meatballs around.  Be careful not to smash them or cut them.
  6. Wipe your rims with a clean paper towel dipped in white vinegar.
  7. Put on lids and ringers and screw it finger tight.
  8. Place jars in your pressure canner, add water and 2 teaspoons white vinegar (to avoid rusting or mineral buildup) and vent for 10 full minutes.
  9. Bring to 11 pounds of pressure and process quart jars for 90 minutes.  (pints for 75).  If your manual suggests a different time and pounds of pressure, then follow your manual for canning ground beef.
  10. When processing is complete, let pressure drop completely.  Remove jars from your pressure canner and wipe with a hot soapy dish cloth.
  11. Label the contents and date.

Pressure Canner I use This canner is a little more expensive. The reason I bought it though is because its has metal on metal seal and never requires you to replace gaskets or seals. They last forever though.  Ive talked to women who have canners like this that were passed to them from their grandmothers, so for me the investment is worth it because I get my kids in on the action when we can around here. :)

Cheaper pressure canner

This recipe has made me a wonderful meal on many occasions, especially if I didn’t feel like cooking. ;)   I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

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Stephanie’s reply when asked about canning eggs and milk. (And shes very very experienced and done tons of research!)

Canning eggs themselves is not recommended (water bathed OR pressure canned) and can be dangerous. Canning ‘things with eggs in them’ – it depends on what it is. In this case I would say its harmless as the eggs is mixed in with the meat balls and is not left in solid form. The heat from the pressure canner will have no problem penetrating the egg in this way and cooking it to the appropriate temperature. The only thing I would be cautious of would be the milk and bread crumbs – both of which are not recommended ingredients to can with. The theory behind the bread crumbs is that like rice, they expand. The theory behind the milk is that milk and butter are low acid products that “support the outgrowth of C. botulin and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Fats in milk can protect botulism spores and toxins from heat if they are in a product during a canning process. So it’s all up to each person how much risk they want to take while preserving food.

To clarify this even further the information regarding milk – is mostly in regards to canning milk solely and using milk in condensed soup recipes. Both of which are a NO NO for canning for that reason. In my opinion using milk as a ‘binder’ like what was done in this recipe would be ok. Especially since shes cooked it in the oven first. There is always going to be some percentage of a risk when you can anything, I do not believe using milk in this manner would increase that marginal risk any more than usual. Hope I haven’t needlessly concerned anyone with my nerd-dom regurgitation of information. And I do apologize if I have. Long story short – I would can meat balls. But like JG said – not for a long period of time.

Canning Carrots

carrotsWe love carrots, but we hate the canned ones you buy at the store because they are always mushy and flavorless.  So we decided to start canning our own.

Canning carrots is SUPER easy!! We picked up 5 pounds of carrots for $2.50.  In our area a can of carrots cost about $1.75 so we already saved money. :)   You can do this or you can ‘can’ your own home-grown carrots.  You must use a Pressure canner when canning certain vegetables because they need a higher temperature to kill any botulism in the food.  A Water Bath Canner just can’t get that hot.  I am posting a link to two different Pressure canners for you to look at.  Pressure canners range  from $100-$200 for a good one.  The great thing is they last for many years and will easily pay for themselves, especially if you grow your own food.

My Pressure canner – This one is heavy-duty and is metal to metal seal so you never have to replace gaskets.

Alternate Pressure Canner:  I have never used this one. I have several friends who have and say it works well for them.

Items You’ll Need:

  • 5 pound bag of fresh, crisp, carrots.  No limp carrots.
  • 7 pint jars
  • salt
  • Pot for boiling water
  • Pressure canner and canning utensils
  • Knife
  • Peeler
  • Ladle for filling jars with water.

Directions:

  • Prepare your Pressure canner according to your normal directions.  Place your jars in the water so they will be hot when you’re ready to add the carrots.
  • Fill the separate pot with water and turn it on low-medium to boil.
  • Wash Carrots.  Cut the tops and a little at the bottom off and discard.  Peel Carrots.  Wash Carrots again.
  • Cut into even bite sized piece.
  • Remove your jars from the water and add 1 teaspoon of salt to each jar.  (Tip: Place your lids in a small bowl and dump the hot water from one of the jars you remove from the canner to sterilize the lids.)
  • Pack the carrots into each jar about an inch from the top.
  • Ladle boiling water over carrots leaving a half-inch head space.
  • Place lids on and seal with rims, finger tight.
  • Place carrots in the pressure cooker and secure lid.  Once the steam comes out of the vent at a strong, steady pace, let it vent for 10 minutes.  Then place your weight over the valve at 10 pounds.  Allow the canner to build up to 10 pounds of pressure and then start your timer.
  • Cook pints at 10 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and wait until your Gage reads zero before removing the lid.

Voila!! Now we are all done.  Enjoy your carrots with your meals or alone.

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

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224443_196595137142015_689517147_nGlazed Carrots:

  • 6-7 pounds of carrots
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 6 pint or 3 quart jars

Directions:

  • Prepare your Pressure canner according to your normal directions.  Place your jars in the water so they will be hot when you’re ready to add the carrots.
  • Wash Carrots.  Cut of the tops and a little at the bottom off and discard.  Peel Carrots.  Wash Carrots again.
  • Cut into 2-3 inch spears.  It’s important to try to make them the same size in length to optimize the space in your jars.  Slice the thicker ends in half lengthwise.
  • Combine Brown Sugar, water and orange juice in a sauce pot.  (You may want to double up on this part depending on if you want to fully cover your carrots in the glaze.)
  • Cook over medium heat and stirring until the sugar completely dissolves.  Keep syrup hot.
  • Pack Carrots tightly into hot jars, leaving a one inch head space.  Ladle the syrup over the carrots leaving a one inch head space.
  • Remove air bubbles by gently tapping the bottom of the jar on your towel.
  • Process pints and quarts at 10 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes.

Recipe’s courtesy of Ball Blue Book.

Canning Peas

canning peas 5As many know, I am into the art of canning food for our food storage pantry. My latest venture is canning peas. I see a lot of articles out there about canning pea soup, but hardly any on canning the actual peas for later use and consumption. Botanically speaking, the pea pod is a fruit since it contains seeds from the ovary of a flower. In our cooking world however, it is a vegetable. Aside from being rich in protein they are also high in vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of the pea according to Lifestyle,


Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Green Peas
  • Being low in calories, green peas are good for those who are trying to lose weight.
  • Green peas are rich in dietary fiber, making them good for those suffering from constipation.
  • Studies have indicated that green peas might prove beneficial for those suffering from the problem of high cholesterol.
  • The high amount of iron and vitamin C in green peas has been found to help strengthen the immune system.
  • The lutein present in green peas helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Green peas slow down the appearance of glucose in the blood and thus, help keep the energy levels steady.
  • Green peas have been found to aid energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Green peas provide the body with those nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health.
  • The folic acid and vitamin B6 in green peas are good for promoting the cardiovascular health of an individual.
  • Being rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, green peas can help keep cancer at bay.

Green peas can be prepared in a variety of different ways or recipes. The most common is to boil them and add butter and salt. They are also used in soups, casseroles, rice or mashed.

Ingredients and canning supplies needed;

  • Fresh Peas: You can grow them yourself all winter or you can buy them fresh in the store. ( 30 pounds = 1 bushel and yields 13-20 quarts / 14 pounds = 7 quarts / 9 pounds = 9 quarts )
  • Ball or Kerr Jars; these can be picked up at your local Wal-mart, Lowes etc…
  • Canning Supplies kit
  • Pressure Canner, not to be confused with a water canner. Most vegetables have low acid and always need to be pressure canned verses water canned. Water canning is for high acidic foods. My personal favorite and among canners is the All-American brand pressure canners. While they are a little more expensive they are definitely worth it and have lasted lifetimes, being passed down from grandmothers to daughters for decades. Another brand I see used frequently is Presto. (I have no personal experience with this brand.) If you plan to can your foods on a regular basis then a pressure canner is worth the investment.
  • Large boiling pot
  • Ladles and a large spoon
  • Salt (optional)

Steps to canning your peas;

1.) Preparing your supplies:

  • Wash your jars and lids. You can do this using the sanitize cycle of your dish washer and leaving them in there until ready for use. If you do not have a dishwasher, then place your jars in a pot of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. I put the lids and rings in a smaller pot so I can easily lift them out with the magnetic lid lifter. (The lid lifter comes in the canning supply kit listed above, but if you do not have one you can purchase one here.)
  • Get the largest pot you have and fill it with water. Turn on heat to bring to a boil. This water will be used to pour over the peas once you pack them into the jar.
  • Rinse your pressure canner out well and place the rack in it. Add 2-4 inches of water in the bottom unless your manual says otherwise. (Note: You should always follow any instructions that came with your pressure cooker for your own safety, no matter what anyone says.) Place your canner on the stove over low-medium heat to get the water hot and ready for canning.

2.) Preparing your peas:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Hulling your peas: Using your thumb nail, press it between the seam of the pod and it usually opens right up allowing you to push the pea out with your finger.
  • Raw pack your peas into each jar. ‘Raw packing’ is when you do not cook the food before putting it into your jars. When you cook it first, it is referred to as “hot packing.” Pack the peas tight into the jar leaving a 1 inch head space for expansion.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pints and 1 teaspoon per quart. (optional)
  • Using your ladle, pour your hot, boiled water into the jars, again, leaving a one inch head space. The peas should be completely covered. Take extra care in this process to not burn yourself with the water or the jar. Both will be extremely hot.
  • Wipe the rims clean with a paper towel or dry cloth.
  • Use your magnetic lid lifter to get a lid and put it on each jar one at a time. Then screw the ring down finger tight.
  • Using you jar lifter; place the jars into the pressure canner carefully. If the water has boiled down to less than 3 inches then add more hot water. Once all your jars are in, place the lid on and lock it in place.
  • Do not add the weight gauge at this time. You have to let the valve vent for ten minutes.
  • To vent your canner, turn the heat on high and once you have a steady stream of steam coming out of the valve then set the timer for ten minutes. This process gets rid of all air that is in the cooker.
  • After the full 10 minutes, place the gauge on carefully and let the pressure build to 10 pounds of pressure. (I usually hold the gauge with a dish towel so I don’t get burned by the steam.) Set timer to 40 minutes for quarts or 40 minutes for pints/half pints. (Refer to the manual your canner came with to adjust for altitude, links below.)
  • Once at 10 pounds of pressure, lower your heat until the gauge jiggles about 2-3 times per minute. The gauge must maintain 10 pounds of pressure at all times.
  • After the timer dings, turn off the canner and let the gauge return to zero before attempting to open the lid or removing the valve. (This is very important for your safety and those around you.)
  • Remove jar from the canner with your jar lifter and set on a towel to cool for 24 hours. Do not shake them or bump them. After 24 hours, test to make sure they sealed properly by pressing down on the center of the lid. If it pops up and down then it did not seal and you will need to either re-process or put in the refrigerator to be eaten soon after. (within 3 days)
  • Label your jars with the date you canned the product.

Manuals: Both Manuals contain instructions and recipes.

All-American Pressure Canner Manual

Presto Product Manuals

No matter what you can, always remember to have fun doing it!!!

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Canning Jalapeño Salsa

jalapeno salsa 2Salsa is one of my favorite things to can. In fact, the entire reason we grow tomatoes, onions and peppers is so we can make our own salsa without having to purchase a lot of things from the store.

Below is the directions for making a delicious jalapeño salsa that is a hit with everyone I know.

For this recipe you will need your water bath canner and not your pressure cooker. (Using a water bath canner) Unlike a pressure canner, you will not spend hundreds of dollars if you need to buy a water bath canner. They only run about $20.00. (Link above) You will also need a canning utensil set to avoid burning yourself and to make canning easier. Now lets get started!

Jalapeno Salsa 1Ingredients: This recipe makes 3 pint size jars. I often double the batch. When doubling the batch I only use 4 cups of jalapeño’s OR I use the recommend 3 cups and add 2 cups of a combination of red, green and yellow sweet peppers. Not only does it make it more colorful, it takes some of the heat out. We have found that doubling up the jalapenos on a double batch is to hot for most people.

  • 3 cups chopped, seeded, peeled, cored tomatoes. (I have also used diced tomatoes and it comes out nicely.)
  • 3 cups chopped jalapeño peppers, more or less to taste
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1-2 cup combination of sweet red, green and yellow bell peppers.

jalapeno salsa 3Directions:

  1. Get water bath canner and jars ready.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  5. Wipe off the rim of the jar with a paper towel or rage dipped in vinegar to make sure the jars seal properly.
  6. Place lids and rings on jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

(Source: This recipe came straight out of a Ball Blue Book magazine. It is 100% safe if done correctly. The recipe in the magazine does not call for sweet bell peppers, that is my own add in.)

Ball Apple Freezer Jelly

apple-jelly-and-sauce 039_thumb[5]I found this delicious recipe at Fresh Preserver’s web site.

You will need:

1-3/4 cups unsweetened apple juice (14 oz)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 3-oz pouch Ball RealFruit Liquid Pectin
3-1/2 cups sugar
4 Ball Plastic (8 oz) Freezer Jars

Directions:

1.) COMBINE apple juice with sugar in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes.
2.) ADD entire contents of pectin pouch and lemon juice. Stir for 3 minutes
3.) LADLE freezer jelly into clean freezer jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Apply caps and let jelly stand in refrigerator until set, but no longer than 24 hours. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 1 year.

Pineapple Jam

SONY DSCIngredients: (Recipe makes approx. five cups of jam.)

  • 1- 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple, (sweetened) pulsed a few times to avoid large chunks in jam
  • 6 ounce can of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1- 1.75 ounce box Sure Jell pectin powder
    (or the equivalent of liquid pectin)

Directions:

  • Get your jars ready for canning and start boiling your water bath canner water.
  • Measure 3 cups of sugar and set it aside.
  • Add enough pineapple juice to the crushed pineapple, to equal 3¼ cups. One 20 ounce can of un-drained crushed pineapple and one six ounce can of unsweetened pineapple juice equals 3¼ cups.


TIME TO MAKE JAM

  1. Place the fruit & juice mix and pectin in a six quart, heavy, non stick saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat.
  2. Add all the sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil (one that can not be stirred down) stirring constantly. Boil for one minute.
  3. Remove from heat and skim off any foam that is on the surface.
  4. Ladle hot jam into jars, filling to within ¼” of the top.
  5. With a clean, warm, damp cloth, quickly wipe off the rims of the full jars and put the two piece lids on.
  6. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on the counter for 24 hours before moving or touching. Listen for that marvelous ping!


Source: Coleens Recipe’s

Pickled Three Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2″ green beans
  • 4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2″ yellow wax beans
  • 1 lb lima beans or garbanzos (I substituted a combination of kidney & garbanzo weighing a total of 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups sliced celery (3/4 inch)
  • 1 2/3 cups sliced onion (1/4 inch)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (omitted)
  • Boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 T. mustard seeds
  • 1 t. celery seeds
  • 4 t. kosher, pickling or canning salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water

Directions:

  1. Prepare jars and lids.
  2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine green and yellow beans, lima beans, celery, onions and red peppers. Add boiling water to cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Reduce and heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until vegetables are heated through.
  4. Drain hot vegetable immediately and pack into hot jars leaving 1/2″ head space.
  5. Meanwhile, In a separate stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until spices have infused the liquid.
  6. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jars to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and fill with liquid to adjust. Wipe rim and add hot lids and rings. Process in water bath for 15 minutes at a full boil.

Source: Canning Homemade

Pickled Jalapeño Eggs

I wish I could claim this fabulous recipe, but I can’t. This recipe was found at Texas Recipes.

tumblr_m874h85bZy1rqi3klIngredients:

  • 18 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp dill seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (8 ounce) can whole jalapeno peppers, sliced (save the juice)
  • 3 Habanero peppers, diced
  • 2 tbsp red pepper
  • 5 dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • Half Gallon Wide Mouth Jars
Directions: 

  1. Put peeled eggs in a 2 1/2 quart jar (if you use more eggs you will need a bigger jar).
  2. Boil all ingredients including juice from jalapeno can (except eggs, of course) for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour hot mixture over eggs until eggs are covered.
  4. Add hot water to jar to fill if needed. Seal jar.
  5. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 weeks before using. The longer they stand, the stronger the flavor.
  6. Note: for a stronger flavor, poke hole in the eggs with a toothpick before marinating.

51V8oKR115L._SY450_

Buffalo Spice Mix

IMG_20130531_090255Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Note: The ingredient list above is for one serving. Not for a complete Quart Jar

Canning Apple Pie Filling

DSCN4032-300x225This is one of my favorite things in the world to can!! Who doesn’t like apple pie right? 🙂 This recipe is great for apple pie but we also use it as a warm ice cream topper as well.

You always hear of people canning peaches, and meats, jams or jellies, but I never heard of canning apple pie filling until a woman at my church suggested it. So I rushed home, excited to have something new to can.

Everyone has their own special recipe for baking their delicious apple pies so my advice would be stick to what you know or if you would like to try my recipe to see how you like it please feel free.  You can always go stock up on canned apple pie filling, but I think in the long run, making your own is always better and might even save you some money. One of my favorite things about canning apple pie is when the kids come home from school, or the husband comes home from work and they rush to the kitchen expecting to see an apple pie ready to eat. Then they round the corner and find that the kitchen looks like a tornado hit it. My daughter always moans, ” I am NOT cleaning this up mom!” Then I open the oven and she sees the pie and starts helping lol. Kids are great. 🙂 So back on topic now, here are the things you will need:

Tools Needed:

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar, or 3 cups white sugar and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. Which ever you prefer.
  • 1 1/2 cups clear gel. This is used instead of corn starch as CS has been proven un-safe for canning recipes. Clear gel is not to be confused with sure gel. They are not the same thing.
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 pounds of apples*

*Using the right kind of apples is important when it comes to the flavor of the pie. A crisp, tart apple such as Jonagold, Empire, Rome, Macintosh, or Granny Smith is important to attain proper flavor. I personally would never use Red Delicious, it is strictly an eating apple.   Directions: While putting together the ingredients, begin sterilizing your jars, rings and lids.

  • In a large pan, mix sugar and spices in 8 cups of hot water; stir until it is dissolved and then place over low heat. Bring to a slow boil and cook until thick like syrup.
  • Mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and clear gel; set aside.
  • Peal, core and slice your apples. This is much easier and less time-consuming with an apple slicer.
  • After you have the apples peeled, sliced and cored, pack apples into hot sterile jars leaving an inch of head space.
  • Bring sugar mix to a boil and cook until thick like syrup. As it begins to boil, whisk in the water/lemon juice/clear gel mix. Whip/stir quickly until there are no white lumps.
  • Once the lumps are gone, ladle over your apples leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  • Using a plastic knife or utensil, remove air bubbles from jars. (Metal can make the jars bust during processing.)
  • Place rings and lids on jars and put in a water bath processor for 20 minutes.
  • Using your jar tongs, remove the jars from the canner and place on a dry dish towel to cool. Allow to cool for several hours before checking the seals. You should hear the little ping when they do seal. That’s it! 🙂

American-apple-pie-150x150

Basic Homemade Taco Seasoning (mild)

mail.google.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup crushed red peppers (more if you want a spice taco seasoning)
  • 1- pint mason jar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in jar, seal and shake well to mix. Use according to taste with ground beef, ground turkey or chicken.

This recipe will give you approx a pint jar full and we use around a quarter cup of the mix per 1 pound of hamburger. You could use a quart size jar and mix up a large batch for your food storage or personal use.

IMG_20130531_090239

Mom’s Jalapeño Jelly

156576_2790708986112_1201776411_nThe girls and I made this delicious Jalapeno Jelly this weekend and it turned out fabulous.  I love making this because it is so easy to make and it’s my favorite color.  Green!!!  If you know people who enjoy a little bit of spice, this also makes wonderful Christmas presents.  Take a piece of holiday fabric and cut a square out of it, then place it between the seal and the ring. Take a piece of ribbon and tie it around the ring, perhaps with a little note card, with its uses on it or the recipe.  Our absolute favorite way to use this jelly is on a cracker of our choice with some cream cheese on top, then top it off with a small spoon of jelly.  Delicious!!  You could also mix some in with some cream cheese and make a wonderful dip for chips or crackers. We have also put some in a bowl and smashed it with a spoon and used it as a marinade for chicken and for chicken fajitas. It can really be used for anything!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (always wear gloves handling jalapenos or you will regret it!)  If you want to holiday it up you can use one green and one red pepper.
  • 3 medium green peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 and ½ cups white vinegar
  • 6 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pouches (3 oz each) liquid fruit pectin (made by sure-jell, it comes 2 packages in one box, you will use both)
  • About 6 drops green food coloring (optional, but great for looks especially around Christmas, add some red fabric under the ring and voila, Christmas presents!)

Steps:

  • Step 1: In a blender or food processor, put your jalapenos and half of the bell peppers with ½ a cup white vinegar.  Process until its pureed, then put into a heavy saucepan with a lid.
  • Step 2:  Repeat with the remaining peppers and add another ½ cup of vinegar with them.  Put it in the pot with the other mixture and add cayenne, sugar and remaining vinegar.  Stir it all together and bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly.  Quickly stir in pectin and bring to a boil stirring constantly for 1 minute.  It’s going to look gross at this time but it won’t look like that when you finished, I promise.
  • Step 3: Remove from heat and skim off the foam on top.  Add food coloring if ya want to. ( I always do)  Carefully ladle hot mixture into half pint jars, leaving ¼ inch head space from the top. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and attach seals.

538567_2882482400390_267384687_nI get about 7 half pint jars when I make this, but you can always double it up!!  I forgot to add this in my article on preserving jalapenos last time and I promised I would get this out to our readers so here it is and I hope you enjoy!!

Keepin it Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal