Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Pie Filling

I love having this on hand to make pie year round!

6 qts. fresh apples, peeled, cored, sliced
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 cups Ultra Gel
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. of each - nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice
2 1/2 cups cold water
5 cups apple juice
3/4 cups lemon juice

Mix sugar, ultra gel, and spices together.  Then add water, apple juice, lemon juice and cook over medium high heat until thick and bubbly.  Fold in apples.  Fill jars, leaving headspace.  Process jars in hot water bath for 35 minutes.  Makes 7 quarts.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Today I canned sweet and sour sauce for the first time ever!  I came up with a recipe using variations of three different recipes from Set for Life, Better Homes and Gardens, and Tammy Price's book, All Things Provident.  I had extra green peppers and lots of tomatoes from the garden, so I thought what the heck let's put them to use.

4 cups chopped onion
4 cups chopped green pepper
8 cups tomato puree (I just ran fresh, raw tomatoes through my food strainer)
2 (20 oz) cans pineapple chunks with juice
3 cups white granulated sugar
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 cups white vinegar
1 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. chicken or beef bouillon (I happened to use beef)
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ginger

1 T. red pepper flakes (optional - if you want to add some kick, or add it later when serving if you want)

2 1/2 cups Ultra Gel 

Chop onions and peppers to desired size.  Add onions, green peppers, tomato puree, pineapple chunks with juice, sugars, vinegar, water and all seasonings into pot.  Bring to a boil and then slowly add Ultra Gel, stirring constantly so there aren't any lumps, until thickened.  Ladle into jars and process for 35 minutes in a water bath (for pints and quarts).  It makes 6 quarts or 12 pints.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sweet Cucumbers (from Mom)

7 medium cucumbers
2 onions
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 cup celery
1 small zucchini
carrots - as many as you would like
green tomatoes - "
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt over sliced veggies and let stand 3 - 4 hours. Drain well, rinse well, and squeeze out all the water you can. Then combine 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup sugar heat a bit until dissolved. Cool. Poor over veggies. This will be good in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 months. It was really tasty! ( The lady who shared the recipe didn't add the green tomatoes).

Creamy Zucchini and Carrot Soup (from Mom)

1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
4 1/2 cups sliced fresh carrots
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a pan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add carrots, zucchini, potato, broth and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor in small batches; cover and process until smooth. Return all to the pan; stir in cream, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through (do not boil). Makes 10 servings. Yum!!!
(What I did a bit different......I only added 1/4 teaspoon salt and added 4-5 cubes of chicken bouillon)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hot {and healthy} White Bean Dip

The girls made this for school snack and it was gone in a flash.  I left out the bacon; I never have bacon on hand.  Plus, I used white beans that I had precooked in the crockpot.

Hot White Bean Dip with Bacon
(from Cooking Light)

2 slices bacon  (I don't use bacon and it still  is Great)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. chicken broth
1 can 14-ounce white beans, drained
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp crushed rosemary

Cook bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat. until crisp.   Remove bacon from pan; set aside.  Add garlic to drippings in pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add broth and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Combine bean mixture, onions, and remaining ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth.  Spoon taste it and add more salt to taste, as well as hot sauce and lemon juice if desired.  Sprinkle dip with remaining bacon just before serving.
Serve with pita chips.  (We've been serving with those new flat pretzels- yum)

EASY Blender Salsa

I love Salsa!  Over the summer, I'd experiment and make a couple a day.  I came across this recipe and find it super EASY.  Perfect for when I don't have fresh tomatoes on hand.  My kids gobble this up.

1 - 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 10 oz. can Rotel
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 jalapeno, seeded (I usually leave this out - kid friendly)
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the blender or food processor. Plus to combine for 30 seconds or until salsa is at desired consistency.  Taste for seasoning and adjusting.  Serve with chips.