Tag Archives: Food

Homemade Pop Tarts

7 Feb

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These ended up being a total success. My kids loved them and they looked great. Best part……. It was super easy.

I used my mom’s pie crust recipe and my favorite jam, Blackberry with the seeds.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces)
5 tablespoons ice water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir briefly until the mixture is aerated. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces that are slightly yellow in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if necessary, but don’t overwork the dough or it’ll become tough.)
Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Take out of the refrigerator and roll thin. Cut out with a shaped cookie cutter or you could use a pizza cutter and make the traditional rectangle.
Fill half with about a tablespoon of jam, (depending on the shape you’ve chosen, you might need more)
Place the cut dough without the jam on top of the jam filled dough and press together with a fork to seal.
Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let cool completely then top with your favorite icing.
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TOMATO PESTO

4 Sep

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1 cup roasted tomatoes, can be Romas or cherry tomatoes 

1/4 cup almonds (you can use whatever nut is available or pine nuts)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese 

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/3-1/2 cup good quality olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon (add if you feel it needs additional acidity…I usually do)

 

Add your basil, roasted tomatoes, almonds, salt, garlic, and cheese to the processor.  Pulse several times until ingredients are combined.  Slowly drizzle the oil into the food processor via the tube as the processor is running.  Add only as much oil as you need to reach the proper consistency.  Taste the pesto and adjust seasoning.  Add lemon juice if desired for additional acidity. Pulse pesto one last time to combine before scooping the mixture into ice cube trays, muffin cups, or jars to freeze.  Once frozen, the pesto in the ice cube trays and muffin cups can be removed and placed in a freezer bag for storage.  If you want to keep this pesto in the refrigerator for a few days rather than freezing, place the mixture in a jar and pour a little olive oil on top to prevent it from darkening.  

 

Peach Jam with Brown Sugar and Rum

25 May

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Peach Jam with Brown Sugar and Rum

Recipe courtesy of recipezaar.com
http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Peach-Jam-With-Brown-Sugar-and-Rum-232744

6 cups peaches, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 4 lbs)
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup dark Jamaican rum
2 cups granulated sugar
In a large bowl, combine peaches with the brown sugar, lemon juice and about half of the rum, stirring to mix. Cover and let stand at room temperature six hours or overnight.
Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Sterilize jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath, then leave in hot water until ready to fill. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.
Pour the fruit mixture into a large saucepan or dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, reduce heat and cook the mixture until the peach chunks begin to look translucent, 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If the jam becomes too thick and threatens to scorch before the fruit is done, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Add the granulated sugar, increase heat to medium-high and cook rapidly, stirring almost constantly, until a spoonful placed on a chilled saucer and refrigerated for a few minutes wrinkles instead of runs when the saucer is tilted. (Take jam off the heat while doing this. If using a candy thermometer, this should happen at about 220 degrees.) Add remaining rum and stir the jam (it will boil up when you add the rum) for 2 minutes over the heat.
Ladle boiling-hot jam into hot, prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Top with lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Cool jars completely on a dish towel before labeling and storing.

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Dehydrating Habaneros And Other Awesome Peppers

7 May

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First things first…go get gloves. Ive done this so many times trust me, don’t forget to wear your gloves and Still wash hand and keep away from small children. Habaneros and other hot peppers can seriously burn your skin.

The method i use for drying habanero peppers is to use a dehydrator. A dehydrator encloses the habanero peppers and dries them anywhere from 9-12 hours in low, soft heat. You can find dehydrators in stores or online ranging from $30 – 3,000.

The heat level of chile peppers is measured by a system developed by William Scoville in the early 1900s, and the Habanero tops the scale. Habanero peppers are among the hottest members of the chilli pepper family, typically clocking between 100,000 and 350,000 Scoville units, a widely recognized measure of chilli heat. By comparison, original recipe Tabasco sauce has between 7,000 and 8,000 Scoville units.

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There’s some alternatives you can use if you don’t have a dehydrator on hand. You can put them in an oven on low heat 190-200 degrees for about 12 hours give or take.

You could also String them together and hang outside in the sun or a sunny window to dry for a couple days.

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For all peppers and dehydrating processes make sure to always clean your peppers.

DEHYDRATING in a Deyhydrator.

1 – Wash the peppers under cold running water, gently brushing away any dirt. Dab the peppers dry with a clean kitchen cloth.

2 – Arrange the peppers on a wire rack so there is space between the fruit for air to circulate. Wait till fully dry from cleaning.

3 – place them on your Dehydrator trays single layers and almost touching. Stack the trays and dehydrate rotating the trays every few hours.

RONATA TIP: Always use your Deyhydrator outdoors when doing hot peppers, it will fill your entire house with what i like to call ” painful eye watering gas”. Holly Molly I won’t make that mistake again.

4 – After the peppers are dry store them in an air tight container. But don’t forget to wear gloves even when doing this step.

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FUN FACT: Another use for chile peppers, the experts say, is to detoxify raw oysters. Catsup doesn’t do anything, lemon and horseradish sauce work moderately well, but straight hot sauce from the bottle will kill the bacteria in one minute flat. So if you use mine…your in the clear. If you decide to take a chance on raw oysters, using hot sauce can’t hurt and will probably help.
Habanero madness for resource on scoville units.

SPICY DILLY BEANS

4 May

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Who doesn’t love dilly beans. And those of you who know me know I like it HOT.  These little suckers are so good. Forget Lay’s slogan “You just can’t have one”. It should be MY DILLY BEANS slogan. Here’s the recipe I’ve been using for a few years now, I have never had an issue. Basic and straight forward. For more heat add more hot peppers to each jar.

Green Beans – enough to make 4 pints or about 2 pounds
4 sprigs of fresh dill weed or 4 heads of dill.
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup canning salt
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1/2-1 Habanero or hot pepper of choice. Cut in half.
1/4tsp hot pepper flakes

Wash beans – snap off ends and snap (break or cut) to jar length.

Add sprig of dill weed or head of dill and 1 garlic clove to each jar. Also add 1/4 tea. red pepper flakes and if your like me, go ahead and cut a Habanero in half unseeded and toss that in too.

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Pack each jar with beans length ways.

RONATA NOTE: pack as tight as possible because during processing they float to the top so if you don’t get enough in there the bottom will look kinda funny. But don’t worry your beans are still fine.

Combine – vinegar, water, salt. Bring to a boil.

Cover beans with pickling solution, leaving 1/4 inch head space.

Remove air bubbles with your utensil i use a butter knife.

Wipe rims clean and process according to water bath canning directions.

This makes 4 pints.

Process: pints and quarts process for 10 minutes

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Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet Processing time
0-1000 ft 5 minutes
1001-6000 10 minutes
over 6000 15 minutes

All photos taken by Ronata Stapel.

Canning The Best Salsa EVER

2 May

304505_10150321901533407_1960965_n original Recipe from http://www.freshpreserving.com/home.aspx
All pictures taken by Ronata Stapel

Makes about 6 (16oz) pints or 12 (8oz) half pints
Traditional salsa with a kick! Use whatever type of chili peppers your family prefers.

                    You will need:

10 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes (about 25 medium)
5 cups chopped seeded green bell peppers (about 4 large)
5 cups chopped onions (about 6 to 8 medium)
2-1/2 cups chopped seeded chili peppers, such as hot banana, Hungarian wax, Serrano or jalapeño (about 13 medium)
 1-1/4 cups cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
6 (16oz) pint or 12 (8oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Canner or large pot with rack and lid
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                    Directions:

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until read
y for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE tomatoes, green peppers, onions, chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt and hot pepper sauce, if using, in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
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3.) LADLE hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
4.) PROCESS both pint and half pint jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed
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Canning Safety

1 May

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All pictures taken by:Ronata Stapel

Using Boiling Water Canners

Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D.
Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist,
Department of Foods and Nutrition

Most boiling water canners are made of aluminum or porcelain-covered steel; at least one stainless steel model is also available. Boiling water canners have fitted lids and removable racks that are either perforated or shaped wire racks. The canner must be deep enough so that at least one inch of briskly boiling water will be over the tops of jars during processing. Some boiling water canners do not have completely flat bottoms; these will not work well on smooth top ranges. The canner bottom should also be fairly flat for use on electric burners. Either a flat or ridged bottom may be used on a gas burner. To ensure uniform processing of all jars with an electric range, the canner should be no more than 4 inches wider in diameter than the element on which it is heated. (When centered on the burner or element, the canner should not extend over the edge of the burner or element by more than 2 inches on any side.) Before canning on a smooth top range, check the range manufacturer’s advice on suitability for canning and recommended maximum canner size for specific burners.

Follow these steps for successful boiling water canning:

(Read through all the instructions before beginning.)

1. Before you start preparing your food, place canner rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.

2. Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 140 degrees F. for raw-packed foods and to 180 degrees F. for hot-packed foods. You can begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.

3. Load filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, into the canner one at a time, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times. Tilting the jar could cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.

If you have a shaped wire rack that has handles to hold it on the canner sides, above the water in the canner, you can load jars onto the rack in the raised position and then use the handles to lower the rack with jars into the water.

4. Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least one inch above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them. For process times over 30 minutes, the water level should be 2 inches above the jars.

5. Turn the heat setting to its highest position, cover the canner with its lid and heat until the water boils vigorously.

6. Set a timer (after the water is boiling) for the total minutes required for processing the food.

7. Keep the canner covered for the process time. The heat setting may be lowered as long as a gentle but complete boil is maintained for the entire process time.

8. Add more boiling water during the process, if needed, to keep the water level above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.

9. If the water stops boiling at any time during the process, turn the heat on its highest setting, bring the water back to a vigorous boil, and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time).

10. When the jars have been processed in boiling water for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars to allow the canner contents to settle. This waiting period is not required for safety of the food when using USDA or University of Georgia processing times, however.

RONATA NOTE: I’ve never done the wait time and had a problem. I always have so much too can to wait…lol.

11. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.

RONATA NOTE: If you don’t have a canning lifter you can you tongs.

12. Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.

13. Remove ring bands from sealed jars. Put any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use first.

14. Wash jars and lids to remove all residues.

15. Label jars and store in a cool, dry place out of direct light.

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