Monday, October 24, 2011
I followed the directions exactly on the package - it was super easy to do. I weighed out my tomatoes, skinned them and then cut them up. Then you just have to add the mix, vinegar (I used cider) and cook. If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you can even use canned tomatoes.
There is nothing artificial in the ingredients that I could see - just seems to be dehydrated vegetables and seasonings.
It tastes as good as my own salsa and I didn't have to mess with the seasonings a zillion times and I only had to cut up tomatoes and not onions, peppers and garlic.
This is what the finished salsa looks like.
I will probably continue to make my salsa totally from scratch but if you want to make a batch of "homemade salsa" without using everything from scratch -this will definitely do.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I decided that I wanted to make Apple Jam this year instead of Apple Jelly. First of all, for those of you who don't know the difference between the two, jam has bits of fruit in it and jelly is made from strained juice. Some fruits are more popular made into jelly (apple, grape, peach) and others you only think of as jam (strawberry).
So, why jam instead of jelly? Several reasons actually - first of all, the time. It takes a long time for the juice to drip down through the cheese cloth - I usually have to start it the day before I actually want to can it. Second is the waste - it just seems so wasteful to throw all of that apple pulp on the compost heap. I also kind of feel like a jam with bits of fruit in it is probably healthier than jelly and probably (although I haven't researched it) a source of fiber.
Having made the decision to make apple jam instead of jelly, I set out in search of a recipe and couldn't find one I liked. I didn't want one with caramel (kind of negates the health benefit) or one that tastes like apple pie. I also wanted one that uses commercial pectin. I know that apples contain a lot of natural pectin and it really isn't necessary to use pectin but I like to use the smallest amount of sugar I can and still get a good gel and pectin allows me to do that. I also didn't want big chunks of fruit in my jam - I want a smoother consistency that is easy to spread on my toast.
According to my almost 12 year old (how did he get to be this old?) taste tester, I got it right on the first try!
This is how I made it -
First I started out just like I was going to make applesauce. I washed my apples and just cut them into chunks - cores and skins and all. I only cut off the obvious bad spots.
I threw them all in a large stock pot with just enough water on the bottom so they wouldn't burn and cooked them until soft. Then I put them through my food strainer attachment on my kitchen aid.
Using 6 cups of the unsweetened applesauce I had just made and 4 cups of sugar and 1 packet of Sure Jell for Less or No Sugar Pectin, I made jam using the directions in the package.
The pictures above aren't the best, but it turned out just perfect.
Let me know if you have a recipe you like better for Apple Jam or if you try my recipe how it comes out for you.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
If you like this recipe as much as I do and you have an apple tree in your back yard or just got back from the orchard you might want to chop some up and freeze them in just the right amount for this recipe. You don't have to blanch them, just chop them up and put them in freezer containers and you are good to go.
Kathi’s Out of this World GFCF Apple Muffins
1 ½ cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ cup organic raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup vanilla almond milk
¼ cup coconut oil
1 ½ cups finely chopped apples (about 1 large or 2 small)
¼ cup organic raw sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon gluten free flour
2 tablespoons gfcf margaine (I used Earth Balance sticks)
½ cup gluten free oats (or substitute quinoa or finely chopped nuts)
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
In a small bowl, beat eggs and then add the almond milk and coconut oil and mix well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just combined (do not over mix).
Gently fold in apples.
Divide mixture up between 12 muffin tins that have been either greased or lined with paper.
Combine topping ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Kathi’s Apple Crisp
6 cups apples
2/3 cup raw sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup margarine, melted
Heat oven to 375 degrees
Grease an 8” square pan
Place apple slices in pan
Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples
Bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is a light golden brown.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
In the winter my veggie plates are made up of root veggies - carrots, beauty heart radishes, celeriac and whatever else is available without coming from the other side of the globe.
A bonus for my family since we are gluten free is that all veggies are naturally gluten free!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
This weekend - canning apples and tomatoes.
The apple tree is LOADED! And I mean LOADED! Did I mention that my tree has a ton of apples this year? My son's favorite is my apple pie filling so I will do some of that - I still have applesauce from last year so maybe not so much of that. I will probably throw some on the dehydrator as well. I've made a couple of pies, but this time of year you really can't make too many apple pies. If I had a press I would make juice.
I also have more tomatoes ready to can. Last week I did sauce so this week I am going to can diced tomatoes.
It will be another busy weekend - I'll be sure to post the results.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
The end results of my weekend's canning efforts are:
4 quarts of tomato sauce
7 quarts of dill pickle spears canned plus 1 quart of refrigerator dills (they are so much crunchier in the fridge and not canned, but I don't have the room for more than a quart or two here and there).
7 pints of relish
10 pints of french green beans (plus 1 pint that didn't seal that we already ate for dinner).
10 jars of grape jam
I didn't get to the apples yet and I have grape pulp that I need to freeze, but I think I did pretty good.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Purple beans will turn green when cooked - as I have mentioned before I am a Packers fan living in Vikings territory - and these beans always remind me that the beans know it is better to be green than purple!
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
A quote from my silly child: "Mom, some of the raspberries looked too ripe - so I ate them and put them out of their misery - you're welcome!"
Monday, June 27, 2011
How are your gardens doing?
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
My old bean towers fell apart at the end of last season - they were 12 years old. I decided to try a new design and ordered the above pictured bean towers from Gardener's Supply Company with my tax refund earlier this year.
I didn't open them when they came since the ground was still covered with lots of snow - I just set them aside until I needed them. Today I opened them and went to put them in the garden and lo and behold - one of them is defective! And of course, customer service is closed so I have to wait until tomorrow to call (I hope they are open on Saturday). My fear is that they will want me to return the defective one before sending out a new one and who knows how long that can take? I am hoping that they will realize that this is planting season and if they make me wait I will just ask for a refund and buy something locally that I can put right up.
I have always had good luck and great customer service with Gardener's so I'm hoping this will be just a temporary setback.
I really like the one that is up - no more strings to string up like I did with my old towers - it comes in two pieces - you just unfold them - put the bottom one in the ground and then stick the prongs from the top one into the holes on the bottom one -that was a little tricky lining up all of those prongs and holes, but the rest was easy peasy - well, except for the second one that seems to be welded incorrectly and won't open up at all. I like that they fold flat for easy storage and the height seems good.
I'll keep you posted on how this all comes out and how they work out for me throughout the growing season.