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Recipes

Salsa!

I am so happy with all of the salsa that we have put up this year.  It is soooo much work.  And not my favorite thing to do.  But there is such a satisfaction of seeing rows of bottles filled with my hard work.  Our garden did really well this year so I was able to do a bunch of salsa, spaghetti sauce, and diced tomatoes.

I found this awesome recipe at Belle Adorn.  I’ve tweaked it a bit this year and really love the results.

Yummy  Salsa

30 tomatoes peeled and chopped( Or don’t peel them :))
2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
10 cups chopped onions
10 cloves garlic
4-5 yellow banana pepper or 1 cup chopped jalapenos
1/2-3/4 cup sugar
2 cups vinegar ( or lime juice, that’s what I use)
8 teaspoons pickling salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 large cans tomato paste

Chopped cilantro if  you want( love it!)

 

So instead of the bell peppers I used my Anaheim chili peppers that I grew in my garden.  And of course, you can add more or less jalapenos depending on how spicy you like it.  Your salsa will get hotter the longer it sits on the shelf, so keep that in mind.  I also really like the flavor that the lime juice adds.

So, make sure you have a HUGE pot.  Oh, and a food processor.  I got one for Christmas this year and it has changed my life!  I had to hand chop everything last year!  I actually don’t peel my tomatoes, I figure everything is getting chopped and cooked and you really can’t tell the difference.  So why make the extra effort.

Also after I put my tomatoes in the food processor Cody suggested I strain them so that there is not so much liquid.  It was a great idea!  It makes it so much thicker and I don’t have to cook it down as long.  I use the strained tomato juice and cook it down into tomato paste.  Super easy!

 

So, chop, chop, chop and put everything into your pot.  Then let it let it simmer on the stove for 1 1/2- 2 hours.

Make sure that you have sterilized your bottles and your lids.  I usually just toss the bottles into the dishwasher and they are all ready when I need them.  Fill your jars and put your lids on and put them in your water bath canner.  Start timing it when it gets all steamy for about 20 minutes.

Then after they cool, admire the fruits of your labor and pat yourself on the back every time you open a fresh can of salsa in the dead of winter.

 

What Have We Come To

My oldest daughter was feeling pretty gross today so my wife took her to the doctor at 4. That meant that I was supposed to be responsible for getting dinner together for the family. I know, scary. We picked a bunch of raspberries Friday before the frost came and I didn’t want them to go to waste. So I made some German pancakes with raspberry syrup, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner. The whole time growing up my dad would make waffles for us if mom wasn’t around to make dinner. It always turned out pretty well, although there was that one time that he tried to warm up Dominoes pizza that didn’t turn out so well. Maybe he should have stuck with breakfast.

My mom made German pancakes for our family for as long as I can remember but we called them funny pancakes (because of the bubbles). We started making them for our kids and they dubbed them silly bubble pancakes. They absolutely love these things and we usually have to double the batch because they scarf them down.

The raspberry syrup recipe came from here. It worked out pretty well except the blender didn’t stay sealed when I tried to blend the hot berry sauce … what a mess, tasty but a mess. The corn starch clumped pretty badly too so I don’t think I’d mess with the corn starch next time.

Take a look at our beautiful raspberries. Ever since I was a young boy I’ve loved raspberries. My Grandma Cloward had a ton of raspberry bushes in her garden and I would spend hours stuffing my face. I definitely need to increase my number of raspberry bushes.

A Bun In The Oven!

Literally a Bun in the Oven! Haha! I am talking about an awesome artisan bread baking in the oven. So yummy! I was chatting it up with Cody’s cousin’s cute wife, Jinger and she was interested in my whole food approach that I am trying to implement on our homestead. Basically I try to not have processed junk in the house. I make lots of things from scratch. This includes bread. I found an awesome no-knead artisan bread on Theitaliandishblog.com that I love. I also make honey whole wheat and french bread. I’ll post those recipes eventually.This recipe is so great because you mix everything together and then you can stick it in the fridge and just take out a bit of dough when you want a fresh loaf of bread.

 

This is what you need:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting (instant) yeast (Iuse SAF yeast)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
  • 6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour ( I substituted 2 of the cups for wheat flour.. still amazing)

Just mix it all together, cover it loosely and then let it rise for 2 hours on the counter.  Then you can cut off a chunk and let it sit on your pan  for a half hour or toss it in the fridge.  You can let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days and just pull out what you need whenever. The longer it sits in the fridge, the more it takes on a sourdough taste.   Which is awesome because I can never get sourdough to work for me.  It can stay in there for up to 14 days.   Again, just let it sit for a half hour and then bake. Oh, and make sure you take a sharp knife and put some little slices in the top.  It helps release gases while rising, and it makes you look like a pro!

When you bake it, fill up a pan of water and put it on the bottom rack of your oven.  This will give your bread that thick crusty crust.  Yumm!

Put your pan of water in and then bake at 450 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes.  Or until you have a gorgeous golden brown loaf.  The website I got it from says that it makes four, 1 pound loaves.  But I usually make two, 2 pound loaves because I have super hungry kiddos.

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of my beautiful loaf before half of it got devoured.  Oops!  It was soooo good though and it made the house smell amazing.  So, I dare you to try this recipe!  Your family will thank you for it!