Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Matt and Sheri's SALSA

ok.. so basically.. there is no recipe for our salsa..
but here's what we do..

1 1/3 cups APPLE CIDER VINEGAR ( DO NOT use a different kind.. this is IMPERATIVE)
9 cups chopped up plum tomatoes
6 cups of peppers chopped up.. we use whatever we have around.. we combine jalapenos, banana peppers, sweet green peppers, carribean hot peppers.. whatever we have around.. hots first and then fill the measuring cup with sweet green peppers
half an onion
a handful of cilantro
clove of garlic
tsp sea salt

so I put this into 500 ml jars and can them for 20 minutes. hasn't killed anyone so far. :)

you could use the store bought salsa mix. this is what's in it..
. Ingredients: dehydrated vegetables (green and red bell peppers, onion, and garlic), salt, spices (including garlic and onion powder), tomato powder, corn starch, yeast powder, guar gum, xanthan gum, beet powder, natural and artificial flavour, and silicon dioxide.

but I really don't see the point.... not sure why I want guar gum and xanthan gum in my salsa.. or silicone dioxide for that matter..

chocolate mayonnaise cake

preheat oven to 350

2 cups flour
2/3 cups cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 2/3 cups less one tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/3 cups water

combine them all until well mixed and put into a greased and floured cake pan
bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted fork comes out clean

for the frosting..

1/3 cup of melted butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

This is WAY better than any boxed cake mix or any other chocolate cake recipe I've tried :)

grandma grace's chili sauce

6 quarts tomatoes
1/4 cup salt
3 cups vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
4 onions

simmer these for 2 1/2 hours

then add

4 apples (sauced)
3 cups sugar

then simmer for 1 hr

can into hot sterile jars.

Friday, September 18, 2009

When is a good time to can this?

So.. if you can.. and if you're anything like me.. you totally lose track of when things get ripe.. and then get caught unaware.. and end up doing a grocery shop with half the weekly budget going to buying one type of thing to can.. and the rest of the groceries kinda getting forgotten about.
Then I found this list.. totally awesome!

It's also great to know what's in season locally so that you can be sure to support local economy, eat the freshest produce possible, get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck, and get the BEST tasting food possible!

so.. here's the list
First.. Strawberries, first week of june until mid july

Then.. cherries, mid june til mid july
wax beans mid june until mid october
broccoli and cauliflower mid june until end of october
peas mid june until early october

then.. blueberries, early july until late september
peaches, mid july until mid september
carrots mid july until end of october
tomatoes mid july until mid october
apples, mid july until mid october

then.. grapes mid august until mid october
pears late august until mid october
squash mid august until end of october

This is all relevant to zone 5... or niagara region at least :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Carrot Cake Jelly

mmmm when you put this on bread.. tastes just like carrot cake!

1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (3 large)
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped pears (2 large)
1 can of crushed pineapple, with the juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves
1 pkg of pectin
6 1/2 cups sugar

combine all except the sugar and pectin.. cook til the pears and carrots are soft
bring it to a boil (about 20 minutes)
add pectin and bring to a boil,
add sugar and return to a full rolling boil for 1 minute

remove from heat and skim foam

process in boiling water bath.. or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks
should give you about 6 250ml jars

Apple Cinnamon Jelly

So we made this up tonight.. super yummy!

2 cups of Apple Juice
1 ml of cinnamon oil
3 and a half cups of sugar
1 package of pectin.
red food coloring (optional)

Other than that it's the same as making the Rosemary Apple Cider Jelly.. try it! It's Delish!

Rosemary Apple Cider Jelly

Try this on chicken, lamb or pork. Nice on top of the meat or also as a glaze adding during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

2 cups Apple Cider
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch of liquid pectin

In a large saucepan bring the cider, vinegar and rosemary to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
Strain and put in a two cup measure. Add enough cider to equal 2 cups.
Discard the rosemary.
Put the cider back into the pot and add the sugar. Bring it to a full rolling boil over high heat and stir frequently. Add the pectin and bring it back to a rolling boil for 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.
Fill and seal your jars (process in a boiling water bath, use hot sterile jars and boil the sealed jars for 5 minutes) or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

If you want to try something different use white wine instead of cider (1 1/2 cups), 1/2 cup cider or juice or water and different herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, savory or tarragon.

bruschetta mix

ok.. so this is easy peasy.. and super tasty.

chop up some tomatoes and sweet onions into about 1 cm chunks.. you want mostly tomatoes with a little onions for flavor.
pour a good shake of basil on top.. fresh chopped is best.. for fresh use a good handful chopped.. for dry use a tablespoon.
add a couple tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
let it sit for at least half an hour.

better yet... let it sit while you're making a loaf of my favorite white bread...
preheat the oven to 325
slice the bread long . you know how it should look.
chop up a clove of garlic super fine and mix it with about a quarter cup of butter
spread butter with garlic on the bread and top it with the bruschetta mix
top it with cheese of your choice if you want to
put the bread in the oven (directly on the rack works best) until it's toasted.. that's right.. you gotta watch it...
take it out (tongs work great for this)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This is excellent.. also lower in sugar and salt than store bought brands... this is one of the few things that I love so much that I cry when we run out.

3 cups chopped onion
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp whole cloves
1 8 inch cinnamon stick crushed
1 1/2 tsp whole allspice berries
3 tbsp celery seed
3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pickling salt
and.. enough tomatoes to fill a good size roasting pan about 2/3 full. (they say 24 lbs but I'd use less.. more intense flavor)

Combine the tomatoes, onion and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan. (do not use aluminum with tomatoes)
bring it to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered

Tie the cloves, cinnamon,allspice and celery seed in a large square of cheesecloth, or a spice bag.
Put the vinegar into another pot and put the spice bag into the vinegar. (like making tea) bring it to a boil and let it sit while the tomatoes are simmering.

After 20 minutes discard the spice bag and add the vinegar "tea" to the tomatoes.

Now this is the dangerous part... at this point you want to blender the tomato mixture.. you can NOT do this while it's cold.. and it WILL pop and likely burn you if you're not super duper careful.

Add the sugar and salt and put it all back into the big pot.
Boil it gently until it's the right texture.. it should be about half as much as you started with and mound on a spoon.

This makes about 7 500ml jars.. so not tons.. but sooo tasty..

I dare you to make it...

I thought this was way too much work for ketchup.. really.. after the first time I made it.. until I tasted it. Now I won't go a summer without making it.. it's just WAY too tasty.


This is an AWSOME bread salad... goes great with Coq au Vin.. :)
2 cups cubed bread
3/4 lb tomatoes, cubed 1/2 sweet onion
1 stalk celery, diced 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, slivered
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1/2 cup pitted green olives, halved or sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste fresh ground pepper
Basically.. you mix it all up in a bowl.. toss it with the vinegar and oil and let it sit for at least 1/2 an hour to an hour. Then.. YUMMY!!!

my favorite white bread recipe

This does NOT work in a bread machine..

5 1/2 - 6 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 packages or 6 tsps yeast (rapid rise)
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter

In a large bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat water, milk and butter until very warm, (120-130 F), stir into dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at mediom speed with electic mixer. Stir in 1 cup flour, beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surace until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes) Cover.. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each into a 12X7 inch rectangle. Roll uptight as for a Jelly Roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place seams down in greased bread pans, cover and let until it doubles in size.. about 45 minutes. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.

NOTE:To make whole wheat bread substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour for part of the all purpose flour.

Whipped shortbread

1 cup room temp butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

preheat to 300 degrees

using electric mixer beat together butter and icing sugar.
in a separate bowl sift together flour and cornstarch.

mix together all ingredients (I like to use the beater)
makes a very fluffy dough

make into 32 balls about 1 1/4 inches diameter, be very gentle.

cook on ungreased baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes until they look nice and toasty..

lemon barbecue meat loaves


1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
4 slices bread crumbs
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup minced onion
one egg
2 tsp seasoned salt


1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves

mix together all ingredients for loaves and form 6 small loaves with your hands. Cook on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. While this is cooking make the sauce.. mix together sauce ingredients.. making sure there is no bumps left. Remove loaves from oven and top with sauce. Turn oven down to 350 and cook loaves for half hour more or until meat is cooked through.. if desired you can top with sliced lemons for decoration before putting back in the oven

My favorite Curry recipe

1/2 kg chicken
1 small onion chopped up small
50 ml yogurt (plain.. trust me.. strawberry yogurt does NOT work with this recipe)
1 tsp coriander (or cilantro.. depending which you prefer cilantro will give you more of a pakistani curry... which is delicious)
2 tsp salt ( I like sea salt.. )
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp garlic paste (or two cloves minced up really fine)
1 tsp ginger paste (or a wee bit of fresh ginger chopped really fine)
100 ml oil
100 ml tomatoes (or chop up a couple)
1 tsp garam masala (optional.. )
2 green cardamom seeds (GREEN.. not BLACK)
1 tsp cinnamon
10 black peppercorns ( I like it with mixed peppercorns just as well)
6-8 cloves
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

put all the spices together and grind them up. Using Fresh whole spices really does improve the dish.. so use whole cloves, whole coriander seeds, whole cardamoms, etc. Grinding them up in a mortar and pestle works.. so does a coffee grinder
once they are ground up, fry them in the oil with the onions until the onions are a little cooked
add the chicken shortly after and cook the chicken until it is cooked through
add the tomato and yogurt once chicken is cooked and simmer it for a while to get the flavors really into it. I find that adding a teaspoon of yogurt to any marinade makes ANY marinade penetrate the meat much deeper :)
simmer for a bit while you are cooking some basmati rice to put the curry on top of :)

if you want to can it leave out the chicken and yogurt and just increase it to taste. I usually end up using closer to a can of tomato sauce instead of 100 ml. so if you were making up 12 jars worth of tomatoes, times the recipe spices by 12 or until it tastes right.