Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some of my harvest....

I'm trying to share some of my favorite things to can with you to maybe inspire you to preserve some healthy alternatives for your family. I love, love, love pickled beets and a couple years ago my Aunt Cathy shared this recipe with me. This beet relish recipe has been in the family for many years (over 30) and it is so wonderful.

Beet Relish

1 Quart chopped cooked beets (about 12 med. beets)
1 Quart chopped cabbage (1 small head)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped sweet peppers
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 T prepared horseradish
1 T salt (canning, pickling salt)
3 cups vinegar

Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Simmer for 10 min. Bring to boil then pack hot relish in hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps and process in hot water bath (212 degrees) for 15 min. I use a pressure cooker and I just process 5 lbs. till it jiggles and turn it off.

My tomatoes did wonderful this year. I canned over 100 quarts (gave a lot away to family and friends) and stored enough to get us though winter with no problem :0)

Canning stewed tomatoes...

I cut my tomatoes in a large dice...fill the jars till you can't possible get one more tomato in there leaving an inch of head space. Salt is opt. 1 teaspoon. Process 5 lbs pressure for 15 min. in the pressure cooker. Yummy.

Garden Salsa

I did several different types of salsa this year but the basic recipe is the same.

4 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped hot peppers (I use hungarian hot, jalapeno, habanaro)
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 can tomato paste

Combine everything in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 min. or so...(will finish cooking in pressure cooker) Pour hot salsa into jars ...
30 min. hot water bath. 5 lb. pressure for 10 min. for pressure cooker.

This year I played around with how hot I could get the salsa...Also I added a can of chipotle peppers with adobo sauce to a couple batches which added a hint of hot and smoke. It turned out to be my favorite of the year. Plus I only used roma tomatoes and tried to dice everything pretty even and small which resulted in a very thick and chunky salsa. This has been my best year yet for salsa!

I didn't can any corn this year, but I did take a photo of the only 3 ears we got out of the garden. It looks beautiful but was a bit tough. I think because we didn't get a lot of rain when it needed it and my sprinkler wouldn't reach back there. I did end up water it but I think it was to late. Better luck next year.

Our one and only cantalope...I got this plant on clearance and thank goodness we took it. The fruit was very sweet and yummy. So nice to grow your own fruit!

All chopped up ready to eat with one of the bigger pears we got off our tree. I made quite a bit of pear jam this year. Right when all the pears were ready to pick, one of the hurricanes blew through Ohio and all my pears were on the ground so I was frantically making jam as fast as I could to use them up before they rotted.

This is the new hybrid yellow squash...just kidding. I was warned of this early in my gardening career :0) My zucchini plant was planted to close to my yellow squash and this is the result. My plants were the biggest I've seen so far and by the end of summer my rows weren't really rows anymore. The butternut squash took over a large chunk of the garden...another lesson learned.

I'll be posting more soon, I'd like to start cooking a variety of things again. It seems like I fall into a rut when I get busy and we have 5 things over and over again. A new challenge for myself?? That would be nice. The boys would love it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finally a post...

Canning Season is officially over!

It has been awhile since my last post, I've been keeping myself extremely busy with my garden and canning all my veggies. I'm happy to say that it is over and I can finally get back to cooking, cleaning and taking care of my boys. I admire people who can their own food. The work involved is so worth it and to have the best food possible for my family makes me feel so proud.

Green Beans :0)

Hungarian Peppers, cut into rings. I use a mixture of 50/50 white vinegar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over the rings. Seal with lids. It's that easy and they are perfect for pizza and sandwiches.

When you have way to much zucchini, make zucchini relish. I made enough this year to last awhile. I posted the recipe awhile back but finally have the pics. :0) this is perfect for tarter sauce, veggie hotdogs...tastes just like cucumber sweet relish.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Canning Season is here!

My first batch of peach jam, I make it in quarts for us...Jim takes peanut butter and jelly to work everyday, such a good husband, eats whatever I pack him :0) I've made cherry, strawberry and now peach. I love canning season...(at the beginning of the year:0)

First batch of green bean...I can't believe how easy it is to can. Make sure your jars are sanitized. Pack with clean, snapped green beans, add 1 t canning salt, add water, dry the top of the jar with a towel, put the lids on and put in the pressure canner for 25 min. on 10 lbs pressure. Then wait till no pressure in the canner, I usually take the pressure gage off when it's been awhile and take them out and listen for them to "pop". It's my most favorite sound ever. I joke with my husband that he could make me a lullaby cd of jars popping and it would put me right to sleep!

Next is raspberry jam, just picked these yesterday! We have such a cool yard. Jim's dad planted everything you could think of. I love it. (Alot of work, but I love it)

My dinner...

When Jim and Seth have macaroni and cheese, Mommy has something she thinks the boys won't like...so this is what I came up with and it was amazing!
I just bought a box of Thai Peanut, Thai kitchen brand rice noodles, which you can find them about anywhere these days for about $2.50 box. I made the noodles and put them aside and went out to the garden and picked:
1 small zucchini
1 small squash
1 hungarian hot pepper
1 small fingerling eggplant
Diced them up kind of small and sauteed them in some soy garden butter. I sprinkled garlic, salt and pepper and continued cooking until soft. Placed the noodles on my plate and then sprinkled the veggies over and enjoyed. It was sooooo good. (Sorry the picture looks a bit blurry, I'm using my sister in law's awesome camera and I'm still getting use to it.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zucchini Sweet Relish...

Zucchini Sweet Relish
10 cups zucchini (about 4 large ones)
4 cups onion (about 5)
2 green peppers
4T salt
Cut zucchini in half and take out seeds, don't peel. Using food processor, or small side of shredder, grind 10 cups zucchini. Mix and let stand overnight in refridgerator.
Rinse in cold water gently. Squeeze out excess water and then add...
2 1/2 c. white vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 T dry mustard
2 T cornstarch
2 t celery seed
1/4 t. pepper
1 t tumeric
Mix well, cook at a low boil for 30 min. put into jars. 1 batch makes about 8 pints.
This recipe is really yummy if you like to make your own tarter sauce.

Left over night...

I made chickpea cutlets (veganomicon) the other night and had some leftovers so I came up with this...

Hummus, chickpea cutlets, lettuce, sweet hot pickles (that I canned last year) and shredded carrot. Rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla and then placed on the George Foreman for some awesome grill marks :0)

It was a big hit with my family, although, Seth does NOT like hummus but he ate the wrap anyway, so it must not of been too bad. :0)

Garden Medley!

This is one of my most favorite meals.
I used 2 med. zucchini
2 med. squash
2 hungarian hot peppers
3 green tomatoes
green onions
put all ingredients in a frying pan with about a tablespoon of oil and fry until soft...

I love being able to walk out to my garden and just pick what I need and make dinner.
My nine year old has already informed me that he doesn't like squash and zucchini and I told that it's really early in the season to start complaining...I make this alot in the summer!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not to be a downer (no pun intended)

If you need to eat beef, make sure you know who your supplier is....keep your families safe.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25695741/ article on Ohio ground bf with ecoli contamination...yuck!

I will be posting food really soon, I promise. I just made garden medley as I call it, walk out to the garden and grab everything that's ready to be picked and fry! I took pics. yesterday, I'll post as soon as I put them in the computer.

Monday, July 14, 2008



I love photobucket, they have alot of funny and really cute artwork to share!

~ Peace People

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sorry I've not posted in awhile.

This is just a collection of photos that I had from the last couple months. I haven't posted in awhile and I have been making some awesome food, just not been taking pictures of it. Bad me. But I've borrowed my sister-in-laws camera and I'm motivated to making great food and taking awesome pictures so you've been warned. :0) These pictures are from my camera.

Sauteed portabella mushroom with olive oil and soysauce, spring mix lettuce, cucumber, carrot, Veganaise and some Gray Poupon on flat bread. My lunch the other day. (Fancy)

Extreme Closeup...mmmmm.

Asparagus from the yard! Yummy. It does look like to much Soy Garden butter but I was mixing it with angelhair pasta so I need all the juice and butter (added like 3 garlic cloves) for the noodles. I also added some broccoli and mushrooms, but forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Whoops.

When everyone was coming next door to visit Mamaw and Papaw, I made a batch of these. I made the Chickpea cutlet recipe from Veganomicon and just made them into nuggets...it was alittle time consuming but it was a huge hit.
Chickpea cutlet nuggets frying in alittle canola oil.

We made 2 sauces to dip them in. Cheezy sauce from the Veganomicon cookbook and a honey mustard sauce (Veganaise, honey substitute and Gray Poupon) We used real honey...sorry, bees.

I have an addiction to these potatoes...Trader Joes brand hash browns. I added some garlic powder, salt and fresh ground pepper....oh my. I may need an intervention.
Last but not least, I was making burritos the other day, had the soyritzo in the pan warming up and looked up in cabinet and no refried beans. I ALWAYS have refried beans in there. After a small panic I found a can of red kidney beans and put them in my small food processor, added some garlic, veggie broth (enough to make a paste), soysauce and pepper. It turned out soooooo good. It won't be the last time I make that. So incredible easy and cheap!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Love Flowers!

I'm still loving the flowers my husband got for me last week, thought I'd share. Very, very springy and it has been so very beautiful outside, I love it!

It's fun making sushi!

Dinner at mom's house on Saturday was a blast. William, Dennisa, Jim and I made sushi. No pictures yet of the event, they are still on mom's camera :0). But good news, Seth stayed at William's Saturday and almost all day Sunday so Jim and I decided to make them again at home. We went out looking for all the necessary supplies, had most of the ingredients, but we needed a sushi roller. We couldn't find a "sushi mat" at Walmart but my brilliant husband suggested looking at bamboo placemats which after finding them looked JUST like the roller William and Dennisa had but bigger and a dollar fifty cheaper. Can you believe our luck?? So we came home and started rollin'. Our ingredients were: Avacado, sauteed portabello mushroom in garlic and soysauce, carrot, cucumber, sticky rice and WASABI! and the Nori wraps. We were turning into professionals by the end of the day! We had soooo much fun.

It was suprisingly simple to make, you just lay the Nori paper shiny side down and (wet your fingers, so the rice doesn't stick) then put down a thin layer of your sticky rice leaving an edge so you can wet it and seal it after you place your fillings in. Now I'm wishing I would've taken a picture before we rolled it. You just add a line of each filling on the rice that is closest to you then using your mat start rolling it up away from you, wet the exposed edge, finish rolling it up. We would roll it back and forth for a second or two just to give it time to seal real good.

So Jim was feeling pretty confident and rolled up one with just rice in it, cut it in quarters long ways, placed them on the mat with the rice pointing out making like a square and then put avacado in the center of the 4 corner pieces and rolled them in a nori sheet...and this is what it looked like. I hope that wasn't confusing, it's kinda hard to explain. They came out beautiful and we were soooooo proud of ourselves. They were, out of this world, awesome!

Fancy! Love it!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I finally made Julie Hasson's Spicy Italian Sausages and they were pretty good, I think next time I will add more spices to make them taste more "sausage like" but we ate them for two days and I think the second day was better. They had more time to sit and "get happy" like Emeril would say. The process of making them was easy and fun. They recipe can be found at Julie's website http://www.everydaydish.tv/Recipe%20Pages/Spicy_Italian_Vegetarian_Sausage.html If you wanted to find it. Here's some photos of my sausage adventure...
This is what they look like in the process of rolling them in the aluminum foil...

It made 9 sausages, I steamed them in my metal colander for 30 mins.

This is after 30 mins. and they plumped up to sausage goodness. Some were pretty funny shaped when I unwrapped them. The recipe called for you to measure out 1/2 cup full to mold into a sausage, next time I will be making them with my 1/3 or 1/4 cup. They were pretty big. :0)

I almost forgot to take a picture...shoo wee... I made oven fries to go with it and sauteed up a red, orange pepper (that I got from Trader Joes, they were so pretty.) and onion to put on top also I put some veganaise and roasted red pepper hummus on the bun...mmm.mmm.delish.

Seth loved his dinner. Yippy! He just had ketchup and veganaise on his.

In this recipe she called for a "chicken-like" seasoning and I wanted to share the one that I like that I got from a friend.

Chicken style seasoning

1/4 cup salt (I use 1/2 that)

1/2 cup Nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 t. turmeric

1 t. garlic powder

1 T. onion powder

1/2 t. marjoram

1/2 t. sage or summer savory

1 T. parsley

Blend thoroughly to a powder like consistency. Store in a sealed container in refridgerator. It's great in any of your recipes that call for chicken like seasoning or chicken broth. Use it to season soups, sauces, gravies, burgers, loaves, or other savory dishes. ( I don't put it in the fridge and it's still ok)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Knock, knock.....Ether bunny...Ether bunny who?

We had so much fun for Easter...I think we have started a new tradition in our family and I hope we can inspire you to start one too! Instead of decorating eggs this year again we've decided to decorate cupcakes. I got the recipe from "Vegan cupcakes take over the world".

We should have made alot more cupcakes, we were just getting good by the time we were finished decorating the 24 that was made, but it was Sandy, Dennisa, Taylor, Anthony, Seth, Grandma (pictured above, decorating her one cupcake :0) and of course, me there decorating. Dennisa being the professional that she is, brought over all of her tips for making cool flowers and grass and all types of special effects on our gorgeous cupcakes. Here's some examples....

We had a blast, alot of laughing, we also had a small little "fake" contest on who could make the best decorated cupcake, Can you guess who didn't "fake win"?

We all had our favorites and I hope we can inspire you to make a friendly switch to make "everyone" happy next Easter. FYI...We had to much fun with our cupcake decorating that Dennisa and I are planning on doing it for Dad's Fish Fry this year! Little fish, a line with a hook on it with water bubbles, little boats with TAS on it....endless ideas!

Here's all our beautiful creations, so many different ones. Dennisa was so sweet to make all the colors but I think next time I make the frosting I will use just the shortening instead of adding any soy garden butter...room temp. it didn't want to stay "set up" making our flowers droop some. Owell, still delish though.
Believe it or not...I made an awesome potato salad and spinach dip with roasted garlic bread and I didn't take a picture of it...I know, call me crazy! I made everything to last 2 days and it didn't last past Saturday... :0) I think that was a complement.