Category Archives: Cooking

Canning, lobster bisque, cooking, strawberry jam, jellies, jams, drying food, freezing food, biscuits

Double Your Counter Space

Do you lack enough space to fit more than a load or two of recently canned food on your counter? I know canning a large amount of food is hard work and requires quite a bit of clean-up. Many experienced canning people try to get as much canning done in a day as possible in order to minimize the amount of time spent cleaning up and the amount of time they are stuck in the kitchen.

Use this trick to double your space on the counter. First fill the space you have on your counter with the jars you have canned so far wrapped in an old towel to keep them nice and cozy. Place the bottom half of an old towel on a large tray while the next batch is in the canner or boiling water bath. Place the tray on top of the towel that is on top of the canned goods. When they are ready, remove the jars from the pot, and place them on top of the towel on the tray. Use the top half of the towel to cover the jars when they are all unloaded from the canner. Keep adding jars until you are finished or the tray is full.

Set a tray with a towel on it on top of the jars already removed from the canner.

Make sure the jars are balanced as you add them to the tray.

Cover all the jars to keep them warm until they return to room temperature. Once at room temperature the jars can be wiped clean and put away.

Many of the women who I have helped to learn to can or just encouraged to can, say they have such a wonderful sense of accomplishment when they have all those goodies stored away in the cellar. In Biblical times they stored oil, but people who can in the present are able to store away: salsa, fruits, tomato sauce, juice, sauerkraut and many other treats!

Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cake

The recipe for : Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cake was created by Carol Reen

This recipe was created to utilize the abundance of berries many of us have in our personal patches and of course to enjoy!!

1 teaspoon stevia   or    3/4 cup sugar blend    or    1 1/2 cup sugar

& 1/2 cup sugar

 

1 1/4 cup Canola oil.                                    Dry Ingredients

3 eggs.                                                                   1 cup whole wheat flour

4 cups fresh raspberries.                             2 cups white flour

1 teaspoon vanilla.                                          2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup buttermilk

Marbling:

8 ounces cream cheese.                               1/4 cup sugar

1 egg.                                                                         1 cup chocolate chips

Beat sugar and oil until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in raspberries and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Add some of the dry mixture and then some of the buttermilk to the sugar and oil mixture. Alternately adding wet and dry until both have been completely utilized. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch 

pan.

Beat the softened cream cheese with the 1/4 cup sugar and egg in a different bowl until well blended. I like to use the mixer for the cream cheese mixture. Spoon creamed mixture onto the top of the cake in the shape of a figure eight. Cut through the marbling mixture with a knife, with the goal of reaching the edges with the marble or cream cheese. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake 45 minutes to an hour at 350degrees. Insert toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Do not poke a chocolate chip, doing so may mar your results. Let cool! Enjoy!

At the top of the recipe are three different options for sweetening this cake please choose: either 1 teaspoon stevia and 1/2 cup sugar or 3/4 cup sugar blend or 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Using all three would make the cake much too sweet.

Succulent Sausage Rolls

Looking for something new and delicious for Easter breakfast this year?

Succulent Sausage Rolls

We may have the right recipe for you! These rolls are a golden yellow color once they are baked. They smell delicious! The special ingredient that makes them moist is healthful for you! We can keep that ingredient a secret just between us.

Succulent Sausage Rolls

  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed squash
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 one-pound packages breakfast sausages

1 cup of warm water into which you dissolve 2 tablespoons of yeast(that is 2 packages of yeast if you do not buy it in bulk.)

While the yeast is proofing, combine 1 egg, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup cooked and mashed squash. There it is the ingredient you may just want to keep to your self! Mix the above ingredients together well. Then add the proofed yeast. Mix a little. Add the flour 1 cup at a time. First you will stir in the flour. As the mixture becomes thicker, you need to knead. Keep kneading and adding flour (up to 6 cups) until the dough is not too sticky. Make sure you use flour to get all the dough off the sides of the bowl also the spoon, and knead that in as well. The kneading should take about 5-6 minutes. Grease the bowl. Plop the dough into it, turn the dough over in the bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rise in a prewarmed oven of 180 degrees that is off, for one hour.

Frying breakfast sausages

Start frying the little breakfast sausages. 2  one pound packages should be enough. When they are all fried, cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Cutting triangles of dough

When the hour is over, knead the dough a few times. Flour part of your work surface.  Take a large handful of dough, place it in the center of the flour and roll it to about an eighth inch thickness. Trim off the ends to make a rough rectangle. Now cut the rectangle into triangles that start out about the width of the sausage and taper down to a point. See the picture above. Wrap a sausage in the triangle of dough starting at the wide end. See the picture below. When it is wrapped, place it on a greased tray. Repeat these steps until you you have all the sausages wrapped.

Rolling the dough around the sausage

If you still have dough left, take a small handful and roll it like you would to make a meatball. Place on the tray.  When all the dough has been utilized, cover the trays and let rise for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes has elapsed light the oven to 400 degrees. When the oven is at the correct temperature, place rolls in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Serve warm.

Left-Dinner rolls
Right-Succulent sausage rolls

You can store the rolls in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the rolls at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Take some time this weekend to ponder the questions: Is Jesus Lord of my life? Is Jesus Lord over every area of my Life?

Happy Easter Everyone!

Thank you to my son, Benjamin, who thought of the new idea!

Cabbage Concoction

Do you have an abundance of cabbage this year, but you do not need any sauerkraut?

Why not try my cabbage concoction? Cabbage needs to be sautéed before it can be frozen. Here is a delicious way to preserve your cabbage and make in advance a delicious, healthy entree to enjoy during the cold winter months.

Ingredients include: bacon, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, salt, and peppers.

You need:

8 pieces of bacon

2 small onions or 1 medium onion

1/2 large cabbage

1 large tomato

4 pieces of garlic, 4 teaspoons of minced garlic can be used if you do not have fresh garlic

2 peppers- bell or hot

1 teaspoon salt

The most time consuming part of this recipe is the chopping. Prepare all the ingredients for the  concoction first. Chop 2 medium sized onions. I used red onions because that is what I had in the garden. I have also used Vidalia onions. Dice the garlic. If you do not have fresh garlic, you can use minced garlic. Shred the cabbage. We used half of a large head of cabbage. Dice one large tomato. Chop the hot peppers or even a green bell peppers; this ingredient is optional. As always I recommend letting the kids help!

Fry 8 pieces of bacon in the frying pan. Remove the bacon from the pan to a small cutting board. Put the onions into the hot bacon grease. If the bacon is lean, you can add up to 4 teaspoons of olive oil. Cook them stirring occasionally and cut up the bacon into small pieces while cooking the onions. When the onions are starting to turn brown, add the tomato and garlic. Stir it a couple times for about 15 seconds then add the cabbage and bacon. Do not forget the salt! After about three minutes add the peppers. Stirring requires caution at first. After the cabbage begins to cook down then it gets easier. Keep stirring until the cabbage is thoroughly cooked. If you grasp the mixture between a metal spatula and a pair of tongs, you can turn the mixture more easily.

Keep stirring the cabbage until all the cabbage is completely mixed. Put the lid on the pan and turn the heat to low. Let the cabbage cook for about twelve minutes on low heat. When the cabbage is thoroughly cooked, turn the heat off and let the mixture cool. When the mixture is cool, place the entire mixture in a freezer bag and freeze it.

In the winter simply remove the cabbage concoction from the freezer and let it thaw. Remove from bag and place in baking dish. Bake it at 325 degrees until warm about 40 minutes.

Fruit Leather Made Easy

Strawberry Fruit Leather made at home!

You need a dehydrator for this recipe.

Use a can of canned pears. This recipe is a great way to utilize canned pears leftover from the previous year’s canning. Open the can or jar and pour the entire contents into a two quart saucepan. Turn the heat to medium high. Stir until the juice starts to simmer. Take a potato masher and crush the pears to make the mixture look like applesauce. You can stop here and pour the contents onto the solid tray that fits on a shelf in the dehydrator. Or…. show your creativity by adding one cup of another fruit to the simmering mixture. Our favorite is strawberries. You can take a cup of frozen fruit, add it to the simmering pear sauce and again apply the potato masher. Keep mushing and mixing until the mixture is uniform. Use fresh fruit if you have it and simmer until it is sauce.

Spoon the mixture onto the solid tray that fits on the shelf of your dehydrator. Be careful not to overflow the tray. You may get a bowl of fruit sauce to enjoy for lunch! Set the dehydrator at 135 degrees, leave it for twenty to twenty-four hours. When you have to carefully  scrape it off the tray and it looks like leather, it is finished. The kids love it. It travels well. Just roll it onto a piece of wax paper and put it in a zippered bag to keep it fresh! Enjoy!!

Carmelized Conundrum

Ever have too many carmelized onions? You do not want to waste them and just throw them away. Here is a new idea for me at least. Find those ice cube trays in the cabinet. Wash them, so they are nice and clean. Fill them with the carmelized onions and put them in the freezer. When they are frozen, pop them out of the trays and into a freezer bag. Close the bag and put them back in the freezer until needed. You could thaw one cube per person and put them on your hamburger to make an onion burger! You can put several in a pot of soup you are making. You could thaw some to have with sausage sandwiches! Keep thinking!!!

Ready, Set, Time to Can Those Vegetables and Fruits!!!

Canning season is almost here. Are you ready? You need a source of fresh vegetables or fruit. Is your garden producing an abundance of fresh vegetables? Do you have a local grower you can buy fresh vegetables from? You need many clean jars. Do you have a supply of new lids? Is the cabinet or shelf clean where you are going to put all of your newly canned treasures?

What about your canning equipment? Is your canner in working order? Do you have funnels, ladles, and a sharp paring knife?

How about spices? Go through the recipes you use for canning. Do you need more pickling spice, cinnamon, dill seed, or salt? If you start to plan now, then get prepared, your 2017 canning season will be more enjoyable and rewarding.

Budget Busters-Buying Hot Drinks

Buying hot or cold drinks on your morning commute can be a budget buster! Stop and think! Want to learn how to save $570.00 per year by changing one habit?

Let us do the mathematics. You can buy one hundred tea bags for $3.00 on sale. If you use one tea bag per cup of tea, the tea costs you three cents a cup. My daughters will use two tea bags for a large cup of tea so that cup of tea costs about six cents. The water from your tap is a negligible expense. The cost of heating a cup of water is also very little money. A cup of hot tea costs $2.00 at the donut shop on your way to work. Times that amount by fifty weeks a year. Take that number and times it by five days a week. The tea for two hundred fifty cups of tea costs seven dollars and fifty cents per year if you make it at home. The same, daily cup of tea, when made by another person costs $500.00 per year.

Now, let us do the math for coffee. A can of coffee at the grocery store is about $8.00 on sale. At times the price can be even less. You are supposed to use a tablespoon of coffee for a cup of coffee. The mathematics for the coffee is a little more difficult. The can we have reads, 210 six fluid ounce cups. We usually drink eight ounce cups. Multiply 210 by six, the product is 1260 which we divide by eight. The mathematics is not perfect but we want to find an approximate amount of how much it costs us to make a cup of coffee at home. The answer to that division problem is exactly one hundred fifty-seven and a half.

Let us say the approximate answer is one hundred fifty. With one can of coffe, you can make approximately one hundred fifty cups of coffee. The coffee to make one cup of coffee at home costs a little over five cents per cup. If you put half and half in your coffee, it is going to cost a little more. A cup of hot coffee at the donut store is $2.39 per cup. If we times $2.40 by five days a week, the product is twelve dollars per week. Times twelve dollars per week by fifty weeks. For that pampered feeling of having someone else make your coffee every day, it costs you six hundred dollars a year. Two hundred cups of coffee made at home costs you ten dollars a year. With half and half perhaps thirty dollars a year. Do you see why there are so many people out there willing to make you a cup of hot “joe” for your morning commute?

If you get up ten minutes earlier, make your own hot coffe for example, you can save yourself five hundred seventy dollars a year. So how much is that feeling like royalty worth to you? Are you going to keep spending or start saving? It is up to you to stop the budget busting habit of buying coffee on your way to work! James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up!”

Budget Busters: Snacks!

Do you have a budget? Are you controlling yourself to stay within the confines of your spending plan? How much of your income is expendable?

Most people, like you and I, are trying to save money. Sometimes we are blind to the ways in which we waste money. The temptation to break our budget is often unnoticed, until we go over our receipts at the end of the month.

Most of us go to the grocery store for much of our food. Since we are on a budget, we watch what we are buying. We may buy less snack foods. For instance buying pretzels instead of potato chips is a healthier choice and you are getting more food for the same amount of money. At our grocery store, pretzels sell for between two dollars and two dollars and fifty cents a bag.

Now, we stop at the pharmacy on our way home from work to pick up a prescription. We are hungry, so we buy a bag of healthy pretzels. That same bag of pretzels is four dollars and fifty-nine cents! Buying the bag of pretzels is a budget buster! You have paid more than twice what you would have paid at the grocery store for the same item!

How can we avoid the pitfall mentioned above? One way is to discipline yourself and just say no to buying snacks on the way home from work when you are hungry and tired. Another way to combat the temptation, is to keep healthy snacks in your vehicle, that you bought at the grocery store when you did your weekly grocery shopping. My family keeps containers of dried apples in our vehicles. If the container is kept closed the apples will keep for a long time. Dried apples do not spoil when exposed to freezing temperatures. We dry our own apples in the fall, when apples are inexpensive.

We also keep bags of granola and pretzels in our vehicles, on which to snack. Small jars of peanut butter that you can dip your pretzels into, turn the pretzels into a more balanced snack by incorporating protein.

To stay in control of your finances, check your receipts at the end of the month. To avoid the budget buster of snacks bought on the spur of the moment, keep healthy snacks with you as you travel.