Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Great Deal on Pork Roasts at Food Saver This Week!

With the food prices about to rise dramatically due to the draught out West, you may want to stock up on this great deal.  Food Saver has pork roasts on sale for .99 (1.09 with 10% added) per lb.  If you sign up for their discount program, after every five visits you get a $5 off of $50 coupon text sent to your phone.  It's great for stock up deals like this!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pineapple Stuffing Casserole, A Cheap Holiday Dish!

Do you need something inexpensive to make to take to your family holiday dinner? This is a great dish that I made last year, and the nice thing is that you probably already have the ingredients! It is also easy to double for larger crowds.

Pineapple Stuffing Casserole


1/2 cup margarine or butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
5 slice white bread, cubed


Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9 inch pan.

Cream margarine and sugar. Slowly add eggs.

Add pineapple and bread cubes.

Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Great served with ham!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What do you do with green tomatoes?

It's that time of year when gardens are ending and gardeners are picking the last of their produce before the first frost. My garden produced quite a few green tomatoes.  I ended up making Green Tomato Mincemeat and Chow Chow.  Both recipes are excellent!

Green Tomato Mincemeat


6 c. chopped apples, seeded
4 c. chopped green tomatoes
3 c. raisins
2 c. dried cranberries
3 c. sugar 1/2 c. vinegar or lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt

Simmer ingredients until soft (about one hour). Ladle into hot jars and water bath for 25 minutes.

Granny’s Chow Chow

Chow Chow has traditionally been a fall canning recipe. It is a method to use up the last of a garden’s vegetables. Cooks have often added other ingredients like carrots or cauliflower. It can be used on hot dogs, hamburgers or with beans to add spice.


24 medium green tomatoes
1 head of cabbage
8 peppers (any variety, green, red, sweet or hot)
2 large onions
5 cups white vinegar
5 cups sugar
2 tablespoons salt
5 teaspoons celery seed
4 teaspoons mustard seed


1. Chop tomatoes and drain. Add to large pot.
2. Chop remainder of vegetables, add to tomatoes and mix.
3. In a separate pot, heat vinegar, sugar and spices until blended.
4. Add liquid to vegetables and mix. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Ladle into sterilized jars.
6. Water bath for 10 minutes for pints and 15 for quarts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Canning Pumpkin!

When I first started using pumpkin I was concerned with the type I chose. That was until I tried a carving pumpkin and found it to work just as well in pumpkin bread as any other type. I have used them for the last four years. These seven quarts pictured were from one pumpkin purchased at Aldi's for $3.99. 

Here is how I do it: 

Cut it in half and scrape out the slime with a spoon. Save seeds to either bake for a snack or for planting next year. Cut the halves into a few sections. Take the sections and cut into slices about an inch thick. Cut the slices into small squares. Slice off the side of the square that has the skin. Not only is this the easiest way to skin a pumpkin but it is easier to compost the skin. Boil your pumpkin squares for 2 minutes. Remove from boiling water and fill your jars. Pour clean boiling water over the pumpkin. Place your lids on your jars and put in pressure canner. For pints, 55 minutes at 11 lbs, for quarts, 90 minutes at 11 lbs. Just drain and blend or mash to put into your favorite pumpkin bread recipe! One pint generally equals 1 cup of pumpkin puree.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Cost of Tomatoes

I am a newbie when it comes to purchasing tomatoes.  Of course I have bought a few at a time at the grocery store, but until this year I had never canned tomatoes and had no idea how to purchase larger amounts.  I had heard that people had success at the farmer's markets.  Our local community had a Tomato Festival at the Franklin Farmer's Market and I thought, "Okay this had to be the best place to buy good quality tomatoes."  It was a yuppie fest for people willing to fork out way more than I wanted to pay.  Sure the tomatoes were beautiful, but you could not find a tomato there at a reasonable price, most sold for $3-4 per lb.  Yikes!  So I went to Aldi's on the way home and purchased tomatoes grown in Georgia for about $1 per lb.  I like supporting our community farmers, but I don't want to be robbed.

My next attempt was at a farmer's stand in Franklin near the historic City Cemetery.  They sold beautiful boxes (about 25 lbs) of Amish organic tomatoes for $24. Wow, less than $1 per lb and these were beautiful.  Unfortunately, the following week they had raised their prices to $28 per box.

I then tried the farmer's stand on Old Highway 96 in Franklin.  They had gorgeous yellow and red Roma tomatoes for $22 a box. While that was still a better price, it was not the fantastic deals that I had read about online in the canning groups that I am a member.

My next trip was to the Farmer's Market in Nashville.  The first warehouse type structure closest to the road had tomatoes for about $2 per lb.  Not a deal.  The second structure behind the first actually had boxes of tomatoes ranging from $12 to $16 per box and the lady was somewhat concerned for the "high" price.  Amazing.  So I bought an exceptional box of Roma tomatoes from Swafford Farms (TN) for $12.  It was around 30 lbs which was about .40 per lb.  Now that is a deal!

Hope this helps those on the lookout for tomatoes!  If anyone has a great place to buy produce locally, I would love to know!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Great Deal on Beans and How to Can Them!

Gordon Food Services is a local (and has national locations) food service distribution store that is open to the public. Ours is located in the Cool Springs area.  Mostly restaurants use it.  They sell 10 lbs of a variety of beans for $9.99. While I know I could just leave them dried and use when I need them, it is so inconvenient to have to remember to soak over night and not be able to just open a can to make chili. So I decided to can some and leave some dried.

I chose the easiest possible canning recipe - can the dried beans. I hesitated at first thinking it would not work, but they came out great! The box comes in two five pound bags. Using only about half of one bag (about 2.5 lbs) I canned 14 pints. All you have to do is put a half cup of dried beans in your pint jar, half a teaspoon of salt, and fill with boiling water. Pressure can at 10 lbs for 75 minutes (90 minutes if you add a meat flavoring). So easy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bruschetta in a Jar!

This is by far one of the easiest canning recipes I have ever done! I had an over abundance of yellow tomatoes.  It turns out that yellow tomatoes have a similar amount of acid to red but are sweeter which makes it seem like they are less acidic, per several university agriculture websites. However, since they are soaking in mostly an acidic fluid, color differences would not matter in either case. 

Bruschetta in a Jar
From Ball

Makes about 7 (8 oz) half pints

What could be more welcoming than warm, freshly toasted homemade bruschetta? Just spoon these zesty tomatoes onto a toasted baguette and garnish with grated cheese and a splash of olive oil, if desired.

You will need:

5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
9 cups chopped cored plum tomatoes (about 4 lb or 12 medium)
7 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE garlic, wine, wine vinegar, water, sugar, basil, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until garlic is heated through. Remove from heat.
3.) PACK tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot vinegar mixture over tomatoes leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
4.) PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marinara Sauce with Oven Roasted Tomatoes for Canning!

I admit it, I am a lazy canner.  I don't want to spend all day babysitting and stirring a sauce.  I don't even mind tomato seeds or skin, but you can still remove them for the recipe if you prefer.  This recipe will produce a thick sauce in just a few hours without having to worry about scorching or stirring.  It does not require pre-boiling of tomatoes or skinning.  You can also alter it to suit your tastes.  It is unanimously approved of in my house by my husband and kids so it is definitely a winner!

Marinara Sauce with Oven Roasted Tomatoes


1/2 bushel of tomatoes (usually a box about the size of a case of paper and weighing about 25 lbs)
2 heads of garlic, cloves separated and outer skin removed
2 red peppers, chopped
3 large onions, chopped
lemon juice
herbs of choice (pepper, oregano, rosemary, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, etc,)

Clear liquid is what you drain.

Wash and roughly cut up tomatoes.  Put in baking pans.  Add garlic cloves, peppers and onions.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until the tomatoes are all shriveled up and are floating in their own juices.

Here is the important part and will keep you from having to wait all day while your sauce thickens!  DRAIN your tomatoes in a colander.

Drained tomatoes.
Take your shriveled tomatoes and put in a large pot, measuring the amount as you transfer it.  For each quart (4 cups), add two tablespoons of each sugar and lemon juice.  You can use less sugar if you prefer, but we like a sweeter sauce.

Add your herbs of choice.  I added pepper, fresh chopped oregano and rosemary, garlic salt to taste and red pepper flakes.  Use an immersion blender to blend ingredients to a sauce-like consistency (or regular blender).  Bring to a boil.  Sauce should be thick.

Sauce just before blending.

Can in sterilized jars and water bath for 45 minutes.  My total was 11 pints but that can vary depending on tomato type. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Canning Sweet Chili Sauce!

Sweet chili sauce cool after being taken from the canner.
This is a fantastic recipe! You can use it for chili or even over meatloaf. Locally, at a farmer's stand in Franklin, TN, I bought a half bushel of organic, Amish tomatoes for $24 which is less than $1 a lb.

Sweet Chili Sauce


1/2 bushel of tomatoes (usually a box about the size of a case of paper and weighing about 25 lbs)
5 cups sugar
1/3 cup salt
3 1/2 cups white vinegar
7 large onions, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
5-6 hot peppers of choice, chopped
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon celery flakes or a few stalks of celery, chopped


Remove skin from tomatoes by emerging into boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes and then plunging into ice water to cool.  Skins should easily peel off.  (Just a note - don't throw away the skins.  You can dehydrate them and ground them to use in soups, sauces or as a seasoning!) 

I used a Rival 22 quart turkey roaster to cook the chili sauce.  It is available at Amazon.

Roughly chop tomatoes and other vegetables.  Add to a large pot or electric turkey roaster.  Stir ingredients and simmer 5 to 7 hours uncovered or until it reaches desired thickness.  After about an hour of cooking when the vegetables soften, use an immersion blender to blend ingredients to a sauce-like consistency.  You will need to stir more frequently toward the end of cooking.

At the end of cooking, you should see a reduction of at least an inch from the original line when you began to cook.  More if you like it thicker.

Place sauce into sterilized jars and water bath 20 minutes.

Makes 20 to 22 pints.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Harris Teeter Shopping 8/7/13

 OOP: $17.69 (Saving 79%)

Today is the first day of school for my kids so I was near Harris Teeter for their Super Double Wednesdays.  While I did not have a plan together, I searched my purse for some decent coupons and came up with this! 

2 Reynolds Wrap, 3.59
-(2) $1/1 IP Qs, doubled
Final Price: 1.59

2 Bags Ripe Bananas, $1. ea (perfect for banana bread!)

Crest, 3.35
-$2/1 MF Catalina Q from Kroger, doubled
Final Price: Free

6 Met RX Nutrition Bars, 2.29 ea
-(3) $2/2 MF Qs (Walgreen's Vitamin Booklet), doubled
Final Price: .29 ea

Carmex, 1.59
-$1/1 MF Q (Walgreen's Cold & Flu Booklet), doubled
Final Price: Free

2 Breyer's Ice Cream, 2.50
-(2) $1/1 IP Qs, doubled
Final Price: .50 ea

7th Generation Dish Soap, 2.50
-$1/1 IP Q, doubled
Final Price: .50

2 All Detergent, 2.99
-(2) $1/1 IP Qs, doubled (NLA)
Final Price: .99 ea

Reach Floss, 1.69
-$1/1 IP Q, doubled
Final Price: Free

3 Regina Vinegar,  1.49 on sale (more canning!)
-(3) .50/1 MF Qs (tags on items), doubled
Final Price: .49 ea

Northern TP, 6.99
-$2/1 MF Q Catalina from Kroger, doubled
Final Price: 2.99

2 Orville R. Popcorn, 1.59 ea
-(2) $1/1 MF Q blinkies from Publix (this week), doubled
Final Price: Free

2 Heinz Ketchup, 2.19
-$1.50/2 MF Q Catalina from Kroger, doubled
Final Price: .69 ea

Total before sales/coupons: 84.99
Sales/Coupons: 67.30
OOP: $17.69 (Saving 79%)

 Also saw at Harris Teeter:

My mini rant...
Really?!?  It's pasta sauce.  Made from tomatoes.  This must have fairy dust sprinkled on it to justify nearly ten dollars a jar.