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. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mango Salsa!

Aldi's has a sale on Mangoes this week for .49 each. Using Mangoes in salsa is amazing!

Mango Salsa - I doubled the recipe.

Mango Salsa

Yield: 7 to 9 eight ounce jars


6 cups diced unripe mangoes (about 4 large, hard green mangoes or slightly under-ripe)
1½ cups diced red bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (or dried cilantro)
1 teaspoon diced or dried mint leaves (optional)
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger (Harris Teeter sells little frozen cubes of ginger cheaply)
1 cup light brown sugar
1¼ cups cider vinegar
½ cup water or lime juice  


Peel and dice mango.

To the 6 cups of diced mangoes, add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and mix the spices. Reduce to simmering, and simmer 5 minutes. 

Wipe rim and screw threads with a clean damp cloth. Add lid, screw band and tighten firmly and evenly. Do not over tighten.

Put the sealed jars in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. Boil them for at least 20 minutes.