Category Archives: Recipes

I love to cook and do a lot of canning, which is sort of a lost art in these days of pre-canned vegetables in the grocery store. But I like to know where my food came from and what is in it. Canning is a lot of work but everything is so much better!

Rhubarb Sauce

I just love rhubarb sauce and this is chunky, which makes it even better!

rhubarb sauce

3 quarts rhubarb pieces (approximately 1/2 to 1-inch chunks)

3 cups sugar (next year, I might decrease the sugar just a little)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir rhubarb and sugar together and place in four-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting for two hours, then remove lid and   cook another hour to thicken slightly. Before filling canning jars, add vanilla. Ladle into sterile jars and process using a water-bath for 15 minutes. Makes about four pints.

I found this recipe here – http://theeclecticblogger74.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/feeling-saucy/

Looking for more rhubarb recipes?  Visit The Rhubarb Compendium  and Taste of Home, I know I’m going to!

Rhubarb Chutney

I got this recipe from a friend who subscribes to the AllRecipes.com magazine – haven’t actually tried it yet, but is sounded absolutely yummy and with an abundance of rhubarb this year, I figured why not make some!

Rhubarb chutney

3/4 cup sugar

1 tblsp. sliced fresh ginger

2 minced garlic cloves (can substitute 1 tblsp. garlic powder if you don’t have fresh on hand)

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

4 cups diced fresh rhubarb ( 6 cups frozen chopped rhubarb)

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup golden raisins

Combine sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper flakes in a large saucepan.  Bring to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.  Add rhubarb, onion, and raisins.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook until rhubarb is tender and mixture thickens slightly.  Fill hot, sterile jars.  Process in water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Says it’s great with port, duck, or chicken.  Also can be eaten with brie and crackers.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Makes a 13 x 9″ coffeecake.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of chopped rhubarb and a 10 ounce package or frozen sliced strawberries.  I’ve made this recipe many times using a total of 3 1/4-3 1/2 cups of fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries & rhubarb, apples, and even made a lemon filling once) – the “cake” itself is always tender and moist – you just need to adjust the amount of sugar depending upon the fruit.

rhubarb coffeecake

Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

3 1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

2 tblsp. water

2 tbslp. lemon juice

Cake

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup butter or margarine (I always use butter and melt it slightly so that about half of each stick is still somewhat solid)

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping

3/4 cup brown sugar (can use regular white sugar)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup cold butter or margarine

(When using rhubarb or apples add about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)

In a saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in fruit and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook for 2 minutes or until thickened and rhubarb is tender.  Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice.  Let cool.

For the cake (I just dump everything into the mixing bowl of my big stand mixer); combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.  Add semi-melted butter, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Mix on low-medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Spoon two-thirds of the batter into a greased 13 x 9″ pan.  Spoon cooled filling over batter.  Top with remaining batter.

For topping; combine sugar and flour (and optional cinnamon).  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

NOTE:  If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (which I rarely do) take a 1 cup measuring cup and add either 1 tblsp. vinegar or lemon juice and then fill the cup with milk – let it set for a couple of minutes and you have a great substitute.

 

Max’s Favorite Cookies

To say that Max is spoiled – is well, an understatement!   I seldom buy pre-packaged dog biscuits from the grocery store or the pet supply store.  I don’t eat pre-packaged, preservative filled crap, so why would I feed it to him?  Needless to say these are his favorite cookies!  Whenever he hears the mixer going he comes a running and will sit and watch as I measure ingredients – I swear he feels that I should always be baking cookies for him!

cookiesThis recipe originally came from the King Arthur Flour website and I’ll post it here.

  • 2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, regular or quick
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or plain
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cold water, enough to make a cohesive dough

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets, or line them with parchment.

2) Mix together the flour, oats, parsley, dried milk, and salt.

3) Add the eggs and peanut butter, stirring to combine; the mixture will be crumbly.

4) Add enough water to bring the dough together; depending on the season, you may need to add a bit more (winter), or a bit less (summer).

5) To make biscuits using a dog-bone cutter, roll the dough about 1/4″ thick, and cut with a 3 1/2″ cutter (or the size of your choice). Gather and re-roll the scraps, and continue to cut biscuits until you’ve used all the dough.

6) To make dog “cookies,” drop the dough in walnut-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten them to about 1/4″.

7) Bake the biscuits for about 40 to 60 minutes, baking the smaller cookies for a shorter amount of time. When finished, the biscuits will be dark golden brown, and will be dry and crisp all the way through.

8) Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool right on the pans.

Yield: about 42 larger (3 1/2″ dog-bone) biscuits, 60 smaller (round) biscuits.

 Notes:

I’ve never gotten 42 cookies out of a batch (but I think my cutter is a 4″ one and not a 3 1/2″ one).

I’ve added craisins to the dough (Max is a fruit fiend).

I’ve substituted 1/2 cup of mashed bananas for 1/2 cup of the peanut butter.

I’ve added a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup (because he has a sweet tooth)

 

Peppermint Patties

I love peppermint patties, and so does everyone else in my family.  We used to buy peppermint patties by the bag, until they just started tasting sort of old and dry.  Then I found this recipe and have been making them myself every since.  They are wonderful at Christmas.  But I make them in the summer as well as they freeze very well — and there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day then a cold peppermint patty!  Do you feel like you are in a commercial?  LOL

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened*
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure peppermint extract**
  • 9 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips **
  • small hunk of canning wax
  • 3 tblsp.  shortening

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and peppermint extract until smooth.  Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating well.

Shape into 1″ balls (I use a melon baller).  Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.  Flatten into patties with the bottom of a measuring cup.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until well chilled.

In a microwave (or in a small saucepan) melt chips, wax, and shortening; stir until smooth.  Cool slightly.  Dip patties into melted chocolate; place on waxed paper until firm.  Store in refrigerator.

NOTES:

  • Don’t buy generic or store brand cream cheese*
  • You can find pure peppermint extract in the spice section of most grocery stores or go to your local health food store.  Imitation just doesn’t cut it.  Start with 1 1/2 tsp of extract then adjust the next batch to your taste.**
  • I use my big Kitchen Aid mixer to help -n BUT you should still mix the last 2-3 cups of sugar in by hand – it just gets too thick.
  • If you aren’t a fan of semi-sweet chocolate, you can substitute 3/4 cup of milk chocolate pieces.
  • Even people who don’t like cream cheese love these.
  • Photo coming later

Raised Doughnuts

Well it’s fall, the weather is getting cooler {ok, COLDER}, I’m spending more time inside —-boo!  But I’m in baking mode and I’ve been getting out the bread machine and doing more “stuff”.  My daughter, was making cake doughnuts the other day – which I like, but I like raised doughnuts much better – they are lighter and fluffier (at least in my opinion).  Seeing her doughnuts on Facebook made me think of raised doughnuts!  YUM!!

I love to bake – but with the amount of hours that I work time is a precious thing and I need all the help I can get!  I have a bread machine – a Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker, which I absolutely love!  and I use it a lot.

Here’s my favorite raised doughnut recipe – the dough is done on the dough cycle in the bread machine.

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt (I never use salt, but the recipe calls for it)
  • *2 1/2 teaspoons regular active yeast
  • Crisco or lard for frying

Add and measure the ingredients carefully – my bread machine calls for adding all the liquid ingredients first with the flour, etc. last).

Put all the ingredients in your bread machine in the recommended order.  Select the dough cycle and let it run through it’s cycle.

When it’s done, roll the dough 3/8″ thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with a floured doughnut cutter.  Cover and let rise for about 35 – 45 minutes  or until slightly raised.

Heat 2 or 3″ of oil or lard in deep fryer or heavy kettle to 375 degrees.  Fry 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time for 2 to 3 minutes each, turning as they rise to the surface, until golden brown.  Remove from oil drain on a wire rack.  While warm, roll in sugar or mix a little bit of maple syrup with some confectioner’s sugar to make a glaze.

Canning Whole Tomatoes

Canning whole tomatoes (or even quartered/chunked tomatoes) is pretty easy, it’s just time consuming and you need several large saucepots.

Wash all of your tomatoes and drain.

Fill a good sized pot about half to 3/4 full of water and bring it to a boil – I have a big 2-piece pot and steamer/colander insert that I use.

To the steamer/colander I add whole tomatoes – if they are big tomatoes (like the Big Boys or Jet Stars) I only put in maybe 6 at the most and then set the steamer/colander or basket down into the boiling water.  Only let them sit in the boiling water for 1 minute.

Fill up your sink with cold water – adding a tray or 2 of ice if you water isn’t that cold straight out of the tap.

After a minute, empty the tomatoes into the sink full of cold water – the skins will split and you can peel them off.  Remove the stems and core the tomato – cutting away any green spots.  You can leave them whole if they are Roma’s or cut them into halves or quarters if they are bigger tomatoes.

Place your peeled tomatoes into another big pot add enough water to cover them.  Bring them to a boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.

Remove canning jars from hot water (or you dishwasher), and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to each pint jar (2 tablespoons per quart).

Carefully pack the hot tomatoes and cooking water into your jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Carefully ladel the hot cooking liquid (or additional boiling water) over the top of the tomatoes – making sure that you leave that 1/2″ headspace.  You can add 1 teaspoon of salt to a quart of 1/2 teaspoon to a pint.

Using a plastic spatula or the handle of a wooden spoon, run it around the inside of the jar (between the tomatoes and the jar itself) this will release any trapped air bubbles.

Put on and adjust your 2 piece caps, put the jars into your canner (the water level in the canner should be 1-2 inches above the top of the jar) and process pints for 40 minutes and quarts for 45 minutes.

 

 

 

Applesauce

Homemade canned applesauce is just the best!  Some people like it smooth – but we like it chunky.  Serve it warm over warm homemade biscuits with cream, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream for dessert or serve it cold as a side dish for pork – or simply enjoy a dish of it on it’s own. The secret ingredient in this applesauce is the addition of those little cinnamon red hot candies – it gives the applesauce a lovely pink color.

You want a naturally sweet apple like Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Winesap, McIntosh, Yellow Delicious, Honeycrisp or Pink Lady – the more naturally sweet the apple the less sugar you have to add to the final applesauce – sometimes none at all.  Being from the Northeast, McIntosh are my favorites for making applesauce and apple pie.

For each quart of prepared, canned applesauce you’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 pounds of apples
  • Water
  • Sugar (optional)
  • cinnamon red hot candies

I’ve always made applesauce the old-fashioned way – using the peel, core and cut into chunks method, I have an apple peeler that has a clamp base (you can probably fine one at your local hardware store if they have a decent home canning section or you can find them at WalMart).  Ben likes it, but I prefer just a sharp knife.

Cook apples in a large heavy bottomed pot with just enough water to prevent sticking until they are soft, but still chunky.  If you want smoother applesauce at this point run them through a sieve or a food mill (or a Sauce Master).  What I like to do is take about half the applesauce and run it through the sauce master and take a potato masher to the other half and just break up the chunks into smaller pieces.

Put everything back together in your pot – add sugar to taste and the cinnamon red hots.  Bring it to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking (you need to really keep an eye on this as it’s so sweet that it will scorch if the pots bottom isn’t thick enough) – simmer for 5 minutes.

Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace, adjust 2-piece caps.  Process both pints and quarts for 20 minutes in a water bath canner.

Tomato-Raspberry Salsa

Last year we bought a jar of tomato raspberry salsa from this specialty store in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and it was just to die for.  The sweet of the raspberries with the tang of tomato and cilantro —- yum!  Anything that has raspberries in it and I’m there!  Here is my version.

  • 8 1/4 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 cups raspberries, unsweetened
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup raspberry vinegar (5 percent acidity)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

Mix this together really well.

Add not quite a full tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar.

Ladle into hot pint jars , leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner for 15-20 minutes.

NOTES: 

  • To peel the tomatoes put them into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute and immediately put them into cold water.  The change in water temperature will make the skins split and then you can pull the peel off with your fingers.
  • I also wouldn’t recommend running the tomatoes through the saucemaster – even with the salsa attachment – I thought it was too runny.
  • You can use frozen raspberries – but do not thaw; rather just take them out of the package put them into a strainer and run cold water over them

Basic Salsa

We love salsa around here, so I usually make a batch or two every year – I like it thick and chunky and not “runny” like many of the commercial brands.  This is the basic recipe that I use.

  • 8 1/4 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups onion,  chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup  vinegar (5 percent acidity)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

Mix this together really well.

Add not quite a full tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar.

Ladle into hot pint jars , leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

NOTE:  To peel the tomatoes put them into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute and immediately put them into cold water.  The change in water temperature will make the skins split and then you can pull the peel off with your fingers.  I also wouldn’t recommend running the tomatoes through the saucemaster – even with the salsa attachment – I thought it was too runny.

If you are a fan of black beans and corn – add one can of each to this mixture.