Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healthy Eating for Kids

Check this out! PBS Go, November 16

Slow 'n' Easy Barbecued Chicken

I have been going through an old box of recipes that have been just sitting in my cupboard. I found this one from an old Taste of Home magazine. I love using my crock pot and my MIL gave me 10 broiler chickens this year so I thought I would give this recipe a try. I changed it up a little bit and made adjustments to feed our larger family. It was a hit with the kids and so we will make it again.

This is a picture of when it was placed in the cooker, not when it was actually done. I'll have to post a finished picture to this recipe when my card is not full. :0)

1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 stick butter
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (would be good with more)
6 pound broiler chicken, cut up and skin removed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Rice for serving alongside

In a small saucepan, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Fry chicken in pan with small amount (maybe 2 tablespoons) of vegetable oil until lightly browned. (You can skip this frying step and just put chicken in crockpot if you wish) Place chicken in crockpot and pour sauce over the top. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until juices run clear.

Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Transfer juices to small saucepan. (you can strain juice and skim fat if you wish) Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Spoon some of the sauce over chicken and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

*Note* For the smaller kids I shredded a piece of meat over their rice and poured sauce over all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Making Pear Sauce

It seems as though all my recent posts have to do with canning. That is because most of our food from the garden this year all came ready at the same time. I thought I was almost done with canning and then our neighbor said we are welcome to his pear tree because he does not use the fruit. We went and picked one box and let them ripen. We then made this pear sauce, which is so good, we went and shook the rest of the tree and now we have one more full box and one 5 gallon pail. They take a couple weeks to ripen so I will have a small canning break now. :0) This is our first box of pears. You can see they are still very green.

Once they turned yellow I cut them up into quarters...

and boiled them until soft.

I have this handy attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer that peels, cores and seeds the fruit. One bucket collects the pear sauce and one catches the "garbage".

I added about 1 1/2 cups sugar per pail of sauce. You could make it without sugar and that is good too. It is delicious! Here are our first few jars of sauce..

Pressure can the sauce for 10 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure.

*Note: You can substitute pear sauce for pumpkin, applesauce or zucchini in your recipes. You can also add it to jello or put it on muffins/breads. Or just enjoy it as sauce right from the jar!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs beaten
1 cup salad oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 chopped nuts (optional)
Mix together, pour into greased cookie sheet with sides, bake 30 minutes.


3 ounce cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 lb. powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon milk (or more if needed)
Mix well, spread on bars.

trying something new..freezing carrot puree

I had this sink full of carrots to can and started wondering what to do with all the peelings that were left over. I thought about juicing them with my steam juicer and then pureeing the peelings and saving the juice for smoothies or to put into Gracies baby rice cereal. I tried doing some research about canning carrot juice or making carrot puree..not too much about either one came up so I tried to wing it to see what happens. One thing I did find was a couple recipes that use a baby food puree in the ingredients instead of the usual shredded carrots. I will be trying those tomorrow.

The carrot peelings were just about a full 5 gallon bucket full. I put half into my water bath and covered with water.

Then I boiled the peelings for about 5 or so minutes.

I drained them and put them into the food processor. They needed about a half a cup of water to get them fully pureed.

When done, the puree quantity was about 1/3 of what the peelings were. You can see here how much more empty the processor looks.

After processing in batches, I drained the carrots. I let them sit for about 10-15 minutes.

This is the amount of juice that drained out.

I packed the carrot puree into freezer bags. Tip: I folded the bags over a cup so that the zipper part did not get food into it. I put one cup in each bag.

I ended up with 13 bags of puree and some left over. Now to find some recipes that use the puree. Any ideas?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pepper Soup

2 pounds hamburger
2-3 green peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
29 ounce (or 2 pints home canned) diced tomatoes
1 quart tomato soup
2 teaspoons sugar
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
2-3 cups hot water
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked rice

Cook beef, onion and pepper in fry pan until meat is browned. Drain grease. Put into crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook on low for a couple hours until hot and then set on 'keep warm' until dinner.

*hint* I freeze my peppers and onions to have on hand for recipes. When recipe calls for them, take a few out and break into pieces. Great time saver!

*hint* I have a small (and large) rice cooker. When recipes like this call for cooked rice I add 4 scoops water (scoop comes with cooker)and 2 scoops rice. It is done quickly and the rice is perfect.

Crock-Pot Maple Country Ribs

6 pounds boneless pork ribs
2 cups pure maple syrup
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup ketchup
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon each:
garlic powder

Mix all ingredients and pour over ribs. Cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is tender. Serve over rice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making Pumpkin Puree

Making pumpkin puree for pie, desserts, bread and soups is so easy. There is really only a few steps and freezing it is alot easier than canning it. Actually, they now recommend that people do not can the puree for safety reasons. We love pumpkin treats around here so we freeze alot of pumpkins. We also freeze the small ones grown specifically for canning. They are sweeter and have less juice so the puree is thicker.
You will want to start by rinsing your pumpkin and drying it. Cut it in half. Make sure you get all these stringy things out along with all the seeds. (We saved some seeds for the garden next year.)A regular old spoon should work great for this.

It should look like this when ready for cooking.

There are a couple different ways people cook their pumpkin at this point. Some cut into chunks and cook. Others cut and put in pan with small amount of water and cook until soft. Either of these methods seem to be to labor intensive and takes an extra long time to cook. What we have done is to take your clean, cut in 1/2 pumpkin and put them in the canner. It looks like this...

Pressure cook your pumpkins for about 7 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. This year our pumpkins were small and dense and 7 minutes seemed to be perfect. After cooking, immediately reduce pressure in canner under running water in sink. This is what they will look like when done.

At this point, I let the pumpkin cool for just about 3 minutes. It is very hot after pressure cooking so be careful not to get burned by your pumpkins. Again, your empty shell will look something like this.

Set your pumpkin on a plate and scoop out the pulp into your food processor. Blend until smooth. This is what 10 small pumpkins and one medium pumpkin looks like all done. You really can't tell how big this bowl is by the picture but it is a really big stainless steel bowl.

As your processing all the pumpkins the puree cools down enough to freeze in ziploc bags or freezer containers. When storing in the freezer I only stack 2 high until frozen and then stack them all together when they are all frozen. I freeze 2 cups per bag as alot of recipes call for 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

Don't forget to save out a little for some fresh pumpkin bars!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sour Cream Raisin Bars

I got this recipe out of an Amish style cookbook. It looked interesting and I had a whole bunch of raisins that needed somewhere to go so I gave it a whirl. Everyone liked it and we have been making it ever since. My daughter made this pan of them and they were yummy as usual.

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt


4 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups raisins
2 cups (16 ounces)sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Beat in flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.(Mixture should be crumbly).

Set aside 2 cups; pat remaining crumbs into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile combine filling ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir constantly for 5-8 minutes.

Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Return to oven for 15 minutes.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Canning Diced Tomatoes

Fall is upon us and that means lots and lots of tomatoes! We definitely cannot eat all the tomatoes that a garden will produce so we can them. One way of using our tomatoes is by making them into diced tomatoes. One pint is almost equivalent to a can in the grocery store. Since I use these alot for recipes I try to make quite a few jars. I made 23 pints from the quantity of tomatoes you see in this picture.

I like to use the Roma type of tomato for canning. They are thicker and make better sauces and paste. The first thing you will want to do is wash all your tomatoes. Then toss a couple tomatoes at a time into boiling water for a minute. The skins of the tomato usually start to split when you do this. Immediately put into cold water. (Some people use ice water, I have never had to.) Peel the tomatoes.

This picture shows what the tomato will look like when you peel it. It should slide right off the tomato.

A container full of peeled tomatoes ready to be diced.

Next, dice up the tomatoes to any size you want.........

With Gracie's help I was done in no time. :0)

Heat the diced tomatoes in a kettle until a gentle simmer. Fill clean and sterilized pint jars to within a 1/2 inch of the top. (Tomatoes will make their own juice so no need to add any.) Add one tablespoon bottled lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint. Wash rims with clean cloth and seal. Process in boiling water bath canner or pressure canner.

*note: if you think you would like to can, purchase a Ball Blue Book. It explains different methods of canning and has lots of great recipes.
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