Category Archives: Canned Foods

Pepper Jelly

Hello Everyone,

 A couple of weeks ago we bought a 35lb gunny sack of New Mexico Hatch Chili peppers. When I first saw the sack I about panicked. What am I going to do with all these peppers!!! I didn’t have much time to think about it because they needed to be used or I would lose them. Some went into salsa some went into this pepper jelly, the rest went into my food dehydrator. I ended up with 3 gallon size bags of dried peppers! Now I just need to find recipes to use them! I’m sure I’ll come up with a bunch a yummy recipes to use them in! 🙂

I love this jelly, it’s one of my favorites!

Pepper Jelly:

12oz. peppers, stemmed, seeded and deveined

2 cups cider vinegar, divided

6 cups granulated sugar

2 pouches (3oz. each) liquid pectin

1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Green food coloring, optional

In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree peppers and 1 cup of vinegar until smooth. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine pepper puree, remaining 1 cup vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in butter and food coloring. Skim foam, if any. Pour hot jelly onto hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band until fingertip tight. Makes about 5 half pint jars. For processing times please refer to the USDA canning guidelines link on the right hand-side of my blog.

My favorite way to serve this jelly is to, pour it over a brick of softened cream cheese and heat in the microwave for about 30 sec. Serve with toasted bread or crackers.

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Canned Foods


My Best In Show, Spicy Tomato Salsa!

Hello Everyone,

I won Best In Show, in the Western Idaho State Fair, for the first time in canning this year! I made a Spicy Tomato Salsa recipe from the Ball Blue book of canning and preserving! I can’t tell you how much that meant to me! I put in a lot of hours, cleaning jars, peeling, and chopping. I ended up making 7 pints and 1 half-pint, which I just put in the refrigerator to eat! When you enter salsa at the fair you have to include the recipe. If you want your canned products to win in the fair I highly recommend using the Ball books or the USDA canning book, they have so many wonderful recipes, and helpful tips for canning. Also for safety reasons it is not ok to just make up ANY recipe and can it! I bought a 35lb box of Roma tomatoes from Bountiful Baskets one weekend and at first I didn’t know what I was going to make with all of them. I looked up this salsa recipe and thought that’s it! I also made a seasoned tomato sauce, which didn’t place, because I put the wrong processing time on the label! I know I followed the directions to the Tl!! The judge wrote on the back of the tag “Needs longer processing time for our altitude”! That’s what I get for making labels last-minute!!! HA!!! Oh well maybe next year!! The tomato sauce is really good, it’s not as dark of a red color as I would have liked to have. The Roma tomatoes gave it a lighter red than what you see in the grocery stores. Ok enough of my jabbering here is the recipe. It’s from the Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving:

Spicy Tomato Salsa:

6lbs. tomatoes (about 12 large)

9 dried hot chilie peppers

3 cups diced red onion

1-1/2 cups chopped cilantro, tightly packed

15 cloves garlic, minced

6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

1 tbsp. salt

3/4 tsp. dried red chilie flakes

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

Wash tomatoes; drain, Peel, seed, and dice tomatoes into 1/4-inch pieces. Remove seeds from dried chilie peppers; place chili peppers in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over chilie peppers just to cover. Secure plastic wrap over bowl and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Drain half of the water. Puree chili peppers and remaining water in a food processor or blender for 1 minute or until smooth. Combine all ingredient’s in a large sauce-pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process salsa according to your altitude. In my altitude 1,001-3,000 it’s 20 minutes. Please check with your local county extension office for the altitude in your area!!

Note: When cutting or seeding hot pepper, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

Well I better be off for now! I hope you all will try canning salsa! It taste too much better than the store-bought stuff in a jar!!!

Until next time,

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Canned Foods


Bing Cherry Jam

Hello Everyone,

Bing cherries are my favorite fruit to eat! My best memory from when I was a kid was, when we would go cherry picking downriver. We would bring tons of 5 gallon buckets and sturdy boxes. We would then find the farms that would let us pick all we could. I would never climb the trees, I am afraid of heights!! YIKES!! My mom and brother would climb up the trees and myself and my dad would pick from the lower branches. I think we would eat a gallon of them apiece to! Our lips and fingers were stained with cherry juice! They tasted the best when they were freshly picked right of the tree where the sun was hitting them, the tasted like little sugar bombs in your mouth!! I bought some black cherry jam at World Market the other day and it was really good, but tasted nothing like the canned jams we would make. My mom canned the cherries with the pits, because they held up better in the jars. I love them canned with just the juice! I would eat a whole quart by myself! Yummy!! Good times we had cherry picking. Here is a great bing cherry jam recipe I made just before the fair, and I won 1st place for them! I did enter them in the state fair and I don’t know how they did over there.. Can’t wait to see!! 🙂

Bing Cherry Jam:

3 cups finely chopped sweet bing cherries

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

4-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 package powdered pectin, 2 oz. box

1/2 tsp unsalted butter

In a large saucepan add the cherries, lemon juice and pectin and stir until you get to a full rolling boil, (a boil that can not be stirred down). Add entire amount of sugar. Stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full roiling boil again. Remove from heat and stir in butter and skim off foam. (the foam from jams and jellies taste’s great in fresh-baked bread or biscuits!) Ladle hot jam into hot pint or half-pint sterilized jars. Make about 5 cups of jam. Place on 2 piece lids and tighten to fingertip tight. Cover jars with at least 2 inches of warm water. Boil in a boiling water canner. Please read through the USDA guidelines for canning, as boiling water times vary from different elevations. I have included the link for you to read…

I hope I have inspired you to try making your own jam! I love canning!!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Canned Foods


Fruit Juice Jelly

Hello Everyone,

I love making jellies!! Ray loves them too, he likes to spread jelly on toast, biscuits and I like jelly on saltine crackers. I love to make different kinds of jelly, not only are they easy to make, but they look so pretty in your pantry!! 🙂 Try making your own it’s so worth the time! Your family will thank you to!! They make wonderful gifts too!

Fruit Juice Jelly:

Because this jelly starts with fruit juice, it goes together quickly and easily, yet has the great taste of homemade jelly! If you would like, substitute other 100% fruit juice blends for the suggested juices.

4 cups cranberry juice (not low-calorie) or unsweetened apple, grape, or orange juice

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice,***

1 1.75-ounce package regular powdered fruit pectin

4-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Pour desired fruit juice and lemon juice into a 6-8-quart heavy saucepan. Sprinkle with pectin. Let sit for 1-2 minutes; stir to dissolve. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. I use a long wooden spoon and juice will spatter a bit. Stir in entire amount of sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Skim foam from top. Ladle hot jelly into hot sterilized (5 jars) half-pints, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Place on two-piece lids and tighten lids to finger-tip tight. Place in canner and cover jars with 1-2 inches of warm water. Bring canner to a full boil before starting your timer. IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME CANNING PLEASE READ THROUGH THE USDA HOME CANNING FOR YOUR ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENTS. I HAVE PROVIDED THE LINK.

*** Only use bottled lemon juice, as fresh lemons vary in acidity. Bottled lemon juice is 5% acidity.

Well I better be off, I am canning tomato sauce and salsa today!! FUN, FUN, FUN!!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Canned Foods


Strawberry Jam

Hello Everyone,

One of my favorites jams to make is strawberry! Nothing beats a fresh batch of strawberry jam! When I was a kid my mom would make it and she would let us lick the leftovers in the pan, left over from jam making. I have to admit that was one of my favorite tasks when it came to canning season! 🙂 Also fresh jam is wonderful on homemade toasted bread, spread with a little fresh butter then slather on the fresh strawberry jam! That’s about as close to heaven as you can get, right here on earth, just my humble thoughts on the subject!! 🙂

Strawberry Jam:

3 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled

1 box 1-3/4oz. packaged powdered fruit pectin

2 tbsp. bottled lemon juice

7 cups granulated sugar, I use C&H pure cane sugar

1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Place one cup of berries in an 8-quart heavy saucepan. Crush berries, a potato masher works really well for this. Continue adding berries and crushing until you have 5 cups crushed berries. Stir in pectin, and lemon juice, stirring constantly on high heat, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. A rolling boil is a boil that can’t be stirred down. Add full amount of sugar, and bring to a full rolling boil again; stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and stir in the butter. Ladle into hot sterilized, half-pint or pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims clean and place sterilized 2 piece canning lids on fingertip tight. Process in boiling water canner, and adjust boiling time to your altitude.*** Place in boiling water canner and cover with warm tap water. Start timing when water in canner comes to a full boil, on high heat. When time is done, turn off heat and let jars sit in canner for 5 mor minutes. Using a jar lifter bring jars out of water, do not tip-off water on jar lid. That can ruin your seal on the jar. Let sit on a towel untouched for 24 hours. Makes about 7 half-pints or 3-4 four pints.

If this is your first time canning please read through the USDA guidelines for canning…

I hope this will encourage you to try making your own jams and jellies! I love making them, even through its a lot of work! Nothing beats a your own fresh jams and jellies filling your pantry! They make great gifts too!! 🙂

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Canned Foods


Mango Raspberry Jam

Hello Everyone,

Here is a recipe from my Ball Blue Book of Home Preserving. I have been trying to find recipes for just mango jam, but this was the only recipe I could find. It takes about 2 weeks to set up, so don’t plan on eating it right away, unless your like me and just can’t wait! LOL! It is really good! 🙂

Mango Raspberry Jam:

3 cups chopped, pitted, peeled mangos

1-1/2 cups crushed red raspberries

2 tbsp. bottled lemon juice

1 package regular powdered fruit pectin, 1.75 ounces

5-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Wash 7, 8-ounce half-pint jars and place in boiling water canner on rack. Fill canner about halfway with warm tap water and put burner on medium-high heat. Place jar lids in a small saucepan filled with water and bring to low boil. In a large stainless steel cooking pot, place fruit, lemon juice and pectin in pot; bring to rolling boil. A rolling boil is a boil you can’t stir down, make sure you use a long-handled wooden spoon, as fruit can spatter and burn. Once fruit mixture boils, immediately add all of the sugar, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches a rolling boil again. Stirring constantly for 1 minute, remove from heat. Add in the butter, ( the butter helps to reduce the foam). Skim foam if any. Ladle hot fruit into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace, wipe rims with a clean damp towel, place lid on and screw band on fingertip tight. Place jar back in boiling water canner. Repeat until all the jars are filled or until all of jam mixture is gone. Cover jars with at least 1-inch of hot tap water. Bring a full boil over high heat. Now if this is your first time canning please read through the USDA guidelines for canning. Processing times are different at different altitudes.

We had a quite 4th of July. We were going to go to my aunt’s house, but some thing’s happened and we ended up staying home…I also was sick and was supposed to get e cake delivered to a nursing home on the 4th, but I couldn’t get it done. I had to call the President of Community Cakes and let her know. I feel really bad about not being able to get the cake done, but there was nothing I could do…

I don’t have any cakes for July, I decided with the fair I would be busy. Plus I am still recovering from foot surgery and we are looking at moving to a different house. We really need to move out of this old house, way out in the boonies! LOL! We need to be closer to town so Ray doesn’t have to drive so far and I don’t have so far to drive top my Dr. appts.

Well I better go for now…

Until next time…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Canned Foods


Canned Lemon Curd

Hello Everyone,

I adore anything with lemon! I get this love of lemon from my grandmother, and guess what? My niece loves anything with lemon also! I am making her a lemon cake, it will be a topsy-turvy cake (my first one) and turquoise and black are her colors. It’s for her 13th Birthday this year, I can’t believe she’ll be 13! It makes me feel old!!

We made this recipe in my U of I canning class. It is a very tasty lemon curd, one of the best ones I have come across in a long time!

Canned Lemon Curd:

2-1/2 cups superfine sugar*

1/2 cup lemon zest (freshly zested) optional

1 cup bottled lemon juice**

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into approximately 3/4-inch pieces

7 large egg yolks

4 large eggs

Special Equipment Needed: Lemon zester, balloon whisk, 1-1/2 quart double boiler***(the top double boiler pan should be at least 1-1/2 quart volume), strainer, kitchen thermometer measuring at least up to 180 degrees, glass or stainless steel medium mixing bowl, silicone spatula or cooking spoon, and equipment for boiling water canner. Yields about 3-4 half-pint jars.

If this is your first time boiling water canning please read through the USDA canning guidelines.


Wash 4-half-pint canning jars with warm, soapy water. Rinse well; keep hot until ready to fill. Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Fill boiling water canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by 1-2 inches. Use a thermometer to preheat the water to 180 degrees by the time the filled jars are ready to added.

Caution: Do not heat the water in the canner to more than 180 degrees before jars are added. If the water in the canner is to hot when jars are added, the process time will not be long enough. The time it takes for the canner to reach boiling after jars are added is expected to be 25-30 minutes for this product. Process time starts after the water in the canner comes to a full boil over the jars.

Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, stir to mix, and set aside about 30 minutes. Pre-measure the lemon juice and prepare the chilled butter pieces. Heat water in the bottom pan of the double boiler until it boils gently. The water should not boil vigorously or touch the bottom of the double boiler pan or bowl in which the curd is to be cooked. Steam produced will be sufficient for the cooking process to occur. In the top of double boiler, on the counter top, or table, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs together until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the sugar and zest, blending until well mixed and smooth. Blend in the lemon juice and then add the butter pieces to the mixture. Place the top of double boiler over boiling water in the bottom pan. Stir gently but continuously with a silicone spatula or cooking spoon, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature. Remove the double boiler pan from the stove and place on a protected surface, such as a dish cloth or towel on the counter top. Continue to stir gently until the curd thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain curd through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl; discard collected lemon zest. Fill hot strained curd into the clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in the boiling water canner according to the recommendations in the USDA boiling water canner guidelines. Let cool on a towel, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Shelf Life: For best quality, store in a cool, dark place (away from light). Plan to use canned lemon curd within 3-4 months. Browning and or separation may occur with longer storage; discard any time these changes are observed.

Prepared lemon curd can also be frozen instead of canned for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed. Package containers after straining and cooling to room temperature. To thaw, place container in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks,

Preparation Notes:

*If superfine sugar is not available, run granulated sugar through a grinder of food processor for 1 minute, let settle, and use in place of superfine sugar. Do not use powdered sugar.

**Bottled lemon juice is used to standardized acidity. Fresh lemon juice can vary in acidity and is not recommended.

*** If a double boiler in not available, a substitute can be made with a large bowl or saucepan that can fit partway down into a saucepan of a smaller diameter. If the bottom pan has a larger diameter, the top bowl or pan should have handles, that can rest on the rim of the lower pan.

Variation: For lime curd, use the same recipe but substitute 1 cup bottled lime juice and 1/4 cup fresh lime zest for the lemon juice and zest.

Other citrus juices or fruits are not recommended for canning at this time.

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Until next time everyone…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Canned Foods


Pickled Eggs

Hello everyone,

Here is an unusual recipe for you to try out when you have extra eggs to use!

Pickled eggs are hard-cooked eggs that have been soaked in a solution of vinegar, salt and spices and other seasonings. Besides being a conversation topic at a party with their bright colors, pickled eggs are tasty and nutritious. They can contribute to your meals as part of the main course at dinner, as hors d’oeuvres, garnishes for salads, deviled eggs, and diced ingredient’s.

Selecting Eggs for Pickling:

Select egg with clean sound shells which are not extremely fresh. Eggs a few days old will peal better. You can also use very small eggs such as quail eggs.

Cooking, Peeling, and Pickling:

Cover eggs completely with cold water and bring to near boiling. Turn down heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Always cook eggs at moderate temperatures since overcooking makes them tough and can cause gray discoloration around the yolk. Cool the eggs as rapidly as possible by running cold water over them. Crack the entire shell around the egg for easier peeling. Begin peeling at the large end where the air cell is usually located. Peeling under running water can help remove all the thin shell membranes. Pack one dozen or so medium-sized eggs loosely in a quart jar so the container will hold plenty of pickling solution. Any container that can be closed tightly is satisfactory. Pour hot pickling solution over the eggs, cover the container and put it into the refrigerator. Pickled eggs must be stored in the refrigerator for safety. Be sure that the eggs are covered with pickling solution during storage. The eggs are ready for serving when pickling solution has seasoned all parts of the egg. It takes at least one week to season small eggs and from 2-4 weeks for medium and large eggs. Do not leave pickled eggs at room temperature other than during the period of time for serving (2 hours or less) Pickled eggs will retain quality for several months in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Pickling Solution” There are many recipes for pickling solutions. The recipes in this publication are a small sampling of solutions which have been tested under storage conditions. For the following recipes, heat the mixture to near boiling and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour solution over the hard-cooked eggs in a quart jar or other suitable container which can be closed tightly. Cover and immediately store in the refrigerator until seasoned.

Recipes for One Quart of Pickled Eggs:

Dilled Eggs:

1-1/2 cups white vinegar

1 cup water

3/4 tsp. dill seed

1/4 tsp. white pepper

3 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. mustard seed

1/2 tsp. onion juice

1.2 tsp, minced garlic

Sweet and Sour Eggs:

1-1/2 cups apple cider

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 package (about 12 oz.) red cinnamon candy

1 tbsp. mixed pickling spice

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic salt

Spicy Eggs:

1-1/2 cups apple cider

1 cup vinegar

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. mixed pickling spice

1 clove peeled garlic

1/2 sliced onion

1/2 tsp. mustard seed

Dark and Spicy Eggs:

1-1/2 cups cider vinegar

12 cup water

1 tbsp. dark brown sugar

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. mixed pickling spice

1/4 tsp. liquid smoke or hickory smoke salt

2 tsp. salt

Red Beet Eggs:

1 cup liquid from beet pickles

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tsp. brown sugar

a few small canned red beets (can be sliced)

I know this is a bit different, but I hope you will give them a try!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Canned Foods


Pears and Nectarines in White Grape Juice

Hello Everyone,

Here is another great canning recipe! It’s from the Ball Blue book of canning. I love home canned pears, the taste is far superior to the ones you buy in the store. The problem with the store-bought ones is that they use un-ripe pears. Home canners will tell you, that you will get a much better product from home canned pears verses the store-bought ones.

Pears and Nectarines in White Grape Juice:

3 pounds pear

3 pounds nectarines


3-1/2 cups unsweetened white grape juice

Makes 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars

Wash pears and nectarines, drain well. Cut pears and nectarines into halves; core/pit and peal. Treat fruit to prevent darkening, I like to use lemon water mixed with some fresh fruit powder. It works really well!! Drain; rinse and drain again. Cook pears and nectarines in water one layer at a time until hot throughout. Meanwhile, heat white grape juice just to a boil. Pack hot fruit, cavity side down, into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process pints 20 minutes in boiling water canner and quarts 25 minutes, adjusting processing time for your altitude.. Remove jars from water and place on a towel. Let cool untouched for 24 hours. After 24 hours lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If jars do not seal, you can process them again (they will get a mushy texture), or eat and refrigerate right away. Enjoy!

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Canned Foods


Low Sugar Apple Butter

Hello Everyone,

It’s that time of year again for canning! I love canning my own fruits, vegetables, and making jams and jellies. Their is nothing more satisfying than to open your pantry doors or cabinets and have your own canned goods all year-long! I love fruit butters, this recipe is one of my favorites. Since apples can be sweet on their own, I much prefer this low-sugar recipe than others that can be too sickly sweet. This is perfect on homemade bread!

Low Sugar Apple Butter

5 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut in eights, I like to use Rome or Gala apples

1 cup apple cider or juice

2 tbsp. bottled lemon juice, do not use fresh lemon juice, lemons can vary in acidity. The University recommends bottled lemon juice because it has 5% acidity

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Truvia (optional)

Combine apples, cider, and lemon juice in a 6-8 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook about 30 minutes or until apples are very soft, stirring occasionally. Puree apple mixture in food processor or blender or press through a sieve. Combine apple mixture and spices in a 6-8 quart saucepan. Simmer over low heat approximately 35 minutes or until very thick, stirring constantly. Measure pulp. For every 1 cup pulp you will need 1 packet Truvia, is desired. Return pulp to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add sweetener. Immediately fill hot jars with apple butter, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe jar tops and threads clean. Place hot lids on jars and screw bands on firmly. Process in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Please read the USDA canning information link I have posted on the side of my blog. Check the elevation for your area and adjust processing time according to your elevation. Pleas do not skip reading though the USDA safety guidelines for canning!!! 🙂

Enjoy everyone!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Canned Foods