Canning Day

I had some rare toddler free time thanks to the miracle that is a friends sleepover. I decided to put my butt in gear! I harvested fresh basil from the garden and made some yummy pesto! I froze this batch into little discs to pull out this winter.


And I picked five lbs of apples for making jelly. I was a little disappointed that after cooking I only got four cups of juice when the jelly recipe called for seven. Jam and jelly require precise measuring so I had to fudge a little and used some of apple sauce pulp mixed with some purified water to get to seven cups of liquid. The jelly is very cloudy as a result and set very very firm. I’m definitely going to taste this before sharing with anyone…

I had been cleaning out the freezer and found four gallon sized bags of last years tomatoes. I decided to cook them down into sauce. I managed to get eight whole pints!

The house was very warm all day and I ended up running the dishwasher three times but it was very nice to stock my pantry and feel like I accomplished something off my list!

What’s Cooking: Beef Ragu

I decided to use up some stew beef that had been kicking around my fridge this weekend.

I googled a simple Beef Ragu recipe from the web that was designed to work in my instant pot. I didn’t have all the ingredients exactly so I winged it. It was pretty tasty looking going in…Then upon arrival home I found a steamy pot of deliciousness waiting for me. ~ Side note…A LOT of beef fat had floated to the top. I skimmed it off before shredding the meat you see below~
We didn’t have the right shape of pasta but penne seemed to do nicely.

All in all, it was tasty. The beef was rich, soft and shredded nicely. My toddler turned up his nose but the hubby liked it just fine. I found that it would have been spectacular with something salty to balance the sweet carrots and beef. Maybe some nice shaved parm?? Next time….

Happy Cooking!

Best of Intentions

I decided to pull out a recipe from my new cookbook for the Instant Pot. I picked the breakfast casserole because I had all the ingredients and it sounded yummy. Basically it’s a steamed egg casserole with spinach, bacon, sausage, cheese, hash browns and seasonings. This is what it looked like before:

I ended up having to cook it for an extra 6 minutes to get the eggs to set and then despite liberal lubrication this is how it came out of the bowl….

I dumped it onto a cookie sheet, added some extra cheese and broiled for several minutes to finish it off. Now it was extremely tasty and loved by toddler and adult alike. Just not very pretty….

The bacon helped to soothe my cooking wounds. Happy Cooking!!

My New Favorite Pork Roast

I accidentally invented a new favorite recipe. And I thought I’d drop a quick post to share with you all! The hubby and I wanted to cook up some pulled pork for our friends at out Baby-Q a few weeks back. Normally I chuck a pork butt in a crock pot with some salt and pepper and go low and slow for most of a day.  But because pork and apple go so well together and I have so much apple jelly this year and I added the two together.

Homemade Apple Jelly Pork Roast

  • 5-7 lbs pork butt/shoulder
  • 1/2 pint of homemade apple jelly
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Place the pork fat side up in a crock pot. Sprinkle dry seasonings all over the pork. Using spatula spread apple jelly all over the pork and deposit any leftover around the meat. Cook on low 8 hours or until pork is fork tender. (You can adjust your seasonings according to your own taste. I don’t always measure exactly so do what feels right.)

You can also cook this in an oven in a roasting pan. Just set your oven to 185 or 200 degrees and cook 8-9 hours. However, this method might require more frequent checking of the meat since the oven will pull out more moisture than the crock pot.

Not only did this make everyone in the house drool for hours, it was some of the best pork I’ve ever eaten. It was uber moist with just the slightest hint of apple. We literally at it so fast that I didn’t even have time to take photos for you. But I promise this won’t disappoint!

Enjoy!

Holy Crap…More Tomatoes

I must be a masochist…or really love my husband. I’m peeling, blending, cooking, and canning 6 more gallon bags of homegrown tomatoes today. All so I can feed his salsa addiction over the winter and possibly give salsa out as Christmas gifts…

At least this cooking day I invested in a stool for the kitchen to rest my swollen preggo feet. Kind of a fool me once fool me twice kind of epiphany, lol.

This should be the last hurrah for my canner this summer and then I’m going to KNIT ALL THE THINGS until jellybean arrives!

Happy Saturday!

A Very Expensive Lesson in Cooking

IMG_0331.JPG

Last Christmas my mom purchased a mandolin for my kitchen. It works great and really speeds up the chopping process…when used correctly. Some veggies are harder to slice than others I have found.

I chose to use it without all of the proper safety guards….and paid the price. While slicing green peppers I took off the tip of my right index finger. Nothing life altering but it bled something awful and I will spare you the details. The hubby had to take me to the walk in emergency clinic to get the wound closed with silver nitrate. Again I will spare you the painful gory details. All in all they took very good care of me and packed me on my way with meds and care instructions. Now I just await what I imagine will be a frightfully high doctors bill…expensive lesson indeed!

It hurts like a buggar when I accidentally hit it on something but is healing nicely. Upside…I literally finished Jellybean’s hexi-ghan the night before. AND I can still knit, albeit in a slightly modified and slower manner.

Live and learn I guess? But at least I will have a FO to show this week!

Happy Knitting!!

Freezer Fill-Up

My nesting seems to involve making sure we have food after Jellybean arrives. I previously talked about canning tomatoes and apples, and my adventures have continued!

This past three day weekend I added to the freezer and pantry!

IMG_0289.JPG

Eight crock pot meals of the chicken variety. I used this pin/blog post from Pinterest for those interested.

IMG_0291.JPG

IMG_0296.JPG

I turned some beef neck bones into rich beef broth (frozen in freezer safe ball jars) and there was even enough beef bits for two BBQ sandwiches!

IMG_0290.JPG

Then I turned these pots into 9 more pints of tomato sauce. And not pictured was four pans of beef and three cheese lasagna! I used my own recipe but everything is fully cooked and so we just have to thaw and bring back up to temp! Easy peasy and yummy for our post baby fog!!

That brings my count to nine casseroles, eight crock pot meals, and more cans of apple sauce and tomato sauce than I can count right now. Pardon me while I rest on my laurels and put my feet up.

I’m interested….does anyone else out there prep for busy times by filling the freezer?

FO Friday: Summer Canning

My feet and I survived our canning session last weekend!

What were my spoils you ask?

– 11 pints of brown sugar/cinnamon apple sauce
– 5 full pints and 11 1/2 pints of apple jelly

IMG_0213.JPG

And 16 glorious pints of tomato sauce!!

IMG_0225.JPG

I’d still like to put up more salsa and tomato sauce but that will be schedule and pregnancy permitting. Just going with the flow at this point!

What’s in your canner lately?

Apples and Worms

My apple tree set like gangbusters this year. Unfortunately I didn’t get it treated in time earlier this spring due to my morning sickness and the worms have done a number on my apples. There are still a number of good apples. Just going to take a little extra time to peel and trim away the bad parts.

I don’t think they will be in good enough shape for apple pie or apple pie filling. But good news…I think they will be just perfect for apple jelly. And after my last experiment in apple jelly, I have a few tweaks I’d like to try!

I’ve picked a five gallon bucket of green apple goodness. They are now cooling their heels in the fridge. Now I just have to wash, core, trim, and slice a five gallon bucket of apples….crap. Didn’t I just process 8 gallons of tomatoes yesterday? I must be a glutton for culinary delicious punishment.

I’ll let you know how everything sets up! Hehe, see what I did there? I love a good pun! That or the delirium has set in 🙂

I promise to get back to knitting content soon! I have another update on Jellybean’s blanket coming, a #sockswithsarah update, and one last sweater WIP I want to work on before Jellybean gets here!!