Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pickled Summer Squash and Zucchini

The other day we canned a few quarts of squash but that didn't put a dent in the pile of squash we picked that day.  We decided to make a few jars of pickled squash and zucchini.  Pickling is a little quicker since we were able to cold pack the jars and we used a water bath instead of pressure cooking.

Pickling Squash & Zucchini

Before making the brine wash and cut your ingredients, measure out your spices, fill your pressure cooker with water and turn on low heat and sanitize your jars and lids.  Once you have your pots and ingredients prepped you can start your brine.  This recipe will make 7 quart sized jars.  

To fill the jars I used several of  our larger zucchinis and squash and cut them into spears.  We added a few banana peppers and garlic cloves to each jar. 

To make the brine we combined 8 1/2 cups of water with 2 1/2 cups of white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup of pickling salt.  For the spices we added 2 Tbs THRIVE Red & Green Bell Peppers, 2 TBS THRIVE Freeze Dried Onions, 1 jar of  pickling spice.  Combine ingredients in a large pot and heat to a boil, remove from heat and fill cold packed jars.

Canning Squash and Zucchini

After each jar is filled, wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth and hand tighten the lids.  Fill your pot with hot water just to the necks of the cans.  Bring the water to a just below a boil for 15 minutes.  Remove the jars and set on a dish towel and allow to cool to room temperature.

Pickled Squash and Zucchini

 Shared @

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shelf Reliance THRIVE Tomato Powder

Shelf Reliance Tomato Powder is a must for any kitchen.  With a shelf life of 8 years unopened and 18 months after opening you don't have to worry about running out of tomato sauce or throwing out expired sauce.  I can't tell you how many times I have used a 1/4 cup of sauce for a recipe, planning to use the rest of the jar later, and end up tossing it out because I didn't get around to using it.  

I love being able to make my own homemade tomato sauce and being able to make just enough for the recipe I am cooking.  The color of the tomato powder is amazing and the only ingredient is tomato,  no wonder it smells so good!  Below is my recipe for a traditional spaghetti sauce.  You can also use tomato powder to make soup, chili, marinara, pizzas, beef stew, casseroles and more.  

Shelf Reliance THRIVE Tomato Powder

Shelf Reliance Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

THRIVE Spaghetti Sauce:

1 1/2 Cups water
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic
1 teaspoon Basil
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 pinch Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda

Combine tomato powder and water in a medium sized bowl.  Once mixed, add in dry ingredients with the baking soda last.  I add the baking soda to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes.  If you like the more crisp taste you can omit the baking soda.  Don't worry about the sauce foaming or getting a little lighter when you add the baking soda, it will settle down.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How To Get Organized

Today I stumbled across this list: How To Be The Most Organized Person In The World. Between my work, family, blogging and anything else that is put on my plate, I struggle to keep everything together. I am definitely going to implement some of these ideas and hopefully stick to them!

Has anyone tried any of these, if so, how did you do?

Be the most organized person in the world


Friday, June 22, 2012

Homestead Revival: Recycled Canning Labels

I came across these super cute canning lids the other day on Homestead Revival.  
I cant wait to make some of my own.

Homestead Revival: Recycled Canning Labels: How do you label your canned goods for your own personal pantry? All those cute ideas on Pinterest are great for sharing a jar with a friend...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Save up to 25% when you buy Buckets from Shelf Reliance

Shelf Reliance Bucket Sale

Shelf Reliance offers many of their food storage items in buckets.  Great for every day storage and emergency storage, you will save big when buying buckets vs #10 cans or pantry cans.  Shelf Reliance buckets are equipped with Gama Lids and the contents of each bucket are secured inside of a mylar bag to extend their shelf life.  Click here to shop THRIVE buckets!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Canning Summer Squash & Zucchini

It is only the beginning of June and we already have an abundance of squash & zucchini.  Time to break out the pressure cooker!  Our pressure cooker is on permanent loan from my Mother-In-Law.  She is so good about keeping things together and in working order so its no surprise that we still have the original instruction booklet from 1971!

Most of the recipes in the book are pretty normal although there was a recipe for head cheese, which I found a little disturbing!  It was shocking to see one hog's head as the first ingredient.  As I was writing this post I came across a few articles online that said summer squash is no longer recommended for canning.  I thought this was strange since people have been canning squash for years.  Below is an excerpt from the National Center For Home Food Preservation:

Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar.

I think that as long as we can the squash properly, and cook it well once opened, we should be fine.  If you are worried you could always freeze your squash or pickle it!  If you are new to canning check out the Presto website for more information.

You will need:
1 Pressure Canner
1 Large Pot
1 Medium Pot
5-7 Quart Canning Jars With Lids
5-7 Teaspoons Salt

A canning funnel, tongs and lid magnet  are great tools that make handling the hot jars a lot easier.

I set up one large pot to blanch the squash, a smaller pot to sterilize the jars and lids and                  
of course the pressure cooker!

Thoroughly was your squash and zucchini removing any dirt and flower ends.  Cut into 1" cubes or 1/2" slices. As I was cutting up my veggies I filled them in the cans to get an idea of how much I was cutting.  I didn't want to end up with too much or too little.  Since the squash will cook down a little you will need enough squash to fill 1-2 more jars than you plan to can.  Place the veggies in a large pot with just enough water to cover and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes.

While your squash is coming to a boil,sanitize your jars and lids in a smaller pot of boiling water. Fill the hot jars with your squash and the water it was blanched in leaving a 1" head space.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt per jar and make sure to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth to remove any seeds or pulp.  Hand tighten lids and place into your canner.  Process at 10 lbs for 40 minutes.
 Follow the manufacturers instructions for your canner.

Monday, June 11, 2012

All Natural Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

If you are like me, and hate paying high prices for dishwasher detergent, you will love this solution.  With traditional store bought detergents you can spend upwards of $0.32 per load.  This easy and all natural recipe is only $0.07 cents per load and it makes my kitchen smell great!

Since we are on the topic of dish detergents I thought I would share a little tip.  My Sister was having a problem with her dishwasher and the repair technician said that the pod type detergents are not good for your dishwasher.  The plastic coating often does not dissolve completely and can cause problems.  I am not
sure if this is true,although I would rather pay less for my homemade detergent and not have to worry about damaging my washer.

All Natural Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 1/2 Cups Washing Soda
1 1/2 Cups Borax
15-20 Drops of Essential Oil (Lavender, Lemon etc...)

Mix powders together in a plastic container or glass jar by mixing 1/4 cup of each powder at a time with a few drops of oil so that you can thoroughly mix all of the ingredients.  Use two tablespoons of the mixture per load of dishes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shelf Reliance Powdered Egg Whites

This morning I decided to sleep in a bit and woke to the yummy smell of bacon.   I quickly realized that my husband had cooked breakfast for himself and eaten all of the bacon.  Lesson learned, you snooze you loose!   I was hungry and didn't feel like standing over the stove so I decided to try out the new Powdered Egg Whites.

The package states that they are great for baking so I wasn't sure how they would turn out scrambled.  I mixed one serving of Powdered Scrambled Eggs with 6 Powdered Egg Whites.  I was a little worried at first because the egg whites seemed a little clumpy but they ended up mixing together pretty well.

The eggs turned out nice and fluffy.  It was very filling and would have been a nice low calorie breakfast if I hadn't decided to add the cheese and sausage.  At least I tried a be a little healthy!

Shelf Reliance Powdered Egg Whites Sausage Crumbles

Shelf Reliance Scrambled EggsPowdered Egg Whites

2 Tbs THRIVE Scrambled Egg Mix
2 Tbs THRIVE Egg White Powder
2 Tbs THRIVE Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles *
1 Small Summer Squash Diced
2 tsp Olive Oil

Mix egg powder with 7 Tbs water and set aside.  Cook squash in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil.  Once the squash is tender and browned, add egg mixture and sausage.  Scramble mixture until eggs are set.
Salt & pepper to taste.

* Re-hydrated

Six Sisters Stuff - Strut your stuff Saturday

Thursday, June 7, 2012

THRIVE Express Review: Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

The other night I was scratching my head trying to figure out what I wanted to eat for dinner.  I had some leftover chicken from the night before and needed a few sides to make it a meal.  I figured I would try out the new Scalloped Potatoes.

At first I didn't think that the package would make enough to satisfy even one person although once the sauce started thickening it looked a lot better! The cheese sauce is mild and creamy and I really liked the bacon pieces, it gave the potatoes a nice flavor. I do have to admit that my combination was a bit strange although everything tasted great!

I am not sure how this would be as a leftover as we ate every single bite.  I could definitely see eating this as a main dish, maybe adding freeze dried chicken dices to the mix. Now that would be the ULTIMATE Loaded Scalloped Potatoes!

THRIVE Express Scalloped Potatoes

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shelf Reliance June Summer Salads Sale

Shelf Reliance THRIVE Foods Food Rotation Systems Emergency Kits & Supplies

Shelf Reliance June Specials
 This month Shelf Reliance has put together a great sale along with six awesome  recipes.  
Create pasta, potato and green salads with THRIVE food ingredients that easily stored and ready whenever you are!  You don't need a coupon code to get these great deals just click the link above!
Salad Recipes
Southwestern Bean Salad           
Garden Salad
Oriental Pasta Salad
THRIVE Potato Salad
Fruit Salad
THRIVE Tomato Vinaigrette

Friday, June 1, 2012

Food Storage Recipe: Breakfast Casserole Bowls

I love having freeze dried sausage on hand.  It allows me to take plain old biscuit mix and make a meal out of it in no time.  The best part is that I don't have a greasy pan to deal with after breakfast!  The only bad thing is that I end up snacking on my sausage crumbles straight out of the can while I am cooking.

Shelf Reliance Food Storage Recipe

Shelf Reliance Food Storage Recipe
1 Package of Instant Biscuit Mix (I used Bisquick Garlic Cheddar)
1/2 Cup Shelf Reliance THRIVE Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles*
2 Tbs Shelf Reliance THRIVE Red & Green Bell Peppers*
2 Shelf Reliance Whole Eggs Prepared
2 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix water eggs and biscuit mix in a large bowl.  Once mixed add re-hydrated sausage and bell peppers.  Pour mixture into greased muffin tins or glass baking dishes.  Bake for 20 minutes or unit a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.  Top with cheddar cheese and place under broiler just long enough to melt cheese.


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