Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

My dear friend Jamie recently gave me a little bottle of canned goodness that I just had to share with all of you! She and a friend of hers recently canned a batch of jalapeno jelly. I may be the minority here, but I had never even heard of it, and I am not going to lie, when she handed me the bottle I was a bit apprehensive. However, she sent me on my way equipped with the cute little bottle full of its delicious green contents, a sleeve of ritz crackers, and a package of cream cheese, so I figured it was worth a shot.

I took the concoction to a family bbq, and I am not exaggerating when I say it was the hit of the party. Everybody LOVED it. So I begged Jamie for the recipe and she graciously sent it over. So here it is, be brave, trust me, you'll love it!

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

3 Green bell peppers
2 (4 oz.) cans diced jalapeno peppers or
1 cup fresh jalapeno peppers
1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
6 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 box liquid pectin

Chop pepper ( blend in a food processor works best )
Combine with vinegar, sugar and cayenne in pot.
Stir until boiling.
Stir in pectin, boil 5 min. longer. Skim off foam.
Ladle into prepared jars. Process in boiling water
canner for 5 min.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sum Sum Summertime

Last night we had dinner with some good friends of ours and we made some of my favorite things in the world. . . tinfoil dinners. I got thinking, these would be great for food storage, and there are a few reasons why. First, if you are in a situation where you have no power, these can be cooked on a barbeque grill, or even better, in a fire pit. Second, they are SO versatile. In fact, my boys are kind of picky little eaters, so I made my oldest son a tinfoil dinner containing popcorn chicken, and my middle little guy's had turkey sausage.

I have heard of people getting creative with their leftovers, or using whatever they had lying around. The possibilities are endless.

Last night I made the good old fashioned run of the mill basic yet delicious verision.

First of all, get a sheet of tinfoil, the heavy duty kind works best. Make sure it is about three times bigger than the food itself and keep the shiny side in, dull side out.

I like to spray the foil with cookin spray, then I even put a slice of bread on the bottom to keep the veggies from burning. On top of the bread, I used a hamburger patty. I seasoned the patty with worchesterschire sauce, season all, garlic salt, and pepper. Then I put sliced onions, sliced potatoes and diced carrots on top.

If you use hard veggies like potatoes and carrots, make sure you slice them thinly enough that they will cook quickly.

I topped it off with about two tablespoons of cream of mushroom soup.

Then seal it well, I folded the long sides of the foil together, then I rolled the remaining sides togther toward the center. If there are tears in the foil, I would suggest putting another layer of foil on top.

If cooking in a fire, as we did, place the dinners in the coals that have turned more white, and cover them with more coals. It should take 10-20 minutes on each side depending on how thick your meat is.

Like I said before, the possibilites for these are endless. They are great for camping or just being outdoors with the family. My only regret is that we didn't take any pictures. I guess we will just have to have round two in the near future!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Easy Peasy Family Favorite, Food Storage Style

First of all, I want to invite anybody who may come across this blog to submit food storage recipes or ideas to me that you have tried and loved. You can email me your recipe, or idea, along with pictures, if you have them, and I will gladly publish your post (as long as it fits with the "food storage theme") and I will give you full credit for your brilliant idea. But keep in mind, your brilliant idea doesn't even have to be brilliant! Isn't that great?! Just email me at kaydeem@yahoo.com and put "food storage" in the subject line. Thanks a million for your support.

Okay, on to the recipe. It is nothing fancy or complex, but I have found that a lot of times people buy food storage items and they don't really know how to reconstitute them. This simple recipe will help put dry egg mix to use. My family LOVES scrambled eggs. I love to feed them to my kids because I feel like they are pretty healthy and they aren't the basic sugar cereal that is so easy to dump in a bowl (unfortunately I do that from time-to-time too). So, here is the good old family favorite "food storage style."

Simply mix 1/2 C. egg mix with 1/2 C. water until the mixture is creamy. At that point, add another 3/4 C. water and let that stand for 15 minutes. After that you are free to cook the eggs as you usually cook your regular scrambled eggs. You can also add 1/4 C. of powdered milk and 1/4 tsp. of salt to the dry eggs BEFORE adding the water if you want more flavor.

I also found a recipe along these lines for crepes. Crepes are another family favorite of ours. You can top them with any of your canned fruit, put scrambled eggs in them, or even your favorite jam. The possibilities are only limited to your own imagination.

Combine 1/2 C. dry eggs with 1 C. water In another bowl combine 1 C. sifted flour with 1 tsp. baking soda. Then combine the two mixtures. The batter will be slightly lumpy. This is not in the typical recipe but I like to add 1 tbsp. of sugar to my batter. Then I get a 1/4 C. measuring cup and use it to scoop and pour the batter into a medium skillet (well greased) over medium heat. Cook until it is golden brown on both sides.

Good Luck and happy cooking!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What in the world is TVP?

So I don't know about any of you, but I have heard about TVP a lot when it comes to food storage, and it is sad to admit but I have often wondered exactly what TVP really is. Well I have done a little research and here is what I have found. TVP stands for Texturized Vegetable Protein. It is actually made from soybeans. It keeps its nutritional value for a long time and provides a lot of protein and fiber. It is very high in potassium, is a good source of the essential amino acids, and also contributes calcium and magnesium to your diet. Also, because it is dry, it has a very low bacterial count.
Another plus is that if you happen to be a vegetarian, TVP is a great protein supplement because it contains no meat or meat bi-products.
It is also very easy to store. It can be stored for at least a year in nothing but a sealed container, and if it is sealed airtight, the shelf life is much, much, longer.

I also found this from healthrecipes.com
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)?
Also known as textured soy protein, TVP is not tofu. It is, however, made from soy. TVP comes from defatted soy flour, which is a by-product of soybean oil, so it is plentiful in supply. It’s also quick to cook and a great source of vegetable protein without all the fat.
TVP comes in small dry chunks resembling, well, dried vegetables more than anything, or in a finely-ground form. It’s flavorless, but when you rehydrate it and add your own flavors, it makes a great protein-filled addition to many dishes calling for ground meat. Because of its varying texture, it’s versatile, and can take on the texture of many meats. For instance, it’s excellent in chili, tacos, veggie burgers and soups.A 43-gram serving of TVP contains 120 calories and 21 grams of protein and hardly any fat.
When it’s used to replace meat in stews and soups, your family will hardly be able to tell the difference and since you can marinate it in many of the same sauces as meat, it can take on many of meat’s flavors.

Here is how you rehydrate the TVP, I found the directions on a site called vegameat.com

Re-hydrating TVP chunks is a very simple process. I'm sure there is a technical way to do it (one cup of tvp to so many cups of water) but I just use the eyeball method. This works for most recipes, the rest (like the beef stew we just dump the TVP during the cooking so it gets re-hydrated automatically. Here's how I do it for everything else.
I usually use 1 to 1 ½ cups of TVP at a time. This stuff will bloat up so start small. Put a pan of water on the stove to boil. When it's boiling or almost boililng kilthe heat and dump in the TVP. With a fork or spoon make sure the little floaty pieces stay submurged. Let it sit for a few mins. When the pieces stop looking like dry dog-food and start looking like little chunks of meat take a fork and pick one out. Try it, if it's firm but soft all the way through, it's done. If there's a hard spot in the middle, let it sit for a few more mins