Preserving Series: Water-Bath Canning: Peach Salsa

It is that time of year again! Time to put up all of this fresh local produce. We have been going to the local Farmers Markets and getting produce like some crazy people who are hoarding for the winter, partially because we are. (Seriously though, when I asked for 14 lbs of green beans the people in the long line at our favorite stand -Ashland Produce- looked at me like I was a crazy person.)

When I saw this recipe I knew we had to try it. I love peaches, like border-line love affair, love peaches (don’t worry the hubby is right there with me salivating over the delicious in-season peaches), and the hubby loves fruit salsa’s so I figured this was a match made in heaven.

And boy oh boy was I right. The only complaint that we have is that the original recipe has a kick to it. Like a huge kick. A little bit too much for us, though it is still delicious. If you like your salsa hot and spicy here is the link to the original recipe. If you like it somewhere between mild and medium use my recipe below (we did a two times recipe -see link above- which is why we don’t have enough peaches etc, we will definitely be making more though).

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Peach Salsa

Yield: About 7.5 pints, if you use larger peaches there will be a little more.

12 c fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and small diced, about 15 medium peaches

1 large sweet onion, diced

6 tbsp lemon juice

3/4 c lime juice

6 jalapeno, deveined, seeded, and finely chopped

3 large green peppers, seeded and finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

6 tbsp cilantro, chopped

3/4 cup honey

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and make sure that they are well-mixed.

2. Place into prepared jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.

3. Follow the rest of my water-bath canning steps here.

4. Process the pints for 20 minutes, up to 1,000 feet above sea-level, 25 minutes 1,001-5,999, and 30 minutes if you are over 6,000 feet about sea-level.

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And it’s ok if you have a little bit of extra salsa just plop it in a small jar and put it in the fridge, like we did. It is still delicious, you just want to use it within a week.

Let me know what you think below, and if you loved it as much as we do! What are you putting up this season?

Zaycon Foods

Today I want to share a quick little word with you about an awesome food movement. Have you heard of Zaycon Foods? No? Okay, let me share with you what they are all about!

“Zaycon Foods is a privately owned company based in Spokane, Washington. The company was founded in 2009 with the simple mission to bring farm fresh meats direct to consumers at wholesale prices. 

You see, we knew all the farmers who had the best stuff around. Thanks to our experience in the grocery industry, we knew how to quickly move that great stuff from point to point, preserving its freshness, taste, and nutrition.

 

So we asked ourselves: “Why are there middlemen involved? Why aren’t we just getting this food directly from the farms to the people who are going to eat it?”

 

That idea grew into the company we are today.

 

When we started off just a few short years ago, we offered only a few meats in a few areas. But thanks to the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response we’ve gotten from all of you, Zaycon has grown like wildfire!

 

We now offer a wider range of fresh foods – from milk to berries to salmon filets – to an ever expanding list of regions. If we have not been to your area yet, let us know and you can bet we’ll be there soon. And if we’ve already been through a dozen times, you know we’re coming back again, too!”

 

Here is short video about how they get their products straight to their customers.

We just put in our order for their upcoming 93/7 Ground Beef and Applewood boneless Ham, (which I would do soon by the way, if you are interested in ordering from them) and can’t wait to pick it up! If you want to check out their site just click here.

Have you ever purchased from Zaycon Foods or anyplace like them before? Please tell us about your experience below.

Our Little Oily Life

I feel like a lot of my posts lately are sharing with you all of the new things we are doing in our “Nourishing” life. I hope you are not tired of them yet we just think these new things we are doing are all just so exciting! And today I’m going to share with you one of my favorites!

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About seven months ago, some of our friends introduced the hubby and me to essential oils. I had heard of aromatherapy growing up (though I didn’t really know what was used in it), and more recently I had vaguely come across essential oil references in the health literature I had been reading.
The only thing I knew was that lavender was my favorite scent and Frankincense and Myrrh (I didn’t know they were essential oils) were two of the three gifts given to Jesus Christ by the three wise men. They explained what essential oils were (the life-blood of plants), and that because they are not made synthetically (which makes their basic structure a mirror image of what ours is and, consequently, incompatible with ours) they work with our bodies to produce some pretty amazing results. When they said that we were like, O…K… …so what does that mean?
Basically it means that you can use these oils to help your body heal from certain ailments naturally. I sure liked the sound of that, but the hubby silently asked the question, “Yeah, but does it really.” It turns out that they had just signed up to be Independent Product Consultants with doTERRA, a company that has the highest grade of essential oils available to mankind. They are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade making them the best of the best, and safe enough to be consumed interally and even used on infants and children. Not something that you can say about most OTC medicine’s.

They gave us some samples to take home including: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, DigestZen, and Deep Blue Rub. Two nights later, Little Man, broke out in a fever in conjunction with him teething and I wanted to try the Peppermint to help alleviate his symptoms. I asked our friends for some guidance and applied the peppermint as needed to the Little Man. Immediately he started cooling down and we were excited by the results. We started using the essential oils more and more and when the hubby asked for some peppermint to relieve his headache, before even trying the Tylenol, I knew he had come around to the idea that they work. Not long ago, we decided to sign up as Independent Product Consultants as well to get our oils at wholesale price, and the rest, as they say, is history. We already have so many great stories to share and that is what, every so often, I will do. These essential oils are improving our health one day at a time and we have opportunities to witness the little miracles that come from them every day.

If you are interested in learning more about doTERRA essential oils check our our website here. It has information about essential oils and doTERRA as a company, and if you are interested in purchasing any oils or other products you can also do so there. There are some pretty awesome promotions this month that doTERRA is offering.

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During February, you can save 10% on the essential oil Whisper. “Whisper is a perfect balance of several CPTG® essential oils unified to impart beauty, femininity, and allure. Whisper’s subtle fragrance, once applied, mingles with your individual scent to enhance the essence that is all your own.” It’s pretty awesome, it really does create a perfect scent for you!
The product of the month is Oregano. This is an excellent oil because it is antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiseptic to the respiratory system, antiviral, and an immune system stimulant. It kills everything from Candida to Whooping Cough, Ebola to Staph infections, and from MRSA to the Plague. The product of the month promotion is simple, you only need to place one monthly Loyalty Rewards order totaling 125 PV or more.  Make sure it is scheduled to ship on or before the 15th of each month, and your order will include a free product! We love taking advantage of these great deals to get free oils!

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They also have this great promotion for a limited time. Stainless steel roller balls that you can put into the oil bottles themselves to make your own “rollers”. I would jump on this deal if you want it, because when they are gone they won’t be back for awhile, if at all.

If you would like to purchase your oils at wholesale price, get free oils, and also potentially have a side-business (it can do anything from pay for your oils, to replacing your full time job, if you work at it) then either click here or email me at thesnickerplum@gmail.com for more information.

One last thing, if you are interested in learning more about essential oils and live in the Rexburg, Idaho area we are going to be co-hosting a class this Saturday, February 15 at 5:30 PM, please email me for the address. I am really excited for this class and we will also be doing a giveaway! If you are not in this area but would like to attend either this class through Skype, a class at another time, or a class in your area, email me and we will find a class that works with your schedule/location.

I promise I will not spam the blog with doTERRA posts, but I wanted to have the links and dates available if you were interested.

I am excited about this journey that we are on, and can’t wait to share it with you along the way.

From my Family, to Yours..

Meatball Soup

Today I want to share a great winter recipe with you that is very easy to make and delicious! I love this recipe too because I made it with a ton of homemade ingredients!

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Meatball Soup
Serves 6-8
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 medium Sweet Onion, diced, see note below
2-3 ribs of Celery, depending on the size
2-3 cloves of Garlic, minced
7-8 cups of Homemade Chicken Stock, or a brand you trust
1/2 jar home-canned Stewed Tomatoes, or 1 can of brand you trust
15 Homemade Meatballs, or a brand you trust
Salt TT
Pepper TT
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings
1/3 – 1/2 cup Pasta, or I just did about a quarter of a box of linguine broken into fourths (little man loves to slurp the noodles) but any pasta will work.

1. Heat the Olive Oil on the stove in the pot your soup will be in. (I am all about having to do as little dishes as possible.) While the oil is heating dice your onion, slice the celery, and dice the garlic. Cook the onions and celery until they are soft and the onions are translucent. Then add the garlic in just before you add the broth.

2. Once the broth is added in, then place the stewed tomatoes, meatballs, and seasonings into the pot. Bring it to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

3. Once it is boiling add in the noodles and cook according to the manufacturers directions, usually anywhere from 7-12 minutes.

4. Once the noodles are cooked through your soup is done! It is delicious served with yummy toasted sourdough bread with garlic butter. The leftovers, if you are lucky enough to have any, are even better. The trick I have found with leftovers though is to re-season them liberally.

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Note: I used to use only yellow onions all the time, now I prefer sweet onions for their flavor, and red onions when necessary.

Thanks for stopping by today. What is your favorite quick winter-time soup? Share in the comments below!

From my Family, to Yours..

Yummy Asian Roll Lettuce Wraps

A couple of months ago some of our friends invited us to go out to dinner with them to P.F. Changs. Having never eaten there before it was a delicious meal! We had some lettuce wraps there and i really enjoyed them. Now this is in no way a knock off but this is a delicious recipe that I found and tweaked to, what we think is perfection. Now we don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy delicious lettuce wraps and I want to share it with you! And I made these with the Romaine lettuce from my bountiful basket, we also had some steamed zucchini on the side, delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have actually made this a couple different times, tweaking it trying different combos and we believe this is the best. (Note: I had intended to share with you that corn recipe, when I made it, but after tasting it we didn’t like it very much, and I don’t share things unless they pass our like test, or until they have been changed and tweaked until they finally do pass the test. That still has a long way to go.) The good thing is that this is quick, easy, and delicious!

Asian Lettuce Wrap  

Serves about 4 maybe a little more

1 lb ground Turkey or Beef

1 c Brown or White Rice

1 c Water

16 or so large Lettuce leaves, Boston Butter or Romaine will both work nicely, but we found that the Romaine were a little more sturdy

1 c shredded Carrots

1 c Scallions, thinly sliced

1 c sliced Red Bell Pepper

1 c shredded Radishes

1/3 c light Soy Sauce

1/3 c Water

1/3 c Honey

3 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice, if possible, if not anything that you get from a bottle will work

2 tsp minced Garlic

1 Tbsp minced fresh Ginger Root

1. If you have a rice cooker, cook your rice according to your manufacturers instructions, if not place the rice in a medium sauce pot over medium heat and combine the rice with 2 cups water. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  While the rice is cooking, in a large saucepan cook the ground meat until cooked through.

2. Meanwhile begin putting together the sauce in the bowl you will be serving the meat in. Combine the Soy Sauce, Water, Honey, Lemon Juice, minced Garlic, and minced Ginger Root and stir until combined. (Some people don’t like the idea of uncooked Garlic or Ginger, the main idea is to really infuse the flavors into the sauce, little bits will get into your wrap but they only add to the flavor of the whole item. This will also allow your to practice your mincing skills, make those pieces really small and then you won’t have a big chunk of Garlic or Ginger.) Tip: When you get your Ginger root look for a smaller one, unless you use ginger often you don’t want it to go to waste. You want to make sure that you take off the outer skin, but not need to worry about using a peeler on that tricky little guy, use your knife to just cut off the skin, its okay if you take of a little Ginger, it will save you grief and time. One more thing when you cut into your Ginger, pause and breathe in it’s deliciously warm and spicy scent. Smells are very important in the kitchen and it makes the whole process even more enjoyable!

3.  Begin slicing your Bell Pepper and Scallions and I just wash the carrots and radishes and shred them with a large cheese shredder, it’s easy and makes uniform bits. Put the sliced and shredded veggies out in little bowls or on a serving platter. Check on your rice if it is on the stove. Remove any fat from the meat and then pour the meat into your sauce and let them sit together. Then tear off whole Lettuce leaves and wash them off and  pat them dry.  Lay them out on a platter, grab the rice and serve! Delicious meal and is great with the Quinoa recipe here, either as a side or served over the top. It is a little messy though so keep some napkins handy!

Plums are Purple, and Snickers are Sweet,

From my family to yours…

A Long Week and a Light and Delicious Meal

Over the past week or so I have been very back and forth. One day I will feel ready to go and conquer the day, and the next I will feel exhausted and ill, either in body or mind, and it’s lucky if I make the bed. It’s kind of tiring, but I am still, trying to move forward.

Lately, I have been working to get hired on as a Food Service Assistant Substitute for the Boise School District. So basically, when someone calls in sick or goes on vacation, I would get a call to fill in for them. It’s the base job that you have to sign up for first, and then you can move upwards as positions become available. I am excited to be able to work with kids and food!

Today I have for  you a delicious recipe, it is so light and fresh it might just be the thing that gets me back on my feet for the rest of this week. I got this recipe from the blog Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and it is so good! Let me also share with you some information about the “Mother Grain”: Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa)which is featured in this recipe. Quinoa is also a super grain. Though it is not a true grain, its small seeds are treated as such. It is gluten-free and therefore prefect for those who have wheat allergies (Sarah!). Also, it is perfect for those who are Vegan or Vegetarian, because the seeds form a complete protein, with all of the essential amino acids, and they also contain important vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrates and fat! Talk about an awesome seed! Quinoa can be found in most super markets, but I like to get it in the bulk foods area of Winco (my favorite store).

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic, minced

3/4 cup uncooked Quinoa, rinsed

1-1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth

2 tsp ground Cumin

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

1 cup frozen Sweet Corn

2 (15-ounce) cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

1-In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.

2-Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).

3-Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

I hope that you find this as delicious as we did! It’s perfect as a side dish or you could serve it with grilled chicken or pork or along with any mexican themed dish we also really liked it with asian dishes. It’s good with almost anything!

Plums are Purple, and Snickers are Sweet,

From my family to yours…

And here’s hoping that your week has been more productive than mine!

Salmon for Dinner

Growing up we always had some kind of fish in our house that we were eating, my dad being a fisherman and all, and there was even some trips that I went out on with him in the last few years and caught some of my own fish.

What can I say, you don’t wear a dress and heels fishing. Theres actually a pretty funny story behind this picture that I won’t go into right now, because I’m assuming most of you reading this won’t understand the “fishing” humor, but if you would like to know the story, leave a comment and I will definitely explain. It was actually quite a shock for my dad when I married my hubby who has no, I repeat N-O boat or fishing time. My father has decided now that we need to fix that, preferably as soon as possible.

But back onto the topic of fish! Did you know that fish are extremely healthy for you, because they have lots of vitamins and minerals and they have high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids; which help combat high-blood cholesterol levels and also aid in prevent heart-disease

Well this is a recipe adapted from my father, and what I always grew up eating. It is delicious!

Cooked Salmon and Mixed Green and Gorgonzola Salad*

*I will share both the homemade vinaigrette and toasted Garlic Bread another time.

Salmon

Measurements in this recipe are dependant upon taste and size of fillet.

1 fillet of Salmon, cut into a meal-sized portion

1/2 to 1 tsp Lemon Pepper

1/2 to 1-1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, or Dijon Mustard, optional (They all keep it moist, while Miracle Whip and Dijon Mustard both add a little tang.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Place the salmon skin side down on the tinfoil, and blot off any excess moisture with a paper towel.

2. Add on the Lemon Pepper and Olive Oil. Then spread on the Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip or Dijon Mustard, if using.

3. Place in a preheated oven only, and cook 17 minutes for every inch of thickness, until the thickest section if fully cooked; meaning that the fish is no longer opaque, but a solid color.

Mixed Green and Gorgonzola Salad

Mixed Baby Greens

1/2 c Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled

1/2 c Craisins

1/2 c Whole or Sliced Almonds, toasted (toasting is optional)

Homemade vinaigrette

1. Toss greens with vinaigrette. Then sprinkle on the cheese, craisins, and almonds. Serve and enjoy!

 

These are both delicious recipes! We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!

Plums are Purple, and Snickers are Sweet,

From my family to yours…