Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sweet Potato Minestrone

I found this recipe at an online group.

Sweet Potato Minestrone

10 cups chopped, cored peeled tomatoes (I use ones that I have frozen from the garden)

6   cups cubed, peeled sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs)
4   cups diced carrots (about 1 lb)
4   cups green beans (2lbs frozen)
3   cups diced celery (6 ribs)
4   cups diced onion (3 medium / large)
1   pint tomato juice (Ok to replace with canned tomato sauce)
4   cups water
1   Tbsp. dry minced garlic
2   Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2   Tbsp. canning salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Combine all in a large stock pot. Bring up to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1" headspace. Process at 10/11# pressure (or as adjusted for your altitude) for 90 minutes.

Makes 7 quarts

Almond Flax Bread

I found this recipe at Healy Real Food Vegetarian.  I look forward to trying it.  It only makes one loaf, so I am sure I'll double it. 

Almond Flax Bread
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs beaten
2 tsp honey, optional
1/2 tsp raw cider vinegar
butter, to grease a loaf pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°.
  2. Grease a loaf pan.
  3. Mix all ingredients together until thoroughly combined, then pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 300° for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread’s center comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely before serving.
Makes 1 loaf

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Super-Fast Meat Recipe

Busy days happen more often than I like. One of my favorite go-to meals is recipe-less, but I will describe it here. 

I buy less expensive cuts of meat and slice them into strips. This is similar to a fajita-style slice.  It doesn't really matter how thick or long they are. I make them bite sized strips, personally.  This I freeze in 2-3 pound portions, flattened into a gallon sized bag.  This thaws quickly when allowed to sit in warm water.  I can be cooking ten minutes after I take a package out of the freezer. 

If I am serving a rice dish, I start it first, because the meat cooks fast.  I also put on veggies to steam. I always serve a green salad, too.

I melt a generous amount of bacon grease or home-rendered tallow in a cast iron skillet and add the meat. I sprinkle it well with A&D spice mixture that I buy from a local company. It's a proprietary blend, so there's no recipe available, but you can order some at the link. I use it for beef, chicken and beans. It's an excellent quality, no MSG blend.  If you don't have a favorite blend, use salt, pepper, chili powder, onion and/or garlic powders, etc. to season to suit your tastes. 

Cook and stir over medium-high heat until done. The time required depends on how thick you cut your meat. Mine takes less than ten minutes.  Serve with the veggies, salad and side dish of your choice and you have a super quick, nourishing homemade meal! 

Any leftover meat (does that happen ever? HA!) is great cut up and served in eggs the next morning. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2012 Canning Inventory

For the third year in a row, I have kept track of my canning numbers. It's been incredible helpful in planning what to make. Last year I made such an abundance of jams that I made very few this year.  This year I experimented with canning some sauces that I usually make fresh batch-by-batch.  The results were mixed.  I've also found that my children prefer chunky picante to smooth, so I need to increase those.  Canned chicken and canned stew meat are now indispensable and will be a focus of next year's canning.  

2012 Canning Inventory

7 pints  Creamsicle
19 pints  pizza sauce
13 quarts  chicken meat
75 quarts  pinto beans
14 quarts Ranch beans
14 quarts  ham and bean soup
8 1/2 pints Flamin’ Taco Sauce
5 quarts enchilada sauce
6 quarts  spaghetti sauce
8 pints  Banberry jam
7 quarts  chicken soup
7 quarts  meat chili
5 1/2 pints BBQ sauce
8 pint+1/2 dilly carrots
9 pint+1/2 dilly beans
7 pints apricots
2 pints  mixed berry jam
8 quarts  chicken broth
22 quarts zucchini salsa (given to K.)
19 quarts zucchini salsa
21 quarts zucchini sausage soup
4 pints  black eyed peas
5 quarts  chunky picante
2 quarts Vintage salsa
4 pints Vintage salsa (gifted to E.)
6 pints pickled peppers
6 pints pickled peppers (made with L.)
58 quarts  green beans
7 quarts potatoes
2 quarts beef broth
1 quart mixed beef and chicken broth
11 quarts smooth picante
10 quarts  applesauce
14 quarts pear applesauce
7 quarts stew meat
7 pints apple butter
3 1/2 pints cranberry sauce
14 quarts turkey broth

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Almond Flour Pound Cake

I can't remember where I found this recipe, but it is excellent!  Luckily, I gave the recipe to my friend Michelle before I lost track of it.  She sent it back to me and I am posting it here to make sure I don't lose this gem again!  I pair it with a cream cheese frosting and it's divine!

Almond Flour Pound Cake
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar (or substitute)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups almond flour 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon flavoring ( 5 Teaspoons for Lemon Cake)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cream the butter and sugar (or substitute) until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
3. Mix flour with baking powder and add to egg mixture a little at a time while mixing. Add lemon and vanilla flavorings.
4. Pour into greased nine inch cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.