Monday, July 30, 2012

Bottled Pizza/Pasta Sauce

This is an excellent way to use up all of those tomatoes from the garden.  I particularly love this recipe because it has a lot of other veggies included, and still has a great taste.  We use ours primarily for pizza sauce, but it is also a great substitute for any marinara or spaghetti sauce for recipes.
If you don't have a pressure canner, this also freezes very well.

Bottled Pizza/Pasta Sauce
Menu Managed Original

20-25 slicing tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 1/2 onions
1 bell pepper (preferably red, orange or yellow)
4 carrots
1-2 stalks celery
2-3 jalapeno's, seeds and ribs included
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
4 Tbsp. minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 c. fresh basil leaves (or 2 Tbsp. dried)
1 large handful cilantro, chopped
2 cans tomato paste (optional)
balsamic vinegar

Blanch and peel tomatoes.
Chop tomatoes and drop into a large colander.
Let sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, to remove juice.

Meanwhile, chop remaining vegetables into large chunks.
Put tomatoes and veggies in a large pot and turn to medium-high heat.
Add seasonings and cider vinegar.
Bring to a boil and boil, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
With an immersion blender, blend everything until desired consistency - we like ours smooth (if you want a chunky sauce, you can use a potato masher).

Let simmer, uncovered, until sauce reduces to your desired thickness - at least 2 hours.
The longer you let it simmer, the thicker it will become.
Add tomato paste (optional), for an even thicker sauce.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add balsamic vinegar to hot pint or quart sized mason jars (1/2 tsp. for each pint, 1 tsp. for each quart).
Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1" headspace.
Remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula or knife.
Wipe rims clean and put on lids and screw bands, fingertip tight.

Process in pressure canner at 13 lbs. (Utah elevation); 15 minutes for pint jars, 20 for quarts.
Allow canner to release pressure naturally.
Remove from canner and place on towel to cool, tightening lids with hot pads.

Yields: ~14 cups (7 pints, or 3 1/2 quarts)
One pint jar makes enough sauce for 2 pizza's.

**If freezing:
Once sauce has reached your desired thickness, simply let it cool, place in freezer containers or bags, and freeze.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Coconut Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I dont make cookies very often; mostly because I end up being the only one to eat them.
Still, I have a plethora of 'recipes to try' in the cookie department.
But then I noticed these on pinterest, and they immediately jumped to the top of the list.
I even made them the next day (which is saying a lot).
I have thought about them ever since (which is saying even more).
They are delicious.  Enough said.

Coconut Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Recipe modified and Photo courtesy of Marta Writes

2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 rounded tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. rice krispies
1 3/4 c. chocolate chunks (or large chocolate chips)
1 3/4 c. sweetened coconut flakes

Beat butter and sugars until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Add dry ingredients and vanilla, until just mixed in.
Mix in rice krispies, chocolate chunks and coconut just until well dispersed.
Roll into balls (ping pong size), and place on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.
Transfer to wire racks after 1-2 minutes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lemon Zucchini Fettuccine

This is a perfect summer meal - light and refreshing.  And a great way to use up those hoards of zucchini!

Lemon Zucchini Fettuccine
Recipe from Our Best Bites Cookbook

2 large chicken breasts
2 lemons
1/4 c. + 3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 medium zucchini
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fettuccine
1/2 c. fresh basil (or 2 Tbsp. dried)
1/4 c. fresh oregano (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a ziplock bag, marinate chicken in 2 Tbsp. olive oil, the red wine vinegar, and the juice from 1 lemon for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Slice zucchini in half lengthwise.
Rub flesh side of zucchini with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat grill.
Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and place on grill over medium high heat.
Place zucchini, flesh side down over medium low heat.

When chicken is half way done, bring water to a boil.
In a small saucepan, place 1/4 c. olive oil and minced garlic.
Turn to medium low heat, slowly warming the oil to infuse with garlic (should not be popping or frying).
Chop herbs and zest both lemons - place in a large bowl.

When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
Remove chicken and zucchini from grill when finished cooking and set aside for 5 minutes.
Reserve about 1/2 c. pasta water before draining noodles.
Immediately pour noodles into large bowl with lemon zest and herbs.
Chop chicken and zucchini and add to noodles.
Juice the remaining lemon over everything.
Add the garlic/olive oil mixture and the cheese, and toss everything together.

If it seems to dry, you can add the reserved pasta water, as well as some additional lemon juice or olive oil.
Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Liquid Laundry Detergent

I have been making my own liquid laundry detergent for years now, and am completely satisfied with the results.  Not to mention that a years supply costs me under $10.

Liquid Laundry Detergent
1/2 bar Phels Naptha Soap
1/2 c. borax
1/2 c. washing soda
2 gallons+ sized bucket
32 c. water
25-30 drops essential oils (optional)

Grate soap.
In large sauce pan, heat 6 c. of water and grated soap.
Heat, stirring occasionally, until soap is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Add borax and washing soda.
Stir until completely dissolved.

In bucket, add 4 c. hot water.
Pour soap mixture into bucket and stir.

Add 22 c. of water to the bucket and stir.
Add essential oils and stir.

Let soap sit in bucket, undisturbed, for 24 hours so it can gel.
Stir to break up clumps and pour into containers.

Use 1/2 c. for each extra large load.

For more pictures with thorough detailed instructions, go here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Veggie Pizza

This vegetarian pizza is packed with flavor!  One of my favorites to make when the garden is full.
Veggie Pizza
Menu Managed Original

1 pizza dough
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. onion, chopped fine
1 slicing tomato, seeded
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, rough chop
1/2 small zucchini
1/2 small summer squash
 1/2 c. chopped red, orange or yellow bell pepper
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. pepperjack  or cheddar cheese
1 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese

Prepare pizza dough and roll out.
Mix olive oil with garlic and brush evenly over entire surface of dough.
Mix cheeses with Italian seasoning and spread half the mixture over pizza.
Thinly slice tomatoes (you may need to cut it in half and give it a slight squeeze to remove some of the juice).
Layer onions, basil leaves, zucchini, summer squash and bell pepper.
Top with remaining cheese mixture.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Microwave Corn on the Cob

My husband showed me a link on how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave, so I had to try it.
It is by far the easiest way to prepare it fresh on the cob, AND, the very best part is that it comes out entirely silk free!

Microwave Corn on the Cob
Place corn, un-husked, in microwave.
Microwave approximately 4 minutes per ear of corn.
Remove hot corn from microwave and cut in half at the bottom end of the ear.
Make sure you cut through corn, not just the stem end, like the picture below.

 Once bottom end is cut, grab the husk and silk at the top,

and gently pull up to remove it.

All of the silk will come off with the husk, and you will be left with a perfectly cooked and ready to eat ear of corn!

 Easy peasy!  Enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tuna Sandwich with Cabbage and Pickles

Great combination for flavor and crunch!

Tuna Sandwich with Cabbage and Pickles
1 can tuna, drained
1 large dill pickled, diced
1/2 c. diced cabbage
mayo, to desired consistency
salt and pepper to taste

Combine tuna, pickle and cabbage.
Mix in mayo to desired consistency.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These are deliciously refreshing.  The perfect summertime cookie.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Recipe modified from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar.
Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well.
Add salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour, until just combined.

Roll into tablespoon sized balls.
Roll in powdered sugar.

Place on a WELL GREASED cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.
Cookies should not be browned on the edges.

Makes 24-36 cookies.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cilantro Lime Chicken

This is a very easy marinade and it tastes delicious!
You can top your chicken with your favorite salsa (corn salsa pictured below), on top of rice, or just have it plain.  It is excellent either way!
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Recipe modified from Can you stay for Dinner?

1/4 c. lime juice
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and ribs removed
large handful cilantro
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
4 chicken breasts

Place all ingredients except chicken in a food processor and pulse several times until jalapeno is chopped and ingredients are combined.
Pour over chicken breasts.
Let marinate for 2-24 hours.
Grill chicken and serve with favorite salsa.