Because a Promise is a Promise!

Several weeks ago I made an announcement that once my  OneGreenTomato Facebook page reached 300 fans I would hold a giveaway;  307 fans later and I am ready to make good on that promise! I am a girl with many interests, three of them I am very passionate about: growing food (big surprise there), photography, and sewing.  The latter of the three is what I’m offering up as the prize!

In April of 2011, I started making reusable mesh produce bags.  I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to reduce the amount of single-use plastic blowing around and still look good while doing it?  Well, I recently restocked those virtual shop shelves and decided to offer up a medium-sized mesh bag as a giveaway prize!  My produce bags are constructed from a durable light-weight, utility mesh and feature a stylish fabric casing with a hand-crocheted drawstring closure.  They come in small, medium, and large sizes and are available in sets of three!

produce bag banner

One lucky reader/fan will win the bag shown in the picture below!

Red Paisley GA Bag banner

Here are the rules:  This Contest is now Closed

bag winnerCongrats Susan!  Comment #3 is you.  Please email feralfarmgirl at gmail your address and I will place your bag into the mail! :)

Mandatory Entry, leave a comment on this post letting me know what delicious produce you would fill your bag with should you win!

For additional entries you can do ANY OR ALL of the following:

Friend Pixy Patch on Facebook, and repost this on your Facebook page, then comment letting me know you did so.

Sign up to follow Twisted Threads, then leave a comment stating you did so.  If you are already a subscriber, just comment letting me know.

Sign up to receive email notices when new blog posts on OneGreenTomato are available, then comment letting me know you did so.

Friend OneGreenTomato on Facebook, then comment letting me know you did so.

Retweet this post, leave a comment including your Twitter id.

Reblog this post, leave a comment letting me know you did so.

Okay, that’s a total of 7 chances to win!  Just make sure you leave a separate comment for each of the different entries!  The winner will be chosen, at random, on Tuesday June 25th!

Good Luck and Happy Summer Solstice!

 

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Strawberry Fields Part 1: Compote

Two weeks ago I ventured across the river to my friend’s farm.  There, I spent my Sunday morning alone in the quiet fields picking the essence of Summer: sun-ripened, perfectly sweetened strawberries.  Last Sunday I did the exact same thing.  In total my efforts yielded 50 quarts, which translated into hours and hours of washing, hulling, and preserving Summer’s most sought after fruit!

quart containers

In preparation for the harvest I was planning on bringing home, I started formulating my plan of action.  I had already decided that half of my fruitage would end up frozen to be enjoyed in the off-season, and there was definitely going to be a lot of shortcake baking taking place, which eliminated several more quarts.  Now, what to do with the rest?  After flipping through my collection of food preservation books, I finally narrowed it down to three mouth-watering recipes.  First up: strawberry orange compote.  Oh yes!

strawberry compote jar-spoonStrawberry Orange Compote – yields 8 half-pint jars

4 quarts of strawberries, hulled and quartered

grated zest and juice of one lemon

grated zest and juice of one orange

2 cups granulated sugar

In a large pot combine strawberries, sugar, orange and lemon juices and their zest; bring to a simmer over med-high heat, stirring often.  Lower the heat to a minimum and gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.  You will end up with a slightly reduced, but still runny mixture.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace; remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, adjust for elevation.

strawberries & sauce

So far my favorite way to enjoy this slightly sweetened sauce is drizzled over a bowl of creamy vanilla bean ice cream.  Absolute heaven if you ask me!

ice cream & sauce

I also canned a batch where I excluded the zest, therefore reducing the pectin content, which resulted in a slightly looser, but equally delicious sauce.

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Tart and Sweet – 101 canning and pickling recipes for the modern kitchen by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.

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German Apple Puff Pancake

Several weeks ago I (re)found a stack of folders containing hundreds of recipes that I had squirreled away.  Initially, these folders were completely forgotten about until last Fall when I had packed them up in preparation for moving.  Finally, I took some time to go through all those folders… thank you productivity stopping headache!

Always on the lookout for something delicious to start my day off with, I found an old print-out for German apple puff pancakes.  What I had envisioned in my head (fluffy pancakes with a layer of apples on the bottom) was completely different from the end result.  Turns out I was very much okay with that!

GAPP top1_wmbOGT

German Apple Puff Pancake

2 medium firm apples, cored, peeled, and sliced 1/4″ thick

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp sugar

1 1/2 Tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

splash of vanilla

Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a small bowl mix cinnamon and sugar, set aside.  Peel apples and cut into 1/4″ slices.  Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet; add enough apples so that the bottom of the skillet is covered.  Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly over apples and sauté until they become soft and light brown on both sides, approximately 4-5 minutes.

Gently mix remaining ingredients into a smooth batter and pour over-top apples.  Place skillet into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  DO NOT open the oven door while your puff pancake is baking, instead, use the oven light to see if it is done.  Once the pancake no longer appears wet it is done.

To serve, invert skillet over a large round plate.  It helps to run a metal spatula along the underside before flipping, this way the apples do not stick to the bottom.

I’m definitely making this again, and most likely it will be tomorrow!  However, this time I think I’m going to slice up some of my canned peaches instead of apples.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from the magical melting pot blog (no longer available).

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Apple Butter

Many moons ago, I cooked up my first batch of apple butter.  It was surprisingly simple and tasted better than anything I had growing up; and from what I remember, the jars my mom would bring home tasted pretty darn amazing!  This no-fail low-maintenance method is my constant go-to when making apple butter.  It is so easy you’ll wonder why anyone would choose a different route!

If you want to make apple butter, the first thing you need to do is make applesauce: reada perfect recipe for putting up during the off-season!  The directions for unsweetened applesauce are in the beginning of the linked recipe; although, I highly encourage anyone who loves vanilla and maple to make the “awesome sauce”.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed!  When apples come into season this year, I’m making a batch of vanilla-maple apple butter!

apple butter

Apple Butteryields approximately 9 pints

9 qts unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground allspice

4 cups sugar

Place 6 qts of applesauce in your slow-cooker (or however much fills it to within 1-inch of the rim), add the spices and 2 cups of sugar; mix well.  Set heat to high and cook for an hour with the lid vented; resting the lid on a long wooden spoon works well.   Reduce the heat to low and allow to continue cooking for an additional 8-10 hours.

Once the mixture has been reduced by half, add the remaining applesauce and sugar.  Stir and cook several more hours allowing the flavors to mix.  When the apple butter has reached your desired thickness, using an immersion blender, purée mixture into a creamy consistency.  Ladle into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars and remove air bubbles; wipe rims, add two-piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or for as long as your altitude requires.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of PickYourOwn.org.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Fruit Butter

Johnny Appleseed in a Jar

A cultural icon; forbidden fruit.  The apple has quite a history!  It also happens to be one of my favorite foods to put up.  Dried, sauced, buttered, and baked, the delicious possibilities are endless!  Last fall was the first time I had canned my apple pie filling.  In years past I would follow the recipe given below but instead of processing in a bwb, I allowed the mixture to cool and then filled Ziploc bags with 2.5 cups filling and froze for future baking needs.  If you decide that the freezing method is the way to go, just be sure to follow this oh-so-important final step before filling your pie shell or else your pie will become a watery mess!  Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup clear jell; the additional sugar keeps the clear jell from clumping when added to the filling.  Stir mixture on medium-high until thickened.

apples & filling

Apple Pie Filling– yields 7 quarts

6 quarts fresh apples – in case you’re wondering, Cortland apples make the best pies!

5 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups clear jell – cook type

2 1/2 cups cold water

5 cups apple juice

3/4 cup bottled lemon juice

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Wash, peel, and core your apples.  I use one of these nifty all-in-one contraptions and wouldn’t have it any other way!  Last fall I canned apple mincemeat and prepared my apples by hand; NEVER AGAIN will I make that mistake!  Not only did it take forever, but my hands were so tired!

Place apple slices in a large bowl of water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning, drain, and set aside.

In a large pot combine sugar, clear jell, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and apple juice.  Stir ingredients until well blended and cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Fold in drained apple slices, mix well and immediately fill prepared jars leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids, and process in a boiling-water bath for 25 minutes.  Remove jars and place on a wire rack, undisturbed for 12-24 hours, so seals may properly set.

pie filling

I cracked open my first jar about 2 weeks ago for a baking adventure and I was very pleased with the outcome.  Unfortunately, before I can share that delicious recipe I first need to share the two canned stars that made it shine!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning and Food Preservation.

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Filed under Baking, Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Freezing

Super Citrus Marmalade

citrus bowl

I love the bright, vibrant flavor of fresh citrus; a true spirit lifter when the doldrums of winter creep in.  Wanting to maximize the season, I put up several recipes this year including a double batch of this favorite from last year’s citrus season.  But the end is coming near and this is so bitter-sweet, just like taste of this delicious multifruit marmalade.

4 citrus marm

Super Citrus Marmalade – yields 5 half-pint jars

4 lbs assorted citrus fruit: I selected 2 lemons, 1 pink grapefruit, 2 tangelos, and 3 blood oranges.

6 cups granulated sugar

Wash the fruit in warm, soapy water and pat dry.  Remove the zest from the fruit with a serrated-edge peeler.  Be careful to not remove too much pith or your marm will end up bitter.

skinned citrus

Stack the zest peels and chop into small pieces; in a large pot combine zest and 2 qts of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Supreme fruit by cutting away the pith, and then segment to remove from membranes.  Be sure to do this over a large bowl so you can collect the juice.  Remove seeds and set aside.

peeled citrus

Bundle seeds in cheesecloth and securely tie the ends so they cannot escape.  Drain zest in a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the cooking liquid.  Combine zest, segmented citrus and juice, 4 cups of the cooking liquid, sugar, and bundled seeds.  Bring to a hard boil and cook until the mixture reaches 220°F, approximately 35-40 minutes.  Be sure to stir regularly to prevent contents from scorching.

Once the marmalade has reached your desired set, turn off the heat and remove the cheesecloth bundle.  Ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from canner and allow to cool on a wire rack, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals may properly set.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan.

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Muffin Madness

Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted nothing more than to spend every available minute in the kitchen. And with the exception of a few domestic chores, that is exactly what I did! I’ve had muffins floating around my brain for the past few weeks and decided the time had finally come to test out a few ideas.

It’s no secret that I have a wicked sweet tooth! I put too much sugar in my coffee, cake is my favorite food, and if allowed I could easily put down back-to-back pints of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and Half Baked. Yeah, it’s that serious. Fortunately, I posses enough self-control to keep myself from going overboard! I’ve found that a daily dose of sweetness is just enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. So when I was dreaming up healthy alternatives to the cake-like muffins I really wanted to make, I was reminded of all my jams and jellies quietly calling out to me from the basement.

jam-filled almond oat muffins

Jam-Filled Almond Oat Muffins

1 cup AP flour

1 1/4 cup oat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup vanilla soy milk

1/2 cup light brown sugar

the fresh-squeezed juice from a medium-sized orange (approximately 1/4 cup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/3 cup fruit butter, jam, or jelly of your choice (I used blueberry butter and peach butter)

sliced raw almonds

granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, oil, and orange juice.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until barely blended; be careful to not over-mix the batter or your muffins will become tough.  In a separate bowl mix fruit spread and almond extract.  Fill muffin cups halfway with batter and spoon in 1 tsp of the fruit spread, then top off with more batter.  Lightly dust on a bit of granulated sugar and a sprinkling of sliced almonds.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool 5-10 before eating.

Recipe yields approximately 14 muffins.

strawberry banana oat muffins

Strawberry Banana Wheat Bran Muffins

3/4 cup AP flour

1 cup oat flour

1 cup wheat bran

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 cup vanilla soy milk

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup mashed strawberries (frozen and then thawed work best for mashing)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl mix eggs and brown sugar until smooth; add milk, vanilla, wheat bran, oil, bananas, and strawberries and mix until well incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until barely blended; be careful to not over-mix the batter or your muffins will become tough.  Pour into muffin cups and lightly dust on a bit of granulated sugar and top off with a strawberry.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool 5-10 before eating.

Recipe yields approximately 18 muffins.

Both of my taste-testers were very happy with the outcome of these recipes, so much so that one suggested I open a bakery.  While I don’t think they are that amazing, judging by the ratio of eaten to non-eaten muffins left on the counter, I had better make another batch, SOON!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

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Some Like it Hot-Hot-Hot

Looking back, it was around 2005 when my love affair with capsaicin began.  During this time I could be found wearing mandarin collars and stunning imported silks, mainly because I was a server in one of my best friend’s family owned restaurants.  Sukhothai started it all.

Ever since, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to heat things up in the kitchen… and in the garden!  For the past 3 years I’ve grown Chinese Five Color peppers and this year will be no different.  Not only do these little babies pack a serious heat-punch, they also add a burst of vibrant color anywhere that needs a little livening up!

Chinese 5 color peppers

Last fall, I made the strategic decision to head over the river and through the woods and set up camp in my old stomping grounds… but not without first harvesting all my remaining produce still growing about the property!  With several quart boxes in tow, I was now faced with the challenge of preserving these bright beauties to be savored during the cold winter months.  In years past I’ve both frozen and dehydrated them, but never have I pickled them!

pickled peppers

Pickled Peppers

4 qts peppers – I used Chinese Five Color

4 cups distilled white vinegar

4 cups water

4 tsp pickling salt

olive oil

Wash peppers thoroughly.  Remove core, seeds, and stems of large peppers and coin; small peppers can be processed whole with stems intact.  Make 2 small slits in whole peppers.

Mix vinegar and water; heat to boiling.  Be careful to not boil your vinegar too long as it is rather volatile.  Tightly pack peppers into sterile, hot jars and pour the vinegar-water on top, leaving 3/4″ headspace.  Add 1/4″ olive oil and a pinch of salt, if desired.  Wipe rims, add two-piece adjustable lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and place on a wire rack for 12-24 hours, undisturbed, so seals may properly set.

Makes 8 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Putting Food By

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Southwestern Pot Pie

Sooooo, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted.  Yes, I know you are aware of that.  However, in my defense, mid-September I packed up and moved out.  Yep.  Left it all behind.  Over the river and through the woods I went.  Literally.  Then, in October I was promoted.  A good career move?  Yes indeed!  Is it incredibly stressful?  YOU BETCHA!  I traded in a 500 mile/week commute for 60.  Unfortunately, I’m still putting in the same amount of hours.  This is still a good thing.  No really.  It is.

So, with the new life and new work comes less time and I’m surprisingly ok with that.  I’m spending my time living, laughing, and loving.  This is a very good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think about the blog.  A lot.  Every time I embark on a new canning adventure, or cook up something delicious I want to share it with you.  Really, I do.  But then days turn into weeks, and weeks fade into months; then, the season has passed.  And in my draft que those forgotten posts hibernate until their season of plenty returns.

Now you know where I’ve been and why the blog is so quiet.  It’s not that I’m no longer canning, preserving, and obsessing over food, because I am.  TRUST ME!  I just lack the required time to write about it.  Now that my days are darker and the air is colder I’m hoping to change that.  But, I make no promises.

We can thank my bestie for giving birth and a much needed 4 day holiday weekend for this very tasty season-appropriate recipe.  Friday I headed back over the river and through the woods toting food and a few other necessities, in exchange for cuddles with that sweet little baby boy.  She and the hubs had lunch and dinner, I got to feed, rock, and snuggle baby Grey!

Southwestern Pot Pie

1 pt tomato salsa

1 pt Spicy V8

1/2 pt water

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed.

1 butternut squash neck, peeled and cubed.

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup kidney beans

1 cup northern beans

1 cup corn

a light sprinkling of cinnamon

olive oil

1 small box cornbread mix

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

In a large pot heat oil over med-high heat and add onion; sauté until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in sweet potato, squash, salsa, water, V8, and cinnamon.  Heat mixture until boiling.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until potatoes and squash are tender.  Stir in corn and beans.

In a medium bowl combine cornbread mix, milk, and egg.  Spoon on top of vegetable mixture.  Cover; simmer approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Images and content copyright © 2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian

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Corn Cob Stock

Often I find myself wondering how something so simple can be so delicious?  That very question was running through my mind as I was putting up another waste-not-want-not recipe.

Several weeks ago I stopped by the farm to pick up my yearly bounty of sweet corn.  Typically, I freeze the kernels and the cobs are cooked down and transformed into a sweet, honey-like jelly; this year, however, I wanted to do something a little different!  Yes, corn was still frozen and cobs were cooked, but instead of adding sugar and making jelly I jarred that savory, sunbeam-yellow liquid and canned a big ol’ batch of stock!  Three gallons to be precise!

This recipe is soooo easy-peasy; you need just two simple ingredients: corn cobs and water.  That’s it!

Corn Cob Stock

Corn Cobs

Water

Place cobs into a large stock pot and cover with one inch of water; you may need to cut your cobs in half to get them to fit.  Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes.  Strain liquid through several layers of cheese cloth or a coffee filter.  Fill sterilized pint and or quart jars, reserving 1/2″ headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process at 10 pounds in a pressure canner for 20 minutes.  Place jars on a wire rack and allow to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals may properly set.

Corn cob stock must be pressure canned to ensure safe shelf-stability.  If you do not own a pressure canner you can freeze it, just be sure to allow enough headspace so your jars do not break as the liquid freezes and expands!

I probably used anywhere from 24-30 cobs to make my stock, but I also had two large stock pots reducing at once!  I knew this was going to be delicious so a double batch was definitely in order!

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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