Category: Canning

My Kitchen is Getting Lots of Action

garden tomatoes and zuchinniWith summer comes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, carrots, herbs, and zucchini.  I love gardening, and reaping the benefits of having fresh veggies, yet at the same time, it can sometimes be overwhelming.  A few weeks back, I posted some of my favorite recipes that use both tomatoes and zucchini.  And again today I’ll be posting similar recipes.  Here’s what will be happening in my kitchen this weekend:

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

This recipe calls for one cup of tomato puree.  To make fresh tomato puree, pass quartered tomatoes through a food mill.  If you do not have a food mill, blanch, peel, core, seed, and chop tomatoes.  Place in a colander and let drain.  Discard liquid and puree tomatoes in a food processor.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad

We top this salad with a yummy Asiago, Parmesan, or Pecorino cheese.  We just use what ever is around the house.  Also, the other day we made it with toasted cashews instead of toasted almonds, and it was delicious!

Carrot Cake Jam

This will be my first time making this recipe.  A neighbor and friend of mine highly recommends it.  We will harvest the carrots from our garden, and get the pears from farmer’s market.  Yum, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Lastly, we will also be freezing peaches, making a Chiles Rellenos dish of some sort, making and freezing basil pesto ice cubes, and making some of my famous sugar verbena pesto which we use in margaritas.

Would you like to come over and help clean my kitchen after?

Garden Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

It’s that time of year again, where the harvested vegetables from the garden are more than we can handle.  And lucky for me, my husband likes to can.  Lately, he has been canning garden salsa with black beans and corn.

(Note: If you don’t garden, check out your local farmer’s market, they will have everything you need for the two recipes below.)

Canning Salsa

Garden Salsa with Black Beans and Corn


20-25 tomatoes
8-10 peppers (we used about 4 small Bell peppers, 2-3 Anaheim, and 2-3 Jalapenos)
2 onions
1/2 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
6-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons cumin
2-3 tablespoons chili powder
2-3 teaspoons red pepper
3 cups corn (cooked and cut off the husks)
1 can black beans drained
salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons sugar


  1. Cut the tomatoes, peppers and onions in half, and roast them on the grill.
  2. When the vegetables are fully grilled, and lightly blackened, pull the vegetables from the grill.  Place the tomatoes in their own separate bowl to let the juices drain.
  3. When the vegetables from the grill have cooled, in batches, food process the drained tomatoes and grilled vegetables, along with the olive oil. Set aside.
  4. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the garlic until fragrant.  About 1 minute.
  5. Add the chili powder, red pepper and cumin and cook for another minute or until fragrant.
  6. Add the corn, drained black beans, and the food processed garden vegetable mixture from before.  Stir well.  Add the sugar and salt, and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

The salsa is now finished.  From here you can eat it fresh, can it, store it in the fridge, freeze it, or use it in your favorite Mexican recipe.  I’ve included our favorite veggie skillet burrito recipe below.

When canning I use the boiling-water method.  Basically you ladle the hot salsa into hot jars, leaving about 1/4 inch head space.  Put on the two-piece caps and boil for 15 minutes in a pot of boiling water, the jars should be totally immersed in water.

Here are some helpful links…

Leaning how to can

16 Homemade Salsa Recipes & Canning Tips

Making and Canning Homemade Salsa
.Veggie Burritos

Veggie Skillet Burritos


1 quart jar of garden salsa with black beans and corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 eggplants
2-3 squashes (yellow crock-neck and zucchini)
1 yellow onion
1-2 peppers
8 flour tortillas
1 bag shredded cheese


  1. Chop the veggies (eggplant, squash, peppers, and onions) into small bite-size pieces.  Heat a skillet with olive oil and butter.  Cook the veggies and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix in 3/4 of the quart jar of garden salsa with black beans and corn.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is hot.  Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Heat up a clean, non-stick skillet.  Throw in a handful of shredded cheese.  As the cheese starts to melt, put a warm tortilla on top and press the tortilla down into the melting cheese.  Keep spinning and pushing the tortilla into the cheese until the cheese is sticking to the tortilla instead of the pan.  Flip the tortilla over and cook briefly, warming it and toasting it lightly.  Repeat this process for all 8 tortillas, making just one at a time.  Set the tortillas aside and keep warm.
  4. Fold each tortilla in half and fill with the vegetable mixture.  Top with a tablespoon of left over salsa and a handful of cheese.  Toast in the oven and serve immediately.

You will not believe how good this recipe is.  Give it a try and let us know what you think!  Enjoy!

All the Things I Love

Yesterday was a day filled with all the things I love: playing in the garden with my daughter, a walk around the neighborhood, cooking, sewing, a glass of wine, and a nice dinner with my family.

On the outside it really doesn’t seem like anything extraordinary, but to me, it’s days like these that make me look down on my life and smile.

Garden eggplant, basil and tomatoes

This was my harvest for the day. Dinner? Eggplant Parmesan!

Overgrown garden

It seems things are growing right before my eyes. Everyday both the garden and my daughter are bigger than the day before.

Child getting into cabinets

Monet loves to "help" in the kitchen. While she occupied herself by playing in the drawers and cabinets, I made homemade tomato sauce.

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe:

  • First, remove the skins from a large bowl full of tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is to cook the tomatoes in a pot full of boiling water for 1-2 minute and then immediately submerge them in ice water. The skins should come right off.  Next you need to quarter the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and let them drain in a colander for about 15 minutes, pushing the juices out every few minutes.
  • Start cooking the skinned and pitted tomatoes in a big pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a fry pan, cook up one large onion, four cloves of garlic, olive oil, and 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in olive oil). Cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add salt, pepper, a little cayenne, a spoonful of sugar, and 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar to the fry pan. Cook for one more minute.
  • Add the onion mixture to the pot full of tomatoes and stew for 1-3 hours, until the sauce is to your desired thickness.
  • Add freshly chopped basil and Parmesan cheese before you serve over noodles.

Last night I used this sauce, along with the eggplants from my garden, to make  Martha Stewart’s Baked-Eggplant Parmesan. So good!

And then the three of us, my hubby, Monet and I, enjoyed a nice dinner together.

Because people, smiles and laughter, more than anything else, is truly what makes a house a home, I hope you enjoyed this weeks “moment”…

om [one moment] meet upOM is *one moment* and is a meetup designed to notice & relish a moment in everyday life. The meetup idea was created by Linda at her blog, a la mode stuff.  If you’d like to participate in OM, just click the button and you’ll be taken to Linda’s post explaining it all.