adventures in home canning: salsa edition

Adventures in home canning

Just in case you didn’t read the last 3 posts, we have waaaaay too many peppers this year and don’t know what to do with them. From hot sauce to pickled jalapenos now we are giving a go at making a salsa for home canning.

Ingredients:

  • 23-24 roma (paste) tomatoes (roasted on the grill)
  • 1+ tbsp olive oil of your choosing (the + is for coating the tomatoes)
  • 1/2 purple onion, finely diced
  • 8-10 serrano peppers, minced w/seeds in; adjust that for your heat tolerance
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of cilantro (before chopping)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

1. prep the tomatoes

Heat up a grill to medium/medium high heat. Coat the tomatoes in an olive oil of your choosing; I used a chipotle infused olive oil. Place tomatoes on grill then roast them until skins start to blacken in spots and tomatoes become a little bit soft. You don’t want them too soft as they’ll just turn to mush. Set aside to cool. Once cool cut the top of the cores out and place in a blender and puree.

2. make salsa

Heat a large sauce pan to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and heat it up. Add the garlic, onion, and peppers to the pan. As they start to sweat add the cumin and chile powders, stir so that they are well coated. Add the tomatoes and vinegars and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add salt.

3. can that s*!t

Follow directions for your preferred method of canning. We used the water bath canning method, which we tried our best to follow Ball’s recommendations. Sanitize your jars and lids and keep warm while you prepare the food above (we used our dishwasher to sanitize and heat). Prepare a large pot for canning and bring that water to a boil. Once the salsa is ready add it to the jars, put lids on, and put them in water bath. Follow the recommendations of time for the jar size you are using and altitude you are cooking at. Once done, remove and set aside for 12-24 hours. Store in a cool place; we’re talking about temperature here not a fashionable location.

4. Is this a tested canning recipe?

No. It is based on many other tested recipes. From what I can tell is that the key to canning salsa is an addition of about 5% acid (vinegar or lemon juice) and making sure it is brought to a boil. There are lots of recipes published by university agriculture programs out there that break down how to calculate the addition of acid to your salsa. We will update this post months from now after we crack a jar open and consume it. If we don’t get sick, success. If we do get sick, yeah diarrhea!

by Ryan | 09.01.14 | Garden, Recipes | No Comments »

valerie picked a peck of pickled peppers

Pickled jalapeños

Our jalapeno plant has been rocking it this summer (along with our serrano, bell pepper plants, and our habanero) and since I am a fan of a good pickled jalapeno – especially on some homemade nachos, yum! – we decided to make our own jar of them. I don’t know why we’ve never done this before as it was fairly easy. The hard part for me will be waiting long enough to let them properly pickle and pick up all those amazing flavors sitting in the jar before I put them in my belly! Here’s our recipe below…

~2 cups chopped jalapenos (round slices)

seasoning

  • ½ tsp mexican oregano
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp cumin seed
  • ¼ tsp coriander seed

brine

  • equal parts distilled white vinegar & water (about 3/4 cup each)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • a little salt

Add seasoning into the bottom of a mason jar (preferably one that has been well sanitized). Add the jalapenos on top of the seasoning. Set aside. In a sauce pan add brine ingredients and heat until just before boiling. Pour brine over the top of the jalapenos into the mason jar. Let cool and refrigerate or can them.

Pickled jalapeños

Pickled jalapeños

by Valerie | 08.30.14 | Garden, Recipes | No Comments »

hot sawwwwwwwse

Homemade hot sauce

What do you do when you have A LOT of serrano peppers from your garden? If you’re us, you take your first crack at making homemade hot sauce. And I think it was a smashing success too; peppery, hot, and packed with flavor and we picked the peppers right from our own backyard! Here’s our recipe below…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
  • 22 serrano peppers
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water (1/2 for cooking, 1/2 for sauce)
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2+ tsp of molasses
  • salt

Sauté onions, peppers, and garlic, until they start getting soft and slightly caramelized. Add 1/2 cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer until little liquid is in the pan. Add red wine vinegar and molasses, set aside to cool. In food processor add pepper mixture and puree while adding vinegar and water until you get the texture you want. Salt to taste.

Homemade hot sauce

Making homemade hot sauce with garden peppers

by Valerie | 08.30.14 | Garden, Recipes | No Comments »

pick a peck of (not pickled) peppers

Garden peppers

We scaled back what we planted in our garden this year (no lettuce or beans) and tried to make it a bit easier on ourselves by planting more flowers in lieu of veggies. We also dedicated an entire garden box to just peppers (red bell, green bell, and purple bell, jalapeño, serrano, and habanero); our peppers seem to be quite happy as I can’t remember ever getting so many (especially serrano) peppers off of one pepper plant from our garden before! Luckily, Ryan is pretty good at making salsa – so with our plethora of peppers and a bag full of farmer’s market tomatillos, he whipped up some darn good salsa verde the other night. Honestly, I probably could’ve eaten it with a spoon or just drank it from a cup…that’s how much I like it. Which now brings us to the point where we’re going to have to preserve these peppers in some way (Ryan is generally not a fan of pickled things) or take a crack at actually properly canning prepared food like salsa so that we can enjoy it throughout the year. To be continued…

by Valerie | 08.27.14 | Garden | No Comments »

Weekend haps

Mini golf

We’ve had quite the fun-filled weekend! Stumbled upon the car show in downtown Ann Arbor by accident really as we were there for the Open Book launch party at Literati for Ryan & Leslie. Mini golf. Got some new plants and found a use for my grandparents old plant hanger – it’s nice to have something that was theirs in our home. And we found some fun stuff at an estate sale in town on Saturday, including this sweet little Danish demitasse cup and saucer pictured below, vintage Coors porcelain labware, some beautiful wool fabric, and Pflatzgraff TWA bread plates. Now we’re heading to the pub to watch the final World Cup match between Germany and Argentina. Last, but certainly not least, enjoying some sundaes on Sunday.

Demitasse

Grandparents' plant hanger

Sundaes on Sunday

by Valerie | 07.13.14 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Work | No Comments »

Garden goodies

Garden herbs

We were out of town for about 2 weeks & returned to a very happy herb garden which needed some trimming/taming. One of the first things I did when we got home was cut some fresh dill, basil, mint, oregano, and thyme and put them in vases all over the house – not only do they look pretty, but they smell wonderful too. Happy gardening!

Garden herbs

by Valerie | 07.09.14 | Around our home, Garden | No Comments »

weekend fun

Summer patio

We had a fun and productive holiday weekend in which we found ourselves enjoying some r&r time with friends, good food (grilled peaches that were a little like this and our own, revised version of this potato salad which we used this tasty hatch chile pesto on – yum!), visited Maker Works to use their laser cutter for this project Ryan’s working on, and we got our garden planted. Filling up our garden boxes this year are: sugar snap peas, tomatoes (Fantastic, Green Zebra, and Grape), lots of herbs (varieties of thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, chives, spearmint, and orange mint), lots of pepper varieties, and flowers (Salvia, Marigolds, and Gazania). I find myself enjoying my little corner of the world more and more these days – the fact that the world is so very green and everything is blooming again certainly doesn’t hurt!

Summer patio

Summer planting

My little green corner of the world

And the award for 2014 laser cut glasses model goes to…

2014 laser cut glasses model of the year ;-)

by Valerie | 05.27.14 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Recipes, Work | No Comments »

spring spruce up

Spring planting

We spent two long days over the weekend doing lots of yard work and it felt great to tackle some of those projects! We’re trying to get grass to grow in on our lawn where it needs it (crossing my fingers it works this time), put down some new mulch and pavers for border, and planted some flowers (I’m so excited to have a peony and some lenten roses to enjoy) which I’m hoping will do well – nice to have some color in the yard for spring.

Lenten Rose

Spring planting

by Valerie | 04.28.14 | Around our home, Garden | No Comments »

Remedy

Last weekend I got hit with a cold and I’m still trying to get over it. I know I shouldn’t complain – there are much worse problems in the world than my measly little cold virus. You know how some people seem to handle getting sick with a cold or flu so well? They don’t make a big fuss and have some magic way of quickly getting over it – chicken noodle soup, hot tea, vitamin C, rest, witchcraft or whatever. Well I’m not one of those people – all I want to do is crawl into my pj’s and never leave my house while I sleep, drink hot tea, and eat soup for every meal (I may be exaggerating slightly, but you get the point). Ryan is always doing nice things for me and being generally amazing so when I said I’d been craving some spicy, sweet potato soup he was nice enough to indulge me and that soup is currently bubbling on our stove as I type this – win!

We posted another version of this soup here. The soup we made today doesn’t have many ingredients (sweet potatoes, yellow onions, garlic cloves, honey, canned chipotle peppers, vegetable stock, and a dash of salt) and honey is one of them – it’s spicy and savory and a little sweet all at the same time. Did you know that September is National Honey Month? I didn’t, until recently when I read this article. And if I ever wanted to buy something nice to store my honey in, I think it would have to be this.

Also, we planted yellow onions in our garden this summer which we harvested and are now using – we even added some to the soup. I think the color of these onion skins is gorgeous.

by Valerie | 09.29.13 | Garden, Recipes | 2 Comments »

Week(end) report

Here’s what we’ve been up to this week… This happened where I work; very exciting to have personally witnessed this not once, but twice at the Ross School of Business. Ryan successfully completed his first mountain bike event: Triple Trail Challenge. I cut more hydrangeas from our garden, which are changing from the pale green color they start with to a beautiful dusty pink at the tips of the petals, and picked more tomatoes. Our fall blooming clematis are now blooming. Starting to think about making some chili soon, once it cools off a bit more. Bought our first fresh apple cider from Dexter Cider Mill for the fall – you haven’t had cider until you’ve had it fresh, and from Dexter Cider Mill it’s pretty amazing! Melody likes to squeeze onto the small rug under our coffee table and lay in the sun. Texas Tech won against SMU last week and we’ll be cheering them on again against Stephen F. Austin tonight – Go Red Raiders!

by Valerie | 09.07.13 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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