Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ball FreshTECH Jam and Jelly maker reviewed.

Wow, what a great little appliance this thing is. I made 8 1/2 pints of Strawberry Jam and 6 4 oz jars of Pepper Jelly today. After you get the fruit prepped it is just 21 minutes until the jam is ready to go in the hot water bath for processing. 10 minutes in there at a low boil, turn off the flame, sit 5 minutes in the hot water, remove the jars and wait for the anticipated ping to sound. That sound of course signals that your jars have sealed. They all pinged almost immediately much to my delight. So here are some pictures...this first one shows the fruit in the Jam and Jelly maker as it is being cooked. It looks like it going really fast but it was fruit was hurled into space while I had the lid off. ;-)
This is what it looked like when it was completely finished cooking
and tada, the fruits of my labor
I followed the recipes that came with the Jam and Jelly maker they worked well, no problems. Some people have had the experience of Hot Pepper Jelly not setting, (me included a few years ago). This recipe set up very nicely. I did add some green food coloring because with out it the jam would have been a very pale green. The Hubs planted some bell pepper plants in the garden so when they are ripe I'll be able to use those instead of store bought. My past experience was that the home grown peppers ripe off of the vine did not need any added color. Next time I will also leave in some of the jalapeno seeds as I really like it to be a bit spicy. All in all, I am very pleased. Thought I'd provide a couple of recipes that you could make using Hot Pepper Jelly. I'm totally going to make the hot pepper cheese thumbprints. Imagine these at Christmas time on your appetizer tray with red and green jelly in the middle. YUM!!
Cheesy Thumbprint Appetizers with Hot Pepper Jelly 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 cup all-purpose flour 6 tablespoons chilled butter, chopped 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly Directions 1. Blend Cheddar cheese, flour, and butter in a food processor until dough is a coarse-meal texture and forms into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). 3. Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. 4. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; press thumb into top of each ball, creating an indentation. Spoon about 1 teaspoon pepper jelly into indentation. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 5 minutes. From
And here is a great sounding Pork Recipe From Southern Living Magazine Pork Chops with Pepper Jelly Sauce 4 (3/4-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops (about 2 1/4 lb.) 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 3 tablespoons butter, divided 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 1/3 cup dry white wine 1 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup red pepper jelly 1. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter with oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops, and cook 8 minutes; turn and cook 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 150°. Remove from skillet, and keep warm. 2. Add flour and jalapeño to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until flour is golden brown. Add wine, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet; cook 1 minute or until almost completely reduced. 3. Add chicken broth, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in pepper jelly until melted and smooth. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Return pork to skillet; turn to coat. Serve pork with sauce. Yield: Makes 6 servings Thanks to

Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's here!!!

Gosh Amazon has fast shipping (actually I think I accidentally signed up for the Prime membership, which gets things to you within 2 days!!). So the fab Jam and Jelly maker was waiting for me when I got home last night. Yippee!!! And, folks it gets even better.......I checked the BB&B website and the FreshTECH Home Canning System is back in stock and I was able to use a 20% off coupon and free shipping. So that is now on it's way as well....I saved $79.00 on that sweet deal. Check it out at the BB&B website and you could scour the web for a 20% off coupon. Definitely going to be making some jam/jelly this weekend. I've also been thinking of some very fun things revolving around a canning party. Decorations, favors, you know stuff to make a dull canning party a real event. I'll keep you posted on that. I'm off to get other supplies needed to do some canning, can't wait to see the glistening little Gems and Jewels of jam packed jars of homemade goodness. ;-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My jammin'Jam and Jelly Machine is on it's way!!!

Wow Amazon has fast shipping. My FreshTECH Automatic Jam and Jelly maker will be here on Friday. Guess what I'll be doing this weekend? Gotta pick out the first recipe. I'm thinking that it's probably going to be strawberry. The Ball canning site has some recipes made specifically for the Jam maker and of course it has a recipe book included. I'm excited to make my first batch, I'll keep you posted. One of the things I like about the recipes is that there is a fully loaded with sugar recipe (woah!!), a reduced sugar recipe and a no sugar added recipe. This one sound interesting. I'll bet it would be good on pork. Jam Maker Raspberry Chipotle Jam Makes about 4 (8 ounce) half pints You will need: 2 2/3 cups crushed raspberries (about 1 1/3 lbs or four 6-oz containers) 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped 2 Tbsp adobo sauce 3 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit® Classic Pectin 1/2 tsp butter or margarine 3 1/3 cups granulated sugar Directions: 1.CLEAN raspberries by rolling back and forth in an open towel. If dirt is obvious on raspberries, rinse carefully in cool running water and drain thoroughly. Crush raspberries one layer at a time using a potato masher. Measure required quantity of crushed raspberries and remaining ingredients for your recipe; set aside. 2.SPRINKLE pectin evenly over bottom of the Pot fitted with the Stirrer. Add crushed raspberries, chopped chipotle peppers and adobo sauce evenly over pectin. Add butter/margarine to help reduce foaming. 3.PRESS jam button – the cook time will automatically default to 21 minutes. Press enter. 4.WAIT 4 minutes for appliance to sound 4 short beeps indicating that it is time to add sugar. Add sugar gradually while Stirrer continues running. Place the Glass Lid on the Pot. 5.THE APPLIANCE will continue to automatically stir your ingredients while it cooks. Stay within earshot of the Jam & Jelly Maker, the appliance will beep again at the end of the process signaling jam cooking is complete. Press cancel, unplug the appliance and immediately remove Glass Lid. 6.REMOVE Stirrer using a pot holder. Skim foam, if necessary, from top of jam. 7.PRESERVE jam immediately, using refrigeration or freezing methods listed on the website. The butter apparently keeps the jam from foaming. Interesting.

While I wait for my new Ball FreshTECH Jam and Jelly Maker

So while surfing the web this weekend for all things home canning, I stumbled upon this:
You can read about it here I thought it would be a lot of fun to have a canning party. Check out some things I made with my Cricut Explore.
As it gets closer to August you can check back on the Ball website and find
•A link to a live webcast of canning demonstrations hosted by Hugh Acheson •Information on how to join us for the taping of the live webcast with Hugh Acheson in New York City •Details on a Can-It-Forward Day celebration at a local farmers market in your area •Official Can-It-Forward Day recipes and webcast programming •Tips, tricks and more on how to join in the fun!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Yes I Can!!

I knew it had been awhile since I last posted. 9 months!! How time flies. The interesting thing is, that I am still on the same jag...though this time I am ready to act. I am ready to turn this:
Into this:
So, no this is not this year's crop of veggies, there are currently only a couple of green tomatoes on our vines. This was last year and no, I cannot take credit for that beautiful jar of home canned tomatoes, my BFF Cathy did that. But!! I am ready to take the plunge. And this is how I will begin my journey into the time honored ritual of canning.
. And no...unfortunately I cannot take credit for these little Gems either. These were put up by my Brother in law and Sister In law. I recently came across some new kitchen gadgets for the home canner. These awesome new appliances are probably not for the seasoned large batch canner. Meant more for people who may not have a large family, or for someone who is perhaps just delving into canning, (word on the street is that canning is becoming more and more appealing). They are a bit pricey as well but for me the benefits are outweighing the cost. I just purhased this little beauty
from, it was on sale for $89.00 and I got free shipping. It is also available on the Ball Canning site and other sites. So that will take care of my Jam and Jelly needs, but what about pickles, oh yeah baby Ima gonna make Pickles. What about tomatoes and salsa? Well, there's an app for that (app= appliance ;-, hehe). Check out this baby
. So this is a bit more pricy, $299.00 to be exact. A quote from the Website: Automatic Home Canners vs. Traditional Water Bath Canners •Preserves recipes up to 30% faster. •Uses up to 60% less energy. •Uses up to 85% less water. •Will automatically adjust for altitude. The ease of use and the fact that you can whip up small batches of bounty and the fact that I do not have to heat up the house by using the stove during the summer months make it the ideal product for myself and my husband. I will do a review as soon as my Jam and Jelly maker arrives. I noticed that Bed Bath and Beyond have the Fresh TECH Automatic Home Canning System on their website. Apparently it is not in stock on line or in stores. I'm going to hold out a bit in hopes that BB&B will have it in stock soon. I'll use a 20% off coupon and save $60.00. That's huge!! In the mean time I will can my jam and jelly in a traditional water bath. Not nearly as exciting but rewarding I'm sure.