Tired of endlessly flipping through cookbooks and websites for recipes?

I'm here for you! I try out recipes and post the successes, so you don't have to waste time on failures. I only post the VERY BEST recipes I try out. You can be confident that if you plan to serve any of these, they will be a success! Don't substitute or you will not get the same result!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Salsa

This is my new favorite salsa recipe! I canned four batches this year. My girls will eat it for a meal. It's a little sweet and has a tiny bit of a kick. Measure out the 6 pounds of tomatoes EXACTLY in order to maximize taste.

Canning tip: Wear onion goggles when chopping them. I just quarter everything and toss it into the food processor. It cuts down on the length time it takes to make this!


1 red onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 banana peppers, chopped
3 green bell peppers, chopped
3 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
8 pint canning jars with lids and rings


1. Steam the tomatoes, slide off the skins, and puree them.

2. Combine red onion, white onion, yellow onion, tomatoes, banana peppers, green chile peppers, tomato paste, white vinegar, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large pot. Simmer until thick, about 2-3 hours.

3.Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the salsa into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.

4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Refrigerate after opening.

Piled High Peach Pie

This recipe comes from epicurious.com, with a few additions. Do NOT use a premade or frozen pie crust. Use the recipe below. It makes a huge difference! And don't use canned peaches, use fresh! Or, if you must, frozen peaches.

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
6 tablespoons (about) ice water

5 pounds medium peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Vanilla ice cream


Combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add butter and shortening; using fingertips, rub in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vinegar. Using fork, mix in enough water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide dough into 2 equal portions. Flatten each portion into disk. Wrap each in plastic; chill 45 minutes. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

For filling:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine peaches, sugar, flour and spices in large bowl; toss to mix well.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie plate. Transfer peaches to crust, mounding in center. Roll out second dough disk to 13-inch round. Roll up dough on rolling pin and unroll atop peaches. Trim edges of both crusts to 3/4-inch overhang. Fold edges over; press to seal. Crimp edges. Cut 6 slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake pie until crust is golden and juices bubble thickly through slits, covering edges of crust with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool pie 3 hours. Serve with ice cream.