All Recipes

Dehydrated Tomatoes & Making Tomato Powder

How to make tomato powder - LivingHomegrown.com

A few weeks ago, I was dehydrating the end of my delicious summer tomatoes when I discovered I still had some of last year’s dehydrated tomatoes sitting in a jar way toward the back of my pantry.

Oops!

They were still good, but had started to darken and I was sure they had lost much of their flavor. What was I to do with these little lovelies who were past their prime?

I pulverized them (literally) into powder!

Tomato powder is just a ground up version of dried tomatoes. The result is a super concentrated flavor that can be used in a number of ways.

It’s a powerful spice!

It’s a top-notch flavor enhancer!

It’s amazing…

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8 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Preserves

Using Up Leftover Preserves - LivingHomegrown.comI always seem to have a jar or two of jam or jelly with just a spoonful at the bottom. Never wanting any of that deliciousness to go to waste, I periodically post on a new use for my leftover preserves.

This is a summary of previous ideas with a few new ones thrown in for good measure!

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Homemade Maraschino Cherries

How to make Maraschino Cherries - LivingHomegrown.com

Homemade Maraschino Cherries:

A few years ago, a TV program showed how they commercially make maraschino cherries and OMG – I never wanted to eat them again!

Why? Because they process those cherries in such a way that they really are no longer cherries.

They first remove any trace of cherry flavor by soaking them in a “brine” of chemicals that bleaches them yellow/white. (This is not a brine as we know it in pickling. It is a chemical cocktail.) Then, they soak them for several days in high fructose corn syrup and red dye so that they look like a cherry again.

I wouldn’t even consider it food anymore. It is more of a cherry-like substance. It was gross.

So I thought…Why not make them myself?

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The Wonders of Wine Salt

How to Make Wine Salt as Seasoning - via LivingHomegrown.com

Wine Salt

You may not have heard of it before, but this is a very cool product to have on hand.

Wine Salt is a delicious reduction of wine that is mixed with kosher salt and herbs.

The result is a concentrated seasoning that can add a nice depth of flavor to any meat or vegetable dish. When you add it to meat juices, it blends the dehydrated wine into a variation of a reduction sauce.

Whenever I demo it for people, I get a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs”.

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Rhubarb Means Spring!

canning rhubarb

Canning up some rhubarb is a fantastic way to celebrate the arrival of spring. No, really it is!

So in celebration of SPRING, today I cover lovely rhubarb and answer the following…

  • What is it exactly? (Don’t believe what the government tells you)
  • What’s the pH level? (Can we really water bath process it?)
  • What’s my favorite recipe for using it up? (Trust me, it’s delicious!)

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Creating Incredible Sauces with JAM

Making sauce with JamUsing Jam as Sauce:

Okay – I know what you are thinking…Why would I condone slathering refined sugar on a perfectly good meal?

Well first of all – most of my jams and jellies are LOW SUGAR. So I am really talking about slathering a meal with seasonal fruit flavor and natural fruit sugars.

But more importantly, just think about how well cranberry sauce spruces up a slice of turkey and you understand how sweet, sour and savory can all play well together on the dinner plate. I’m telling you, a scoop of jam from the bottom of the jar can take ordinary meals to a whole new level of yumminess. And the best part? It is easy!

Here are two techniques that you can use to get your “jam on” when it comes to meat dishes.

And if you are vegetarian, well…jam can still be used in a ton of ways for you too. Try peach jam on a grilled veggie sandwich or plum jam in a stir-fry and there is the whole salad dressing thing. The idea here is to think of what fruits mesh well with a particular food flavor and then getting creative with that.

And one more thing before we start:

If you give your jam as gifts, be sure to share different ways your friends can use the leftovers from that jam. Most people don’t think past the toast angle and honestly, there are SO many other possibilities. It is all about the flavor and how best to harness it. So let’s get crack’n!

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Salad Dressing with Leftover jam

I make a lot of jam each year. I mean A LOT! With all the fruit growing at my small homestead and my family’s 18-acre farmstead, I have no choice. But you might be surprised to know that I am not much of a “jam and toast” type of gal. Although I do enjoy jam with cheese and wine (Tee Hee), I actually use much of my jam and jelly as a flavor enhancer in things like salad dressing, sauce, jam cocktails, glaze or in desserts, etc.

Homegrown preserves can add zing to just about anything! So at this time of year, I am on a mission to use up the last of my jars before I’m hit with new fruit to be preserved.

Do you have some leftover jam or jelly right now?

A few days ago, I posted on a cool blender-canning jar trick for mixing up salad dressing (or smoothies) and gave a link for Jam’n Salad Dressing. But I had a few more tried and true jam salad dressings that I thought I would share.

Oh, and here’s the best part: You can change out the jam or marmalade in the recipes below for a different type of jam, jelly, marmalade or whatever fruit preserve you have on hand. That is the beauty of these recipes. Switch it all up however you like and make it your own. I swear they all work beautifully!

And yes, you can also substitute store-bought jam/jelly in these recipes. But why would you want to do THAT??

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Steal This Canning Jar Trick and Share It!

Cool Blender Trick with a Canning JarI’m on a mission to use up the last of my previous season’s jams over the next few months. For me, that means a lot more jam salad dressing.

I first posted on this cool blender trick over on my canning blog for Growing A Greener World TV. Below is the 2-minute video demonstrating it. I use this trick for salad dressings and my smoothies too. Use it to amaze your friends…

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Day 29: Secrets to a Good Marmalade

I love a good homemade marmalade – not the overly sweet, artificially flavored junk you find in the grocery store. No. I’m talking about an honest-to-goodness homemade marmalade where the citrus flavor pops the minute it hits your tongue.

Yeah…THAT.

Just as the flavor of a homegrown tomato cannot compare to the grocery store version, so too is it with homemade marmalade.

Many people think that making marmalade is too hard or even scary. But it really is not difficult – especially if you understand a few of the tricks. Here’s the scoop on how to make great marmalade and I’ve included a simple, yet delicious recipe to get you started.

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Making Low Sugar Peach Jam

We have this peach tree at the farmstead that is KILLER!  When you bite into one of those peaches, the juice just runs down your chin, your hand, your arm…You get the picture.

Peach jam

I wanted to capture that flavor (and memory) in a jar to enjoy during the winter months. But if I used  a typical pectin-peach jam recipe, all you would taste is granulated sugar because a standard recipe calls for 7 cups of sugar. Yes 7 CUPS!

These peaches were sweet enough on their own. They didn’t need that much sugar.

But when canning with pectin, that sugar is not there for flavor. It is there to create the gel. It is like a crazy science experiment in that the sugar meshes with the pectin and the acidity of the fruit to create the firm product. If you cut back on the sugar, you get syrup and no gel.

So, you have two choices when you have this dilemma.

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