Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Salsa

This is a GREAT recipe, care of my friend Carolyn. :) I modified it a bit due to what I had on hand, but I will post her exact recipe since I can't remember exactly what I did! Almost all of the ingredients came from our garden- we've made about 12 jars of salsa in the past week, and seriously, it is the best salsa I've ever had!!


  • 12 cups blended tomatoes (she blanches her first and removes the peels, but I didn't do that)
  • 2 bell peppers (I used green)
  • 2 Anaheim peppers
  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 T sugar, 2 T sea salt, 1 cup of white vinegar (I only put in about a 1/2 cup of the vinegar)

Chop peppers, garlic, onion, and cilantro in the food processor, or if you like it chunkier, by hand. Mix with your blended tomatoes.

Bring to a boil. cook down for about 1 1/2-2 hours.

Place in jars and process them in a water bath canner for 25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

**Makes about 3 quarts of salsa!

Homemade Applesauce

Well, I love to make fresh applesauce, but we got a HUGE amount of apples from a friend's tree, so we decided to can some so it lasts longer. We just made it up as we went along, and the results were great. Here are the details:

Slice apples- I didn't take the skins off, but most people do. I have a Vitamix that completely pulverizes EVERYTHING!

Put them in a large pot with just a cup or two of water to steam them until they are soft.

Blend them until smooth. I added a bit of honey and cinnamon.

Pour into the cans, and can in a water bath canner. Applesauce takes about 20 minutes (for pints and quarts) in the canner. Cool and Store!

**Fresh applesauce is even better tasting and better for you, and will last about a week in the fridge. Just cut up the apples and process in a food processer with honey and cinnamon until it is the consistency you want (you can put it in the blender for really smooth- we use the fp so it is a bit chunky).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Savanna and I made this yesterday- SOOO good! Not really one of my healthiest recipes, but it's seriously good!

  • I package of organic frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 7-8 artichoke hearts, chopped (you can use the marinated kind or I just bought a bag of frozen hearts at Trader Joes and defrosted them)
  • 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese (you can use any kind you like- if you use soy cheese, use the Follow Your Heart brand. It's the only kind that melts. We actually used goat cheese- sounds weird, but it's really good).
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • garlic powder and sea salt to taste

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil on low. Add the defrosted spinach and artichoke hearts. Stir in the Tofutti cream cheese and grated cheese and whatever spices you want until well mixed. Put this mixture in a baking dish and bake at 325 degrees until hot and cheese is melted all the way through- about 15- 20 minutes. Super fast, and super delicious!

***A friend of ours has a goat farm and she was telling us all about the benefits of using goat products over cow products. Now our family doesn't eat very much cow dairy, and I'm trying to get away from using soy products a lot, so we thought we'd give it a try. Goat's milk does have some lactose, but it does not have Casein, the protein in cow's milk. Casein is a huge allergen, and two out of the three of my kids can't tolerate it at all. Savanna really liked the goat cheese, and it tasted just like regular cheese in this dish. Even James thought it was great and ate it up- and that says a lot!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sun Dried Tomatoes


  • 6 lbs of Roma tomatoes

  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves (depending on the size- I like a lot of fresh garlic)

  • 1 tsp of sea salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

  • 2 1/2 tsp of dried Italian seasonings

  • 1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil

Cut off the ends of each tomato. Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Carefully cut out all of the seeds. Gently stir/mix the sliced tomatoes with all of the above ingredients. Marinate for 8 hours or overnight. Spread out on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees for several hours (the amount of time will depend upon the texture you are looking for- the longer you dehydrate the chewier and dryer the tomatoes will get). It takes about 8-10 hours, depending on how you like them.

I store them in glass jars. These are the best sun dried tomatoes I've ever had. They are great in salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes- my kids even like to eat them plain. Sometimes, they don't even make it to the dehydrator!