Friday, July 15, 2011


I saw these cherries on sale at the local Farmer's Market, and had my husband buy 14lbs. Crazy, I know, lol. But they looked so good! We decided to eat a few, and can the rest for use this winter. I'm thinking cherry cobbler's and such. So much fun. Only 1 problem...I had no cherry pitter! OMG, what a nightmare. I did about half of them by hand, which made 9 pint jars. It was messy, and tiring, and my forearms and hands ached all night fingers still look like I slaughtered an animal...nice.
For the rest of the cherries, I went to my local outlet mall that has a kitchen store and bought a cherry pitter that does 4 at a time. What a lifesaver! Can't wait to share recipes with these this winter.
This is the 2nd batch in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag.

Jars cleaned, hot and ready to use.

I used a mixture of half juice, half water to bathe the cherries. In the baggie is a lemon juice/water mixture to prevent browning after the pits were removed. Looks like blood. Seriously, for Halloween I know what to do to paint blood on costumes. 

Heat the liquid and cherries to boiling, takes about 5 minutes. Then, fill your hot jars, leaving 1/2in. headspace.

Boil in the canner 15 minutes.

And finished result. There were 3 more jars processing during this photo. So, about 8 lbs for 9 jars? That's a guess.

And the pitter I got today for $15. Already pitted a bowl-full for the kids in under a minute. :) Love it, love it, love it. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ropa Vieja

Made it to the store in the morning, just in time for the meat markdowns! Oh yeah! The roast I got was marked down $5! But, who wants a pot roast in the summer? Well, think about that roast in a whole new way with this incredible recipe.

Cook meat in crockpot with garlic, pepper and season salt. Shred (save 1/3C. liquid from the crockpot).

Layer meat, then veggies (cilantro, jalapeno, tomatoes, and onion), then repeat. 

Pour 1/3 cup of crockpot liquid over the top. 

Top with cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Wrap em up and enjoy! 

Ropa Vieja
3 lb chuck roast
pinch pepper
1 oz crushed garlic
1 T season salt

2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 package cilantro, chopped (yeah, a whole bunch!)
2 medium jalapeno's, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped
8 oz Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

10-12 flour tortillas

Cook the roast, galic, pepper and season salt in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours (do not add water). Shred the meat. Then place half the meat in a 9 X13in baking dish. Layer half of the veggies on top of the meat, then repeat layers. Pour 1/3 Cup juice from the crockpot over the meat layers, top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Warm the tortilla's and place the meat mixture in them, wrap like a burrito and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chicken Borscht

Ok, so you could argue that it's not truly a borscht for the lack of beets...however, this is absolutely fabulous and that's what I'm calling it.
I cannot convey with enough enthusiasm, how great it feels to fill up a large pot of vegetables that I grew, and prepare a delicious, nutritious meal for my family. That is what I did today, and I feel so good, inside and out, even though my house stinks of cooked cabbage, lol!

 These are the vegetables I grew. The potatoes I did not, but the cabbage, onions, carrots and tomatoes are all mine!

 I know it sounds weird at first, but you HAVE to trust must use the Allspice! OMG! Necessary.
I apologize for the sideways photos, I don't know why they are like that or how to fix them.

Boiling the chicken. Tossed in 3 boneless, skinless breasts. I would have used my own chickens, but I don't have any yet. So I opted for the all natural chicken from my local market, which is fabulously flavorful.

 Tossed in the onions, potatoes and carrots.

 Sorry, but boiled chicken is so ugly by itself.

Yet so beautiful in my pot of veggies!

 Boiled down.
All ready to eat. This is one tasty, hearty meal! We will be putting this on our list of dinners, after all, I have more cabbages to cook ;)


 1 whole chicken (or 3-4 breasts)

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 16 oz. pkg. shredded cabbage, or 1 lb fresh cabbage, shredded
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice berries (or 1 tsp. ground)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 2 medium)
  • 1-2 quarts water
  • 1 cup Half & Half
  • 1 tsp salt

  • Cook chicken in salted water until tender. Remove from broth, remove meat from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add potatoes, carrots, and onions to broth and cook until almost tender.
  • When vegetables are almost cooked through, add diced chicken, tomatoes, cabbage, bullion cubes, and a spice ball containing the peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaf.
  • Continue cooking until cabbage is tender.
  • Add half & half and allow to heat through.
  • Note: Do NOT omit the allspice! That is what makes this recipe so good.