Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's ready!! Sunburn Relief Lotion!!

Sunburn Relief Lotion A soothing and relieving lotion for when you've just had too much fun in the sun!!  I personally have used this on my own burns as I usually burn, peel, and just look terrible afterwards!!  It is so soothing and relieving to the skin it is amazing!!  I didn't do the usual 'peel' immediately after my burn and actually got a bit of a tan which I never do.  This is true for your typical first degree burns only!!  Depending on the level of your burn will depend on your personal results.  This has a brand new all natural preservative to keep it safe from germs!!  Radish Root Ferment Filtrate!!  See my 'Ingredients' page for more information!!  As always, if you have a severe burn, please seek medical attention!!  These statements have NOT been tested by the FDA and does not constitute endorsement by them in any way!!  Price for a 4oz sealed bottle is $8.00.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just Stunned I tell ya!!

Another day of stunning numbers to my FB page!!  I am just awed and amazed at the numbers today once again!!  Went to bed last night with 117 likes and came home from work and today we are at 172!!  I just can NOT believe it!!  I have already done another give-a-way and the luck winner is April R!!  I am awaiting her to send me her information so I can mail out her goody bag tomorrow!!  Thank you to everyone for your support!!  The next give-a-way will be at 250 likes!!  Thank you again!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

FB Likes!

We have been climbing up in the likes the last 2 days and it is awesome!!  I would like to congratulate Samantha T. for getting the give-a-way for the random drawing for hitting 75 likes and yet we passed 100!!  Now we're trying to reach 150 likes and we are at 117!!  I am so thrilled by this and have several pages helping me out including SBCanning and OccupyFood!!  Thank you so much!!  When I hit 150 likes I will have another give-a-way.  Additionally, when SBCanning hits her 10,000th like, I will do a fantastic give-a-way of goodies to one of her followers!! Good luck everyone!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Tool!! Standing Mixer is a must have!!

Kitchen Aid Standing Mixer - One of the most versatile and functional tools for your kitchen and an absolute must have!!  There are many sizes/styles as well.  I personally have the 6-quart Professional Series due to the amount of canning/baking that I do and that I do not want to have to replace anything anytime soon.  But, this size/style is not absolutely necessary as it is one of the most expensive.  The features of this machine include:

  • 75 watt motor, 10 speed control
  • 6-quart polished stainless steel wide-mouth bowl with contoured steel handle
  • 67 point planetary mixing action
  • Includes: 6 quart stainless steel bowl with comfort handle, burnished powerknead spiral dough hook, flat beater and wire whip.
You can add many, many features to this machine!!  Attachments available include (but not limited to!): food grinder, sausage stuffer, food grinder, pasta rollers, ice cream maker, pasta extruder, fruit/vegetable strainer, and much more!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What is a Water Bath Canner?

Water bath Canner - The basic need for canning 'high acid foods'.  Simply put, it is a pot with a 'rack' in the bottom to keep jars lifted up that helps to raise the temperature high enough to kill certain bacteria's for canning and preserving foods such as jams, jellies, and pickled foods or relishes.  It is NOT for pressure canning foods such as vegetables, broths, or meats.  It should be high enough to cover your filled jars by one to two inches at a rolling boil.  Most 'water bathed' foods are processed for only 15 minutes or less.  There are pots specifically made for this or you can use any pot with a lid as long as you put a rack in the bottom of the pot.  For more information on canning basics, see SBCanning!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pineapple Slicer!!

Pineapple Cutter - This gadget I just got and it is amazing!!  So quick, versatile and EASY!!  You cut the top of the pineapple off, center it over the 'core' and twist it down!!  The pineapple slides out and you have nice, even slices all cored!!  Awesome!!  Thank you to whomever posted this on SBCanning  facebook page!!!  Available at Williams Sonoma for $19.95!!  I went into a store and got it and didn't pay shipping!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Went to the commercial kitchen today to start bottling spices!!  So exciting!  It went really quick with my daughter's help.  She was a real trooper!!  I have 4 blends almost ready to go.  As soon as Dept of Ag does the 'inspection' and okays my labels, I will be able to distribute!!  Getting closer and closer!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Tools Page!!

I'm adding a tools page of tools that I use.  I've been asked how I work so much with so many hot peppers and I have this great tool!!  The canning blog on FB that I am on found it and I just wanted to share!

Pepper Shark - This awesome little gadget is a must for people working with peppers of any kind!  It works on all sizes, shapes, etc.  It helps you de-seed and devein the peppers in no time with little difficulty!!  To find out more and to see a video about it go here: PepperShark

Monday, June 18, 2012

Canning Labels!!

New canning labels!!

Someone on the canning blog on facebook posted an incredible site to be able to create canning labels!!  I played around with the labeling and it is awesome!!  Look at what I came up with!!  I'm even able to import my own logo!! Yeah!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pear Saffron Chili Jam!!

A friend of mine on FB found this recipe on an English site but it wasn't up to USDA standards to be safe nor was it translated into American weights.  So, we set out to convert it and make it safe for USDA standards for canning!  I must say it is quite interesting in taste!!  Both mellow and spicy at the same time.  Mellow from the saffron and spicy from the chili pepper!!  It is unique for sure.  If you like a kick and something unique, this is for you!!

Pear Saffron Chili Jam

8 1/2 (4.5 lbs) pears
0.5 g saffron (1/2 pack)
1 red chili (or 1 tsp chili pepper flakes)
2 cups sugar
2 T lime juice
1 pack sure jel low sugar pectin

Peel the pears, quarter and remove the stem and cores.  Grate the pear flesh with a large grater and macerate with the sugar and saffron for one hour in a non-reactive container.   Meanwhile, rinse the chili and chop it finely (or use chili flakes if you don’t have fresh!)

Place all ingredients over high heat and cook for 5 minutes after the mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add the pectin and bring to a boil for another minute.  Skim if necessary, and place into sterilized jars.  Process in a waterbath for 10 minutes with a 1/4 inch head space.  Let sit for a few weeks before using so that the spices will infuse the jam with their flavor.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Health Benefits of Almond Oil!!

I'll bet you didn't know this about almond oil!!

Almond Oil - The health benefits of almond oil are numerous!  Almonds are full of Vitamin E, helps lower cholesterol, it nourishes the brain and provides many nutritional qualities to food but also to your skin.  It is a soother to irritated and dry skin; it nourishes the skin and helps retrain moisture - even moisturizing deeper; it helps cure dry, chapped lips; it improves complexion and the natural glow; and best yet?!  It helps slow the aging process!!  However, many people are allergic to nuts, so if you prefer a different oil be used, please ask!!  I can do it!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's the difference in Sugar?

Granulated Sugar - Used as an exfoliant in skin scrubs, granulated sugar is another great substance for facial and body scrubs.  Granulated sugar is beet or cane sugar that has been processed and allowed to crystallize and then allowed to dry so that it doesn't clump together.  There are several types of granulated sugars available and I will be using mostly organic 'turbinado' sugar (also known as 'sugar in the raw') which is more of a raw form of sugar that has not been so finely processed.  However, it can be difficult to find or very expensive.  If I am unable to find it, it will be regular granulated sugar that is used (but organic!).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soy Sauce Alternative!!

How many of you go out to eat in an Oriental Restaurant or pick up a bottle of Soy Sauce and don't even think twice about what goes into making it?  For myself and thousands of others, this is a huge problem.  I have an allergy to soy that is fairly recent.  I also suffer from a rare genetic disorder known as Hereditary Angioedema and soy exacerbates this condition.  When I eat anything with soy in it, I swell up like a little puffer fish!!  My abdomen swells up like I am pregnant, I can't breathe right, my face can swell, my ankles, or anywhere on my body.  It is terrifying.  Tonight's post is about canning an alternative for those of us that suffer from this allergy and needing an alternative for recipes that call for soy sauce!!  I found the basic recipe but once again I had to alter it due to other allergies as well.  Most call for garlic (another one of my allergies).  I often do a 4x batch for canning to ensure I have it on hand!  So, here is my version!!  This is a pressure can only recipe as it is a 'low acid' food!!  If you want, you can just make a batch and put in your refrigerator and it will keep for about 2 weeks without 'processing' (canning).  Enjoy!!

4 Tbsps Beef Broth *
4 Tsps Balsamic Vinegar                                    
2 Tsps Dark Molasses
1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/8 Tsp Ground White Pepper
1/8 Tsp Asafoetida ** (or 1 tsp garlic!)
1 1/2 C Water

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the beef bouillon/broth, balsamic vinegar, molasses, ginger, white pepper, asafoetida and water.

2. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.

3. To Pressure Can, ladle into hot prepared jars, place lids, rings, and place in prepared pressure canner with lid.  Vent canner for 10 minutes, and PC according to elevation for 25 minutes at 11 lbs pressure (0-2000 ft) for half pints/pints.

* I use my own home canned beef broth as it does not contain any garlic, onion, or any additives that I am allergic to.  You can use any safe beef broth that you are comfortable with but read the label to ensure it does not contain any soy!!

** Asafoetida is an Indian Spice and it is recommended that you ONLY get the one available at PennHerbCo.  Most forms contain 'fillers' which are NOT able to be canned safely!  Secondly, if you are pregnant, intend on becoming pregnant, do NOT use this spice.  It is safe to omit it!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spicy Pineapple Salsa!!

I love salsa and what better way than to add pineapple!!  A 'Taste of Home' canning magazine had a great recipe in it but alas was full of 'canned' items in it!  I don't do canned and processed items!!  So, I adapted their recipe to include all fresh items!!  It is amazing and has a kick to it!  If you don't like spicy, you can leave out the peppers, not 'roast' them or reduce the number.  What you don't want to do is ADD vegetables to this or it will change the acidity too low and not be shelf stable.  I also changed up the spices to make it more of a traditional Mexican Salsa!  Enjoy!!

Spicy Pineapple Salsa

12 medium tomatoes (about 4 lbs)
2 green peppers, chopped (I roasted them!)
1 pineapple peeled, cored, crushed to equal 16 oz (can use two 8 oz cans crushed) *
15 oz tomato puree (about 2 cups)
12 oz chopped roasted green chilis *
8 oz chopped roasted jalapeno peppers *
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried cilantro

In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil.  Add tomatoes a few at a time; boil for 30 seconds.  Drain and immediately place tomatoes in ice water.  Drain and pat dry; peel and chop.

In a stockpot, combine the remaining ingredients.  Stir in tomatoes.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until desired thickness.

Carefully ladle hot mixture into 1 pint jars, leaving ½ in. headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.

*note: I have a kitchen scale and weigh my ingredients to ensure I have the proper amounts.  I highly recommend this tool in your kitchen!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Only the finest and natural ingredients!!

An addition to my page on Ingredients!!

Essential Oils - Essential oils are made by distillation of the oil from the plant from which you want the fragrance.  It is a hydrophobic liquid that contains volatile aroma compounds of the plant.  It is essentially the 'oil' of the plant from which it comes.  It is used in aromatherapy as well as in giving fragrance to many items including soaps, perfumes, incense, and more.  My products will only use 100% pure organic essential oils.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tropical Paradise Jam!

This was a brand new recipe created by my daughters and myself!  We had so much fruit in the refrigerator today and we didn't want it to go to waste so we decided to combine it into one of the best creations we've come up with!  It is amazing to say the least!!

Tropical Paradise Jam

5 cups Strawberries
1 Mango, chopped
1/2 Papaya chopped
1 Pineapple (smaller one, about 16 oz after cut and chopped)
2 oranges peeled, seeded, and skinned (pulp only)
3 cups sugar (I went lower because of the sweetness of the pineapple)
2 pkgs low-sugar Sure Jel (yep, double batch of fruit!)

Clean and slice strawberries. Combine all fruit in a pan with the sugar and allow to 'macerate' for about an hour.  Put on stove and bring to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes.  Add in Sure Jel one box at a time and mix well.  Bring back to a boil for a full minute.  Ladle into prepared jars and water bath for 15 minutes.

The color of this is amazing and the taste is like you are on a tropical island!!  Enjoy!!

Again, this is all my recipe!!  Please do not post on another site without expressed permission!!  That is plagerism and is punishable by law!!!

All Natural Food Colorings!

I'm so allergic to everything that I'm always looking for anything that will help me avoid chemicals.  One of the things that get me the most is food coloring.  Other countries outside the US don't allow artificial food coloring's in the foods.  While many manufacturers are starting to remove them from foods, most do not.  I have found some wonderful sources to get these natural coloring's from!!  What are natural food coloring's?  Annatto powder, beet powder, turmeric powder (though I'm allergic to that one), and more.  Here is one source that I use and just ordered more!!  Chocoloate Craft Kits!!  They will ship right to you and have liquid, powder, or paste form depending on whether you are using water based or oil based formulations!  Check them out!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato Chutney!

This is my version of Sun Dried Tomato Chutney as well as turning it into a steak sauce!  Yum!!  I LOVE this recipe!  So very easy and absolutely delicious!!  The original recipe can be found on SBCanning but I modified it for my allergies.  I almost always at least double this recipe to make it both a chutney and a steak sauce!!  Try it!  So easy!

Sun Dried Tomato Chutney & Steak Sauce

4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (3 cups)
1 cup finely chopped leek
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1/2 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 inch piece ginger root, finely chopped
1/4 t. salt and hot pepper flakes

Combine tomatoes, leeks, sun dried tomatoes and raisins in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Stir in sugar, water, vinegar, ginger root, salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and boil gently, uncovered for 30 minutes or until chutney is very thick, stirring frequently.

Remove hot jars from canner and ladle chutney into jars to within 1/2 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes for half pint jars. Makes 4 half pints.

For different texture you can also blend the chutney using an immersion or standard blender and use it like a steak sauce. 


(not actual photo - similar peeling skin of daughter)
Okay, it's been nearly a week since my daughter and I got burned at the beach.  I applied my burn solution twice a day, every day and no peeling, no flaking, nothing.  She only did the first two days and guess what?  She's peeling.  She didn't listen as a typical teenager does!  So, just know that if you don't apply it as recommended, it definitely will not be as effective.  This is based on a first degree burn.  I will continue to test this with friends and see how it goes!  I will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Burn nearly gone!

Our burns are nearly gone!!  Best yet, no peeling!!  I'm soooo excited about this!!  I will get some new bottles to put this in and bottle up our new 'burn care solution'!!  I have NEVER in my entire life had a burn NOT peel and go bad, EVER!!  Happy days!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

So far, so good!

(not actual photo, similar burn)

Okay, day 2 of the sunburn and it's feeling better already.  Usually by now I am already peeling!  It is just red now.  Even my daughter's burn is doing better.  I am going to continue to see how my sunburn 'salve' does!  If it continues like this, it will definitely be a go!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Something New!!

Whiting Fish!!  Caught 2!!
Puffer Fish in Crab Net!!
Rock Fish - had to put back!
Keeper Blue Crab!!

Went to the beach this weekend for an impromptu trip after a very trying week! Had a blast, relaxed, and did some crabbing and fishing!! I haven't fished in 25 years! I even caught a puffer fish (put him back of course!). We actually do eat crab and fish and this was a way for us to enjoy ourselves as well.  My daughter and I got very burnt despite using sunscreen repeatedly. I just mixed up a very, very, soothing and healing sunburn salve when we got home!!! It just feels wonderful!! I will see how it goes over the next few days!! If it continues to do so well, I will package it!! I will keep you all posted!!