8/3/15

Tomato Powder & Tomato Juice using Peels and Canning Scraps

Making your own tomato powder and tomato juice  is so easy to do from all those tomato skins and scraps you are about to throw away!


Do NOT toss them out! there is still ways to use up nearly every last bit of them!

I do two things : Make tomato Juice and Tomato Powder

Let me start by saying how i get to this point. There are many ways to can tomatoes. Canning them whole without cleaning out the seeds etc is one way. I usually do not do this. I prefer to cut them in half, clean the seeds and "guts" out of the tomatoes and then either can them in half, or make into canned marinara sauce, chili etc.
So this process of making tomato juice and tomato powder comes from wanting to use up and not waste any parts of the tomato if I can help it.
My tomatoes are homegrown organic in my own garden,but if you are canning tomatoes you purchased else where make sure they did not have any pesticides or chemicals sprayed on them. You want organically grown tomatoes for this project.

If you do use heirloom and not hybrid tomatoes you can save the seeds to grow next year, but this will only work with heirloom tomatoes. Hybrid tomatoes (Most sold in big box garden centers) will grow you a plant, but not necessarily any tomatoes will come of it.

Now, lets get started. Here is a big pot of my peeled, halved, and cleaned out tomatoes simmering on the stove;
While that is simmering away, lets get started with all the scraps I have from the peels and "guts"

Tomato Juice 

  • First  I pull out all the skins from the pile of skins/scraps from the tomatoes I canned. and set them aside.
  • Then I take all the pulpy tomato seeds and bits that didn't make it into the canned tomatoes and put them in a fine mesh strainer a little at a time. 
  • Using my hand or the back of a large spoon. I pressed all the juice out of them into a bowl.
  •  Dump out the remaining seeds from the strainer. Using a 2nd bowl, run the juice from the first bowl through the strainer one more time to remove any seeds that may have made it through the first strainer. 

Store juice in freezer for up to 3 months, refridgerate for up to 2 weeks or can using proper canning techinques. (My hubby loves cold tomato juice, so I put it in the fridge for him to drink).


Tomato Powder
The tomato powder is perfect to add to soups and sauces. Perfect way to thicken up a too runny batch of chili or even spaghetti sauce. Mix into homemade dressings such as ranch and itialian. I could go on and on.

Dehydrate the skins and pulp remnants and grind them into tomato powder.
  • Lay all the skins out on your dehydrating tray. 
  • I dehydrate them on a low setting about 10 hours or until they are very crumbly. 
  • I would bet you can do this in your oven set at lowest temperature on a baking sheet for serveral hours  or even sun dry them outside in the sun for sun dried tomatoes. 
  • Store dried tomato in a glass canning jar in the freezer over night. (The skins grind into powder better if they are super cold first).
  • Using a stick blender (like I am ) or other food processor, grind the frozen tomato flakes into powder







Store in airtight container in freezer till ready to use.



8/1/15

Country Fair Blog Hop: August 15



It's another great blog party starting!  This is a month long link up. Come on and join us!
 Here are your hosts for the month: 
                                Jan                               Nicole                         Laurie                                Val
                     Tip Garden        A Kansas Farm Mom         Country LINKed          Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids
                                                           


My First Place Favorite from last month:
Country Fair Blog Part

 Pancakes Bananas Foster by jenns random scraps
My family gathers on Sunday evenings for Pancakes and Waffles and this will be my next new addition! Go check out her recipe!

Jenn, feel free to grab the code above and put the button on your blog or post to show off a bit!





August! a great month for County Fairs all over the country! I have not entered anything of mine in my local county fair in years ,but I loved participating in 4H as a kid! No one can beat my grandmothers zucchini bread recipe! NO ONE!

Country Fairs are full of food, friends, farming, animals, arts and crafts, canning, baking, and more!

 So is our Country Fair Blog Hop!


Come Share what you are up to this month!


  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!
  • Grab the button below and post it on your blog, so others will be invited too!
Country Fair Blog Party




Ready? Get set... Go!



7/31/15

Friday Feature: Hands Free Baggy Rack

 Today on Favorite Things Friday I am sharing one of all time favorite gadgets! I first got this little gem as a Christmas present from one of my best friends. She knew I had mentioned I would love to have it and then got it for me. I am so glad she did! I use it all the time!


Photo Credit: Amazon

I am not gettting paid to tell you this, I just happen to really love it! Makes my life so much easier! What I love about this is how quickly I can pour soups, chili's, mixes or anything into a baggie without someone else holding the bag open for me!

Here is the link to Amazon where you can get it, but you may be able to find it anywhere kitchen gadgets are sold: Hands Free Baggie Holder

7/27/15

Grilled Steak Tacos w/ Sweet Chili Slaw


My college aged son made dinner for us the other night. He grilled a flat iron steak, and made these delicious steak tacos!

The filling was a simple yet flavorful sweet chili coleslaw and a homemade sarachi mayonnaise.
(I left that off of mine, I don't handle spicy well).


Grilled Steak Tacos
makes 6-8 tacos

Ingredients:

1-2 lb. flat iron steak grilled and sliced thin
6-8 flour tortillas
1 lb. bag shredded cabbage
1 cup matchstick carrots
8-10 fresh Basil leaves chopped
1 bottle Franks Red Hot: Sweet Chili Dressing
1 cup Mayonnaise
1-2 Tablespoons Sarachi pepper sauce

Directions:

In mixing bowl, mix together cabbage, carrots, basil, and sweet chili dressing. Set aside.
In small bowl mix together mayonnaise and pepper sauce. Set aside.
warm tortillas in skillet or microwave.
To assemble Tacos:
 Spread 1 -2 Tablespoons Sarachi Mayonnaise across center of tortilla
Spread a spoonful or two of Coleslaw across center of tortilla
Place 3-4 slices of steak on top of slaw.
Serve warm.

7/22/15

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches




These delicious sandwiches will have your family and friends raving at your next cook out! They are a crowd pleasing twist on traditional chicken on the grill, yet so easy to make!



I happen to like  a more "sturdy" bun than traditional hamburger buns, I think they hold up better to the grilled chicken. So grab a good quality bun for this one!

Jan's Tip: Today I used thicker slices of leftover ham from a Sunday Dinner,but I also use and pile on thin slices of store bought deli ham from the sandwich meats section of the store! 


I love to add in fun topping options too, such as grilled pineapple slices and green peppers, to give it a more "Hawaiian" flare if my guests wish!




Grilling pineapple slices brings out there sweetness! I love doing  a platter of these for cookouts so my guests can either top their sandwiches or eat it as a side dish!

Jan's Secret: Shhh! I usually turn my buns into grilled garlic bread buns when I cook out! I butter both the bottom and top bun and sprinkle on my garlic bread seasoning (a mix of parmesan cheese, granulated garlic, and italian seasoning) then put it butter side down on the grill till toasty.



Lets' get started!

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches

Ingredients
Makes 4 sandwiches:

  1. 4 Buns (good Quality)
  2. 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  3. 12 thin sliced deli ham slices (or 4 thicker sliced ham like I used today)
  4. 4 slices Swiss cheese slices
  5. Optional toppings: Pineapple,peppers, mushrooms, onions, Mayo, etc.


Directions:


  • Grill chicken on medium high heat till cooked through. (approximately 5-8 minutes per side)
  • Pull cooked chicken to top rack of grill away from heat while finishing sandwich.
  • Grill buns if desired.
  • If using thicker ham slices you may want to put them on the grill directly for 1 min. per side to warm.
  • Pile 3 slices of thin ham slices or 1 thick slice on top of grilled chicken.
  • Place 1 slice swiss cheese on top of ham.
  • Place grilled chicken w/ ham and cheese on bottom buns
  • Top as desired with optional toppings.
  • Serve warm.





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