Cheap Delicious Fresh Salsa

Cheap Delicious Fresh Salsa

Tis the season for the best stuff of summer to be getting cheaper and more abundant! Yay! My favorite time of year! I had a hankerin’ for salsa today so here is what I did:

I got my prep cook:

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She cut the tomatoes since my eczema is acting wonky today. We used about ten of them I think. Then I cut the onion and the jalapeno and the cilantro. We then tossed it all into the food processor.

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Added some lime (I am not shy about the lime!) and some salt. As you can see in the pic, that is a lot of salt. You can use less. (I recommend it.) I added a butt load more tomatoes (hence ten) to take out the saltiness. So That much salt is good for about two batches. Maybe add a little and taste it till you find how you like it.

Turn on the processor.

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Pour into a bowl and enjoy.

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If you have never made your own salsa before, it’s really all about your own taste preference. Make adjustments as needed. Salsa is usually pretty forgiving. It is easy to fix and adjust.

I took some of this salsa (since I had to make so much) and put it in the freezer. I know most people can their salsa but I wanna see how it thaws and if this is something I can make in huge batches of to save. I don’t like the idea of canning because that cooks the salsa which defeats the concept of “fresh” salsa; not that frozen is “fresh” but it’s not cooked. I will update the blog on how it turns out.

I should also say, I used one single jalapeno for all of this salsa. My mouth is very warm!. Winco sells these monstrosities they label as jalapenos but they are huge! Not like any jalapeno I have ever seen! I suppose I could have gotten away with half of one!

UPDATE: 

Frozen fresh salsa thawed, tastes just fine, however is a bit thin and watery.

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Better Than Store-Bought Refried Beans! And Cheaper!

Better Than Store-Bought Refried Beans! And Cheaper!

It is really hard for me to justify spending a dollar on a can of refried beans when I can buy a couple of pounds of dry beans for less than 2 dollars and end up with three quarts of them only mine taste better and I know what’s in them. I had a bag of pintos lying around today so I thought I’d do em up since I didn’t have any cans.

Here’s what I did:

I dumped em into the pan and covered em with water and brought them to a boil.

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I shut off the stove but left the pan on the burner. They sat on the stove for a bit after that, maybe an hour. Then I dumped in some dehydrated onions (don’t be shy), and dried oregano, butter (bout a half stick) and Himalayan salt for flavor. I dumped 8 cups of water in and stirred then brought that all back up to a boil. I turned the heat down to med low or low and covered the pan and let em cook a good 3-4 hours until they were soft enough to smash with a hand masher.

I prefer my beans to be smooth so I put them through the food processor and while they ran I added a pinch or two of celery salt and a few more pinches of onion powder. I actually tend to use a lot of onion powder. I love that stuff.

refried beans

bagged beans

Bag em up and toss em in the freezer. Viola! Delicious homemade refried beans made with all healthy ingredients. I think these can also be dehydrated for non freezer storage if you have dehydrator mats. I might try it myself and see how it goes and then I’ll update this blog with the results.

Cost of beans $1.60

Cost of butter $0.38

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

I have been seeing this new trend all over the internet lately or maybe it’s not new just new to me but I had to try it. I washed and scrubbed my lemons cuz apparently some have wax on them. I don’t know if mine did but they don’t now lol. I threw my jar and a lid into the oven to sterilize cuz we only want the good kind of bacteria running around in our lemons.

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Like every other blog says to do, I cut the tops off the lemons then sliced them almost into quarters but not all the way then jammed em full of Himalayan salt. Most recipes call for sea salt but I didn’t have any so I used the pretty pink stuff. I squished em down into the quart jar and then filled the rest of the space with lemon juice. There are recipes that call for things like coriander and cloves and cinnamon sticks. I will use all of that in my next batch. I got too overzealous and forgot them this time around.

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Himalayan salt isn’t terribly expensive unless you go to Safeway where you will probably pay about $7 for a little jar of it. Too much! Get it at Winco! Buy bulk! It is so much cheaper that way! Himalayan salt has lots of minerals your body needs that regular table salt doesn’t have. I can’t remember how much it is at Winco but I know that when you can buy as much or as little as you want, you control the cost.

Now we wait. Every couple of days, flip the jar for 30 days.

Cost of Lemons 4 x $.68

Cost of Lemon juice – pennies

Cost of salt – pennies

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Pineapple Candy

Pineapple Candy

This is one of my favorites! Okay so you are wondering how this fits in with prepping and making sure we have enough food to eat when the prices go up or saving money in general. Well, in the event of the zombie apocolypse which arguable may already have happened, aren’t you still going to want candy? Isn’t your sweet tooth still going to pester you? I know mine will. So I am preparing for that cuz I know there is nothing worse than a nagging craving you can’t satisfy.

To make this amazing, delicious, yummy, goodness, I cut the outside of the  pineapple off like usual, then sliced it into about 1/4 inch thin slices (bite [big bite] size) and dipped them in lime juice (I was out of lemon). Then I spread them over the racks of my dehydrator and set the vent at 1. pineapple

 

The scraps couldn’t just go in the garbage! No that is bad! They went into my trusty pan with enough water to cover then I boiled them. pineapple scrap

I boiled them for about an hour maybe a little more. I separated the scraps from the juice then added a bunch of sugar to the juice; maybe a cup, and then a few tablespoons of lemon juice and brought it to a boil. Then I added some cornstarch to thicken it a bit. Sadly, it poured in too fast and now I have lumps. BUT! No worries! It still tasted delicious! I jarred it up Pineapple syrup

and am going to use it Saturday on pancakes with my mango sauce I made today! So many Nommy things going on around here!

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This isn’t all the pineapple. Some is still drying 😉

One last thing. Before I did anything today, I cut the top off and put it in water. Someone said a pineapple can be rooted that way. We’ll see 🙂

Cost of pineapple $3

Update: I did another pineapple and forgot to dip in lime before putting the pieces on the racks. The pineapple candy was not nearly as good! So, having to use lime when I was out of lemon turned out to be a blessing and I won’t forget to dip in lime again!

Cilantro On Easter

Cilantro On Easter

Easter Sunday we had rain here in Redding and my cilantro was about to seed so I knew I had to cut it and do something with it before it all went south. In the cold, unpleasant rain, I went out to my tiny herb garden and cut all the long stocks and put them on a plate. I had no use for the cilantro at the moment and didn’t want it to go to waste. I got my trusty dehydrator out and some parchment paper cut to fit on the racks and loaded it up with all I cut. I was surprised that it dried so quickly! Only about four or five hours! I dumped the cilantro out onto wax paper then dumped that into my bullet and gave it a few whirls until it was all chopped up. I now have my first batch of dried cilantro in a jar ready for use.cilantro

I use a Ronco cheapy dehydrator for all of my drying and for the cilantro I set the vent to one so it was sorta like drying on medium high. I think I will be doing another batch tomorrow since the rain is making everything grow so fast here.

Cost of Cilantro plant  $3.00

Howdy!!!

Howdy!!!

My name is Tawna and I have decided I ought to just have a blog. I have discovered a passion for everything food as long as it is straight forward and easy. So far, I have posted all of my successes on facebook but I want a place to keep them all together so I can reference them later. And if someone likes what I post and learns a few things along the way, even better.

The name for my blog, I know, is a little different. But the food I prepare is not silver spoon worthy. Simple, easy, mostly natural and big enough portions to feed a family of five. I can’t afford to cook silver spoon meals. Shopping for groceries gets me down every time. The cost just to eat is out of control here in California and now with the drought complicating things for farmers, food is about to get more expensive. Seeing the coming crisis I bought two canners and a food dehydrator. I have yet to use the canners but plan to very soon as the weather is warming up and local farms will be open again. The next thing in my wish list is a food saver. I like to prepare meals ahead and freeze them for those days I just don’t have time to cook. Thank God for my two crock pots!

We are a very busy family with one income. I homeschool three different girls and they all have extracurricular activities for school as well as softball for the city. There are many nights my prefrozen to crockpot meals have saved us.

I hope you all find my blog to be informative and enjoyable. I hope you learn some cool things.

P.S. The drought in California is going to affect every other state in the union as we are the producers of 80% of the US food. If you haven’t already, go invest in food storage supplies and start preserving 🙂