Saltbox House

Cooking Exchange

Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Ice Cream Ever!!! - Homemade Pineapple Raspberry Ice Cream


Basically anything cold is a welcome change here in Georgia. It's been hot for  months now and it's still June... One of our favorite things to make is homemade ice cream. We have an ice cream maker similar to this one from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-68330R-Automatic-Ice-Cream/dp/B0009A0N4E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1404177986&sr=8-3&keywords=ice+cream+maker

This is one of our favorite recipes, courtesy of my mother-in-law. Hope you enjoy it too!!

Dump the following ingredients into the canister of your ice cream maker.
1 can of crushed pineapple
1 pkg of frozen or a couple of cups of fresh raspberries
juice from 2-3 lemons
3 cup sugar
1 pint heavy cream

Fill the canister with milk (we usually use 1% but whole milk would be so yummy!!!) to the max fill line. Cover canister and place in ice cream maker. Plug in, fill with layers of ice and salt and let it go till it expands to the top or freezes to the consistency you like. Dig in and ENJOY!!!



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Monday, April 21, 2014

Our 3 Winners of Food Movie Giveaway!



Congratulations To:
 
Ann - Sabrina
 
Lyndee- Julie and Julia
 
Tom- Chocolat

 
Please Email us your address at saltboxhousecreations@gmail.com so we can send you your gift!
 
Thank you to everyone for entering the giveaway! Watch for our next giveaway coming soon!
 
Winners- You have until April 30th to claim your prize, if we do not hear from you by then, you will forfeit your prize.
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Saltbox House Spotlight Author: Lindsay B.


Lindsay B.
Colorado
Saltbox Author Since 2010

Read Her Bio Click Here

Favorite Foods:
I love rice! Whether it is a side dish or in sushi.
I love dessert with anything chocolate such as chocolate ship cookies and brownies.
I like a good steak and good homemade meals from scratch.



  
Favorite Restaurant(s):
I don't really have a favorite restaurant, but I like to go out to eat Sushi, Thai food, and if I am at the beach, I like to go to a local seafood restaurant.

Inspiration to Cook:
I do not like to cook except breakfast. I am only inspired to cook because I want to provide nutritious meals for my family.

Feelings about New Foods:
I am not picky and I am willing to try anything new to eat or make. I am particular as to where the food comes from and how it is processed though so, I may not try the newest thing at a fast food place than I would try a new fruit at the farmers market.

At the Table:
I like to throw parties and have good things to eat even if I am not the only one making them. I prefer guests bringing a special dish to enhance the variety and quantity of food for all of us to enjoy.

Here at Saltbox House Cooking Exchange, we have been inspired by Lindsay and chose her to be our featured author for the month of April. Ever since we've known Lindsay, she has had amazing ideas of what to do and change in recipes. She has a keen sense of ingredients and always seems to find a way to make a regular dish healthier. She has been a great addition to our blog in many aspects and we feel honored to have her on here with us. Thank you Lindsay!
To view Lindsay's current posts see link list below:

Fish Tacos

Healthy Cookies

Nun Puffs

Shepard's Pie

 Recipes Coming Soon:

Gluten Free Crepes, Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Cilantro Lime Shrimp.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

3 Easy Steps to Perfectly Stirred Peanut Butter in Less Than 2 Minutes

This post is brought to you by our first Test Kitchen Entry Question from Annie J. 
Annie, from Chicago asked, 
"I buy Natural Peanut Butter all the time, but hate stirring it. I want the full benefit of Natural Peanut Butter without the all the added stuff that comes with pre-stirred. I normally turn my jars upside down and continue to turn them to loosen things up, but I still have the messy part of stirring it later. Any suggestions?" 


As part of our test kitchen, here at Saltbox House, we took the challenge and went out to find a better way to stir Natural Peanut Butter. First, we went out and purchased a few jars of all natural peanut butter in various brands. We found that the larger jars where not only a better value for your dollar, but easier to work with when testing out stirring methods. 



If you are not sure, this type of peanut butter we are testing only contains peanuts and sometimes a small amount of salt. The separation of oil with the peanuts is a big giveaway that no Palm or Hydrogenated oils (to name a few) have been added to it to keep it from separating. Don't be confused just because it says All Natural . Always look at ingredients. Not all brands are the same, however as far as brands that carry peanut butter with those 1-2 ingredients, they did not make a difference in the stirring factor.




The first two attempts were to test the traditional methods. The traditional stirring methods of natural peanut butter consisted of sticking your butter knife or long spoon into the jar and making your best effort to stir it. These both ended with the same results:
Time consuming 
Messy
Uneven Stir

The third attempt was with an immersion blender. This didn't seem like a bad idea for a larger jar and it cut the traditional time almost in half. However, the heavier layer on the bottom of the jar, did not mix together with the rest, so we ended up having to stir it by hand after all. 



So, after those three attempts, we opened our last jar, dumped it into a mixing bowl. In this way, ALL of the peanut butter came out of the jar with ease. Use that butter knife or rubber spatula and that heavy layer at the bottom comes out completely in 1-2 scoops.  



Next, we took an electric hand mixer (I am sure a stand mixer would would fine) and blended it together in less than a minute. 



Then, we guided it back into the same jar with a rubber spatula. 


It turned out to be perfectly smooth stirred peanut butter. 




The results:

  • Mixed within 2 Minutes
  • Perfectly Stirred
  • Less Messy 
An Added bonus: We found that because we whipped this peanut butter, it stayed soft and spreadable even after refrigeration. It never got heavy or hard to spread on anything and lasted this way until we used up the entire jar. 

Downside:
We did have to wash one mixing bowl, one rubber spatula, and two mixing beaters.



Thank you for your Test Kitchen Entry Annie!

If anyone else has an idea of a way to stir natural peanut butter, please share with us in a comment. 
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Can- Tomatoes


 
I love to cook with tomatoes and every time they are in season, I want to take advantage of it and get as many as I can. This year, I was lucky to have a friend that grew huge amounts of tomatoes and wanted anyone to take them off her hands. So, I took a couple of trips out there to pick away. I let many of them ripe and others I used up fresh. I was going to preserve a few things with tomatoes like spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, salsa, and tomato soup. But, I realized that if I just preserve tomatoes themselves, then I can use them for all of these things, plus more. The tomatoes would be ready to use and then I could just use them for what I needed the most. In this post, I will show you how I like preserve tomatoes which is fast, easy, and requires no cooking.
 
Supplies You Will Need:
  • Water Bath Canning pot-Tomatoes do not need to be pressure canned
  • Jars- Quart or Pint Sized Jars (Wide or Regular mouth, new or re-used)
  • Lids- Wide of regular mouth (never re-use lids)
  • Rings- Wide or regular mouth (Re-used rings are great as they are not rusty)
  • Jar Lifter
  • Bubble Remover/Headspace Tool
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
  • Jar Funnel 
 
Always have these cleaned and ready to go when you begin canning. I also like to throw my jars, lids, and rings in the dishwasher with a mild soap even if they are brand new and do a 1-hour wash or sanitation cycle.



If you haven't already done this, sterilize your used jars and rings by placing them in boiling water for about 10 min. I use my Water bath canner for this to make things a little easier. It is good to add your new lids for 5 minutes to soften the band and sterilize as well. Set them out to air dry.



 
Keep the Skins, Seeds, and Jelly:

It has been widely assumed that the flavor of the tomato is in the flesh. However, this is not the case. The real tomato flavor itself comes from the seeds and its jelly. As far as the skins go, I prefer to keep them on because they help retain the shape of the tomato slices and I don't really notice the skins when I puree them for soups and sauces. Plus, removing the skins is one less step I have to do, not to mention a messy one.  
 
 
 
Clean and Cut:
Clean your tomatoes and remove stumps. Cut and fill Jars. You can cut in halves, quarters or leave them whole.
I would use a funnel for less mess. If you don't have a funnel, don't forget to wipe off the jar rims if there is juice, seeds or any residue on them.

 
 
Add Natural Preservative:
I know many women who do not use any kind of preservative when they can tomatoes. I prefer the lemon juice and the small amount of salt because it fight off potential mold and heat resistant bacteria. Of course, my tomatoes don't last longer than a year or two before they are all gone and I need to make another batch.
 
Salt and lemon juice for both Pints and Quart Jars:
I use lemon juice but you can also use 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid per one Tablespoon of bottled Lemon Juice.
 
Pints- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Quarts- 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt

Sprinkle salt (I use Kosher Salt) and pour lemon juice over cut tomatoes in jar.
 

 
Fill Jars:
Bring a large pot of water to boil. I like to keep my kettle hot and ready for each batch of quart sized jars. Fill jars with pre-boiled water leaving 1/2 inch space at the top. Cover with lid and ring.
 
 
Process Times:
Bring to a boil and Process in a water Bath Canner
35 min for pints
45 minutes for quarts

Submerge secured jars in pre-boiled water in your water bath canner. Cover with canner lid and process for the correct amount of time.
 
 
 
Cool Down:  
After they are done, take them out of the canner, set them on a dry towel (trying not to hit the jars), and let them sit upright for 6-12 hours. This way they can complete the process. Then, you can mark the date and store them with your canned goods.
 
 
Store canned tomatoes in a cool dark place and they should last for a few years.
 
 
 
More ways to preserve your tomatoes (posts to come):
 
Dry Your Tomatoes
 


I like to dry some of my tomatoes. They work well in soups, salads, and pastas.


Freeze Your Tomatoes
 
I also like to freeze tomatoes. I use these for pureed soups and sauces.
 
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