DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Freezer Canning

I had the most ridiculous crop of roma tomatoes this year. I just had 2 plants but I’ve probably pulled 100 tomatoes off the plant and there’s another 50 on them. So, I got to making pasta sauce. Some people can but I prefer to freeze. It’s way easier…. way easier.

Freezer Tomato Sauce

12 cups chopped tomatoes (supplant fresh with canned if necessary)
1 onion or equivalent shallots
1 Tbs minced Garlic
2-4 Bell or Sweet Peppers
Seasonings – I just take a pair of scissors into the yard and go to town. Usually Basil and rosemary with some Oregano.

– Chop onions and garlic and saute in large skillet until clear and yummy smelling
– transfer to large pot and add tomatoes and chopped herbs.
– Saute chopped Bell peppers until soft, add to pot.
– stir and cook for a couple hours.
– Cool, transfer to baggies, freeze.

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The next freezer canning trick is pesto.

Freezer Canned Pesto Cubes

1/2 Tbs Pine Nuts
1 1/2 Cu basil leaves
1/2 Cu parmesean Cheese
Olive Oil to Thin

– Chop Pine nuts in food processor
– add basil leaves and chop until it refuses to chop finer
– add parmesean cheese and pour in the Olive Oil – 1/4 Cu to start
– Chop for a while. Add more olive Oil if it isn’t flowing well.
– Spoon into ice cube trays
– Drizzle olive oil over cubes to keep basil from browning in the freezer
– Cover with Saran Wrap and freeze
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and my final freezer meal trick is breaded frozen chicken breast.

Breaded Frozen Chicken Breast

4 Chicken Breast (I usually double this recipie)
2 Eggs, whisked
Flour for drenching
Bread Crumbs for Drenching (I use Italian Bread Crumbs)
Salt Shaker
Canola Oil for frying

– pound chicken breast to 3/4 inch thick
– lightly salt each side
– Dredge in flower
– Dredge in whisked eggs
– Dredge in Bread Crumbs
– repeat dredging for all breasts
– heat about 1/4 In of canola oil in the bottom of large frying pan (cast iron works great)
– pre-heat oven to 350 F
– Fry each chicken breast for about 3 min on each side and set onto cookie sheet
– Once you have a full cookie sheet, cook in oven for 6-10 min or until internal temperature reads 165 F
– Cool and Freeze

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Tools I use:


This meat pounder is heavy with a flat and a zig-zaggy side but the best part – Dishwasher Safe and holds up well!


If you need a toy, this $100 meat thermometer is it. It’s super fast and easy to use but at $100, it’s def a bit pricey. If you buy from Thermapen directly, there are tons of other colors. We have the green one.


This little food processor is all you need for things like pesto and chopping nuts. If you’re planning on making your own baby food, perhaps you need a larger one but I’ve never felt the need for one.

I would really like to get into the legit canning hobby and next year I hope to have so many cucumbers I can do nothing but pickle them but for now, freezer canning is perfect. And, since I’m unemployed, I’ve been stocking the freezer with all sorts of wonderful things so that come this winter when I’m busy again, I’ll have tons saved up to cook on a whim.

What do you make in bulk and freeze? Anything else I should try? Also, at what point do I need a chest freezer? I have a friend that makes all his own stocks and needs the freezer to keep his bones and frozen stock but I think I’d just have too much freezer space and things would get lost in the depths. That being said, our freezer right now is so full that I have to practically empty it to find anything. Thoughts?

Sarah

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Cooookies

Stefan’s friends from high school had a little reunion of sorts this past weekend and I did a bunch of baking. Blueberry Muffins, Cinnamon Muffins, Biscotti, and 2 types of yummy cookies.

One is a Brown Sugar Sugar Cookie
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and the other is a Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cookie
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Both are delish and super rich. It makes good sense to make them together since one used the yolk and one uses the white of an egg but otherwise, they are an odd pair.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cookie

– Adapted from “America’s Test Kitchen”

1/2 Cu granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Cu flour
3/4 Cu Hersheys Dark Cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/8 tsp salt
1/2 Cu dark corn syrup
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 Tbs unsalted Butter
1/3 Cu Dark Brown Sugar
4 Oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Beat at medium speed – butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar
Beat until light and fluffy
Add Corn Syrup, Egg White, and Vanilla
Beat until combined
Add dry ingredients – Flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt
Beat until combined
add Chocolate chips
Drop onto cookie Sheet
bake 11 Min at 374F
Bake until cracks form and inside the cracks looks under-baked

I use the Medium Cookie Scoop because Stefan’s co-workers made fun of my little cookies so I try to make them a little bigger now. Silly reason but there you have it.

This is the scoop I have. If you have some spare time and want to read some very serious reviews on why this is the best cookie scoop on the market, I highly recommend it.

For the Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies I use the small scoop. They are so rich that the bigger scoop is just silly.

Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies

– Adapted from “America’s Test Kitchen”
14 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1 3/4 Cu Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cu Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 lg egg
1 lg egg yolk
1 Tbs vanilla extract

Brown 10 Tbs of the butter
Put in a bowl with the remaining 4 Tbs butter to melt
Get your ingredients together while the butter cools a few min
mix butter, brownsugar, and salt
add eggs and vanilla and mix
add dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder) and mix until combined
drop cookies on sheet
bake at 350F for 12 to 14 min

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Homemade German Pretzels

I tried my hand at some home-made pretzels this weekend.  It was a good bit of work but I’m determined to get it down.

I used a recipe from AmandasCookin.com.

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The dough was rather difficult to get into long enough rolls in order to make the pretels. The recipe recommended 20 inches minimum and it was rough getting them that long.

After forming the pretzels, I boiled them for 5 seconds on each side in a baking soda water bath.

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It was a LOT of baking soda…

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I over-salted them but they were super tasty.

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I’m determined to find a recipe that will let me make the pretzels quickly and easily. I don’t mind waiting for the dough to rise but it would be great if I could form the pretzels a little easier.

I’d also like to try my hand at making some home-made brown mustard.

As always, I’ll keep you posted!

Sarah

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Yummy Weekend Treat

I’m afraid I have next to nothing to report for this weekend.  We didn’t get much done but we did some excellent relaxing and plenty of planning.  One thing I did manage to do was to make this yummy treat.

I used the recipe from a blog “All Things Delicious” with an extra-pecan adjustment.  She has some great pictures to describe the layering.  Pop on over if you get confused by my directions.

The Recipe is Super easy!

2 small tubes refrigerator buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 C. pancake syrup
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. chopped pecans

  1. Grease a bundt pan (or an Angelfood Pan if that’s what’s handy).
  2. Mix syrup and melted butter.
  3. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and nuts.
  4. Put half the liquid mixture in the pan followed by half the dry mixture.
  5. Lay the biscuits on top in an overlapping ring pattern.
  6. Pour remaining liquid followed by remaining dry mixture.
  7. Bake at 375 Degrees for 20 min.
  8. Flip onto a plate, let cool for a minute and serve. Delicious!