Food, mustard seed sentinel

Canned Tomatoes

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We had a large tomato harvest in our backyard garden this summer. There were so many that a quick decision had to be made on what to do with the tomatoes before they spoiled. Enter the canned tomato. This was my first time canning, and I loved it. 

There is something so satisfying about preserving food that you’ve grown. Even the basil in each jar is from our garden. I have a whole new respect for the generations before me who had no choice but to preserve their food for those long winter months. No wonder not a drop of food was wasted back in the day. Each morsel meant hard work was involved.

A few things to consider before you decide to take the plunge on this endeavor. It will make a decent sized mess in your kitchen. It will take at least two hours of your time. You don’t need a canning pot. The only tool you should purchase or borrow is canning tongs, and of course jars. 

If you have ever wanted to try canning, tomatoes are a great way to start. They are probably one of the least fussy foods to preserve. You will still need to sterilize your jars and lids, but there is less concern over botulism because tomatoes are a high acidic fruit. You will have your very own tomatoes on hand to make sauces, soups, stews, or any other tomato based recipe. 

I love trying new things and canning tomatoes surprised me with happiness. Tomatoes are a staple in my cooking, and now I have my own canned supply from my garden. If you decide to take the leap into canning like I did, send me your pictures. I’d love to see what you accomplished. You can do this!

Happy Canning!

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

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Canned Tomatoes

 

Ingredients

  • ½ to 1 lb. Roma tomatoes per each 16 oz. jar
  • 1 bottle concentrated lemon juice
  • fresh sprigs of basil

 

Instructions

  1. Prepare canning jars. Place jars and lids in simmering water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. The rings do not need to be sterilized and just need washed in warm soapy water. To make it easy, just leave the jars and lids in the warm water until you’re ready to fill them. 
  2. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Wash tomatoes and make an “x” shape with a knife on the bottom of each one. Bring a large pot of water to boil and place scored tomatoes in the pot for a minute or two. When the skins start to tear, scoop out the tomatoes and place them in an ice water bath. Remove the skins, cut out the core, and slice the tomatoes into quarters. 
  3. Cook the tomatoes. Place one fourth of the tomatoes in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. Add the remaining tomatoes (do not crush these tomatoes) and boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Fill jars with cooked tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice concentrate per jar and one sprig of fresh basil. Fill jars with cooked tomatoes leaving ½ inch head space. Wipe the rims and place lids and rings on each jar until finger tight.
  5. Process jars in a hot water bath. Place the filled jars in a warm water bath covering them in at least an inch of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and start timing. 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. Process times can vary depending on your altitude. https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_water_pack.html
  6. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when the center is pressed. You should hear a popping sound when they cool or even while they are boiling. Store canned tomatoes for up to a year. 

 

Notes:

  • Make sure to use canning tongs. It will make your job much easier and safer.
  • I used a stock pot when processing my cans since it was deep.
  • My jars are pint size (16 oz.) 
  • A wide mouth canning funnel is quite helpful when filling jars.
  • Use bottled lemon juice to ensure high enough acidity.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for quart size jars.

 

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Click on the link to get all of my recipes. Go to More and scroll down to Meghan’s Corner. Mustard Seed Sentinel is an online magazine filled with all sorts of fantastic articles. The contributors are accomplished, talented writers. Check it out and subscribe.

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Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Sheet Pan Italian Chicken

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It’s easier to find some chicken at the stores right now than toilet paper. Though I hope you have plenty of both. I also hope and pray that you and your family are healthy and well. These are uncertain times, but God is bigger than coronavirus. He will get us through this. 

And yes, people are going a wee bit crazy. Panic buying. We’ve all seen the empty toilet paper shelves, among other essentials. Let’s all take a collective deep breath together. That’s better. We are going to make it, by the grace of God. Yes, it’s tough right now with so many unknowns, but God knows. We can trust God completely. So, keep your head up, your hope fixed on Jesus, and know this will end. 

You may be cooking more than usual lately, and I want to help you out. This super simple chicken dinner is fantastic. Veggies and meat are cooked together in one pan. Easy and nutritious.  Your kids will love it. Your spouse will love it. Your family will praise you for making such yummy food. 

If you’ve already got some chicken in the freezer then all you will need is some fresh green beans and Roma tomatoes. Or, you can swap out the vegetables for ones you’ve got on hand. I’ve been able to get fresh produce at my local grocery store, and I hope you can as well. The fresh veggies make this dish so appetizing. 

Get your kids involved by having them trim the ends of the green beans, or help measure the ingredients for the marinade. My youngest son, who’s fourteen, usually cuts the green beans for me. Add a salad, some potatoes, or rice, and your meal is complete. Have fun with this one.

Happy Eating!

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation—

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

    of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

 

 

Sheet Pan Italian Chicken

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 Roma tomatoes

1 lb. fresh green beans

 

Marinade

1 cup olive oil

⅓ cup balsamic vinegar

6 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. Basil

1 tsp. salt   

½ tsp. black pepper

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° and spray a large sheet pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade. Set aside.
  3. Trim the ends off the green beans and slice the tomatoes lengthwise into 4 to 6 pieces each. Place the vegetables in a large freezer bag.
  4. Place the chicken in a large freezer bag. Pour half the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and move the chicken around to give it an even coat. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours. 
  5. Pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables and let that sit on the counter. (Place the vegetables in the refrigerator if you plan to cook several hours later).
  6. Set your chicken on the counter for about 20 minutes before you put it in the oven.
  7. Place chicken on the sheet pan first, then fit the veggies around the chicken. Throw out the excess marinade. Sprinkle salt and pepper on everything before it goes in the oven. 
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.

 

Notes

  • Use cherry tomatoes instead of Romas.
  • Experiment with different vegetables.
  • Add fresh parsley when it comes out of the oven.

 

 

Get this delicous recipe and all of my recipes at Mustard Seed Sentinel. Go to the “More” tab and scroll down to “Meghan’s Corner”.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-sheet-pan-italian-chicken