Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
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Home Canned Black Beans

Here’s some easy canning for you.  We like cooked black beans in soups, casseroles and salads.  However, for two, a purchased can is too much.  So I can them in half pints, ready to use anytime.  A cupful is often what I need for recipes.  Remember, these MUST be pressure-canned for safety.  Check our canning links for more information.
I use fresh hot water to can them, so they are not so thick.  I only let my black beans soak 1 hour, unless they would be very old.  This method works for me; no bean “bricks”, but the beans are not mushy either.
This is convenient for emergency food storage too; in an emergency, you may not have water or heat to cook them from the dried state.

Home Canned Black Beans

Amount of Dry Beans
Half Pint Jars
Pint Jars
Quart Jars
1 Pound
8 Half Pints
4 Pints
2 Quarts
2 Pounds
16 Half Pints
8 Pints
4 Quarts
Rinse dry beans, cover well with boiling water.  Boil 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let soak 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare pressure canner; heating 2-3 quarts of water (read your canner directions).
Simmer jar lids 10 minutes (do not boil); and have your jars clean and warm.  Heat hot water for filling jars.
After soaking, heat beans to boiling and drain.  Pack jars 3/4 full with hot beans. 
Fill with hot water, leaving 1 inch headspace.  Remove bubbles.  Wipe rim of jar, place hot previously-simmered lid on jar and screw down lid. 
Process pints and half pints 75 minutes and quarts 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in your pressure canner.  Let pressure drop naturally, about ½ hour.  Remove from canner and cool on a cloth-covered tray until sealed. 
(Processing Times and basic directions from Presto)

Wonderful, Easy Pimientos - Marinated Sweet Peppers with Garlic

I never thought that I could make pimientos…and those little jars you buy are expensive!  I also never thought I would LOVE eating pimientos right out of the jar either!
This recipe is so easy, I don’t think there is any reason to can them…I just make them when I need them and they stay crisp and good in the refrigerator.  
The recipe was right on the money for quantities – I made them in two half-pint jars so I could share one with Myrna.  You could “fancy-pack” them and give them for Christmas gifts too.  They are really a version of marinated sweet peppers with garlic.  
The second time I made these, I tried a jar each of yellow and orange peppers; they are simply delicious - nothing like the stuff you buy!  You can also fill your jars with those little fancy sweet peppers...  My husband thinks I need these on hand all the time, and was disappointed that he had to wait...they are great in salads, cut up in vegetables like green beans and peas, in casseroles or creamed dishes, or just on a relish tray.  We can hardly stop eating them!  Now I make 6 jars at a time - we use them in salads, vegetables, casseroles and on appetizer trays.          
  2            large  Red Peppers
     ½       cup  White Vinegar
     ½       cup  Water
     ¼       cup  Sugar
  2            cloves  Garlic -- chopped
  1            teaspoon  Olive Oil
     ½       teaspoon  Salt
Sterilize jars (I use the water to then soak the peppers).
Wash peppers, remove inner seeds and membranes and slice into inch-wide strips.  Cover peppers with boiling water and let them soak for 5 minutes, then drain well.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water and sugar in a non-aluminum pan and bring to a boil.  Simmer mixture for 5 minutes, remove from heat and add garlic, oil and salt.
Place peppers in sterilized jars and pour the vinegar mixture over them to cover.  Store the pimientos in refrigerator for 2 weeks before using.
They will keep several months in the refrigerator.
2014 Cost:  $ 1.55 for 8 ounce jar or $3.09 per pint with purchased red peppers.
  "Cheaper and Better"

Yield:  "2 Half Pints"

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Sunday in Iowa

The Spillway at Lake Keomah in Mahaska County between Oskaloosa and Rose Hill, Iowa, a cool oasis amidst the soybean and corn fields

Family Favorites...Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

  One recipe I tried from The Southern Living best comfort food recipes, 2011, was a recipe for Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. I bought 2 small bottles (50ml) of Bacardi Gold rum at one of our local liquor outlets. I think rum flavoring might work, but the real thing is much better than the rum extracts available.

  This is a different bread pudding than I have tried before as it has chopped up apple and golden raisins in it, and it received rave reviews. The apple makes it a real dessert recipe and with the warm rum sauce on it, it was outstanding. Ready and in the oven with a minimum of fuss, this is my kind of recipe, .

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
 4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
3 (12 oz.) cans of evaporated milk
½ cup butter melted
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 cups firmly packed torn french bread
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts, toasted (I used 1 cup pecans instead)
1 cup golden raisins
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk  (Eagle Brand)
2 tablespoons Dark Rum 
Preheat oven to 350°. 
  1. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in sugar, evaporated milk, butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and cinnamon. Fold in bread and next three ingredients, stirring until bread is moistened. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish,
  2. Bake uncovered, at 350° for 50 minutes or until set. This time worked out perfect for my oven.
  3. To make rum sauce, pour sweetened condensed (Eagle Brand) milk into a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until hot, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in rum and remaining 1 Tablespoon vanilla.
  4. Cut bread pudding into squares; serve warm with warm rum sauce.

Pineapple Sorbet

I have been looking for a ice cream recipe that Bettie could eat. She has developed Type 2 Diabetes and I wanted something that was not as many carbs. This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Diabetic web page seemed to be the one to try.
  Sorbets are not ice creams. There is no milk or cream involved just the fruit and sometimes water, and a small amount of sugar.
Nice color from the pineapple.
  This calls for a fresh pineapple, and I was not about to peel and core a whole pineapple. Our local HyVee store sells them already cored, peeled and ready to go for not a lot more than a whole pineapple. By far the easiest way to go. 
  With only three ingredients and carb count of 12 for one serving, this is easy to fix and easy to eat. My only fault with it is it is not as pineapple tasting as I thought it might be. Maybe that depends on the ripeness of the pineapple. However, if you want a low carb count and a very good and different taste, do try this
Pineapple Sorbet
Makes 8 servings       Carb count per serving: 12
1 large whole fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
  Chop pineapple and place in blender with the sugar and lime juice, cover and blend until mixture is completely smooth. Press through a strainer, you should have about 3 cups of puree. I just blended it so smooth, that I did not bother with the strainer.
  Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or freezer for 20 minutes. Pour into a ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions. Allow to ripen for 4 hours in freezer.
  To serve scoop into chilled dessert dishes. This will melt faster than ice cream so the chilled dishes are a good idea. Garnish with mint leaves or lemon peel curls if desired.
Nutrition: Servings per recipe *
Cal. 49
Carb. 12g
Fiber. 1g
Sugar 11g
Sodium 2 mg
Diabetic Exchanges: Fruit: 1   Other Carb: 1

Burnt Almond Ice Cream

Burnt Almond Ice Cream  Yum!
  The Best Of Ice Cream has several ice cream recipes. Most are the custard base type which I rarely make. I like them, but they are rich and as we eat a fair amount of ice cream, I try to keep it a little less caloric. This however, just looked to good not to try.
  Bettie’s boss is a fan of anything almond and will get the bulk of this Burnt Almond ice cream, that is what we don’t eat ourselves. When I was making it, Bettie and I thought we could just drink it and the heck with freezing it. 
  I did cut back on the eggs, the recipe calls for 5 but says you can cut to 4 or even 3. I went with 4 smaller egg yolks. I am making eggs for supper tonight so will use the whites with that. Do be sure you chill it before freezing it. I was impatient and wanted to get done, so didn’t chill it as long and ended up just having to churn it a little longer. Didn’t really save any time. 
  We have really used our 2 quart electric ice cream maker since I got it and I would sure hate to give it up now. One of the few things I am willing to give counter and storage space to.
Burnt Almond Ice Cream
2 teaspoons butter (or toast in oven without butter)
½ cup sliced almonds
2 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks (may cut to 4 or even 3)
¾ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
  In a small skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter, add the almonds and saute until just golden. Remove and dry on paper towels. Set aside.
  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat whole milk just to a simmer. Set aside.
  In top of double boiler, or a medium bowl which will fit over a pan on hot water, whisk the yolks with the sugar and salt for 3 to 4 minutes, or until pale yellow. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Place the top of the double boiler or bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook whisking constantly, for 8 to 1o minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, vanilla and almond extract. 
  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, freeze according to the manufactures’s directions. When the ice cream is half frozen, stir in the almonds. Complete the freezing process. 
Makes 1 ½ quarts. (I felt it was closer to 2 quarts and would not do it in a smaller size freezer. Good Eating

Chocolate Ice Cream

Custard Based Chocolate Ice Cream
  Chocolate ice cream by the Best Of Ice Cream Cookbook is a simple and good recipe. We all liked it, and though I didn’t let it chill long enough, it turned out fine.
The recipe says to chill for 30 minutes, but the next time I make it, I will let it chill for at least an hour. I did find that the chocolate set up some when I put it into the warm milk, and there are tiny flecks of chocolate in the ice cream. It tastes just fine though and everyone will think you did it on purpose.
  The four egg yolks called for in the recipe left me with 4 egg whites, so I am going to try a white cake from scratch, (another post) so will use up the eggs. Egg whites can be frozen though if you don’t want to use them right away.
  You could add some nuts or chocolate chips if you wanted too. Always add near the end of the ice cream maker cycle.
Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
  In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the whole milk to a simmer and set aside. In the top of a double boiler or medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar for 3 to 4 minutes or until pale yellow. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Place the pan or bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly7 for 8 to 10 minutes until custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the hot water and stir in the melted chocolate until blended. Stir in the cream and vanilla.
  Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes. Pour into ice cream maker following manufacturers instructions.
Makes about 1 ½ quarts

Raspberry Sorbet

  Made this Sorbet today for Sue’s husband, John, as he has been having some problems with milk. I have been wanting to try a Sorbet in my ice cream maker so this was the perfect chance. 
Photo is from Sue
  The recipe I had was quite complicated so used this one from the Cuisinart web site. I did add about a tablespoon of Chambord, but that is optional. The liqueurs help keep iced deserts from setting up so hard.
  I do think this will melt so would chill the dishes before serving. Next time I am going to try adding a little unflavored gelatin to the mixture.
  It really is a beautiful color and the texture was creamy. I was surprised at that. I was afraid it would be icy. Lemon Sorbet next.
Raspberry Sorbet
2 cups water
1½ cups granulated sugar
pinch table salt
4 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
1 tablespoon Chambord, optional
Prepare a simple syrup with the water and sugar by combining both in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved. Once the simple syrup is ready, add the salt and the raspberries and Chambord if using. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Strain half of the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Use a spatula to aid in passing the purée through the strainer. Remove seeds and repeat with the second half. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, or overnight. Freeze in ice cream maker about 25 to 30 minutes. The sorbet will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Servings  Makes about 5 cups (ten ½-cup servings)

Nutritional information per serving (based on ½ cup): Calories 140 (0% from fat) • carb. 37g • pro. 0g • fat 0g • sat. fat 0g • chol. 0mg • sod. 14mg • calc. 9mg • fiber 2g