San Bernardino County Blogs
If you are really rambunctious try this for your future enjoyable easy eats: freeze small batches of lasagne, leftover pork ribs (these re-heat in the oven most excellently), turkey and fixin's (remember Thanksgiving?) and casseroles--or leftovers in general. Freezing leftover red sauce for pasta is a gift from heaven when tired or sick. You can cook extra chicken when grilling so that it can be defrosted in the refrigerator and you'll have a ready source of sandwich makings or salad add-ins (or casseroles for that matter). There is also the satisfaction of having something at hand to put in the oven on a night when you don't feel like preparing stuff for dinner!
To keep your frozen food safe you must follow good freezing practices. Excellent general advice on such is to be found here: freezing at the NCHFP
If you want to freeze prepared foods, like the lasagne I mentioned above or casseroles try the NCHFP's Freezing Casseroles, Soups and Stews. This is the ultimate in convenience food: your good cooking in your freezer!
For a good booklet (you might want to print up) about freezing all sorts of prepared foods try Preserving Food: Freezing Prepared Foods. You will need a .pdf reader. The foods it covers range from biscuits to whipped cream, and it has a good list of foods that do not freeze well. This is a good and valuable reference to have around the house.
Preserving by freezing requires some organization, just like preserving by canning, but if you can jar fruits and veggies to process, you may certainly freeze other, un-jar-able items as well. As mentioned above, they can be the most convenient foods--sometimes it is nice to be able to throw something in the oven for dinner and not even need to crack open some jars to do so.
Are you leery of some of the canning instructions on the web? Can you volunteer to teach or help with classes to teach the public safe, effective, USDA approved home canning techniques and recipes?
Please go to this link: San Bernardino County Master Food Preservers and then click on "Master Food Preserver Application 2019" above Uncle Sam's Picture for more information!
It is ALMOST time for our Famous "Gifts from the Kitchen Class!" Mark it down, reserve your spot and attend!
How to use that pickle brine!
I read "That Leftover Pickling Brine" at Preserving Food At Home by the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP), hosted by the University of Georgia. A good tie-in to our last pickle post, no? This article has good info on using up leftover brine from quick pickles (non-fermented) pickles, refrigerator or hot-pack and processed.
Did you know that you should NOT re-use leftover to make more hot-pack processed pickles? This article explains why—the solution becomes less acidic after use on vegetables in a recipe.
Other explanations of when and where you can or cannot use leftover brines are given and explained. In addition, links to pickling fact-sheets and, pickled product, and canning relishes are given. Check it out, read and brush-up your pickling education.
In any case, you could always use leftover brine to make this fried chicken sandwich recipe: Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich at TastingTable.com. Looks good to me!
Oh, man, I just made this dessert and it was extremely easy. The oven didn't need to be used because I cheatedwith a store-bought graham cracker crust. The pie filling came out of a jar of mine; it was cherry.
There are many recipes similar to this, but most call for frozen whipped topping like Cool Whip. I found a recipe that called for home whipped cream, so I went with it and I am glad I did.
Although this looks very rich, the tart sour-cherry pie filling balanced things nicely. It came out a lot lighter than I thought it would be.
Cherry Cream Cheese Freezer Pie
--1 large Graham Cracker Crust from the store (If you get the smaller crust, you should probably buy two.) OR use the Home-made Graham Cracker Crust below.
--1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, soft enough to whip, but still slightly cool
--1 c. powdered sugar
--1/2 pt. (8 ounces, 1 cup) heavy whipping cream, whipped until fluffy
--About 3 cups of your home preserved favorite pie filling OR 1 can commercial pie filling
Place a deep, narrow bowl and beaters/whisk in the fridge to chill to whip the cream.
Bring the cream cheese out to warm almost to room temperature.
Pour the cold whipping cream into the chilled bowl. Use the cold beaters or whisk to whip the cream just until stiff peaks start to form. Set aside in the fridge.
In another bowl beat cool (not cold) cream cheese and the powdered sugar until fluffy. Add whipped cream and mix well, and it should still be light looking.Scrape into the crust and spread evenly.
Evenly spread the pie filling over the cream cheese mixture then cover the pie and freeze overnight.
To serve, bring out of the freezer for about 20 minutes to soften slightly then slice into wedges and serve cold.
Store leftovers (if you have any) in the freezer for couple of days or for a day or two in the fridge.
If you are using home-made pie filling and it is a little loose, strain your fruit somewhat before placing it on top of the pie. If you use commercial pie filling, you will not need to do this.
I made 1 quart of cherry filling using the recipe at https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/can_pie/cherry_filling.html . The filling was used freshly made and 2 extra cups of frozen sour pie cherries were added to the recipe.
Home-made Graham Cracker Crust
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. melted butter
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Thoroughly mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and press evenly into a large pie pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees, or until lightly browned.