Cold Day? Spend it in the Kitchen


Canning Obsessed

Just color me canning obsessed. When I looked out of the window and saw the rain slowly moving into snow, I decided I would not step one single foot outside of my door today. Instead, I would focus on canning, baking, and cooking. Along with some editing – this is now Round Four of edits on Gliese 581: The Departure.

I wrote down what I wanted to do, but things don’t always work out quite the way you plan. Or at least, they don’t for me. In any case, I’m still working my way through the “to-do’s” which may very well span into tomorrow, but here is what I have so far:

  • 3 quarts of chicken stock, along with 4 quarts of garbanzo beans cooling after being processed in the pressure canner.
  • 16 pints of a hot version of green enchilada sauce currently in the canner.
  • Around 4 quarts of pork stock plus one more pint of enchilada sauce waiting to be pressure canned
  • A crockpot full of chicken thighs cooking that will then be de-boned and hot-pack pressure canned into pints or quarts (probably tomorrow).


I’m also working on a few other things in between canning…


Homemade Thai Peanut Sauce

My husband and I love the Lemongrass Chicken Sticks from Trader Joe’s. And they taste even better when dipped in Thai peanut sauce.

And you know me, after I emptied two bottles within two weeks and had trouble finding a regular source for the sauce (sometimes the stores had it and sometimes not) I figured I could make it myself for less, have plenty of it on hand, and save some money.

So I Googled Thai peanut sauce recipes and found this recipe. I altered it a bit, here is what I whipped together. I think it tastes pretty darn good. So smooth!

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Just gently mix the ingredients together and place in a jar in the fridge. Happy eating!


Taco Seasoning

Later in the week we have “Tacos and Tostadas” on the list as one of our planned dinners. We have plenty of the smaller flour tortillas for soft tacos, and I love deep-fried corn tortilla tostadas, hence the fusion.

We have our choice of canned chicken, leftover pork, or canned hamburger to use – so a little lettuce, cheese and sour cream, along with a side of refried beans, and we are in business.

I figured I would whip up some taco seasoning as well. I adapted a recipe I found on the internet so that I will have plenty ready and waiting to season the meat for 2-3 meals. Here is the recipe:

  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground is best!)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Mix it all up, store it in a spice jar.


Coconut Milk Ice Cream

And since I had the can of coconut milk open and only partially used, I figured it was time to learn how to make coconut milk ice cream for my eldest. She’s lactose-intolerant, so all of the ice creams I have been experimenting with lately she hasn’t been able to eat.

I’ve gotten some seriously sad looks as I enjoyed homemade Butter Pecan, Mint Chocolate Chip, my own version of Chunky Monkey as well as amazingly tasty coffee ice cream variants.


So this one is for Dee. She is off to help a friend move. Afterwards, she can kick back and enjoy this ice cream. I hope you like it my dear!

I Googled “coconut milk ice cream recipes” and found this recipe. And, as usual, altered it to fit our own needs. I made it the following way:

  • 1 1/2 cans of Thai Kitchen coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp homemade vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 oz of mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 oz of 85% caco dark chocolate, chopped
  • Green food coloring


When Danielle was a little girl, this was her favorite flavor of ice cream. I think it still might be. Unfortunately, finding a wide variety of flavors of dairy-free ice cream can be challenging. From the beginning of my ice cream making experimentations I wanted to find one that would suit her as well.


This ice cream set up well in the ice cream maker and I must say, it doesn’t scream “NON DAIRY” at me. It’s rather good!


I’ll be trying other recipes as well using coconut milk. Stay tuned for that.


Chile Cheese Bread

And while the stovetop and counters were filled with all of the canning and mixes – I added one that would take up room in the empty oven – chile cheese bread.

Super simple, super easy, and oh so tasty! Here is the link to that recipe.


Yesterday’s Pork Dinner

I had seen in a flyer for Save-A-Lot, a local grocery store I have only visited once, that they had pork picnic roast for just 99 cents per pound. We bought a huge piece for around $7 and cut off the fat and tossed it in a bag. When I get enough of it, I just might try rendering it into lard. There was a large bone in the meat, so after Dave cut off the fat, he carefully cut the meat off of the bone and handed it to me to deal with.

Dave browned the meat and then we added proscuitto, sage, rosemary, pepper and salt, rolling it up as we went, and added more of the sage, rosemary, pepper and salt to the outside of it.


We placed the roast into a pressure cooker, which already had a cup of white wine, and a tablespoon of bouillon in it, closed it up, and placed it on medium high heat. Once the regulator began to jiggle we turned it down to medium and cooked it for 70 minutes.

It was doggone good! We had our neighbors Kevin and Michelle over, they brought salad and fixings, and Dave had made a creamy gravy out of the drippings. Yum!

This morning I added the bone to a stockpot, along with a gallon of water, seasonings, garlic cloves, some carrots, onion ends and leftover cilantro (from the batch of salsa verde) and started it at a nice light boil. It’s been going for about four hours now. It was still a tiny bit bland, so I added some cajun seasoning to taste and will be prepping it for canning.


All in all, it looks like I have at least three separate rounds of canning to do, possibly four. Ai carumba!

If I need to, I can stretch this into tomorrow, because the day is blissfully free of appointments of any kind. But I also need to prep for a class on Tuesday, so I am trying to keep Monday’s schedule clear of too much.


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