Home Canning Basics – All American Pressure Canner Cooker

Home canning is a popular method for preserving foods, particularly fruit and vegetables. It allows you to take advantage of the bountiful crops you experience in spring and summer from your home garden, and save them for the colder months when supply is considerably diminished.

But there are tricks and tips you need to know about home canning which can save you a lot of time and effort, and will save you from the risks of losing your valuable preserves through spoilage.

One of the major causes of concern in any food preservation technique is to ensure that the integrity of the food is maintained for as long as possible in the safest possible way.

Although you need to be careful and follow some basic safety rules, the actual process of home canning is quite straightforward. As you are going to be heat processing all food, it is important to make sure that the correct heating standards are maintained.

Here are some basic steps:

  • All food should be placed in jars that have airtight seals, preferably two-piece metal lids.
  • Choose an appropriate canner such as the highly recommended All American Pressure Canner Cooker, to heat the jars to the temperature stipulated in the recipe.
  • Choose the correct size jar appropriate to the food you are processing, and be careful to maintain space inside the jar appropriate to the expected expansion rate.
  • Make sure that the heat is maintained for the period of time specified in the recipe. This will ensure that no bacteria or other microorganisms and enzymes will spoil your food.
  • Allow the jars to cool slowly. This will allow the lids to form a strong vacuum seal.

The principle behind this process is that the contents will expand as the jar is heated. This causes pressure changes to take place inside the jars so that air is expelled from them. As the jars cool, the difference in outside and inside pressures causes the lid to clamp down tightly to form a vacuum seal.

The All American Pressure Canner

It is vital to have a good quality canner such as the All American Pressure Canner,  that will maintain temperatures and will heat the contents at a consistent temperature, whilst at the same time ensuring that the vacuum sealing method outlined above can take place as efficiently as possible.

High acid foods and low acid foods require different processes however, and for these you will need either a boiling water canner or a pressure canner respectively.

The bottom line is that you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure that the equipment is clean and properly assembled before use.

Read our detailed review on the All American Pressure Canner Cooker.

From Friday Night Pizzas to Clean Countertops – Learn to Make Life Easier in the Kitchen

Everyone seems to be in a rush these days, relying on caffeinated coffee and sodas just to keep going. We have to go here and there, pick up the kids, drop off the kids, go to meetings, meat friends, walk the dog, do the kitty litter, do the laundry, get caught up on the news, and a oh yes –  let’s not forget we have to cook too.

Here is some good news.  Learning to structure our time and space in the kitchen with a few practical tips, life in the kitchen can be relaxing, less hurried and more enjoyable for everyone.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.  Use appliances to do your mixing and chopping.

Many cookbooks will mention how long it takes to make a recipe.   What is particularly helpful is when the author indicates how much of that time is prep work.  This is a great feature because many times the prep work such as chopping, slicing, sautéing, etc. can take a considerable amount of time in and of itself.

One of the ways to get around this, especially when a recipe calls for a lot of chopping, is to use a food processor, or mixer depending on the need.  There are various types of blenders and it is important to purchase one which is suitable for your needs.  There are many popular styles such as the KitchenAid mixer, or Cuisinart mixers which offers chopping and dough mixing settings.

2.  Clean while you cook.

One of the greatest time saving tips doesn’t even have to cost you a penny.  Use the times when something is baking, cooking, or sautéing to clean up your area.  This can include cleaning pots and pans, or simply cleaning the countertop –  such as removing any scraps of food.

The more you practice this while cooking you will reduce the cleanup time at the end of the meal.  This allows you to finish eating and move on quickly to your next activity, or sit back and relax while enjoying a nice cup of coffee.

3.  Grow indoor herbs.

Learning to grow culinary herbs indoors is not for everyone, as it will require space and maintenance.  However, it is a convenient time saver when cooking a recipe to reach over and snip some fresh herbs to toss in.

Indoor herbs not only help keep your recipes bright and fresh during off-season months, they also add bright foliage to your kitchen decor.  Adding a little bit of greenery to your kitchen can help lift moods, and create a warmer atmosphere.

4.  Use a recipe box.

It can be hard to keep a recipe box updated with favorite recipes when strapped for time.  After all, stopping to rewrite a recipe from a cookbook onto an index card is not always the most pleasing way to spend our free time.

However, one must think of its long-term implications.  If a person can get in the habit of doing this every time they come across a good recipe, they will save themselves many headaches in the future when wanting to easily refer back to that recipe – yet cannot remember which cookbook it came from.

By categorizing your favorite recipes in one location like a recipe box, it becomes easy to find ideas simply by sifting through your list of favorites.  This will not only save time, but many headaches as well.

5.  A theme a day.

For those who are responsible for cooking each night, it can be rather taxing coming up with a new menu each week.  However with a little organization and discipline, a person can relieve much of this stress.

Assign each day of the week to a particular theme or category.  For example, Monday can be devoted to poultry, where the main dish consists of chicken.

Tuesday can be a meatless theme where the meal consists of mostly vegetables or even pasta.  Pasta tossed with fresh vegetables such as eggplant and zucchini is always a good combination.

Don’t forget a leftover’s night, and of course you can always make Friday pizza night, whether you choose to order out, or make your own pizza at home. By the way, kids loves making homemade pizza dough!

Another fun idea is to have a special dessert every Sunday, or other day of the week.  An example could be a homemade pie, or even homemade ice cream using a gelato maker.  This is another fun activity to do at home with the kids.

6.   Never wear white.

Lastly, this step is one of the most practical, which is never to wear white when working with any ingredient that can stain – such as an Italian pasta sauce.  If for whatever reason you need to wear white, try using an apron to help protect your clothing.  This is a simple tip, but has huge rewards.

In the end, it is safe to say, with a little preplanning and organization, life in the kitchen not only becomes easier, but can also be fun.

Contributor: Liz T. Krause is the owner of SimpleItalianCooking.com, a website devoted to Italian cooking recipes.  She enjoys writing about Italian related topics and writes reviews for different products such as the Alessi 9090 espresso maker.  She spends her free time in the kitchen and enjoys trying new recipes and making homemade espressos.

Blog of the Week – Three Many Cooks

Three Many Cooks

I was recently over browsing around one of my favorite blogs “The Pioneer Woman Cooks’ when I came across a Delicious Website that Ree featured called Three Many Cooks.

So off I went to check out this website that has been put together by Pam Anderson and her daughters Sharon and Maggy.

I started at the first post I came to which is entitled Marathon Women and relates the story of when Pam and Sharon competed in a marathon. I became totally engrossed with the story and went on to read quite a few more posts before I pulled myself up and remembered that I was also here to check out the recipes.

Well the first delicious recipe I would like to recommend is the  Orange Cream Cheese Strata with Cranberries and Walnuts.

But there are so many other tasty recipes to try.

This is a site full of wonderfully inspirational stories about women supporting each other and the camaraderie between the women is lovely to see. Believe me you will get lost in time once you start reading about Maggy’s adventures in Malawi, Sharon’s cooking adventures and Pam’s recipes.

Just today I was reading Pam’s latest article about her father in law, and what a remarkable man he seems to be considering his age of 91. Such a refreshing story where you can read how Pam made Fajitas from her beef carnita recipe,which is made from pulled chili-braised chuck roast. And then there is Maggy’s tale of a family visit to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. Hmmm, more chocolate.

So why not head on over to Three Many Cooks where you will find tasty recipes and an enjoyable read.

Getting Back to Blog of the Week

I have been very remiss of late and have not been adding the blog of the week as often as I should. So in an attempt to rectify this situation I decided to start by dropping in on one of my many favorite sites Months of Edible Celebrations.  Louise gives so much interesting information and past history about recipes that I always become totally absorbed by what I am reading and time passes all to quickly.

If you are ever stuck for an idea on what to prepare for a particular celebration, then Months of Edible Celebrations will certainly give you great recipe ideas. It seems there is a celebration on almost every day of the year.

While checking out whats new on Months of Edible Celebrations this morning, I came across a recipe the I haven’t made for many years, it used to be a favorite of my friends and family – Baked Alaska.  We knew it as Bombe Alaska but the principle is the same.  Although a cake base is generally used, when I was at school (seems like a hundred years ago) we were taught to place the ice cream on pineapple rings which also makes for a tasty dessert.

The recipe is courtesy of the Millennium Hotel, Anchorage, and my thanks to Louise for mentioning it.  I have to say it brought back some very pleasant memories.

Cuisinart – a History of True Entrepreneurial Spirit and Quality

Cuisinart is one of those household names. Just about everyone knows it. Many, many people own these fine kitchen appliances, but few know the origin of the company … and its roots in high quality.

Imagine it’s 1967. For some of us (like me) it’s easy. For our younger readers, well humor me if you will. :-) Enter a man named Carl Sontheimer. Carl studied engineering and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also possessed a sound understanding of business principles. Skillfully blending the two together, Carl ran a quite successful business, Amzac Electronics.

Having just sold Amzac, Carl and his wife Shirley didn’t quite retire, but rather chose to pursue another business that combined Carl’s two passions: electronics and cooking. Back then, it was kind of weird combination. Regardless, they also liked travel and found themselves at a housewares show in France sometime in 1971. At that show they saw their first commercial food preparation machine made by a French company, Robot-Coupe.

The entrepreneurial wheels began to turn. You see Carl, having excellent engineering skills, was convinced that he could redesign the commercial food processors he had seen in France into a version suitable for use in the home. He and Shirley invested $20k (a LOT of money in 1971) and created their own housewares business. Of course, you know the name. It was Cuisinart.

Carl spent over 2 years creating his home food processor design. Always focusing on high quality design, he did things like improve and invent new blades. He incorporated safety mechanisms. He improved the way you feed food into the machine. Finally, by about 1974 he had arrived at a design that worked well, greatly decreased the time it took to prepare foods, and made it easy to clean up afterward. It was a robust and elegant design, ready for the US market.

Drawing on his engineering and business talents, Carl had introduced an early version of his food process at the National Housewares Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. That was in 1973. He took the feedback he received at the show and incorporated it into his subsequent designs. That was of great value in and of itself. However, Carl achieved something of far greater value at that show. He introduced the American public to a heretofore little known genre of kitchen home appliances … the home food processor. He planted the seed.

Ok, so he had planted a seed. Big deal you say! Actually, it wasn’t. Sales stunk to put it mildly. But here again, Carl’s entrepreneurial shrewdness came to play. He brought out the big gun of (insert trumpets from heaven here) free publicity. He got the famous gourmet cooks of the time to talk about and write about his Cuisinart food processor. People like James Beard, Julia Child, Eva Pomice all either endorsed his product or wrote shining articles in prestigious magazines like “Gourmet” or “Forbes”. He even got the New York Times to talk about his invention. Needless to say, that seed got some high grade fertilizer.

By 1975 sales began to take off. Carl build his sales momentum on the foundation of high quality and price. Cusinart became synonymous with top of the line quality. It became fashionable to own a Cuisinart, like wearing “Calvin Kline” jeans. Carl and Shirley owned the business privately so we don’t have any hard sales data. However, some industry analysts “guesstimated” that 1976 sales ranged somewhere between 150k to 250k units. That was a huge increase from selling only a few a month only about 18 months before. By 1977 Cuisinart sales reached $50 million.

If you can’t tell already, I really admire Carl Sontheimer. He embodies the entrepreneurial spirit. Think for a moment about what he accomplished. In about 6 short years, he went from just an idea to over $50 million in sales. That’s astounding! What impresses me most is his insistence on good design and quality products. Today, it seems, those two aspects of business stand second to big corporate profit and too big to fail mentality.

So, in closing, I want to say that I like Cuisinart small appliances. I have a cuisinart programmable coffee maker and a food processor, both of which I use regularly. They serve me well and I feel good about the value I received in exchange for my hard earned money. I think if you choose to buy Cuisinart, you’ll feel the same way too. Thanks for reading.

Author bio:|
As a recently new single dad, Mike Rocha began an online business to help make ends meet. He loves to cook. Mike’s dad had a saying, “Some people eat to live, our family lives to eat!” ;-) So publishing articles about various new recipes, or writing a review on the cuisinart 4 slice toaster, fits right in.

Mike lives in beautiful sunny south Florida with his son who helps him with food shopping, cooking, and … yes … even cleanup, too. LOL. Mike has a dream to visit Italy and learn how to make Prosciutto ham.

Information Source: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Cuisinart-Corporation-Company-History.html