Freezer Preserving Tomatoes & Peppers

One of the things I’ve been trying to perfect with gardening this season is preserving our harvest for future use.  Enjoying the fruit of your labor at a later date is one of the many perks of raising your own vegetables and that’s something I’m trying to culminate.

Dehydrating Garden Fresh Herbs

 

We’ve been doing good with preserving our herbs and now, that we have harvesting, dehydrating and storing herbs down, it’s time to do the same with the other vegetables.However, when it comes to preserving your harvest, what often happens is you may only have enough to harvest and eat now and nothing to eat later. So, the now and later plan goes out the window and you’re eating for the now. Of course that all depends on how much we plant and if everything goes well with the vegetables.  Thankfully we’ve been getting an overflow of roma tomatoes.

 

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Once we harvest one or two baskets, it’s time to harvest more.  To keep from becoming overwhelmed, I quickly take care of the batches of tomatoes as we bring them in the house.  I’ll start off by cleaning my harvest and prep them by removing the area the stem was and cutting an X on the bottom of the tomato.  After they’ve been cleaned and prepped I boil them for about 30 minutes and the amount of time depends on how many tomatoes I’m preparing. Many people roast their tomatoes, but with preparing so many, I like to make the task as easy as possible by boiling them.  Once they’ve boiled and cooled off, I remove the skin, put them in the crock pot and after a few hours blend them with a hand blender and add my fresh seasonings.

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Next year’s goal I’d like to learn how to can.  After having a bad experience with canning a few years ago, I gave canning up.  Although, seeing mason jars filled with garden fresh vegetables lined up on shelves will bring back childhood memories of my annual trips to Missouri with my grandma, lined up in my freezer will have to do.

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Another vegetable I’ve freezer preserved are those tasty poblano peppers.  Hubby planted poblano peppers this year and they’ve been plentiful as well, unlike last year.  Last year we got nothing.  Not one darn poblano.  My husband loves when I make stuffed poblano peppers.  They have the best flavor and make great appetizers or a meal when served with rice and some vegetables.

So, I harvest all the poblanos that were ready, cleaned them up and blanched them.  Once they cooled I layed them on a tray and placed them in the freezer to freeze.  After they were frozen I removed them from the freezer and place them all in a large freezer bag.  Freezing them before placing them in a bag assures that they won’t stick together and when I was ready to use them I can grab as many as I need.

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Although we’ve been getting a great harvest, we’ve also had some trouble in the garden.  One being powdery mildew and the other blossom end rot.   Although some of the tomatoes and peppers have been experiencing the blossom end rot, I’ve still been able to get some use out of the vegetables that have been plagued with this problem. Like this variety of pepper mix here that I put together.

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All the peppers that had the blossom end rot, I removed the damaged part and cut up the part that was good, placed them in small portions in freezer bags to use in any meal. I can officially say that this week has been a successful week with freezer preserving tomatoes and peppers.  Have you been preserving any of your garden vegetables and if so, which vegetables and how do you like to preserve your vegetables?

Watch video below

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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Taking Our Gardening Skills To The Next Level-Companion Gardening

It’s absolutely gorgeous outside!  We’ve finally taken off the plastic and allowed the garden to get some fresh air.

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This year we’re learning to step up our gardening game with companion gardening.  We did a little bit of this last year,  but this year we’re taking it serious.  Companion gardening is like those symbiotic relationships we talked about.  Pretty much like those relationships we have with one another.  In some relationships one person benefits and in others, both parties get something put of the deal.

With gardening this is beneficial to us (the gardener) because it helps eliminate buying or using pest or disease control products.  It also helps us insure we have a successful gardening season.

Since we decided to do this,  we have to make sure before we plant in a gardening bed we find out which plants are beneficial.  Before we were willy nilly with planting as we were with our gardening budget.

In this raised bed below we planted lettuce & spinach. These are companion plants so they will do well together. We still have a few empty spots which we plan to balance out with more spinach and lettuce. 

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On an average I buy 2-3 bags of lettuce per week from Aldi. When I pick it up at Costco it’ll last us approximately 2-3 weeks.  I’ll separate the spinach into freezer bags and freeze it in order to preserve it.  So, dedicating an entire bed to lettuce and spinach will definitely save us. 

Yesterday I picked up some French Marigolds to plant next to all of our tomatoes.

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In four of our raised beds we planted 2 tomato plants and 1 pepper plant.  These are also companions hence our reason for putting them together.  Last year we had the tomatoes all in one bed.  It was very hard to get to the tomatoes to pick. We decided to spread them out and also keep the same pattern in each bed.  So if the tomatoes are in square 2 of box 3, they are in the same place in box 5. 

Daily we’ve been adding more veggies to the mix and excited to see the progress of our garden and our gardening skills.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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Home & Garden: How Our Vegetable Garden Is Coming & It’s Not Even Summer

My husband has went nuts with the garden this year.  We created a layout before we he began planting and this man has changed it at least twice.  Thankfully he’s happy with the layout, with the exception of one raised bed.  When the season is over he’s going to make 2 raised beds out of the one.  In the end there will be a total of 9 raised 4 x 4 beds.

9 4x4 raised beds

If you look at the top left corner you’ll see the bed i’m talking about.  It’s raised sitting on cinder blocks now, but later it will look like the others.

raised garden bed 1

In the bed above we have cucumbers, beans, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard and collard greens.

raised garden bed 2

In this bed (above) we have squash, tomatoes, basil, Brussel sprouts and some other things I’m unsure of.

peppers

We have 2 of these Earth Box Garden Kits and in this one (above) we have more tomatoes.

peppers earth box

In this one (above) there’s peppers.  This box is great if you have limited space to garden.

bed 3 raised garden bed

Vibrant swiss chard The Swiss Chard is so vibrant and if I’m remembering correctly this is my first time experimenting with it in the kitchen.  I sauteed some and served it with some lamb chops a couple weeks ago.

Sauteed swiss chard

 

I also made some Stuffed Swiss Chard Wraps.  If I can cook it. I can stuff it. LOL

Swiss Chard Wraps

So, that’s the update on our garden.  It’s coming along beautifully and thank God for the rain.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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The Cooking Channel:Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

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My husband seems to love planting rows & rows of Jalapeno Peppers. Usually I’ll freeze those suckers and call it a day, but this year I decided to make use of the harvest, Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers. Normally I pick up the frozen boxes from the grocery store. They’re filled with what I assume to be a cream cheese filling, but with my family being the meat and potatoes type I wanted to add some ground turkey to the filling too. This is how I did it. Sorry, I don’t have accurate measurements, but what cook actually does that unless you’re baking, right?

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First, pick your Jalapenos from the garden or pick some up from the store. In this batch we have 14 peppers.

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Split peppers down the center and remove seeds. If, you want some kick leave a few in.

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Cook some ground turkey and season well with your favorite seasonings. Your only going to need about 1 cup of meat. Take advantage of using the other portion of meat for something else. This day I made catfish, spaghetti and coleslaw for dinner and the excess ground turkey was used for the spaghetti.

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Now take your cooked ground turkey and mix it with a couple tbl spoons of cream cheese.

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This is what they’ll look like. Prepare the batter

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Mix 3 eggs in a bowl and season.

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Mix equal parts flour & yellow cornmeal in another bowl and season. Cook Pour vegetable oil in skillet and allow it to get good and hot. Tip*** Test to see if oil is hot enough by taking a sprinkle of flour mixture and sprinkling it in the hot oil. If it sizzles well it’s hot enough.*** Prepare Jalapeno Peppers for Cooking 1. Take stuffed pepper dip in egg mixture, next in flour mixture, back to egg mixture and once again to flour mixture. Repeat this process to all the peppers before placing them in oil. 2. Place them in oil and allow them to brown on each side. (3 – 4 minutes tops) when they float they’re done.

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3. Remove peppers from skillet and place on a paper towel to allow oil to drain off. Serve with some sauce and it’s all good!

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FYI I used the Taco Bell Sauce with ours.

Enjoy

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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