How to Can Tomatoes

easy recipe canning tomatoes

Every spring I help my daughter Jamie plant a small garden. This year Jamie planted about a dozen tomato and pepper plants, some onions, and fresh basil.

This gave us plenty of fresh tomatoes and peppers into the late summer months. Last season Jamie decided that she wanted to do some canning. I was so excited and offered my help right away, as I hadn’t canned anything in years.

Although we had some tomatoes and hot peppers left from her garden, we wanted more, so we proceeded to go out and buy more. We decided that two more boxes of tomatoes would do the trick, and the following is how we did it.

With the tomatoes from her garden and the two boxes we purchased we figured that we had a bushel or more.

Instructions for Canning Tomatoes

We didn't have our old family recipe, so we used the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving as a reference. This book was a great help. We didn’t have a pressure cooker and this book walked us through the process.
  Step 1 

Tomatoes in ice water

We put the tomatoes in boiling water for 60 seconds, and then put them in ice water; this process makes it easy to remove the skin and the core of the tomato. Then we cut the tomatoes into quarters and put them in bowls. We did this all by hand.

Step 2

Preparing the canning jars

After washing the jars in soapy water and thoroughly rinsing them we added: 2-Tablespoons of Lemon Juice and 1-Teaspoon of pickling salt to each jar. Then we filled the jars with the cut tomatoes and packed them down tightly.

Step 3

Remove the air bubbles from the jars

After the tomatoes were packed in the jars we ladled in boiling water until it was just over the top of the tomatoes.

Then Jamie worked out the air bubbles with that handy little tool that you see in the picture by pushing all around the jar. Wipe the mouth of the jars clean. Place the lid, rubber side down and screw on the ring to secure the lid

 Step 4

home canning tomatoes hot pack

We then put the jars in boiling water making sure there are at least two inches of water over the tops of the jars, cover the pot with a lid and boil for 55 minutes.
Lift the jars out of the pot using a jar lifter, let them sit for 48 hours, look at the center lid of the jar, it should be concave after this process.

The Finished Product

Finished jars of canned tomatoes

We yielded 26 quarts of tomatoes for the day. Now we'll have fresh tomatoes for pasta, salsa, and chili.
This was our big weekend of canning, we had so much fun.

I hope you enjoyed our method of canning tomatoes. Please feel free to leave any of your tips for canning in the comments.

As always thanks for stopping by.

The New Grilling Book-Better Homes and Gardens

The New Grilling Book

The New Grilling Book
We live in Western New York where the grilling season can be short. Outdoor cooking has always been a passion of mine. I have cooked on gas grills, but I really prefer charcoal. I like the ease and connivance of cooking on a gas grill, bur love the flavor of cooking with charcoal, so I do both.

You may live in a part of the country where you can cook outdoors all year long and that's fantastic. I highly recommend The New Grilling Book from Better Homes and Gardens. Although who said that you can't cook outdoors in the winter, I've done it on several occasions.

The New Grilling Book offers the best advice for cooking on charcoal and gas grills, smokers, indoor grilling and rotisseries. This book gives you what they call GRILLING BASICS, with some great techniques, and understanding the difference between direct and indirect heat. The book is also packed with page after page of fantastic grilling recipes.

There are so many great books out there for grilling, but this happens to be the one I have, and I love to use over and over again.

As always Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy.

Breakfast for Dinner

Eggs Benedict on a plate with sausage and baco

Have you ever had breakfast for dinner? Oh yes we do this a couple of times a month. Most of the time we have pancakes, eggs, and bacon.

This time my daughter decided to make Eggs Benedict, with bacon and sausage on the side, and we also had pancakes.

So the next time you have breakfast for dinner or breakfast in the morning you may want to give this one a try.

To make this delicious meal even quicker she used McCormick’s Hollandaise sauce in a package.

Here is what you need:

1 package of hollandaise sauce (Follow the package instructions)
6 slices of Canadian bacon
3 English Muffins
6 Eggs
1 lb of bacon
1 package of sausage links
Sprinkle of Paprika

First prepare the hollandaise sauce, bacon, and sausage links. I don’t know about you but I like my bacon crispy.

Toast the English muffins, and fry your eggs on your favorite griddle. Now place the Canadian bacon on the muffin halves, add your egg on top, and pour over the hollandaise sauce. Top it all off with a sprinkle of Paprika.

Serve with your bacon and sausage links for a great breakfast for dinner. This was enough for 3 adults, the kids had the pancakes.

As always Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.

How to Preserve Hot or Sweet Peppers

Preserving hot peppers

Get your gardens ready and be sure to plant plenty of hot and sweet banana peppers. If you don’t plant a garden you can buy a plentiful supply of peppers at any local farmers market. This is an easy wat to preserve hot peppers without canning.

I like hot peppers on pizza, sandwiches, and even in salads. This is a simple brine, and it's so easy to make, for preserving hot and sweet peppers so you can enjoy them all year long.

We especially enjoy finding the hot banana peppers, and cutting them into rings. I pack the peppers and seeds tightly into every jar. Add you garlic and seasoning, then pour in the brine. Top off with olive oil and close the tightly.

In about two weeks you'll be enjoying tasty hot peppers for whatever you choose to put them on, it’s that easy to preserve hot peppers without canning.

 Now here is all that you need to make the brine:

·  1/2 white vinegar to 1/2 water (equal amounts) we used 4 cups of each

Now add these ingredients to the jars:

·  1 tsp of salt
·  1/2 tsp. of Oregano or Italian seasoning
·  3 cloves of Garlic, per one jar
· Olive oil (we use light olive oil)

Instructions To Preserve Hot Peppers:
  1. Boil the brine for 25 minutes, and then let it cool
  2. While the brine is cooling, cut the hot peppers into rings, about 1/4" or more  (Be sure to wear gloves)
  3. Add the salt and oregano to the bottom of each the jar
  4. Pack the peppers tight into the canning jars (you can use pint or quart jars)
  5. While you're packing add cloves of fresh garlic (we added 3 per jar)
  6. Pour the cool brine into the jars to cover the peppers. Just enough to cover the tops.
  7. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil on top of the brine
  8. Seal the jar and give it a few shakes to mix it up well.
  9. Wait two weeks before using
  10. Enjoy!!!

Preserving hot peppers
Here are the simple ingredients for the brine

Preserving hot peppers
Cut your peppers into rings and pack them tightly in the jars

 Tip: After you empty your jars of these amazing peppers save the garlic in the jar. Now you can use the garlic for cooking.

As always thanks for stopping by and enjoy.

Stuffed Peppers with Jasmine Rice

Stuffed peppers ready for the oven

This is one of our favorite recipes especially when the growing season is coming to an end; the peppers are so fresh picked right out of the garden. If you don’t have a garden you can buy some really nice peppers at a farmers market, or the grocery stores will usually carry fresh produce locally grown.

Stuffed peppers with jasmine rice is a quick and easy meal for your family, or if you’re going to entertain friends for dinner.

You can prepare these ahead of time and just pop them in the oven just before your friends arrive.  These stuffed peppers served with a salad makes a complete meal for your family or friends.

A tip from my daughter, she uses the jasmine rice because it’s sticky and holds the mixture together very well.


2 lbs. of ground beef
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs
½ cup Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
3 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2-1/2 cups white jasmine rice


  1. Cook the rice according to the package instructions
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce and mix together well, set this aside.
  3. In a small pot cook the tomato sauce until it comes to a boil and then turn it down to simmer. (Optional, you can add some Italian seasoning if you like)
  4. Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove all of the seeds, rinse them with cold water.
  5. Par boil the peppers, just about 10 minutes, depending on the size.
  6. Stuff the peppers with the mixture, place them in a casserole dish standing up, and then pout the tomato sauce over the peppers. Place the lid on your casserole dish, or cover the peppers with tin foil.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until the center of the meat is 170 degrees, using your meat thermometer

Mixing the ground meat and rice
Mix the ground meat and rice

Stuff the Peppers
Stuff the peppers

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy. 

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