Tag Archives: bell peppers

Bell pepper relish – end of the summer crop

So my bell peppers are now all finished. I had about 60 bell peppers (green and purple) to use. What can I do to store bell peppers??? I found a Sweet Bell Pepper Relish recipe which sounded interesting and went to work making it.

I plan on using the relish as Christmas gifts and also for ourselves as a condiment for meatloaf, pork and sandwiches.

Ingredients (taken from southern food about.com)

  • 20 large bell peppers, red, yellow, orange, green, stems and seeds removed, about 6 pounds
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or pickling salt
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika, optional
Wash peppers and cut in large chunks; you’ll have about 6 pounds of chunks. Finely chop about 1/2 to 2/3 of the peppers. Grind or finely chop the remaining peppers using a food grinder or food processor. Coarsely chop about half of the onions and add the remaining onions to the grinder or food processor. Combine in a large bowl with the salt; toss to mix thoroughly. Cover with ice and let stand for 3 hours.Drain peppers, squeezing to get as much moisture out as possible. In a large nonreactive kettle, combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, and paprika, if using. Add the well drained pepper mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, until thickened. Stir occasionally.Meanwhile, fill a boiling water bath canner about half full. Add clean canning jars to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep jars warm.

In a saucepan, bring water to a simmer, turn to low and add the flat lids. Keep the lids in the hot water until ready to use.

When the pepper mixture is finished cooking, ladle into the hot drained jars. With a damp clean cloth, wipe the rims of the jars. Using tongs, lift lids from the water and let excess drip off of them; place on the clean jar rims. Screw on the jar rings firmly. Lift jars into the canner. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil gently for 10 minutes.

Makes about 5 to 6 pints.

Backyard design and garden update

We survived the night in the tent, but we did wake up to a frost. I am very thankful that it was for only one night. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

After spending time outside yesterday, I realized that the backyard has come along way since we posted our design progress a month or so back. We are in fact ready for sod (though it might be too late for us to lay it down before winter).

The winter vegetable gardens are coming along too, though slowly but I suppose that is due to the colder temperatures now. Here are photos of the everlasting bell peppers (still growing from Summer), the swiss chard, broccoli, cabbages and spinach.

    

We have carrots and cauliflower too but they were planted a little late and are still quiet small.

That’s it for today – my new dwell magazine just arrived in the mail and the banana bread is about to come out of the oven – time for a coffee break :-). I will post the banana bread recipe tomorrow.

Tasty Bean Salad

I am at home again today, sick – could have strep throat….and feeling pretty miserable. I wanted to share what I am doing to try to improve my health, since I have been sick off and on since February and now on my 6th course of antibiotics.

So as my health has been pretty awful this year, I have decided to try “Eat to Live” plan by Dr. Fuhrman.  The idea is to concentrate on eating 90% nutrient-dense foods – like veggies, fruits, seeds and nuts, beans and whole grains. For the remaining 10%, you can have healthy oils, meat and dairy. My goal is to build my body’s own immune system and provide the right food and nutrients to my body, it’s not about weight for me.

I have been pleasantly surprised, it has not been that difficult to follow the plan including a breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am one and half weeks.

Here’s one of the recipes I use for lunch.

Ingredients

1 can cannelloni beans (washed)
1 can black beans (washed)
1 can corn (washed)
1 small onion
1 small red pepper
1 small green pepper
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh chives
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Wash the beans and corn and place in a large bowl. Add diced peppers, diced onion and crushed garlic to the bowl. In a salad dressing container mix the remaining ingredients – shake to mix. Pour over the beans mixture, and stir to cover.

Serve as a side salad or I used a 1/2 whole wheat pita and made a sandwich. This salad stores well in the fridge. also think about adding fresh dices tomatoes or diced celery to add more flavors/tastes.

Here’s my lunch – the final product 🙂

Creative mind in overdrive

Have you every had those days where your mind will not stop thinking about something. I usually have problems sleeping as I can’t shut it off. Well, normally for me its usually work related, but since I started this blog and had time off work due to illness, my creative side of my mind has taken over. This is good news, but I do not have enough hours in the day do to everything.

To keep track of what I have been thinking here is a list of projects, in no particular order:

Crafts

  • Cork boards for my etsy store (frame purchased and backing board)
     
  • Caterpillar growth chart for etsy store (circles cut out and painted)
  • A stuffed elephant (pattern forming in my head – probably purple colored)
  • A t-shirt rug (in white, yellow, orange and red circular pattern)
  • Twin quilt for my son (material purchased)
  • Tie art feature in orange’s, grey’s and green’s (inspired by this art piece featured on sewingwithneckties.blogspot.com)
  • Modern Quilted placemats and table runner
  • Fabric design/printing using my son’s art work and www.spoonflower.com
  • Creating a side table (for the kitchen) and shelving (for my new craft table space, hopefully without blocking too much light from the window.) from my soon to be repurposed teak futon
      

Framed

  • Textured picture of airplane view of field (out of melted crayons, bought crayons and have photo to base it off)
  • Chalk drawing of a face (subject chosen)

Home and Garden Design (the most costly ideas)

  • Backyard: Planters, Circular area, Copper waterfall feature
  • Master Bathroom: Multi-colored wood wall feature, grey painted wall, new cabinets  from the M collection of WetStyle, shower and bath also from WetStyle, grey glass tiles
  • Master Bedroom: Orange Chair (either this but in orange; or this one), tie art feature in orange’s, grey’s and green’s (see above).
  • Other Furniture I have been thinking about adding: Sofa for bonus room, Light for my new sewing desk (see photo’s above), Light above dining room table (I want a large box light but kind find one I like), Floor lamp (not sure what room, love the red cable).

Edible Delights

  • Bell Pepper Marmalade, Relish or Preserve, to use our own grown peppers

So as you can see, sooooo many ideas – let’s see what I can get done. I’ll post as I finish things (finish being the operative word).

Summer and Fall Vegetable Garden Planning

One thing I have discovered in my first year of designing and growing a vegetable garden…..it is truly a science.

My summer garden has been very successful, surprisingly so, since I knew almost nothing going into this project.  I grew from seed cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, lettuce and corn in my main garden beds.

  

In two oval tin barrels, I grew the herbs again from seed…basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, oregano, and parsley.

Some lessons learned this summer:

  1. Plant zucchini, in the south, as early as you can (after frost though) – you are almost guaranteed to get vine borer in early July and lose your plants. I almost cried when it happened as my zucchini were in full production and rocked!!! You can also replant late summer but there is still a chance you may loose this to.
  2. Don’t waste your home garden space with corn. Mine grew great but for the yield it takes up a lot of room.
  3. Bell peppers, due to the very hot weather here in North Carolina tend to be late summer. Due to the cooler temperatures and the rain this past month, my bell peppers are taking off (they like 86 degrees F or below). I gave them more room once the lettuces finished and I removed the corn.
  4. You don’t need to grow 40 plants of each vegetable :-). I had extremely high yield from my seeds especially the tomatoes and bell peppers – almost all the seeds produced and I was only expecting about 1/3 to grow….we had some happy friends who now also have plants.

Late in the summer, the other thing we started was our own compost pile. What a great way to reduce on waste, we were already recycling and now this is a perfect compliment and a great learning opportunity for the family.

For my fall garden, which I am hoping to plant this weekend (delayed since I am recovering from surgery) I was able to plan it out much better. For example, did you know that there are companion plants?? These are plants that should be planted with each other as they complement each other and can ward of viruses etc. There are also plants you should never plant with others in your garden. So my plans are to grow the following:

  1. Replacing the tomatoes with cabbage and spinach
  2. Replacing the zucchini with broccoli and swiss chard
  3. And once the bell peppers ripen and finish I will add cauliflower and carrots. The cauliflower I can grow in seed starter trays and then transplant.

I am also expanding the garden to include another small bed. I am thinking of adding more fruits to the garden for next year as my son prefers them to vegetables; strawberries and rhubarb are definite (rhubarb can remain for up to 5 years so I need more room).

To finish off, I wanted to share some photos of the fruits of labour.