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Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

How to Print Recipes: You can print out each individual recipe featured on this blog by clicking the "share" button at the bottom of each post. It will open up to show you options, click on print and another window will open up with the recipe inside it for printing.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Home Canning Must-Have: Epson LabelWorks Kit Makes Great Mason Jar Labels

I've owned the Epson LabelWorks Printer and several different types of the labels and tapes for the past few months and have been using it non-stop ever since! If you are unfamiliar with the product here is some information about it and then I will share how I've been using it lately to label all of my canning jars in my pantry.

The Epson LabelWorks Printer is completely wireless and runs on six AAA batteries. This makes it totally portable so you can use it all over your home, office, the RV, travel trailer, the classroom, craft events, etc. It's small, compact and comes in a plastic storage case to protect it. Along with the printer unit comes an instructional manual that is very easy to understand and gives you step-by-step printing & use instructions. Within 20 minutes of reading the manual...you will be using the printer to create your own projects.

Key Features:

* Choose from 14 font types and 10 font styles
* Built-in memory stores up to 30 label designs
* Prints up to two lines of text
* Accommodates tapes from 6mm to 12mm in size
* Works with iron-on tape, as well as sticky labels & printable ribbons
* Automatically prints with a split back for easy & fast peeling

As I previously stated...I've owned this unit for several months now and I've used it for all kinds of different things. I've made iron-on labels for my grand daughter's gym clothes for school, her soccer uniform, backpack, swim class towels, etc. I've also printed on ribbon and used them in some of my scrapbooking and cardmaking projects. This time around...I've used it to make labels for my canning jars which I am going to tell you about today.

To make the canning jar labels you will need the Epson LabelWorks Printer and a box of the Epson 12mm Metallic Tape. You will want to insert the metallic tape cartridge into your printer and select your font type and style. Since I make big batches when I do home canning...I decided to print out a dozen labels for each food item I was canning: Peaches, Fruit Cocktail, Tomato Sauce and Raspberry Jam...all the items I was making on that particular day.

Within 20 minutes I had all of my labels perfectly printed out. The Epson LabelWorks Printer even cuts your label between each one so you don't even need to do that. Once your labels are done...you simply pull the backing paper off and stick them onto your glass canning jars once your food items have cooled.

I used the silver metallic tape ribbons which is what I received for this review and it worked out perfectly for this project. It's a little hard to see the words on my photographs but trust me...in person those words are clear as day and easy to read. (hard to capture with my digital camera).

I love that I didn't have to go sit in my home office to print them out and was able to easily print out the labels that I needed while sitting at my kitchen table. In addition...the ink is DRY as soon as the label/ribbon comes out of the Epson LabelWorks printer so you are not sitting around for an hour waiting for it to dry. Print, Peel and Stick! Gotta love that!

You can learn more about the Epson LabelWorks Printer and all of the ribbon and tapes that they offer by visiting their web site online.

Disclosure: Shelly received 3 packs of the Epson LabelWorks ribbons and tapes for this review. Shelly already owned the Epson LabelWorks Printer. No monetary compensation was received. Regardless of receiving complimentary products...her thoughts & opinions are 100% unbiased. Your thoughts may differ.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Home Canning - Cucumber Sandwich Pickles Recipe

This summer I've had the best crop of cucumbers that I've ever had and I've been busy canning a variety of pickles for my family to enjoy this winter. Just last week I canned a dozen jars of Cucumber Sandwich Pickles and used the recipe found in the Ball Blue Book - Guide to Preserving. Here is the recipe which will make approximately 3 pint sized jars.

Home Canning - Cucumber Sandwich Pickles Recipe

2 lbs. 3-4" cucumbers, sliced into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup Ball Salt for Pickling & Preserving
3 quarts water, divided
1 quart plus 1 cup white vinegar 5% acidity, divided
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. turmeric

* When I make this recipe I substitute the mustard seed with 1/2 tsp. of Colman's Dry Mustard.

Prep: Wash cucumbers under cold water, drain. Remove stem and 1/16" from blossom ends of cucumber. Slice cucumber in 1/4" slices. Place slices in a large mixing bowl. Combine salt and 2 quarts of water, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour salted water over cucumber slices. Let stand 2 to 3 hours (I let my stand for 3 complete hours) in the refrigerator. Drain cucumber slices and rinse slices under cold water to rinse away the salt; drain again.

Cook: Combine 3 cups vinegar and 3 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add cucumber slices and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, discarding the liquid. Combine 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water, brown sugar, granulated sugar and spices in a large saucepan. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes. Add cucumber slices and bring mixture to a full boil.

Fill: Ladle hot pickles and pickling liquid into a hot jar, leaving 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean jar rim and place band onto jar until it's finger-tip tight. Place jar on the rack elevated over simmering water in a boiling water bath canner. Repeat until all of your jars are filled.

Process: Lower the rack into simmering water. Water must cover the jars by at least 1". Adjust heat to medium-high, cover the canner and bring the water to a full boil. Once it's boiling you want to process your pint jars for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for an additional 5 minutes. Remove jars and let them cool on the counter. Make sure you check all of your seals after they have completely cooled to make sure they sealed properly.

Print Recipe: You can print out this recipe by clicking on the SHARE button located at the bottom of this post. A new window will open. Click on PRINT and the recipe will load into the window for fast printing. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Home Canning - Peaches Recipe

I've been canning a wide variety of fruits, jams, purees, sauces, soups, etc. for my family for the past 25+ years. Every year...I try to process more than I did the previous year so that we have a well-stocked pantry through the Fall, Winter and Spring months.

Two weeks ago I got a fabulous deal on Freestone Peaches at my local orchard & farmer's market. I ended up buying a few bushels so that I could can them. When I can my peaches...I always follow the recipe in the Ball Blue Book - Guiding to Preserving. I opt to make them in light syrup and I do the Raw Pack method. The recipe will make 6 pint or 3 quart jars.

Home Canning Peaches Recipe

18 to 27 medium fresh peaches
Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector
1 Batch of Light Syrup for Canning (recipe below)

Prep: Wash peaches under cold running water; drain. To peel the peaches, blanch them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, transfer to cold water. Peel them and remove the pit by cutting peaches in half lengthwise. Treat with Fruit-Fresh to prevent darkening.

Cook: Prepare syrup for canning (see below) in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Drain peaches.

Fill: Pack peaches, cavity side down and in layers, overlapping one another into a hot canning jar. Ladle hot syrup over the peaches leaving a 1/2" headspace.

Remove air bubbles, wipe the rims clean. Apply the seal and tighten the band so that it's finger-tip tight. Place jar into the wire rack of your water bath canner that has simmering hot water in it. Continue until all jars are filled.

Process: Lower the rack into the simmering hot water. Make sure water is covering the top of the jars by at least 1". Adjust heat to medium-high, cover the canner and bring the water to a boil. Process the pint jars for 25 minutes or the quart jars for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let jars sit for 5 minutes in the hot water. Lift up the wire basket and remove jars to let them cool. After 12 hours make sure that all of your jars have sealed properly.

Light Syrup Recipe

2 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
5 1/4 cups of water

To make syrup mix together the granulated sugar with water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until all of the granulated sugar has dissolved.

* Each syrup batch yields enough syrup to can 3 to 4 quart jars of fruit.

Print Recipe: You can print out this recipe by clicking on the SHARE button located at the bottom of this post. A new window will open. Click on PRINT and the recipe will load into the window for fast printing. Enjoy!