This meal is one of the 10 'freezer to crock pot meals' that I've prepared. I did add the pineapple when adding everything to the crock pot as I didn't have any on hand when I prepared all the freezer meals. I loved the end result of this dish. The pork was so tender and flavorful. I do suggest that if you can, thicken the sauce a bit in the last hour or so of cooking with a cornstarch/cold water slurry. I admit that my favorite part was eating the pineapple with the pork - it MADE this dish ~Enjoy! Diane
Cantonese Sweet & Sour
2 lbs pork (or chicken), cubed
1 can pineapple chunks
4 carrots, sliced thin
1 large sweet bell pepper, sliced thick
1 Tbs Vegetable oil
1 onion, thin sliced
8 oz tomato sauce
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 ½ tsp white vinegar
1 Tbs Worcestershire
1 Tbs light soy sauce
If freezing ahead of time: Combine all the ingredients (omitting the vegetable oil) into a gallon freezer bag, label and store in freezer. Defrost in fridge overnight. If I am home for the first hour, I set my crock pot to cook for one hour on High, and then switch over to Low for 6-8 hours total cook time (or until the meat is tender.) Chicken tends to cook faster (6 hours) and Beef/Pork tend to cook the full 8 hours.
If making the day of cooking: Brown the pork (or chicken) in the vegetable oil and transfer to the crock pot, then add remaining ingredients, stir and let cook. While this isn't a necessary step it helps decrease the amount of fat in your final dish and renders the pork or chicken even more flavorful.
Serve over hot cooked rice (I seasoned my rice with a touch of light soy sauce)
Recipe and Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
"Cloud bread: the grain free, no carb, gluten free "bread" sensation that's been all over the internet, is well worth trying." ~JDProvence.
Note: My first attempt, in photo, I used parchment lined sheet pans. Parchment was not a good idea, they stuck like glue! Instead, Spray 2 cookie sheets with Pam or similar cooking spray.
These will have a slight eggy flavor right after baking, but are much better after aging overnight. They are very light and airy, and actually taste like bread. Like eating biscuit flavored air. I made grilled cheese sandwiches with some, and they held together, and were GREAT! The cloud bread is so light, I could barely tell it was there.
3 Tbsp cream cheese or cottage cheese
1 Tbsp honey or 1.5 Tbsp sugar, or equivalent of artificial sweetener
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or baking powder
Preheat oven to 300F
Separate eggs, add yolks to cheese and sweetener, mix very well, there should be no lumps. That's why it's easier if the cream cheese is room temperature..
In separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar, beat until fluffy and stiff high peaks are formed.
Very carefully add egg yolk mixture to egg whites. Stir gently, only enough to mix, try not to break down the fluffiness of the egg whites any more than necessary.
Spray 2 cookie sheets with Pam or similar cooking spray.
Using a large spoon, scoop the mixture into 10 even rounds, about the size of a hamburger bun., about 3/4" thick and 4 "to 5" across.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown
Allow to cool a few minutes, until they can be easily removed from the cookie sheet.
Finish cooling on rack. Store in ziplock bag or seal-able container. They are very light and delicate, and when stored, will stick together a little bit, and it's hard to separate them, without tearing. So avoid stacking, when storing.
Guest Post & Photos by: JD Provence for Canning and Cooking at Home
Fruit & Cheese Breakfast Braid
When my husbands son and his friends were much younger, there were "butter braids" that were always around. They were a sale item for school/activity fund-raisers. The fund-raiser offerings were always: Girl Scout Cookies, Boy Scout Popcorn, Wrapping Paper and Butter Braids. (I do believe we have enough wrapping paper for the next 50 years!) I remember the first year making a cherry/cheese butter braid as part of our Thanksgiving celebrations and everyone loved it! I wanted to see if I could re-create the same braid.
The fillings are up to you - you can use any fruit curd or fruit preserve that you like (lemon curd would be magnificent in this too!) You can also flavor your cream cheese as well (think cinnamon cream cheese and apple jam combo) My suggestion - if you think your jam, jelly, curd or preserve is too 'thin' and runny...make sure to add some clear-jel or cornstarch to thicken before spooning down center of braid. ~Enjoy! Diane
Homemade Fruit & Cheese Breakfast Braid
1/4 ounce package yeast (Instant Yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste, *optional
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Filling:
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup your favorite prepared: fruit preserves, jam or curd
*I used Cherry Preserves
In a small cup, dissolve yeast in warm water (water that is hot enough to activate your yeast, add a pinch of sugar to this to enhance yeast production) and set aside.
In a large cup, place the unsalted butter and microwave until the butter is almost melted, add in the milk and continue microwaving until the milk is warmed through.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix warmed milk & melted butter, sugar, and salt. Once lightly mixed, add in the egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Pour in the yeast/water mixture and mix in remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough is easy to handle. Change over paddle on stand mixer to dough hook at this time.
Knead dough in your mixer with the dough hook, (or by hand on lightly floured surface) for approx 8 minutes. I set my timer and watch the dough at the 6 minute mark - to see if the ingredients are being pulled up off the bottom of bowl, if not - then I more flour (2 Tbs at a time) until ALL the dough collects off bottom of bowl.
Once dough is ready, oil a large container very lightly with olive oil, place your dough ball in, give the ball a quick clock-wise turn (this coats the dough in a bit of oil) and flip back over, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I let my dough rise in my oven which has been preheated to my lowest setting (170) and then turned off immediately...I leave the oven door open just a bit for about 5 mins, then close and let the dough rise inside oven (this creates a warm, draft free environment)
Once doubled in size, gently punch down dough and divide in half.
Filling & Baking:
Cover half with plastic wrap and set it aside as you roll out the first piece into a 10" x 15" rectangle. Rolling on parchment paper makes moving the bread to the baking sheet much, much easier. Lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, to divide it into 3 equal sections. Spread half the cream cheese filling down the center section, and top with half the fruit preserves, jam or curd, leaving 1" free on all sides of the filling.
To form the mock braid, cut 1" crosswise strips down the length of the outside sections, making sure you have the same number of strips down each side. Beginning on the left, lift the top dough strip and gently bring it across the filling diagonally. Repeat on the other side with the top dough strip, so that the two strips crisscross each other. Continue down the entire braid, alternating strips to form the loaf
Repeat the rolling, filling, and braiding steps for the second piece of dough, using the remaining cream cheese filling and fruit filling. Set both loaves aside, lightly covered, to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, or until quite puffy
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash (one lightly beaten egg, 2 teaspoons water and a pinch of salt), and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Yield: 2 loaves.
Recipe Adapted from: King Arthur Flour (cream cheese filling) and All things Food - Cooking with Mary & Friends (dough)
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Carrot Cake with Raisins
I love carrot cake, It seems to usher in "Spring" to me. My homemade cream cheese frosting is not only super easy to make but, helps to put this cake 'over the top.' ~Enjoy! Diane
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups peeled carrots, finely grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans, *optional
1/2 cup raisins
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease & flour a 9x13 baking pan (I use "Pam with Flour for Baking") Using a stand/electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir/fold in carrots, chopped pecans and raisins by hand.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)
Once ready to frost:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled cake an cut into bars.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Cake Recipe Adapted from: Epicurious
Frosting and Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
I sense just a bit of "Spring" in the air!! (maybe its just my allergies - lol) It's time for me to revisit what 'jammie' creations from seasons past have thrived and which ones need tweaking. There are of course, my personal favorites and family favorites, I will list the "favorites" first below...these are the 'tried and true' and most requested. I hope you enjoy my recipe collection. Stay tuned as I will be adding new creations like Lavender/Lemon Jelly!
Family Favorites/Most Requested:
Spiced Apple Butter: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/fall-is-in-the-air-spiced-apple-butter
Caramel Apple Jam: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/caramel-apple-jam
Peach Butter: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/homemade-peach-butter-small-batch
Peach Jam: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/colorado-peach-jam-how-i-feel-for-jams
Sweet Cherry Jam: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/sweet-cherry-jam
Pineapple Lime Coconut Rum Jam: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/pineapple-lime-with-coconut-rum-jam
Sweet Blood Orange Jelly with Almond: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/sweet-blood-orange-jelly-with-almond
Blood Orange Marmalade: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/blood-orange-marmalade
Strawberry Orange Jam: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/garys-blue-ribbon-strawberry-orange-jam
Plenty More to Share! Click on Jam below to go to that recipe...
As always, use the 'search box' on my website to go to these other amazing canning and cooking at home creations!
Apricot Vanilla Bean Jam
Blueberry Lemon Jam
Blueberry Orange Marmalade
Blackberry Jam, seedless
Spiced Fig Jam
Spring time Strawberry Vanilla Jam
JD's New Years Jam
Pluot (Plum/Apricot) Jam
Wild Plum Jam
Blush Apple Almond Jelly
Red Wine Jelly
Watermelon Jelly *fridge only
Sweet Corn Cob Jelly
Sweet Cherry with Pineapple Jam
Diane's Strawberry-Honey Jam
Maple Bacon Jam *fridge only
Root Beer Jelly