NWPA Growers Co-op

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News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 9/7/2011 7:55pm by Amy Philson.

Marinated Refrigerated Peppers (recipe from Colorado State University Extension)

Remember, all pickled pepper products stored at room temperature must be processed, to avoid the risk of botulism toxin development during storage. The boiling water bath processing step can be omitted if pickles are stored in the refrigerator. Use the following procedure.

Wash peppers. Small peppers may be left whole with two small slits in each pepper. Core and cut large peppers into strips.

Sterilize jars, lids and screwbands. Pack peppers tightly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

For each 6 cups of brine, combine 5 cups vinegar, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon pickling salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer five minutes.

Pour vinegar solution over peppers, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust headspace so that brine covers all peppers. Wipe rims.

Place sterilized flats on jars. Do not put on screwbands. Allow jars to cool. Put on screwbands and wipe jars. Refrigerate six to eight weeks for the pickled flavor to fully develop. Keep refrigerated and use within six months. This pepper product allows the peppers to marinate in a high acid solution, at a cold temperature, and in the presence of air. These conditions are not favorable for botulism toxin formation. It does not ensure against other types of spoilage


Jalapeno Poppers - a hot pepper recipe that makes almost the same appetizer you'll find in restaurants (recipe from www.backyard-vegetable-gardening.com)

12 fresh Jalapeno peppers (*substitute any hot pepper)
3 oz cream cheese, softened
3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup flour
1 cup fine bread crumbs
vegetable oil

Heat 2 inches of oil in a sauce pan to 350 degrees F.

Cut a slit lengthwise in each pepper from stem to bottom. Insert a knife and remove the seeds and veins.

Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese and salt. Stuff cheese mixture into peppers. Press the seam closed so that the pepper retains its shape.

Beat 3 eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Put flour in a separate shallow bowl. Put bread crumbs in a third separate shallow bowl.

Dip stuffed peppers in egg/milk mixture. Then roll in flour until covered and place on a plate. Repeat this process until all peppers are covered with flour.

Dip floured peppers back into milk/egg mixture and roll in bread crumbs until well covered.

Fry the stuffed peppers 3-4 at a time until golden brown, turning once - usually 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve. This pepper recipe can be modified with mozarella cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, etc...

with ROSEMARY & GARLIC OIL (recipe from kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com)

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife

Big pot of well-salted water
1 pound fresh green beans, ends snipped
Big bowl of ice water

Fresh basil, chopped into thin ribbons
1 bulb shallot, peeled and sliced thin on the cross-wise
Good salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel or another large-grain flaky salt (don't skip this - it somehow makes the dish)

ROSEMARY & GARLIC OIL In a small saucepan, gently warm the olive oil, rosemary and garlic just until the garlic begins to sizzle. Turn off the heat and let the rosemary and garlic flavors infuse the oil.

BEANS Bring the water to a boil. Drop in the beans and let them cook for about 7 minutes, until done but still bright green and quite crispy. Drain the beans and immediately immerse into the ice water, let cool for a minute or two and then drain again. Place the beans on a double layer of paper towels and pat to dry.

TO FINISH Toss the beans with about 1 tablespoon of the oil, reserving the rest for another purpose (or more beans, tomorrow). (Stop here if making ahead of time.) Arrange on a serving plate, sprinkle with basil, shallot rings and salt.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cook the beans, toss in the oil, then refrigerate. Arrange on a serving plate, let warm to room temperature, then sprinkle with basil, shallot and salt.


WORLD'S BEST GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (from kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/)

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, November-December 2006
Printer Friendly Recipe
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 8 in small-ish servings for a big dinner

TO MAKE AHEAD The day before, cook the beans, make the sauce and combine; mix the topping but don't add it yet. Before dinner, bring back to room temperature, allowing plenty of time, especially for a double or triple batch; bake at 425F for 10 - 40 minutes until bubbly. Apply topping and bake for another 15 minutes.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to Cook the Green Beans
If doubling or tripling the recipe means cooking the beans in batches, start each batch with fresh water; at minimum, re-salt the water with each new batch. Also, don't skip the drying process.

2 quarts (8 cups) water
1 tablespoon table salt (salt is key to the flavor so don't skimp; if you don't have table salt, use twice as much as the relatively 'less salty' kosher salt or sea salt)
1 pound fresh green beans, ends snapped, snapped into bite-size pieces

Bring the water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. While it comes to a boil, prep the beans. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender and still bright green. (Be sure to cook the beans to your desired level of doneness; from here on, they will reheat but won't cook more.) Drain beans in a colander, then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain a bit in the colander again. Place a double layer of paper towels on a baking sheet, arrange beans in single layer to dry, top with a double layer of towels and pat to dry. Let continue to dry while finishing.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to Cook the Mushroom Sauce
If this looks a lot like a thick, homemade mushroom soup, that's because it is!

8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms (I like the color of the brown portabella but taste-wise, they're the same as white button mushrooms)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Generous grind of fresh pepper or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3/4 cup half & half or heavy cream (don't use fat-free half-n-half, it won't thicken)
Salt & pepper to taste

Clean the mushrooms; break off and discard the stems. (Better yet, use the stems to make a night-before-Thanksgiving mushroom soup.) Break the mushroom tops into pieces. (Breaking the tops into irregular pieces is important to the texture of this sauce for sliced mushrooms have a 'canned soup' texture.) Melt the butter in a skillet til shimmery. (To save a pan, use the pot used for cooking the beans.) Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook til mushrooms begin to soften and exude their liquid, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook a minute. A tablespoon at a time at first, add the chicken stock and sherry; bring to a simmer. Add the half & half, simmer til sauce thickens, about 10 - 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the cooked beans til they're evenly distributed throughout the sauce.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to Mix the Topping and Bake
Note: The quantity below is 'half' what the inspiring recipe used; the full amount seemed way over the top to me, half was plenty and hardly skimpy for the shallow quiche dish I use to bake this in. I use the quantity below even when doubling the beans and the mushroom sauce; how much is needed seems to be a function of the size of the serving dish; 'half' is perfect for that shallow quiche dish.

1 slice good whole grain bread (I use this Light 'n' Fluffy Homemade Whole Grain Bread but any good whole-grain bread will work)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 a 2.8 ounce can of French fried onions
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In the food processor, process the bread, butter and seasonings in about 10 quick pulses. Stir in the onions -- but don't process. If making ahead, transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.

TO BAKE RIGHT AWAY Preheat oven to 425F. Transfer hot bean mixture to a greased quiche pan or baking dish. Top the beans with the topping mixture and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

TO BAKE LATER Transfer bean mixture to a greased quiche pan or baking dish (hold off on the topping mixture), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Return to room temperature. Remove plastic wrap. Heat in 425F oven uncovered for about 10 - 40 minutes until hot and bubbly. (Ten minutes is enough for a shallow dish like a quiche pan. Allow more time for a deeper dish.) Add topping and bake for another 15 minutes.


Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Sage Recipe (http://simplyrecipes.com)


  • 1.5 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese chevre


1 Place the potatoes and salt in a pot and fill the pot with cold water until the potatoes are covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, then bring the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes. Drain the water from the potatoes.

2 Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and brown the butter. The butter will foam for a bit before calming down. When the butter turns to a light amber color watch for it to turn to a nutty brown (this can happen very quickly). Immediately take off heat. Add the chopped sage to the butter (it may cause some foaming). Pour over the potatoes.

3 Add the goat cheese chevre, and milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth and all ingredients are well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

CREAM CHEESY POTATO MASH  (from: www.cooks.com)

6 medium to large potatoes
1/2 cup milk
3 t. butter
1 t. salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 stick softened cream cheese (4oz.)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Peel potatoes and cut into cubes. Boil potatoes 15 mins. or until done. Drain and transfer potatoes into a large mixing bowl, add butter, salt, cream cheese, sour cream, milk.

Mix with hand mixer until blended together. Add chopped onion, cheese and stir.

Place in oven-safe casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


Posted 9/6/2011 7:24am by Amy Philson.
The NWPAGC will have an informational booth set up at the Slippery Rock Village Fest this Saturday, September 10th.  Join us in the fun and festivities in the festival!  Our booth number is 35, and just look for the big banner with our name on it!  The manager, Sarah, will be manning the table, so come on by and chat with her! The Festival is from 10am to 5pm, so stop by any time!
Posted 9/2/2011 7:40am by Amy Philson.
Posted 8/25/2011 1:37pm by Amy Philson.

Tomato Basil Pasta (from marthastewart.com)


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 pound cooked and drained short pasta (such as campanelle)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 pound burrata or mozzarella cheese
  • Small basil leaves

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella (from foodnetwork.com)


  • 2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • Panzanella Croutons, recipe follows
  • 2 cups trimmed arugula
  • Wedge Parmesan, for shaving


Drain the tomatoes in a sieve to remove excess liquid while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add the croutons and toss well.

Divide tomato mixture among 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.

Michael's Notes: I've used basil and tarragon here, but you can use any herbs you like. Parsley and marjoram come to mind as good alternatives.

Panzanella Croutons:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 cups crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)

Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and preheat a cookie sheet in it.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it foams. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm to melt the cheese.

Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Michael's Notes: I use a serrated knife to remove the crust from day-old bread, then switch to a chef's knife to cut the cubes because it doesn't tear the bread. Also note that I recommend grating the Parmesan finely so that it will stick to the bread better.

Yield: about 6 cups

3 ways to use your green beans (from johndlee.hubpages.com)

Bacon and honey mustard green beans

Get a few rashers of a good thick smoky bacon, and fry until almost, but not quite crispy. Meanwhile, boil your beans in well salted water, until just done (beans need to be cooked, none of this al dente business with beans!). Take the bacon out of the pan, and cut or crumble, and use the bacon fat with about half as much red wine vinegar, a dash of honey and a tsp of Dijon, whisked together. Toss with the warm beans, and season with salt to taste. You could also add some new potatoes to make this a more substantial side.

Caramelized onion and parmesan beans

Fry a sliced onion very slowly in olive oil, until golden brown, and seriously reduced. This should take the better part of half an hour. You want the onion to start caramelizing, so watch it closely as it nears the end, as those onion sugars will tend to burn if left unattended.

Boil your beans in well salted water until cooked, about 5 minutes, and toss with the caramelized onions in olive oil. Add about ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and salt if needed.

Grilled beans

A twist on the usual grilled veg's. Coat your green beans in olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill over medium heat, until slightly charred and softened, about 15 minutes. These are great dressed with a little more olive oil and either a balsamic or red wine vinegar. Or use as part of a grilled vegetable salad.

Green bean casseroles, salad Nicoise, Indian spiced fried green beans…it's all so good. Eating locally and with the seasons is a pleasure, and be sure to take advantage of whatever is flooding your local farmers market right now.

7 Ways to use your corn! (from www.mnn.com)

  1. Cut the kernels off the cobs and mix with a small bit of garlic, diced tomato (really just a bit), salt, pepper and some pumpkin seed oil. Makes a great summer salad. (via Chowhound)
  2. Cut the kernels off and toss them on top of a fresh salad (via PlentyOfFish)
  3. Use it to make corn chowder. Try this recipe that calls for three ears of corn from Simply Recipes.
  4. Corn fritters – try this buttermilk recipe from Mother Earth News or this regular milk recipe from Paula Dean (something tells me she knows how to make a mean corn fritter) Note: 2 large ears of corn are about the equivalent of one can of corn
  5. Make some avocado corn salsa
  6. Throw it into cornbread 
  7. Add it to an omelet like in this fresh corn omelet with smoked mozzarella and basil

White Potato Pie (from allrecipes.com)


  • 2 potatoes - peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 (9 inch) pie shell


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mix sugar, baking powder, and salt, then add potatoes and butter or margarine; mix well. Gradually add whipping cream and milk, stirring until well blended. Stir in lemon rind, juice, vanilla, and nutmeg. Add beaten eggs and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into pie shells and put in preheated oven. Bake for 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Best when served cold.
Posted 8/18/2011 7:00am by Amy Philson.

Lemongrass: This will make 12 cups of hot or iced tea.  Two stalks make 4 cups of great tea...either hot or iced. Lemongrass tea has sedative and diuretic effects.  Chop two whole stalks (meaty and grassy parts) in 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then immediately turn to simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain.  For four cups of iced tea add a couple of mint leaves & one tablespoon of honey.  For one cup of hot tea just add a touch of honey.

Tomatillo: Tomatillos, pronounced [toh-MAH-tee-YO]
Botanical name: Physalis philadelphica. A relative of the tomato and member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family tomatillos provide that tart flavor in a host of Mexican green sauces. In Mexico the fruit is called tomates verdes, tomates de cascara as well as fresadillas.

The fruits average about 1 -2" wide and have a papery outer skin. The tomatillo is actually used when it is still green. If you see the photo below one of the tomatillos is just turning a light yellow and indicates that is ripe and past its prime for most uses. Tomatillos have a very tart flavor, not at all like a tomato. (from gourmetsleuth.com)

Applesauce recipe (from simplyrecipes.com)


  • 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (Make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein.)
  • 4 strips of lemon peel - use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
  • 3 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


1. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.

Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.

Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde (from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 serrano chile peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups water


  1. Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.


Chicken enchiladas with a roasted tomatillo chile salsa (from foodnetwork.com)


Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime, juiced


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock, storebought
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat shredded
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Spicy Black Beans, recipe follows
  • Yellow Rice, recipe follows
  • Guacamole, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:

On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.


Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.

Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo salsa, sour cream and fresh guacamole, if desired.

Spicy Black Beans:

  • 2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, soak beans overnight covered in water by 2 inches. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice:

  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Pepper Jelly (from foodnetwork.com)


  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh hot green pepper, such as jalapeno or serrano
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces pectin (recommended: Certo)
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • Special Equipment: 6 (1/2-pint) canning jars with lids


Process bell pepper and hot pepper in a food processor until finely minced. Combine pepper mixture, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add pectin and food coloring. Pour into sterilized jars and seal*.

*Cook's Note: Follow USDA guidelines for proper sterilization and canning procedures.

* Sterilizing Jars

Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Sterilizing Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

Before filling with jams, pickles or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

Couscous stuffed peppers with a basil sauce (from foodnetwork.com)



  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 packed cup chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium red bell peppers (*sub. Green peppers)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper (*)
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper (*)
  • Hot water, as needed


  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra, as needed


Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Filling: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and cumin to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pan until the couscous is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes. Put the couscous in a large bowl and add the beans, currants, spinach, feta and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds. If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up. Stuff the peppers with the filling and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Put the peppers in an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish. Fill the baking dish with 3/4-inch hot water and bake until the filling is golden and the peppers are cooked through, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cooks Note: If the filling begins to brown too quickly, cover the pan with foil.)

Sauce: In a blender, combine the basil, creme fraiche, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove the peppers from the oven and arrange on serving plates. Spoon the sauce around the peppers and serve.

Hot Pepper Vinegar Recipe (from eclecticrecipes.com)


  • Hot peppers, any variety (*Cayenne pepper)
  • Garlic (optional)
  • White Vinegar
  • a few peppercorns (optional)


  1. Clean the jars you are going to be using in the dishwasher or boiling water. Bring vinegar to a boil. Wash peppers and either chop then to fit in your jar like I have done, or put a little slit in them so that the vinegar penetrates them. Trim top stems too.
  2. Add peppers, garlic and peppercorns to a decorative bottle or jar. Pour boiling vinegar over peppers. Make sure peppers are completely covered with vinegar.
  3. Leave a little head-space, airspace in between the peppers and vinegar and the lid, and close the lid. Let it sit for a few weeks and enjoy. I always store them in the pantry, if it make you feel better, store in the fridge.


Posted 8/11/2011 2:03pm by Amy Philson.
Hi Everyone!
  This is a reminder that the logo contest is coming to a close on August 15, so please send me your logo ideas! Email a picture to marditheaw@att.net, or send me a copy in the mail to 9235 Pont Road, Albion PA 16401.  We are excited to see who the logo contest winner is - and this winner will have their logo on our new pamphlets and other products!

Posted 8/11/2011 6:21am by Amy Philson.

Fresh Tomato Salsa (from delish.com)


  • 4 cup(s) diced tomatoes (5-6 medium)
  • 3/4 cup(s) finely diced red onion ( about 1 small)
  • 1/4 cup(s) red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2  jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • cayenne pepper, to taste


  1. Combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Simple Cooked Tomato Salsa Recipe (from simplyrecipes.com)


  • 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes, cored and cut in half
  • 1 whole jalapeño chili pepper (or a serrano), stem removed, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


1 Put tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and water into a blender. Purée for 20 seconds, until completely liquified.


2 Heat olive oil in a sauce pan on medium high. Pour purée into pan. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture completely changes color from light red to a much darker red, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Keep refrigerated when not using.

6 Ways to enjoy your corn! (from marthastewart.com)

Boil:  Using a pot large enough to hold all your corn, fill it 2/3 with water. Bring water to a rapid boil. Once the water is boiling, shuck corn and immediately add to the pot. Boil 2-6 minutes—longer if you like corn extra-soft.

Grill: Throw unshucked corn on the grill and rotate every few minutes for about 14 minutes, or until corn appears deeply charred all the way around. If desired, carefully pull back corn husks and pull out the silk, then fold the husks back over. Soak the corn in cold water for 15 minutes before grilling; the husks will char and add a smoky flavor, the soaking will prevent them from burning and help the corn steam inside.

Steam: Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large pot. Fill pot with two inches of cold water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, shuck corn, add ot the basket and replace lid. Steam about 10 minutes. This method is even better as a one-pot meal - make it a crab and corn boil!

Microwave: Microwave unshucked corn for 2-3 minutes. Add an extra minute for each additional ear. Be careful when you remove the husk and silk—the corn will be hot!

And if you're lucky enough to find farm-fresh corn, enjoy it straight from the husk without cooking it at all!

Toppings: Old bay seasoning, cheese, including grated Parmesan, feta or manchego, or a classic mix of butter and salt. For a flavored butter, mash roughly chopped herbs (basil is my favorite!) with softened butter. And for Mexican-style corn, rub each cob in lime, butter and cojito (Mexican cheese).

Cool Trick:  To avoid the mess of using an entire stick of butter to dress your corn, simply rub a buttered slice of break onto each cob. And voila! You'll have perfectly slathered corn and warm buttered bread, mess free.

Dill Potatoes on the grill!


  • 6-8 large new potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • aluminum foil


Wash potatoes and cut in quarters. Place potato pieces in a resealable container. Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over potatoes, seal, and allow to marinade for 20-30 minutes. Preheat grill for medium heat. Take potatoes out of bag and place on a long sheet of aluminum foil. Pour enough marinade over potatoes to coat them well. Place another piece of foil on top and crimp edges to create a packet. Make three small holes on the top to allow steam through while cooking. Place potato packet on the grill and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove and serve.

(Another) Red Potato Salad (from allrecipes.com)


  • 3 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 dill pickle, chopped
  • 1/3 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 dash onion salt
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, eggs, pickle, celery, green onions, and hot sauce. Season with dill, garlic powder, onion salt, salt, and pepper. Pour over the potatoes, and gently toss to coat. Chill at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving.


Posted 8/3/2011 3:10pm by Amy Philson.

Traditional Pesto (101cookbooks.com)

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil


Pesto with Sundried Tomatoes (peppercornpress.com)


8 ounces penne pasta

1 Jar (8 to 10 ounce size) sundried tomatoes in oil

2 cups fresh basil leaves

3 large cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

6 ounces of fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste


Sweet and Sour Bean Salad (food network.com)


  • 1 can green beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can cut yellow wax beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, diced
  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can tomato soup, undiluted


Place all the beans, green pepper, onion and pimentos in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and celery. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and tomato soup. Bring to a boil and pour over the vegetables. Toss the mixture lightly with 2 forks. Do this several times as the mixture cools. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. The salad will be better if kept chilled 24 hours before serving. Drain and reserve liquid before serving; it will keep for several days. The reserved liquid can be poured over the leftovers. Add more sugar, if desired.

Green Beans with Lemon and Toasted Almond (foodnetwork.com)


  • 1 (2-ounce) package sliced almonds, found on baking aisle
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper


In a medium pan, toast almonds over medium heat. Remove from pan and add 1/2 inch water. Bring water to a boil, add beans and cover pan. Reduce heat. Cook beans 4 or 5 minutes until just tender yet still green. Drain beans and return pan to stovetop. Melt butter over moderate heat. Add lemon juice to butter (juice lemon half right side up to keep seeds with lemon, rather than in your beans). Add beans to lemon butter and coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer green beans to dinner plates or serving plate and top with almonds.

Peach-Nectarine Muffins (makes 8) (allrecipies.com)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large ripe peach - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 very ripe nectarine, pitted and diced (substitute one peach!)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 8 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add vegetable oil, egg and milk; mix well. Fold in diced peach and nectarine. Fill each muffin tin to the top with muffin mix. Sprinkle a little brown sugar onto the top of each uncooked muffin.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Check muffins regularly after 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm or cool.

Peach Pound Cake (allrecipes.com)


  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh peaches, pitted and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 10 inch tube pan and coat with white sugar.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Reserve 1/4 cup of flour for later, and sift together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Use the reserved flour to coat the chopped peaches, then fold the floured peaches into the batter. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.


*Shorter list of recipes today because I know everyone can use a lot of their share without new recipes!  Enjoy!*


Posted 8/1/2011 2:10pm by Amy Philson.

Please take a look at this program opportunity!

The fourth in the “Eating Green…” program series

Preserving the Harvest


At Jennings Environmental Education Center
Saturday, August 27, 2011

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon


Take advantage of the abundant harvests of the growing season by learning to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables


  • Introduction to canning, freezing and dehydrating        by Master Food Preserver Renee Squire of Penn State Extension



  • Drying foods in a home-built solar dehydrator by Lori Sands of Silver Wheel Farm, LLC



  • Opportunities to “Buy Fresh Buy Local” and celebrate Local Food Month in September with Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)       (Farm tour tickets available at discount to workshop participants.)



Registration and pre-payment of $5.00 required by Friday, August 19th. Register online at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar

or call Jennings at 724-794-6011

Posted 7/27/2011 9:36pm by Amy Philson.

Julia's Red Late Summer Salsa

4 pounds red ripe tomatoes, small dice
2-6 jalapeño or other hot chiles, small dice (can grill them first, amount depends on how hot you want the salsa)
1 medium onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice from 6 limes or small lemons

Mix and eat.

Make adaptions as your kitchen availability suggests: leave out the cilantro, try Italian parsley, not traditional but the green is nice if you don't have cilantro. Any kind of lemon or lime can work, or you can even leave that out. Only use fresh citrus fruits, no bottled lemon juice. Salt to taste. Some like black pepper in their salsa too. You can also add chopped mango, or peach, or avocado, or corn..... the variations are endless.

Some things you can do with spicy peppers

The peppers should be roasted and peeled first:

Chop them up and bake them in corn bread.

Stuff them with a filling of shredded chicken, chiles, raisins, olives, walnuts and rice.

Top with sour cream or Mexican ‘crema.'

Slice them up and fold them in quesadillas with a good anejo mexican cheese.

Stuff with rice that's been doctored any number of ways: onions and garlic, shredded hard cheese, etc.

Use them to make goulash.

3 More Ideas to use your three types of spicy chile peppers:

1) gift to friends/neighbors who love them if you don't do any picante food at all
2) google recipes
3) make your own hot sauce!: Grill them first if you like (truly optional), chop up all the chiles you want to use up, barely cover them with vinegar (apple cider or white) in a sauce pan, add some onion and garlic if you like, boil until soft, let cool a bit, then whirl in a blender or food processor. Keep in a glass jar in the fridge! Taco Sauce made by your own hand.