Friday, September 21, 2012

Homemade KimChi (KimChee)

Homemade KimChi (KimChee)

My friend Michelle and I have been huge fans of KimChi (KimChee) since we were little kids.  It is one of the many tastes that our palates agree on. We both love one particular store bought brand, however it does not have all of the wonderful healthy bacteria (lactobacilli) that fermented KimChi has. After talking about making our own homemade KimChi for several months, we finally did it!

I have to say that it was one of the most exciting things I have made in a long time. Though making it is pretty easy, it is a long process.

First you have to clean, cut and salt the napa cabbage. We also used Bok Choy that Michelle grew in her garden. The salting process takes 4 hours and everything needs to be flipped over at the two hour marker to ensure even salting.

After 4 hours of salting, thoroughly rise several times, set aside to dry and start to concoct the base.

 Cleaned & salted

4 hours later... Rinsed and ready to go!
It is incredible how much the cabbage shrinks
from start to finish.
Our base included: 7oz of hot chilli pepper flakes, 4 bulbs of garlic, 2 small onions, a huge chunk of ginger, 7 scallions, a cup of fish sauce, water and rice flour.

Then, saturate the base over each leaf of cabbage. Michelle loves KimChi cucumbers as well so we used up some leftover pickling cucumber that I had as well. Gloves are a requirement for this process! Hot, hot hot! 

Napa Cabbage
Be sure to get in between each leaf!

Bok Choy

Ferment at room temperature for 24-48 hours in an air tight container and then refrigerate. It is also enjoyable to eat immediately.

KimChi is high fiber, low cal, VERY flavorful, versatile, loaded with vitamins A, B and C and laden with great-for-the-belly bacteria! 

For the complete recipe and directions, e-mail:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Just in time for Thanksgiving Festivities!

Super Simple Cranberry Sauce - A perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal

You will need:
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
4 cups of fresh cranberries
Ground nutmeg (optional)
Ground cloves (optional)

Clean the cranberries and take out the not-so-fresh looking ones. Watch out for pale pink or green cranberries, those are not ripe and will be ultra-tart. In a large sauce pan, stir in the the sugar and water and bring it to a boil.  Once all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling, add the cranberries and return to a boil. Once it reaches boiling again, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. You will know they have simmered long enough when your crans begin to pop (again, you will actually hear the "popping").  At this point, Kim and I added some ground nutmeg and ground cloves. We didn't measure, we just taste tested the sauce until we were pleased. 

Remove mixture from heat, fill and process the jars. You will need to process quart jars for 20 minutes. 

If you want to enjoy the sauce immediately, other ingredients you might want to considering adding would be: crushed nuts, cinnamon, blue berries, raisins or currants! Cranberry sauce will last in the fridge for up to five days, so plan ahead and save yourself some time on Thanksgiving Day! 

This recipe will yield 2 quarts.

Again, I don't know where to give credit for this recipe. It is an easy one that has been passed down through the generations. It's a quick and easy recipe to make in advance and bring to any holiday gathering you attend. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cranberry - Apple Jam

You will need... 
8 cups of apples 
4 cups of cranberries (fresh, whole crans)
1 cup water
6 cups of sugar
2 lemons - squeeze the juice and zest the skin
Optional: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves or Allspice

Peel and dice the apples (dice apples about 1/2 inch or so). 

In a large pot combine the fresh, vibrant cranberries with sugar and the diced apples. 

Bring it to a boil. Cook for about 12 minutes or until the apples are soft and the cranberries have began to pop (you will hear a popping noise in case you have never cooked cranberries before ;-). At this point, add the lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and nutmeg (if you choose).   Simmer mixture until the sauce begins to thicken.
                                                                                            We used our new stainless steel funnels :)  * Recommended

Fill jars and process for 10 minutes.
This recipe yields about 5-6 jam jars. 

Kim and I had a lot of fun with this recipe. Neither of us had canned with cranberries before, but we wanted to try something new to us and use ingredients that were also in season (you know, being courageous canners and all...). We were both pleasantly surprised with the delicious flavor that we ended up with. We did not measure how much cinnamon & nutmeg we added... we just taste tested. We also considered adding cloves and/or allspice. I imagine those would be equally delightful additions to this recipe. 

Although I had intended to give this jam out as Christmas gifts, I have passed out several jars for loved ones to enjoy during the holiday season. The scent of the jam is reminiscent of Christmas. This is a perfect seasonal jam to enjoy through Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

This recipe comes from a dear friend in Montana. I am not sure where the recipe originated. This is not a Courageous Canners original. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spicy Pickled Carrots - use in place of a classic pickle spear!

Spicy Pickled Carrots
Recipe makes 3 pints

4-6 Garlic Cloves – sliced
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers – sliced with seeds
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
4 Cups Distilled White Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Salt


  1. Divide the garlic, jalapenos, and pepper flakes among jars. Trim, peel, and cut the carrots 1 inch shorter than the jars.  Pack carrots into jars.
  2. Bring Vinegar to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add sugar and salt, then stir to dissolve.  Pour brine over carrots, covering veggies by ½ inch with liquid.  Leave ½ inch of head space between liquid and lid.
  3. Use water bath method.  Wipe rims of clean, center lids on jars and screw on jar bands.  Process in bath for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let rest in the water for 5 minutes.  Remove jars and set a side for 24 hours.  Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Review:  I never thought I would can carrots but I got the itch to try something different (hence, "courageous canners").  This recipe was a super easy & quick one.  I have yet to crack them open....  More to come once I do... However I don't see how they couldn't possibly be delicious! These are going to make a great addition to this holiday's relish platter! 

Spicy Carrot Recipe
From: Put ‘em up! By Sherri Brooks Vinton

Saturday, October 15, 2011

OLIVE SALAD - A great addition to sammies, eggs, pasta or anything really!

Olive Salad
From: Put ‘em up! By Sherri Brooks Vinton
Makes 5 pints

4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 small head cauliflower leaves removed, cored, and cut into ½ -inch florets (about 6 cups)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup pitted sliced black olives
1 cup pitted sliced green olives
1 cup chopped onion


  1. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seed, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a large pot, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add cauliflower, carrots, red bell pepper, olives, and onions, and return to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies just begin to turn tender, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour into jars, covering the solids by ¼ inch with liquid.  Leave ¼ inch of headspace between liquid and the lid.
  4. Use water bath method.  Wipe rims of clean, center lids on jars and screw on jar bands.  Process in bath for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let rest in the water for 5 minutes.  Remove jars and set a side for 24 hours.  Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Review:  Stephanie has been raving about muffalatas over the last month or so.  I personally have never tried them but she’s in love.  I found a recipe in my “Put ‘em Up” canning book for Olive Relish, which is the staple in a muffalata, and decided to make it for her.  Another easy recipe, however it is time consuming due to all the veggie chopping.

The jars really look gorgeous though, don't they? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Thank you for visiting our canning blog. Last month, Kim and I decided to create a Facebook Page where we could compile our favorite tried and true canning "experiments". Since FB decided to end the "discussion boards" (effective 10/31) we decided to birth this canning blog. Here we will post the recipes we try, as well as any comments we have to add.

We hope between our Facebook Page and this blog we can provide the novice or the seasoned canner with some tips and delicious recipes. We are counting on you to help us compile this list of recipes so be sure to post your favorites on our wall or email us at:

Hasta La Vista,
Steph and Kim