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Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam Update

By on Nov 17, 2014 in Canning, Jam, Leena Cooks, pH of food, Savory | 0 comments

My caramelized onion jam canning post has been the MOST commented on post on my entire site—even during times when I have had to take a break from writing. Many of you have had questions about the details (the weight of the onions, do you need to pH test to can, etc). Some of you have said it is impossible for this to be safe to waterbath can for various reasons (too much oil, disagreement on the proper pH level for water bath canning food, etc). Since it has been three years since I posted the recipe, I decided it was a good time to write an update and combine my three previous posts on this topic (this one, this one and this one) into one. I made a small batch, tested the pH, and have made the recipe more detailed. Check it out! So first off, there has been one MAJOR change since the last time I posted about this recipe. My daughter. She still doesn’t nap, but she also...

Leena Cooks and Bakes: Ella’s 2nd Birthday Party!

By on May 28, 2013 in Cookies, Cupcakes, Desserts, Fruit, Leena Bakes, Leena Cooks, Meat, Pickles, Recipes | 0 comments

I can hardly believe that my baby, my first kid, my Ella has finally turned two. Except when she pitches the LOUDEST FIT EVER because I won’t let her do something obviously fun, like drive the car home from the grocery store or poke the cat with a stick like a pinata. Then I am pretty certain she is two. As much as I didn’t want Ella to become obsessed with licensed characters at an early age, somehow, probably during a road trip or a morning when I was sick on the couch, she discovered Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and of course, the infamous Minnie. The obsession came fast and fierce, and when I stumbled across a dress that looked exactly like a Minnie Mouse knock-off at Old Navy (aka–affordable!), I knew I had found her birthday party theme. In December. 5 months BEFORE her party. Some of my fellow mom friends thought I was being quite ambitious, starting party planning...

Leena Cans: Giardiniera for Ella’s Birthday!

By on May 15, 2013 in Canning, Leena Cooks, Pickles, Recipes, vegetable | 0 comments

Life has been a blur, friends. I have hardly had time to document, let alone blog about my culinary adventures! I have been canning up pickles galore for my daughter’s second birthday party picnic (garlic dill asparagus and pickled carrots to name a few). And having a two year old is trying wonderful and impossible a joy to can around. “What you doin, Mommy?” is both adorable and just an innocent question…the first two times it is asked. The next 37 time sort of make me want to stuff her adorableness into a mason jar, water bath can her and not open until her 18th birthday. So. Her birthday has a picnic theme because I’d rather cook my ass off BEFORE the party, not the day of, nor do I want to deal with utensils. The adults are getting a muffaletta sandwich, which is a popular New Orleans sandwich that basically consists of Italian cold cuts (I’m...

Leena Cans: Buying a pH meter and testing my onion jam

By on Aug 25, 2011 in Canning, Leena Cooks, pH of food | 8 comments

Time to test the pH of my water-bath canned onion jam For me, it all started last year around March. I was preparing for Tigress’s March Can Jam focusing on alliums, and was dying to can some caramelized onion jam. I must have read damn near ten canning cookbooks, and not one had an onion jam recipe. And with no tested, from a cookbook recipe to base my recipe off of, I had to resort to making a delicious onion relish. During the process, I learned that onions are a low-acid food and require a high amount of acid to be able to can with a water bath canner. This means it is trickier than usual to create a water bath onion jam recipe, because all of the ones I found were for pressure canning (and I don’t own a pressure cooker). Tigress even warned us that onions were prime subjects for botulism. Seeing that I was also seven months pregnant at the time and slower than a pig in...

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam…with a no-napping 2 month old

By on Aug 16, 2011 in Canning, Condiments, Jam, Leena Cooks, Recipes, Savory | 19 comments

My caramelized onion jam with hints of balsamic and rosemary. Did you just get a mouth boner? Cuz I sure did. So, I’m pretty sure I’m crazy. No sane person would ever try to can, let alone can jam, with a 2 month old. Especially one that refuses to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time and eats every hour and a half. What can I say? I like to roll dangerously close to the line of insanity for the sake of caramelized onions at my reach all year round. Making them from scratch every time is a bitch. Is the jam ridiculously delicious? Hell yeah! Was the process ridiculously hard with a baby? Fuckin’ eh. But lucky for you, I came away with a few pointers for you other psycho moms out there interested in canning with babies. It is possible! My tips and the recipe after the jump.  The highlights of my canning experience: there was a lot of crying at first, both from the...

Leena Cooks: Pickled Onions for tacos and other goodies

By on Feb 28, 2011 in Leena Cooks, Pickles, vegetable | 0 comments

Spicy pork taco with salsa verde and tangy, spiced pickled onions. Hell yeah. Pregnant or not, I’m a lady who likes her pickles. And when I’m not feeling all Martha Stewert-y and wanting to can, I like to rock out some good old fashioned refrigerator pickles*. These pickled onions were for a batch of spicy pork tacos, but they go great with any grilled, smoked or roasted meat, on cheese platters, and my favorite, in sandwiches (like grilled cheese!). (*Technically, any recipes for canned pickle fruits and vegetables can be made in the fridge instead of hot water bath canning, so be sure to check out my recipe section for other pickle ideas.) A super simple recipe and food porn after the click. One simple red onion is about to have it’s world rocked and vinegared! The lazy part of me (which is getting bigger and bigger these days) is all about fridge pickle recipes....