Make You Own: Ketchup

Make Your Own Ketchup

Sherri at the Adventures of Kitchen Girl was talking about making ketchup and this intrigued me. I have wanted to try to do this for several years, but just never got around to actually making some. She shared a link from The New York Times which she adapted and I decided to give it a try!

Yesterday Alexis and I ran some errands and stopped by the orchard. They had exactly one box of “second” tomatoes left and I snatched it up! I ended up adapting the recipe even further and actually doubling it for the most part and I really loved the result!

What’s not to like about your own homemade condiments that you know exactly what goes in to them? I’ll definitely be making this again. It’s easy, just some chopping and stirring here and there, and you end up with a really fabulous end product. That is always a good thing.

What You’ll Need:
3 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 apples peeled and chopped (Note: I used the Gala variety.)
2 cups of yellow onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons of sea salt
8-10 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of peppercorns (Note: Next time I think I’ll just use ground pepper.)
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

First you want to peel and chop your tomatoes. The easiest way to peel a tomato is to drop it in to boiling water for about 30 seconds and then remove it to a cold water bath. Once it’s been in the cool water for 30 seconds or so the skins will peel right off! Place chopped tomatoes in a large stock pot and set aside.

Next you want to peel and chop your apple as well as chop your onion and garlic and add it to the tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients to your pot and you’ll end up with something a little like this:

Make Your Own Ketchup: Read to Cook

The great thing about recipes like this is that you have a little wiggle room in terms of ingredients. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Bring the mixture to a quick boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Process mixture until smooth in a blender or food processor and then return to your pot:

Make Your Own Ketchup: Simmering

Cook for another 30 minutes or until the ketchup thickens. It will also thicken as it cools as well.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container (I like canning jars) for up to 3 months.

Make Your Own Ketchup

Notes: Next time I’m going to cook the ketchup just a bit longer so it will be a little thicker. It didn’t thicken up as much as I would have liked when it cooled. I put two pint jars in the fridge, one for me and one for my sister and I froze the rest of the mixture.

Take A Look In My Fridge

Take A Look In My Fridge!

I got an e-mail asking to see the contents of my fridge. Not sure why anyone would want to see that, but I aim to please!

Top Shelf: Heavy cream, half and half, milk, iced green tea, apple cider, Coronas, Parmesan cheese rinds, etc.

Next Shelf: Lex’s apple juice, Jamison’s orange juice, sea salt dill pickles, sangria for tonight, pomegranates, etc.

Next shelf: Brown eggs, sour cream, Jamison’s left over gluten-free macaroni and cheese, spinach, etc.

Cheese Drawer: Cheddar, goat cheese, Fontina, Parmesan, Gruyere, buttermilk cheese, American, Swiss, Provolone, mozzarella, various blue cheeses, etc.

Veggie Drawer: More spinach, cucumbers, asparagus, kiwi berry poppers, bell peppers, celery, carrots, etc.

Meat Drawer: Bacon, pepperoni, turkey, corn tortillas, etc.

Butter “Drawer:” Irish butter, butter, cream cheese, etc.

Top Door Shelf: Wine, Limoncello, Seltzer water, etc.

Rest of the Door: Condiments, pickles, olives, jams/jellys, sauces, maple syrup, etc.

Most important thing in the fridge right now? Sangria!


So there it is…My boring little fridge! What’s in your fridge?

TGIF! Have a great weekend everyone!

Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

I love brownies. I love cheesecake. Why not combine the two and make a swirled brownie? And that’s just what I did!

These are the perfect gooey brownie, with a hint of cheesecake. Couple it with a big glass of milk and you’ve got the perfect, decadent snack!

What You’ll Need for the Chocolate Brownie:
2/3 cup of butter
1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

What You’ll Need for the Cream Cheese Swirl:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla

In a sauce pan melt butter and chocolate chips stirring often until completely smooth. Set aside and let cool completely.

Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.

Mix together sugar, vanilla, eggs and sea salt in a mixer. Beat on high for 5 minutes until fluffy/creamy. Slowly add cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until mixed. Add flour a little at a time and mix until just incorporated.

Pour batter into an 8 X 12 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In another bowl mix together creamed cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Drop dollops of this mixture on to the brownie batter and swirl around using a knife until mixed in, but not incorporated. You should be able to see the swirls.

Bake for 45 minutes until brownies are slightly crackly on top. Let cool and cut and serve.

Notes: No notes for this one. It speaks for itself! :o)

What Did You Do Today?

I got a tattoo, or in other words this was my birthday present to myself!

My Tattoo: Otherwise Know As My Birthday Present to Myself

My Tattoo: Otherwise Know As My Birthday Present to Myself

I’m very pleased with the results!

This is the pewter button it is designed around:

Pewter Button My Tattoo Is Designed Around

If you live in Maryland and want a tattoo I highly recommend Alfie at Marks of the Spark Tattoos in Frederick! He’s awesome!

Thanks to my friend Leann for spending the day with me and being my tattoo buddy! I’ve had an awesome birthday!

Havre de Grace, Maryland

Today we popped over to Havre de Grace, MD to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I have plans on Monday with a friend that I’ll tell you about later, but today I really, really wanted to get close to the Bay because I really miss spending time near the water. We ate lunch at Tidewater Grille, Alexis rode a horse and we walked around the promenade around the Concord Point Lighthouse. On the way home we stopped at IKEA and I had forgotten how fabulous that place is! It was a really, really all around great day! I love days like this!

I hope you all had a fabulous Saturday too.

Havre de Grace, MD

Concord Point Lighthouse, Havre de Grace, MD

Concord Point Lighthouse, Havre de Grace, MD

Geese, Havre de Grace, MD