Tag Archives: canning

Cookbook Review: The Canning Kitchen

I am slightly obsessed with cookbooks. I could spend hours inside Chapters browsing through the latest releases and building a mental cookbook wishlist. Okay, I actually do that all the time. I love the photos, the smooth feel of their covers, and the promise of delicious food inside.

But yet, I could probably count on two hands the number of times per year I actually make a recipe from one of my cookbooks.

I partially blame that on Pinterest, but also it’s because cookbook recipes can sometimes seem unachievable. They call for too many ingredients, take too many steps, and overall just don’t inspire confidence in me that I can make the recipe.

The Canning Kitchen Cookbook Review

So when I received a copy of Amy Bronee‘s first cookbook The Canning Kitchen I was surprised to discover the recipes seemed surprisingly approachable, And this is coming from someone who has canned twice in her lifetime before – so I’m far from an experienced canner.

So approachable, in fact, that I decided to make her peach jam on a Thursday morning before work with a tight time frame, without any proper canning equipment, and with a sick boyfriend moaning on the couch. I don’t know what came over me, but I felt confident I could do it anyways.

The Canning Kitchen

And things went absolutely smoothly! Just kidding, I was 2 hours late for work, my makeshift aluminum foil “rack” fell apart on me, I flooded my stove with water (note: you really cannot use a standard soup pot as a canner), the jam wouldn’t thicken (my fault: I didn’t have a wide enough pot for evaporation to occur), and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. But I have flexible work hours anyways, the water got mopped up, I added chia seeds to the jam to help thicken it up, and all was good in the end because I have 6 jars of peach jam that I made entirely by myself – I’m like one proud mama over here!

The Canning Kitchen Review

And I can honestly say I would not have done this if it weren’t for The Canning Kitchen. Canning has always intimidated me with all the seemingly complicated steps and meticulous attention to small details. And also the possibility of royally screwing up and creating a batch of jam that gets infested with bacteria and kills my whole family. Okay, perhaps a tad dramatic.

But for all you canning scaredy cats out there like me, fear no more. If The Canning Kitchen can talk a klutz like me through canning, there’s no one it can’t help. But a word of advice: listen to Amy when she tells you what equipment you need. She knows what she’s talking about.

The Canning Kitchen Review

Want to see more of what this cookbook has to offer? Check out the posts of some other great Canadian bloggers to read about their experiences making recipes from The Canning Kitchen:

Blueberry Sauce via The Brunette Baker
Bread & Butter Pickles via Planet Byn
Crunchy Dill Pickles via She Eats
Triple Red Pickles via The Tasty Gardener
Beer Hive Grainy Mustard via Sweet Twist of Blogging
Lemon Raspberry Jamalade via My Daily Randomness
Blueberry Orange Marmalade via The Messy Baker
Peach Chutney with Garam Masala via Libby Roach
Tomato Red Onion Relish via Devour & Conquer

As a part of this blog hop, we are also hosting a GIVEAWAY for a signed copy of The Canning Kitchen plus a $100 gift certificate to Canadian Tire to get you stocked up on all your canning needs! You can enter using the form below between August 26th and September 2nd, 2015. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents of legal age only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

Big thank you to Penguin Random House for the complimentary copy of The Canning Kitchen for the purpose of this review! All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Hiking and canning adventures

Even though it’s the last week of the summer for me and I’m finished at my job, it’s still been a busy week! I’ve been squeezing in all the things I’ve been wanting to do all summer, but haven’t done yet. This happens to me every year – there is just never enough time to do all the exciting things I’d like to do in the summers!

On Wednesday morning my friend Emma and I went on a hike at Great Falls, which is just a short drive out of town. I love hiking and went a few times back in May and June, but then life and work got in the way, and I haven’t been since.

Great Falls hike

We hiked for about 2 hours and actually worked up quite a sweat from all the hills! We climbed up this one monster hill that was at such a steep angle we were almost on our knees. I took a picture of it, but unfortunately my camera just doesn’t capture the steepness of it. I promise it’s much worse than it looks in this picture!

Great Falls hike

When I got home from the hike, I had big plans to cross another thing off my summer to-do list: canning peaches! I picked up a basket of them over the weekend from the Winona Peach Festival, which turned out to be a disappointment. I was expecting pie baking contests and booths selling peach jam from old family recipes – but it turned out to be filled with fried foods and local businesses handing out pencils. Oh well, at least I came out of it with some juicy peaches!

Basket of peaches

I spent the afternoon canning sliced peaches in a sugar syrup, which I did in my Food Science lab last year so I thought I would be a pro at it. Not so much. If there’s anything I’ve learned about canning, it’s that it never goes smoothly! I always seem to have some sort of mishap, be it a burnt hand, a burnt spoon, or a burnt dish towel. Notice the theme there – apparently I need to be more careful around stoves!

Canning peaches

But it was a mostly successful afternoon and I now have 9 jars of peaches to keep me going through the winter. They’re going to make a delicious addition to ice cream, oatmeal, and smoothies!

For those of you who are interested, I followed this step-by-step guide for canning.

I was exhausted after that whole process, so for dinner I kept it simple and made one of my favourite salads. It’s sweet, nutty, and surprisingly filling for a salad thanks to the good balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats!

Chicken, beet, and sweet potato salad

Chicken, beet, and sweet potato saladGluten free
Serves 1

2-3 handfuls of spinach
1 small or 1/2 large sweet potato
1 beet
1 grilled chicken breast
1/2 oz. of almonds, chopped and toasted
2 tbsp diced Applewood smoked cheddar cheese
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp honey (optional)

To roast the vegetables, preheat your oven to 400°F. Chop up the sweet potato and toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Chop the beet and wrap it tightly in tinfoil, then place it on the baking sheet with the sweet potato. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, flipping the sweet potato halfway through.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If using good quality balsamic vinegar (aged 5+ years), the honey isn’t necessary.

Assemble the salad with the spinach, sweet potatoes, beets, grilled chicken, almonds, cheese and dressing – and enjoy!

What’s something you wanted to do this summer but haven’t done yet?

Have you ever canned your own fruit?

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