Sunday, August 27, 2017

Shopping List for Quick Meals

School has started and we are gearing our lives towards more of a routine.   Parents are in need of easy meals that can be prepared quickly.  Quick meals start with having basic ingredients on hand.  Below is a list of basic ingredient to have on hand to prepare quick nutritious meals.  Save money by purchasing extra when they are on sale.  Every family has favorite recipes so adapt the list with the ingredients for your favorites.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Save $100 In 30 Days

Join the eXtension Military Families Learning Network’s Personal Finance team in making small daily deposits that add up to $100 in just 30 days!

Sign up by September 1st to participate in the month-long challenge and you’ll receive the daily savings chart and weekly newsletters with savings messages, savings resources, and reminders for upcoming Challenge events scheduled for September.

We’ll be hosting weekly check-ins on Facebook Live ( that will offer encouragement, an opportunity to share your success stories, and tips for making the savings goals a breeze!

So sign up, and encourage friends and family to join you!

Register and find more information about the Challenge here:

Join us and get started saving!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Its Green Chile Season

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Fall is in the air.  Football games have started.   FFA chapters are holding their yearly fundraisers roasting green chile and the wonderful aroma is all over town.  For the next month we will have many opportunities to purchase raw or roasted green chile.  Make sure your family stays safe by handling the chile with safe food handing principals.

Be sure your are working with clean hands and utensils as you are packaging the chile.   Remember bacteria will grow when the temperature of the chile is between 40 and 135 degrees.  You need to make sure the chile is packaged and in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of roasting.  When loading your freezer spread the hot sacks around and do not stack them on top of each other until the are frozen.

Be sure to label the packages with the date.  Frozen chile is best when used within the year.  To learn more about freezing chile.  Check out this publication.

Freezing Green Chile

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beware of New Canning Lids

I had the pleasure to judge the indoor exhibit at a neighboring county's fair today.  I always enjoy visiting this small ranching community and seeing the wonderful entries.  They have some fantastic bakers.  This year the crochet was phenomenal.  I always learn about new techniques and yarns.  This year there were some jars canned with a white plastic lid that I had not seen before.  So when I got home this evening, I went to the trusted site to research these lids.  I wanted to know about them for the canning workshop I have next week.

I know that idea of a reusable canning lid is popular, because of the expense of the flat metal lids, but I was skeptical.  Previous versions of reusable lids often did not seal well and often did not maintain a seal.

I found the lids on the Ball/Kerr web site, but there are other companies that make them too.  It it clearly stated on the box that they are for storage in the refrigerator and freezer and for dry foods.  They do not seal jars for shelf stable canned goods.

For jars to form the vacuum seal required to keep the food safe inside the jar, there must be away to let the air out of the jar as it is processing.  The two piece band and flat lid is designed for this purpose.  Steam escapes as the jar heats, the band holds the lid in place and when the steam is gone the sealing compound glues the lid to the jar.  The other important factor is having the correct head space for the food being canned.

These lids are not to be used to processed canned food for shelf stability.  They can be use to store opened canned food in the refrigerator, making foods that are stored in the refrigerator, freezing foods, and storing dried foods.

According to some blogs that I read, some brands of the plastic lids have a gasket in them, which can help reduce leakage if the jars tip over in the refrigerator.  Another blog suggested saving money by reusing screw-band lids from store bought foods instead of buying these.

This link will take you to the Ball/Kerr website page about lids.

 Canning Lids 101