Monday, March 21, 2011

A Whole New World -- Powdered Dairy

I have had a can of butter powder for awhile that I've been wanting to try out, so I opened it today and bravely used it in a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Well, I wasn't THAT brave, I used half real butter and half powdered butter. My husband always tells me that I try too many variations at one time and then things don't turn out as well. :)

And, just for kicks, here is my favorite thing: Powdered Eggs. I love to use these especially in baking, then I don't feel bad about eating dough or letting my kids eat the dough.

So here's my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I've been making these since I was 8 years old.

1 c butter (or in this case, 1 cube of butter and 1/2 c of powdered butter and 1/4 c water, maybe next time I'll do all powder)

3/4 c sugar

1 c brown sugar


2 eggs (powdered or regular)

1 t vanilla


3 c flour

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 1/2 c chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Here's how the dough looked:

Pretty good! Note: I used 1/2 c butter powder to replace 1/2 c of real butter in the recipe--a straight 1 for 1 substitute. I also added about 2 T of water. The instructions on the can weren't very clear on how to use it, so I just guessed. Next time I will add a little more water, but they did turn out great anyway. ****Thanks to my sister-in-law for the info: When you use powdered butter, use 1 part butter powder 1 part water. Thanks, Cori!

And here's a second correction.   Now that I have made these several times. . . I have found that using a part butter powder and 1/2 part water makes the perfect cookies.  So, I have corrected the recipe above . . . again. . . sorry!

Here is the finished product. The missing cookie was in the process of being eaten at the time. I had to test them out! And they were good!!

Overall, I was VERY happy with how they turned out! I will be doing more experimenting with powdered butter in the future!

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

How I Can Chicken

Due to recent bulk chicken sales. . . I've been busy canning chicken. I have hesitated posting about how I can because there are so many different ways, regulations and safety issues that I don't want to be responsible for anyone who does it the way I teach and it doesn't work out. So, here is my disclaimer: You take full responsibility for following this post and if you have questions about how I do anything, feel free to research it and do it a different way.

Having said that, I have canned hundreds of pounds of chicken this way and am still alive. :) I love it and think that canned meat is the BEST!

1. I prepare my work space first: get my jars ready. If they are new jars, I just take them out of the package and place them on a large cookie sheet. I like to do this to keep them all together and minimize the germs that get on my counters. If they are previously used jars, make sure they are clean and ready to go.

FYI: for canning meat, it is recommended that you use NEW jars-at least the first time you can-so you decrease the chance of a jar exploding under pressure that has a tiny crack or something. You don't always know where your older jars came from -yard sales, passed down from mothers or grandmothers- so they might have imperfections that could jeopardize your entire pot of meat. Once you have pressure canned using certain jars, keep those separate from all of your other canning jars so that you know they are safe to pressure can with).

2. Cutting the chicken. (Photograph courtesy of my 5 year-old.) I like to wear gloves and an apron and am very aware of what I touch and don't touch once I begin handling the raw chicken. The chicken must be thawed first (in the refrigerator). I cut off any big pieces of fat and then cut up the chicken just enough to fit it into the jars. These were large chicken breasts so I had to cut them more. I canned some chicken tenders once and they were so nice because they didn't need any cutting at all! Just stuff in the jar! Now, here is a little inconsistency I just found. I had learned that you stuff the chicken tight into the jar, but as I was looking up some info I found another person who said to pack it loosely. I have packed mine tightly.

3. Once all of your jars are full (make sure you know how many will fit in your canner first) take a plastic handle or something that won't break the jar (probably not a metal knife or fork) and slide it around to get any air pockets out.

I like to add canning salt to mine. I am not sure of the benefit of canning salt or if it's okay to use regular salt, so you can look that up if you have concerns about it. Canning salt does not have iodine in it or anti-caking agents and it keeps your water from being cloudy. And that's all I know.

Add 1/2 tsp of canning salt per pint or 1 tsp per quart.

5. Once the salt is added, take a wet paper towel or napkin and wipe rims of your jars. A dirty rim will prevent the lid from sealing to your jar.

6. Now, I put my lids on my jars. The lids must be heated. I like to use my handy-dandy Little Dipper (mini crockpot). I put my lids in it with water and plug it in before I begin so they are warm and ready to go when I put them on the jars. Otherwise you can heat them in a sauce pan on the stove. They need to be heated, but not boiled.

7. Fill your pressure canner (DO NOT USE A BOILING WATER BATH CANNER) with 2-3 inches of water and place your jars with lids and rings on them into the canner. My canner is a Presto 23 qt and can hold two layers of pint jars. I put my first layer down ( you must have a rack on the bottom of your canner). . .

I have a second rack that I put down in between my layers of jars. If you don't have a second rack, don't place your top layer directly on top of the jars on the bottom layer, offset them.

8. Place your lid on your canner and let it get hot! I usually start my stove on high or near high.

9. Do not place your weight on the lid yet. As your water heats up, steam will begin to come out of the vent (small thing sticking next to the gauge). Let the vent steam for about 10 minutes.

10. After the vent has steamed for around 10 minutes, place your weight on the vent.

11. Wait and watch your gauge get to 12 lbs pressure (This is for my location--it depends on your elevation as to how much pressure you need for canning. Check with your local exension office to find out the PSI or pounds per square inch you should use while canning).

Once the pressure has reached the desired pressure, begin timing. 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts (if you have both sizes in a batch, do 90 minutes).

Keep a close watch on your canner. You will have to turn your stove down little by little as the pressure creeps higher and higher. Try to keep it at the right pressure. By the time mine are done, my stove is usually on low. But make sure the pressure does NOT drop below the recommended PSI!

Once your timer goes off, turn off the stove and carefully remove your canner. Let the pressure go down to ZERO without releasing the weight. Once the pressure has gone down all the way, take the weight off and it is now safe to take your lid off and take the jars out of the canner.

12. I place a towel on my counter before putting the jars on it. Listen for the "ping" to hear the lid seal. If you have any jars that didn't seal, you can re-process them within 24 hours, otherwise just stick the jar in the fridge and use it up. Let the jars sit for 12-24 hours without moving them. Then take the rings off them and store in a dark cool place. Don't forget to label them (what it is and the year you canned them). Ta da! You did it!

13. Be sure to REALLY clean all of your germy counters, cutting board, and anything else you used. Lysol, bleach, whatever you use, be sure to clean thoroughly.

I hope I covered everything, I had several little interruptions as I was trying to get this done. I hope this is helpful to you!

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