Maria from Life From Scratch at the Saucon Valley Farmers' Market in Hellertown - September 2017

September Farmers’ Market Schedule!

Hey Friends!  I have some exciting news to share!  I will be doing live cooking demos at local farmers’ markets in September, October and November.  If you live in the Lehigh Valley area, come on out this week and say “Hi!” and support our local farmers!


Here is my September schedule:


I will be preparing recipes using food from the local vendors at the markets.  You can try a free sample of the food, grab a copy of the recipe, and shop for fresh ingredients! 


Here is a sneak peek at two of the delicious recipes that I will be making this month…


Watermelon, Peach, and Tomato Salsa
  1. 1 tablespoon lime zest
  2. ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  3. ¼ cup hot pepper jelly (or 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced)
  4. 1 cup fresh watermelon, seeded and diced
  5. 1 cup fresh peaches, peeled and diced
  6. 1 ½ cup fresh cherry tomatoes, quartered
  7. 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  8. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together lime zest and juice with hot pepper jelly (if using). Add watermelon, peaches, tomatoes, and basil and stir together. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  2. Serve with chips and enjoy!
  1. Makes: about 4 cups
Life From Scratch
Stoplight Salad
  1. 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  2. 2 cups corn
  3. 1 green bell pepper, diced
  4. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  5. ¼ cup fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley or basil), chopped
  6. 2 cups cooked black beans (optional)
  7. 2 cups cooked quinoa (optional)
  8. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  9. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lime juice
  10. 1 clove garlic, minced
  11. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine tomatoes, corn, peppers, herbs, black beans, and quinoa in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar or lime juice, and garlic. Pour dressing over salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and serve over greens, if desired. Enjoy!
  1. Makes: 8-10 servings
Life From Scratch


You can find these recipes and more on our new Farmers’ Market page of the website.  Happy Cooking and Happy Eating!  🙂


Chips and Homemade Salsa

How to Can Salsa


Here are my top 10 reasons to can your own homemade salsa:

1.       You will save money

2.       You will always have a quick appetizer to grab off your shelves and bring to a party or to open up for your family game night

3.       You will avoid (un)”natural” flavors and preservatives that come in the jar of salsa from the grocery store

4.       You could give them out as gifts at Christmas time

5.       You have control over the spice level in your salsa

6.       You will have something to do with all of those tomatoes growing in your garden or the ones that everyone else is giving you because they have too many tomatoes growing in their garden (it’s too bad you can’t make a salsa with all of those cucumbers and zucchini piling up on your counter….maybe Joe will write another post about canning pickles so that you can use all of those cucumbers and zucchini everyone has been giving you!)

7.       You will enjoy hours of fun in the kitchen with whichever loved one you have convinced to do the canning with you

8.       You may or may not have to clean salsa off the ceiling when you are done….oh wait, that’s not necessarily a good thing, is it?  Well, at least you’ll have a good story to tell! 

9.       You will have something to talk about during visits with your 99-year old grandmother

10.    You will feel really good about yourself and what you have accomplished…see below…


I always feel really good about myself after canning tomatoes because we use the leftover tomato juice in the bowl to make a homemade Bloody Mary that is like none other that I have ever tasted.  So fresh and delicious…and did I mention that it makes you feel good about life? 😉

Homemade Bloody Mary using leftover tomato juice after canning salsa


Here is the recipe that Joe and I use every year to turn tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic into a homemade salsa that we can enjoy all year long.  Last year, we started with 30 lbs of tomatoes and canned 30 pints of salsa.  So you can roughly count on a 1 lb-to-1 pint ratio. 


We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!


Homemade Salsa
  1. 14 c tomatoes, washed and cored (no need to peel, chop, or drain them)
  2. 3 c onion, quartered
  3. ½ c chili peppers, optional
  4. 3 c green, yellow, or red sweet peppers
  5. 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  6. 1 c tomato sauce
  7. 1 c ketchup
  8. ¾ c vinegar
  9. 10 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  10. 2 ½ Tbsp salt
  11. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  12. 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  1. Place tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic in a large food processor and process until chopped. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Cook just below medium heat for 30-60 minutes, until the sauce is thick and dark.* Remove from heat. Add chopped vegetables to sauce and stir until combined.
  3. Ladle salsa into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace at the top. Seal with sterilized lids and process jars inboiling water bath for 35 minutes.**
  1. (Makes 10 pints.)
  2. *If sauce is not thickening up at this point, add more cornstarch or arrowroot powder, stir and cook some more until thickened.
Life From Scratch

**NOTE: If this is your first time canning, it would be worthwhile to either check out Canning 101 on the Ball website or one of the Ball canning books.  We have this one and refer to it every year but it looks like a new version came out earlier this year so you could also try that one.