Hooray for updates.

1) Thank you to everyone who entered the apron giveaway! Winners have been announced on that page. Meanwhile, if you didn’t win (boo!), At Cost Apparel has offered the Mel’s Kitchen Cafe aprons for sale (yay!). Aprons are $12.99 and that includes shipping right to your door. Go here to order! The aprons will be available at this deal until Friday, October 4.

2) In an effort to help get your questions answered more quickly and help everyone keep feelin’ the love, I’ve added a contact form here. Let me just reiterate how much I appreciate each and everyone of you and love hearing from you (is it sad that you are truly my social network? I need to get a life!). I promise to try and respond as soon as I can but remember that if you have a question about a specific recipe, you’ll probably get a swifter response if you comment on that particular post.

3) You know how a few weeks ago I posted this Canning Basics tutorial? And I promised more canning posts and recipes? Well, yeah, life got in the way and although I’ve been a canning maniac (applesauce, crushed tomatoes, Italian salsa, etc.), I haven’t documented any of it thanks to insane craziness of daily schedules that leaves me feeling like I literally cannot.get.on.top.of.my.to.do.list. While I send myself to time out in punishment for the lack of canning posts, here are a few online resources and tips that I’ve been using during the canning process. I also have a pretty sweet step-by-step pressure canning post (the basics) that will go up sometime between now and next summer. How’s that for commitment?

  • Pick Your Ownwhile this site is a little confusing and chaotic to navigate, it has some great information and a lot of my canning searches lead me here.
  • For peaches, I skip the step of making a simple syrup like many recipes call for. Instead, I pack the peeled, seeded, sliced peaches in quart-sized jars very tightly, pour in a couple tablespoons of sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of the peaches) and add water to within 1/2-inch of the top of the jar. Then I top with a lid, ring, and process in my water bath canner. Saves a step and peaches still turn out very tasty.
  • I have been borrowing my friends Victorio Food Mill and it is a lifesaver for applesauce (I canned over 40 quarts with it). Does it eliminate sticky spots on the floor? No. Did my shoulders ache from cranking the handle for four hours straight? Yes (no comment about the state of my untoned shoulders). Did it revolutionize applesauce making? Oh yeah, baby. Love this thing. I hear it is great with tomatoes, too (I have an Italian tomato press I used for the 1st time this year, despite owning it for almost ten years – made the most fabulous crushed tomatoes in the world; it also does applesauce but wouldn’t recommend for super large batches).
  • I know canning season is waning but I do have a fabulous salsa recipe to share. If anyone is interested, let me know in the comments and I’ll either post here or on Facebook.

4) Hmmm, I think that’s about it! Stay tuned this week for my latest slow cooker invention that rocked our world and our favorite overnight breakfast solution that I’ve been making for years and have yet to share with you (sorry!).

Thanks again for being simply awesome!

33 Responses to A Few Important/Fun Updates

  1. Kim in MD says:

    Oh, Mel-that photo is priceless!

  2. teresa kline says:

    luv the photo…. sweeeet! would luv to have the salsa recipe, I am not on FB. thanks

    enjoy *~*

  3. Celeste B. says:

    I’d love to see your salsa recipe. I tried a new one this year that I really like.

  4. Stacey says:

    I’d LOVE your salsa recipe!

  5. Beth W. says:

    I just bought your apron! Can’t wait to see what slow cooker recipe rocked your world!

  6. Catherine says:

    Love the photo, LOVE the BYU shirts! Your kids are adorable!

    I was hoping to buy an apron if I didn’t win, yay! I can’t wait to start wearing your logo while I make your delicious recipes!

  7. Andrea r says:

    Salsa please. Pretty please :)

  8. Helen says:

    Yes please on the salsa…. i’m sure I need your recipe.. And do you by chance have an apple pie filling recipe that is good for canning… thanks Mel :-)

  9. NinaN says:

    That is how my mom does her peaches too and they are delicious! I wouldn’t want them in a syrup!

  10. Lillie says:

    Yes to salsa! Always yes to salsa. I’d like your Italian salsa recipe too! Mmmmm… bruschetta!

  11. Jen T says:

    Real life is not your blog, and we realize that and you do too, and that is important. Bless you and your family. My kids have the same BYU t-shirts. Good taste!

  12. Deanna says:

    Oh ya, I need your fabulous salsa recipe too, please post!

  13. Jan Petersen says:

    I would love the salsa recipe too.
    Thanks

  14. Missy says:

    I live in the southwest and cannot get enough salsa. Salsa recipe–yes, please!

  15. Lisa Clark says:

    Salsa recipe please! I did not grow up canning but I’ve never liked my in-laws salsas. I have wanted to find one that I actually like but haven’t gotten there yet. And since I love everything else you do, I’m sure I’d love yours! Thanks for your hard work!

  16. Cassie Lewis says:

    Please post salsa recipe!

  17. Colleen says:

    When life allows, I’d love to see the salsa recipe. My older son thinks salsa is one of the basic food groups!

  18. Your little helpers are too much!

  19. Stacie D. says:

    I won! I can’t believe it! I never win anything. I will be PROUD to wear my Mel’s apron! Love this adorable pic, by the way!

  20. Heather says:

    Thank you for putting family and real life first. That’s one of the reasons I love your blog. You are awesome and I am amazed you have time to post what you do!

  21. Natasha says:

    I just used the rest of my garden tomatoes in a canned salsa, but please share your recipe!! I know it will be the best and I will use it next year!

  22. Carla says:

    Can’t wait for #4! Overnight breakfast and a fab crockpot meal? HURRY!

  23. April says:

    Please post the salsa recipe! And any/all other canning recipes, please? :)

  24. Tami says:

    I’ve always canned my peaches and pears that way. I do soak them in fruit fresh and water first. 1/3 cup sugar is my perfect sweet level. It’s so much easier than syrup. Great job on all the canning this year. You’ve hit canning rock star status.
    I guess I have to order my own apron. But of course I will because I’m Mel’s biggest fan.

  25. Emily Marie says:

    Bummer on not winning! But, I did just go and order two aprons, one for me and one for the friend who orginally told me about your site years ago! I’m super excited to get them in the mail! Ok, never heard of Italian Salsa, please share! You’re amazing Mel!!! (and your sweeties are adorable!!)

  26. Sandra says:

    I would really like to see your salsa recipe. I have one but it it is really sweet and kind of thin. I am ready for a new one! Thanks

  27. fmandds says:

    I’m looking for the salsa recipe!! I made one this year and it turned out a little sweet and thin. I wonder if it’s the same recipe Sandra has.

  28. Heather says:

    I would love your salsa recipe. I haven’t been able to find one I like! I’m sure my family will love yours, they have loved everything I have made from you. Thanks!!

  29. Susan from WA says:

    If I didn’t win I was hoping to buy one or two. I owe a lot of my enjoyment in the kitchen to you. When I went to the site to order nothing showed up in the cart. Am I doing something wrong or are they all sold out?

  30. Megan says:

    Canning season takes over EVERYONES life…at least those who do can. Every year at least 3 weeks disappear. I am still trying to recover before the apples are ready here. I love your site and everything I try from it is loved. Thank you for finding time to post so that I can come and enjoy your site while I am avoiding the work that waits for me at my house.

  31. Julie says:

    I too was having a problem with the link to purchase the apron. :( With over 1,400 people wanting one they probably are all sold out! Just want to make the October 4 deadline! Just wanted you to know!

  32. Emily S says:

    Yes, please post your salsa recipe! I love and know I can trust every recipe you post.

  33. Kate says:

    I would love your salsa recipe please.
    Everything you make rocks!

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