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Canning is great fun, especially when experimenting with different recipes and flavor combinations. We just canned up some chicken, and I did some test jars of smokey, taco, bbq, Southwestern, and curry chicken. Here are the jars I prepared before filling with chicken.

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Well, it seems beans have knocked chicken off the number one spot of being the easiest things I’ve ever canned. The only thing that makes canning beans easier, is you don’t have to deal with messy, raw chicken. You just wash dried beans, pour them in jars, add salt, secure the lids/rings, and plop them in the canner.

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Home Canned Pork and Beans


I have a recipe called “Laura’s Famous Baked Beans.” It’s named after me, by me, because they are outrageously awesome and everyone loves them. Ok, that might not have come out right – – I’m not saying the beans are named after me because I am personally outrageously awesome and everyone loves me. I meant the recipe.

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I was looking for a budget-friendly recipe and found one that uses beans – – canned beans. I did the math and realized that if I bought four cans of beans at $1.20 each I could instead have a pound of shrimp on sale. Beans are so good for you and my kids love them, so I decided to beat the system and cook dried beans and divide them for the freezer.

Cooking dried beans is easy, and you can control the sodium and flavorings. Add chipotle, garlic and cumin to some dried black or pinto beans if you want. Cook chickpeas and have them ready for a quick hummus – – in fact I have some in my freezer right now.   You can get dried beans for 99 cents a pound at the dollar store and elsewhere. At some places if you buy two pounds at a time you might even be able to get them for 50 cents a pound. I have before. One pound of dried beans cooked up equals about three cans of beans. One can of beans is 1 1/2 cups, so divide them [continue reading…]