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Friday, June 10, 2011

Zucchini Pickles

I love all things pickled. Now that my garden is in full swing I have a TON of zucchini (and weeds, grass and now squashbugs). I always grow zucchini, it is easy, freezes well to add to soups, bread, etc. Last summer with my last harvest of zucchini I made pickles. Wow. Love. I have been wishing ever since that I had made pickles with the very 1st zucchini I picked last summer. The zucchini stays firmer than cucumbers and you don't have to wait 7 days after canning to eat them. They are good in just 3-5.

Zucchini Pickles
make 6 pints

6 medium zucchini, sliced
3 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
3 tbsp kosher salt (you can do less if you want, I like them a little salty)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tsp black peppercorns
3 tsp dried dill
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Pack zucchini into pint jars along with a sprig of fresh dill and 2 garlic cloves per jar.

add all ingredients except zucchini to pot, simmer on medium low for 10 min then bring to rolling boil. Pour boiling brine over zucchini and seal. Process (I don't process my pickles). Wait 3-5 days before eating.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Full Monty Squash

This guy grew in my garden two years ago. With my squash plants getting so big right now I felt like I wanted to revisit this picture and share it with you. I hope you enjoy. I did- it went on to become a fabulous squash casserole, a huge casserole.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Loving Compound Butter

Strawberry Butter with warm Popovers
I saw a Facebook comment recently that said "Butter is the universal donor." I want a T-shirt or bumper sticker with that on it.

Buttter is good on almost anything. Is it even possible to make such a great thing even better? Of course. Compound butter is just plain old butter (which is completely awesome by itself) dressed up and made extra special by adding other awesome ingredients. Lately we have been eating roasted garlic butter on everything- bread, eggs, pasta. Last night I made strawberry butter to go on popovers. I have found myself daydreaming about making compound butters-with roasted serrano peppers to put on grilled corn this summer, with basil and sun dried tomato for pasta, with pecans and bleu cheese for bread. Really there is no end to what I could do.

Roasted Garlic Butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to almost room temperature
3-6 garlic cloves, roasted in a dry skillet with papers on until brown
1 tsp kosher salt

Put butter in bowl of stand mixer (or you can use hand mixer), pop garlic out of skins and run a knife throught them to break them up a little more and then throw in bowl, toss in salt. Turn it on medium speed and whip it up until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Easy Strawberry Butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to almost room temperature
1 tbsp strawberry jam

Put both in bowl of mixer, Turn it on medium speed and whip the butter until jam is evenly incorporated.

To store butters place in covered container in refrigerator. Or you can put the butter on parchment paper and roll it into a log, wrap with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dying Easter Eggs

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Just wanted to share our egg dying with you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dandelion Jelly

There is one thing I have no shortage of- dandelions. Everywhere. A few years ago after sharing my corn cobb jelly with my neighbor, Miss Mary, she brought me a dandelion jelly recipe. She said she knew I liked the strange ones and thought this would be right up my alley. My sweet neighbor was right. The jelly is bright, floral and delicate.

A little side note on Miss Mary- she is 89 years old, walks 1 mile every day, volunteers for Meals on Wheels taking food to as she says "old folks", gardens and bakes, goes to church every Wednesday and all day Sunday, won't eat white flour, and swears by natural herbal supplements to keep her healthy. One day she called me and asked me to bring my camera. When I got there she wanted me to take a picture of a sweet potato that was larger than a 1 gallon paint can. Impressive.

Dandelion petals and water

Dandelion Jelly
One quart of dandelion flowers, with stems and green part removed
2 quarts water
Juice of one medium lemon
Zest of one medium lemon
1 pkg no sugar needed powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

Rinse dandelions, boil petals in water for 3 minutes or longer for darker color, cool and strain retaining the tea, add lemon juice, zest and pectin, stir to combine, bring to boil, add sugar, continuing to stir until starts to thicken, pour in sterilized jars, seal and process for 5 minutes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lemon Curd Vinaigrette

Last weekend was the deadline for Food 52's Tart Challenge. I had never submitted a recipe before but the stakes were higher this time with a trip to the Martha Stewart Show. The challenge was for a sweet or savory end of winter tart. I really wanted to use ingredients that were seasonal, local and readily available to everyone. My other goal was to incorporate some of my canned items from last year. My submission was Almost Spring Lemon Chicken Gallette(click here for full recipe). I used puff pastry for the shell and it included chicken, brussels sprouts, onions, walnuts, feta cheese all tossed in the real prize of this challenge, Lemon Curd Vinaigrette. While my tart was not chosen as one of the finalists, I am very pleased with my discovery of this dressing/marinade.

Lemon Curd Vinaigrette:  
3 tablespoons lemon curd  
1/4 cup olive oil  
1/4 cup white wine vinegar  
1 tablespoon water  
1 clove of garlic, minced fine  
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt  
1/4 teaspoon freshed cracked black pepper
Whisk all ingredients until mixed well, refrigerate. Makes 1 cup.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Garden Markers

As I am trying to use up my canning creations from last year I am acquiring a pile of canning seals that I know have to be good for something. At Christmas I saw some one was decorating them and using them as present tags. I thought about doing that but I ran out of time and motivation. Wind chimes? Nah. Coasters? Nah. Garden markers? YES!

Last year we planted 5 different types of corn. Some were for drying to mill, some were for popping corn, some were to eat. We did not mark any of it. My husband thought he remembered what was planted where. But as we were eating chewy tough corn we realized that he was confused. So we definitely need to mark everything this year.