ChickenPotPie

I like to use the recipe from twopeasandtheirpod.com. Growing up, one of my favorite meals was those little chicken pot pies that were bought frozen and then baked. I would flip mine upside down into a bowl and dive in. So much salty, salty goodness. But now I’ve found that making my own is better!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups shredded chicken (or leftover turkey)
1 cup frozen peas
Pastry for a two-crust pie
1 egg, beaten

Melt butter in large skillet and saute onion, carrot, and celery until tender. Stir in garlic and continue to saute until garlic is fragrant, about a minute. Stir in flour, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. Let saute until flour is well incorporated and bubbly. Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream. Continue stirring until it boils, then reduce heat and let it simmer until it is thick, about 10 minutes.

ChickenPotPie1

Once it is thick, remove from heat and stir in chicken and peas. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

ChickenPotPie2

Set one pastry into 9″ pie plate. Spoon in the filling. Cut slits into the second pastry and then place it on top of filling, pinching the edges with the bottom crust to seal as best as possible. Brush beaten egg across the crust to give it that lovely golden color. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until you see the filling bubble through the top pastry slits.

Note: I don’t usually have cooked chicken or turkey, so I cook it in water with onions, celery, and/or carrots. Then I use that liquid for the broth called for in the recipe and the chicken for the shredded chicken.

Once again I’m reaching into Preserving by Oded Schwartz (Dorling Kindersley, 1996). What an amazing and wonderful book. Mostly I wanted to remember how I did this, where I got the recipe. I haven’t tried these yet, but I did can three pints. They look good.

OliveOilPickle1OliveOilPickle2OliveOilPickle3

So I heard a local radio guy go on a rant about what a dirty trick it was to use dill pickle relish instead of sweet pickle relish in potato salad and/or tuna salad. I have to say that I agree with him. I never expect that sour pickle flavor in those dishes. His rant was on my mind the entire time I was making this dill pickle relish. I had so much cucumber though, what else could I do! I won’t be using it in potato salad or tuna salad, that’s for sure. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Here is the recipe just in case I come up with some fantastical use for it this winter and need to do it again next fall.

The recipe comes from cottageatthecrossroads.com. I made half of her recipe and it was four pints. I used half-pint jars. It was very simple to make. Here is how I did it.

DillPickleRelish

Ingredients:

4 lbs. cucumbers, chopped
1/4 cup canning/pickling salt
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 cups water
1-1/4 cups onions, chopped
1/4 cup (SCANT) sugar
1 Tbsp. dill seeds
2 cups white vinegar

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, working in batches, finely chop the cucumbers, transferring them to a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric and mix with hands. Add water, cover, and let stand for 2 hours. Drain through a XXX and rinse with cool water. Fill the glass bowl with water and place the cucumber in it again, then drain through the XXX again. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can.

Prepare your canner, jars, and lids.

Process the onions in the food processor so that they are finely chopped, like the cucumber. Place them into a large pot. Stir in the cucumber, sugar, dill seeds, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick and vegetables are heated through, about 10 minutes.

Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch of head space. Run a table knife around the jars to remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot relish. Wipe the jar rims and screw lids onto jars.

Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes four pints.

 

GreenTomatoSalsaVerde

So, this is now my favorite green tomato recipe. I found it at MontanaHomesteader.com. I was making so many pickle-type things yesterday, it’s hard to keep it all straight.

This recipe makes about three pints. I water-bath canned two pints and then used the remainder for dinner. I had some leftover Cuban-style pork roast, so I layered a few corn tortillas, salsa verde, meat, and cheese. Then another layer of tortillas, salsa verde, and cheese. Baked for 35 minutes and delish!!

Ingredients:

7 cups green tomatoes, cored and rough chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, chopped
2 cups onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tsp. salt

In batches, run the green tomatoes through a food processor fitted with the S-blade so that it’s very small pieces. Be careful not to over-process into mush. Place green tomatoes into a very large pan. Now run the jalapeño peppers, onion and garlic through the food processor and add to the pan. Stir in lime juice. Bring to a boil and let simmer for ten minutes. Stir in cilantro and salt. Remove from heat.

Ladle it into pint jars, top with lids, and water-bath process for ten minutes. Voila!

Gueritos6

I had something approximating this at a Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs a few years ago. I came up with my own way to make them, without using rice as a filler. There is no set recipe, just a description. They are a super-delicious snack.

On this day I used six yellow chiles, (these are no longer than your index finger and very mild), 3/4 lb. of raw shrimp (any size), grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar). That’s it for ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the “core” of the chiles, then cut a slit down each chile, and remove the seeds. This is the most tricky part of the whole process.

Gueritos

Make a shrimp paste using about 2/3 of the shrimp. I use a small food processor. Hand-chop a few more of the shrimp into pieces and stir the pieces into the shrimp paste. Then stir in grated cheese.

Gueritos1

Use a teaspoon as a tool to stuff each chile.

Gueritos3

Place stuffed chiles on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Gueritos5I don’t add any dips when serving mine, but I’ve heard that soy sauce or mayonnaise can be used to dip your gueritos in.

CucumberMintJam1I have a glut of cucumbers and we can only eat so many pickles. Since I do prepare lamb chops pretty frequently, this jam may be a good accompaniment to that and other meats. It also would taste amazing with cream cheese or brie on salty crackers. Oh, yeah!

I started with a recipe found at Homespun Seasonal Living, but then branched way off to do my own thing.

I am not a canning expert. Please remember that as I tell you how I did this. I have made a lot of jams and jellies in my life. This is how I do it, right or wrong.

Ingredients:

6 cups cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and rough chopped
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 envelope of Certo liquid pectin
Few drops of green food coloring, if necessary
4-5 Tbsp. finely sliced fresh mint leaves

Run the cucumbers through a food processor using the S-Blade, just a few pulses should do. Don’t make your cucumber pieces too small. Place the processed cucumbers into a large pan. Stir in lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar.

Sterilize 8 half-pint jars. Heat lids in water. Cut open the envelope of Certo and place the envelope upright in one of the jars for easy access when needed. Get a ladle ready, as well as your canning funnel if you have one.

All set up? Okay, heat the cucumber mixture over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Let it boil for one minute. Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the Certo. Continue stirring while you quickly add green food coloring, if needed, and the mint.

Ladle the jam into the jars. Remove the lids from hot water. Wipe off the jar rims and screw the lids on tightly. Invert the jars. Let them sit upside down for at least 30 minutes. Shake the jars around over the course of the next few hours, every so often, to try and get the pieces evenly distributed throughout the jars.

Notes: I found that there was no foam, so this did not require skimming. Easy! I used lemon cucumbers for 2/3 of the cucumbers and regular green cucumbers for the other third. I didn’t realize the color would matter as much as it did, so I added green food coloring at the end. It’s really nice looking. I used a mix of half-pint and quarter-pint jars. This didn’t set well until the next day. Be patient. And I had a few tablespoons extra, so I’ve tasted it and deem it GOOD! It was great with brie!

CucumberMintJam2

 

Bran-OatMuffins1

I’ve made these for years and years. I don’t remember where the recipe came from. They are super simple to make and take no time at all. Many times I combine the dry ingredients in a bowl the night before, prepare the muffin pan with papers, and set my oven to come on at 375 degrees fifteen minutes before my morning wake-up alarm goes off. Then in the morning I add the three wet ingredients, distribute the batter into the prepared pan, pop them into the oven to bake while I shower, and have a tasty breakfast all ready for the day.

I’ve probably used every kind of dried fruit imaginable in these, and quite a few different frozen fruits, too. Today’s batch I threw in a handful of dried cranberries and a handful of frozen lingonberries. Yum!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup bran cereal FLAKES (NOT All-Bran)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
Optional: handfuls of dried, frozen or fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by greasing or using paper liners. I use liners for easy clean-up. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl stir together the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir until just combined. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Fold in optional fruit. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-23 minutes, until they spring back when lightly touched. Makes 12. These freeze very well.

Bran-OatMuffins2

EggRoll4

This recipe comes from PeaceLoveandLowCarb.com. I have been making this lately when I know that time is short or I just don’t feel like making anything complicated. It is really yummy and filling and warms you up without being sloppy.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
5 scallions, sliced, divided between green and white parts
1 lb. ground pork (I assume other ground meats would work fine)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Sriracha
14 oz. bag of coleslaw mix
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Heat sesame oil in skillet, add garlic, onion, and white part of scallions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add pork, ginger, salt & pepper, and Sriracha. Stir while sauteeing until the pork is cooked through. Add the coleslaw mix, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Saute while gently stirring until the coleslaw is tender. Sprinkle with the reserved green parts of the scallions and the sesame seeds. Serve hot. Spice it up with a little more Sriracha if you like.

 

 

 

BeanSalad

This is extremely simple, but really yummy. The lemon juice and tomatoes are a nice tart contrast to the earthy bean flavor. You will need small white beans, grape tomatoes, green onions (scallions), lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. There are no set measurements, just use your eyes and your taste buds.

I start with one can of small white beans, drained. Rinse and drain again. While it’s draining, cut grape tomatoes in half. Slice green onions. Stir the beans, tomatoes, and green onion together gently. Sprinkle with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, then stir gently again. Boom! Done. If not serving right away, keep it refrigerated and then give it a stir when you’re ready to serve.

CauliflowerCake13So, I made this deliciousness last night for dinner. And I mean DELICIOUS! I had to search Pecorino Romano vs Parmigiano Reggiano in order to find out what the difference is. Apparently, it’s an important difference in this instance. Yes, of course, you can use parmesan, but I tell you this was flat out tasty and I think the Pecorino Romano was the reason. The recipe is found at Ciao Chow Bambina. I changed the recipe by using gluten-free flour (Namaste Perfect Blend) and was VERY pleased with the result. The recipe is a bit complicated, but I learned some things along the way and I can say I’ll be making this again.

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets (NOT mashed)
1 tsp. salt
1 medium red onion
Olive oil
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
2-3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
6 eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and pepper

Place the cauliflower florets and 1 tsp. salt into a saucepan with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Cover and bring to a boil. Let simmer, checking the florets every few minutes, until they are quite soft. Drain and set aside in a colander.

Cut 3 round slices, each 1/4-inch thick, off one end of the red onion and set aside. Chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with a little olive oil and the rosemary. Saute until the onion is tender, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line the base and the sides of a 8-1/2 inch springform cake pan with parchment paper. I found how to do this on YouTube. Place your pan on top of parchment paper and draw a circle around the outside. Cut out the circle — that’s the bottom piece. Roll your cake pan on its side to measure out how long/wide a piece of parchment paper you need for the sides. Cut it. Butter the bottom and sides of the cake pan and place the parchment paper onto it. It sticks! Voila! Then brush the sides only with melted butter. Mix the sesame seeds together and sprinkle them onto the sides. I rolled the pan slowly while sprinkling. Voila again! They stick. It worked really well.

Place your sautéed and cooled onions into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and chopped basil. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, 1-1/4 cups Pecorino Romano, 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth. Add the cauliflower florets and stir gently until well combined.

Carefully spoon the thick batter into the prepared springform pan, spreading evenly and smoothing the top. Arrange the reserved onion rings on top. I pressed mine into the batter a little bit. Place into the preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and set. It took mine about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Unlock the pan and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm with Pecorino Romano sprinkled over the top. Heavenly.

 

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