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  • Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Hot water (apx. 1/4-1/3 cup)

In a bowl (I use my mini food-processor), mix together garlic, salt, pepper, tahini, and lemon juice. Stir in hot water to make it the consistency you like. Check for salt. Serve.

NOTES: This is easy-peasy. Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds. It has the consistency of peanut butter and can be used as a substitute for that, especially for people who are allergic to peanuts. Tahini is gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Use it on meats like lamb, or eggplant, or as a sandwich spread with meat or vegetables. Really, a lot of uses. Tonight I’m making lamb meatballs and I’m going to use the tahini sauce for dipping. I can’t wait! Oh, and I have memories of Jonkoping, Sweden and kebab pizza. The tahini sauce is is your final component drizzled over the top. Yes!

  • Ingredients (Yield is 3 cups)
  • 400g chopped rhubarb
  • 2 apples, cored and peeled
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Stir all the ingredients together in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. The apples should soften enough to mash with the spoon. Leaving a few lumps is okay. Test for jelling by putting a spoonful on a small dish. Once cool, run your finger or the spoon through it. The track should stay. This is very forgiving, so a little longer than necessary shouldn’t hurt anything. Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe the rims, tighten lids onto the tops, and tip the jars over for a half hour. Turn right side up and let cool. Lids should be not bounce when pressed.

NOTES: Props to hintofhealthy.com for this one. I was afraid it would turn out more like applesauce than jam, but it didn’t. It’s very jam-like. And tasty. I think you could add spices or ginger, but I really like the flavor of the rhubarb and apples. Sorry if you do not have a scale for the grams. Google says it’s .8 lbs. I think if you simply picked about a pound of rhubarb and trimmed it, this would be the right amount. I weighed mine to 400 grams exactly, however. The pectin comes from the apples, so that’s the part you really should be careful about.

  • Ingredients
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small food processor. Process until the mixture is a a dip-like paste. If it seems too dry, add more olive oil. Make sure to taste for salt. Serve with your favorite gluten-free chips or crackers or pita wedges or as a condiment for sandwiches. It’s all good.

NOTES: This keeps well under refrigeration for a day or two if you need to make it ahead. Be careful not to overdo the garlic. I used three large cloves last time and, wow, that was really strong! I like this dip because it’s made from ingredients I usually have on-hand, like fresh parsley. Its lack of wheat, rye, dairy, fish, and seafood makes it so everyone in the family can enjoy it. You could try any kind of white bean, instead of cannellini. I happen to like the flavor of the cannellini.

This may be an acquired taste, I couldn’t say. My dad grew up in Texas and eating okra is not strange to me. I’ve only been to Texas two or three times in my life and we did not have fried okra a lot while I was growing up. On one of the occasions we did visit Texas I remember being with Grandma and stopping by to visit my father’s cousin, Doris Marie. She was in the kitchen frying okra. I will never forget the smell, the look, the taste. Oh, my, it was mouth-watering. But I like mine better! Ha!

  • Ingredients (quantities are approximate)
  • 12 oz. package frozen sliced okra
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • LIBERAL amounts of salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Thaw the okra until it’s no longer frozen, but not quite all the way thawed. Sometimes I let it sit in a colander for a few hours, shaking it every once in awhile.

Heat about 1/2″ of oil in a large skillet. I’m not sure of the temp, 350 degrees? I just wait until it bubbles when I drop a pinch of corn meal into it.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the mostly-thawed okra.

In a flat dish (I use a pie plate), stir together the corn meal and flour and salt and pepper.

Lift a big handful of sliced okra from the bowl of egg and okra and place it into the corn meal mixture. Dredge the okra so that all the pieces are coated. Using your hands as a sieve, lift out the okra, and gently drop into the hot oil. Let it fry for a couple minutes. Using a slotted spoon, give it a stir. Stir every once in awhile until all the pieces are golden brown.

Once golden and crispy looking, remove from skillet into a paper-lined bowl using a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat the procedure until all the okra is done. You may have to add more oil to the pan. For me, this is four batches. Do not overcrowd the okra or it won’t get crispy. Make sure to salt every batch.

NOTES: I don’t care for garlic salt on this. Just sayin’. Regular salt or seasoned salt will do. This kinda falls into the salty snack category if you have a hankerin’. This has a Cousin Pam thumbs-up rating even though she should not be eating fried foods, but who can resist . . .

I have made this about once a year for many, many years. I had to go hunting for the recipe today, so decided to put it here for an easier find. When I first tasted this at a potluck, it blew me away. This will serve any number of people, just adjust the amounts.

  • Ingredients
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Bleu cheese salad dressing
  • Crumbled bleu cheese
  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Use crackers, crusty bread, tortilla chips, and/or celery sticks as vehicles for the dip.

Notes: My friend Sandie gave me the recipe with some of the ingredients in very specific amounts. For example, it called for 2 cups shredded sharp cheese, 1/2 cup Frank’s, and one bottle of bleu cheese salad dressing, along with the other non-specific ingredients. Since I always make my own bleu cheese dressing, in this recipe I use mayonnaise and lots and lots of bleu cheese crumbles. Adding plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk in place of some of the mayonnaise would probably work well. This dip tends to separate into oils and solids because of the oil in the cheddar cheese and mayo. I don’t know how to make it not do that. I try to ladle some of the oil off before serving.

Instead of baking the dip, you could put it into a crock pot for 4-6 hours. I don’t have a crockpot.

I try to always have these on hand to make Spinach-Bleu-Berry Salad. It’s hard to keep them in stock because of the person who lives with me and likes to nibble on little snacks. So, there’s that. The recipe I use is double the one from dimpleprints. You can adjust the kick by raising or lowering the amount of cayenne pepper. This is a gluten-free recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4-6 cups pecan halves

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a very large bowl, mix together brown sugar, cayenne, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.

In a separate, smaller, bowl whisk together egg whites and vegetable oil until egg whites are foamy. Stir the egg mixture into the brown sugar mixture until it’s all incorporated. Fold in 4 cups of pecan halves. Keep folding as you want the pecans to be fully coated with the mixture and it takes time for the mixture to drip into the grooves of the pecans. Since I use extra-large eggs, I fold in another cup, or more, of pecan halves. Keep folding until it’s all soaked in.

Pour the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. I stir mine two or three times during the roasting process. Keep a close eye on the pecans as they can scorch easily. Remove from oven and let them cool completely before lifting the parchment paper and breaking up any clumps. Store and/or share with friends.

I’ve been making my own ricotta lately because it’s easy and has so few ingredients. I also like the taste very much better than store bought. Why is it different? I do not know. I’ve used it in lasagne, cake, and as a condiment for pancakes and crackers.

  • Ingredients: Yield apx. 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar

Stir the milk and cream together in a saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring almost to boiling. This is very important, it has to be hot enough. Remove from heat and pour in the vinegar. Give two swirls through the pan with a spoon and then let it sit until cooled to room temperature. The milk will curdle–that’s good.

Using cheesecloth or a jelly bag or some type of fine-mesh strainer, pour the mixture through. This will mostly be whey. I save the whey to feed my sourdough, but you can discard it or search Google to find more uses. Once the remaining cheese is a dryness that seems good (overnight), either use it or place it into a covered dish and pop into the refrigerator for later. I don’t know how long it will last. Seems like the longest I’ve kept it is around ten days.

Notes: You can read a lot about this not working with pasteurized milk, but I’ve had no problem. I didn’t let it get hot enough one time and I stirred it too much, so it didn’t separate into milk solids and whey properly. I re-heated the whey the next day and as soon as it got hot it separated before my eyes. So, that was a learning experience.

The recipe comes from foodgoblin.com. Since there are only two of us regularly eating meals, I reduced the recipe by half. That is the way I will tell it to you. For the first time in my life, I had a little herb garden growing this summer and dill is one of the main plants. I’ve fallen in love. In an effort to save some of the precious herb, I took many sprigs and put them into a quart jar of white vinegar about a month ago. Now I just need something to do with it. I did use it in this recipe, but the first time I made this I stuck to the white wine vinegar as listed here. I doubt many of you have a dill-infused vinegar on hand. I think mustard sauce on salmon is wonderful and this is the BEST. Seriously.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill weed, chopped
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil until it is emulsified and has thickened. Whisk in salt, sugar, dill, lemon zest, and juice. Serve.

I need to remember how I did this. I bought a 2# bag of Sweet Pointed Peppers at Costco the other day. They are like Anaheim chiles in respect to size. The bag contained both orange and red peppers. I’ve never pickled peppers in this manner before, but I really do like pimientos and roasted pickled red peppers, so I thought I’d give this a try. It turned out good. Next time I will try using a white or red wine vinegar instead of the cider vinegar because I think the cider vinegar overwhelmed the peppers a bit.

  • Ingredients
  • 2# Sweet Pointed Peppers
  • 3 cups vinegar (I used cider vinegar, next time wine vinegar)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 clove garlic

Prepare the peppers by slicing off the tops and then cutting a slit down one side, top to bottom. Open the pepper flat. Discard seeds and loose membrane. Place the peppers in a single layer, skin side up, onto an ungreased baking sheet and slide them under a broiler. I had two batches. Move them around as they char, so that all parts are charred as evenly as possible. As you remove them from the broiler, place into a very large bowl with a cover and let them steam for 10-15 minutes. This helps the skin loosen and makes it easier to remove the skin. I found that the more char and the longer they sat in the bowl, the easier it was to just peel the skin off in one go.

While they are steaming, mix remaining ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes.

Fill your water-bath canner with water and set it over heat to prepare for canning. Set a tea kettle of water over a flame, too, in case you need more water. The recipe only makes four half-pints, so the water displacement in the canner is hard to judge and I ended up needing more boiling water; thus the tea kettle.

Remove and discard the skin from the peppers. Cut the peppers into pieces. Some of mine I cut into thin strips, like pimientos and the others I cut into larger rectangles. Drop pieces loosely into half-pint jars. Each jar should take about 2 roasted peppers.

Remove the garlic clove from the vinegar mixture. Pour vinegar mixture into the jars, leaving a 1/2″ of head space. Run a knife around the edges of each jar to release the air bubbles and then add more vinegar mixture as needed. You will probably have leftover vinegar mixture to use or discard.

Screw the lids on the jars and place them in a boiling water-bath canner., making sure there’s 2″ of water over the top of the jars. Bring to a boil again and then set the timer for ten minutes. At the ten-minute mark, remove from the canner. Voila! Done.

The lids should not be flexible once cool. If you press on the lid it should not pop back. Those that do not seal properly should probably be kept under refrigeration and eaten first.

Yield: 4 half-pints

I made this once and it was perfect. Another time it never did set and made a splendid pancake syrup.

  • 3 cups kumquats
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

Put kumquats through food processor until chopped fine. Combine fruit with water and let stand overnight. In a large saucepan bring to a boil and let simmer for half hour. Add sugar and bring to a full rolling boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add Certo. Stir and skim off foam. Ladle into jars. (Sorry I didn’t note on my recipe card the yield. Use your own best guess.)

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). If the fruit is floating, give the jars a shake every once in awhile. Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for the jam to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.

I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jam. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. As you can see, my recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jam. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jam and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jam-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]

What kind?