Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dill Pickles

My hubby and I dabbled in canning this summer. It was super stressful at first, but then became something we really enjoyed! 

I have NEVER liked dill pickles, except during pregnancies. However, this recipe is amazing. I would gladly eat these every day, they are that good. 

Dill Pickles
adapted from Our Best Bites
makes two 1 quart mason jars full

2 pounds cucumbers (as fresh as possible), sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly smashed
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
2 tbsp kosher salt
LOTS of fresh dill
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp dill seed

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, reduce to simmer, and add garlic. Cook 5 minutes. Add vinegar and salt, bring back to a boil and stir until salt dissolves, then remove from heat.

Divide dill and seeds between the jars. Pull garlic out of the brine and put 5 cloves in each jar. Pack the jars with the cucumbers, then pour brine over, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. 

*Now, you can do one of two things: You can either leave these as refrigerator pickles (they'll keep for three months), OR you can water-bath can them. Simply wipe the tops and rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth, then put on lids and rings to fingertip tightness. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. *If you DO choose to can them, make sure you heat the jars and lids and rims to disinfect prior to packing the pickle mixture in. 

Best Poppy Seed Dressing, Ever

Poppy Seed Dressing
adapted from Our Best Bites

1/3 c white (or white wine) vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground pepper (about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 c agave nectar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1/3 cup oil (vegetable if you must, but avocado oil would be healthier)
1 tsp poppy seeds

*I use my immersion blender for this recipe, but a regular blender would work also.

Stir together vinegar, salt, pepper, agave nectar, and mustard. Start blender. With blender running, add green onion, then stream in oil. Turn off blender, and transfer dressing to a jar or carafe. Stir in poppy seeds.

*Delicious on all salads, but especially with the following combination:
sliced strawberries
chopped green onion
peeled and chopped cucumber
toasted, sliced almonds

Roasted Vegetable Wrap

Um, sorry I'm a slacker? 

Ok, I really love summer. Vegetables everywhere! This was a great way to use up those farmer's market veggies that I keep piling onto my tiny kitchen counter.

Roasted Vegetable Wraps
2 Japanese eggplants
1 medium zucchini
1 medium crookneck squash
olive oil
salt and pepper

roasted red peppers (or make your own!)
fresh spinach
cheese (optional, great with or without)
large tortillas (I used spinach from Earth Fare)
Southwest Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 400. Prep two cookie sheets with parchment paper - you can also put cooling racks on top of the cookies sheets to raise the vegetables, but it's not necessary. Thinly slice the eggplant, zucchini, and squash lengthwise (use a mandolin if you have one). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and put the veggies on the cookie sheets. Roast for 10 minutes at a time, checking on the tenderness of the veggies each time. Roast until not crunchy at all (mine took about 20 minutes).

Southwest Ranch Dressing
adapted from Budget Bytes
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin 
dash of hot sauce

To assemble:
Spread the dressing on the tortillas, then layer roasted veggies, spinach, peppers, tomatoes. Roll tightly and enjoy! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Delicious and Simple Dessert

So I discovered a dessert on Pinterest and thought it was quite good. If you like cake batter (and who doesn't) then you'll love this.

All you need is:
1 box Funfetti cake mix
2 cups yogurt
1 cup cool whip

Mix it all together, and then use it as a dip with graham crackers or animal crackers! These proportions are approximate..and you can make much smaller batches if you like. It is about a 3-2-1 ratio with 3 parts cake mix, 2 parts yogurt, 1 part cool whip.