Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Last post I wrote, I mentioned that we had recently gone for a two day visit to my son and daughter in law in Tennessee. Beyond the fact that they made us sleep in the worlds most uncomfortable bed and I think my body was wrecked for life because of it, there was at least the consolation of good food 😛 I did teach the boy to cook, after all. Okay, so I stink at teaching anyone to cook because I hate when anyone hovers. He learned by watching and learning to appreciate food. Yeah, that’s the ticket. 😀

One of the things he made was some refrigerator pickles. I love to can, but have never made pickles because they seem to be too much trouble, plus I’ve heard horror stories about home canning them. For some odd reason, it never occurred to me to try refrigerator pickles. But, he had made them and I tried them out of politeness. And loved them. Usually, I’m really picky when it comes to pickles; bread and butter ones are about it and then, not very often. After looking at the recipe however, these seemed so easy, so foolproof, that I wanted to give them a try.

While keeping the brine basically the same, I DID change it up enough to make it my own and the great thing about this recipe is that you can do the same. I wanted them to be a touch sweeter, plus I added some sliced onions to the jars to give them a touch more flavor. I threw some hot pepper flakes in one of the jars to give them a kick and I think those are my favorites. Sweet, vinegary, spicy, perfect for just grabbing from the jar for a quick bite. A couple of my cucumbers had gotten mushy, so I only got 3 and a half pints out of this. With the full 2 lbs of cucumbers, plan on a full four pints. These will keep for weeks in the fridge, but I promise, they won’t last that long. These would also make great hostess gifts or if you can find some decent cukes in the Winter, good Christmas gifts.
You know the drill… 🙂

I am posting this how I made them, but feel free to change up the spices, add in some sliced zucchini or whatever veggie you’d like (cauliflower, maybe?), add some hot peppers, more of a favorite spice, some dill… you get the idea. Make these YOUR pickles. Just keep the basic brine the same with respect to vinegar, water and sugar. The brine is simple to make if you need more brine.

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

  • 2 lbs firm, small cucumbers (I used a 2 lb bag of small “salad cucumbers” from WalMart), thinly sliced (do that how it makes you happy. I did chips, but you could use a mandolin to slice long ways for sandwich slices.)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used cider- use white if you want a sharper flavor)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar (plain white sugar) (if you want a pickle that is less sweet, you can make it 1/2 a cup instead)
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spices (in the spice section of the grocery store; or with the canning supplies)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (If you don’t want to put it in the whole batch, just sprinkle some in the jar you want spiced up after you add the brine)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  1. Get out four pint jars and scrub them thoroughly with soap and hot water. Dry them and then pack each one tightly with the cucumber slices and onion, or whatever veggies you’re using.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the rest of the ingredients (remember, hold off on the red pepper flakes if you don’t want the full batch to be spicy). Stir, then bring to a full rolling boil.
  3. Carefully pour the brine over the contents of each jar (remember, you can easily boil up some more brine if that isn’t enough), filling to near the top of the jar, trying to make sure the veggies are covered. Cap the jars with clean lids and bands, let cool, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours to let the flavors develop. I went into the fridge and gently shook mine up a few times just to make sure the top veggies were getting brined too.
  4. Eat. Enjoy. Serve plain, on burgers or sandwiches, use in potato salad, etc etc.
Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

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Herbed Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I have whined more than once about how much I dislike carrots. But it bears saying again. I don’t like carrots. Though for a woman who doesn’t like carrots, I have a fair amount of recipes that incorporate them, don’t I? If this doesn’t show my love for you carrot loving weirdos, I don’t know what does. But did I ever mention that I’m not a huge potato fan, either? I like french fries, and I love roasted potatoes, but I’m not much on mashed or baked. In other words, if it has been made crispy, I’m cool with it. Crispy for the win! *does a cheer, breaks hip*

That said, I have a major thing for roasted veggies. Roasting even makes carrots taste good. 😛 Seriously though, if you have anyone in your family who isn’t fond of veggies, try this recipe. With roasting, you get crispiness and the roasting process makes them sweeter and takes away any bitter edge some vegetables can have. The following is my family’s absolute favorite way of making them. You have the main part, which is the potatoes and carrots, all flavored with onions, shallots, garlic, salt and herbs. So, so good. This is perfect with a roast, with baked chicken, heck, with pretty much anything. Plus, it works for a special dinner too, not just a family one. The combo of vegetables and herbs never fails to get gobbled up.  And this recipe is totally variable in amounts or type of veggie, too. Feeding more people? Double up into two pans with extra vegetables. Feeding less? Same thing. Like turnips or rutabagas? Cut some up and toss them in there.

You know the drill… get to cooking! 🙂

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, washed, dried and cut in half
  • 1 lb carrots, cut into chunks (you can also just use baby carrots)
  • 1 large onion, chunked
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 4 cloves minced garlic ( I have also been known to keep the garlic whole (peeled), and roast it that way. It get caramelized and soft and oh so good)
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes De Provence (easily found in the spice aisle of any decent grocery store)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or amount desired
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper)
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, shallots and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle the oil over it all and use your hands to give it all a good stir, making sure to get everything coated in oil. Dump in the pan and turn all the potatoes so that the cut edge is on bottom (gets them crisper that way) Sprinkle everything with the salt, pepper and Herbes De Provence.
  3. Roast at 425 for between 30 to 40 minutes, or until everything is tender and the potatoes have nicely browned on bottom. Taste for salt and serve.

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Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney



Being brought up in the Midwest in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I’m old. Just shush.), there wasn’t much in the way of “exotic” foods. There was a lot of sausage, a lot of pork, which was horrid back then for the record- really fatty and just nasty. I honestly stopped eating pork as a young adult because I thought it was horrible. Now I absolutely love pork. There was also a lot of chicken, etc etc. All the homey Eastern European foods that had been brought to the heartland and foods that were made by a depression era parent were part of our upbringing. But Indian foods? Thai Curries? Fiery spice blends? Nahhhh…. not in the Chicago of that time period. When I got into my early thirties, I wanted to branch out some in my cooking. I’m not even sure why. There was nothing in me that said, “oooo, that sounds delicious and I want to try to make it!” It was more like just cooking curiosity. I have always been very interested in reading about different cultures and when you combine that in a book with their food culture, you’ll have me hooked. I had no idea that once I started down that road, I would become a quick addict.

But I have. I could happily eat foods of that part of the world daily and not get bored with them. The problem is that it is difficult still to get good ingredients in my neck of the woods for the actual dishes and there are very few restaurants serving good Indian or Thai foods. So most of the time I settle for the condiments- mainly the chutneys. Some of what I make is Americanized because I want it to appeal to my not as adventurous family. I buy the “real” stuff from stores with good ethnic food selections and enjoy them myself. But I have made so many different chutneys it’s ridiculous- that tomato one up there, peach, cranberry, blueberry cranberry, pear ginger and so one and so forth. But my favorite will always be this spicy mango one I keep coming back to. It is a total amalgamation of a handful of different ones I have tried over the years until I finally got it to where I wanted it to be. It’s sweet, tangy from the vinegar, fruity and has a mild bite that adds so much to foods. I don’t just use chutneys with curries. I love them with baked chicken, fried chicken, any sort of pork. You name it, I’ll try it with chutney 😀 This doesn’t need to be canned, though you can do so if you’re feeling froggy. Just store it in the fridge in a covered container. It will keep well in there for months due to the high vinegar content.

You know the drill… 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake, who is now craving a good Indian curry.

Spicy Mango Chutney

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar, cider or white (white makes it a bit sharper in taste, but I rather enjoy that)
  • 4 ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (use more or less depending on how much you like spiciness. This amounts puts it at about a 5 on a 1-10 scale)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (NOT ground mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a medium pot (I use a 3 quart pot to help contain any bubbling). Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Stir well, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down if it seems to be sticking. It will take longer to cook down, but it will get there. Cook until the chutney has reduced by about 1/3, is no longer watery, but looks thick and syrupy. It should take about an hour and a half or so.
  3. Let cool, then store in the fridge in a covered container. This can also be canned via water bath if preferred.

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Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread



As much as I love making yeast breads and other good stuff that are yeast raised like sticky buns , my first love will probably always be cornbread .There is just something so homey about a good wedge of cornbread, be it plain or doctored up, as this version is. You can eat it by itself; and contrary to popular belief, you really should be able to eat it plain, without soaking it in something to relieve dryness. If it’s that dry, you did something wrong when baking it.

On the yeast bread front, I’ve put my sourdough starter out to come to room temp somewhere in the vicinity of 43 times in the last month. Then, I get involved in other things, put it away and say I’ll get to it the next day. If starters could be sentient, mine would have the worlds largest inferiority complex. “What? She doesn’t want me again? Was it something I did… said? Do I smell funny? Wait… I’m supposed to smell funny.”

With this bread, I took the recipe I have up in here for honey cornbread and played with it. I traded the plain butter for browned butter because you can never go wrong with brown butter, used maple sugar in place of the regular and added in a pint of blueberries.  This one is perfect for breakfast. Just serve it with  yogurt and a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re good to go. It’s actually almost cake like enough to be a good fit for dessert too, if you’re the nontraditional sort, as I am. One of my favorite desserts is a piece of cornbread with butter and maple syrup. Try it sometime. 🙂

You know the drill…

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (NOT cornbread mix)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (if you don’t have maple sugar, sub 1/4 cup regular sugar and add in 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring when you add the eggs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed if needed to make it pourable
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 9 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch square baking pan.
  2. Then, brown your butter- place the butter in a small pot. Melt it over medium high heat, swirling it frequently. Let it keep cooking until it turns a nice golden brown, then immediately pour it into a measuring cup or bowl to cool a bit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, combine the maple sugar, cream, milk, honey and browned butter. Whisk well. Add in the eggs (and maple flavoring if that’s what you’re using) and whisk well.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir just until barely combined. gently fold in the blueberries then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 400 until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20  to 25 minutes.
  7. Best served warm with plenty of butter and maple syrup. But that may be a bit of bias on my part. 😀

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DSCF1534

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas (Blogger C.L.U.E.)

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas



Hey everybody! Time for another month of Blogger Clue. You remember… it’s a group I’m a part of on Facebook where we peruse the blogs of one other member in the group and pick a recipe from their blog; one that fits a certain theme. This months theme was “Red”. I mean, Valentines Day and all; makes sense, huh?

I was having a hard time finding something to fit the theme on the blog I was given, which was Lemon And Anchovies run by a lovely lady named Jean. Jean’s blog is wonderful; lots of great recipes I wanted to try… just not many with red, lol. There was a gorgeous raspberry tart in her blog, but I couldn’t afford the berries right now and I will try that one in Spring when berries aren’t as high as a mortgage payment and aren’t shipped from another planet somewhere in a different solar system..

But lookee what I found! I know, chickpeas aren’t red, but these are Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas and anything buffalo style is red, right? Of course right :-p Other than in hummus, it was only fairly recently that I started using chickpeas in things. I may be weird, but to me, they taste almost exactly like boiled peanuts. Since I love boiled peanuts, that means I also love them. And they are, nutritionally, a wonderful source of protein and fiber. But who cares about nutrition. They taste good. 😀 I’ve always loved buffalo wings. I have been known to make a complete glutton of myself with them. We won’t talk about the time my son Cameron and I had a wing eating contest at Hooters once. We’ll just leave it at I won by ONE wing.

But since I don’t want to weigh 500 pounds, I have to find alternate buffalo fixes. These fit the bill quite nicely. A bit spicy, a bit garlicky and with a nice crunch. I was out of olive oil, so I used all butter with this recipe. I think it worked well, as butter is what is usually used in wings. It made it a bit less healthy, but… ummmm… this is me. I also used a touch of onion powder and I increased the oven temp to 425. Jean mentioned that hers didn’t get as crispy as she’d like so I thought a slight jump in temp might take care of that. I think my theory may have been right, because these were wonderfully crunchy.

You know the drill…

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

(My changes in parentheses)

 

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas ,drained, rinsed and dried well.
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and no olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (garlic powder not garlic salt)
  • (1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
  • Pinch salt
  • 4½ tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 (425 is what I did). Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl; toss to coat.
  2. Lay in a single layer in a pan and bake for 40 to 45 (only took 30 in a 425 oven) minutes, until browned and crispy.
  3. Hide them from everyone else and eat them all.
  4. Go to Jeans blog and tell her she’s wonderful.

Here are all the participants in this months Blogger C.L.U.E. Go check out what they made. Somewhere in there you’ll find one that made a recipe form little old me. Be scared for them. Be very scared.

 

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Blogger C.L.U.E. Logo

Participating Bloggers:

Vegetarian Chili

Simple,Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Simple,Hearty Vegetarian Chili



Yes, you read that correctly. Quit sitting there open mouthed looking like I just kicked a puppy. There is actually *gasps and sits here open mouthed looking like someone just kicked a puppy* a healthy recipe on my blog. A vegetarian one no less! I told you lovely people that as I began posting more, I would begin trying to make some of the recipes  healthy *shudders*, maybe even vegetarian.

My son Zachary was recently trying the “Daniel Fast”. This is a fast many Christians use at the beginning of each year. It’s based on the experiences of Daniel, a prophet from the Old Testament of the Bible. It’s a very strict vegan diet that I myself couldn’t handle for more than say, five minutes. I give props to my boy for attempting it. This fast makes vegen-ism look fun, that’s how strict it is 😛 I did my best to help him during his fast by making some dishes that he could enjoy while the rest of us kept on with our normal eating habits. Which, btw, there is nothing so guilt inducing to a mother as having dessert when ones child is on a strict fast, lol.

One of the things I made for him that he liked was this vegetarian chili. Not a speck of meat in this *sobs quietly*. If one wanted to make a nice hearty veggie chili WITH meat, it wouldn’t take much to brown some up and add it into this. But you didn’t hear me say that and I’ll deny it to the death if asked. *gnaws on a bone as I speak*

Seriously though, this is pretty yummy. It’s a very hearty, filling chili, wonderful with cornbread. This is great for Meatless Monday, if you do that, wonderful for a game day if you have people who prefer to watch the meat intake or just because you love it’s flavor and feel like making it, no reasons needed.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake, who is suddenly craving a steak

Vegetarian Chili

  • 4 zucchini, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (or 1 1/2 teaspoons from a jar of  chopped jalapenos)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 28 ounce can Italian stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 15 ounce can seasoned pinto beans, undrained (obviously no meat flavor in them if you’re trying to keep this vegetarian)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can chili beans, undrained (we like the hot style; use what you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cilantro, cheese (vegetarian non dairy cheese if preferred) and green onions for garnish
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, stirring often, saute the onions, all the peppers, the celery and the garlic in the oil until soft and limp, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except of course for the garnish ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Taste for seasoning, adjust what’s needed (salt, a touch more sugar, some hot sauce if it’s not spicy enough for your crowd), then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes (time enough to get some cornbread made!), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If you want a thicker chili, just let this simmer longer.
  4. Serve with garnishes and a lovely slice of cornbread or some crackers. Whether you add a hamburger on the side is entirely up to you. 😀

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Roasted Garlic Hummus (and the first giveaway of 2015!)

Roasted Garlic Hummus(ENTRY WIDGET DOWN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST! SCROLL DOWN FOR IT!)



This is my last giveaway for 2014 as a Hamilton Beach Ambassador. I’ve had a blast promoting their products this past year! And obviously, I’ve enjoyed getting to own and use some wonderful kitchen appliances, as well as offering them to all of you to enjoy. Today, I’m reviewing and giving away a Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor. So far, I’m loving this food processor. It took me a minute to get used to, because it has some differences from the typical one, including my old Hamilton beach processor, but once I figured it out (tip- don’t be like me. Do this weird thing called read the manual that comes with it 😛 ). With this new model, you have to snap the lid into place and you can’t start it unless you have. It also has a feature where you can’t use it with the chute open. You have to put what you want through the chute, then put the thingamajigger (I know… I use too many technical terms) back on. You also can’t, as with most types, pull the blade out when the container is off of the base. You have to have the base on and then snap out the blade. This comes in handy if you’re like me, with a habit of upending the container to empty it and having the blade come out and catch you in the hand. Yay for less 5 inch deep gashes on the hands! The theme the lovely people from Hamilton beach wanted us to follow with this appliance is making something for the holidays. I racked my brain and had thought of Christmas cookies… then 900 other thoughts, but I like waiting to do my posts as an ambassador until after every one else has done theirs (that way Hamilton Beach has people paying attention to them for more than just a couple of highly condensed weeks.), so Christmas ideas were out. So I decided to make a New Years Eve appetizer. Heaven knows that many people need to have some nibbles around to offset the amounts of booze they drink, lol. And I wanted to do something with a good amount of protein for the same reason. So where did I finally settle….? On a delicious Roasted Garlic Hummus. This stuff is sooooo good and this processor helped me create it so easily! if you are convinced you don’t like hummus, I am willing to bet that you haven’t tried it homemade. The flavor is infinitely better, infinitely fresher and this is one of the easiest appetizers (or dinners, if you’re like me at all) you can make. Make this for a party, set out some nice warm pita wedges of pita chips (I also love it with pretzel chips) and you have an immediate hit. This is one that goes fast because all people have to do is dip and eat. No mess, no fuss. I could eat hummus until it was coming out of my ears. It’s nutritious, but it’s so wonderfully creamy that you’d never know it. And you can vary the flavors in it so easily. Make this tonight for whatever get together you’re hosting or going to and then make more when you need a quick and easy game day snack. So when you run to the store today to pick up some more beer or wine, grab the following items too. You’ll love this hummus. Oh yeah… before you leave, make sure you enter to win one of these Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor for yourself. I know you’ll love it and find a gazillion uses for it! The giveaway is at the  bottom of the page!

Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, well drained (also known as Garbanzo Beans)
  • 1 head roasted garlic, cloves taken out and lightly smashed (plus more for garnish. Whatever you don’t use can be stored in the fridge)
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini (Sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (more if needed after you give this a taste test)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (use the lower amount first, taste after processing, then add the extra 1/4 teaspoon if needed)

 

 

 

  1. Dump the chickpeas into the bowl of your food processor. Add all the other ingredients on top. DSCF4664

 

  •  Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again. taste for salt and lemon; add more if needed and process for another 10 seconds or so.  Spoon into a serving bowl.DSCF46663. Add some extra roasted garlic on top for garnish.

 

 

            4.Serve with warm pita wedges, celery or carrot sticks, or pretzels.      

Hamilton Beach

Stack & Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor-

 

Product Features
Parts & Accessories
Use and Care Guides

 

 

    • Easy stack & snap assembly

 

 

 

 

 

  • Unique, patent-pending design requires no difficult twisting & locking

 

  • Simple function guide shows you which blade to use & which button to press

 

 

  • Big Mouth® feed tube reduces pre-cutting

 

 

  • Sealed bowl prevents leaks

 

 

  • Powerful 450 watt motor

 

 

  • Reversible slice/shred disk

 

 

  • Chopping S-blade locks into bowl and stays put during pouring

 

 

  • Dishwasher safe blades, bowl, and lid

 

 

  • Cord storage

 

 

  • The easiest food processor assembly ever Gone are the days of complicated positioning and twisting the bowl and lid into place. With the Hamilton Beach® Stack & Snap™ Food Processor, the bowl is specially designed to fit directly on the base (with no twisting required) and the lid snaps securely to the bowl with simple locking clips for safe operation. No more guessing whether it’s put together correctly, just “stack” and “snap” the parts into place! The kitchen helper you’ll use for every meal Mix up a quick pancake batter. Chop onions without the tears. Puree a bowl of nutritious soup. Slice cucumbers evenly for a perfect salad. Chill, then shred or grate your favorite cheese for a variety of dishes. Large feed chute means less prep work Are you still pre-cutting all your ingredients? If you’re doing that, why bother with a food processor at all? The Hamilton Beach® Stack & Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor accommodates both large and small ingredients, so you can spend less time pre-cutting your ingredients and more time enjoying them. Unique bowl features Many food processors come with a maximum liquid fill line, so if you are preparing soup you need to process multiple batches. The sealed bowl holds up to 10 cups of liquid, which reduces the need for multiple batches when processing soups or other liquids. Another great feature is the S-blade stays locked in the bowl when pouring, so you don’t need to pick the blade out of the processor or worry that it might fall out when you are pouring. A simple snap secures the lid on to the bowl, with no twisting and locking needed. Includes everything you need This powerful food processor comes with a 10 cup bowl, which is the ideal size for most of your home cooking needs. It also includes a reversible slice/shred disc and S-blade for chopping, mixing and pureeing. Cord storage in the back keeps things tidy when not in use. Easy to use Disc attachments are reversible and labeled, which takes the guesswork out of processing. The label should face up for the desired function. When using disc attachment, do not process foods past the MAX LEVEL indicator on the bowl. Many processing options Between the S-blade and the reversible slicing/shredding disc, you have many choices available. Use the S-blade for chopping nuts, meat, garlic, onions, peppers, celery, herbs, bread (for crumbs), and crackers. Also, use it to mince/puree vegetables and fruits, mix salad dressings, puree soups or sauces, and to grate cheese. Use the slicing disc (slicing side facing UP) to slice cucumbers, apples, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, pepperoni, peppers, radishes, firm cheeses. Use the shredding disc (shredding side facing UP) to shred cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and cheese.

 

 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hamilton Beach provided me with a  Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor for review and giveaway, but my opinions are 100% my own.

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

 

We didn’t have a whole lot of luck with our tomato plants this year. It was such a wet, unseasonably cool Summer that they didn’t stand a chance. They would get decent sized and green, but few got enough sun to finish ripening. Out of about 12 plants, we got enough tomatoes for one session in the dehydrator, which we ended up eating like candy  and enough for this batch of chutney. I can sincerely say that this chutney was worth the wait for ripe tomatoes.

I’ve been canning for about 17 years or so now. I tend to stick to jams, relishes and chutneys. One of these days I’ll branch out and do pressure canning. I have the canner, just not the motivation or expendable cash. I keep saying that if I come across some fantastic sale on meat, I’ll can some, but who ever finds a fantastic sale on meat nowadays? Most of us are instead practicing meatless dinners a time or two a week because it’s so darned expensive to buy meat of any kind.

Is it horrid of me that I am enjoying this chutney so much that I keep going over to the bowl of it that is in the photo and snagging bites? Hehe This has a wonderfully unique taste in comparison to other, fruitier chutneys I have made in the past. You have the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, the bite from the peppers and garlic, the tang of the vinegar…. all melded together into a textural delight. Darn, I’m just soooo poetic today 😛

This has a decent amount of ingredients, but nothing hard to find and it all just goes into the pot together and cooks down, so it’s a fairly low maintenance recipe. I say again, as I’ve said before about canning recipes, practice safe canning, please. Do NOT listen to those who tell you it’s ok to just ladle the food into a jar, put the lid on and go on as if that’s sufficient for sealing. It’s totally NOT good enough. Even if the can seems to seal, you don’t know that it’s vacuum sealed, nor that any possible bacteria were killed. Never take that chance with your own health or that of your family. It’s too easy to do it right. 🙂 Here’s a link to show you how to properly can if you’re new to it. If you want to make this but don’t want to can it, you can also freeze portions of it. Just thaw when you’re ready to use some.

Water Bath Canning

This chutney is wonderful with any Indian or Thai dish, as well as with any fattier cut of meat. The acidity of the chutney helps to cut the richness of the meat. It’s also great just off a spoon, but I am also a wee bit offbeat 😀

Spicy Tomato Chutney

  • 5 lbs tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I like to leave them in fairly decent sized chop. They add a nice look to the finished product.)
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt (non iodized)
  • juice and zest of one small lime
  • juice and zest of one small orange
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chiles (use more or less as desired, depending on how spicy or not you prefer it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (same chop idea here as for the garlic. Chutney should have texture, not be smooth.)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  1. Put all ingredients into a large, deep pot and stir well to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once it gets to a boil, turn your heat down to a barely medium setting (I do this at 4 on an electric stove) and let it simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Cook until it has reduced to about half of it’s original amount and has become thick and rich looking, about 2 hours. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot at all, lower your heat a tad and make sure you’re stirring enough. Keep in mind that it will continue to thick a LITTLE bit even after you can it so don’t get it too thick during cooking. You want a product that is about the consistency of a loose preserve.
  4. Can as per the above directions (I got 4 1/2 pints out of this), leaving 1/4 inch headspace and boil in a water bath for ten minutes. When done, remove to a towel and leave undisturbed until cool. Check your seal and if any jars didn’t seal, store them in the fridge. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for quite a long time.

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Soft, Fresh, Multi Grain Bread

Soft, Fresh Multi Grain Bread

Soft, Fresh Multi Grain Bread


I can just see many of you now. “Ewwwww, she said multi grain! That must mean its healthy and tastes like old cat litter!!” Fine, so maybe I’m transferring my own reaction to hearing the words multi grain. But I know SOME of you are like me. We hear those words and automatically close the page or go look for something made with heavy cream, tons of sugar and chocolate. Again, maybe that’s mainly me. No, no, nooooo, I KNOW others do it.

That said, I DO however like fresh breads. But even I know that ones made with all white flour have little to no nutritional value. They’re just empty (albeit extremely tasty) calories made up of carbs. But oh my, they are delicious. I have tried the store bought whole grain breads and it is nearly impossible t find one that doesn’t taste like cardboard. So I make my own. Until you try it, you can never know how tasty a FRESH loaf of whole grain bread is. Soft, fluffy (no, not as fluffy as white bread but nowhere near as dense as store bought cardboard multi grain bread. The only drawback with this bread is it doesn’t store well. It gets rather crumbly with age. But it rarely lasts long enough around here for that to be a problem. Sliced thin (if cutting for sandwiches, always wait until bread is totally cool before slicing), it makes great sandwiches. Sliced a bit thicker and slathered with butter and jam, this is a fantastic snack or side for a meal. We had it tonight with a yummy creamy turkey dumpling soup. Sooooo good together!

You know the drill… git to cookin’!

With this recipe, make sure to premeasure your grains and have them ready to go. It’s easy to get flustered and forget one or more when using this many different types of grain in one bread.

Multi Grain Bread

  • 3- 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour (you can buy rye flour in fairly small bags and once you try this recipe, believe me, it won’t go to waste)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds or pepitas, your choice
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional but I recommend it. It helps make a typically dense loaf like this much lighter plus helps it keep better. You can find it with the flours and yeasts at the grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (if you want a touch more sweetness, feel free to use the honey wheat germ)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine two cups of the bread flour, the salt and the yeast.
  2. Combine the rye flour, oats, cornmeal, sunflower seeds, vital wheat gluten if using and wheat germ in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large microwave safe measuring cup, heat the water, milk, oil and molasses to between 120 degrees and 130 degrees.
  4. Add the warmed liquid to the flour mixture in the stand mixer bowl. Beat 2 minutes at low speed.
  5. Add in the combined grain mixture you set aside along with an additional 3/4 cup bread flour. Let the mixer combine and then knead this for about 5 minutes.
  6. Turn the mixer off and feel the dough. It should be just VERY slightly tacky to the touch, but your finger shouldn’t stick to it at all.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for just a minute or so. Put into an oiled bowl and turn the dough to make sure all sides get oil on them.
  8. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  9. When risen, punch down and shape into two loaves. Put them into 2 well greased 9 inch loaf pans and again, let rise until nearly doubled in bulk. While they rise, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. When risen, bake at 350 degrees until the loaves are golden brown and firm to the touch on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn bread out onto a rack to cool for about one hour. I know, I know, you will end up slicing it while it’s still warm, but I have to at least try to pretend I don’t know this and that I think you’ll leave it to cool.

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Psssstttt…. Remember Me?

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Parfait

 

Hey there everybody! Did you all have a good Summer? ready for Autumn? Me too. You back there in the corner saying “no, I want it to be 95 degrees still”… please leave. You scare me. 😛

I had to gasp a little bit when I saw that it had been almost 2 months since my last post. Sit back with a hot drink while I try to explain. In a nutshell… life just got a bit overwhelming and I needed to prioritize a little. Those of you who also blog can empathize when I say that at times you get so involved in the blogging world that the real one tends to fade away. And while that can be fun, it also isn’t healthy.

What also isn’t healthy is having a blog known for decadent treats and having to taste test all of it before you post lol. Mind you, I’ve always been good about not eating much of what I made for the blog but it was difficult having it around. The reason being, I was on a personal journey of my own to lose some of my excess weight. Have I succeeded you ask? Well, when I started I was a tight size 16 verging on 18. Now I’m more or less comfortable size 12 (depends on the brand of clothing). Almost 50 pounds of me gone with the wind…or the scale…or the Twinkies. Whichever 😛 Had I kept posting the things I normally made, I’m not positive I could have done this. Now however, I have the confidence to get back to work here.

Will everything I make now be low cal, healthy and boring? Hell no! I will still be posting decadent treats full of fat and calories. But… I will also be posting things that taste great but won’t make you need to pull out your fat girl pants.

What I am coming back with today is a mix of the two. Like I said up top, I’m ready for Autumn. To me, Autumn means pumpkin. Then I have a side of pumpkin and follow it up with some pumpkin to make it a nice rounded meal. 😀 Yeah, I kinda like pumpkin. I also like fitting into those size twelves. So that means that the decadent pumpkin treats have to be doled out carefully. Mind you, this isn’t exactly low cal. But neither is it a slice of pumpkin pie covered in home made whipped cream. And there is actually nutritional value in this. Go figure huh? Me… posting something semi good for you.

This also tastes amazing. It will take care of that pumpkin pie craving quite nicely at about 210 calories per serving. It’s also rich, creamy and decadent but made with Greek yogurt. I have this showing as one parfait but in truth that’s because I had no small glasses. This is easily enough for two people (thus the 210 calories). So go get some yogurt and open up a can of pumpkin. I think you’re going to like this.

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Parfait

  • 1 6 ounce carton vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup granola (just use your favorite)
  • 3 tablespoons + one teaspoon light  non dairy whipped topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, brown sugar, pumpkin and 3 tablespoons of whipped topping by folding them together gently. Fold in the spices.
  2. In 1 regular sized or 2 small parfait glasses (or any glass…or bowl…or dog dish; up to you) sprinkle down half of the granola. Top with half the yogurt mixture. Top with more granola, holding back some for garnish if desired. Top with the remaining yogurt. Garnish with the remaining granola, the teaspoon of whipped topping and some cinnamon. Refrigerate for about an hour to soften up the granola.
  3. Dive in
  4. Put away your fat girl pants.

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