Tag Archives: veggies

Cannin’ Carrots

Big ol’ bowl of carrots.

So say Crafstine sees you coming home from work and says, “Uh. Hey. I have a lot of carrots? Do you want some to pickle? I ran out of quart jars….” you say HELL YES. Have you ever had spicy pickled carrots? NOW YOU WILL.

This recipe made 6 quarts of carrots and we used Sherri’s recipe from Put ‘Em Up! Another blogger used Sherri’s recipe with a larger volume since she was also doing quarts, which helped us out a lot. Here’s the blog post!  Let’s Go!!!!

 

10 cups Distilled white vinegar
3 cups Sugar
7 Tablespoons Salt
4 Jalapenos, sliced (or cherry peppers…or both? or any other spicy delicious pepper)
8 – 10 Garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

 

We didn’t end up using red pepper flakes because we had some seriously spicy peppers. To start out, prepare your jars. My stove is ANCIENT and takes A LONG TIME so this is all about time management for me. I start the jars before I do anything with the produce that I’m processing. Once you get your jars going in the hot water bath to sterilize them, prepare your jar fixin’s.

 

Peppers and garlic. WASH YOUR HANDS IMMEDIATELY/DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES.

 

Start your brine! Put the water, vinegar, and salt into a pot and bring up to a boil. Once it’s boiling, you can either simmer it until the jars are done, or if you timed it juuuusttt riiiight you can just pour it right into the jars!

Once your jars are good to go, about ten minutes in the bath, take them out and start packin’. I’m not sure how many pounds of carrots we used, since Crafstine had THE BIGGEST BOWL EVER, but we didn’t even use the entire bowl that was shown -we probably used 3/4 of the bowl. Put the peppers and garlic in, the carrots can be packed in as much as you can fit, and then pour the brine over the carrots. Headspace should probably be around 1/2 an inch, because as the carrots move around and release their own fluids, the liquid covers enough. Heat up some lids in some hot water to activate the seal and sterilize the rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

 

 

Enjoy these with sandwiches! Burgers! On hot dogs! Straight out of the jar! I hope you enjoy these, as these are probably my favorite pickle.

 

Stay cool while canning! With the stove on for hours it gets brutal in the kitchen.

Until next time!

-megz

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Salmon Night!

HELLO EVERYONE. The other night I made this dish that I got from my Epicurious app that was originally from Self magazine? I don’t know. It had a lot of extra steps that were completely unnecessary. After realizing that the recipe called for me to use SO MANY PANS and not combining anything until the plating, I decided to change the recipe to make it simpler. Let’s go!

It’s originally called coconut spinach snapper. I used salmon instead.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 salmon…steaks?

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1/2 cup diced onion

1 can light coconut milk

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp soy sauce

1 splash of hot sauce (I used Franks)

4 plum tomatoes, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 bag of spinach, washed but not dried

1 cup of basmati rice, cooked (I used brown basmati rice)

lime juice, to taste

salt and pepper

 

So! In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place the fish with the skin side up in the pan once it’s hot. The fish will go back into the pan after we cook the other stuff, so give the fish probably 2 minutes (in a really hot skillet) per side. I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to put the skin side down when cooking salmon, but I did and it was fine.

Once you have pre-cooked the salmon, remove from the pan and add your aromatics. These guys are the onions, garlic, and the ginger. Let those guys soften and then add the peppers, tomatoes, and lime juice to taste (I just used half a lime). Once these soften a bit, then you can add the coconut milk, hot sauce, and soy sauce.

I also added the cilantro at this time, because I have cilantro frozen into cubes in the freezer (so the water would have to melt). Bring that to a boil, add the salmon, and then reduce to a simmer. Then add the spinach. 

Once the spinach wilts, and the salmon is flakey, you can take it out. I served this on top of brown rice, which I made throughout the process of making this dish. It was super easy and relatively quick! Most importantly, it was DELICIOUS.

 

Until next time!

–megz

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Mom’s Chicken Salad

Hey there! So I know the season doesn’t really scream CHICKEN SALAD because it’s currently a nice, warm, 31 degrees. However, if, in the season of roasting, you decide to roast a chicken and then realize you don’t really like roasted chicken? Since the chicken off the bone kind of freaks you out and is kind of slimey? And you mostly ate the vegetables that you roasted (see: the occasional vegetarian’s brussel sprouts)? And now you have a lot of leftovers? You make your mom’s awesome chicken salad.

I’m not sure where she got the recipe. Each time I call her and ask her for it, she tells me it’s from Williamsburg (as in Virginia). So, I think she has a recipe of favorites from Williamsburg from one of her last trips there. Either way, here it is, and it’s delicious.

It originally calls for two meaty chicken breasts (what kind of measurement is this?). Meat off the bone freaks me out so I ate the breasts, but I just used the rest of the meat what we had left, and it was enough. I also omitted the sugar because that seemed unnecessary, and added some red pepper. I think when I read the recipe really quickly, I thought “red onion” meant red pepper, but it’s good in there. More crunch!

2 Meaty Chicken Breasts, chopped

1 cup of mayo

1 Tbsp of ranch dressing (I forgot that we didn’t have ranch, so I used creamy caesar instead, and it’s still so good)

2 Tbsp chopped red onion (I used white instead)

4 Tbsp chopped celery

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1 cup red or green seedless grapes, cut in half

1 Tbsp sugar (I left this out and didn’t miss it at all)

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I left these out as well, because I didn’t have them. Oops.)

Look at those grapes! Ignore my feet!

Mix everything together and let refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Eat on sandwiches for the rest of the week and pretend it’s warmer outside than it really is.

–meg

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AHHHH! Green Monsters!

So, this may be old news, but what has recently gotten me REALLYSUPERJAZZED are green monster smoothies. I used to buy the Naked! drinks while grocery shopping, because I always tend to do my grocery shopping when I’m hungry (instead of pulling a Dad move and eating a good majority of Yodels, I chug some green monster smoothie). The other day, I realized that I could easily make them at home. If you have a club membership, I highly recommend going to BJ’s/Costco’s/Sam’s Club to buy your supplies. The BJ’s closest to my house has a lot of really awesome organic options that are way cheaper than buying from your local grocery store (unless you grow the stuff yourself).

Smoothie! I obviously have super powers now.

I use the basic makings of these smoothies from another blog (www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com). I haven’t toyed with various protein powders like she does, but I do like to add more fruit. I think this recipe is pretty flexible, and you can feel free to add whatever it is you love into smoothies! Anyway, here’s my favorite:

1 cup of water

2 handfuls of spinach or kale (<3 KALE <3) Note: If you use kale, you should make sure to remove the leaves from the stem, because the stem is really rough.

frozen organic berries/mango

1 ripe banana

1 cut up organic apple (skin and all)

5-6 ice cubes

Put the things in your blender in that order (starting with the water) and blend away! Whatever you add should be on top of the greens to weigh them down. The recipe above is super delicious and is my favorite so far, but I’ve also made them without the apple/berries and just mango, and that is also SO DELICIOUS and electric green (see above).

Note: If you just use berries and no apple? It looks like poop juice. Don’t be scared, I promise it’s still delicious:

Berries + Spinach

So, what will you do with the 5 POUNDS of organic spinach that you buy at your store? You make a lot of smoothies, and then freeze them! I poured out the smoothies into a muffin pan and put it in the freezer. Once they were frozen, I took them out of the pan (with hot water on the bottom and a knife) and put them into freezer bags. That way, I can just pop a few in a jar to thaw overnight and drink them the next day! This recipe makes about 20ish ounces, I’d say, so plan accordingly for your drinking vessels. I made about 10 smoothies (at 20ish ounces a piece!) with the 5 pounds of spinach, and I still have about a pound left of the 3 pound bag of frozen berries I bought. Although you significant other/roommate may hate you for having the bender CONSTANTLY RUNNING for a day or two, I think it’s totally worth it. Think about how many extra servings of fruit and veggies you’re getting! In liquid form!

Here’s my part of the survey that Crafsine posted:

  1. My favorite things to make are:
    PIZZA, PIZZA, and PIZZA.
  2. My go-to recipes are found…
    Sometimes in my Eating Well cookbook, recently I’ve been lurking www.101cookbooks.com (kale and quinoa on her site? AMAZING).
  3. I would never use a recipe from…
    Campbell’s soup. UGHHHHNNN.
  4. What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?
    The light? This sounds so stupid. Depending on the time of day, I like the fact that I don’t have to turn on the lights and can still see the food in natural light. Also, I get a sweet view of all the fat squirrels while I’m cooking, and sometimes that’s adorable.
  5. What is your least favorite thing about your kitchen?
    Counter space!
  6. What is your proudest moment in your recent culinary history?
    I recently made this really delicious soup (hey, it’s cold outside). I found it via my epicurious app, and it has kale, sweet potatoes, and lentils in it, but the broth was absolutely delicious. I had to start it with making a garlic infused oil, which made everything really amazing.
  7. What is the biggest upset in your recent culinary history?
    I semi-recently tried to make a potato-leek soup that was just so extremely thick. I tend to like creamier (see: fattier) soups, but I kind of went overkill. The leftovers were like eating slightly loose mashed potatoes.
  8. What is your favorite item in your kitchen?
    My Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. It has made me incredibly lazy but it just works SO WELL. It has also increased my pizza consumption, which I am extremely fine with.
  9. What is the oldest item in your kitchen?
    My mom gave me her rolling pin, which may have been purchased for her by her mother/was her mother’s. Too bad I rarely use it unless my pizza dough is being silly. (PIES, WHY CAN’T I BAKE YOU SUCCESSFULLY?)
  10. What is the newest item in your kitchen?
    OHMANOHMANOHMAN. My mom and I had to return our Martha Stewart cast iron pots (the paint flecks off and burns people? Return to Macy’s for a full refund!!) and we (she) bit the bullet and purchased Le Creuset pots for us for Christmas. I’m sure my boyfriend is sick of me saying, “HEY. COME LOOK AT HOW PRETTY THIS POT IS.”
  11. What is your favorite thing about cooking?
    My mom is the main reason why I started cooking (well, survival, I guess)…she taught me that cooking brings people together! That’s what I like most about cooking; the fact that I can create something and make people really happy while sharing a moment together. Food has meaning to people and I like to experience that with people.

Until next time,

Meg

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