Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sweet Pickle Relish

Canning time has begun!
My mom gave me a huge bag of
cucumbers for sweet pickle relish.

Now for my sob story...
I have been working six days a week
with the toy store and my other job.
Canning, cleaning, and washing clothes
happens in the evenings after work.
So I am happily up at 11:30 canning relish.
It will be worth it in the end.
I am thankful I am healthy and able to work.

Have any of you canned relish?
I canned some last year and we loved it.
Since we live by a river, hot dog roasts
happen frequently so relish is a good thing
to have in our basement.
I also use this relish for tarter sauce
for fish. Just add a little mayo and
you have delicious tarter sauce.

I used my kitchen aid attachment to grate the cucumbers
and the onions. The peppers didn't work as well so I diced
them by hand. I have already asked for a food processor
for Christmas. Wonder if he will remember until then.

Let set in pickling salt for two hours, rinse, then drain.

All canned and ready for winter!

Sweet Pickle Relish

 6 cups chopped cucumbers
3 cups chopped green and or/ red sweet peppers
3 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup pickling salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1 Tbsp. celery seeds
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric

Combine vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle with
pickling salt: add enough water to cover. Let set for 2 hours.

Pour vegetable mixture in colander, rinse with
fresh water and drain well.

In a kettle combine sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, mustard seeds
and turmeric. Heat to boiling. Add vegetable mixture and
return to boiling. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle relish into jars. Process filled jars in boiling water
canner for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.

This recipe is from dear Betty Crocker. One recipe makes
10 half pints. I made a triple recipe and it made 16 whole pints.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Fresh Garden Salsa

I couldn't wait until my tomatoes ripened
so I could make some fresh salsa.

Before you try this recipe
you have to realize this is a totally
different taste than canned salsa.

Like I've said before, simple
recipes are sometimes the best.
You need to be able to taste 
the fresh veggies, so I let their natural
flavor come out by keeping it simple.

 My garden find for the evening. Not sure what I'm going to
do with all those peppers. Maybe make relish.

Chop the banana pepper really fine to spread the heat.

Fresh Garden Salsa

1/2 cup fresh corn
1 1/2 cups fresh tomato, diced
1/3 cup onion, diced
1 banana pepper, chopped fine (Jalapenos if you like heat)
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (lime is good too)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes,
(fresh if yours didn't die like mine)

Chop away and mix together. Chill in refrigerator
1 hour before serving.

This recipe should serve four. I had the small bowl of salsa in the
photo and my husband came home and ate the rest.
I kept asking if he wanted to save it for lunch
and he said, "yea" but that never happened.
Just thought I'd add a testimonial.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

I have been living off of stuffed peppers
the last few days. I have six pepper plants
that keep me busy eating.

Now, I don't know how you like your stuffed
peppers, but I prefer mine not-so-sweet.
Some picnic's you go to you get a stuffed
pepper that is full of sugar. It's not very refreshing.

Here is a recipe I perfected to my stuffed pepper liking.
Try it out and see what you think.
It's very simple, but you get to taste
the cheese and pepper too, not just sugar.

Stuffed Peppers

20 saltine crackers, crumbled
1 1/2 cups of colby or cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup of mayo
2 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix together and chill. Fill pepper halves.

p.s. Don't take this as derogatory post against you sweet, pepper
stuffing lovers. We all have our own likes and dislikes.
It's a free world for food choices!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Gift Ideas

Have trouble coming up with Birthday
gift ideas for your friends?
I thought I'd share a idea I 
came up with that's a real life saver.
I keep a window seal full of plants in cool
pots to give as gifts when I'm needing a quick one.

It's a fun but useful gift- it doesn't die
like bouquet of flowers.
Well unless you forget to water it.

 $2.95 fern from Walmart in a Micheal's $4.99 pot 40% off = $5.95

 We gave these baby tear plants as favors at our wedding.
I have made many gifts from these by splitting the plants
and planting them in a new flower pot.

 Add a thrift store find to make your gift even prettier.

A great bridal shower gift idea- these tapestry trees
are at Walmart for $12.00. I couldn't pass it up.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summertime Cooking

There is nothing like summertime cooking.
Fresh veggies from the garden
and a glass of mint tea is all
I need for a meal.

Tonight we had our first cucumber salad
and tomorrow night I am wishing
for some stuffed peppers.

I used a recipe from my blog, Honey BBQ Wings
but instead cutting the chicken in pieces and frying
them in oil, I used whole chicken thighs and pan
fried them in butter.

Add some corn on the cob and a cucumber salad
and you have a yourself a meal.

Happy Summertime,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

This evening I tried out some
mini cupcake papers to see if they
were the right size to pass out at
our grand opening for the toy store.

Josh just laughed when he saw them,
"Can I have ten?"
Then I brought him one and he said,
"Honey, I'm not sure If I can eat a whole cupcake."
"Aww hush, I said, kids would be smearing
big size cupcakes all over our store.
One bite of this cupcake and they are done."

 Hmmm... they aren't that small.

Oops... this tells it all.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of hot coffee* 

*I heat 1 cup of water in microwave and add 1 very 
rounded table spoon of instant coffee.

Mix together in order listed. I usually have the mixer on slow the
whole time I mix up this cake. You can bake 2- 9 in. pans or a 9 x 13 
like I did in my last post. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes 
for cupcakes. It takes 30-40 minutes for a cake. 

My oven bakes hot so I have to turn it back so my baking
times are not the same as you folks with a normal oven.
Use your discretion on the time.

Creamy White Icing

1 cup Crisco
 4 cups 10x sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. milk

Mix until creamy. I added a little coffee liquor to mine.
A little strong coffee would work too.

This recipe is the only chocolate cake recipe I use. It comes
from Marjorie Rohrer Shank's cookbook. I revised a few things to my
liking, but wanted to give her the credit. I get compliment after
compliment on this cake. It's so moist and has a hint of coffee flavor.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth

We had an enjoyable fourth of July.
I had never watched fireworks
under and umbrella before.
It was a very cozy feeling.

We had a cookout at Joshua's parents
that became a cook-in, due to the weather.

No recipe- but here is my festive
attempt of the day.

Happy Fourth,