Sunday, 17 August 2014

Homemade Dill Pickles

We get our fresh cucumbers every year from good friends, Dennis & Janice.  This year, they had a bumper crop, and those cucumbers are so sweet and crunchy----Yummy!!!

I made a batch of dill pickles this past week and I was really pleased with the result.  Click here for the link with the recipe I used.  I trimmed the seed section out before placing cucunbers in the jars.  I did that because that section tends to become really soft, and we like a really crunchy dill pickle.  You can certainly alter this recipe to your own taste, depending on how many cucumber you have.  I also eliminated the garlic completely.  Have a look at how mine turned out........

If you like dill pickles, I highly recommend this recipe----



Thursday, 14 August 2014

Cabbage Rolls

Isn't it funny how the weather plays such a big role in the type of food we like to cook and eat!.  Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I am starting to think about comfort foods like stews, chowders, and of course----Cabbage Rolls.  This week I made a big batch of them.  These freeze well and I always like to have the freezer stocked with some things that I can pull out in the morning and by suppertime, all I have to do is toss up a salad, and Voila--- we have a a great supper!  Here's the recipe and a few snaps of how mine turned out................

Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk

1 cans (8 ounces ) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

Drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.
For filling, combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Place a portion into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around filling, burrito style. Fasten the rolls with toothpicks. Place in a baking dish or Dutch oven.

For sauce, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water; pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 1 hour. Remove rolls with slotted spoon and discard toothpicks. Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over medium heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Serve the cabbage rolls with the sauce.

These are delicious, and quite easy to make.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Gooseberry Chutney

Well--I am amazed by how many gooseberries can grow on one little gooseberry bush------amazed, but very happy!!!!  Yum----these are one of my favorite berries.   Gooseberries are crunchy, tart and sweet--yes, all that in each and every berry.  Click here to learn more about this little gem.

Hubby & I have been picking a few berries here and there, to crunch on as we walked past the bush for the past couple of weeks.  I decided I would take a small container outside to see if there was enough berries to make a small bottle of jam-----wow, there were lots!

I decided to make a small batch of gooseberry is delicious!!!  We tried some yesterday on leftover roasted chicken----superb!!!  I know we will really appreciate this delicious concoction during the long winter months.

Here's a photo step-by-step.....from the bush to the bottles:

Eating this brought back wonderful childhood memories.  Our Mom would serve us homemade chutney or relish with fried bologna and mashed potatoes.  This was a popular staple meal when we were growing up.  Click here for the recipe link.  I made up half of this recipe, just to try it, but I'll be making another batch as soon as the rain stops and I can get out in the yard to pick some more gooseberries!


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Millionaire's Shortbread

I follow an awesome blog almost every day, called Brown Eyed Baker.  This girl inspires me to no end.  I have tried many of her recipes, and they have all been fabulous.  Not only does she post great recipes, but I really enjoy her take on things and I love to read all about her grandmother's recipes and the stories she tells about her childhood in her Nan's kitchen.   

Yesterday, I tried her recipe from a  recent post for a most irresistible cookie called Millionaire's Shortbread.  Pop on over to her blog here, for the recipe, and be sure to check out some more of her great posts.

This cookie is easy to make, using common ingredients, and tastes divine!
Here's a photo step-by-step of how mine turned out.....................

I made my shortbread just slightly too wet, so I had to use a little flour on my fingers to 
 press it into the pan...still turned out just fine!

These cookies are like a Mars bar on steroids-----------Delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Brown Eyed Baker :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Bread and Butter Pickles

I've been away from my blog for too long.  I've been suffering from a pulled muscle in my lower back.  This hits me once every year and a half or so.  Anyone who has a similar problem will understand.  I was confined to my bed for three days.  I am slowly getting up and around, but am still very nervous and very careful.  It happened when I simply placed a coffee on a small occasional table and was about to move it closer to my chair when "BAM"!!---that's how easy it happens.  Needless to say my coffee went all over the floor and table, and I couldn't even think about sitting up to enjoy drinking another coffee for about four days.

I missed all of the Gambo Day civic holiday festivities that I was so looking forward to, and I had to cancel all plans for hubby's birthday celebration.  Oh well, not to fear, Rana & Mark are coming for next weekend, so hopefully I will be right back to myself and we'll celebrate then.

I was able to stand at the kitchen island yesterday to chop, dice and slice a batch of fresh cucumber, so hubby helped me make our annual batch of bread and butter pickles.  I forgot to take pictures of the whole process, but I did take out the camera and got some shots of the finished product. 

Have a look........

Here's the recipe.....

Bread and Butter Pickles

16 cups             sliced cucumber
8                      medium onions (sliced)
1/3 cup             salt
5 cups               sugar
1 ½ tsp              mustard seed
1 ½ tsp              turmeric
4 cups               vinegar

Place all ingredients into a large canning pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer cooked ingredients to sterilized jars and seal.  Store in a cool dry place. 

I used to add sliced green and red peppers for color, but the pepper cooks to a soft mushy consistency, therefore I eliminated it.  We prefer the crunchy texture of the cucumber and onions alone.

Have a great weekend!