Archive for Recipes

The Great Family Pickle Experiment

IMG_0117-001Do you like pickles?  Are you a kosher dill person or a bread and butter pickles person?  Travel Man and I like the kosher, dill variety.  Yum, yum.  My Dad was the first one to make homemade pickles, over the summer.  His recipe uses a whey liquid to ferment the pickles in the refrigerator.  The first batch he made turned out spectacularly well.  They tasted great.  Good flavor, nice crunch.  He’s had some difficulties duplicating that first batch, and that inspired me to find my own recipe.  Oh and I forgot to mention I grew my own cucumbers too.  The baby plants survived a 108 degree heat, and we have had a nice crop of pickling cucumbers over the past few months.

IMG_0149-001This is my Dad.  We made a big batch of pickles in my kitchen over the summer, and had quite an assembly line going.  Travel Man helped him get the cucumbers ready.  They measured all of the spices into the jars, added the whey liquid, and voila they were ready to go into the refrigerator.

This is my Dad’s recipe.  It has a kosher style flavor, and lots of crunch.

JIM’S DILL PICKLES

Makes 1 Quart

Ingredients: 

    • 6-8 Pickling cucumbers
    • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 5-6 stalks of fresh dill, if in doubt, add more
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • 4 tablespoons whey liquid
    • Filtered water-no chlorine!

Directions:

Wash the cucumbers to remove dirt. Cut into halves or quarters. Trim length, if necessary.  Add mustard seed and garlic to the quart jar.  Pack cucumbers tightly into the jar, adding dill as you go.  Mix the sea salt and whey liquid in 2 cups of water and pour over the cucumbers. Add water to cover the cucumbers, fill to about 1 in. below the top of the jar.  Seal the jar and invert once or twice to mix the liquid.

Keep at room temperature for 3 days and then store in the fridge. The pickles will be ready to eat in 3-4 weeks.

The whey liquid is made from yogurt. One large container will give you enough whey liquid for 4-6 jars.  Place a towel over a strainer and add the yogurt. The whey liquid will drip through slowly.  When it stops, tie up the towel loosely and let it drip some more. Once it stops, the milk solids  can be saved as cream cheese. This will keep for a week or 2 in the fridge.

This is a slow process, allow one day to produce the whey liquid. You can store it in a glass container in the fridge. It should keep for several months.

IMG_0004-001

The recipe Travel Man and I used is from food.com.  These are our new favorite pickles.

Refrigerator Kosher Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

Pickling Liquid-

    • 1-1/2 cups water, boiled and cooled
    • 1 cup white vinegar, 5% acidity

For each quart jar add-

    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons dill seeds
    • 1/4 tsp. celery seeds
    • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp. mustard flakes
    • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3-6 cucumbers (depending on size)

Directions:

Add the salt and spices to each jar.  Add cucumbers sliced, whole (ends trimmed) or spears, packing them in tightly.  We also added the trimmed ends, and they made little pickles chips.  Fill the jar to within 1/2 inch of the top.  Add pickling liquid to cover the cucumbers.  Put a lid and a ring on the jar.  Shake the jar for a few seconds to distribute the salt and spices evenly.

Refrigerate the pickles for 7 days (Travel Man was opening them on the 4th day!).  Shake the jar for a few seconds everyday during the first 7 days to keep the salt and spices distributed.   The finished jars will last for approximately 6 months in the refrigerator.

IMG_0009-001IMG_0011-001

The one caution that I have about this recipe is watch out for the red pepper flakes.  They make the pickles quite spicy, and me being the spicy weenie that I am,  I could have done without them.  As a matter of fact our second batch had no red pepper flakes.  They were amazing.  Great flavor, good crunch.  I know I have mentioned that before, but they really taste so good.  The pickling cucumbers will definitely be a staple in the garden next year.  Our next adventure with the kosher dill recipe will be to make pickle chips, oh yum.  I will update you once those are completed.  Hopefully this week.

If your feeling adventurous, want to try a new recipe, and like pickles try one of these recipes.  You’ll be glad you did.  Remember each of these recipes is written for (1) one quart jar.  I had a lot of fun getting the cucumbers going in the garden, and then making some great pickles that Travel Man and my Dad enjoyed.  Most recently a jar went home with my sister to Montana.  This could become a nationwide phenomena.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Chile Rellenos Casserole

One of my favorite recipes to materialize from my garden harvest this summer, was this recipe for a chile rellenos casserole from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  It’s cheesy, got lots of flavor from the jalapenos, and super easy to throw together.  It’s a great dinner side dish, or it would make a wonderful casserole for a brunch.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large, fresh poblano chile peppers, fresh Anaheim chile peppers or green sweet peppers (8 Oz)
  • 1 Cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers or mexican blend cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers or mexican blend cheese
  • Picante sauce (optional)
  • Dairy sour cream (optional)

Directions:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 450°.  Quarter the peppers and remove the seeds, stems and veins.

2) Submerge the peppers into boiling water for 3 minutes, and then drain well.  Turn them over and pat dry with paper towels.

3) Place the peppers in a well-greased 2 quart square baking dish, and top with 1 cup of the cheese.

4) In a medium bowl combine eggs and milk.  Add flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.

5) Beat until smooth with a rotary beater.  Pour egg mixture over peppers and cheese.

6) Bake uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into the egg mixture comes out clean.

7) Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup cheese, and let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

The finished product should look something like this:

Oh, so pretty with the green of the jalapenos peeking through the cheese.  I do have to say that you must remember that I am the “spice weenie” in our house.  So I only added half of the cayenne pepper that this recipe calls for.  Next time I make this I promised the family a “little” heat will be added to the mix!

What’s your favorite casserole dish?

Naomi’s Roasted Veggie Salsa

There are a ton of jalapenos to be used up from my recent garden harvest.  One of my favorite ways to use the jalapenos is in my daughter, Naomi’s roasted salsa.  My daughter got me hooked on her salsa the first time I tasted it, and being the “spice weenie” that I am it’s amazing that I liked it at all.  She roasts fresh veggies, and throws everything in the food processor for a yummy, yummy treat.  This recipe has become a family favorite for all of our family  get togethers. 

Now here’s what you need to do to make it.

Ingredients:

  • 8 big tomatoes
  • 3 mild jalapeños
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 of a white or red onion
  • garlic salt
  • a couple of splashes of el pato tomato sauce
  • * Note – for a milder salsa clean the seeds from the jalapeño, and slice in half before roasting.

 Directions:

1) Rinse your veggies, and toss them on a big cookie sheet.  The jalapenos are de-seeded and sliced in half for my roasting purposes.  Since I’m the spice weenie.  I don’t want the heat.

2) Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.

3) Then turn your oven to broil, and cook the veggies for an additional 10 minutes.

4) After the veggies are cooked,  cool them in the fridge overnite,  or for at least 6 hours.

5) To put the salsa together pull out your favorite food processor.

6) Put the onion in the food processor in quarters, and chop until very fine.

7) Cut the center from the tomatoes, and either quarter them or cut them in half for smoother processing.

8) Place the remaining ingredients in the food processor, and pulse only for a thicker,  chunkier salsa. 

 

9) I pulse for just a few seconds and then check the consistency before pulsing again.  This is consistency that I like to have for my salsa.  Can you see the little bits of roasted jalapeno?  This gives the salsa such great flavor. Yum!

 

 

10) This next item is very important in the salsa process.  Get your favorite tortilla chips out of the cupboard, and taste test the salsa  to be sure you have enough garlic salt, and the heat is the way you like it.  You can also designate an official taste tester, but I prefer to do my own tasting.

11) I only like my salsa very mild (the spice weenie effect), so these directions don’t include a lot of ingredients for the heat.  If you want or like the extra heat; leave the seeds in the jalapenos, and add additional el pato sauce.

This is a wonderful fresh salsa.  You can use it in your favorite guacamole recipe, as a garnish on tacos or burritos.  The sky is the limit.   If you enjoy the roasted veggie flavor this is a great staple salsa that you can make all on your own.  I’m off to the kitchen to make my next batch.  Have a great weekend everyone.

My Favorite Sloppy Joes

I’m in a recipe kind of mood this week.  Probably because there is the tiniest hint of fall in the air, probably because I’ve been busily harvesting all kinds of goodies from my garden, and most importantly because I just love to cook.  I’ve made a lot of different sloppy joe recipes, even the Manwich variety.  I remember making sloppy joes in 4-H when I was 10 or 11.  I think that was in the second year of cooking.  Then I tried the sloppy joe recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  There are a few changes to the recipe; namely ketchup in place of tomato sauce.  It would be hard for me to make any other sloppy joes after enjoying this one.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef, or ground turkey
  • 1 splash of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper (1 small)
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 kaiser rolls or hamburger buns

The Directions:

  1. In a large skillet cook the onion and green pepper in a splash of vegetable oil until tender.
  2. Add the meat to this and cook until completely browned.
  3. Drain the fat from the pan.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the additional 1 cup of water.
  5. The additional cup of water allows you to simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes so the flavors can mesh and meld.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve on toasted kaiser rolls or hamburger buns.
  8. Don’t forget to serve the potato chips on the side.  A little bit of sloppy joe on a bit of a potato chip is an amazing snack!

This is a great recipe to double or triple for a crowd.  (This is a Party House favorite recipe!)   A simple, easy to do week night recipe.  Or a great party crowd recipe, or a great let’s watch the baseball playoffs recipe!  (Is it October yet?)  Oh, and don’t forget if you’re serving sloppy joes and potato chips you must include the dill pickles.  Happy cooking everyone!

Zucchini Pancakes

The zucchini harvest here at the Spindle Ranch is going gangbusters.  I had been perusing the allrecipes.com website and came across this recipe for a pancake with a twist.  This was a great breakfast pancake as it has the zucchini, onion, and my favorite, cheddar cheese.  You could add any variation that you please with this recipe.  Maybe add some green onion, or finely chopped jalapenos, or green peppers.  Travel Man suggested this would be a great pancake to eat with a couple of fried eggs on the side.

 

 

With your next harvest of zucchini try out this scrumptious recipe.

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup biscuit baking mix (such as Bisquick®)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, as needed
 

Directions

  1. Mix zucchini, cheddar cheese, and onion together in a bowl.
  2. Stir eggs and biscuit mix into zucchini mixture until well combined.
  3. Heat vegetable oil on the griddle or large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Scoop about 1/4 cup batter onto heated griddle. 
  5. Cook until pancakes are browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter.

I did not take pictures when I made these, so my post is a little barren.  But I wanted to share this recipe with you, because it’s almost like an omelette and biscuit on your plate at the same time.  An easy, simple weekend breakfast kind of pancake.  Enjoy!

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,176 other subscribers

  • 2018 Stories – Back on the Blog!

    October 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « May    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
Skip to toolbar