Appetizers · Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Sweet Yellow Squash Pickles

Zucchini is normally the vegetable that you are drowning in by the end of summer.  This year it was yellow squash.  After making two batches of Lemon Yellow Summer Squash Bread and roasting pans of mixed garden vegetables, I moved on to a new recipe for Sweet Yellow Squash Pickles.  My Mother always made Bread & Butter Pickles and I loved them.  These are very similar and quite delicious.  A new favorite for my yellow squash harvest!

4 small yellow squash – cut in thin (1/4-inch slices or less); about 3 cups
1/2 cup thinly slices red onion
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • In a large non-metal bowl, combine the squash and onion. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then, drain the liquid from the vegetables.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and dry mustard. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the squash and onion mixture and then return to boiling.
  • Remove from heat. Ladle the hot vegetables and liquid into sterilized canning jars.
  • At this point, the jars can be processed for long-term canning or covered and stored as-is in the refrigerator for up to one month.
  • Chill at least 24 hours before serving.

Recipe from Inspiredbycharm.com 

Appetizers · DIY · Family Favorites · Garden · Home · My Roots · Vegan · Vegetarian

Easy Dill Pickles

My Mother always grew a large garden and had a plentiful canning room in the basement with many types of pickles, tomatoes, corn, green beans, chicken, beef, peaches, pears, apples,  jams. jelly, and more.  What she didn’t can, she froze.  I fondly remember the annual family gathering to pick, husk, parboil, cut and pack sweet corn for the freezer.  How wonderful to enjoy this bounty during the long, cold Iowa winters.

This year I had a plentiful harvest of cucumbers. With the first hard freeze shortly after Labor Day,  I had to pick most the produce, including many cucumbers.  I made my Mom’s Easy Dill Pickle recipe and it didn’t disappoint. The addition of fresh garlic to the second batch will be a new twist!

EASY DILL PICKLES

Medium Cucumber, sliced into spears or slices
Fresh dill
White vinegar
Water
Salt
Alum
Optional:  Peeled cloves of garlic

  • Wash medium size cucumbers and pack in canning quart jars.  Add fresh dill to the top (stem and all).  Place 1/4 teaspoon alum in the top of each quart jar of cucumbers.
  • Boil canning lids and rings in a separate pot.
  • Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.  To each quart of liquid add 4 tablespoons salt. Heat liquid to boiling point.  Pour liquid, while hot, over pickles.
  • Immediately place lids and rings on each jar.Let stand until cool.  Check to assure lid has sealed. Let the pickles sit in the brine for a few days/weeks. Store in a cool place.
  • I’ve also made these pickles and just placed in the frig, skipping the canning process.
Appetizers · Holidays · New Favorite · Vegetarian

Gobble Gobble Vegetable Platter

Let’s be honest.  Thanksgiving is typically not a vegetable-rich zone.  I love the idea of adding a vegetable platter for adults and children to munch on before, during and after the main event.

 

Inspired by Pinterest, I made this platter last year thinking my 4 year old grandson would think it was cool.  In passing, he may have thought as much but the adults seemed to enjoy it more.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  Wishing many blessings to you and yours.

Eatingrichly.com

Appetizers · Breads · New Favorite

Focaccia with Carmelized Onions, Pear and Blue Cheese

Pears have been plentiful this year and I had to find a savory recipe to use extra pears when I discovered this fantastic recipe.  The focaccia recipe itself is wonderful and worthy of a totally different set of toppings; however, it’s hard to beat pears and blue cheese.

This is a recipe I’ll make over and over and over…

IMG_7612

FOCACCIA WITH CARMELIZED ONIONS, PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 large Bosc pear, cored and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used Gorgonzola)

  • In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the oil; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead until smooth.
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let stand for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 10 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 450°. Oil a 9-by-13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet and press it down to fit. Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the dough rise until puffed, about 20 minutes. 

IMG_7600

  • Scatter the onions over the dough. Arrange the pear over the onions and sprinkle with the blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the focaccia and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve.

IMG_7601

Recipe from FoodandWine.com

Appetizers · Family Favorites · Holidays

Snowman Cheese Dip

During the holidays there are so many parties and potlucks and it’s fun to make something that people remember. Charlene, an AT&T co-worker, shared this recipe several years ago after she brought this to one of our office potlucks.

The first time I made it, I had the snowman standing upright. Big mistake, no one wanted to dip into it and have Mr. Snowman tumble. Give Mr. Snowman a rest on a platter and surround him with crackers.  He’ll be a big hit!

Snowman Cheese

 SNOWMAN CHEESE DIP

1 tub whipped cream cheese
2-8 ounce bars cream cheese
4 ounces dried beef, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 tablespoon dried parsley
bunch of green onions

  • Mix cream cheese bars and chopped dried beef.  Add chopped green onions (white part only). Blend in garlic, horseradish and parsley.
  • Form into 3 balls (small, medium and large) using waxed paper.  Stack into snowman shape using a toothpick to attach. (NOTE:  I lay the snowman down on the platter)
  • Spread whipped cream cheese over snowman using wet knife. Garish and serve with crackers, carrots, pretzels.

Garnishes:

  • rosemary branches or broken pretzel twists for arms
  • black olives cut into pieces for mouth & buttons
  • tiny baby carrot for nose
  • dried cranberries for halo
  • piece of red pepper for heart
  • green onion tops for scarf
Appetizers · Family Favorites · Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh Corn and Tomatillo Salsa

My garden continues to produce plenty of tomatillos and when paired with fresh sweet corn, cilantro and seasonings, it makes a wonderful salsa. I’ve also used it to top my favorite Papusas from the Farmer’s Market. It wold also be wonderful paired with chicken or fish. A new favorite!

CORN AND TOMATILLO SALSA

4 ears fresh corn kernels
2 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers
4 cups husked, chopped tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro
tortilla chips

  • In a large skillet, combine the corn kernels and jalapeño peppers. Cook and stir for 10 minutes, until the jalapeños are soft.
  • Add the tomatillos, green pepper, onions, lime juice, water and coriander to the corn and jalapeño mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Cool. Stir in cilantro.
  • Cool salsa in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  • Serve with tortilla chips

Recipe adapted from:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19686/corn-and-tomatillo-salsa/?internalSource=search%20result&referringContentType=search%20results

Appetizers · Family Favorites · Garden · Gluten Free · New Traditions · Vegan · Vegetarian

Tomatillo Salsa Fresh from the Garden

Last year was the first time I ever planted tomatillos plants in my garden. While my tomatoes struggled last year, the tomatillos went crazy and they are even crazier this year given all of the summer rain in Colorado.

My first try at tomatillos salsa went the easy – route and it was delicious. I froze a few bags for winter enjoyment, too! I plan to branch out this year and try a few other recipes, too!

GREEN TOMATILLO SALSA

8 ounces (5-6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno (or 2 serranos), stemmed
5-6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stemmed removed), roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
salt to taste

  • Chop the tomatillos and the jalapeño.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to puree, then scrape into a serving dish.
  • Stir in the chopped onion and salt.
Appetizers · New Favorite · Vegetarian

Grilled Peach Bruschetta

The idea of Peach Bruscetta resonates with me as did the Strawberry Bruscetta I’ve made many times. This recipe was delicious and I made it strictly according to the recipe.  The grilling of the bread and the peaches took some time, but the end result was worth it.

Next time, however, I may try using Goat Cheese instead of Burrata and skip grilling the peaches, using my tried and true Peach Salsa as the topping with a drizzle of honey.

Anyway you make, you can’t go wrong this time of year with fresh Colorado peaches, cheese and bread.  MMMMM….

GRILLED PEACH BRUSCHETTA

1 loaf ciabatta bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
3 medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Honey, for drizzling

  • Preheat and oil a cast iron or gas grill. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Brush peach halves with vegetable oil or spray with non-stick spray. Grill, flesh side down, until lightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then chop and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Chop tarragon and add to bowl along with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine.
  • Spread a layer of burrata over each slice of ciabatta and top with a dollop of grilled peach mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with honey.

Recipe from: http://www.lepetiteats.com/2014/08/grilled-peach-bruschetta-2.html

Appetizers · Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cinnamon Basil Pesto

Cinnamon Basil was a garden experiment that produced more than I expected. Now, what do I do with it?

I found this interesting Cinnamon Basil Pesto recipe and decided to try it in three ways:

  • Simple spread on a wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese (brie, gouda, etc.) and wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese with wafer/cracker and drizzled with honey

This fun experiment ended with the pesto, cheese and honey winning my vote

CINNAMON BASIL DESSERT PESTO

1/3 – 1/2  cup walnut oil
2  cups firmly packed, fresh cinnamon basil leaves
1/2  cup chopped almonds
1/2  cup flaked coconut
1/4  cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (1 oz.)
2   teaspoons raw sugar or packed brown sugar

  • In a food processor or blender combine 1/3 cup of the oil, the basil, almonds, coconut, cheese, and sugar. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary and adding enough remaining oil until of desired consistency.
  • If the pesto is not to be served immediately, divide it into three portions. Place each portion in a small airtight container. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months. Makes about 1-1/3 cups pesto.
Appetizers · Gluten Free · Holidays · New Favorite

Strawberry Honey Goat Cheese Bites

Spring brings wonderful strawberries to the markets. Honey goat cheese pairs beautifully with strawberries and with a hint of honey drizzle, you have a very simple, delicious appetizer (or dessert). Yummy!

STRAWBERRY HONEY GOAT CHEESE BITES

1 dozen large strawberries
8 oz. package Honey Goat Cheese (I use Haystack)
Honey

  • Wash, stem and halve strawberries.
  • Allow them to dry on paper towels.
  • Place a small piece of Honey Goat Cheese on top of strawberry and drizzle with honey.