Our summer is coming to an end and I have already started dreaming of cool Fall evenings, with a brisk wind whipping up the crunchy leaves in a flurry, the autumnal colors decorating the outdoors, and a warming fire crackling in the back yard pit, sipping hot apple cider and filling our tummies with rich warm soups, stews and chowders.
Archive for the ‘Cooking Techniques’ Category
This post is more of an idea than a recipe. I love to experiment with cooking different things on the grill. When I decided to experiment with celery, I tried 2 ways.
First, I put oil and seasonings into a bowl together. For the seasonings, I used a little black pepper, parsley, marjoram and garlic powder but you could use whatever strikes your fancy. Trim the celery then brush the oil mixture onto it. This is a great job for little helpers. Just stick it straight onto the grill for about 10 minutes. It is really flavorful cooked this way.
The second way that I grilled the celery was in foil packets. Cut the celery into pieces then put pats of butter on it and season. I used the same seasoning mix as the first way but you have creative license to use whatever you would like – fold the foil up and stick it on the grill for about 10 minutes.
Friday night is refrigerator clean out time, getting ready for my goodies from Bountiful Baskets. What can I make with all the odds and ends?
Heat up some oil in a large skillet and add in some small pieces of meat, seafood or scrambles eggs, veggies and even fruits that are cut up in bite size pieces, add some garlic, fresh ginger if you have it, a few dashes of soy sauce, salt and pepper or any other seasoning you like.
Serve it over rice or noodles. Add some chicken or veggie stock to the leftovers for a quick soup.
Here is an elegant and simple dessert that can be pulled together rather quickly. This is what I served for our Valentines Day dessert, I peeled a couple blood oranges (amazing dipped in chocolate) from my “Citrus Pack”, strawberries and fresh coconut from the “Fondue Pack” and some homemade marshmallows a friend gave us. Fondue and fruit in under 10 minutes! Enjoy!
With Fall quickly upon us and all the lovely pumpkins and squash available in the Harvest packs, I couldn’t resist roasting one.
The process is simple, and the results are well worth the effort. No more canned pumpkin puree for me!
I absolutely love the way Indian corn looks – it’s colorful, shiny kernels make it excellent for decorating during fall nestled with some funky gourds and cute mini pumpkins. Only recently I found out that some of it is food grade (though some is not because it is treated to only be used as decorations). I was eager to pop some with my daughter. We tried it three ways – on the stovetop, in the microwave and in our popcorn popper.
A couple that I know just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The key to their success? Well, according to the husband their happy marriage is all because his wife has packed him his lunch every work day for their whole married life. At first, this revelation made me feel really…guilty. I can honestly say that in 13 years of marriage I have never sent my husband off to work with a homemade lunch. Sure, this has meant he has some extra candy machine visits or drive-through stops, but how can I squeeze in making lunch for a man who leaves the house at 5:45 each morning? Already I have a house to clean, meals to cook, four kids to home-school, and sometime in there I have to get a shower (really, won’t he appreciate a clean wife more than lunch?) The old man’s marriage advice was fresh in my mind when I saw pictures of layered, jarred salads on the Bountiful Basket’s Facebook page. These seemed healthy, fresh, and most importantly easy. And so, in an effort to keep our happy marriage happy, and armed with an arsenal of salad-in-a-jar recipes, I have decided to try packing lunches this year.
I love all the amazing produce that I get each week from Bountiful Baskets. As a site coordinator, I see those big beautiful add-on boxes of fresh fruit and veggies and I WANT them. But I’ve hesitated to contribute for them because I was worried about waste. The obvious solution is canning. Let me tell you though, I was seriously intimidated by the whole process. In my head, I thought of all the equipment, all the rules, all the work, and I figured I didn’t want anything to do with it. This season I finally gave it a try. I was so wrong! Yes, there is equipment, there are rules, and it is work. But it is absolutely, without a doubt, worth it!
These are my tips and tricks for any other canning newbies out there. Hope they convince some of you to try it out! You won’t regret it, especially once you see your pantry fill up and your preservative intake go down!