Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pickles

My grandma made cucumbers every year. Me and my family just love them and would eat them up every time she shared with us. She gave me the recipe but I was always afraid to make them because canning just scares me. My sisters and I wanted her to teach us but life always got in the way and she passed away before we got the chance. However we were lucky she taught my cousin and she promised to teach us. Well life kept getting in the way but finally we made it happen. There were some bumps and I was afraid it wasn’t gonna happen but this last August we finally got it all together.  I’m adding this tutorial because I want my family who weren’t there to be able to go to it and feel like they were there and be able to make them every year if they want. I also want it for myself because I’m sure I will need reminders because a year is a long time.

Just to let you know my grandma cans the old school way. She did not boil cans after being sealed so if you are not comfortable with that please boil. I’m totally aware most canning recommends it but I’m posting this exactly the way my grandmother did.



Step 1: wash jars and lids.



Step 2: rinse and scrub cucumbers. We got ours straight off the farm and they were very very dirty so this took quite awhile because we were making pickles for 5 of us.



Step 3: Prepare pan for lids. fill roasting pan with enough water to cover lids and add lids in single layer. This is very important that you add both parts of the lids and only one layer to make sure they are sterile. It also makes sure the heat ensures seal. 





Step 4: Prepare brine in a large canning pot (Recipe Below)


Step 5: Prepare jars with Dill, Garlic, and jalapenos (if you like it spicy)


Step 6: Fill each jar with as many cucumbers that you can fit in


Step 7: Once the brine is ready you fill each jar carefully making sure to leave 1/4 of inch to the top.


Step 8: With your oven glove  and tongs carefully put lid on each jar and close very tightly. These will be super hot so the oven glove is very important so you don't burn your hands. You also want to do this quickly to keep all the heat in.



 Step 9: Continue doing this until they are all filled and sealed.



Now comes the hardest part....waiting. Before moving the jars you have to wait for them to suck the lid in. You will hear it snap. You don't want to press it in. You"ll have to have lots of patience. So what I did is make us cocktails and snacks.










Ingredients (Per Dozen jars) (1 hour prep)

10lbs of cucumbers
2 heads of garlic
1 bunch of dill
1 1/2 jalapeno

Brine  (10 quarts)

1 quart white vinegar
15 cups of water
1 cup of salt

(My grandmother always doubled the brine)

Recipe

Bring the brine to a boil. Place lids in boiling water. after all jars are prepared with ingredients, pour brine into each jar carefully. Leave 1/4 inch of brine from top. Seal with lids immediately and let sit. Can take 1-2 hours to seal properly. They start to change color right away.

Once they all pop you store them for 2 months. To me that was the hardest part. Not all people wait that long but I am following exactly how my grandma does it because hers are the best. Next time I may add more garlic or more dill and maybe even more jalapeno to some jars. I like pickles with kick but if they are too spicy they are ruined. So I wasn't to brave this time around because this is a lot of work for something to turn out bad.

I'm no longer afraid to can vegetables or jam. Next year I may tweak some stuff. I may even try boiling jars after they are sealed to ensure the snapping of the lids because it was very stressful. I hope you all try canning after this because it's a lot easier than I thought.

 These are the two hand printed recipes of my grandmas recipe. I put together the recipe above based off of what a dozen would make. I made 6 jars for myself but we made 33 jars in total this day. So we made two brines. It took a lot longer because we made so many but it was a lot of fun to do it together. I will never forget it and am sure my grandma was there with us that day.




Sunday, September 29, 2019

Chocolate chip caramel cookies



I love chocolate chip cookies but most of the time they turn out pretty bad so when you find a good recipe it’s super special. I found this recipe on Pinterest. The photo and the fact that it had caramel in it sold me. I wasn’t sure I was gonna like the but I was willing to try. Everyone I make these for just absolutely love them and can’t just eat one. It makes a lot of cookies so I scoop them into balls and store in fridge so we can have fresh baked cookies every day until they run out. Check out original recipe here. I adapted very little. 

When I was a kid my sister and I made chocolate chip cookies just so we could eat the dough. Now I eat a few bites because that kid in me still loves it but my stomach says no. It’s funny how you change over time. 



Ingredients 

3 cups of flour
1tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar 
1/4 cup white sugar 
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract 
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup caramel bits

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside 

In stand mixer beat sugars and butter until light and creamy. Then add eggs and vanilla. Scrape sides and mix again. 

Mix on low and add flour slowly. Once combined add chips and caramel. 

Scoop with small ice cream scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons. Bake for 11-13 minutes. 

Try them and let me know what you think. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Whipped Ricotta and Bruschetta



My sister and I love to go shopping at the Nordstrom sale and then after a few hours of trying on clothes we need a break for drinks and lunch at the Macaroni Grill. I’ve been doing that tradition for many years. I’ve had some not so good experiences at that restaurant but mostly great. We always have to order the whipped ricotta bruschetta. I love it so much that I needed to recreate it. It’s a very simple recipe with few ingredients so it’s very important to use good quality ingredients. 

Ingredients

4 ounces whole milk ricotta
1 ounce sour cream 
2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley 
2 tomatoes seeded
1 garlic cloves chopped 
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette sliced

Directions

Mix together ricotta, sour cream, 1tsp basil, parsley, 1 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

Dice seeded tomatoes. Place in a bowl and add garlic, julienned basil 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Slice baguette or any of your favorite bread. Paint olive oil on both sides of bread. Grill until brown and slightly crisp. Smear cheese spread on bread and top with tomatoes. 

Let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my friends.