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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Re-purposed Onions! LOL

Have you ever pulled out your onion drawer, bag or basket and found they all have sprouted green tops? Sure! What do you do? If the onion isn't rotten in spots, I go ahead and use/cook it. What if it's a little too far gone for that? I peel the dead pieces away until I get to the last green stalk. Sometimes one onion will yield several sprouts. I did this today. The pieces of onion that I peeled away are going to be caramelized and added to gravy and topped on hamburgers and hot dogs. Nothing goes to waste here!

I harvested 7 onion plants from 3 onions.

I used empty water bottles cut in half for the taller shoots
and one about 2 inches deep for the smaller shoots.
Sit the shoots in water.

In a few days, the shoots will have roots!
This one should have been planted a few days ago,
but we got sidetracked. It will be planted today!

These are the peelings I got from the "rotten" onions.

I cut them up and sauted them for burgers.





Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quick Pickled Radishes

This month the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge was Quick Pickles. Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are simply vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar) solution and stored in the refrigerator.Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving a variety of vegetables from the market or your own garden. Quick pickling doesn't require canning or a bushel of vegetables. Best of all, you can adapt this simple formula for any fresh vegetables; try a mixture of vinegars and spices for a truly custom pickle pleasure.

I like to use up leftovers for this method, this passed weekend I made some cucumber and radish appetizers for our Annual Easter Party and had a bag of radishes left over. I decided to quick pickle them since I'm the only one here that eats them.



Quick Pickled Radishes

1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water (optional... I like stronger vinegar flavor)

1 tablespoon sugar (also optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 small bag radishes, thinly sliced

Whisk first 4 ingredients in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place red onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Cover and chill. Store in the refrigerator. 



Quick Pickled Garlic

This month the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge was Quick Pickles. Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are simply vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar) solution and stored in the refrigerator.Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving a variety of vegetables from the market or your own garden. Quick pickling doesn't require canning or a bushel of vegetables. Best of all, you can adapt this simple formula for any fresh vegetables; try a mixture of vinegars and spices for a truly custom pickle pleasure.

I like to use up leftovers for this method, but this time, I bought a pound of garlic and decided to quick pickle it to have it on hand for months to come. I pop a couple of cloves out the frig and run them through my press and add them to sauces, dips and dressings.



It all starts with:
1 pound of garlic


 Separate the cloves...

 This yields about 3 1/2 cups of garlic cloves...

 Next, peel the cloves. Do not smash them.
If you'd like, you can blanch them for about 2 to 3 minutes,
and then transfer them to an ice bath.
The skins should peel right off.

 Peeled garlic cloves...

 Divide the garlic between 2 clean prepared pint jars
or 4 half pints... Depending on how often you use it.
I use bunches, so I used pints.


Quick Pickled Garlic

1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water (or more to taste... I like stronger vinegar flavor.)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 lb Garlic Heads

Whisk first 3 ingredients in a small bowl until salt dissolves. Place garlic in a jars; pour vinegar mixture over. Cover and chill. Store in the refrigerator. 




Cucumber and Radish Appetizers ~ Two Ways


This passed weekend was our Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt Party, and the food was always a hit. We did an informal hamburger and hot dog spread, but had a little of the fancy-shmancy stuff too. There was potato salad, slaw and deviled eggs to name a few of the sides, but the appetizers were a hit. Here are the recipes for the Cucumber ~ Radish Bites.

Herbed Cream Cheese Cucumber and Radish Appetizers
(on the long tray)

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonaise
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
2 teaspoons ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of cayenne, or to taste
1-2 medium pickling cucumber
3 medium radishes
1 teaspoons minced fresh basil
and Kosher salt for sprinkling

Stir together cream cheese, herbs, zest, lemon juice, table salt, and cayenne.
Slice 32 (1/8-inch-thick) rounds from cucumber with a mandolin. Trim bottoms from radishes, then slice into 32 (1/16-inch-thick) rounds with a mandolin. Top each cucumber slice with 1/2 teaspoon herbed cream cheese and top with a radish slice. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and basil serve immediately.




Pimento Cheese Cucumber and Radish Appetizers
(on the small plate)

1 lb Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 8oz package Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup diced Pimento
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onion, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours for flavors to mix.
Prepare the cucumbers and radishes as in the recipe above, but use my pimento cheese spread instead. (With this recipe, you will have a generous plenty of pimento cheese for sandwiches or as a dip for crackers.)





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Quick Pickled Red Onion ~ Food in Jars Mastery Challenge

This month the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge was Quick Pickles. Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are simply vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar) solution and stored in the refrigerator. 

Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving a variety of vegetables from the market or your own garden. Quick pickling doesn't require canning or a bushel of vegetables. Best of all, you can adapt this simple formula for any fresh vegetables; try a mixture of vinegars and spices for a truly custom pickle pleasure.

Preparing Vegetables for Pickling

  • Thinly slice: cucumbers, summer squash, radishes and red onion
  • Cut into spears: carrots or cucumbers
  • Peel: carrots
  • Blanch: green beans (optional, but helps preserve their color)

Brine Basics

For quick pickles, a basic brine is equal parts vinegar and water, but you can adjust the ratio to your preference. Any basic vinegar is game — white vinegar, apple cider, white wine, and rice vinegar all work well. You can use these vinegars alone or in combination. Steer clear of aged or concentrated vinegars like balsamic or malt vinegar for pickling.


Quick Pickled Onions

1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water (optional... I like stronger vinegar flavor)

1 tablespoon sugar (also optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk first 4 ingredients  in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place red onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Cover and chill. Store in the refrigerator. 





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry


When I made the stuffed flank steak rolls, I had marinaded steak left over from the trimmings. So I decided to use it in a stir fry. When starting from scratch, use the marinade recipe below.

Marinade:
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1 lb Sirloin, Chuck or London Broil, sliced thin against the grain
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet onions, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, cut into thin strips
Freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup water

In a small bowl, add marinade and beef. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat about 1 minute. Add beef, breaking up clumps of beef with wooden spoon; cook 1 minute without stirring. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until beef is browned around edges. Transfer beef mixture to clean bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet; heat over medium-high heat about 1 minute. Add vegetables and cook until tender-crisp. Return meat to skillet. 

In a small bowl mix sauce. Add sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil until thickened. stirring constantly. Serve over rice.

Shared on Meal Plan Monday 




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stuffed Flank Steak Rolls

This one has sauted Mushrooms and Onions
with Provolone Cheese!


These have onions and Swiss cheese.

I saw one of those videos out there that showed something like this, but prettier and very easy and simple looking. So I gave it a shot. It is NOT simple or easy or pretty! They leave out a lot of steps as always. I changed a few ingredients. (Only because I did not have them on hand. It didn't make a difference in the difficulty.)
I tried to get a step-by-step photo shoot. The quality isn't that great on the poor old camera I'm using, but you'll get the idea! 

 No mushrooms or spinach this time, but it will next time.
Spread out the vegetable mix.

Slice the cheese into strips so it will roll easier.
I used Swiss this time.

 Carefully roll from the narrow end 
holding the stuffing in and keeping it even.

Secure with skewers. I had to use two per roll.
Slice into rounds. I got 6 out of this one.

 Over high heat, sear for 1-2 minutes per side.

 Then into the oven for 10-15 minutes.

 All done! Oops, the flash was on!

Wonderful taste! I will be making it again!

Stuffed Flank Steak Rolls
Marinade:
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

Stuffing:
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 sweet onions, such as Vidalia, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds flank steak, pounded to an even thickness, if needed
9 slices Provolone, Swiss or Colby-Jack Cheese 1 bunch of baby spinach leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the marinade. Coat meat and remove resting it on a plate. Combine stuffing ingredients in the bowl with remaining ingredients.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute the stuffing mixture until just starting to soften. Do not overcook. They will continue to cook in the steak. Remove from heat and set aside.
Lay the flank steak on a cutting board. Spoon the mushroom and onion mixture on top, spreading it evenly across the steak. Sprinkle the spinach on top (optional), followed by the slices of provolone. Starting at the bottom, or the narrowest end, of the flank steak, roll it up tightly, making sure the grain of the meat is running horizontally. Use skewers to secure the steak roll. Slice the steak roll into equal rolls.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan over high heat. Sear the steak rolls on one side for one to two minutes, then flip. Sear the second side for about one minute, then bake for 10–15 minutes, until medium rare.





Shared on Meal Plan Monday 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vanilla Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

We love coffee cake, but we love the streusel topping even more. This cake has a double helping of streusel on top!


Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 X 9 pan with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, stir Topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.


In large bowl, stir Cake ingredients until blended. Pour into 13x9 pan. Sprinkle topping over cake. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes  or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Transfer to a cooling rack. Let stand 10 minutes. In small bowl, beat Glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cake.








Shared on Meal Plan Monday

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Food In Jars Mastery Challenge ~ Jellies and Shrubs

A group of us are participating in the Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa at Food in JarsThe March challenge was Jelly or Shrubs.

While just about everyone gets the concept of jams and jellies, Shrubs were a mystery to me even though I did bartend for a while. They were not popular back then, or the places I worked were not "upscale" enough to know about them. They are a very old concept from the days before refrigeration, but shrubs are making a comeback! 



So, what does the word, shrub, mean, exactly? Michael Dietsch explains in rich detail the history of shrub-making, which dates way beyond Colonial times, in the pages of his recent book, Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times. A shrub is basically fruit, or even vegetables, combined with two other components: sugar and vinegar. After the correct ratio of those ingredients integrate over a little time, the result is a perfect balance of tartness, sugar, acidity, and texture. Shrubs are mouth-watering and concentrated, and they taste amazing when combined with soda, water or integrated into a cocktail.
how to make shrubs | holly & flora

I stuck with jelly since none of my gang would even begin to try the shrubs. It would be a waste and a shame to make a product to take a picture of and throw it away. I'll wait until our Adult Easter Egg Hunt ~ Spring Fling Party to make some Shrubs and get the big kids to try them! I'll keep you posted!

Check out our results!
Click the links below the pictures for the recipes:


Satsuma Mandarin Orange Pepper Jelly  - Mary Marshall -
Cooking with Mary and Friends
Recipe


Balsamic Vinegar Jelly with Onions Seeds - Sue Harris -
Jams 'n' Pans
Recipe


Cantaloupe, Orange and Coriander Shrub - Pamela Gram -
The Pitt Stop BBQ, LLC
Recipe


Pepper Jelly - Anne Marshall-Candeloro
Recipe


Pomegranate Molasses Shrub - Nikki Carriere
Recipe


Porter Beer Jelly - Sue Burns -
It's Ok to Eat the Cupcake
Recipe 
Mango, Szechuan Peppercorn, Kaffir Lime Leaf Shrub -
Tami Young -
Recipe


Cherry Jelly - Lynn Vining -
Southern with a Twist
Recipe








Monday, March 20, 2017

Cherry Jelly ~ March Food in Jars Mastery Challenge

I am participating in a year long Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa from Food in Jars, and the March challenge was Jellies and Shrubs! Since my family and I really aren't into the Shrubs, vinegary concentrated drinks, I decided to stick with jelly, but I used my cherries from last years crop to make jelly. I've never made Cherry Jelly before. It is sweet, tart and delicious!








































My cherries were frozen. I rinsed them off and set the colander on the base after they drained well. I let them thaw. I removed the pits over the colander, yielding about 4 - 4 1/2 cups of cherries. 



The base caught 3/4 cup of cherry juice! I cooked the cherries after adding Sure-Jell (I didn't need to add water since the base of my colander caught the juice. I boiled them and then added the sugar. I boiled them for a few minutes to yield the most juice. I used the colander and base again to separate the cherries from the jelly juice. I filled the jelly jars and processed them.


Jelly juice...
I skimmed off the foam.

Jelly done! Recipe below...
I reserved the cherries for chutney.


6 cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
  (Note that you are only using the juice for jelly which will yeild about 3 1/2 cups of juice)

1/2 cup water*
Sure-Jell
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar**

Stem and pit the cherries. Place cherries water and sure-jell into a large stock pot. Stir until the sure-jell is dissolved and cook over medium to medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Add all the sugar at once and return to a boil. I let mine cook down for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully strain the cherries and reserve them for some chutney or jam. Spoon the juice or pour into jars. I yielded 3 half pints and a 4 ounce jar from this batch. You can either process the jars of preserves in a water bath for 10 minutes, or store in the refrigerator. 
* I used frozen cherries from last year's batch, so I didn't need to add water. If you use fresh cherries, add a little water to dissolve the sure-jell and start the process of breaking down the cherries.

** 
Depending on how ripe the cherries are, you may use more or less sugar. These cherries are a little tart, so I used about 4 1/2 cups. Taste and adjust the sugar.