Tag - food

Pickles!

There are always pickles in the refrigerator in our house. Home from work and need something to tie you over until dinner? Eat a pickle. Finished lunch but it wasn’t quite filling enough and you’re hungry an hour later? Eat a pickle. Purchased 12 mason jars and want to figure out how to start canning? Eat Make a pickle.

I really enjoyed this pickling process and it’s very customizable. It’s a bit time consuming, but not difficult. The hardest part is waiting to see if they’re good! I plan to open the first jar a week after canning to see how the flavor is, if it’s a bit weak, I’ll open the other jars sporadically to see what the sweet spot is. Boiling these jars as a last step is what makes them shelf stable and will allow them to last that long. An update shall come in a few days to determine the success or failure of this recipe.

Pickles!
4 mason jars
3 cups filtered water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coarse salt
3 Tablespoons of fresh dill, chopped
2 Teaspoons red chili flakes
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tablespoons mustard seeds
2 Tablespoons black pepper seeds

1. Wash jars and lids with soap and water. Boil in water to sterilize, if desired.

DSC_0019

2. Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until the salt dissolves to create a brine.

3. Equally distribute the dill, chili flakes, garlic, mustard and pepper seeds into four mason jars.

DSC_0065

DSC_0057

4. Cut up the cucumbers as desired, I used spears and chips. Place them into jars without over crowding.

DSC_0080

5. Pour the brine over the pickles, leaving a quarter of an inch from the top of the jar.

DSC_0083

6. Place the tops on and close, but not too tight. Place jars into a large pot of boiling water, making sure the jars are completely covered. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove and put aside to cool.  DSC_0154

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili

I’m going to be running around today and tomorrow getting a lot done before I start my job on Thursday. I found this recipe because I wanted to make something with a home-style feel but easy to assemble in the Crock Pot while I’m out most of the day. I stirred once in the first hour of cooking, then again when I got home and the chicken was ready to be shredded and served.  When Jason took his first bite he looked at me and said, “oh, hell yeah!” I would consider this a success.

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili
(Recipe credit to SimplexFood)
4 chicken breasts, frozen
2 cans Rotel tomatoes, with chilies
2 cans whole corn kernels, not drained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 packages Ranch dressing mix
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1. Place chicken in the crockpot.

DSC_0699

2. Top with tomatoes, corn, beans, dressing mix, and spices. Stir to combine then top with cream cheese.

DSC_0728

3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring a couple times to blend the cheese.

DSC_0738

4. Shred the chicken into large pieces and serve over brown rice with avocado.

DSC_0770

DSC_0785

Lemon Squares

This recipe came from my cousin, Meghan. She sent it to me saying I would love it, and she was right! These are absolutely delicious. I tend to gravitate toward chocolate desserts but I have a soft spot for lemon-related things too. Jason said he’d prefer more shortbread crust to the lemon, but I like them as they are. Next time I might 1.5x the crust ingredients and see how it goes.

Lemon Squares
(Recipe credit to thekitchn.com)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (or regular flour)
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest from 5 to 6 lemons
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″x8″ or 8″x11″ baking dish with parchment paper (allowing it to go up the sides, not just the bottom).
2. To prepare the crust, beat together the butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) on medium-high speed until they are completely combined and resemble creamy frosting. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed while mixing.
DSC_0578 3. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and salt to the bowl. Beat on low speed just until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture comes together into a dough.
4. Press the dough into the baking dish and make as compact as possible. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges of the shortbread turn golden-brown.
DSC_05845. To prepare the lemon curd. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a small (2-quart) saucepan, then whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to form a smooth mixture. Set a small strainer over a mixing bowl and place next to the stove.DSC_0563 6. Place the pan with the lemon mixture over medium heat. Stir continuously for about 8 minutes until the mixture thickens and registers about 155°F.
7. Strain the heated mixture into the bowl, removing the zest and any clumps from the curd. While the curd is still warm, stir in the butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
8. When the shortbread crust is ready, remove it from the oven and pour the curd over top. Bake at 350°F until the edges of the curd are set, but the middle is still jiggly, 10 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.DSC_0595
DSC_0685

His and Hers Pancakes + Homemade Whipped Cream

Jason and I were both craving pancakes this morning. He loves bananas and Nutella, I prefer strawberries and chocolate chips, so I made his with whole wheat batter and mine with gluten free batter. You can add any toppings to these batter recipes. I’ve used candied walnuts, pecans, blueberries, blackberries, and probably other things I’m not remembering now. Use whatever you prefer!  Each recipe below will make approximately 8 pancakes. I make the full recipe and save half for the next day.

IMG_5439

Whole Wheat Pancake Batter

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Mix dry ingredients together.
2. Mix wet ingredients into the dry.
3. Heat nonstick frying pan and when hot, pour on portions of the pancake mix.
4. Before they start too cook too much, place the toppings onto the batter placed on the pan. Do not overcrowd each pancake with toppings. It’s important that when you flip them, there’s some space for the batter to coat the edges of the toppings.

IMG_5372

IMG_5347

Gluten Free Pancake Batter
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tablespoon flax seed meal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup skim milk

Same instructions as the whole wheat pancakes.
IMG_5388
IMG_5414

Homemade Whipped Cream 
1/2 cup heaving whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Put all ingredients in the bowl of a stand up mixer.
2. Using whisk attachment, turn on high until cream begins to stiffen.
3. Pause the mixer, and use a spatula to mix the ingredients and make sure there isn’t sugar sticking to the bottom of the bowl.
4. Turn machine back on high and mix until peaks form.

IMG_5413

Pad Thai After A Long Day

I had a busy day on Tuesday with a few ups and downs, but the grounding moment was taking a breather at one of my favorite overlooks in the area. It’s Crissy Field right next to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was nice to relax for a minute and remember all of the reasons we came to this area. When I got home I was exhausted but craving something homemade. So I whipped up some shrimp pad thai. Then Jason and I watched Bad Grandpa and laughed our buns off.
IMG_5122

Shrimp Pad Thai
(Recipe inspiration from myrecipes.com)
8 oz uncooled flat rice noodles
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup green onion pieces
8 oz peeled and deveined large shrimp
4 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz bag of mixed asian vegetables (bean sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cabbage)
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts

Seasonings:
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
1 1/2 tablespoon chili and garlic sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1. Cook noodles as stated on the package as well as combine all seasonings in a small bowl and set each aside.
2. Heat oil in a large wok over medium high heat. Add green onions and mixed vegetables. Par-cook vegetables and add garlic, being careful not to burn. Add shrimp and cook until it’s pink, and almost done cooking. Toss with seasonings and cook for one minute. Add noodles and cook again until heated through. Top with peanuts and serve.
IMG_5130