Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flavored Vinegar with Peppers and Onions

This book looks familiar because it is just like the mustard book, only for vinegar. I purchased both books at Powell's many years ago, knowing I would journey back to where I am going. I have been going "home" since I returned to Vancouver in 2003. A lot of steps along the way, but each day the journey takes me closer to my kind of home.

A home where food is cooked with fresh ingredients, and served with pride. Where furnishings are comfortable and you can put your feet on the coffee table, while you sip your coffee. Or eat a slice of pie, or sip a glass of wine.

Today I made seasoned vinegar with pepper and onions.  This is a wonderful flavored vinegar to keep on hand.

Vinegar with Peppers and Onion
adapted from:  Gourmet Vinegars
makes 1 qt finished vinegar

1 green pepper, chopped fine
1 yellow pepper, chopped fine
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced thin
1 quart vinegar

The onion and peppers vinegar is on the left. 

The resting time is 4 - 6 weeks.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Mustard, a true confession (Maker's Mark Mustard)

That little jar looks innocent, doesn't it? Well it is innocent, it has done nothing wrong, but it also happens to be a quart. Yep, you read it right a QUART. Who makes a quart of homemade mustard? Only someone like me, that has no idea when they first begin, actually how to do it.

So here is the confession, I love mustard. I like to do things myself. So the next step was homemade mustard.

After we installed the spice racks, I had lots of mustard seed. Most of the pre-filled jars were emptied into the garbage, save the mustard seeds. The mustard seeds still smelled good and being frugal.....

In a moment of frugal glory, I thought, make homemade mustard.

There was about 1 1/2 c of mustard seed. No big deal I thought at the time. I poured them into a plastic container and poured the last of the Marker's Mark whiskey (left from several Christmas' ago) over the top, put the lid on and left them alone. I would shake it up every now and again. When they had taken up the liquid, it was mustard making time. During the resting time, I researched mustard making on the internet. What I learned right away, is that it does not take a lot of mustard seed to make a small jar of mustard. My brain began thinking about that 2 cup container of drunk seeds...........

This morning I dumped the whole mess into the food processor. It sure looks like a lot! Then I began to grind and process. Let me tell you this right now, mustard seeds are hard little things, even when they have partied for a couple of weeks.

Another thing I learned is that the ratio is about 3:1. Three parts liquid to one part mustard. I like my mustard on the sturdy side, thick enough that when I dip a knife into the jar, the mustard will mound a bit onto the knife and not run off like a sauce.

Ultimately here is what is in the quart jar,

1 1/2 c mustard seeds
1/2 c Maker's Mark
2/3 c water
2/3 c cider vinegar
2 t salt
2 T French Thyme
3/4 c honey

Grind, age, enjoy.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jam Sweet Loaf

I had spotted this gem over at Seasonal Ontario Food, and knew it was a recipe to keep and get around to making.

Ferdzy says that it is great for "failed" jam, but then goes on to explain that would include jam or marmalade that you have grown tired of or just don't like enough to eat as jam and marmalade. It goes together so quick and easy, and is frugal as well.

I have really enjoyed baking with the white whole wheat flour. Such a wonderful product. I could never find regular whole wheat fresh enough, it was always on the bitter side, even right when it came home from the store.

Jam Tea Loaf
350 oven
adapted from Seasonal Ontario Food

1 c jam
1/3 c oil
1 egg

2 1/2 c whole wheat flour, or 1/2 and 1/2 with white
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

3/4 c milk

Place flours, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, add jam, oil and the egg. Pour on 1/2 of the milk, mix well, add remaining milk, mix well but do not over beat.

Spoon into a prepared loaf pan. Bake 45 - 60 minutes. A standard loaf pan will most likely take the full hour, a thinner loaf pan like the one above will not take as long. Let cool 15 minutes and turn out to cool

Serve with butter or cream cheese and jam of course! And the leftovers toast up real nice.

As always thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments

Recipe rating:  Oh yes! Will make again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fig and Orange Marmalade

Fig and Orange Marmalade (2 day process)

2 organic oranges
1 c sugar
Chop oranges in a food processor until even and about 1/4 inch, empty out into a bowl, stir in the sugar. Cover and let set over night.

Next day:

31/2 - 4 c whole figs, 

Chop figs, again about 1/4 inch.
Combine figs and orange mixture, add 2 c sugar, 1/4 c brown sugar and 1/2 t nutmeg, along with the juice of 1 lemon. Bring to a boil, stir, lower heat to simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid, stir well. Continue to cook on low stirring as needed until mixture thickens and begins to hold it's shape. 45-60 minutes. Prepare jars lids and boiling water bath kettle.

Ladle the marmalade into 6 1/2 pt jars, cap and process for 10 minutes.

Honey was home for his dinner break, I asked him to taste this and he said, "tastes like Christmas". It is delicious and I think I will offer it next week for Sunday cafe along with some Gorgonzola cheese for a starter.

As always thanks for taking the time to stop and say hello.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saucepan Salted Pecan Squares

This is a simple, tasty cookie to throw together. It takes 1 saucepan and the pan you bake in. So the clean up is easy.

Saucepan salted pecan squares
350 degree oven

1/4 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
3/4 c flour
1 c pecan halves
sea salt grinder

Place pecan halves in a  7X11 pan, place in oven and turn oven on to preheat, toast pecans for about 8-9 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Melt butter in medium size saucepan, stir in brown sugar, set aside to cool.

Remove pecans from oven, empty onto cutting board to begin cooling. Set pan aside to cool.

Chop coarsely, and reserve.

Stir remaining ingredients into egg mixture.

Beat until smooth.

Pour batter into the same 7X11 pan (I sprayed with pan spray), smooth into corners of the pan.

Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over top. Gently push them down into the batter. Carefully grind a small amount of sea salt over entire surface. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool, cut into 24 pieces.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)
As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your comments!

This post is shared with:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

first day of school sharing

Well I never want to be called an obnoxious grandmother, but today, what the hey!

Today this bright, happy, dressed all in pink young girl started the first day of her new "job".

She started school.

She explained to me, when we spoke tonight. "I go back again tomorrow".

Day one complete, now only 6569 more days and then my dear,

you start your second "job".



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Green and Gold Chowder

I love having grated zucchini in the freezer. But I thought how can this be used, that does not require sugar? Because let's face it, dessert is an easy decision, in my house especially. My next thought was, OK let's make soup, or in this case chowder.

1 large onion, diced 1/4 inch
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T oil

In a large kettle or stock pot, saute until translucent and just beginning to turn golden. Set pan off burner, if not ready to proceed. You do not want golden onion soup.

2 c diced (1/4 inch) yellow summer squash - about 2
4 c diced zucchini - this could be the monster that got away or simply enough small ones
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1 T thyme, grind in a pestle
about 6 turns on a pepper mill, or to taste
1 tsp salt or to taste (I ended up using a full tablespoon, this is a lot of soup)
3 potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
boiling water to cover

Add to the onion, bring to a boil. Simmer 1 hour or you may use a crockpot. ( I put it in a crockpot for 4 hrs on high, we headed out to go antiquing!)

2 c frozen corn
1 c frozen peas

Bring soup back to a boil, add corn. Cook 5 minutes, add peas and cook another 5 minutes.

2 cans of evaporated milk
1/3 c flour

Combine flour with 1/2 can of milk, stir until no lumps remain. Work in remaining milk and the second can of milk. When peas have cooked, stir in milk mixture and simmer until thickened.

You have a pot of delicious vegetable chowder. Frugal and yummy. This will freeze just fine, thaw in the refrigerator and heat gently.

Makes 1 gallon

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Todays jam is Peach Marsala

Peach Marsala jam
5 very large peaches
1/3 c Marsala
1 T lemon juice
1 pkg pectin
5 c sugarCrush peaches, stir in wine, lemon and pectin, boil 1 minute, add sugar bring to a "hard" boil, boil 1 minute stirring constantly.
Remove any foam around the edge of the pan. Fill your jars, lid and cap, process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
This is such a side benefit to jam making, a little bit to eat right now.

This was the last of the summer jams. I will now move on to chutneys and fall crop marmalade.

But right now it looks like it is clean up time.

And look what I was given, I can't believe it. Now I will have enough rhubarb for a couple of batches of our family favorite, Rhubarb and Red Grapefruit jam.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by! This has been an unusually happy Saturday, it has been a great deal of fun being on Perfect Pantry.