Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Refrigerator Pickles with Jalapenos & Garlic

Last week's farm box had several cucumbers, more than I knew I would chop for salads. I did a quick google search for easy pickles and I found this recipe. I think it's a prety quick, basic recipe. It doesn't involve an official canning process- I made the brine like liquid and put everything in a very large ziploc bag for several days. I actually forgot about them, pickling away in the bottom of my vegetable crisper until today. I tried one and they were good! Spicy even! My addition of jalapenos, garlic, and red pepper flakes really made a difference.

I put them in small canning jars so I can give some to my sister and maybe my Mom if I see her soon. I plan on snacking on them whenever possible :)

You can see that I cut some spears but also some rounds. I wasn't sure what I would use them for so I did several different cuts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birthday Dessert

Jim requested his favorite dessert, his beloved Chocolate Intensity Cake. I also just had to make an ice cream and I decided to make a ginger flavored ice cream- White Chocolate & Fresh Ginger. I used an extra little bit of ginger because he loves it so much and I also added a splash of his ginger liqueur, knowing that alcohol helps an ice cream stay smooth and creamy (it doesn't freeze rock solid).

The Chocolate Intensity Cake is a cake I've made several times. It's a flourless chocolate cake- I don't even know if it's cake-like, its a buttery chocolate :) The ingredient list is short- lots of butter, lots of bittersweet chocolate, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Like the name, its just chocolate intensity. And then there is a chocolate ganache on top. Yum.

So the ice cream was pretty intense too. It was definitely gingery. The picture may look simple but the flavors were very in your face. A little of each goes a long way! The cake makes a single 9 inch cake, and it probably has 8-10 servings.

Click here for the stolen recipe for White Chocolate & Fresh Ginger Ice Cream, from none other than David Lebovitz, though this is NOT in the ice cream bible The Perfect Scoop.

This Chocolate Intensity cake was from last year's Father's Day. I wonder why I didn't blog about it before??

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vegetable Fried Rice

For my husband's birthday today he requested a few things- Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chocolate Intensity Cake (have I really not blogged about this one yet?? tomorrow...), and White Chocolate Ginger Ice cream (will blog about this one tomorrow). I decided that I would try to make a fried rice side dish and found a perfect recipe on a cooking blog. I liked that I used mostly fresh vegetables and didn't use a frozen mix. I could have, but I actually kind of like my vegetables tender crisp. The peas were frozen though. I love me some peas.

My in-laws came over for dinner so I wanted to make a dinner that was relatively low fuss while they were here. I hate to be fussing in the kitchen when there are guests. I chopped all of the vegetables ahead of time, made the steamed rice in the morning, and then made the entire dish early. I reheated the fried rice, which kind of felt like cheating, but it was worth it. The sweet and sour chicken was also made ahead of time because it does take an hour to slow bake.

So dinner was a success! Jim said he really, really liked the fried rice. It was some effort to assemble but I like having the option of making all of this at home instead of ordering take-out :) I know, take-out is easier but I'm sure my version was healthier!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's in your veggie drawer?

I'm posting this because I saw this topic on one of my new favorite blogs.

I have to admit that I just have too much in my vegetable drawers right now.

On the left I have my grocery store vegetables: bell pepper, lemons, cucumber, cabbage, ginger, carrot sticks, green onions.

On the right I have my famer's market and CSA farm share items: lemon cucumbers, a few different kinds of squash, swiss chard, kohlrabi, and way underneath I have some cucumbers that I'm making into pickles. I used two English cucumbers from my CSA box. I'll share that recipe in a few days when I've tasted them.

On the shelf above the drawers: sweet corn from the grocery store (MN grown), CSA broccoli, CSA lettuce blends, farmer's market sugar snap peas.

To use up some vegetables tonight we're having Dijon potato salad, oven fried chicken, and probably some grilled zucchini. I'm also going to chop up that kohlrabi and just try it raw like some of my FB friends suggested.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quick Watermelon Sangria

This is my own recipe! I had a HUGE craving for 7up on my way home from FMSC. No, I am not pregnant. I think it was a hot day and I was thirsty. I started thinking about the wine in my fridge and the watermelon cubes that were just waiting to be used. I mixed all of those together and I find it very yummy.

3-4 watermelon cubes
1/3 glass red wine (I have a Red Truck mini barrel, it's like a little keg in my fridge!)
2/3 glass 7up
handful of frozen blackberries

As the watermelon cubes melt it gets kind of frothy and chunky on the bottom. Yum. I suppose these are a little on the weak side but I'm not the biggest drinker. They appealed because they were fruity and cold! My first glass went down so well! Who am I kidding? I've just finished my second glass! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watermelon Juice popsicles & cubes

Watermelon was on sale and I bought a whole big one but I didn't think we'd eat it all. I was right. I cut about 1/4 of it into cubes and threw it in the blender. My friend Ann had given me some popsicle molds so that was my plan. I also knew that I should make some ice cubes with the juice because they would be great in sangria :)

Peach Ice Cream

David Lebovitz. Love him. Another great ice cream recipe. I really liked this recipe because I didn't need to make a custard. Ice creams are worth the work but sometimes it's just nice to mix some ingredients together and churn it later. Yay!

Simple- peaches, sugar, heavy cream, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla. Yum! The ice cream was light and just peachy enough. It only used 4 peaches and they were great peaches, just from the grocery store. We aren't lucky enough to have peach trees in MN- not that I know of..


I've made this before but we just love it. The flavors are just incredible and it feels like a treat to eat it but it's not bad for you, I don't think. Chipotle Lime Chicken tacos. Yum.

It seemed like a bad idea to have the oven on for several hours on a hot day but really it was only at 250 degrees and it didn't make a difference.

This was the sauce after the blender. I could have used it just like that but I knew it would just get better after a few hours getting happy with the chicken in the oven.

Taco fixings: sour cream, lime wedges, extra sauce, cilantro, tomatoes (I had lots to use up) with lime juice and cilantro.

Mmmmm, leftovers!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blackberry Cheesecake

Cub has blackberries, 2 for $1. ONE DOLLA! So I bought four packages and didn't have a plan. I figured ice cream or jam. The very next day Pioneer Woman posted a Blackberry Cheesecake recipe as if she read my freaking mind about blackberries.

I decided to go mini and freeze most of them. I also decided to make half a recipe since I also have banana bread and zucchini bread I can make (and freeze, give away probably too.)

Jim and I had a mid afternoon snack of one mini each. We are freezing the rest- probably for tomorrow! Ha.

The cheesecake is the easiest, basic (and very creamy) cheesecake recipe yet. I can see myself making this one again and drizzling hot fudge sauce on it. Or some other fruits. Endless possibilities- thanks PW!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Blackberry Cheesecake.

My modifications- mini cheesecakes at 375 for 15 minutes. I drizzled the sauce on each cheesecake and refrigerated for an hour before popping them out. I baked the second round of cheesecakes soon after.

Oh! And another use for my pancake pen- I put the cheesecake batter in the pancake pen and I was able to squirt out the batter so neatly and quickly. LOVE!