It looks like I'm going to join Two for Tuesdays, a Real Food blog carnival hosted by Girlichef. I'm hoping the carnival will result in me finding some great new blogs to follow and I can share those new recipes with my you, my readers, through my daily tweets.
For Two for Tuesdays, I'll be linking to previously posted recipes at the Haggis and the Herring.
My parents friends dropped by to see the new place and, of course, had to bring lunch with them. Serafina is an excellent cook, so there weren't any complaints. There were home made sausages and an excellent zucchini dish that, fortunately, my mom also knows how to make (and passed on the instructions). The Zucchini dish is very simple but so tasty when the zucchini is fresh.
I was also lucky to have some help with this dish. Shakina, my cousins' dog did a great job of looking cute while I cooked.
I think it's time to put this microwave pickling habit to bed. Immediately after sealing the jalapenos in the jar, I immediately started on the regular bread and butter pickles pulling bits and pieces from a few recipes I've already used.
One thing that struck me (and should've been obvious) is that unless the cucumbers are in season and it's easy to buy them in bulk at a market, it's not cheaper to make them yourself. The eight mini cucumbers cost me $2.49 (on sale at No-Frills).
Of course, there's the satisfaction that I made them myself that makes up for the cost.
I don't think I'm ready for a large pickling project this year, but maybe next year I'll actually buy a large quantity of cucumbers, a very large pot and some mason jars.
Bread and Butter Pickles
6-8 small cucumbers sliced into 1/2 cm rounds
1 medium onion, thinly slice
2/3 c white vinegar
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sea salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 cardamom pod, bruised
Place cucumber and onion in a large microwave-safe dish. In a separate bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together and pour on top of cucumber and onion mixture.
Microwave on high for four minutes.
Stir, and microwave on high for an additional 3 minutes.
Empty bowl into sterilized mason jars and let cool before refrigerating.
It looks like my tweeting tasty items has paid off. Meredith decided to (not) bake some no-bake cookies from Baking with Sneakers, to bring to Penny's for a long-weekend dinner. Most of the cookies turned out, however, the last bit of mixture in the bowl got a little dry and wouldn't hold together.
Lucky for me, the recipe has some of my favourite ingredients for dessert (chocolate and peanut-butter), so the extra remains will stick around for a dessert topping. Reminds me of the Officer Reese skit from Family Guy where the cop shoots two car crash victims who got one's peanut butter in the other's chocoate, and vice-versa.
It's also the first dessert being prepared in the Haggis and the Herring's new location and kitchen.
No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup soy milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oats
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup rice krispies or equivalent cereal
Combine oil, sugar, milk and cocoa and bring to a boil. Let simmer for one minute.
Remove from stove-top, add peanut butter and mix until melted.
Add remaining ingredients and stir.
Drop spoonfulls of mixture onto parchment paper or a SILPAT nonstick baking mat and refrigerate until firm.
The sweet pickles from a few weeks back were such a success, I wanted to try some more pickle recipes using the same method (I found an interesting method of making pickles in the microwave at The Colors of Indian Cooking).
My favourite type of pickles (aside from the obvious dill in brine) are bread and butter pickles. While looking for a recipe that I could easily adapt, I also found a recipe for bread and butter style pickled jalapeno peppers at Simply Recipes. I opted to scale the recipe down a bit because I didn't have enough jars.
When the peppers colled, I tasted one and it's not bad. Not super-hot and the pickling gave it a nice tang.
Jalapeno Bread and Butter Pickles
1/2 lb jalapeno peppers, sliced vertically and seeded
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 star anise
1 cardamom pod, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
Place peppers and onion in a large microwave-safe dish. In a separate bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together and pour on top of cucumber and onion mixture.
Microwave on high for two minutes.
Stir, and microwave on high for an additional minute.
Empty bowl into sterilized 500ml mason jar and let cool before refrigerating.
At the time of writing, we're getting close to our big move. With half of the kitchen packed, Meredith on a limited diet, and both of us running around like maniacs, it's been difficult finding time to research and test new ideas or formalize old standards. This week I'm going to cheat, and I'm justifying it because it's with a cuisine that I generally suck at anyway.
When I first started cooking, the bottled or canned sauce was a big friend of mine. I didn't realize how much fun it is creating my own mixtures from scratch. Several years ago, I discovered the Aroy-D brand of Thai curries. They're actually quite good, especially when you need to make something quick.
Also a big bonus for me: it's one of the few ways I can eat Thai without going to a restaurant or asking a friend to make it for me. Dunno why, I'm just not good at Thai.
Vegetable Green Curry
1 can Aroy-D Green Curry
1 sweet potato, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup broccoli
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 tbsp fresh cilantro (for garnish)
In a deep pan, bring the green curry sweet potato and carrots to a boil, cover and reduce to medium. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add broccoli, cover, and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce to low, add snow peas, red pepper and mushrooms. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
If potato and carrot are not soft enough to pierce with a fork, simmer the mixture for an additional 2-4 minutes.