Friday, July 29, 2016

Brown Sugar Banana Pop

I saw this one Whole Foods You Tube Channel.  I changed it up just a bit but still mainly the same thing.  Its very good.

Brown Sugar Banana Pop

3 bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pour some of the banana mixture into your mold.  Spoon in brown sugar mixture.  Layer more banana mixture.  Spoon in a final layer of brown sugar mix.  Finally, the last of the banana mixture. Freeze for at least 8 hours.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Make whatever size you like.  You can easily halve this.  I did two large containers because once everyone tastes these, then they go like crazy.  Today, I sent a few on with the family as they headed out for a picnic.  Me?  Yes, well, I stayed home and painted my bedroom.  Yeah!  I really wanted to go but I have been wanting to paint our Master bedroom for ten years.  Yup, ten years, where did the time go?  By the time this posts everything will be done and back in the room.  Right now I am writing with blue, paint stained fingers waiting for things to dry before I go on to Round 2.

The amount of cucumbers will vary depending on how you slice them or if you leave them whole.

About a 1/2 peck of cucumbers, give or take
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes per jar
8 cloves of garlic, minced- I used cheater garlic
2 large sprigs of dill fern or dill heads per container
2 quarts or 64 ounces water
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar, white or apple cider
1/2 teaspoon alum

Slice up all of your cucumbers, discarding the ends.  The blossom end will continue to ripen your cukes, making for soggy pickles.  Place heads of dill at bottom of jars as well as garlic and chili flakes.  Pack in your cucumber slices.  Bring water, sugar, vinegar and salt to a boil.   Boil for one minute.  Pour into prepared cucumber jars. Cover, let sit until it reaches room temperature.  Place in refrigerator.  They will be ready with their full flavor in five days

Saturday, July 23, 2016


I am sure this is not entirely authentic but so delicious, nevertheless. I did not put in the usual mung bean sprouts.  Couldn't find them. These flavors are amazing.  To the average American, putting fish sauce in with mangoes is not necessarily appealing.  If you have never tried Thai, it's worth taking that taste risk. Something about the way the lime, cilantro and fish sauce play together that makes it absolutely appealing.  You will find this combination in other Asian dishes as well.

I totally will make this again but add in mung bean sprouts, carrots and maybe even lettuce.


1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews
2 firm mangoes , sliced thinly
1 sweet red pepper, thinly slice
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons basil, Thai basil if you have it
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar, grated palm sugar, even better
1 teaspoon minced hot pepper
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Toss the mangoes, red pepper, green onions, mint, basil and cilantro.  In a separate bowl whisk together the  dressing ingredients.  Stir into the mango mixture.  Sprinkle cashews over top. Serve with lime wedges.

One of my very dear friends shared with me 9 big, beautiful cloves of garlic from her garden.  I dutifully planted them in the Fall of last year.  I was rewarded with scapes in the Spring that I blitzed in the food processor with oil and froze.  (By the way, they lose their pungency after they have been frozen, which is a good thing for me because they are very strong) I was also rewarded these 8, huge garlic bulbs.  My biggest and best cloves will go to planting so that I can increase my garlic yield next year!  Yeah.  Garlic is one of the most expensive things at the market.  I have tried planting it before but for the last couple years when I went to look for it in the Fall to plant, I could not find any. They were bought out.  A few years before that I gave garlic a try with organic garlic from the store. I don't know if they were the right variety for our climate but I got very small heads. It was supremely disappointing.  This year though, EUREKA!  Thanks to my good friend, J.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Buffalo Style Cauliflower Bites

It is AH-mazing how fast we go through Frank's Red Hot Sauce.  I'm not saying this to be paid for it by the way.  I am saying this because it is the truth.  I have always loved it.  Now my dh and 10 year old daughter go through it like crazy.

In the 80's, I started to sprinkle it on my popcorn as a butter alternative.  I nearly always do that when I eat popcorn.  Its my favorite.  Why not sprinkle on cauliflower says all the pics on Pinterest that I have seen.  Of course! For my other daughter this could be a real boom to her vegetable eating. I am waiting until she gets up to see how that goes... I'll let yah know.

For me, these juicy, Buffalo style cauliflower bites ROCK THE HOUSE.  Swoon! This will be made over and over again in this house I can tell already.

Buffalo Style Cauliflower Bites

1 small head of cauliflower
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt to taste

Heat oven to 400F.  While it is heating, melt butter in microwave and then, mix in Franks Red Hot Sauce and lemon juice.  Stir until combined.  In a bowl combine cauliflower bites with sauce.  Spread on cookie sheet spacing as much as possible.  Place cookie sheet in the middle of the oven, bake 15 minutes, move around on cookie sheet to ensure even roasting.  Sprinkle with salt and place back in the oven for ten to 15 more minutes or so.  You want to make sure it is fork tender before removing.

I sprinkled extra Frank's on mine when I went to eat it.  Yes, it was a very good thing.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bread and Butter Pickles

A friend of mine called and apologized for not calling.  She explained caught up in the summer madness with kids.  No need to apologize, I totally understand.  My summer usually consists of running around with the kids, gardening, canning, freezing, trying to keep up with the chores (note, I said trying) and when there is a moment to, I sew.  Any moment I can squeek into sew I do because it feeds my soul.  There is not a lot of time for other things.  Summer is hectic, there is no getting around that.  Even without kids there is always something to do, somewhere to go. It's good though, I "ain't" complaining.

I really needed to replenish my supply of canned Bread and Butter Pickles.  The supply was getting low.  I had  made a batch years ago.  Yes, I will eat my canned goods way later than a year.  I know many others who do as well.  As long as it looks good and the seal is not broken, then yes, I will use them. Your call.

The color was a little "orangier" than usual.  I used purple onions as I had run out of white.

Bread and Butter Pickles

10 cups chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup Kosher salt or pickling salt
4 medium onions chopped
4 cups white vinegar
2 cups white sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon celery seed

Place cucumbers in sink with cold water. Rub any dirt off. Rinse and drain.
Slice ¼ inch off each end of each cucumber and discard.
Slice the cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices. Slice the onions.
Place the sliced cucumbers and onions in a large pot and stir gently by hand to mix.
Sprinkle salt over the mixture. Mix in.
Cover the mixture with about 2 inches of crushed or cubed ice.
Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours or if it is not too hot in your house, leave on counter.
Meanwhile, wash jars in hot, soapy water. Prep everything else.
In a large pot, add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, stir well. 
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 10 minutes.
Drain cucumbers and onions, rinse well to remove salt and let drain.
Pack cucumber/onions into jars, be firm and get in as much as you can.
Remove from heat and ladle into jars, leaving ¼ inch head space in each jar.
Remove any air bubbles by inserting a wooden spoon along inside edge of the jar.
Wipe top of jar and rim with a clean damp cloth.
Center a lid on the jar. Add the band, and tighten finger tight.
Process jars, using the water bath process, for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from canning pot, set aside for 24 hours.
Test jars for proper seal by seeing if the lid is depressed. Store sealed jars in a cool dark place.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dilled Cucumber Salad

Today was the day of the cucumber. I made bread and butter pickles, then I made refrigerator pickles and what cucumbers I had left, I made this cucumber salad.  I have eaten this type of cucumber salad my whole life.  As far as I know, it is a Polish recipe.  My Grandmother was from Poland.  She made it.  My Mom always made it and now I make it too.  Dont know why it has not found its way onto the blog.  No worries, here it is.  Recorded for the kids and all of you.


5 cups of sliced cucumbers, ends cut off
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 small onion, preferably a purple onion
pepper to taste

Sprinkle the salt all over the cucumbers and onion, let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.  The salt will pull moisture from the cucumbers.  If you dont do this, the sour cream will get watery.  But if you eat it fast enough it doesn't really matter.  I have done it both ways. It really is better if you salt them first.

After the cucumbers have lost some of their juice, rinse them off, squeeze them out and place in serving bowl.  Mix in dill and sour cream.  Season with pepper as desired.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pop's Pickles

I canned these pickles up last year but saved it to write about this summer.  I wanted to see how they tasted in the winter, which is the true test of a pickle.  Is it still crisp?  Does it have good flavor?  Is everything balanced?  These are the things I am looking for in a pickle.

These pickles are a winner.  Totally would make them again.

Based largely on a recipe from Allrecipes

8 pounds pickling cucumbers (Kirby's)
4 cups water
4 cups distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Kosher salt
3 tablespoons pickling spice, tied up in cheese cloth  ( I liked using just mustard & celery seeds)
7 heads of fresh dill
7 cloves of garlic
7- 1 quart canning jars

Place cucumbers in a large pot and cover with ice cubes. Let them sit for at least 2 hours but no more than 8. Drain and pat dry.

Place the water, vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, and pickling spice into a saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the cucumbers into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Place 1 dill head and 1 clove of garlic into each jar. Pour the hot pickling liquid into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim. 

Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings. Be mindful that you want it to be firmly screwed on.  If it is loose, it will leak liquid out in the canning process.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 5 minutes, or the time recommended by your county Extension agent.

Turn off heat, open top and let rest for about five minutes.  I find this helps with the liquid spilling out, rather than lifting it when all the liquid inside of the jars is basically still boiling.  Lift the canner rack to the top. Remove jars.  Place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). If any jars have not sealed properly, refrigerate them and eat within two weeks. Store in a cool, dark area, and wait at least 1 week before opening.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chicken Tacos

I wanted some tacos and I had chicken thighs and we were going to be at the beach.  Some seemingly unrelated, random thoughts, melded together into this idea.  Place in crock pot for the day, while enjoying some beach time with the girls and their friend.  It was a success.  So easy!

Here is my peach salsa.  We love it with chicken.  You can find the recipe here.  I just brightened it up a bit with cilantro and green onions.
My daughter likes to put all her ingredients on her plate in a deonstructed fashion and then load up tortilla chips one at a time.
The meat was very tender and very tasty.  Totally going to make this again, as in real soon.  As my Mother would say, "That tastes like another" and proceeds to have seconds of whatever it is.

Chicken Taco Meat

8 - 10 chicken thighs
1 cup water
2 tablespoons taco seasoning or a packet of it
1 onion quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic
pinch of oregano
1 bay leaf

Pour water in crock pot/slow cooker.
Place chicken thighs over bottom of crock.
Sprinkle taco seasoning and oregano over thighs.
Place quartered onion in different spots between the thighs.
Add bay leaf.
Cover.  Slow cook on low 5 to six hours.
Inhale amazing smell wafting through house.
When ready, remove from slow cooker. Let cool a little.
Take skin off and shred chicken with forks.
Voila, chicken taco meat ready to go.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Sriracha Knots

Our local grocery store, Wegman's, has these amazing sriracha knots.  I can't get enough of them. But at 75 cents a roll, it can get pretty expensive.


Make Slathering Sauce:
3 tablespoons Sriracha (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
1/4 cup butter

Make Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, combine water, olive oil, 1 tablespoon sriracha, yeast, salt and sugar.  Mix together on a low to medium-low speed with a dough hook while adding 1/2 cup of flour at a time until the dough pulls cleanly away from the sides and forms a dough ball, adding slightly more flour of necessary.  Same goes if you are doing it by hand.  The dough should be slightly sticky, and very soft.  To handle it when sticky, water hands.

Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 60 minutes.

Divide the dough in two. Divide each half into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into 8-inch ropes. Tie each piece in a knot and pinch the ends together in front and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You will probably need two baking sheets for this recipe with 8 rolls on each pan. Cover and let rise until doubled again, another 30 minutes.

Take a glob of it and roll it.
Place on baking sheet about two inches apart.  Cover.  I used an equal size baking sheet.  If you use plastic wrap, spray it with nonstick cooking spray.  Preheat oven

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 14 minutes until lightly golden.  Before the rolls finish baking, whisk together the melted butter and 1 to 3 tablespoons sriracha in a small bowl.  Use a pastry brush to brush the melted butter on the rolls just after they come out of the oven.