Saturday, August 28, 2010


This is the recipe I got from mom and she received it from someone else.  I am not sure who deserves the original credit.

Rinse and wash pickling cucumbers thoroughly.

Combine 3.5 c. vinegar, 6.5 c. water and 1/2 c. pickling salt and boil for 15 minutes

Sanitize jars

Pack jars with dill at the bottom, then cucumbers, more dill at the top, garlic clove (peeled) and 1 Tbsp. sugar. - all of this should be 1 inch below the top of the jar.

Cap with sterile lids.

Bring your canner water to a boil and then turn it off 15 minutes prior to immersing jars.  Let the jars sit in the water overnight, preferably outside.

The next morning remove you sealed pickle jars from the canner.

Choke-Cherry Syrup

First for this recipe you need to live in an area where you can find the berries because you have to pick them yourself.

Rinse 12 lbs of choke-cherries run them through a food grinder so that the pit breaks and you can smell a nutty smell. A hand meat grinder works perfect.  Add 3 oz. tartaric acid and 2 qts water.
Let it sit for 48 hours.
Next strain the mixture through a cheese cloth or in my case the corner of a clean pillow case.

For every one cup of juice add 1.5 cups sugar.

Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Pour into jars and can in a hot-water bath canner for 20 minutes.


This is my favorite syrup, EVER!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Solely Delicious - Cream Carmel Popcorn

Last summer Mom and I attended a class on how to make snowflakes out of stiffened fabric. They were really pretty, but an awful lot of work...if I were ever to make them again, I'd just use paper. What we really got out of the class, however, was an AMAZING Carmel Popcorn recipe. I tried it today, and it is WAY too tasty not to fact I'm sharing it with my church class today :).

2 Cups sugar
1 Cup real butter
1 3/4 Cup corn syrup
2 Cups cream - divided

10 Cups popped corn (I used more like 15, and it probably would have been easier to manage if I'd used 20)
1 Cup sliced almonds
2 cups ribbon coconut (the big flakes that you can get in the bins at the Real Food Store)

Combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and 1 cup cream. Bring to a rolling boil. SLOWLY add remaining cup of cream so boiling doesn't stop. Cook to soft ball stage. Pour half over 10 cups of popcorn, ribbon coconut and sliced almonds. Mix well, then add the remaining popcorn and Carmel and mix again (this last bit, wasn't in the original instructions, but it's the way Mom and Dad always do it, and it's much more successful than trying to manipulate all of the Carmel and all of the popcorn all at once). Stir well and spread to cool. I spread mine out on waxed paper to cool, and that was a mistake (it stuck to the waxed paper), next time I'll just spray the counter with some cooking no stick spray and I think that will be more successful. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chipotle Black Bean-Barley Soup

I've tried several of the Green Smoothie Girl's recipes, and I have not yet been disappointed in any of her salads, but I haven't been as big of a fan of her other recipes. This one, however, was really tasty. I forgot to soak beans the night before, and I didn't feel like waiting an hour to eat (it was already time to eat when I started cooking) so I just used canned beans and added them towards the end. I also used pearled barley, because I couldn't find hulled barley in the tiny store in my town, but in the end it was probably a good thing because it cooked much more quickly than I anticipated. I also couldn't find dry chipotle peppers or chipotle sauce, so I used canned chipotle peppers, and took a couple out, added water, blended them up and used that as the chipotle sauce. Also, I pureed the peppers with some of the soup as she says you can, and this made it pretty hot, but it wasn't so unbearable that I couldn't eat it. I rather enjoyed the kick it had to it; but I'll admit that I wished I'd made corn bread to go with it because it kicked hard!

2 C dry black beans, rinsed well
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
3 dried chipotle chilies
2 tsp hot chipotle sauce
8 C water
2 bay leaves
1/2 C barley (hulled, not pearled - pearling partially refines the grain)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C fresh orange juice
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Soak the black beans overnight, then drain and rinse well. Heat coconut oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add the oregano, cumin, chilies, and sauce and saute for 1 minute. Add the water, bay leaves, beans, and barley. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Stir in the cocoa powder, cinnamon, orange juice, cilantro, vinegar, and salt and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered. Remove the dried chipotle peppers before serving (either throw them away or puree them with a bit of soup and add them back in). Optionally serve with Cornbread or Whole Wheat Biscuits.

Spinach-Orzo Ensalata

Oh this is so tasty! I think I could eat it every day for every meal and never grow tired of it.
1 C uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil it approx 6-7 minutes and rinse well to keep grains separate, then cool)
10+ C spinach (about 2 10-oz. bags, chopped)
1 pkg. fresh basil, cut into ribbons
2 tomatoes, diced small
1 can black olives sliced
2 oz. capers (half a 4-oz. jar), drained
1/2 C raw pine nuts
optional: shaved Parmesan to taste

Tangy Dill Dressing
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1/4 C fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. dried (or 1/4 C fresh) dill weed

Toss all salad ingredients except optional Parmesan. Blend dressing ingredients. Add dressing to taste and toss. Top each plate with saved Parmesan if desired.

So, that's the original recipe. Because I'm cheap and lazy and there's only one of me, I do things a little differently. I half the recipe, substitute pumpkin seeds for pine nuts (since they cost an arm and a leg right now), I add more tomatoes than it originally calls for, and I use frozen orange juice from concentrate in my dressing and it all turns out just fine. Oh yeah, and when Mom and I made the dill dressing from the fresh dill weed she has in her garden it turned the most beautiful green color! I eat the Tangy Dill Dressing on everything. It is delicious!

Pesto Sauce

Lisa asked for this recipe, so I thought, why not make it easily accessible to all. Our dear Silly Witch did an excellent preparing it while we were at home, didn't she?

2 cups fresh basil leaves*
2 medium cloves of garlic - peeled and minced
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

*May substitute cilantro

Directions: Blend on high speed in blender, or, if you have a Blendtec just hit hte Sauces/Dips button.