Archives for the month of: August, 2011

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Canned quartered peaches (left) and peach pie filling (right)

Continuing on my crazy canning kick, I decided to take advantage of cheap peaches and made up a large batch of peach pie filling and then just canned the rest mostly whole, in juice, for my fruit-crazy daughter to eat this winter.

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Blueberry buttermilk cake, from this recipe.
We went blueberry picking yesterday, and while most of our harvest is destined to become pie filling or jam, I wanted to try out some new recipes as well. I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose because that’s all I had on hand.  I’m not sure if it was the change in flour or not, but my batter was so thick I had to thin it with an additional 1/4 c. of buttermilk before I could fold in the blueberries and spread it in a pan.  It turned out a tad bit dense, but I don’t think anyone noticed, as the 9-inch square pan barely lasted 24 hours.
This recipe was another Pinterest find.  I’ve decided that I’m going to start forcing myself to actually make more of the things I pin, instead of just drooling over them.  The catch, of course, is that just about everything I pin is crazy fattening.  Oh well.  The things we do for art. 😉

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From left: row 1, roasted red pepper spread; rows 2-3, strawberry-vanilla jam; rows 4-5, mango-peach chutney.

One thing I am absolutely loving about living in the PNW is the amazing produce to be found at every turn!  Yesterday, Troy took the kiddo out and about for most of the afternoon so that I could have a crazy canning spree.  I loaded up on red peppers at the local produce market the other day, then roasted & pureed them and stuck them in the fridge.  It took me forever to get them all peeled and seeded, but I was really glad I had that part out of the way so I could cook the recipe (from Ball’s website) the day of and can it while hot. I probably didn’t cook it down enough, since I got more than the 5 half-pints they listed, but it seemed plenty thick. I also felt it was a wee bit too sour, so I added a bit of sugar to counter it.

I had 4 lbs of strawberries in the fridge that I’d found on super sale, so when someone mentioned on strawberry-vanilla jam on Facebook, I knew I had to make it. The recipe is from my friend, Jacki’s blog.  She is more or less my canning guru. 😉

The mango-peach chutney was supposed to originally be jam, but since I lost a few peaches to mold and we had frozen samosas in the freezer, I called an audible and changed it up at the last minute. The recipe is mostly based on the one found here.  I didn’t have any peppers, plus I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy stuff, so I subbed a tiny pinch of cayenne.

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Chicken spaghetti, from Pioneer Woman.
Up until about 5 years ago, I’d never heard of chicken spaghetti.  I’m not sure if it’s a Texas thing or a Southern thing or what, but whatever the case, I’ll take it.  My parents never cooked a lot of “American” food when I was growing up, but the one thing my mom did make was tuna casserole.  I know most people groan at the thought, but it was a big treat for my brother and me, and I think that’s where my weird fondness for casseroles come from.

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Blueberry Lemon Drop, from Duke’s Chowder House.

We had some friends visiting from out-of-town yesterday, so we took advantage of the lovely weather and walked over to Duke’s to have some drinks on the deck. These were super delicious and refreshing, almost like candy (yes, I like girl drinks), and since they were half-off for Happy Hour, I had three. 🙂

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Toasted rosemary focaccia with caramelized onion jam & goat cheese.

Walla walla onions were on sale the other day, so I bought a bunch thinking I’d make some kind of caramelized onion tart. But then the urge to start a crazy canning spree kicked in, and instead I made an caramelized onion jam with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. I had just finished processing them when I read that certain fruits and vegetables need to be pressure canned for proper storage safety, so I got paranoid and stuck the few jars this yielded in my fridge.

However, that being said, this jam is absolutely fabulous, especially with the goat cheese, which cuts the sweetness nicely. Troy declared that I should start selling it immediately so we could be rich. I’m thinking it may make for a nice ‘signature’ gift, but will need to invest in a pressure canner first.