Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fresh Fridge Pickles

I like cucumbers.  My daughter LOVES them.  My husband won't touch them.  My son can't even stand to be in the same room as them.  Very rarely does a food cause such a divide in our house.

We've had a decent amount of cucumbers come our way this summer, and with only two of us eating them, I was definitely tiring of the chopped-on-salad variety and ready for something new.  This easy pickle recipe almost seemed too good to be true.  With so few ingredients, there was certainly no harm in trying.  I absolutely loved them, and so did my neighbors who helped taste test with me. They were so good that I made a second batch.

Note: This recipe uses and yields 2 quart-sized mason jars.  I halved the recipe based on the number of cucumbers I had.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8-10 pickling cucumbers or 5-6 regular cucumbers
  • 6 cloves of garlic, cut in half
  • 2 cups seasoned rice vinegar*
  • large bunch of fresh dill, washed.
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Wash and trim ends off cucumbers and cut into ⅛ inch slices.
  2. Put garlic slices in each mason jar and fill halfway up with cucumbers.
  3. Stuff a large handful of dill into jars.
  4. Add the rest of the cucumber and pour 1 cup of seasoned rice vinegar into each jar.
  5. Tightly put the lid on the jar and shake 2-3 times to blend the flavors.
  6. Place in fridge for 1 hour, shake again. The salt in the seasoned rice vinegar with draw out the cucumber juice so the jar will be full of liquid in a few hours. After about 2-3 hours, they taste pretty good, however they are far superior if left overnight.
*Please note: Seasoned Rice vinegar has both salt and sugar in it. If you prefer a more savory taste, use white vinegar instead and add 2 teaspoons of kosher or sea salt to each jar.


We may have eaten a few before this picture was taken...oops.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 10 minutes prep, 3+ hours resting time
Source: http://nancynewcomer.com/2014/09/01/fresh-easy-fridge-pickles/

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Breakfast Cookies

These cookies are awesome.  I first tried these cookies at work when I was having a rough day; my coworker told me to take two since they were small.  They appeared again at an end of year breakfast.  I will admit to actually putting a few leftovers in a baggie for my husband to try (the breakfast cookies were so good that I broke my rule about taking items from the staff room).  John loved them.  So I begged for the recipe, which I lost-twice.  After finally finding the recipe again, I made the cookies to rave reviews from the entire family.

These cookies have been great in lots of different situations for my family; they have worked perfectly for everyone. My husband and I are runners;two of these cookies are great as we head out on our long runs.  Then, I  made them for new neighbors as they were unloading their U-Haul.
Just yesterday, I made them for my friend who is always shuttling her boys to practices and games.

Everyone has enjoyed them. 

While I'd love to say them I can eat breakfast at home with my kids each morning, it is too hard given our early departure time. These cookies are easy to grab and go as well as being filling as we head to a packed day of school and work.



INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t pure almond extract
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup flaked baking coconut
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1 T chia seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugars.   Add eggs and extracts; beat well.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and oats. Mix.
  4. Fold in remaining ingredients and stir until blended.
  5. Drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheets. Bake for 14-16 minutes. 


DIFFICULTY: Medium..mostly because there are a lot of ingredients.  I often make two batches, one to eat and one to freeze. 
TIME: 15 minute prep; 15 minute baking time
SOURCE: I adapted this recipe from my friend; my changes were to make the recipe more clean. 

NOTE: If you don't have coconut oil, you can use 2 sticks of butter.  Also, you could exchange the honey for 1/2 cup sugar.