December 17, 2010

Almond Stuff Saffron Pears

This is the first of my new posts on using up what I have made.  I served these for thanksgiving.  The picture is of the last was a little unloved. 

This is so very simple. Once you have the saffron pears made. 

One jar of saffron pears (Mine had 8 pears in it)
1/2 lb almonds
1/2 lb powdered sugar

Place the a cup of almonds and a cup of powdered sugar in a food processor.  Grind until a thick paste.  Repeat until all of the almonds and sugar have been processed.  

Heat the oven to 350.

Remove the pears from the white wine-saffron liquid.  Place the liquid in a baking dish.  Take a spoonful of the almond paste and form into a ball.  Place the paste in the base of the pears (where you removed the seeds).  Place the filled pears in the baking dish.

Cook the pears for 15-20 mins and serve warm.  


December 10, 2010

Spicy Fig Jam

This recipe is inspired by my friend Kenji.  Kenji told me about a tart that involved figs, bourbon and chipotle.  I just had to give it a try.  The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made anytime of the year.  If you have fresh figs you would just cut back on the amount of water. 

Spicy Fig Jam

2 lbs dried figs
3 chipotle peppers, dried
1 c bourbon
4 T lemon juice
1 c sugar
4 c water

Take place the water and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and dissolve the sugar.  Turn off and add the figs and peppers.  When the figs and peppers are rehydrated drain and retain the liquid. Chop the figs and peppers into small pieces.  If you have a food processor this would be a great time to use it. :)  Place the soaking liquid, the bourbon, and lemon juice in the saucepan. Add the fig pepper mixture.  Bring to a low boil.  Place in jar and process for 45 mins.

Note: The lemon juice is to due to figs being Ph neutral.  

December 3, 2010

Apple Cherry Compote with Hazelnuts

This recipe was inspired by Rosalind Creasy's Recipes from the Garden. In it she has a recipe for baked apples with dried cherries and hazelnuts. I decided to make it without the orange juice and zest. I have included it in the recipe as optional for those of you that wish to add it.  I used three granny smith and three galas for a nice mix of sweet and sour.

Apple Cherry Compote with Hazelnuts

6 Apples (3 sweet and 3 sour)
3 oz hazelnuts
1/2 c dried cherries
1/4 honey
1/4 water
1 orange, zested and juiced (optional)

Heat the oven to 350. Place the hazelnuts in the oven.  Roast for 10 mins, stirring regularly.  You want then to roast not burn.  Remove from the oven and with a clean towel rub the nuts.  This will remove the skins.  If you don't get them all that is fine.  You just want the major chunks. When the nuts have completely cooled place them on a flat surface and smash them with a rolling pin or knife.  

Core and chop the apples into bite size pieces (~1/4-1/2 inch).  Place in pot with remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 mins or until the apples are soft. 

Place in pint jars and process for 15 mins.  


November 19, 2010

Saffron Pears

These pears are the first part of two posts.  I decided to create these so that I could pull of a very quick and elegant dessert at the holidays and later in the year.  I decided to go with Seckel pears since they would be small enough to fit into the jar whole.

That said just by themselves they are great.  You really cant go wrong with saffron, wine, sugar and pears.

 Saffron Seckel Pears

12 seckel pears
1 bottle white wine, preferably Late Harvest Riesling or Gew├╝rztraminer
1 C sugar or honey
2 pinches saffron

Place the saffron in 4 tablespoons of boiling water.  Allow the saffron to hydrate for at least 15 mins.  Meanwhile place the wine and sweetener in a large pot.  Bring to a low simmer.  While simmering peel your pears.  You can peel completely or in a spiral pattern.  With a melon baller remove the seeds and most of the core.  With Seckel pears you will need to use the smallest baller you can find.  Place the peeled pears and the saffron in the sweetened wine mixture. Simmer for 10 mins making sure that the liquid covers them. Remove the pears and place in your jars.  I used quarts but pints would work as well.  Process for 20 min in pints; 25 for quarts. Enjoy

November 15, 2010

Winter Posting

I am going to be shifting the focus of the blog for the winter.  I will be posting more about how to use up the preserves that I have (both posted on this site and not).  I will still be doing some canning projects but since the main harvest season is over I will definitely be slowing down. 

November 12, 2010

Spiced Asian Pear Sauce

There are benefits to having multiple random ingredients on hand.  The day I created this recipe had intended to make a batch of beet chutney. Unfortunately I was under a time constraint so the timing for that recipe wasn't going to work.  Looking around my space I spotted asian pears, ginger and vanilla.

I decided to make a sauce that could serve as a topping for pancakes or on top of ice cream.  With asian pears tendency to not break down as you cook them the sauce turned out syrupy and chunky.  Just what I was looking for.

Spiced Asian Pear Sauce

6 Asian pears, chopped
1 vanilla bean
1 inch ginger
1 C sugar/1.5C honey
2 C water

Take the ginger and peel it. The easiest way to do this I have found is with a spoon. The spoon removes the skin quickly and without taking off excessive amounts of the ginger itself.  Slice the ginger.

Place the sweetener and water in a small cook pot. Add the sliced ginger and the vanilla bean.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 mins.  Remove the ginger and vanilla bean.  Split the vanilla bean and scrap the seeds into the syrup.  Chop the ginger and place in the syrup.  If you want a milder sauce use less of the chopped ginger or even none.  This will allow you to get the flavor of the ginger without biting down into a chunk of ginger.

Bring the syrup to a simmer and add the pears.  Cook until the syrup thickens and the pears soften. Approximately 20 mins.  Place in sterile jar and process for 10 mins.  Enjoy

November 3, 2010

Spicy Quince Pickles -

The inspiration for this recipe was all of the Spanish cooking that I have been doing for the last month (my community kitchen class).  I had a few quince left over from making the Membrillo. Since that is such a sweet preserve I decided to balance out with this spicy pickle.

5 medium size quince, sliced
2 onion, sliced
3 whole star anise
3-7 assorted chiles
4 c cider vinegar
2 c water
2 T salt
1/2 c brown sugar

Place the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and star anise in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  When the sugar and salt are dissolved add the quince, onion and chiles.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the quince is tender.  Place the quince, onions and chiles in pint jars.  Divide up the star anise so that there is at least 2 segments in each jar.  Cover with the brine and process for 15 mins.  Enjoy

Yield ~ 4 pints

October 29, 2010

Georgian Apple Fennel Chutney

This amazing little chutney was inspired by a spice mixture. Khmeli Suneli is a spice blend from Georgia.  It contains fenugreek, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and coriander.  Just the smell of it makes me think of winter evenings with a nice warm meal in front of me.

I have already been dipping into it and am planning on making yet another batch in the hopes of having enough for the winter.  I served it as a side with roasted potatoes, cabbage and onions with seitan in my case.  If you wanted to serve it with a meat I would say it would work well with anything except chicken and fish with lamb being the best.
As far as this being a chutney. I have a very hard time deciding what to call my savory preserves.  Honestly I tend to call the more solid and less liquid creation chutney and the more fluid ones relish.  If any of you have ideas on other names I would love to hear. 

Apple Fennel Chutney

2 yellow onions, sliced in half moons
2 fennel bulbs, sliced (white section only)
6 apples, peeled and diced (used 3 granny smiths and 3 galas)
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 T salt
1 1/2 Khmeli Suneli spice mixture (see above)

Place the onion, fennel and apples in a large pot.  Mix in the spice mixture and the salt. Allow to sit for 15 mins. Add the wine and vinegar.  

Over low heat cook until the apple is tender and most of the liquid has been cooked off.

Place in jars and process for 20 mins.


October 22, 2010

Spicy Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles

One thousand and one ways use up zucchini.  Last year I made zucchini and carrot pickle strips
and plain bread and butter pickles from zucchini. I gave most of the bread and butters away because they were just a little too plain for me.  This year I wanted to try again but with the addition of some kick.  The addition of dried chile was just what I wanted.

Note: I have tested and tasted them.  I think they are great and have had more than a few people making requests for jars of them. 

Spicy Zucchini Bread and Butter Pickles

 3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 T salt
2 T mustard seed
2 t celery seed
1 T turmeric
4-6 dried chipotle peppers
8 garlic cloves 
8 cups zucchini, sliced
2 cups onions, sliced

Place all ingredients except the zucchini and onions in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and boil until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Boil an additional 5 minutes to infuse the chipotle into the brine.  Remove the chipotle and the garlic and divide between your jars.  Add the onion and the zucchini to the bring and simmer for 5 mins.  Divide the vegetables between your jars leaving 1/2" of head room.  Divide the brine and spices making sure that the vegetables are fully covered. Process for 10 mins.  Yield ~6 pints.


Note: I am still working on the spicy quince pickles.  The recipe is just not quiet there yet.  Hoping for next week if not I will be posting my Ukrainian Apple Fennel Chutney. 

October 14, 2010

Cinnamon Pears

These pears are not your typical sweet and syrupy pear preserve.  The main liquid is vinegar which makes a wonderful counter balance to the sweetness of the sugar.  Add in cinnamon and cloves and you have a wonderful treat for a winter evening.  This is based off of a number of different old recipes. I hope that you will give it a try.

7 lbs pears, cored and quarted
6 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 t whole cloves
6 c cider vinegar
3 c white wine
8 c sugar or honey

Heat the vinegar, wine and sugar to boiling.  Add cinnamon and cloves. Stir until until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a simmer and add the pears.  Simmer until the pears are tender.  Remove the pears and set aside.  Return the liquid to a boil.  Reduce until it become a syrup.  Distribute the pears and spices in your jars.  Cover with the syrup.  Process for 15 mins for pints and 25 for quarts.  Yield ~6 pint/3 quarts.

Note: I used the cinnamon sticks to hold the pears below the level of the liquid so there was NO chance of them floating and discoloring. 

October 7, 2010

Membrillo (Quince Paste)

Since I am researching Spanish cooking for this month's Community Kitchen I decided to make a couple of quince preserves.  This one is the simplest.  The one that I am going to post in two weeks is only a little bit more complicated but is a savory.

Anyways back to this week. Quince is inedible until you cook it.  It is like a cross between a fuzzy apple and a pear in appearance. When cooked with sugar it turns a beautiful shade of red. 

Membrillo is usually served  paired with cheese specifically Manchego.  The balance of sweet against the salty.  I tend to pair it with salted almonds since I don't do cheese.


2 lbs quince
~ 3 c sugar

Wash and rub the fuzz off of the quince.  Cut out any damaged parts.  Core and then cube the fruit.

Place the quince and sugar in a bowl for at least one hour and up to over night.  This will release liquid so that you don't scorch the fruit.
Place in a pot and heat over low heat.  Keep covered to retain moisture.  Stir every ten minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the lid and reduce the liquid.  When the liquid is completely evaporated blend with hand held blender or run through a food mill.  

Process for 10 minutes.

September 30, 2010

Curried Tomato Chutney

Weather, weather, weather. This year that is all I can think of.  We got our spring and summer in January and February which meant that we had great spring crops. Peas and more peas.  Which was wonderful. Unfortunately summer never really got off the ground so all of the wonderful summer crops have been spotty to say the least.  Which has lead to some major creativity.  What to do with half ripe tomatoes,unripe grapes and green chilies? Today's post is about green, half ripe and a just few ripe tomatoes. 

I have made green tomato relish in the past (and grew up on it).  So I know the wonders of green tomatoes.  However with all of these half ripe tomatoes I wanted to try something different.  So the idea of a tomato chutney happened and to spice things up a bit I decided to go with a red curry as the flavoring. 

In this recipe I call red curry.  You can make your own or you can use a curry paste that doesn't have shrimp or other flavorings in it.  The only pre-made paste that I know of that qualifies as that is Mae Ploy. Other than that this is a fairly simple recipe.

Curried Tomato Chutney

3 lbs tomatoes, mixture of green through ripe
2 Onions, diced
2 T red curry paste
1 c coconut (unsweetened) 
2 c cider vinegar
1 c water
1 T salt
2 T sugar

Dice the tomatoes, if using ripe tomatoes you will want to skin them as well.  Place the coconut in your pot and bring to medium heat.  When the coconut just begins to toast mix in the curry paste.  When the curry is aromatic add the onions.  Saute until the onions are translucent.  Add your tomatoes and remaining ingredients.  Cooking over low heat until thickened.  Place in half pint jars.  Process for 25 mins.  Enjoy.

September 23, 2010

Hibiscus Peaches

These lovely peaches are a nice combination of sweet and sour.  These are as simple to make as any peach in syrup.  I am trying to decide what I am going to use them for first a peach blini or pancakes.  Maybe both, brunch anyone.

5 lbs peaches
6 c water
1 c sugar or honey
3 T hibiscus 
2 lemons, juiced

Place the sugar, hibiscus, lemon juice and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Boil for at least 15 mins or until you have a thin syrup.  Strain the Hibiscus syrup.  Skin the peaches and slice.  Add the peaches and boil for 5 mins.  Remove the peaches from the syrup and place in your jars.  Cover with the syrup.  Process for 20 mins for pints and 25 mins for quarts.

September 16, 2010

Garlic Plum Sauce

Here in the northwest we are not having alot of luck with warm weather fruits and vegetables this year.  So I had to be very picky about what I have been making.  Needless to say I am very glad that I tried making this.  It is great with stir-fry and I am sure that I will come up with more uses as winter sets in.
2 1/2 lbs. plums
1 C water
2 inches of ginger, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
4 T of honey
2/3 c apple cider vinegar
2 t salt
1 t green peppercorns

Wash and pit your plums.  Place in a large pot with 1 cup of water. Simmer until the plums begin to release liquid.  Add chopped garlic and ginger.  Increase heat until your sauce is at a low boil (a boil that can be stirred down).

Add your spices, honey and vinegar.  Continue to cook down until thickened.  When the desired thickness is achieved blend. Place in half-pint jars and process for 10 mins. Yield ~4 pints.


September 10, 2010

Tunisan Pickled Carrots

This recipe was inspired by a New York Times recipe.  Their recipe is for a frittata.  I had some carrots and decided to take the base ingredients and make up some pickled carrots.  The carrots by themselves are great and I can see making the actual frittata from them later.

Tunisan Pickled Carrots

2 bunches of carrots, sliced
3 hot chiles, sliced
4 onion tops, sliced (see note)
1 T Caraway seeds
1 t Cumin seeds
1 t Coriander seeds
4 C cider vinegar
2 C water
3 T canning salt

Place vinegar, water and salt in a non-reactive pot and bring to a simmer.  In a small skillet dry roast the spices until fragrant and popping.  Add to the vinegar mixture.  Place the carrots, chiles, and onion tops in alternating layers in your jars.  Cover with vinegar mixture and process for 20 mins in pint jars.  



Onion tops are the onion equivalent of scapes.  The stem with a blossom at the top. In this case I only used the stem part and kept the blossom for another project.  If you don't have access to any tops use sliced onions.  

September 8, 2010

September Community Kitchen - Lunches

For September we will be focusing on Lunches. This is a good time of the year to start a new habit and taking your lunch is a great habit to develop.

The menu that we will be making is going to be alot of fun.  I will also be including a handout of other lunches ideas to help keep you inspired.

We will be making a strata, a spicy greens soup, baked summer squash with kale, onion and an egg,  a white bean with herbs spread.

Please join us on September 21st at the Ballard Community Center from 6pm to 9pm.  As always bring containers for taking home your part of the foods (4-5 good sized containers).

To sign up you can call the community center and register for class 60205 or you can sign up online here.

September 2, 2010


I will be posting late this week. Just got back from vacation and have to say I didn't really find anything worth working with.  I am planning a garlic plum sauce, a curried tomato chutney, and hoping to find some figs so I can make some preserved in a rum vanilla syrup. 

August 25, 2010

Berbere Pickled Tomatoes

When reading Tigress in a Pickle last week I saw that she made Curried Green Tomatoes.  This was in the back of my head when I hit the spice market this week.  They had a wonderful Berbere spice mix.  Having used it before in a number of dishes I thought I would give it a try for pickled tomatoes.  However I didn't go the route of green tomatoes.  I went with ripe tomatoes. I wanted something that would be a nice ingredient for soups this winter or as a side dish.  I might have also be biased by the fact that my very first ripe tomatoes from my own garden were sitting in front of me. I have a feeling that I am going to be making alot of green tomato dishes in the near future. 

Berbere spices are part of traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines.  If you don't have access to the mixture look here for a recipe. The main ingredient are chile peppers, ginger, cloves, coriander, allspice, rue berries, ajwain, and fenugreek. I used whole spices for this as I wanted it to be more like pickling spices in presentation than just powder.

I placed 1 tablespoon of the spices and 1 tablespoon of salt over the tomato slices and allowed them to sitt over night.  I then placed them in a basic brine and cooked them for 10 mins. 

I had decided early on that I wanted a nice flavored vinegar out of this project as well I the amount of brine I made was much more than I need to cover the tomatoes. I was also able to roast the tomato skins to use for flavoring later.  

Berbere Pickled Tomatoes

8-10 ripe tomotoes, skinned and sliced
3 T berbere spices, whole if possible
4 T Salt
4 T Sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
1 pint water

Mix 1 T of salt and berbere spices with slice tomatoes.  Leave to sit over night.  Mix remaining ingredients in a non-reactive pot.  Bring to a boil and mix until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Add sliced tomatoes and cook at a low simmer for 10 mins.  Place tomato slices in jars by holding the jar on its side to stack the slices more easily. Cover with brine and process for 10 mins for half pints; 15 for pints. 


A beautiful jar of ruby spiciness.

August 20, 2010

Spicy Ketchup

 Here is a fun and easy recipe for making ketchup.  If you don't want a spicy version just cut out the chilies. To make this recipe easy I recommend using a stick blender to blend the ketchup right in the cooking pot without having to wait for it to cool.

4 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 chipoltes, rehydrated
4 jalapenos, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup honey
1 cup cider vinegar

Cook tomatoes, onion and garlic with salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally about 20 mins. Add spices, honey, peppers and vinegar continue to cook over medium heat for 15 mins.  Blend the mixture to a smooth sauce.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, 45 to 55 minutes (stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching).

Place in pint jars and process for 20 mins.  Try to wait for 2 weeks before using.

August 19, 2010

Canning Class and Community Kitchen - Savory Tomato Cake

Last week I taught a class on Canning for the Wallingford Community Kitchen.  We ended up making 4 recipes.  Spicy Corn Relish, Pickled Vegetables Strips, Blackberry Jam and Crab Apple Jelly.  It was a late night but we got them done.  Even a few extra jars for the Community Kitchen to raffle off at a later date. 

For the Ballard Community Kitchen we did tomatoes and more tomatoes.  We made and canned tomato bruschetta, a savory tomato cake and Gazpacho. 

While it looks a bit boring in a huge bowl.  It presents much better in a single serving.

Here is the recipe for the cake.  It is a cornbread with tomato, onions and basil.  It was amazing. 

For the Cake:
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg

For the Topping:

3-4 large tomatoes, cut into crescents
1 onions, sliced into half moons
Olive oil
Herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc)

1. Place the tomatoes and onions in the bottom of the oiled cake or pie tin in a tiled fashion.  

2. Spread the herbs over the tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with olive oil.  

3. Mix the cornbread together and spread evenly over the tomato herb mixture.

4. Bake for 20-25 mins at 350 until the cornbread is firm.        

5. When slightly cooled. Place a large plate over the tin and invert.

Enjoy I know we did.

August 13, 2010

Large Batch Canning and Corn Relish

In the last week I have made 175 pints of preserves (75 pickles, 75 bloody mary vegetables, and 25 blackberry syrup).  Unfortunately my camera decided to take a walk but I am hoping to get some pictures up this weekend.

Tonight is my canning class with the Walliford Community Kitchen.  I spent last night picking crabapples and blackberries.  So we will be making jellies with those along with the Spicy Corn Relish and the Pickles Vegetable Strips.

Here is the recipe for the Corn Relish.  Hopefully I will be able to post a picture or two this weekend.

12               ears of corn
3                 Ancho or Chipotle chiles, rehydrated, seeded and chopped
1¾ c           Honey
2 T              Kosher or Pickling salt
1 T              mustard seed
¼ t              turmeric
2¾ c           cider vinegar
½ c             water
2 c              onion, chopped
1½ c           celery, chopped
1 c              sweet peppers, chopped

Par-boil corn until bright yellow.  Cut corn kernels off. 

Combine honey, salt, mustard seed, turmeric, vinegar and water.  Bring to a boil. Boil until honey and salt are dissolved.  Add corn, onion, celery, and sweet peppers.  Bring to a boil, stir often until onions and celery are tender.  Approximately 30 mins.  Add chiles and incorporate.

Place relish in sterilized jars and process for 15 mins. 


August 6, 2010

Oregon Grape Jelly

 Another simple jelly for you.  Oregon Grapes are very high in pectin so no need for adding any.  The one problem that I ran into on this batch is that the grapes are very seedy.  The seeds are almost half of the grape.  When I make this again (and believe me I will be) I will be using a food mill. 

6 cups Oregon grapes
2 cups Water
2 cups sugar

Place the water and grapes in a sauce pan.  Bring to boil and boil until soft.  Allow to cool. When done drain and retain all of the liquid.  Smash the grapes with a large spoon or better yet run through a food mill. Place all liquid back in sauce pan and add the sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Allow to boil until it starts to jelly. About 20-30 mins.  Place in jars and process for 10 mins.  Enjoy.

July 29, 2010

Raspberry-Ginger-Mint Jam

This is a spiced up raspberry jam. I think that the mint and ginger help mellow the sweetness of the raspberries. 

I started by macerating the raspberries overnight with the sugar.  I have found that this cuts down on the cooking time of the jam.  

The next day I grated the ginger and cooked it into the raspberries, about 15 mins.  At the last minute I added the mint to keep it fresh and green. You can just see little bits of the mint in the jar below.

1/2 flat of raspberries
2 1/2 c of sugar
2 T of ginger, grated
1/2 c of mint
1 package of pectin

Place the raspberries and sugar in a non-reactive bowl and allow to sit overnight.  

Put the raspberry and sugar mixture in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir to make sure that the sugar is dissolved.  Add the grated ginger. 

Take your 1/2 cup of mint and cut into ribbons. 

When at a boil add your pectin.  Boil for 2 mins. Add your mint and remove from heat.  Process for 10 mins.

July 28, 2010

And I am back.

I will have a new post tomorrow.  Also I will be teaching at the Wallingford Community Kitchen on August 13th.

Here is the event copy:

Join us on Friday, August 13th for another exciting Wallingford Community Kitchen: Veggie Preserving.

The kitchen is held from 5:30pm to 9pm at the Wallingford COMMUNITY Senior Center (WCSC) at the Good Shepherd Center.

This month instead of cooking a meal together, we will preserve fruits and vegetables. Sarah Elmore w...ill teach us how to keep our food tasting as good as fresh for months at a time using the age old art of canning.

Participation requires a $15 pre-registration fee to cover the cost of ingredients, supplies and the facilities. Entrance will be $20 at-the-door. We are also asking those that can, to please donate a bit extra to help out those that could not otherwise afford to attend. We will have a limited number of reduced fee tickets available - please email the coordinator for a password.

You may purchase tickets online at or you can mail or drop a check payable to: Wallingford COMMUNITY Senior Center **Please indicate the names of all people attending**

Wallingford COMMUNITY Senior Center
Attn: Wallingford Community Kitchen
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Room 140
Seattle, WA 98103

Each participant will have the opportunity to make their own jar of the following (tentative list) to take home:
* Zucchini Vegetable Strips
* Spicy Corn Relish
* Plum Preserve

We also ask that all participants bring an appetizer, main dish, drink or dessert to share with the group (please no bread products as we receive those by donation) and help sustain us while we preserve.

The WCSC is in need of some extra containers, please bring along your gently used and clean plastic yogurt, sour cream, salsa, etc. containers to contribute.


July 9, 2010

Indian Spiced Carrots

This is for CC. I hope you like it.

2 C Apple cider vinegar
3/4 C sugar or honey
1 t Salt
1 stick cinnamon, broken
1/2 t fengreek
1/2 t mustard seed
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t cumin
1 T ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1-2 small chiles
1/2 shallot, sliced
1 lb carrots, quartered

Place the vinegar, sugar and salt in a non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add your spices.  Simmer for 5 mins.  Place ginger, garlic, chiles, and shallots in your jars.  Add you carrots. This is easiest if you hold the jar on its side.  Add the vinegar spice mixture until you have 1/2" of headroom.  Process for 25 mins. Allow to sit for at least a month.

July 1, 2010

Tomato Bruschetta

I still am not used to pre-planning my posts so this one is without pictures (at least until next week).  I am out in BC enjoying some time off. Hope you like this. It was one of my most popular recipes from last year's canning classes.

9 c Tomatoes, cored (peeled if you like) or cherry tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 shallots, minced
1 c basil, fresh
.25 c oregano
3 T White vinegar
2 T Balsamic vinegar
1.5 t salt
.5 t black pepper

Plus 1 T of vinegar per pint

Combine all ingredients except Balsamic vinegar and let rest for 15 mins. Heat on high for 5 mins. Pull solid ingredients and set aside. Reduce juices by half. Add vinegar and pour over ingredients. Add 1 T of vinegar to every pint. Place in sterilized jars leaving ½ of headspace. Process for 20 mins.

June 24, 2010

Cherries in Green Tea-Rose Jelly

The Challenge for Can Jam this month was berries and cherries.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem here in Seattle, however this year summer just is refusing to participate.  We still have not seen a day above 75, so the selection of what to work with has been limited.  For a few weeks it has been touch and go on whether I would have anything at all to play with.  Luckily the east side of the state finally got some sunshine and in came the cherries.

I had already done a few recipes using cherries but they were not as challenging or creative as I wanted; here I really wanted to challenge myself. So off I went looking for different recipes.  I began by searching through all my cooking and canning books, but nothing caught my eye. Then I did a search on and well this recipe caught my eye: A Green Tea Panna Cotta with Strawberries.

June 18, 2010

Ballard Community Kitchen -Thai

Here are the recipes that we used for the Thai Community Kitchen I did.  We covered a few ways to make the ingredients more local.  Two of which are growing your own.  You can grow ginger and lemongrass here in the Northwest if you bring them indoors for the winter.  We also used Lemon Balm instead of Kiffer Lime leaves. Not the same but local and since the leaves were completely unavailable our only option.  The curry pastes turned out very well.  The red lentil-sweet potato dip was a hit. Boy was it a long night.  Making a batch or curry paste that is multiplied by 20 takes alot of time even with many hands. I unfortunately forgot to use the camera that I time.

June 16, 2010

Northwest Cherry Port Preserves

This preserve is a combination of wonderful Northwest flavors; cherries, port and hazelnuts.  It is a simple preserve. Just four ingredients and no pectin.  

12 c cherries, pitted
3 c sugar
1 small bottle of port (approximated 2 cups)
2 c hazelnuts, chopped

Combine cherries, sugar and port in a saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until the liquids are reduced to desired thickness. You want just enough liquid to hold everything together.  Stir in hazelnuts and simmer for 5 minutes. Place in half pint or pint jars.  Process for 10 minutes.

June 10, 2010

Brandied Cherries and Cherry Clafoutis

Brandied Cherries

This is a wonderful little preserve.  Served over ice cream, yogurt, or as I have at the end of this post as Cherry Clafoutis.  

4 lbs cherries, pitted
1 pint brandy
2 c sugar
2 c water

Place brandy, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  When sugar is dissolved set aside and cool. Place cherries in your jars (either half pints or pints). Cover with with the brandy sugar mixture.  Process for 10 mins. Allow to sit for at least a month before eating. 

Cherry Clafoutis

This is a simple cake with make by made with any fruit you have.  It goes together in minutes and cake bake while you are eating dinner.  It is traditionally made in a larger pan (approximately 1-2 quarts) (an oven proof skillets work nicely).  I wanted small individual servings this time so I baked in a muffin tin. I used the syrup from the cherries as the liquid but you could use milk.

2/3 c flour
4 eggs
a pinch of salt
1/2 c sugar
1 c cherry brandy syrup
1/4 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract
1 pint brandied cherries, drained and liquid reserved

Butter your baking dish (or dishes). Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish. Blend eggs, salt and sugar. Whisk in flour. Add the cherry syrup, vanilla extract and melted butter.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour over cherries.

Bake in a 325F oven. Bake for 20-25 mins for small dishes and about 50 mins for larger dishes. You want a nice golden color.

June 4, 2010

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

This is the last of the Rhubarb.  Unfortunately the season appears to be over here. This was inspired by Knit and Nosh.  I decided that I wanted it more spicy so a few Chipotle made it into the sauce.  Well that and I still had some from making the salsa.  Can't let those beautiful little chiles go to waste.  The sauce is a bit on the sweet side but the chipotle slowly comes through.  When I make it next year I will back off on the amount of raisins and sugar.

Spicy Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

8 1/2 c Rhubarb, chopped
2  1/2 c Brown Sugar
1 1/2 c Raisins
1 Onion, chopped
1 c White Vinegar
5 chipotles in adobo
1 t Green Peppercorns, crushed
1 t allspice
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1T salt, kosher

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 mins.  At this point you will want to blend the sauce. This is easiest to do with an immersion blender as you can do it right in the pot without waiting for it to cool.  If doing in a blender or cuisinart allow to cool and blend in small batches.  Check the thickness of the sauce.  You can thin with more vinegar if wanted. I like my sauce very thick, figuring that I can thin it later if wanted. Place in pint jars and process for 20 mins. 

May 27, 2010

Rhubarb Ginger Preserves and Tart

This is one of the simplest preserves you can make. There are only three ingredients.  I usually chop the rhubarb and mix in the candied ginger and sugar and allow it to sit over night.  This allows the juices of the rhubarb come out, reducing the need for additional liquids and the cooking time. If you don't have the time to do this just add 1/4 c of water and proceed to the cooking step.

Rhubarb Preserves

2 Lbs Rhubarb, chopped
2-3 cups sugar or 2.5 cups honey
1/2 c candied ginger, chopped

In a non-reactive bowl mix the chopped rhubarb, the sweetener of your choice and the candied ginger.  Refrigerate overnight.  You will have a cup or more of liquid in the bottom of the bowl the next day.  Place the mixture in a saucepan and cook until the rhubarb is broken down.  Place in pint jars and process for 15 mins.

This is one of my favorite ways to use the preserves.  Later in the year you can mix in blueberries, strawberries and even cranberries (increase the amount of sweetener as needed).  In the winter it is wonderful just by itself.

Rhubarb Tart

1 pint of Rhubarb Preserves
1 c chopped fruit 
1/2-1 c sugar or honey, to taste

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 t salt
1/8 t baking powder
9 T unsalted butter, cold in chunks
 4  T ice water

Mix the sugar, preserves and fruit and set aside.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.  Cut the butter into flour mixture.  When the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas add the water and mix until holding together.  Roll out into a large circle.  

To do a free form pie (Galette): Place on a cookie sheet. Place the preserve mixture in the center of the crust. spread out leaving between 2-3 inches of dough on the sides.  Slowly work your way around the circle flipping the dough up partial over the filling.  When done you can brush with butter and sprinkle sugar on the dough or brush the tart with honey when you pull it out of the oven.

For a tart: Roll out the dough. Butter your tin and place the dough over top.  It is easiest to do this by folding the dough in half and then half again.  Press the dough into the corners of your tin. Spread the rhubarb mixture on the dough.  

Bake @ 375 for 30 mins. Enjoy

May 26, 2010

Ballard News Tribune - Community Kitchen

Thanks Laura for coming to my class. If you want to know more about one of the projects I am involved in click here.

May 20, 2010

Bloody Mary Asparagus

This is the first in a series of pickles.  A friend of mine wants to make the "Salad" for Bloody Mary's as her wedding favor.  Needless to say I was more than willing to take up that challenge.  I recommend letting these guys sit for a month or more but as my tester found out they are very tasty after just 2 weeks.

Bloody Mary Asparagus 

The recipe is for a pint of asparagus and yes it is worth just doing one of two pints. If you have exceptional long asparagus go for a quart jar.

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
2 c white vinegar
1/2 c water
1 T salt
1 t horseradish
1 t hot sauce
1/2 t black pepper, cracked
1/4 t celery seed (optional)
Trim the asparagus to the height of your jars.  Simmer vinegar, water, and salt until salt is dissolved.  Place the spices in the bottom of your jar.  Place your jar on its side to make packing the asparagus easier.  When your jar is filled pour the warmed vinegar over the asparagus until the jar is filled to within 1/2 inch of the top.  Process for 10 mins.

May 19, 2010

Rhubarb Salsa

I came up with this recipes for my tamales class. It has alot of flavor.  Be careful to adjust the amount of heat you want.  Or as with my class add some apples to cut the heat when you add too much chipolte. 

3 lb Rhubarb
2-4 chiles
1-2 chipolte in adobo
1 onion 
2-6 cloves of garlic
2-3 c vinegar
2T salt

Rough chop first five ingredients.  Place in a non-reactive bowl and mix.  In a small sauce pan, place vinegar and salt.  Heat until salt is dissolved.  Place chopped rhubarb mixture in pint jars and top with vinegar.  You will want to pack the rhubarb relatively tightly allowing for space for the vinegar mixture.  Pour the vinegar into the jars, topping the rhubarb by a quarter inch.  Process for 10 mins.

May 17, 2010

The best of plans

I crashed my bike so have not been up to posting.  That said I should have something up no later than Wednesday.

May 6, 2010

Upcoming projects

I will be posting a number of new recipes starting early next week.  Some are more typical recipes but a few unusual.  Especially the rhubarb salsa and bloody mary pickled asparagus.

April 29, 2010

Community Kitchen - Tamales

I am leading a new community kitchen in Ballard, WA.  If you are interested you should come out.

Starting May 18, 2010, Sustainable Ballard Food Guild will be hosting a community kitchen at the Ballard Community Center. As a group, we’ll make several dishes and everyone will take home the meals to freeze or eat during the week. Each month will have a different theme. Local and seasonal vegetarian dishes will be the focus.

When: Third Tuesday, 6-9pm
Where: Ballard Community Center, 28th Ave NW at NW 60th
Cost: $25 per session, scholarships available
Register in advance:
call 684-4093 or
in person at any Community Center or
online by clicking SPARC/lifelong learning/cooking

Menu: Mexican theme for May
Tamales with cheese, chilis/cheese, black beans & squash
Salad or greens, depending upon what is available at the market
Mexican garlic vegetable soup
Bring 1-2 large jars for soup and some containers for tamales and salsa to take it home with you.

April 23, 2010

Pear thyme butter

I decided to use my slow cooker to make this recipe. This had two benefits.  First, I placed the pears in the slow cooker in the morning before I left for work.  When I came home the pears were completely cooked down.  The second benefit was that I didn't need to add any additional liquids to help prevent scorching. I can definitely see using the slow cooker for making other butters and small batches of apple sauce.

I didn't bother to peel or seed the pears beforehand.  I ran the cooked pear through a sieve. This worked well and would work even better if I had a food mill. 

Pear Thyme Butter

3 lbs of pears, rough chopped
1 cup of honey
2 T of lemon thyme
2T of lemon juice

Place pears and honey in slow cooker.  Cook on low overnight or at least 8 hours. When the pears are completely soft run through a sieve or food mill.  Stir in thyme and lemon juice.  Place in half pint jars and process for 15 mins.

April 16, 2010

Rosemary Red Wine Jelly with Shallots

I wanted to come up with a tapas style jelly. I had two partial bottles of red wine. So that became my base. My next thoughts were toward what sauces I enjoy making from red wine. So the addition of rosemary and shallots.  A little bit of this on baguette combined with a poached egg or roasted mushrooms is a great starter. Opening a jar of this is wonderful. A beautiful ruby color with a smell that is a nice blend of rosemary and shallot. 

8 cups of red wine
1/2 cup diced shallot
1 Tablespoon of Rosemary, minced
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 packet of no sugar pectin

Place the wine in a non-reactive pot and reduce by half over medium heat.  When reduced add all ingredients. and simmer for 5 mins. Add pectin and return to a boil. Boil for an additional 5 mins.  Process in water bath for 15 mins.

April 8, 2010


Last fall I decided to make some more flavored vinegars.  I had made a number of different flavors through out the spring and summer. Clive blossom, nasturtium, black pepper and hot pepper.  This fall I went with cranberry and leeks and carrot, leek and hot pepper. Making infused vinegars is one of the simplest projects you can do.  It also has the added benefit of being very tasty and versatile. I use vinegar in almost every dish that I make.  After adding the initial salt I will add some vinegar to crisp up the flavor.  Most of the time I can get away with less than half of the salt called for in recipes and still have all of the flavor.

Cranberry Leek Vinegar

4 cups white vinegar
1 cup cranberries, washed and picked over
1/2 cup leeks, white part only, sliced

Place cranberries and leeks in a glass container. Cover with vinegar.  Allow to soak for at least 1 month.
  You can use stoppered bottles as shown above or glass jars.   Both have benefits.  You can use the glass jars and then decant into bottles.  This way you can have many different vinegars steeping and only a few bottles are needed. 

Spicy Carrot Leek Vinegar

4 cups white vinegar
1 carrot, minced
1/2 cup leeks, white part only, sliced
 1-2 chiles

Place carrot, leeks and chiles in glass jar and steep for 1 month.

March 19, 2010

Garlic Stuffed Pickled Eggplant

This is going to be short but yummy.

I made these with Thai-style eggplants (green strippy ones) but them can be made with any type.  I would recommend a white or cider vinegar for green eggplants and a red wine vinegar for regular purple ones.

12 small eggplants
12 cloves of garlic
4 cups of vinegar
2 cups of water
2 T of salt

Optional: basil, thyme, black pepper

Take the eggplants and remove the stem.  Blanch them until softened about 5 mins.  Cut a cross in the stem end of the eggplant, this cut will need to be fairly deep to allow for the garlic clove.  Push the clove of garlic into the eggplant.  Mix vinegar, water and salt until salt is dissolved.  Place stuffed eggplants in your jars and cover with your vinegar mixture. If using additional flavorings (basil, pepper, etc) place in the bottom of the jar.  Process for 15 mins.

Enjoy. I know that I will be doing another batch of these this summer.  I am going to try a set with basil wrapping the garlic.

February 19, 2010

Pickled Carrot and Leek Shreds

I have made many variants on this recipe.  In the summer I make it with zucchini and carrots.  This time I made it using carrots and leeks with a bit of spice.  Ok maybe more than a bit.  Either way it is a great recipe.  I have served it on bread, with pasta and to add depth to a salad.  It adds color to a winter table, a little bit of summer in the cold.

To make the carrots easier to julienne I have a favorite tool that I use. It is used like a vegetable peeler only it shreds the vegetable into multiple thin strips.  This little tool achieves the same result as a mandolin but without the worry of cutting yourself and the space needed to store and use it.

Spicy Carrot and Leek Shreds

2 lbs Carrots
1/2 lb  Leeks
1 T Kosher Salt
3 c cider vinegar
3/4 c water
1/2 c honey
1  Pickling salt
3 chipotle peppers, chopped
4 cloves of garlic

Julienne the carrots and leeks. Toss with salt.  Let stand until softened.  Drain and rinse.

Mix vinegar, water, honey, and salt.  Stir until honey and salt are dissolved.

Place one clove of garlic in each jar. Evenly distribute the peppers between the jars  Distribute the carrot-leeks mixture between the jars.  Pour the vinegar over the vegetables making sure to leave 1/2 inch of headroom.  Process for 15 min for 1/2 pints and 20 for full pints.