Sunday, August 26, 2012

banana pepper rings

i have 4 banana pepper plants in my garden this year, and they are producing nicely.  i've been able to harvest 5-10 at a time, a that's quite a bit of banana peppers all at once!  my favorite way to enjoy these veggies is to pickle them.  i have a simple recipe and method that takes very little effort, yet produces delicious pickled peppers; the recipe is adapted from a refrigerator pickle recipe shared with me by my mother in law.

5-10 banana peppers
white vinegar (1-3 cups)
water (1-2 cups)
1-3 garlic cloves

  1. remove pepper tops
  2. slice the peppers
  3. remove seeds & white flesh within the peppers (i prefer to do this after slicing, as it proves to be more efficient - a few minutes in a salad spinner, after being sliced and rinsed, helps as well).
  4. place clean, sliced peppers in a gallon-sized ziplok bag, or another container.  i use a tupperware pick-a-deli and it works PERFECTLY!  i highly recommend it!!
  5. add enough vinegar and water to cover the peppers.  a 50/50 mixture is probably ideal.  i prefer a bigger bite, and tend to go heavier on the vinegar than the water.  this recipe doesn't require a perfect science - experiment and see what your taste buds prefer!
  6. add the garlic cloves - i always add 2-3.  if you love garlic less than i, perhaps use only 1 small clove.
  7. refrigerate overnight, and they will be ready to go the next day!!!
  8. they keep for weeks (1+ months) in the fridge.  if you eat them quickly, you can reuse the vinegar/water mixture for a second batch (though i usually top off batch #2 with a bit more vinegar).
  9. feel free to add sea salt, a hot pepper (jalapeno or red hot chili), or anything else you might enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

fudge puddles

my sister's mother-in-law shared this recipe with me.  the recipe is rather simple, but is more time consuming than basic chocolate chip cookies.  there is nothing healthy about this delectable dessert, but your taste buds will surely approve :)

"wet" ingredients
1 C butter
1 C peanut butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

dry ingredients
2.5 C flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

filling ingredients
12 oz milk chocolate
12 oz dark chocolate
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla

cookie instructions
  1. preheat oven to 350 F
  2. mix wet ingredients
  3. add dry ingredients - mix or cream together
  4. place paper cups in tiny tart pan or cupcake pan 
  5. add cookie dough
  6. bake 15 minutes for mini tarts, or about 18 minutes for cupcake sized (or until browned)
  7. remove from oven, and press each cookie with "tart smasher," creating a hollow space for filling
  8. this is what i refer to as a "tart smasher" - there may be a proper term to which i am ignorant.   mine has a small end for mini tarts, and a large end for cupcake-sized tarts.
  9. let cool - remove from pan to wire rack until about room temperature

filling instructions
either use a double broiler, or a stock pot + sauce pan - i use the latter and will proceed with those instructions

  1. fill stock pot with enough water to cover sauce pan (i.e. add water to stock pot, and place sauce pan within, to determine proper amount of water).
  2. set stock pot to high heat to boil water
  3. combine all filling ingredients into sauce pan
  4. once water is boiling, place sauce pan within
  5. stir mixture continuously until well melted and consistent texture (20 minutes or so)
  6. pour the hot filling into the hollowed cookies/tarts (i use a 4 cup pyrex glass measuring cup - i heat it in the boiling water, and then empty the contents of the sauce pan into it - be very careful not to burn yourself - you'll need a well insulated oven mitt, or, a rubber handle cover for a cast iron skillet).
here's a sample of the finished product (cupcake-sized).  i failed to take a photo while they were displayed beautifully on the cake plate, so this will have to suffice.

* these tarts freeze well!!!
** recipe makes about 3 dozen cupcake sized tarts, or 6-8 dozen mini tarts

Saturday, June 23, 2012


i checked out the recipes at and reduced a few of them to the one i am about to share with you.  my son woke up from his nap a bit early today, so he helped me with the preparation!

dry ingredients
10 C rolled oats
2 C walnuts (as large or as fine as you wish)
1 C flax
1 C oat bran
1 C raw sunflower seeds
1.5 tsp sea salt

wet ingredients + cinnamon
1/2 C olive oil
1 C local honey
1/2 C maple syrup
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly
  2. preheat oven to 325 F
  3. combine all wet ingredients together in a sauce pan, and heat on medium heat, mixing until everything is well mixed
  4. add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and mix thoroughly in the large bowl
  5. spray two large baking sheets (with edges) with olive oil
  6. divide contents of bowl between the two sheets
  7. bake for 15-20 minutes      
  8. remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes or so
  9. leave chunky or break it up 
  10. it fits nicely into a tupperware "super cereal storer" 20 C volume container
we eat granola with yogurt, or simply as "cereal" with cold milk.  however you choose to eat yours, i hope you'll enjoy!!

*pardon the strange numbering with the pictures - there is a new posting configuration in blogger, and i am still figuring things out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


käsespätzle is german for cheese noodles, as far as i can tell :) i acquired this recipe from toby, who got it from his friend bernhard, both of whom are german.

the legit, german-recommended recipe
750 kg flour
5-6 eggs
3 tsp salt
250 mL cold water
300 g shredded cheese

i weighed my whole grain flour and ended up doing this
2 C whole grain pastry flour
2 1/2 C unbleached flour
5 eggs
3 tsp salt
250 mL water (250 mL is just about 8.5 ounces)
1 pound of emmentaler cheese (this is more like 450 g of cheese, but my rule of thumb is that you can never have too much cheese!!!!)

1. i had intended to use whole grain flour only, but ran out, and hence switched to processed flour. but i am very happy with the results. if anything, i will use 2 1/2 C whole grain flour + 2 1/2 C processed flour when i make this next (to thicken it slightly)

2. as for cheese, the stinkier the cheese, the better! the emmentaler is stinky relative to something such as cheddar, but i plan to stink it up a bit more next time!

3. this recipe calls for a special tool, called a spätzle press. the first time i ever made käsespätzle, i used my potato ricer, but wasn't happy with the results (too thin). i do not (yet) have a spätzle press, so i used a cheese grater and a wooden spoon - i will explain the technique later. a colander is an option as well.

toby just provided the ingredients, and this is how i saw fit to execute:

1. put a large pot of water on to boil (approximately 1 gallon + of water)
2. beat 5 eggs with mixer
3. add flour one cup at a time, mix well
4. add 3 tsp salt
5. add the cold water
6. mix well. scrape sides. continue mixing while you move on to step 7
7. dice one medium sized sweet onion
8. shred the cheese

boil the spätzle
1. once the water is boiling, place the tool of choice (grater, colander, legit spätzle press) over the top of the pot of boiling water.

2. place a blob of dough on top of your press (cheese grater, colander, etc.), and move a wooden (or plastic) spoon (or other implement) back and forth across, until all of the dough has been pushed through. don't worry about the size of the noodles - my preference is variation in size and texture - just press the dough through.

3. continue working one blob of dough at a time until all noodles are in the pot. (stir the noodles in between blobs if you wish)

4. stir periodically.

5. cook for 5-10 minutes (the time required depends on the flour and noodle thickness - whole grain flour requires more time than processed flours)

6. remove from heat. strain.

prepare the dish
1. heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, on medium-high heat

2. saute the onions

3. add the noodles and the shredded cheese

4. reduce heat to medium. mix well and continuously to avoid burning, until the cheese is melted.

5. serve and ENJOY!!!!

this makes an excellent side for any meat, and personally i enjoy it as a main dish with a lovely salad of greens, avocado, tomatoes, and vinaigrette dressing.