Friday, October 26, 2012


Summer was the season of making pickles refrigerator style. Now that fall is here, we are going to try the cucumbers that are in the store and compare in the taste. I have a feeling, I know who will win but it is always fun to see.

In the past we have made pickles the old fashion way. So it was a good change and a way to try another "style" of pickles. The refrigerator style pickles take about a week to rest. Once in the refrigerator they can stay for up to one month, but I guarantee you will have them eaten before then.
The first step you will want to do is to sterilize your jars that you will be using. If you have not done this in the past there are one of two ways that it can be done. First, by washing with hot water in the dishwasher, or second by boiling on the stove top for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to have the jars dry.


2 lbs cucumbers (sliced)
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1 T. coarse sea salt
5 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 tsp. yellow mustard seed
Roughly 5T fresh dill spears

Wash the cucumbers and peel the skin (if you do not like the skin). Slice the cucumbers in the "thickness" desired. Crush the garlic cloves and set aside.

Bring the white vinegar, water and salt to a boil on the stove top. Add the crushed garlic and mustard seed to the vinegar/water/salt mixture and boil for five minutes. Then turn the heat off and set aside.

At the bottom of the sterilized jars, place sprigs of fresh dill inside and begin arranging the cucumbers on top of the dill. It is important to add layers of cucumbers and dill, then pour in some of the vinegar mixture as you go. Once you have filled the jars be sure to let the cucumbers/dill/vinegar mixture cool down to room temperature.

* The photograph above is refrigerator pickles minus the dill. My husband is not a dill fan, so we made a batch of pickles with dill and without the dill. Both were good but I tend to lean toward adding the additional flavor of the herb.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sautéed Collard Greens & Tomatoes

Eight years ago while we were visiting Charleston, South Carolina we fell in love with one particular culinary specialty of the south...collard greens. Yes, it was the first time that I had eaten them and they just melted in my mouth. Today we serve them with our favorite southern vegetarian burgers. The collard green recipes that we use below is very easy to cook and can be done in 20 minutes tops!

Sautéed Collard Greens & Tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced onions (slice them very thin)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced collard greens
1/2 cup vegetable broth (chicken broth will also work)
1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes (we have sliced larger tomatoes, basically we use what we have in the refrigerator in terms of tomatoes)
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

First saute the onions and red pepper flakes in oil over medium heat, until they are softened. Stir in the collared greens and allow them to cook in the skillet until they begin to wilt - it takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the sliced tomatoes and cider vinegar. My husband and I tend to like a little more "bite" so we add a tad bit more cider vinegar to the collard greens at the kitchen table.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Indian Chapati Bread

We enjoy making this version of chapati. It is very simple and easy to make. 
Indian Chapati Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup hot water or as needed
In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough that is elastic but not too sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Divide the dough in smaller parts so that you can roll each piece into a ball. after you have divided the dough, let rest for a few minutes.
In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium heat until it is hot, and grease lightly. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the balls of dough until they are very thin. Somewhat like the thickness of a tortilla. When you notice the pan starting to smoke, place a chapati on it.
Cook the underside of the chapati until it has brown spots, roughly 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Continue with remaining dough.
Thirteen years ago, my husband and I had our first date at an Indian restaurant. Not ever having an indian dish before he guided me on dishes that I might enjoy/like. That is where I fell in love with chicken korma, chapati and much more.