Monthly Archives: January 2011

25 Going on 70

Don’t ask me what possessed me to make canned goods today.

I thought of it yesterday, went through all the old cookbooks one of my Mom’s friends gave me, and actually found this just sitting on my bookshelf after I decided I wanted to can something!

If that’s not fate I don’t know what is.
Then I started flipping through the pages and besides finding this gem of a picture…

The caption totally makes this picture. There was also a picture of strawberry ice cream and slices of a pickle and the caption read, “Ice cream and pickles; perfect for those “expecting””.

But then I found a recipe for honey lemon jelly. I had a crisper full of lemons from a party a few weeks ago.
The gods were obviously trying to tell me something.
And that something was, “Make delicious jelly!!!”

Here goes nothin’!
Here’s what you’ll need:

Zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups honey
3 oz pektin (about 1 1/2 packages)
2 pint sized canning jars

First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. (enough water to cover the jars when you set them in there)
Submerge jars and lids in boiling water to disinfect them.

Remove from heat and leave in hot water until you need to use them.

Measure out your lemon juice and honey. Pour into a heavy bottomed pot along with the lemon zest over medium high heat and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add pektin and stir constantly for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and continue stirring for 3 more minutes.

Remove jars from water with stainless steel tongs and transfer to a dry kitchen towel, the mouth of the jar facing down. Allow to air dry for about 20 seconds.
Turn the jars right side up, and carefully ladle jelly into jars without spilling on the outside or rim of jar. (if you DO spill, have a hot, damp cloth ready to wipe it off)

Place flat part of lid over the opening of jar and secure with the twist on part of the lid.
Put them back in the pot with hot water in it (making sure the jars are fully submerged) and bring water back to a boil. Once water is boiling set a timer for 10 minutes and let them boil for 10 minutes.

Remove from boiling water with tongs, and set on a dish towel to cool/dry.

Once cooled off, to test if the jelly has sealed, push on the center of the lid. If it has no “give” to it, you’ve done it! You’ve made jelly and sealed it! You can stick this in your pantry for up to 12 months! After you open it, though, make sure to refrigerate it.
If it does have give to it, and makes a “popping sound”, the jelly is still good. However, you need to refrigerate it right away and it will only be good for about 2 months.

Keep one for yourself, and give the other to someone nice!
Valentines day is right around the corner and I would much rather have a yummy jar of lemon honey jelly than some stupid expensive roses.
Get to cookin’ for your ladies, boys!

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Stressful Friday?

Do you have a lot of work to do today?
Is your whole extended family in town?
Do you need to vacuum because people will be sleeping on your floor?
Do you have nothing to wear to your Grandma’s birthday party on Saturday?
It’s all going to be okay.
Just listen to this.

Ahhhhhh….
much better.

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Umami Pizza

Umami: : a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (as glutamate and aspartate).
Mushrooms fall under this category.
UMAMI PIZZA + CARAMELIZED ONIONS!

If you want me to like you just include the words “mushroom” and “caramelized onions” and you’ll win my heart.
1) because I love these things
2) because they remind me of my best friend who loves mushrooms (hi Brooke)

Ingredients for dough:

3/4 cup warm water
1 packet of quick rising yeast
1 3/4 cups flour (plus more for sprinkling around your kitchen/on your dough ball)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tsp olive oil
2 tsp baking powder

Make the dough first, because it has to rise for about an hour and a half. Combine 1/4 of a cup of the warm water, 1 Tbs flour and the yeast packet in a measuring cup.

Let it stand for 5 minutes until the top becomes creamy and bubbly. If the top doesn’t become creamy, throw it out and start over. That means the yeast didn’t activate.

While that’s sitting, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Add your yeast concoction to the mixing bowl along with the remaining 1/2 cup warm water and olive oil. Using a spatula, stir until well combined.

Remove from mixing bowl and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes until elastic and smooth.

Using the same mixing bowl, transfer the kneaded dough back into the bowl. Generously flour top of dough and loosely cover with saran wrap. Place in a warm area to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

…and through the magic of the internet it is INSTANTLY risen!

Now you can start prepping your toppings! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large onion, sliced very thinly length wise
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (any kind will do, I used a combination of crimini and white mushrooms)
8 oz grated swiss cheese (about half of a normal sized block)
1/2 cup grated parmesean (because what would one of my recipes be without parm?!)
2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves

In a large skillet heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add thin slices of onion.

Sautee for about 12 minutes, until browned (but not burnt)

Close, but no cigar. Keep cookin’!
Transfer fully caramelized onions into a bowl.

(that’s what color they should be once your done sauteeing them)

Using the same skillet, add 2 more Tbs of olive oil over medium high heat. Add your sliced mushrooms.

Cook until they become “juicy” (about 8 minutes).

Now to construct the pizza.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Carefully remove the risen dough from the bowl.
Hold the dough at the top, letting gravity stretch the dough towards your flat surface.
In a “steering wheel” type of motion, work your hands around the outside perimeter of the dough, shaping it into a 14 inch circle.
Lay on the floured surface and push the pizza into your desired shape.
Using a mixture of flour and cornmeal (about a Tbs of each), lightly sprinkle onto a cookie sheet. Transfer dough to said cookie sheet.

HERE IS WHERE I MESSED UP!
I own a pizza stone. I heated my oven to it’s highest setting (550*) and put my pizza stone in there for an hour. My plan was to construct the pizza on the flour/cornmealed cookie sheet and then transfer it to the heated pizza stone by placing the cookie sheet at the back of the pizza stone that was already in the oven, and sort of “shaking” it off the cookie sheet. Wrong. The pizza dough got stuck to the cookie sheet and I ended up cooking it on the cookie sheet. The bottom of my pizza ended up being kind of doughy.
If you own a pizza stone, construct your pizza on a cornmealed/floured piece of parchment paper. It will slide off of the parchment paper. Just set the parchment paper over the pizza stone, grab a corner of the parchment paper and kind of shake the pizza onto the pizza stone. I hope that makes sense….that was kind of hard to explain.
Sort of like this….but without a motorcycle.

If you DON’T have a pizza stone, just cook it on the cookie sheet. It was still really delicious. It just would have taken it up a few notches if the bottom was crispy.
Sprinkle your swiss cheese over the dough.

Next, evenly distribute the caramelized onions and cooked mushrooms.
Top with parmesean cheese.

Bake this puppy at the highest setting that your oven will go on the lowest rack of your oven for about 10 minutes
When the pizza starts to brown, quickly open your oven door and sprinkle thyme over top of pizza.
Once pizza starts looking delicious and browned, take out of oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Oh.my.god.yes.

Slice it up and serve. I ate mine with a salad of just lettuce and some leftover bruschetta from New Years Eve.

Yum, yum, yum. This recipe sounds way more complicated than it was. It was actually pretty easy and really delicious. Do it!

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R. Kelley?

Is that you?
Oh wait, no. It’s something more talented and egotistical.

Kanye’s 35 minute long video is reminiscent of Kelley’s “Trapped in the Closet”, but musically much better. And the content is slightly stranger. But just slightly.
When you have time to sit down and watch/listen to this, do it.
I think it’s worth it.

ps. how the feck have I never seen this?

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Pancakes of 2011

I woke up this morning slightly hungover…
Although our New Years Eve was laid back, we had a good one! We made tons of snacks, played cards, watched movies and had yummy drinks. In case you were curious, champagne + ginger vodka + lemon twist = success. Really delicious.

I knew I needed some yummy breakfast after having a few cocktails last night, and decided to make myself some pancakes. Here’s what you’ll need.

3 eggs
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt

Take your eggs and crack them into a large mixing bowl.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt, combine with a whisk. Whisk in the milk and yogurt.
I then added a secret ingredient.

Vanilla Paste
This stuff is amazing. I got it for Christmas, and it is like someone seeded approximately 1,000 vanilla beans for you and put them in a jar. You know how when you put a vanilla bean in something, the taste is delicious and much better than vanilla extract? And it has those beautiful little specks that you can only get from a vanilla bean? This has those little black specks.
I just put a dollop of this in my batter. It’s not necessary, but I recommend clicking on that link and treating yourself to some.
Put a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Once hot, spray with non-stick spray and pour half of a cup of batter for each pancake.

You can do more than one at a time if you have a bigger non-stick pan than I do. But this is the only one I own….so, don’t make fun of me.
I learned this little trick a long time ago: do you not know when to turn your pancake? I used to not know either. Then, in middle school, my friend Carly taught me that when you see little bubbles on the top of your pancake that’s when you flip!

Flip it!!
I am an awful flipper. I think it’s partially because our pan is so small, and partially because I suck.

Yikes.
I made myself a stack of four and poured on some syrup.

These may not be the prettiest pancakes, but MAN were they good!
The yogurt is a great addition. They were creamy and fluffy and the perfect New Years Day breakfast!

My new years resolution is to start reading more. So to aid in my success, I ordered a Kindle today! Happy 2011…..to myself!

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