Homemade Mozzarella and Pesto Marinated Bocconcini

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First- another quick reminder about  The Second Tuesdays Déjà Food Event.  You have 6 more days to get us your submissions.  Pretty please?!?  We can't wait to be inspired by how you're re-purposing your leftovers and reducing kitchen waste.   No blog?  No problem.  Just email us the details and we'll add you in.  Shall I remind you that we have a yummy prize? In keeping with this week's theme of brevity I'm going to give you a quick tease of things to come...   I'll give you the recipe for these now, but check back in to see what I did with them.  Believe me, it's worth it! Homemade goat's milk mozzarella bocconcini marinated in fresh pesto!   Homemade Mozzarella Bocconcini   The process of making these is so easy that you'll be hard press to fork out the mad cash needed to purchase fresh mozzarella balls at most stores.  This simple method takes 30 minutes or less and is insanely easy.  There are a couple specialty ingredients needed to make them, but they're easily acquired via the internet or mail order.  Once you have the items in your pantry and freezer you can make mozzarella on a whim.  ...And I speak the truth when I say that you will have those whims once you taste these! (If you want the most super-duper authentic fresh mozzarella, you can move up to this kind of recipe after perfecting the fast mozzarella.)  **Also- do not, under any circumstances, use ultra-pasteurized milk for this cheese.  It will not work.  Trust … {Read on...}

Zesty Cold Quinoa Salad

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Before I get into the quinoa salad recipe, I want to remind you all that you have one more week to get us your submissions for the The Second Tuesdays Déjà Food Event.  We're really looking forward to seeing what you all do with your leftover makeovers.      Now, back to business...   Quinoa has been the hot whole grain of the food blogging world lately.  My method for cooking quinoa is not the one most recipes require.  Most often, recipes tell you to wash the quinoa carefully to remove the bitter coating that it naturally produces.  I use the toasting method to remove the bitterness and add a little extra nutty flavor to the end product.  It's a personal preference.  You're by no means obligated to do it my way!  (But I do think it tastes better- I'm just saying...)   "Zangy" is a word my boys coined.  To hear them tell it, "Zangy" describes food that is simultaneously zingy, zany and tangy.  I guess it's sort of umami-light.  When I made this quinoa salad I had no idea what to call it.  I couldn't call it Latin flavors quinoa because it sounded clinical.  As the kids happily munched away on the salad, I asked them what they thought.  Ty, my 'no veggies/no fruits' guy said, "I like it.  It's zangy."  Liam and Aidan chimed in, "Yeah.  It's zangy for sure.  Mom.  You should call this Zangy Quinoa Salad."  And so without further adieu...     Zangy Quinoa Salad under blackened hake with chili garlic sauce, peach salsa and lettuce wraps.  (This is the … {Read on...}

Coming later today… A recipe worth returning to read!

This week is crazy.  I'm catering a wedding rehearsal dinner on Thursday 1 1/2 hours away, it's the middle of pickling/canning season, and I have company coming both today and Friday.  Yikes!    But I do promise this.  This afternoon I will carve out time to share a recipe for an AWESOME chilled quinoa salad.  It's worth coming back, so please do!     … {Read on...}

Amish Haystack Suppers

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  Today's weather was glorious and made for driving about the backroads doing country errands.  While stocking up on oats, sugar, and other sundries at the small bulk foods store run by a local Amish woman I saw her husband out gathering hay in their field.    The field was beautiful with the clean cut green topped with regular mounds of hay that had been painstakingly baled by hand.  Since the Amish eschew most farm equipment for religious reasons, he was manually baling the hay.   Each large mound of hay was comprised of many small, hand-tied bales propped up on their ends with their heads resting together and another bale perched on top.  Aaron explained to me that this is the way it's been done for centuries and when the sun is shining and the breeze was blowing as it was today that the hay would dry out in record time.  Of course!  How did I not connect the saying, "Make hay while the sun shines"?  I always thought it was a naughty aphorism.  It's a good thing we moved here.   I needed Amish neighbors to get my mind out of the gutter.   In addition to improving the aim of my moral compass, my Amish neighbors have taught me how to make some simple, frugal meals such as the following Haystack Suppers recipe.  The beauty of Haystack suppers is that it can take advantage of odds and ends you have in the fridge and can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be.    Since it was so gorgeous I really didn't want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen and took a … {Read on...}

Blueberry Jam

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In yesterday's post I offered the world's easiest blueberry preservation technique- freezing.  I also promised to provide an overview on how to make blueberry jam.  I'm a gal of my word, so as promised, I put together a primer on making and canning blueberry jam.  First, a couple words of caution:   This recipe is specifically for blueberries.  While the principles of canning remain the same if you're using other fruits, you cannot switch out blueberries for something else in the preparation of the recipe.  If you have other fruit, use a recipe tailored for that fruit so you can maintain the proper levels of acidity and sugar to preserve your jam best.  Have your mise en place ready to go.  (Repetitively redundant, I know...)  Think of making this like you would  a stir-fry.  If you try to measure things out and run around to find implements you'll run the risk of ruining it.  This is not a walk-away-and-do-other-things project. Once you make your own jam you will be very, very bitter if you have to purchase jam at the store.  The flavor and cost of homemade jam will convert you powerfully fast! Onto business...   Blueberry Jam Primer and Recipe   Ingredients for approximately 6 cups of jam: 4 cups sugar, measured into a mixing bowl 6 cups whole, clean, very fresh blueberries 1 package powdered pectin (not liquid!)   Sugar, blueberries and pectin for jam.     Hardware Needed for Canning 6 Cups of Jam: 3 sterilized pint jars (for … {Read on...}