Wow. Do we acknowledge the elephant in the room which is pointing judgey fingers at me for not posting in so long? No. Probably best not to and just move along like there is nothing to see here…
Anyhoo. Whilst shopping at Costco a few weeks ago I noticed a great deal on a 3 pound container of cherries. I love me some cherries. A lot. To the point where I actually have to count out how many I am allowed to eat in a single sitting lest I make myself super sick. Throughout the week I ate about a pound (don’t you dare judge me) and the last 2 were just dying to be made into jam.
And do you know how easy it is to make cherry jam? Stupidly easy. As in, no Sure Gel or pectin of any kind needed. Just some pitted cherries, sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and some time.
- Half 2 – 2 1/2 pounds of cherries and remove the pits (Or get smart when you buy the next batch of 6 pounds and invest in a cherry pitter. That thing is life changing) and add to your favorite pan or dutch oven.
- Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 good squirts of lemon juice to the pan, and simmer while stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes
Note on simmering time: depending on the water content of the cherries and the viscosity you like your jam, this may take longer. My 6 pound cherry batch took about an hour and a half – no joke – because they were super fresh and I like a thicker jam.
When your cherries have cooked down to a consistency you like (think about the juice in between) you have a choice: leave the cherries chunky or zip the mixture with an immersion blender. I do the latter, but don’t smooth the whole batch. I like a surprise cherry chunk here or there, but not a whole jar full. (And of course if you go the immersion blender route, please, BE CAREFUL. That shit is hot. Like, nearing magma levels of hot and we don’t need any burns from splattering cherries. It’s just not really a good story.)
After you have your cherry jam cooked, zipped and finished, you’re ready to water bath! Now of course you could eat this right away, but I prefer to preserve it in the cupboard, so into a 10 minute water bath it went, complete with all the safety protocols for canning blah blah and blah.
See how easy it is? And now you have homemade cherry jam to crack open when the wind is howling and you don’t want to leave your house for comfort food in a few months. Thinking ahead is so smart.
I do not have children, but many of my friends do, and from what I understand, the struggle to get them to eat can be very real. There is apparently some sort of magic that must be conjured, or special candle that must be lit to get them to voluntarily eat.
When I was visiting friends in the UK a few months ago and the 4 year old asked what I was making for dinner I said ‘chicken fingers.’ His reply? “I don’t like those.” I know little dude – you don’t like anything. But you know what? When they hit the table he said “Oh! I like these.” And asked for seconds. When I made them last month while visiting again? He wanted more.
So, here you go. A picky kid approved recipe for homemade chicken fingers.
- Cut 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1/2 inch strips (I mean really, who uses other chicken boobs?)
- Mix 3 heaping spoon-fulls of flour, a generous shake of pepper, a few shakes of cayenne pepper and 3 pinches of salt in a dish and dredge chicken pieces – set aside
- Allow the chicken to set for 5-10 minutes and dredge in flour again
- Lightly wisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl
- Add 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs to any remaining flour and generouslty reseason with peppers and salt
- Dredge flour coated fingers in egg and then roll in panko, add to hot pan with oil and cook 2 minutes or so on each side until cooked
I bet your kids love them. And if they don’t, take them back to the kid store. You kept your reciept, right?
I am not the biggest fan of corn tortillas. I mean, I guess I like them just fine, but I prefer the flour tortillas myself (you know – closer to that whole bread thing that I love so much). So, when you have 3 dozen corn tortillas in the house and the main tortilla eater is leaving, you make chips. And yeah – I will eat the sh*t out of some corn chips.
- Lightly brush one side of the tortilla with oil and stack.
- Cut the stack in half and then cut in half again, so you have 4 equalish triangles of future chippy goodness.
- Lay evenly on a pan – oil side up – and sprinkle with salt.
- Place in your preheated 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until crispy.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes to finish crisping up.
- Stuff face.
And then maybe make some nachos with leftover chicken taco meat. Repeat last step of instructions.
You know what makes a great pie crust? Lard. Don’t tell my husband that’s what he’s about to eat.
Rhubarb from the backyard and the last of the freezer strawberries…I can’t wait for it to rest and no longer be lava hot.
To be fair this recipe comes from one of those community compilation books. In fact, the recipe comes from my 90 year old grandmother’s good friend Marion. Now, I have never actually seen Marion smile, but she makes a damn good fruit cobbler.
This latest batch is strawberry and rhubarb – about 2 1/2 cups worth of fruit. And it is amazeballs. Add some vanilla ice cream? And you will verbalize things like “insert eye roll here.”
I feel it is my lawful duty as an Alaskan to have rhubarb plants in the yard. Now, this does not necessarily mean that I actually like rhubarb – but I don’t see how these 2 things are linked. At all.
However, I am coming around to rhubarb. And I have to say, rhubarb sauce is a super simple and great entry level rhubarb drug.
- Harvest and remove the leaves from a big bunch of rhubarb. Have no scientific way of knowing how much you are grabbing – just get a lot.
- Clean and chop stems to equal 4 cups cut rhubarb.
- Put the rest of the crazy amount of stems you cut in a vase on the counter until you get around to getting flour from the store tomorrow for cobbler.
- Put 1 cup water and the 4 cups of chopped ‘barb in a pot and bring to a boil – cover loosely.
- Boil and stir occasionally until the rhubarb is soft.
- Allow the sauce to cool and add honey and cinnamon to taste.
I have always been really intimidated by making my own mayo. I don’t really know why. Maybe I heard it was tricky? Well, whomever passed that info along is a fibber. Making your own mayo is so easy. And so much better than storebought. Believe me on this one.
Now, you can do this with a whisk by hand (I did it once…) or use a whisk attachment on whatever gizmo you prefer in your kitchen. (I am sure you could also use a food processor but we don’t have one of them there fancy things in our house).
- Add 1 egg yolk to a bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt
- Add to that 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of mustard if that’s your thing (it’s not mine)
- Whisk these ingredients together until it is all incorporated
- Ultimately you will be adding 3/4 cup oil to this. I do about half vegetable and half olive oil (just don’t do all olive oil or you will be sorry). Slowly drizzle in about 1 teaspoon to the egg yolk mixture and whisk.
- Continue alternating adding oil and whisking. (This is where a gizmo comes in handy) until all oil is incorporated and your mayo is a lovely pastel yellow.
- Refridgerate and enjoy!
Seriously you guys. I won’t be going back to store mayo ever. So many weird chemicals and most are made with soybean oil (we have way too much soy in our lives – cut it out where you can). Give it a go. You will thank me later.
It’s soup season. And what is easier (and yummier) than egg drop soup. I can almost guarantee you have most of this stuff in your kitchen already and it takes all of maybe 15 minutes to make.
- Peel and thinly slice 2 carrots, throw into a soup pot
- If you’re feeling mushroomy, slice 5 halved mushrooms and add to pot as well
- Add 2 cups chicken broth to pot and bring to boil – simmer your carrots and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes
- Add 3 more cups chicken broth (sub a cup of beef broth for one of those if you want the flavor to be a tad more complex) and simmer
- Add 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage – Napa or savoy is my favorite
- Add 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk to a cup and quickly whisk, set aside
- Whisk 1 1/2 TB corn starch in 1/2 cup water and add to broth (the corn starch makes the egg silky)
- Slowly pour your eggs into the broth gently whisking the soup with a chopstick (or whatever high tech tool you have to break up the egg).
- Liberally pepper
- Garnish with green onions
This is so easy. And so good. You’ll thank me. Now, get that soup going.
Whenever I would speak to my Uncle Stan, he would ask if the husband had gotten any rabbits lately. Sadly, Uncle Stan passed away (at the amazing age of 91!) in February. So, when the husband headed out Thumper hunting on Saturday, we knew that should he get one, it would be for Stan. In fact, the awesome hat he’s rocking in his picture was Stan’s. He would have been really proud to hear about the trip and how delicious that little bunny was.
Rabbit has the reputation for being tricky to cook, but this most recent recipe was probably the easiest, and best, we have ever had.
First, you need to brine your bunny for a day in salt water to tenderize and help remove the iron-y blood taste from the game. After that you’re ready to go. Break down the legs and remove the rib cage. The back strap is one of the best parts of any animal, so to minimize the chance of ruining it, I leave the entire back column intact. Obviously we aren’t running a fancy french restaurant out of our kitchen, so I’m not concerned with presentation. Remove tough silver skin with a sharp knife and you’re basically done.
In a large pot, brown the rabbit pieces in 2 TB or so of oil for about 3 minutes on each side, set aside.
- Add 1 whole chopped onion to the pot and saute until soft – about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and cook until fragrant – about 1 more minute.
- Add 2 cups chicken broth to the onion and garlic mixture, toss in a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme if that’s your thing. Liberally pepper the broth.
- Add rabbit to the broth mixture and quickly bring to boil. As soon as it has boiled turn the setting to low, cover, and slowly simmer for 35 – 45 minutes. Low and slow is the way to go with rabbit lest you turn it to leather.
When your rabbit is finished, remove from the pot and set aside.
- In a separate container, create a slurry with 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 5 TB water.
- Shake to mix well, and add to the remaining broth and onion mixture. Bring to boil while stirring. Remove from heat once it has boiled.
- Spoon the gravy over your rabbit and viola! What’s up Doc?!
You may think that the lemon sounds insane (I did the same thing) but it is a surprisingly delicious touch. A high note of citrus that really elevates the rabbit to a different level.
I also serve my rabbit with carrots (these were grown in our urban garden this summer and roasted with olive oil, salt & pepper) – because I find it hilarious. And of course, delicious.