Pickles, Pickles, and More Pickles

Something I really love is being in the kitchen. Today I decided to try my hand at Pickles. I decided to make a spicy Habanero pickle. My son in California loves spicy pickles and is known to have his favorite spicy pickles shipped to him (the shipping cost more than the case of pickles…YIKES!). So why not try to make my own and bring them to him when I visit.

I made an early visit to the Parker Farmer’s Market this morning and picked up my cukes, dill, onion and garlic. Then headed to my local market for the spices I’d need – whole white and black peppercorns, whole mustard seed, dill seed, coriander seed, bay leaf and fresh habaneros. I love that I was able to buy bulk, organic spices and veggies.

Next came prep – wash the cukes, then throw them in an ice bath for a couple hours – I heard this helps with keeping them crisp – we shall see. Separate the dill from the stalk and wash, combine my spices for my homemade pickling spice, make my apple cider vinegar brine mixture and let it cool to room temp, clean all my garlic cloves – 5 whole cloves per jar – lots of garlic, thinly sliced the yellow onion and cut the stems off the habaneros. Make sure to always wear gloves when working with hot peppers. Washed the jars on top shelf of dishwasher with no other dishes or detergent. Lids are simmered not boiled just prior to using.

I’m now ready to make up my jars – added a couple tablespoons of my pickling spices, one habanero, an onion slice, my fresh dill and a couple bay leaves then the cukes cut in 1- 2″ chunks. I ladled my brine liquid to cover the cukes, about a 1/2″ from top of the jar, added my lids and rings and gave it a good tightening. Placed the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes and carefully removed each jar and placed on counter.

Now I’m hearing that lovely pop, pop pop, as they seal. Woo hoo! I’ll let them set undisturbed overnight then move them to a dark cool cupboard for about 7 – 10 days before breaking open the first jar for a spicy taste test.

I’ll let you know the family and friend consensus.

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Happy St. Patrick‚Äôs Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

After my husband and I did the 23 and Me DNA testing, we both found out we had some Irish in us. He more than me, so what better way to celebrate our new found heritage than through a day of Irish food!

My daughter started off our morning with Irish Boxty. It’s a traditional Irish dish made with potatoes.

An old Irish rhyme goes, “Boxty on the griddle, Boxty on the pan, if you can’t make Boxty, you never get a man.” LOL

She’s single and it turned out great so…we shall see.

Stay tuned for…

Irish Guinness Brown  bread (my sister’s recipe)

Shepherd’s Pie

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Cream Cheese frosting

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

It’s Saturday and the family is looking for cookies. So I whip up the family fav…Chocolate chip. Now growing up my go to was the Nestle Toll house cookie recipe that was until I happened to stop by at my Aunt’s house one day about 40 years ago, yes that’s 4-0, FORTY. She had just finished baking cookies and wow I can still remember the smell of freshly baked cookies as I entered her house. Of course I had to have one and after one bite of my cookie I knew I must have this recipe. Crispy on the outside but soft on the inside and ooey gooey chocolate dripping on my chin. oh man, so yummy.

I needed this recipe, but with our kids running around could we find a piece of paper? NO, but she did find an envelope, so I wrote down the recipe with all good intentions of transferring to a recipe card when I went home.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Well as of today 40+ years later, that cookie recipe is still on the same envelope which I still pull out every time I bake these yummy chocolate chip cookies. And yes, Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips are still my go to chips. I do omit the coconut and nuts for my family and they are still the best! Plus it will make about 6 dozen and they freeze very well.

The Bite

Since that day 40+ years ago, my aunt has found out she was celiac and couldn’t enjoy her cookie recipe but I have found a product that she can use instead of the flour, its called Bella Gluten Free All Purpose Baking mix. You use it cup for cup as you would regular flour and it’s the best. It’s produced in Colorado but it’s available on Amazon for all of you not in Colorado. Try it…

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If you’d like the recipe to enjoy the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ever, please comment below and I’d be happy to send it.

I’d love your feedback.

Enjoy!