Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

It took a big leap of faith on my part to not make my usual Salsa Verde .  It’s Matt and I’s absolute favorite salsa.  I use it for so much more than just chips and dip.  I won’t bore you with all the details (go see recipes: here and here and here )….my brain can only handle so much information so let’s just talk about why a new tomatillos salsa?

It’s ROASTED which means it will take flavors to the next level.

I like the hands free everything in the oven idea.

It’s easy to change up the heat lever and add other interesting ingredients, perhaps a couple green tomatoes or red onions.

I don’t want to be in a salsa rut….where ever that is!

I want to be in salsa heaven…where ever that is!

Gorgeous salsa....this is where I want to be!

Gorgeous salsa….this is where I want to be!

Ingredients:

2 lbs tomatillos (about 10-14 depending on size) peeled and rinsed

1 onion roughly chopped

2-3 jalapenos (or less if you don’t like spicy or you could use a combination of peppers, I did: 1 inferno, 1 italico spanish spice and 1 anaheim)

6 garlic cloves peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup cilantro roughly chopped

Juice one lime

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

Put all your tomatillos (peeled and rinsed…kind of important), chopped onion, peppers and garlic in a large bowl, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle your salt and pepper.  Toss everything together well.  Lay everything in your prepared pan.  Put in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Stir everything again at the halfway point….smell the amazing flavor while you are at it!

look at these marvelous ingredients! OH MY!

look at these marvelous ingredients! OH MY!

roasting is simply THE BEST....end of story!

roasting is simply THE BEST….end of story!

After 30 minutes, let cool for about 10 minutes.  Put everything (any juices as well) in your food processor.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup cilantro and lime juice.  Pulse until desired consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

for some reason this picture makes me smile...everything about it is YUM!

for some reason this picture makes me smile…everything about it is: YUM!

there you have it: over 4 cups of deliciously flavorful salsa...HOMEMADE SALSA!

there you have it: over 4 cups of deliciously flavorful salsa…HOMEMADE SALSA!

time to serve up some knock your socks off salsa!

time to serve up some knock your socks off salsa!

Enjoy!

this is where I grow my peppers: around the chicken coop! I have over 5 kinds of peppers... I <3 it!

this is where I grow my peppers: around the chicken coop! I have over 9 kinds of peppers… I ❤ it!

Printer Friendly: Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

Peace and Leap of Faith,

Isabelle

You could make this with this delicious salsa:

My Mom's Mexican Dip

My Mom’s Mexican Dip

My Mom’s Mexican Dip

OR this:

Green Enchiladas

Green Enchiladas

Green Enchiladas

 

Advertisements

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

We decided this year to expand our “greens” in our garden to not only kale and swiss chard but also rainbow chard.  It is quite a miracle that I am able to grow anything at all but the fact that my greens did so well last year made me think I could do more….which is usually where I crash and fail…but so far so good.

I GREW THAT!!!!! So pretty!

I GREW THAT!!!!! So pretty!

This is not so much a recipe per say but more of a guideline.  I make this “recipe/formula” pretty much the same way for kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet tops, rainbow chard, spinach…etc…

Got to love a recipe that can adapt to many different main ingredients!

Got to love a recipe that can adapt to many different main ingredients!

Ingredients:

Large bunch of rainbow chard (I had about 15 stems)

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine (substitute with vegetable broth if needed)

1/2 lemon juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Separate the stems of the chard from the leaves.  Cut the leaves into bite size pieces and set aside.  Slice the stems into small pieces and set aside.

big ol' bowl of chopped chard

big ol’ bowl of chopped chard

In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add your chopped onion and saute until soft and fragrant.  Add your chopped stems.  Cook on medium heat until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Start adding your chopped leaves, a few big handful at a time, stirring gently after each addition.  It will seem like a mountain of leaves but it will cook down greatly.  Keep adding your leaves until they are all in.

a whole lot of chopped chard

a big mountain of chopped chard

gently stir or you will have chard all over your stove top!

gently stir or you will have chard all over your stove top!

Add your garlic, white wine and lemon juice.  Cook gently until your chard has wilted nicely.  Add your salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon each.  Finally turn heat off and add your apple cider vinegar, toss everything to combine and serve.

all cooked down and ready to go!

all cooked down and ready to go!

smells so amazing! I am ready to dig in!

smells so amazing! I am ready to dig in!

So easy, healthy and fresh!  I love this side with grilled chicken or baked fish, even a nice steak!  Really it goes with everything, and my kids love it!

Enjoy!  <3

Enjoy! ❤

Printer Friendly: Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Peace and Grow,

Isabelle

One year…and a delicious Breakfast Smoothie

Last year after the holidays, when all was calm and ritual again, my husband suggested we drink our breakfast.  NO NO not actual alcoholic drinks but juices/smoothies….drinks of that nature!

I have ALWAYS, for as long as I could remember, eaten bread (or some sort of) for breakfast.  I am french after all therefore toast with cheese or pate is part of my DNA.  That being said, I knew my fruit intake was minimal at best.  I love vegetables, I love eating well, I love working out…blah blah blah.  BUT I don’t really care to eat fruits.

So, in order to prove a point….which one I don’t remember.  I decided I could give up my usual breakfast fare for a delicious smoothie.  Believe me when I tell you that it wasn’t easy.  I love bread.  But I did it.  One year ago, I started making smoothies for breakfast.  I guess the old sayin’ that if you do something long or often enough it becomes a habit.  This time, it’s a good and healthy habit.  I love my smoothies!

My fave: Purple Smoothie

My fave: Purple Smoothie

SO for this first Fantastic Friday of 2014 I wanted to share with you my favorite smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 banana

1/2 cup pineapple (frozen or fresh)

1/2  cup fresh spinach

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup almond or coconut milk (not sweetened)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (preferably organic)

about 1/2 cup water (you could use coconut water)

How to:

Put in your blender and press start! 🙂

pretty from start....

pretty from start….

Voila!

to finish!

to finish!

Note: You could add some green powder, I always forget but Mr. Man loves it.  Also the amount of water is up to you.  You may prefer a thicker smoothie, your pineapple might be extra juicy….who knows.  It’s not brain surgery!

Wishing you all a Healthy 2014 and a fantastic Friday!

Peace and Love

Isabelle

Just in case….Printer friendly: Purple Smoothie

Country Pate (Pate de Campagne)

Pate de Campagne/Country Pate

Pate de Campagne/Country Pate

Maybe I should have not stated that this posted is about Pate.  I know quite a few readers who just can’t bring themselves to eat or least of all make pate.  I, on the other hand, could eat it 24/7 365 days a year.  I love this stuff, any kind, all kinds, it doesn’t matter!  I am a pate nut! 😉  That didn’t sound quite right!

When I go visit my parents in Montreal I always run to the grocery store and buy at least 2 or 3 to eat for breakfast or afternoon snack…. so delicious with a lovely baguette or rustic bread.  HEAVEN or at least what I would like my heaven to be!

I made this pate for my annual foodie dinner party in Chicago.  A dinner party I am not quite sure how I managed to sneak my way into but a fun and delicious party none the less!  Janine requested pate for one of the appetizers.  She also requested my tumbleweeds.  I realize tumbleweeds and pate is odd but no worries we shall not eat them together!  😉

plenty to go around! So delicious!

plenty to go around! So delicious!

Here is where I found the base for my Country Pate.  I changed a few things (noted after my recipe).

Ingredients:

2 1/4 pounds ground pork

1/2 onion finely chopped

1/2 cup Italian parsley chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons brandy

1/2 cup heavy cream

How to:

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a terrine mold or loaf pan (good old banana bread pan!) with plastic wrap (if you wet the pan first it will help the wrap stick to the sides).  Set aside.

plastic lining is extremely important!

plastic lining is extremely important!

Put about one-third of the ground pork, the onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and spices into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the meat and spices are well mixed.  Return to bowl with rest of pork and mix together well with wooden spoon or hands. (World’s best kitchen tool!)

In a small bowl, combine flour, egg, brandy and cream and whisk to blend well. Add to meat mixture and mix until incorporated. (Mixture may look rather thin. Despair not: It will set up firmly when cooked.)

Fill your prepared mold with pate mixture, pressing down firmly to remove air pockets.  Fold plastic wrap over top to enclose.  Cover tightly with foil.  Place terrine mold in a roasting pan, add enough hot tap water to come about half-way up sides of mold, and place in oven.  Roast for about 2 hours, until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

all in....please ignore the fact that I am taking pics in the snow!

all in….please ignore the fact that I am taking pics in the snow!

all wrapped up

all wrapped up

bad pic but you get the idea

bad pic but you get the idea

Remove terrine from oven and place about two pounds of weight, such as several full cans of vegetables or other canned foods, on top of another loaf pan on top of pate, to weight down and compact the pate.  Refrigerate overnight.  Bring to room temperature before lifting out of mold, unwrapping plastic and slicing to serve.  This makes a large loaf, I like to slice it and wrap individual servings in plastic wrap using them as needed or giving some as gifts.

you will need more than just those two little cans of tune....if you know what I mean!

you will need more than just those two little cans of tune….if you know what I mean!

Note: the original recipe called for veal or pork liver, I couldn’t find it so I added a bit more ground pork.  Also they made a spice mixture and only used part of it.  Reality was that I was probably not going to make this pate soon which meant that the spice mixture would sit in my pantry for lord knows how long (wasteful!) so I tweaked the spices to my liking!  I prefer Italian parsley.

filled with amazing spice flavors, such a great appetizer!

filled with amazing spices and flavors, such a great appetizer!

Printer Friendly: Country Pate

Peace and Be Fearless Eat Pate,

Isabelle

my Chicago offering!

my Chicago offering!

Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

I love these meatballs.  They are not your typical “asian” sweet and sour meatballs.  The meatballs people seem to throw together at parties, loaded with cranberry sauce or barbecue sauce.  Nope.  These are serious meatballs with a true jewish homecooking flavor.  I think my husband was a tad skeptical when I first told him I was making sweet and sour meatballs for supper.  I could imagine he was thinking: “oh dear, this is going to be too sweet, too sticky, too sugary for a real meal”.  I think he was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t serve him a deep burgundy sweet mess but a lovely and tangy with “just enough sweetness” gorgeous meatballs over perfectly roasted spaghetti squash!

scrumptious and such a different take on typical meatballs

scrumptious and such a different take on typical Italian meatballs

Adapted from:  Saveur Magazine

Ingredients:

For the sweet and sour sauce:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 29-ounce can tomato sauce

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the meatballs:

2 lb. ground beef (80% 20% or 85% 15%)

2 eggs

½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

½ cup Panko

1 medium onion, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

How to:

For the sauce:

In a large Dutch oven, heat your oil, add your onions and saute over medium heat until tender and golden.  Add your tomato sauce and rinse out the can with ½ cup water to loosen any sauce that remains, adding the liquid to the pot.  Add your lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.  Set aside.

delightful sauce

delightful sauce

For the meatballs:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, panko, onion, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Using your best tools, your hand, combine everything but do not over-mix.  Using a medium sizde scoop form your meatballs and place them on your prepared pans.  Put in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Once your meatballs are ready, bring your sauce back to the stovetop and add your meatballs to your sauce.  Bring to a simmer and let this cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

all aboard!

all aboard!

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

might look like nothing but these meatballs pack some serious flavors!

might look like nothing but these meatballs pack some serious flavors!

all in, time to simmer

all in, time to simmer

so so so gorgeous and delicious!

so so so gorgeous and delicious!

Serve over roasted spaghetti squash or pasta or rice, whatever pleases your crowd!

take a bite, trust me you will fall in love!

take a bite, trust me, you’ll fall in love!

Printer Friendly: Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

Peace and Sweet Mess,

Isabelle

Asian Ginger Dressing

Asian Ginger Dressing served with a chicken spinach salad

Asian Ginger Dressing served with a chicken spinach salad

In all fairness I have no clue how I came across Anita’s blog: Calico Tales

I mean, it’s just been in my favorite bookmarks for “I don’t know how long”.  Yep just there hanging out.  I have to be honest I don’t subscribe to her blog…nope, I just go there every now and then and simply enjoy her words.  Somehow I really really enjoy her.  I enjoy her writing.  I get it.  Anita is far more artsy than I.  I feel like a lump on a log compared to her artsyness (yea yea…it’s not a word)  but I like hearing about her life….you know stuff bloggers like to share.  I like reading her stuff!  I am not speaking out of terms here or in an ill way but: Anita might not be everyone’s cup of tea.  I get that.  But I like her.  That works for me.

She posted now too long ago about an Asian Ginger Dressing  Well, you can bet your sweet butt that truly spoke to me!  It’s FOOD….I can be artsy and foodie….well….I can try!

Asian Ginger Dressing

Asian Ginger Dressing

Anita got her recipe from her mother-in-law!  Sweet!  I love family recipes!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (Anita did hers minced)

3 gloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons sesame oil

How to:

Combine all the ingredients in an air tight container and shake it like you mean it!   That’s it!  That’s all!

one jar, one recipe, one happy dressing!

one jar, one recipe, one happy dressing!

Use over lettuce, veggies, or even over leftover chicken, I even put it in sandwiches….yea I know…I am wild and artsy like that!  This dressing is fantastic, it’s easy, it’s fresh and hits all the right notes of sweet and savory!  Best part is: you can play with the ingredients, add or reduce one or all!  Now that’s a pretty cool recipe if you ask me!  😉

delicious and healthy salad

delicious and healthy salad

Note:  Dressing will separate once it sits in your fridge, so shake it up before you use it….hence the handy dandy air tight container!  Brilliant!

Printer Friendly: Asian Ginger Dressing

Peace and Artsy,

Isabelle

Recipe shared here as well:

 

Creamed Mushrooms

Creamed Mushrooms

Creamed Mushrooms

Making this recipe was a total happenstance.  Thing is, I was looking for my mom’s crepe recipe.  Once a year my lovely daughter will sign me up to make Nutella Crepes for her whole French class.  I am honored to do it.  It takes pretty much a whole evening to prep and make 40 or so crepes.  Then of course at least a good hour the next morning to fill, fold and stack said crepes.  But it’s once a year for their “french breakfast” as a class and it’s pretty cool that I know how to do it!

I wrote my mom’s recipe in the back of the very first cookbook I ever received:

Silver Palate Cookbook...the foodie cookbook of it's era...back in the day!

Silver Palate Cookbook…the foodie cookbook of it’s era…back in the day!

The fact that I remembered where I wrote it simply astonished my father-in-law who is visiting us.  He couldn’t believe it when I said that I not only knew where I wrote it but when and why!  Now if only I remembered where I put my car keys or my cell phone most days then YES that would be astonishing!

As you would imagine I could not simply look at the crepe recipe….I had to start flipping through the cookbook and kept wondering why I had not made this or that recipe….finally I stopped at the Creamed Mushrooms…they sounded too delicious to pass up!

absolutely the best mushrooms I have ever eaten...ever!

absolutely the best mushrooms I have ever eaten…ever!

I did change a few things….just a few I promise 😉

Ingredients:

2 lbs fresh white mushrooms (I used 1lb. white mushrooms and 1lb. mini bella mushrooms)

4 tablespoons salted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

pinch grated nutmeg

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons dry red wine

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme

How to:

Cut mushrooms into thick slices.  In a large pan, melt the butter.  Add your mushrooms, raise the heat, and toss and stir until mushrooms render their juices, about 5 minutes.  Lower the heat, season mushrooms with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a bowl.  Add your cream, wine, soy sauce and fresh thyme to the juices in the skillet and bring to a boil.  Cook until reduced by about half.  Return mushrooms to the skillet and simmer for another minute or two to heat through.

my 'shrooms!

my ‘shrooms!

nice thick slices all in the pan!

nice thick slices all in the pan!

it's cookin'

it’s cookin’

the smell....the color....and the TASTE! OH MY WORD!

the smell….the color….and the TASTE! OH MY WORD!

Serve….honestly these are so delicious I about ate the whole pan while making them.  Ridiculously flavorful and to think of how few ingredients it took to make such an amazing dish.  You could serve these so many ways: over a nice piece of toasted country bread, as a burger topping, over a nice thick slice of meatloaf (our dinner…sorry no pic!), over fresh spinach with a poached egg (my lunch next day, see pic below) folded into an omelet, as a topping for a nice thick steak…and on and on…so many possibilities.

oh my sweet heaven this was an amazing leftover lunch!  SUPERB!

oh my sweet heaven this was an amazing leftover lunch! SUPERB!

Printer Friendly: Creamed Mushrooms

Peace and ASTONISHING!

Isabelle

Romesco Sauce

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

Honestly I think there is about a million ways to make Romesco sauce.  They all look delicious and I really had no clue where to start.  I have eaten Romesco sauce.  I had plans on making Romesco sauce many many many times.  Yet here I am again trying to decide a starting point for this lovely little sauce.  It’s simple enough; stale bread, almonds (sometimes cashews), red peppers, tomatoes, some spices and VOILA!

After reading many (too many) recipes for Romesco sauce, I decided to add “more” roasted flavors to mine, and nothing from a jar (say like roasted red peppers that taste like nothing)!

This sauce took an interesting turn.  My husband made it on Sunday.  Sunday was an awesome day.  Sunday my husband and I left early to run a few errands.  Turns out we ran a LOT of errands, ended up having lunch at “Taco Smell” and were picking corn at our friend Elaine’s place around 1ish….we picked a LOT of corn.  I decided around 3ish that it would be perfect timing to start blanching, bagging and all the other stuff that involves having over 27 bags (each filled with about 4 cups of corn) ready for the long winter months!  Needless to say it was well over 6pm when I realized that nothing, and I mean nothing, was looking like dinner was in the works.  What’s a girl to do?  Give directions to her husband across loads of corn on how to make Romesco Sauce!  He stepped up and helped me out like a champion!  🙂

so delicious....ready for that first bite?

so delicious….ready for that first bite?

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks

2 poblano peppers, cut into chunks

1 serano or jalapeno pepper

4 garlic cloves, peeled

4 medium size tomatoes, cut into chunks

1/2 cup almonds

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 slice country bread, preferably stale

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup olive oil

Pasta for serving (this makes enough for 2lb pasta….I made 1lb and use the leftovers for other delicious possibilities!)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your bell peppers, poblano peppers, serano pepper, garlic, and tomatoes.  Add a couple tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to combine.  Put everything on your prepared baking sheet and roast in your oven for 25-30 minutes until soft, fragrant and roasted to perfection.  Let cool for about 10-15 minutes.

don't forget to keep all those lovely juices!

don’t forget to keep all those lovely juices!

Put your roasted vegetables in your food processor (we have a “ninja” and Matt LOVES to use it so we went with that) add your almonds, lemon juice, bread, salt, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, paprika and olive oil.  Pulse until smooth.  VOILA!  Wasn’t that simple?!  And It’s absolutely scrumptious.

before

before

and after....gorgeous!

and after….gorgeous!

Serve over pasta, as a dip for vegetables, as a pizza sauce, as a topping for chicken or fish, or tossed with roasted shrimp….oh my goodness so many ways to serve this amazing sauce.  I, of course, had to go with pasta….just like I judge cookbooks by their cookie recipes, I like to judge sauces on how well they make pasta feel like love….yep….pasta feels like love, especially when the sauce is heavenly!

I always put about 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce to cover the entire pasta and then add some more per serving

I always put about 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce to cover the entire pasta and then add some more per serving

Printer Friendly:  Romesco Sauce

one last look!  :)

one last look! 🙂

Peace and 27 bags of corn is a LOT of corn!

Isabelle

Pickled Carrots

Pickled Carrots

Pickled Carrots

I was going to name these: Isabelle’s Pickled Carrots.  Not after me, another Isabelle.  Turns out this isn’t her recipe either.  You know, the other Isabelle.  It’s from a lady named Ginette.   The Isabelle was/is the mom of 3 little girls I babysat about a million years ago.  Isabelle was, and still is (although I haven’t talked to her in ions), a lovely lady.  She was also our neighbor.  This has nothing to do with pickled carrots other than I really thought this was her recipe.  I don’t really know the Ginette lady.  She was my mom’s friend.  I was never her friend or her kids’ friend.

Bottom line: I have her recipe for pickled carrots.  I found it in an old keepsake recipe book I’ve had for years, where everything is hand written, sometime neatly, most times poorly.  Well I rambled on enough about nothing relevant, but take my word for it, these pickled carrots are delicious and actually super easy to make.  Thank you Ginette, wherever you are!

time to get the carrots pickled! :)

time to get the carrots pickled! 🙂

Ingredients:

3lbs carrots cut into sticks (about 30 carrots)

1 bunch fresh dill

10-12 whole garlic cloves peeled

1/2 cup kosher salt

2 cups white vinegar

5 cups water

6 pint size mason jars, cleaned and completely dry

How to:

In a large pot filled with boiling water blanch your carrots for 30 seconds.  Put your carrots in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Put your carrots in your clean jars, add 1 or 2 garlic cloves and a piece of dill.  I went with a decent size piece…my notes didn’t say what size!  Set aside.

bright beautiful carrots!

bright beautiful carrots!

packed and ready for the liquid

packed and ready for the liquid

In a large pot combine your salt, vinegar and water, bring to a simmer, do not let this boil.

Fill your jars with your warm liquid, leaving about 1/2 inch head space.  Put your lids on and place in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.   Remove from water bath and let cool completely, check your seal after 24hours, they should NOT pop when pressed.

no worries I will push down on the carrots that are trying to escape!

no worries I will push down on the carrots that are trying to escape!

my "make-do" water bath...it will be better next time

my “make-do” water bath…it will be better next time

Notes: I am not a great canning girl….yet…I am working on it.  So here are a few things I wanted to share with you.

~I guess you can make any shape carrots you want but my notes said sticks.

~I learned the hard way that you MUST truly clean your jars with soap and hot water!  You must thoroughly dry everything prior to canning.

~ You can re-process your cans if the lid didn’t seal properly OR you can put them in your fridge and it should keep for a few weeks.  We lack space in our fridge because I am a food hoarder so I need to make sure it seals properly!

~ Here is a great canning web site: Fresh Preserving

~ it seems everyone has their own little tricks when it comes to canning…do what you prefer, this is just my first attempt!

not bad for a first experience!

not bad for a first experience!

Printer Friendly: Pickled Carrots

I am happy my “first” canning experience went well.  I also made some Sweet & Spicy Pickled Cucumbers because my garden is FILLED with cucumbers this year.  I found the recipe on Tasty Kitchen, love the sweet spicy aspect!  Delicious!

pretty cucumbers from our garden!

pretty cucumbers from our garden!

Peace and Not the other Isabelle,

Isabelle

The Best Caesar Salad….EVER!

Best Ceasar Salad EVER!

Best Caesar Salad EVER!

Bold Statement.  Maybe.  I don’t make statements like this easily, trust me.  But when my friend Angie came over with her peeps a while ago she brought a salad to go along with the lasagna I was making.  Can I tell you I almost fell off my chair when I took a bite of her salad.  It was perfect.  Simply perfect.  I waited for the appropriate time to ask for the recipe.  I didn’t want her to think I was some crazy foodie blogger that only cares about food….oh wait…I am that.  Regardless, she gave me the recipe and the go-ahead to blog about it.  I think most of my friends know by now that if I ask for a recipe and you actually give it to me then it’s a sure bet it’s going to show up here!  I do that simply because I care so much about you guys I want to have the best of the best….and this recipe is the best of the best Caesar salad….in my humble opinion!

a little grilled chicken to top this amazing salad

a little grilled chicken to top this amazing salad

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove-peeled and minced

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup olive oil

splash Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 Lemon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Romaine Lettuce-rinsed and dried (about 1 1/2 to 2 Romaine hearts)

How to:

Using your hands, tear off chunks of lettuce from the Romaine hearts and break apart (do not use a knife to cut).  Place in bowl.  Set aside.

Hearts of Romaine...crisp and fresh

Hearts of Romaine…crisp and fresh

For Dressing:

Place your garlic into a medium bowl and add your red wine vinegar.  Smash and stir.   Add oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yoke.  (You have to coddle the egg -which means place it in boiling water for 45 sec., then crack open and just use yolk).  Then add the juice from 1/2 of lemon.  Stir really well and pour onto lettuce.  Toss until coated.  Add Parmesan cheese and croutons to your liking.  Toss to combine.  Serve and wait for the applause.

gorgeous golden salad dressing, the key to success!

gorgeous golden salad dressing, the key to success!

I can't tell you how simply amazing this salad taste...just look how lovely it grabs you attention!

I can’t tell you how simply amazing this salad tastes…just look how lovely it is!

Note:  This salad is perfectly delicious on it’s own, as a side or topped with your favorite protein. I selected grilled chicken breast for our little supper.  Fantastic!

ready to dig in!

ready to dig in!

Another note: I had never coddled an egg until I made this salad.  Don’t be afraid to try it, it is quite easy and you will have peace of mind that you are not eating a “raw” egg.  I would also advise you to use organic farm eggs whenever possible.  Store bought “white” eggs are old…in some cases months old…that is just not good for you.

Printer Friendly: Best Caesar Salad

Peace and Coddle,

Isabelle