Pickled this…don’t do that!

We all make mistakes and I think it’s important to be honest about that, otherwise how will any of us learn?  So during one of our pickle adventures, we had some leftover watermelon radishes in the fridge and decided to give pickling radishes a go.  I’m going to cut to the chase and let you know that this was a horrific flop (in case you couldn’t tell already).  I’m not sure if it was the radishes or the recipe … but something went badly wrong for our taste.

With color, like this, they have to taste good, right? WRONG!

With color, like this, they have to taste good, right? WRONG!

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I think I canned! I think I canned! I think I canned!

Canning is kind of addictive.  I think it is addictive because you really feel a sense of accomplishment when you start seeing jars of food that you grew AND preserved sitting in your fridge and pantry.  You have complete control over flavor profiles of the items you intend on storing.  But today, we are just talking about pickles.  I should let you know that I really like balanced pickles.  I am actually very pickle picky as I had a bad run in with some old pickles as a child and it took decades to recover from that.  If I’m going to eat a pickle, it must be crisp and have a well-rounded flavor, no one super strong predominate taste.  So here’s what we learned after tasting batch #1 and giving a go to round #2.

Three jars from our latest round of canning.

Three jars from our latest round of canning.

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Asian Glazed Sautéed Veggies

With 2 little people running around the house, getting dinner on the table is never an easy thing.  But getting a quick AND healthy dinner on the table, well, somedays, it almost seems like a mythical creation.  And yet … it happened.  It is an incredibly proud moment when a significant part of dinner for your family came straight out of your garden.  I love making veggie medleys because they can be prepped ahead, they can be whatever veggies your family likes and they come together really fast.  Because of this, I’m leaving the recipe fairly loosey-goosy for you to decide on what your family enjoys.

ASIAN GLAZED SAUTÉED VEGGIES

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In a pickle!

With a few small bags of cucumbers from the garden building up in the fridge, I recently decided to start trying to can.  And where better to start than pickles.  Crunchy, salty, touch of sweet, cold … a perfect summer time snack, and low calorie to boot!  Perfect.

Cumin lime pickles fresh out of the water bath

Cumin lime pickles fresh out of the water bath

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Fried Green Southern-ness

I should start off by saying that my family is that weird group of people that doesn’t swoon over a garden fresh tomato.  I don’t know what is wrong with us.  I want to love them and have my family love them too.  We love the smell of tomato plants and fresh tomatoes. But honestly, cherry, grape and pear tomatoes make us run screaming.  Meatier tomatoes are easier for us to handle.  We are absolutely working in the direction of learning to love, but it hasn’t come naturally. Continue reading

Simple Summer Risotto

My summer squash plants haven’t start producing yet (though the squash is REALLY close to ready) but in my search for recipes to make sure I am prepared for squash and zucchini abundance I found that, well, the recipes got really repetitive.  Either way, when we stumbled upon 7 lbs of yellow squash for $1.49 and 10 lbs of Korean zucchini for $1.49 at our local farmers market (CRAZY price, right?), I knew it was time to dig deep and start trying a few things to help ease this into our diet.  Squash and zucchini are new to our table, but the nutritional punch they pack plus their versatility to be used in either a savory or sweet application, I knew I had to get to work in the kitchen. Continue reading