Category Archives: Food

Refrigerator Pickles

We've had an 'accidental cucumber plant growing in our compost pile this year - best I can guess is that when I tore up the garden at the end of the season last year and tossed the leftover stuff on the compost pile, one of the cucumber seeds must have sprouted this spring. It's been producing a _ton_ of cucumbers, so sliced a bunch up to make a batch of refrigerator sweet pickles with them. I added some red and white onion too - I love pickled onions. Good stuff.


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Fermentation Experiments

I've been experimenting with some fermentation recipes lately. From left to right they are:

1) A red hot sauce from fermented Fresno peppers and garlic. Delicious and extremely flavorful, without being crazy hot.
2) The brine the red peppers fermented in. Only a tiny bit of heat - it's more like a salty brine that you can add to things like a baked potato, etc.
3) A green hot sauce from fermented green Fresno peppers and jalapeno peppers from out garden. This one fermented so aggressively that the jar would foam over every time I cracked it open to relieve the pressure. It's not really hot - it's more "peppery". Also delicious.
4) We've also been trying to make some homemade miso. It needs to age in a crock at room temperature for about a year before you can use it. While it is fermenting, it gives off a liquid called tamari, that is basically just like soy sauce (and can be substituted for soy sauce in any recipe). As the miso ages the tamari it gives off will get darker and darker - this tamari is from early in the process, so it's still pretty blond.

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Garden 2018

It's been years since I tried a vegetable garden, but this year we have a better spot (the yard at the new house already had some raised planting beds built in a good location). Also,, Carter was interested too, which always helps motivate me. We planted lots of stuff - cucumbers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, butternut squash, zucchini, green beans, sweet peas, potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, lettuce, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and herbs. Whew! Things are starting to ripen and be ready for harvest, so the kitchen is full of fresh veggies these days.


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Rainbow Cake

Carter recently made a "rainbow cake" - a many-layered cake where each layer is a different color. It was originally meant to be one layer taller (if I remember correctly), but something went wrong with that extra layer. As-is, this cake was enormous! But it came out great! The frosting was a little thin, but mostly because we underestimated exactly how much frosting we'd need to cover this behemoth.

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Moon Cake

Carter made this "moon cake" a couple of weeks ago. She baked it in a big Pyrex bowl to give it a half-globe shape. She also experimented with fondant for the first time to make the decorations. She tried to carve out "craters" in the sides of the cake, but they didn't quite work. She learned a lot from this one, and if she had to do it all over again it would definitely go a lot smoother!

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Carter’s Baking

Carter has been becoming a really good little baker over the last six months or so. Here are just a few examples of things she's made recently. In the photo below are some pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies, some cream cheese frosting pumpkin cupcakes, some coconut macaroons, and a loaf of wheat bread. Everything was made from scratch, by Carter, with no help from us. She's amazing!

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Apple Pie

This is Carter's first attempt at making an apple pie. It looks pretty amazing! Luckily, it tasted as good as it looked! She made it for Easter dinner, but I forget to post a picture of it until I was clearing off the camera today.

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Sriracha – Round Two

I went through the first batch of the homemade Sriracha pretty quickly, and decided that another batch was in order. I could find enough red Fresno peppers this time, and had to substitute some green Jalapenos for part of the recipe. Due to that substitution, the color wasn't as nice and red, and the sauce is a lot hotter than I was aiming for. Still good, but I like it a little milder in general. This time I made up some funny labels that the kids helped me out with.



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Homemade Sriracha

I made a batch of homemade Sriracha sauce over the last week. It's pretty easy - basically you puree the peppers and some other ingredients, put it in a jar, then let it ferment at room temperature for a week. After that you just bring it to a boil with some vinegar, force it through a strainer, and bottle it. Looking forward to putting some on whatever we eat for dinner! If it ends up being pretty good I think I'm going to make a bigger batch sometime soon so I've got some to give away) and make up some fun labels to print for the bottles.

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Ice Cream Sundaes

Ryan slept over a couple of weeks ago, and we all made ice cream sundaes for dessert. No real story - just a pair of cute pictures.

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