The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John from Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
I was really excited when I found out what the challenge for this month was, hot water canning is something I’ve been wanting to try my hand at for awhile. I’d gotten as far as buying a book on the subject, attending a preserving basics class at Oded’s Kitchen and even had a few Consol canning jars patiently waiting for me to start.
I chose to make the apple butter and I used 1.25kg of granny smith apples which I peeled and cored before proceeding with the recipe. This produced enough apple butter to fill two 500ml canning jars, with about 200ml leftover to put in the fridge for eating over the next few days.
So I had the jars, but I didn’t have a pot deep enough to submerge them in or anything to lift them out of the hot water without burning my hands. I spent some time debating if I should use smaller jars or buy myself a pot that was deep enough to accommodate the jars I already had. Then I had an inspired idea, why not borrow my mom’s pasta pot? It was deep enough for the jars and it had an inner basket I could use to lower the jars into the hot water and lift them out again after they had been processed. And as an added bonus the basket had a raised base eliminating the need for a rack inside the pot. I’m happy to report that the pasta pot worked perfectly in it’s new designation as hot water canner.
Although I completed the challenge I’m not sure if I did it successfully. I guess I didn’t do a good enough job removing the air trapped in the jars because once they where cooled I noticed these tiny bubbles inside. Anyway this is definitely something that I’m going to do more of in the future and perhaps improve my air bubble removing technique as I go.
All recipes from this month’s challenge can be found here
If you follow me on Twitter you probably read my tweets about my newly acquired bento from The Crazy Store. Fellow Tweeter and bento fan Amanda pointed it out to me and I’m so glad she did! It’s a great little set and I got to take it out on it’s maiden voyage today.
- Greek flavoured pasta salad: pasta tossed with garlicky braised tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber and yoghurt dressing (recipe below) topped with wilted pea shoots,
- apple slices,
- almonds and
- wasabi peas.
I received a jar of Kara’s Original Greek Herb Dressing in my goodie bag at the SA Food Bloggers Conference earlier this year and since the conference I’ve used it to dress leafy salads and steamed vegetables with great results. Here is my simple recipe for a Greek flavoured yoghurt dressing using this herb mix.
- 3 tsp Kara’s Original Greek Herb Dressing Mix
- 6 tsp warm water
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- juice of half a lemon
- 150ml plain yoghurt
- Add warm water to herb mixture and leave to rehydrate for a few minutes
- Add celery salt and lemon juice
- Stir into plain yoghurt
This is enough to dress half a packet of pasta (250g dried). I think it would also make a great marinade or dip, although if you plan to use it as a dip you may want to use less salt.
Posted in Packed Lunches, Recipes
Tagged almonds, apple, cucumber, feta, garlic, pasta, pea shoots, tomato, wasabi peas, yoghurt
Awhile back Sigrid from Cooking and Eating with Polkadotcupcake and Marisa from The Creative Pot where chatting about Mexican food on Twitter. Their conversation escalated into a cheese slut confessional and the creation of the #cheeseslut tag. Soon bloggers started coming out of the woodwork (including myself) declaring their love for all things cheesy. Check out Browniegirl, Cook sister! and My easy cooking for more #cheeseslut posts.
This soup was my contribution to a weekend #cheeseslut cooking challenge and also to Mothers’ Day lunch. I made sure I had some leftover for lunch the next day too though.
- Broccoli and blue cheese soup,
- an avocado sandwich with red pepper and lettuce and
- an apple.
Here is my recipe for the soup
- 1l vegetable stock,
- 300g broccoli florets,
- 2 small potatoes peeled and cubed,
- 125g creamy blue cheese,
- 125ml milk
- Place vegetable stock, broccoli and potato in a pot, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is tender.
- Crumble blue cheese into pot, add milk and blend till smooth.
- Serve immediately with warm slices of toasted bread or croutons.