Friday, August 27, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Jam, Apricot Jam and Pear Honey

Cinnamon Apple Jam

1 cup water
6 cups apples - peeled and sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pkg. powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup cinnamon imperials (Red Hots)

1. Combine apples, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan.
2. Bring to a steady simmer. Add cinnamon imperials, Cover and simmer 10 minutes
3. Stir in pectin and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
4. Add sugar.
5. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute stirring frequently .
6. Remove from heat;
7. Pour in hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. 8. Adjust caps.
9. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
Yield 6 pints.

Time to Make some Jam

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quinoa "The Mother Grain"

Quinoa with Zucchini, Carrots and Thyme

1/2 cup onion diced
6 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 med. zucchini, diced
2 tsp.. fresh thyme or oregano
1 1/4 cup quinoa
2 cups water

Rinse quinoa well. Cook in pan with a tight fitting lid.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and
cook for about 20 minutes. Saute’ onion, garlic, carrots
and zucchini in olive oil until tender. Mix cooked quinoa
and vegetables. Add seasoning. Adjust seasoning to taste.

"It is called quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), and is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa's origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization. Quinoa was known then, and still is known, with respect, as the mother grain. We call it the "Supergrain of the Future."

Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein.

Quinoa's protein is of an unusually high quality. It is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to the ideal ... similar to milk!

Quinoa's protein is high in lysine, methionine and cystine. This makes it an excellent food to combine with, and boost the protein value of, other grains (which are low in lysine), or soy (which is low in methionine and cystine). "

Tex Mex Black Bean Wraps

Tex Mex Black Bean Wraps

These sandwiches are perfect for a light lunch. Black beans are mashed with salsa to form a spread for flour tortillas, then rolled with veggies and avocado sauce.

1 ( 15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 avocado
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
4 (8”) flour tortillas

*In medium bowl, place black beans and mash with a fork. Leave some beans whole for a chunky texture.
*Add salsa and mix well.
*Slice bell pepper into thin strips
*Dice tomato.
*Shred cheeses.
*Prepare avocado. In small bowl, mash avocado with sour cream and lemon juice.
*Spread bean mixture over tortillas and top with vegetables and cheeses.
*Roll up wraps, slice in half at an angle, serve.

Campfire Beans

Campfire Beans

1 lb ground beef
1 envelope onion soup
2 cans beans, drained
(kidney, great northern, or pinto, etc.)
1/4 c chili sauce
1 1/2 cup water

*In a large skillet brown meat until no longer pink, stirring frequently.
*Drain excess grease.
*Stir in soup mix, beans, chili sauce and water.
*Simmer covered 15-20 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Hoppin' John with Black Eyed Peas

Hoppin' John

1 lb ground sausage
1 med onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans black eyed peas
1 cup long grain rice
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp pepper

Brown sausage in skillet until no longer pink. Add onion, cook until tender. add garlic cook stirring one minute more. Add broth, black eyed peas. Stir in rice, thyme and pepper, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes

" Hoppin' John is found in most states of the South, but it is mainly associated with the Carolinas. Gullah or Low Country cuisine reflects the cooking of the Carolinas, especially the Sea islands (a cluster of islands stretching along the coats of south Carolina and northern Georgia).

Black-eyed peas, also called cow peas, are thought to have been introduced to America by African slaves who worked the rice plantations. Hoppin' John is a rich bean dish made of black-eyed peas simmered with spicy sausages, ham hocks, or fat pork, rice, and tomato sauce.

This African-American dish is traditionally a high point of New Year's Day, when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving. whoever get the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New year's Day is Hoppin' John. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, many southern families toast each other with Champagne and a bowl of Hoppin' John. If it is served with collard greens you might, or might not, get rich during the coming year.

There are many variations to traditional Hoppin' John. Some cook the peas and rice in one pot, while others insist on simmering them separately.

Most food historians generally agree that "Hopping John" is an American dish with African/French/Caribbean roots. There are many tales or legends that explain how Hoppin' John got its name:

It was the custom for children to gather in the dining room as the dish was brought forth and h op around the table before sitting down to eat.

A man named John came "a-hoppin" when his wife took the dish from the stove.

An obscure South Carolina custom was inviting a guest to eat by saying, "Hop in, John"

The dish goes back at least as far as 1841, when, according to tradition, it was hawked in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a crippled black man who was know as Hoppin' John."

Preparing our grains and legumes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Herbs and Spices

This is truly a wonderful time of year. The garden is providing a plentiful harvest of squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and of course herbs. We begin this years classes exploring the flavors from the herb garden. Squash is the perfect pallet to color with various herb flavors. Other vegetables benefit from these fresh herb flavors as well so we added a dash of dill, a sprinkle of rosemary, and taste of tarragon to excite the flavors of our side dishes.

Squash Soup with Oregano


* 2 Tbsp olive oil
* 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
* 2 cloves minced garlic
* 3 cup summer (yellow) squash, cut up (1-1 1/2 lbs)
* 2 cups rich chicken stock
* 2 cups whipping cream
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
* Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Add yellow summer squash and broth. Cook until softened. When squash is soft carefully blend until smooth. 2. Add cream, basil and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. SERVES 6
*To freeze soup to use at a later date. In step 2, after adding stock, do not add cream, but do add basil and oregano and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool completely and run through your blender. Place in freezer container and freeze. For a future date remove from freezer allow to thaw completely. Put in pot, add the cream and bring up the heat slowly. Check seasoning and serve.

Zucchini with Thyme

Zucchini with Thyme

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound fresh zucchini, cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the onion cook until soft, but not browned.

Add the zucchini sticks, , thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently stir to coat the zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how tender the raw zucchini is to begin with, and how small you have sliced the pieces. Check and stir every few minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Serves 6

Corn with Cream Cheese and Dill

Yellow Summer Squash

Dill Green Peas with Walnuts

Tasting Time