Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles

This recipe is from
The Brown Eyed Baker

Our cucumber harvest was on overdrive this year.  I hadn’t made pickles in a very long time and was looking for something quick, easy and naturally delicious.  This recipe checked all those boxes. Absolutely no canning equipment needed! 

Ingredients:

5-6 cups (about 1 1/2 lbs.) thinly sliced (1/4″ thick) small pickling cucumbers*

1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt

1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. celery seeds

1/8 tsp. ground tumeric

Combine sliced cucumbers and salt in a large shallow bowl.  Cover and chill 1 1/2 hours.  Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water.  Drain well and return to bowl.  Add onions to the bowl and toss will the cucumber.

Combine the sugars, vinegars and seasonings in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumber mixture.  Let stand at room temperature for one hour.  Transfer to jars and refrigerate at least 24 hours to allow flavors to develop.  Stores up to one month in airtight containers.  

* Use cucumbers that are approx 5″ long and narrow.  

Note:  A small whole hot pepper can be added if you prefer a little heat.

Concord Grape Cobbler

Concord Grape Cobbler adapted from Arthur Street Kitchen

 

Serves 4-6

  • 1 stick (113g) butter
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup low fat milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • 2 cups seedless concord grapes (or other fruit) – if they have seeds, cut in half and remove them!
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the butter in one 10 inch cast-iron skillet or, as I used, two 6.5 inch skillets (just halve the butter and put some in each). Place in the preheated oven and allow the butter to melt.

Prepare the grapes by coating them with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Using a hand whisk, stir in the milk, sugar, vanilla, and lime juice, until well combined.

Once the butter has melted in the skillet, carefully remove from the oven and pour the batter into the pan with the butter. Working quickly, top the batter with the sugared grapes. Place back into the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes until the batter is golden and has risen around the fruit. Place a large baking tray under the skillet to catch any batter or butter overflow.

Allow the cobbler to cool, preferably for around 20-30 minutes. I always allow my cobblers to cool a little before eating as this allows the fruit juices to thicken underneath the batter.

Individual Mushroom Souffles

This delicious and relatively easy recipe is from
The Diplomatic Kitchen

This recipe is easily increased, you’re only limited by the number of ramekins you own.

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces of button mushrooms, coarsely chopped, and a couple of extra ounces, sliced, for arranging on the tops of the souffles
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter, and some for greasing the baking sheet and browning the extra sliced mushrooms
  • 4 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1 and 2/3 cups of milk
  • 3 ounces of grated Gruyere, Emmentaler or a combination of them, and some extra to sprinkle on the tops of the souffles
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 8 teaspoons of creme fraiche or heavy cream

Equipment:

  • a frying pan
  • a large baking sheet
  • Parchment paper (also known as baking paper)
  • 8 half-cup size ramekins
  • The First Baking: it may be done up to two days ahead:

    1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut 8 circles from the parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the ramekins.  Butter the ramekins well and line them with the circles of paper:

  • 2.  Heat a little butter in the frying pan and fry the sliced mushrooms that will go on top of the souffles until they are golden.  Cool, cover and refrigerate them to use for the second baking of the souffles.  In the same pan, heat the 4 Tablespoons of butter and cook the chopped mushrooms for several minutes until they brown a little.  Add the flour and cook it for a minute, stirring.  Add the milk and continue to stir until a sauce forms and thickens.  Add the 3 ounces of grated cheese, reserving some extra for the second baking.  Add some grinds of salt, pepper and nutmeg and cool the mixture:
  • 3.  Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and don’t slide up the side of a tilted bowl:
  • 4.  Beat the egg yolks a little, stir them into the mushroom mixture, and fold in the egg whites:
  • 5.  Divide the mushroom mixture among the 8 ramekins and place them in a roasting pan.  Fill the pan with cold water to reach half way up the sides of the ramekins:
  • 6.  Bake the souffles for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until they are puffed and browned.  Remove them from the roasting pan and let them cool:
  • 7.  The souffles will sink.  When they are cooled, cover and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake them a second time and serve them.  (The souffles may be made up to this point a couple of days ahead.):
  • The Second Baking:  arrange them on the baking sheet a little ahead of time and bake right before serving:

    1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Cut out 8 4-inch squares of parchment paper.  Streak the baking sheet with butter to hold down the paper squares and place the squares on the sheet:

  • 2.  Unmold the souffles, peel off the paper rounds, and place the souffles right-side up on the paper squares.  Over each souffle pour a teaspoon of heavy cream or creme fraiche, sprinkle on some grated cheese and arrange mushroom slices on top:
  • 3.  Bake the souffles for about 15 minutes, or until they rise slightly and the cheese bubbles.  Serve them on the parchment squares.  They look nice garnished with Green Onion Curls and fresh black pepper ground over each plate:

Spring Rolls

I didn’t realize how easy it is to make spring rolls until one of my daughters gave me a simple tutorial.  The picture above is a suggestion of the fillings, but the combinations can be endless.  The key is to use very fresh produce and cooked and chilled seafood or meat.  Make sure your vegetables are chopped finely or thinly enough so they are easy to bite into.  The spring roll wrappers are soaked in water individually, then laid out flat. Place the fillings in the center of the wrapper fold the ends over first, then the sides to form a rolled shape.  If not serving right away, cover with plastic wrap so as to keep the wrappers fresh.  Serve with your choice of any asian dipping sauce.  

I’ve offered some product recommendations below. Just click to shop!

Easy Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Here I go again! Loving my coconut desserts! This recipe is both easy and delicious.

1 can (13.6 oz.) coconut cream, well stirred

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1 tbsp. pure lemon extract

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1, 7 oz. bag sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350F.

Reserve 2 tbsp. of the coconut cream for the frosting. Beat the cake mix, remaining coconut cream, 1/2 cup of the coconut, eggs and lemon extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for three minutes. Spoon batter into paper lined cupcake tins (I used the large size tins), filling 2/3 full.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool in pans then on racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting – beat butter, reserved coconut cream and cream cheese until well blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until smooth. Frost each cupcake amply, then dip (see pictures) in the coconut lightly. Be sure to roll the cupcake around to get well covered in the coconut. ENJOY!

Garbanzo Bean Salad

This simple salad can be mixed together in no time as an easy summer side.

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, chill and serve

*try serving with freshly toasted pita bread and tzatziki

4 Ingredient Key Lime Pie!

If you’re in a hurry and need a dessert, I highly recommend the recipe on the back of the Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice.  Just 4 ingredients and done in no time.  It’s one of my go-to summer recipes! In the picture above, I made a shortbread crust as an alternative to the traditional graham cracker crust.  Equally as delicious. To order this product just click here Nellie & Joe Key West Lime Juice.

blend all ingredients together, pour into pie shell and bake in preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely and chill before serving.

Zucchini Wraps

These are served chilled and uncooked. A perfect refreshing summer side!

Serves 6

3-4 narrow approx. 6″ long zucchinis

1 pkg. garlic and herb Boursin cheese, room temperature

fresh marinara sauce (optional)

Cut the top and bottom off the zucchini. Using a cheese slicer or mandolin, slice a thin layer off and discard.  Continue to slice as many thin layers as you can get from each zucchini, discarding the “top” and “bottom” slice, these are the slices with the peel. Lay the slices out on paper towel lined cookie sheets and salt lightly.  Allow to “sweat” for about 10 minutes.  turn the slices over and repeat. This draws out the excess moisture from the zucchini. Dab any extra moisture with a paper towel.

Using 4 slices for each serving, weave the zucchini slices together as shown.

Place a small amount (approx. 1 tbsp.) of the softened boursin cheese in the center and fold the slices over as shown to form a neat package. Gently turn the package over and place on serving dish. Serve chilled.

I spread a small amount of chilled fresh marinara sauce and a light drizzle of basil pesto on a platter and placed the zucchini packets on top of that. You can also present these on individual plates for real some real “wow” factor.

Homemade Ice Cream

This recipe is for use with an ice cream machine. I have done this recipe in two different machines, one in which you add the traditional ice and salt and the other in which you use a pre-frozen container* both with equally good results. This is a super-easy basic vanilla recipe and can easily be customized by adding your own desired ingredients such as chocolate chips, cookie dough, etc.

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream

2 1/4 cups half and half (I have used fat free here as well)

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 tbsp vanilla

Combine all the ingredients and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. From here follow the instructions on the machine of your choice. I used the Deni brand, in which you slowly pour the liquid into the machine as it is churning. Ice cream is ready when it is thick and has a soft serve consistency. I then transfer the ice cream to a container for storage in the freezer.

*I have provided links below for various ice cream makers including the Deni brand I used. Just hit to purchase or see details.

Tuna Poke Bowl

Serves 6

6 small sushi grade ahi tuna filets, cubed

1/2 head romaine lettuce thinly sliced

1 package of farrow, cooked and cooled

1/2 a cucumber, thinly sliced

2 mangos, cubed

2 avacados, cubed

1/4 cup fresh ginger, very thinly sliced

Garnish –

2 scallion stalks chopped into small rings

1 sheet nori seaweed, thinly sliced (optional)

black or white sesame seeds for garnish

Tuna Marinade –

2 tbsp. sriracha

2 tbsp. light soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

Prepare the tuna marinade by mixing the ingredients together.  Add the cubed tuna and set aside.

To assemble the poke bowls –

Distribute the lettuce equally among 6 bowls. Top with the cooled farrow. Arrange the remaining vegetables atop the farrow or on the sides of the bowls.  Top with the seasoned tuna.  Garnish with the sesame seeds, seaweed and scallions. Serve immediately.