Posts Tagged summer

End of Summer Preserves: A Roundup of Canning Favorites and a Recipe for Quick Pickled Grapes!

As much as I hate to admit it, the end of summer is rapidly approaching. For some, it may already feel like summer is over. School is back in session, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are cool and crisp.

I can’t say I’m ready for summer to be over. I want to savor it for just a little bit longer.  Thankfully, that’s the beauty of canning. I can literally bottle up the bounty of summer and store it in a jar, and enjoy the spoils of summer throughout the year.

That being said, I thought I would share some of my favorite summer canning recipes with you all. Fall is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to put up your favorite summer fruits and vegetables. I’ve included a number of links to my own recipes, as well as a collection of recipes from friends and bloggers. Be sure to scroll all the way down, as I’ve also included a recipe for Quick Pickled Grapes from my friend Mary!  (Bonus: if you’re in the Portland area, there’s also a PDX Food Swap on September 21st. You can trade your canned goods for other amazing homemade creations!)

Spicy Tomato Jam | Rosmarried

Spicy Tomato Jam from Rosemarried

 A few of my personal favorite canning + preserving recipes: 

Blueberry Lavender Jam with Vanilla Bean

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

Bourbon Pickled Peaches

24 Hour (Refrigerator) Dill Pickles

Spicy Tomato Jam

Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Marionberry Jam from PDX Food Love

Marionberry Jam from PDX Food Love

 

A few delightful canning recipes from friends and other bloggers:  

Refrigerator Pickled Okra from Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking

Marionberry Jam from PDX Food Love

Summer’s End Stonefruits (This post contains a whole bunch of amazing recipes for preserving stone fruits from the lovely Kate Payne!)

Peach Sriracha Butter from Cake Walk

Salted Cantaloupe Jam from Back to Her Roots

Tomato Rhubarb Ketchup from Savory Simple

Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables from Use Real Butter

Honey Sweetened Apricot Thyme Jam from Marisa of Food in Jars (for Simple Bites)

 And last, but certainly not least, we have a guest recipe from Mary Crowe of MaryEats.com. This recipe is quick, easy, and totally delicious. And, it’s a great way to make your grapes last longer! Go forth and pickle some grapes today!

quick pickled grapes | rosemarried.com

Quick Pickled Grapes from MaryEats.com

Quick Pickled Grapes

Serving Size: Yields 6 half pints

A note about pickling spice: I love World Spice Merchant’s pickling blend. If you don’t have a blend, make your own with black pepper, a cinnamon stick, mace, yellow mustard seed, bay leaves, a dried small chile, allspice berries, a clove or two.

Recipe by Mary Crowe of MaryEats.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 5 cups of grapes, washed and stemmed

Instructions

  1. Wash all jars and lids in hot soapy water then rinse. Place clean jars on a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet. Evenly distribute the grapes between the jars, you want to leave 1-inch of head room.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let brine steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a large glass measuring cup and discard the spices.
  3. Evenly distribute the liquid among the jars leaving a bit of room at the top. Cap jars and store in the fridge.
  4. Wait at least 24 hours before eating the grapes.
  5. If you aren’t making to share with friends, you can use a large container instead of individual jars. Place all the grapes in one large container and pour liquid over before storing in the fridge.
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Sparkling Blueberry Lavender Lemonade Cocktail (with DIY Blueberry Vodka)

Last week, I bought a rather large flat of local blueberries. Since then, I’ve been happily immersed in the wonderful world of blueberries. I canned blueberry plum butter. I froze a few bags of blueberries. I’ve been eating handfuls of blueberries with Greek yogurt and honey.

And, I made a few jars of blueberry vodka. Just because it seemed like a good thing to do.

Let me tell you, it was a great thing to do. Fruit vodkas are ridiculously easy to make and they don’t taste half bad, either. (No, really: Just soak some fruit in some vodka for a few days. Strain out fruit. Simple as that.)

This blueberry vodka is great with soda water or tonic, and is a great base for summer fruit, citrus, or herb cocktails. Give it a try!

Sparkling Bluberry Lavender Lemonade

Sparkling Blueberry Lavender Lemonade Cocktail (with DIY Blueberry Vodka)

Ingredients

  • For the lavender simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • For the blueberry vodka:
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3-4 cups vodka
  • For the cocktail:
  • 1.5 ounces blueberry vodka
  • 2 teaspoons lavender simple syrup
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Sparkling water, to taste
  • Blueberries, for garnish
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. To make the lavender simple syrup: Combine water, sugar, and lavender flowers in a small pot. Heat over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and stir, and let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out the lavender and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The simple syrup will keep for one week.
  2. To make the blueberry vodka: Place blueberries and vodka in a large jar or airtight container. Store at room temperature away from sunlight. Shake the jar a few times a day, and allow the vodka to infuse for at least 3 days. When the vodka has a distinct blueberry taste (and color), strain out the blueberries. Store the vodka in a sealed bottle or jar at room temperature.
  3. To make the cocktail: In a large glass (or cocktail shaker), mix together the simple syrup, blueberry vodka, and lemon juice. Taste, and adjust levels if needed. Fill a cocktail glass with ice and pour mixture over ice. Top with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with fresh blueberries. Enjoy responsibly!
  4. Makes one cocktail.
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Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Ginger and Mint

Summertime was made for cold soups. (Or is it the other way around?) Whatever, the case, I’m a sucker for a cold cup of soup on a hot summer day.

Chilled soups are simple, refreshing, and they require little or no cooking whatsoever. In the past, I’ve always made chilled vegetable soups: garden gazpacho, cucumber yogurt soup, beet soup with cilantro creme.

However, this was my first attempt at a chilled fruit soup. It’s light and refreshing, with a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The Greek yogurt gives the soup a creamy texture, but it’s the addition of fresh ginger and mint that makes this soup something special. It’s really quite lovely.

I would like to stress that this is not a dessert soup. It just isn’t all that sweet. I made this soup for a friend’s bachelorette party, and served it in small teacups as an appetizer. However, I think the soup could also be a great brunch dish. Heck, I’d eat a big bowl of this soup for dinner. (Truth be told, I would eat it anytime of the day. All day. Every day.)

All of that to say, this is summertime in a cup. Get some!

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup | Rosemarried

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Ginger and Mint

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small sprig of fresh mint
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Peel & slice the cantaloupe into large chunks.
  2. Place the cantaloupe pieces, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, ginger, and salt into a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth & creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Add in a few mint leaves and pulse a few times, until mint is chopped and incorporated into the mix.
  3. Pour mixture into an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Prior to serving, stir in the cream. Ladle into cups or small bowls and garnish with a mint leaf.

Notes

Adapted from Pinch My Salt

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Vanilla Bean & Lavender Panna Cotta with Fresh Peaches

I like to think of this dessert as peaches and cream, all grown up.

My husband, however, describes it as “milky jello.”

The funny thing is, he’s kind of right. Panna cotta is essentially milky jello.

However, I don’t think that description does this dessert justice. This panna cotta is light and creamy, sweet but not cloying. The addition of honey, lavender and vanilla give the dish a subtle and lovely complexity. In addition, it’s the perfect summertime dessert, as it requires very little cooking.

And it should be said that this dessert is just really, really pretty. Not only does it taste good, but it’s just so lovely to look at.

Therefore, I implore you, friends: go forth and make this milky jello!

Vanilla Bean and Lavender Panna Cotta with Fresh Peaches
(Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes)
Makes 4 small panna cottas

For the panna cotta:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons honey
1.5 teaspoons culinary lavender
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

For the peach topping:
1-2 peaches, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon raw sugar

Method:
Prepare four small dishes (cups, mugs, ramekins, etc) by greasing them with a small amount of canola or vegetable oil. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 2 tablespoons of water. Allow the gelatin to ‘blossom’. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and honey over medium-low heat. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife, and scrape out all of the vanilla seeds. Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add in the scraped vanilla pod and the lavender. Heat for 10 minutes, or until the milk is warmed all the way through and the honey is dissolved and combined with the cream.

Strain out the vanilla pods and lavender, using a mesh strainer or cheese cloth. When the milk mixture is still warm, stir in the gelatin mixture until combined. Pour contents into the containers. Refrigerate for 6 hours (or overnight), until set.

30 minutes prior to serving, slice the peach(es) and toss with sugar, lemon juice, lavender and thyme. Allow the peaches to sit for 30 minutes or more, in order to get the juices flowing.

When ready to serve, remove the panna cottas from the fridge and top with a spoonful of the peach mixture. Enjoy!

Strawberry Lemon Ginger Ale Pops: Recipe Swap

When life hands you lemons – or a vintage recipe for Lemon Sponge Pie – make popsicles. (That’s what I always say, anyway…)

For this installment of the Recipe Swap, Christianna from Burwell General Store selected a recipe for Lemon Sponge Pie. The recipe actually looks pretty great (unlike the infamous “Ham Snails“), but I just couldn’t bring myself to bake a pie.

It doesn’t get hot in Portland very often, but when it does the whole city shuts down. We all turn into whiny, melty puddles. It’s a bit pathetic, really.

That being said, I am guilty of being a whiny, melty puddle this week. It was 102 degrees! There was zero chance I was going to turn on my oven. So, I turned Lemon Sponge Pie into Strawberry Lemon Gingerale Pops. I was really pleased with the results.

They were frosty, tangy, refreshing, and delicious – the perfect cure to my summertime woes.

STRAWBERRY LEMON GINGER ALE POPS
(Inspired by this recipe from What I Do)
Makes 4 popsicles

Ingredients:
1 bottle good quality ginger ale or ginger beer
1 pint of lemon sorbet, softened (Note: you will have sorbet leftover!)
6-8 strawberries, stems removed and diced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Method:
In a small bowl, mix together the diced strawberries, lemon zest, and grated ginger.

Place a spoonful of the strawberry mixture in each popsicle mold. Pour a bit of ginger ale (slowly, as it will fizz!) over the mixture, and top with a dollop of lemon sorbet. Repeat with each mold – strawberries, ginger beer, sorbet – until each is nearly full. Leave a very small amount of headspace at the top. Place lids/sticks the in the molds and freeze overnight.

And, please see below for the other creative contributions to this month’s recipe swap!



Happy Thursday: Grapesicles!

image

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a birthday party for my favorite little two year old, Lillian. Not having kids myself, I wasn’t sure what to snacks make for a child’s birthday party… but then I saw these gems on Pinterest. Grapesicles! So pretty and so clever.

To make these darling grapesicles, I simply skewered red and green grapes and froze them. They take an hour or two to freeze completely, but that’s really all the time they require. Easy as pie. I did make sure to cut the sharp ends off the skewers. I didn’t want to be “that girl” – you know, the one girl who doesn’t have children who then gives all the kids sharp skewers so they can poke their eyes out? No thank you.

And let me just say…the grapesicles were a hit. The kids quickly figured out that the grapesicles were tasty and they could also double as swords. It was a win-win situation for all. I refrained from using my grapesicle as a sword, but I did eat one or two (or three or four) and enjoyed every delicious icy bite. Move over, popsicles. Frozen grapes are my new best friend.

Recipe Swap: Boozy Beet & Apple Popsicles

I’m a little late to the Recipe Swap party this month (due to my Foodbuzz 24×24 post that went up on Sunday).

But, better late than never, right?

These last few weeks have gone by in a blur. First off, I was sick for a week and a half and it was rotten. Second, I hosted a giant dinner party that required only a few hours of preparation (and by a few, I mean many, many hours). Not that I’m complaining. Trust me, it was all worth it! But, as you can tell, I’ve had a lot going on.

However, in midst of all of this I found the time to whip up a little something for this month’s Recipe Swap. I’ve been at this for awhile now, so I won’t explain the whole thing, but if you’d like a history of the swap, head over to Burwell General Store for more info and descriptions of all the lovely bloggers involved.

This month, CM from Burwell General Store choose a doozy of a recipe for us to re-interpret: Ozarkian Taffy Apples. I’m not a huge sweets fan, so it took me awhile to get excited about the recipe. My initial thought was to transform it into a savory recipe…something along the lines of a pork skewer with an apple glaze. But, after my Cheese, Wine, and Swine dinner party, I was just a little bit porked out. I was in the mood for something light and refreshing. So, I turned to the sun for inspiration.

Why? Because the sun is finally shining in Portland. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Portland is magical, magical place when the sun shines. I promise, it is like no other place on earth. Sadly, the sun doesn’t show her face much from November to March. But, all of the sudden is back, giving us glimpses of her radiant face and promising all the beauty that summer brings. I’ve allowed myself to begin dreaming of ice cream, backyard BBQs, heirloom tomatoes, and all that the summer has to offer. I can’t wait!

It is precisely this type of summery daydreaming that led me to my great recipe swap idea: apple popsicles! Refreshing, delicious, and vaguely reminiscent of the original candy-apple-on-a-stick recipe. Since I couldn’t be content to make a regular old apple popsicle, I decided to take them up a notch and attempt a boozy apple popsicle.

The internet let me know that boozy popsicles were within the realm of possibility (as I was dubious about alcohol and freezing), and so the matter was settled. I would use apple juice as the base for the popsicle along with beet vodka (which was leftover from the 24×24 party). I also threw in a little ginger simple syrup for kicks. This whole thing was one big experiment, and I’m pleased to report that it all worked out marvelously. The trick to boozy popsicles is simple: you just can’t use much alcohol. The ratio should be roughly 3 parts juice to 1 part alcohol.

For those who are wary of alcohol in their popsicles, I will mention that the alcohol taste is hardly noticeable (which makes sense as there isn’t a lot of alcohol in the recipe). And, of course, it would be very easy to substitute beet juice for the beet vodka in order to make non-alcoholic popsicles.

I am including beet apple popsicle recipe, as well as instructions for making beet infused vodka and ginger simple syrup. I do hope you enjoy (and that summery days are in store for us soon)!

Beet, Ginger & Apple (Boozy) Popsicles:
(Note: I didn’t have much freezer space so I didn’t make very many popsicles! This recipe could easily be doubled, tripled, etc, to make more!)

1.5 cups organic unsweetened apple juice
1.5 Tablespoons ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
3 Tablespoons beet (or other) vodka
Dixie cups (I used teeny tiny little 3 oz cups) or popsicle molds

Combine all 3 ingredients together in a small pitcher (or something you can easily pour from). Pour into popsicle molds or small dixie cups. Using cardboard or tape, affix a popsicle stick to hang in the center of the cup, so that it is partially submerged in the liquid and not touching the bottom of the cup. I found that cardboard works best (but tape will work just fine.)

Note: Please feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking! Next time, I think I might grate a little fresh ginger or orange peel into the mix. I started simple as I wanted to see how well they turned out. I was very pleased and I will be making many more popsicles in the near future. :)

Beet Infused Vodka:
1 bottle mid-quality vodka (nothing too nice): Monopolowa, Stoli, Svedka, etc.
3-4 raw beets, peeled & cubed.

In a large jar, combine beet cubes & vodka. Allow to soak for 3-4 days in a cool room, away from sunlight. When ready, strain out the beets and discard (unless you have an idea as to how to use vodka soaked beets. I couldn’t think of anything to do with them!). Store away from sunlight. Vodka will be ready to use and will keep for months. (I store mine in the freezer to keep cold).
Note: I’ll post the recipe for The Babuska cocktail later this week, so you have another way to use your beet vodka!

Ginger simple syrup:
1 small knob of ginger, peeled & cut into small cubes
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup water

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over med-low heat and bring to a gentle boil (or until sugar dissolves). Add in cubed ginger and stir to combine. Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the syrup has a fragrant ginger smell/taste. Strain out ginger bits and allow syrup to cool. Store in a sealed container. Will keep for up to a week.