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Friday, 28 September 2018

The Most Delicious Homemade Salsa

This is a fabulous homemade salsa recipe provided to me by my wonderful PEI friend, Pat.  Every time I've made it (with or without my talented canning friend Julie) it has been a success.  Yes, you can modify the type of hot peppers to adjust how spicy your salsa ends up!  Whatever peppers you choose to use, you want end up with about 1 cup of hot peppers.  Remove seeds from hot peppers if you want to remove some of the spiciness.  And make sure they're diced finely.  I like to use a food processor for that part, which gets them nice and small.  It's such a wonderful salsa recipe, and I'm so glad Pat shared it with me! Enjoy!
Fresh jars of salsa, perfect for fall and winter (if it lasts that long)

Delicious Homemade Salsa
Makes ~9 250ml jars + a bowl of extra

Dice and set aside:
8 cups fresh tomatoes, diced by hand

In a large pot combine:
1 cup onions, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 cup jalapeno peppers, finely diced (about 3-4 large - keep seeds for a spicier salsa, remove for mild salsa)
1 Tbsp salt (can adjust, to taste, towards the end)
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1 Tbsp ground cumin 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp minced garlic
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the fresh diced tomatoes.  Increase heat to return to a boil, lower heat and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Put in hot, prepared canning jars and water bath jars for 10-15 minutes. (adjust a bit longer for bigger jars - I usually do 10 minutes for a 250 ml jar)

This recipe makes about 10 cups worth of salsa, so plan accordingly for your canning.  If eating fresh and not canning, you can cool and keep in the refrigerator for a week or so.


Monday, 17 September 2018

Apple & Ginger Sour Cream Cake

Apple season is upon us!  This is a lovely, rich cake filled with apple, ginger, and just a hint of lemon.  It's best served warm, and perfect for a chilly day. Enjoy!

GF Apple Ginger Sour Cream Cake
Gluten Free Apple and Ginger Sour Cream Cake! 

Apple & Ginger Sour Cream Cake
Based on a recipe by Donna Hay

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.

Beat until light and fluffy:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon rind

Add and beat well:
1 egg

Add and mix in, just until combined:
1 1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup sour cream

Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Toss together:
2 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp honey

Layer apples on top of the batter.
Ready to bake! 
Bake at 350 F for ~55 minutes.   Cool ~ 10 minutes.  Serve warm, drizzled with extra honey, if desired.  Leftovers can be sliced and frozen or refrigerated. Just reheat to serve. Enjoy!
GF Apple Ginger Sour Cream Cake
Fresh out of the oven - drizzled with just a touch of honey

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Hawaiian Themed Book Club Luncheon

I've enjoyed being part of a book-club that rotates houses, giving everyone a chance to cook.  We recently read a book based in Hawaii, and since it was my turn to host, I was able to make a Hawaiian-themed lunch.  The following dishes would be great for any event - family dinner, luncheon, birthday party, etc.  We enjoyed the following: fresh fruit kebabs, Hawaiian-slider sandwiches, pineapple fried rice, pineapple-coconut-banana smoothies, and hummingbird cupcakes with a toffee glaze.  All recipes provided below! Make some or all for a fun, themed meal! Enjoy! 
Fruit kebabs with toffee-glazed hummingbird cupcakes in the background

Hawaiian Themed Book Club Luncheon - Recipes and instructions below! 

Fruit kebabs - I prepared fruit skewers the evening before the luncheon, covered and refrigerated until serving.

On wooden skewers, arrange in a nice rainbow order:
purple grapes (2 or 3)
blueberries (2 or 3)
honeydew melon (1 or 2 pieces)
pineapple chunk (1 or 2 pieces)
canteloupe melon (1 or 2 pieces)
watermelon chunks (1 or 2 pieces)
strawberry (1 for the end) (optional, since you already have the watermelon)
Delicious fruit kebabs with hummingbird cupcakes in the background.

Easy-cheesy Hawaiian sliders - place on a foil-lined pan:
Bottoms of rolls (Hawaiian rolls - for those not needing gluten-free and homemade gluten-free rolls for those with allergies)
Top with:
1 slice of sharp cheddar cheese
slice or two of honey ham
1 pineapple ring

Heat in the oven at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and put the on the tops of the rolls.
Brush each roll with melted butter (make sure to start with the gluten-free rolls to avoid contamination. ***Make GF and non-GF completely separately (or just make all GF) when cooking for those with severe allergies.

Heat sandwiches at 350 F for an additional 5-10 minutes. Then serve!
Hawaiian sliders, prepped and ready for the first round of baking.  

Pineapple Fried Rice
This is one part of the meal you'll want to make last minute, so it's fresh and delicious. Luckily, provided you've prepped all the ingredients in advance, it cooks up quickly!

Cook your plain rice a day in advance so it's ready. You can also have the vegetables and pineapple prepped the night before. Combined with the Hawaiian sliders, I don't add in chicken, only the eggs. When serving on it's own, you can add ham or chicken or shrimp to the pineapple fried rice for a full meal! The fresh pineapple diced and tossed in after cooking adds a taste of sweetness.
Pineapple Fried Rice, ready for eating! 

Toffee-glazed Pineapple Cupcakes (hummingbird cake cupcakes)

Make a 1/2 batch of hummingbird cake batter. Fill cupcake liners ~1/2 - 2/3 full and baked 15-20 minutes. (Makes ~2 dozen, I believe, but it really depends how full you make them).
Glaze cupcakes while still warm with toffee glaze from toffee donuts recipe. (Or, just make donuts - everyone will be happy!)

This makes a lovely, light dessert accompaniment to this luncheon.

Pineapple-coconut-banana smoothies

In a blender, combine:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt
pineapple juice left in can from using pineapple rings + a couple extra pineapple rings
1-3 cups orange-pineapple juice (this tends to vary depending how thick/thin you want your smoothie, and how much pineapple juice/pineapple rings you had left from the sandwiches)
1 cup ice (or more, to taste)
1 frozen banana (not overripe, for smoothies, I freeze them when they are nice and yellow - just peel and freeze)
3-4 frozen strawberries
5-10 frozen blueberries

I made one full blender of smoothie, which I served 10 in smaller cups.