Archive for the ‘Condiments’ Category

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Monday, October 20th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | momadvice.com In the Midwest, the fall is probably the most stunning time of year. The weather has cooled to a relaxing temperature and the vibrant colors of reds, yellows, and oranges are emerging in the canopy of trees while slowly taking their turn fading to brown and falling, one leaf at a time, to the ground below. It’s brilliant, heartwarming … comforting.

Of course, when the change in creation starts to become evident that yes, fall is here, it also signals to every woman that it’s time to pull out boots, scarves, chunky sweaters, and leggings. Yes, I love the fall. It’s also during this time of year that I’m sure every stew, soup, and treat is filled with pumpkin. Oh yes, I love to incorporate pumpkin into my dishes during this season and with the farmers market still open for another month, I’ll usually buy about 6-8 pumpkins and keep them in the coolest part of my home where they’ll last me into the winter. Pumpkin bars in January, oh yeah, stocking up is worth it!

With everything pumpkin during this time of year, of course one is going to need pumpkin pie spice. Now, one thing, pumpkin pie spice does not have pumpkin in it. Instead, it’s called pumpkin pie spice simply because it’s the blend of spices that is traditionally used in pumpkin pies. The spice blend can vary by brand but it’s usually a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Me, I like to add a bit of cardamom as well.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | momadvice.com

I’m sure many of you may be thinking, why make your own when you can buy it already blended. Well, you can make a bigger batch for less money and you can grind your own nutmeg and cinnamon for an even brighter flavor profile. One of my favorite things about making my own spice blends is that I can also add or omit spices just like the addition of cardamom in this recipe.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | momadvice.com

The pumpkin pie spice is very versatile. You can, of course, use it to spicen up your pumpkin pies, to sprinkle onto roasted pumpkin and other squashes, to incorporate into pumpkin custards, or to sprinkle onto coffee.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | momadvice.com Really, you can use it in so many ways. So, this year, why don’t you give homemade pumpkin pie spice a try. I’m sure you’ll love to have it on hand during this comforting time of year.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
Author: 
 
Pumpkin pie spice is a simple combination of sweet smelling spices including cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbls ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, Mix all spices together and store in an air tight container for up to one year.

Have you ever made your own homemade pumpkin pie spice? Tell me, what kind of dishes do you like to add pumpkin pie spice into?

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Refrigerator Pickles – Canning Made Simple

Monday, August 18th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com

Okay, so a raise of hands: who here loves the icy cold crunch or sour pucker of a dill pickle on a hot summer day? Me too! Really, nothing says summer like a steaming footlong hot dog or a savory bbq pulled pork sandwich served with a cold pickle on the side. With cucumbers growing in abundance during this season, let’s make some pickles to enjoy at your next family bbq.

Dill pickles, made tangy and sour, are a cinch to make. I make them in a couple of different ways with no canning equipment required. I put up most of my cucumber harvest by fermenting them – brine cured pickles. They’re easy enough to make at home, requiring no vinegar to make, and the end result is a good old fashioned sour pickle filled with probiotics. I love the flavor of a fermented, brine cured pickle. The downside is that although you don’t need any canning equipment to make these pickles, they do need to ferment at room temperature for a good 1-2 weeks. If you’re having a family bbq soon, well, they just won’t be done in time. This is why whenever I make a large batch of fermented pickles, I also put up a few pints of refrigerator pickles that I know my family will be able to enjoy right away.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com Refrigerator pickles are easy to make and don’t take much time at all. What’s great about them is that you can use this same simple recipe and pickle any kind of vegetable you may have in abundance. Cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, green beans, okra, hot peppers, and one of my favorites… red onions. Really, whatever you may have growing or bits and ends you have leftover from cooking will make great refrigerator pickles.

To make them, all you need to do is cut up the vegetable of your choice and layer them into a pint sized mason jar. I used pickling cucumbers.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com

Then, add a couple cloves of smashed garlic, about a teaspoon of pickling spice, and then some dill weed, or if you’re growing them or can find them at your farmers market, the head of the dill weed with seeds. Not too much, about a couple teaspoons worth.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com

Once you’re jars are packed, all you need to do is make a quick brine with apple cider vinegar, water, and salt, and fill the jar.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com For refrigerator pickles, I like to use un-pasteurized, raw, apple cider vinegar since it’s filled with immune boosting probiotics. These pickles aren’t just tasty but nourishing. Just make sure to bring the brine just to a simmer, not a full boil. You can find raw apple cider vinegar at any natural food store or the natural food section of your local grocer.

That’s the entire process. Like I said, they are super simple to make, are full of crunch and mouth watering pucker, and will last a few months in your refrigerator…. unless you have a house full of boys that love pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Simple
Author: 
 
Simple to make, refrigerator pickles recipe that is full of crunch and mouth watering pucker, and will last a few months in your refrigerator.
Ingredients
  • 9-10 small pickling cucumbers
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed then peeled (2 per jar)
  • 3 teaspoons pickling spice (1 tsp per jar)
  • fresh dill weed or dill heads (about a good 1-2 tsp per jar)
  • 1½ cups raw, apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons large granule sea salt (kosher or pickling salt)
Instructions
  1. Gently clean and remove any dirt and debris from the cucumbers.
  2. Slice the ends off of the cucumbers and quarter each one.
  3. Pack them into 3 pint sized mason jars.
  4. To the jars add the garlic cloves, pickling spice, and dill.
  5. In a medium sized heavy bottomed pan, bring the apple cider vinegar, water, and sea salt just to a simmer.
  6. Pour the brine into the jars, leaving about a ½" headspace.
  7. Screw the lids onto the jars and allow them to cool completely on the counter. Once cooled place the jars in the refrigerator. Let them sit for 24-48 hours before eating.

Have you ever made refrigerator pickles? Tell me, what vegetables have you used?

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Blueberry Syrup for Coffee or Iced Tea

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Blueberry Syrup for Coffee or Iced Tea

4 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar

Place blueberries in a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Set sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth or paper towel over a bowl and pour in the blueberry mixture. Gently press out the juice with a spoon or by twisting the cheesecloth. Discard the pulp and measure the juice into saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of juice and cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Chill and pour into covered jar. Store in refrigerator. Add two tablespoons to each glass of prepared iced tea or coffee. Stir well.

Basic Salad Dressing

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Basic Vinaigrette (courtesy of, “How to Cook Everything”)

1/4 cup good vinegar (you can use sherry, balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallots (optional & I leave these out)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Briefly mix the vinegar, salt, and optional mustard with an immersion blender, food processor or blender, or with a fork or wire whisk. Slowly add the oil in a stream (drop by drop if whisking) until an emulsion forms or just whisk everything together briefly. Add the remaining oil faster, but still in a stream. Taste to adjust salt and add more oil or viengar if needed. Add the shallots and pepper. This is best made fresh, but will keep, refrigerated for a few days; bring back to room temperature before using.

To make a small amount of Basic Vinaigrette: Combine 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 3 to 4 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon minced shallots as above. Add pepper, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or oil as necessary.

Homemade Chocolate Coffee Creamer

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Chocolate Coffee Creamer

1 can sweetened condensed milk (or make your own sweetened condensed milk)
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk (I used prepared powdered milk)
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Blend all ingredients together in your blender. Pour into a mason jar or your old coffee creamer dispenser. This creamer will keep up to two weeks in your fridge.