Sunday, September 26, 2010


My 1963 Betty Crocker “Cooky Book” calls these a delicious family cooky from Mrs. Ronald Anfinson in Benson, Minnesota. While I’ve eaten them before this was the very first time I made snickerdoodles. And I have to say, they were pretty swell!

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

4 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 400.

Mix butter, shortening, sugar, and eggs thoroughly. Blend flour, cream of tartar, salt, and soda. Stir into butter mixture. Mix well. Shape dough into 1” balls and roll in cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar and 4 tsp cinnamon mixed together).

snickerdoodles 01

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes

snickerdoodles 02

Dill Pickle Relish

I decided to make dill pickle relish, too. I have made quite a few jars of sweet pickle relish but I do like a good dill pickle relish on hamburgers… This one came from a Canadian website, so I had to change the units but here it is in American… LOL

4 pounds cucumbers, chopped very small

1/4 cup pickling salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 cups white vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

4 cloves minced garlic

1 Tbsp dill seeds

2 tsp mustard seeds

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

Combine cucumbers, salt and turmeric in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup cold water. Let sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse well in colander, pressing out moisture.

dill relish 01

Bring vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill seeds, mustard seeds to boil. Add cucumbers and onions, return to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

dill relish 02

Fill hot jars up to 1/4” headspace. Process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing from canner.

dill relish 03Makes 6 half pints

Jalapeno Salsa

I have made two batches of this salsa this year. I must have bought some really mild jalapenos. You would think that with equal parts of tomatoes and unseeded jalapenos, it would be really hot. But it wasn’t… It was good and flavorful, but not hot. I like it because it doesn’t need many tomatoes, which came in handy this year…

3 cups chopped tomatoes

3 cups chopped jalapenos, seeded or unseeded

1 cup chopped onion

6 cloves minced garlic

2 Tbsp minced cilantro

2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp pickling salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1 cup cider vinegar.

Combine all ingredients in large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4” headspace. Process 15 minutes in boiling water canner.

jalapeno salsa 01

Let rest 5 minutes before removing from canner.

jalapeno salsa 02

Makes about 3 pints.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Emeril’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles

This recipe came from Emeril (on the Food Network) but my friend Donna gave me the recipe for these fantastic pickles!


  • 3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 10 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
  • 24 dried cayenne peppers
  • 2 teaspoons 100 percent Natural Pickle Crisp, optional


Place cucumbers, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

spicy pickles 01spicy pickles 02spicy pickles 03spicy pickles 04

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic, and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size preserving jars with the pickle mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Natural Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Screw on the metal ring just until the point of resistance is met. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before removing jars from canner.

Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals by allowing the jars to stand at room temperature overnight or until the lids pop.  Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

spicy pickles 05

Monday, September 20, 2010

Salted Double Chocolate Cookies

I have a thing for salty-sweet things and when I saw this recipe posted by Anna, I just had to try it. Don’t let the salt scare you. I suppose if you really don’t like it, you could leave it off. But try it first and see what you think. They are soft, chewy and chocolate-y rich!

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped *
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons sea or kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate and butter in a double-boiler or in the microwave, and heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the melted chocolate mixture, blending until incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.

Place dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets about 2-3 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are just slightly soft in the center and crackly on top, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes before removing from pan.

* You can substitute 3 Tbsp baking cocoa and 1 Tbsp butter for each ounce of chocolate. Just use a heaping portion of brown sugar for a little added sweetness. (Thanks for the idea Kristin!)

salted chocolate cookies 01

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Too Good To Be Zucchini Bread

This is the best zucchini bread recipe ever! It is moist and yummy and most people don’t even know it’s zucchini. I got the recipe from Chris’ aunt Cindi and I just modified it a tiny bit. If your garden produces an abundance of zucchini, you gotta make this bread! Oh, and it freezes great, too!

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

3 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

Mix eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Do not overmix. Stir in yogurt or sour cream.

Pour into 2 bread pans that have been greased and sprinkled with sugar.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.

zucchini bread 01

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nutella Chocolate Cookies

My sister Theresa posted this recipe this morning and since we were in need of cookies for the cookie jar, I made a batch. Now these little gems take a whole cup of Nutella. Even as I was making them and scooping the precious chocolately goop into my measuring cup I was asking myself if I really wanted to use 8 oz of it in a batch of cookies???

nutella cookies 01

After having eaten one, I can tell you that it was TOTALLY worth it! They were amazing. I followed the recipe exactly (which I don’t normally do) except that I didn’t have any hazelnuts, which I’m sure most of my guys are thankful for.

So, if you have some Nutella on hand or you happen to see some in the peanut butter aisle at the grocery make these. Then sit down with a few and a cold glass of milk and enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter in an electric mixer for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and Nutella and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

2 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Add the vanilla and mix for 10 seconds.

3 Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda (do not skip this step as sifting eliminates clumps of cocoa). Mix into the butter mixture on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides at least once to ensure even mixing. Fold in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes.

4 Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

nutella cookies 02

Makes 6 dozen.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fudge Meltaways

For some reason I just had to have these today! My mom made them when I was a kid and I haven’t made them in about 15 years. But today I had to have ‘em! Yup, they were just as good as I remembered!


1/2 cup butter

1 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup chopped nuts

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, beaten

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Melt butter and chocolate together. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well and press into 9” baking pan. Chill.

fudge meltaways 01 fudge meltaways 02 fudge meltaways 03


1/4 cup softened butter

1 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Mix together until smooth. It will be very thick! Add a splash of milk if needed. You want it to be thicker than cake frosting but you need to be able to spread it on top of the crust. Chill.

fudge meltaways 04fudge meltaways 05fudge meltaways 08


1-2 oz of unsweetened chocolate

Melt and spread on top of filling. Chill. Cut before completely firm.


 fudge meltaways 09fudge meltaways 10fudge meltaways 11

Monday, September 6, 2010

Canned Peach Pie Filling

I ran out of syrup while canning peaches today before I ran out of peaches. So instead of making more syrup, I made a couple of quarts of peach pie filling. It was a little more work, but I think that peach pie, cobbler or crisp this winter will be well worth it! Not to mention that it made my kitchen smell positively divine!

1. Peel peaches by dropping them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Drain and place in cold water. Slip off the skins.

pie filling 01 pie filling 03pie filling 042. Slice peaches into 1/2” thick slices. Place slices in water with lemon juice or ascorbic acid to prevent browning.

pie filling 05pie filling 06pie filling 023. Place 6 cups of peaches at a time into boiling water. Return water to a boil and boil each batch for 1 minute. Drain but keep fruit hot in covered pan or bowl.

pie filling 07

4. Combine water, sugar, Clear Jel, cinnamon, and almond extract in a large kettle. Stir and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. (see below for amounts)

5. Fold in drained peach slices and continue to heat mixture for 3 minutes. Fill quart or pint jars without delay to 1” headspace and process immediately for 30 minutes. Let jars rest for 5 minutes before removing from canner.

pie filling 08

1 quart

3 1/2 cups sliced peaches

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Clear Jel

3/4 cup cold water

1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice


6 quarts

24 cups (6 quarts) sliced peaches

7 cups sugar

2 cups + 3 Tbsp Clear Jel

5 1/4 cups cold water

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 tsp almond extract (optional)

1 3/4 cup bottled lemon juice

Red Pepper Apricot Chutney

Here’s another winner from “Small Batch Preserving”! I made this recipe last year and enjoyed it so much, I decided we needed some again this year. It is lovely on chicken or pork and as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers. This chutney also just looks pretty in the jar!

1 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup chopped dried apricots

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup peeled and chopped apple

2/3 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp minced candied ginger

1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, salt and mace (or nutmeg)

1/8 tsp cayenne

1. Chop pepper, apricots, onion, apple and ginger.

chutney 01apricot butter 022. Combine all ingredients except for salt and spices in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon, salt, mace (or nutmeg) and cayenne. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

chutney 04

3. Ladle chutney into hot jars to a 1/2'” headspace. Process 10 minutes for half-pints and 15 minutes for pints. Let jars rest for 5 minutes before removing from canner.

chutney 05

Apricot Honey Butter

I made a half batch of this a while back to see if I would like it… It’s from one of my favorite canning cookbooks, “Small Batch Preserving”. I liked it so much I made a whole batch today to can. It is so good! It is wonderful on English muffins, pancakes, waffles… The honey and candied ginger give it such a lovely warm flavor!

2 cups chopped dried apricots

2 Tbsp grated lemon rind

2 cups water

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

2/3 cup honey

1. Chop apricots, grate lemon rind and chop ginger.

 chutney 02apricot butter 02

2. Combine apricots, lemon rind, water, lemon juice and ginger in saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 35 minutes or until apricots are tender, stirring frequently.

3. Place apricot mixture in a food processor or blender and process until smooth; return to saucepan. Stir in honey. Return to boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered until very thick, stirring frequently.

apricot butter 01

apricot butter 03apricot butter 04  4. Ladle into sterilized jars to 1/2” headspace. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Let rest for 5 minutes before removing jars from canner.

apricot butter 05

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zucchini Pie Filling

This year’s garden has not yielded much, but the zucchini just keep coming. In an effort to find ways to use it up, my mom suggested zucchini pie that’s supposed to taste just like apple. So I made some up, put it in apple crisp and sure enough… it tastes just like apple!

This filling is supposed to go into a pie but worked equally well as an apple replacement in my apple crisp recipe.


Zucchini Filling

4 cups of peeled, seeded and sliced zucchini

zucchini filling 02 zucchini filling 03 Boil zucchini until tender. Drain and let stand in cold water for about 5 minutes, then drain.


1 1/4 cups sugar

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 Tbsp cream of tartar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Toss to coat zucchini well. Pour into pie shell or into crisp and bake as recipe directs.

Crisp Recipe

3/4 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup softened butter

Blend dry ingredients together and cut in butter until crumbly. Press half into bottom of lightly greased 8” baking pan. Reserve remaining to sprinkle to top of filling.  Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.

zucchini filling 01