For all my fellow fermentation freaks, here’s a really easy and somewhat quick carrot and cabbage kimchi recipe. A few months back I experimented with my first daikon radish and cabbage kimchi, the taste was OK (as long as I ate it with something else), but the smell was a bit unbearable. I’m really not sure where it all went wrong, but I ended up having to toss a couple pints. In the meantime, I’ve been feeding my kimchi desires with small batches of Trader Joe’s kimchi, but alas I couldn’t hold out any longer. I came across this recipe at the Healthy Green Kitchen, and figured with less, yet more attainable, ingredients I’d give homemade kimchi a second chance… So far so good, this batch has been fermenting on a shelf at room temperature for 4 days now. I plan on waiting just a couple more days to assure that the lactic acid bacteria are fat and happy.
As we are currently smack dab in the middle of this year’s Mardi Gras festivities, I figured some creole inspired black eyed peas would be quite appropriate. This time 2 years ago, give or take a couple weeks, I spent some time in New Orleans. While I was officially in town for a conference, the majority of my time was spent riding a very small and very uncomfortable beach cruiser around town, eating a lot of amazing food, attending yoga classes, and enjoying the “shorts and tank top weather” during February. At the time, I had recently began experimenting with a vegan, gluten-free lifestyle. I’m no longer vegan or gluten-free, but boy can I tell you, NOLA proved the short lived attempt REAL challenging. Even though I avoided the classic muffuletta sub, and the much desired seafood of the region, I suprisingly ate like a vegan queen during my visit. As you’ve probably noticed me mention it here before, I really like beans, like a lot.. or so I thought until I observed my host’s bean tendencies. Not only did this girl like beans, but I’m pretty sure I saw her eat them each and every day I was in town… Amazing really!
I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a wine newbie. I really enjoy wine and drink it on a somewhat regular basis, but I do feel that the “wino” label should be reserved for those who can appreciate wine for more than just its color. When I finally started drinking wine, albeit after 4 years of living in Sonoma on top of spending a semester abroad in France, I like many others fell for the chilled sweet essence of white wine. Easy to drink, tastes like candy, and feels like summer.
Marisa from Food in Jars recently blogged a post about achieving an ideal gel set using a thermometer. I had been using the saucer and sheet tests to determine gel set, but neither of those methods were delivering reliable results. I figured I’d give the thermometer method a try with the hope that I’d see more consistent optimal jelly sets. Aside from it feeling more like science… the benefit of using a thermometer in jelly/jam/marmalade making is that the gel set can be determined based on internal temperature. At 220° Fahrenheit, sugar reaches its gel point to which it undergoes a physical transformation and thickens to the desired spreadable consistency. I had to calibrate my new thermometer first by testing it in boiling water, but overall the method proved most effective.
On the night of December 21, 2006 I arrived in Glasgow, Scotland. Young, American, and excited to connect with the romantic stories of my Scottish ancestors. I decided to try couch-surfing for the first time, which resulted in staying in a not so romantic flat near Kelvingrove Park with three not so romantic Scotsmen. Being the holidays, we attended holiday party night after night, experiencing the tradition of Christmas crackers and a lot of drunken “I can’t understand a word these English speaking guys are saying”. On my last night in town, two nights before Christmas day, we ended up at a potluck, I can’t remember for the life of me what I brought (probably beer), but I do remember the highlight of the feast, roasted brussels sprouts. I had never tasted brussels sprouts before that night, but the host insisted that I try some because “I was never going to taste brussels sprouts like those again”. Like the first time I tasted a tomato fresh off the vine, these brussels sprouts were one of the culinary experiences I will never forget. Enough of my reminiscing, onto the recipe!
My parents can confirm that as a kid I hated everything about mustard. I was stead fast to ketchup and nothing but ketchup (and pickles) on my burgers. No matter how picky of an eater, I feel as if everyone has a list of things they hated as a child but love as an adult. While I’m still a bit iffy on straight up yellow mustard, I’ve slowly came around and have been able to scratch grain mustard off my list. A little over a month ago, I made my first homemade batch of Imperial IPA mustard. Being what it was, the three half pints were gone within days and I was in need of another alcohol based mustard recipe. I came across this hard cider mustard on My Homespun Home and decided to give it a try using a hard blackberry pear cider. Because I was intentionally going for a sweeter mustard this time around, I opted for, and increased the amount of brown sugar in this recipe.
Ever eat a can of beans just because… or maybe just because a can of beans is an easy, filling, and tasty meal? As a somewhat new vegetarian, I’ve had to adjust to new ways of consuming ample amounts of protein. Beans have quickly moved up my plant-based high protein list of staple foods. If you’re from the east coast you’ve most likely never heard of Ranch beans. Growing up in California we frequently ate “Ranch Style” Beans, specifically those made by Congra Foods. Before 4 days ago, it had been years since I’d tasted the heavenly Texas inspired flavors of Ranch beans. Luckily with my new found passion for pressure canning, I’m able to experiment with bean varieties such as these. These ranch style beans are even tastier and more versatile than my first canned bean batch: Taco Spiced Chickpeas. Adding cinnamon to the savory mixture of onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños really pushes these beans to the next level. So far I’ve tried them in bean and cheese burritos, as well as an ingredient in acorn squash stuffed with wild rice. I’m looking forward to trying canned black eyed peas, chile beans, baked beans, etc. Enjoy!