Saturday, September 15, 2018

Corn Relish - Weekend Recipe

No theme month of Salsa, Corn and Jelly would be complete without a Corn Relish.  This one is my favorite because it is easy and savory without being too sweet.  The peppers in green and red really make it very colorful.

Corn Relish 
8 ears corn, husked and cleaned
2 pounds tomatoes - peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup white sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed

Directions:
Cut the corn from the cobs. Scrape the cobs with a large spoon to remove remaining juices.

In a large saucepan, mix the corn kernels and juice, tomatoes, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, cucumber and onion.

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cider vinegar, salt, celery seed and mustard seed. Pour into the saucepan over vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer 1 hour.

Transfer the finished relish to sterile jars. Preserve by canning or refrigerate until serving.  Will keep about a month.

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: SCJSep
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:

   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights (GardAug)
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly (SCJSep)
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 

   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Herb Tea Jelly

This is a great way to make a jelly that is different every time you make it by simply using a different herb tea.  Use your own tea blend or any of the 22 versions of herb tea available from Backyard Patch Herbs to make a perfect Herbal Jelly you can give as a gift or serve to guests.  I love Calming Spirit, Lemon Lavender Splash, and Lavender Peppermint as my favorites to make jelly from.  These photos show jelly made with Calming Spirit.  The lavender makes a darker jelly so it does not look pale and plain. If you are interested in learning to can jellies and other preserves, check out my Community Ed classes.

Basic Herb Tea Jelly
1 3/4 cup water
14 tsp. loose tea in one or more tea infusers or a coffee filter
1/4 cup orange or related juice
3 cups sugar
1-3 oz. package of liquid pectin

Directions:
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add tea.  Steep for 30 minutes.  Remove tea bag or infusers add juice and sugar to brewed tea and bring to full rolling boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add pectin, return to full rolling boil and allow to boil for 1 full minute.  Skim off any foam.  Pour hot jelly into prepared jars and process in a water bath for 20 minutes.

Makes 8 to 12 1/2 pint jelly jars.
This jelly is a great combo to use with cream cheese or in our Surprise Muffin Mix.



To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: SCJSep
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018


For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights (GardAug)
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly (SCJSep)
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Paper Bag Salmon with Asian Salsa - Weekend Recipe

This salsa is made to go with fish.  The tangy flavors are perfect for a rich fish like salmon.


Paper Bag Salmon with Asian Salsa
1 lemon
4 salmon fillets, about  1/3 pound each, skin and bones removed
1 Tbls vermouth, or brandy
salt and pepper, to season

Salsa of Asian herbs
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbls soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp sugar
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 roma tomato, seeds removed and cut into fine dice
1 small Lebanese or English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into fine dice
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup spearmint or apple mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup Thai basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup crispy fried shallots (optional)

Directions
For the fish
Pre-heat your oven to 400F.

Thinly slice half of the lemon, reserving the other half for the salsa. Place the lemon slices on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and arrange the salmon fillets on top so they are tightly packed and touching.

Sprinkle salmon with the vermouth and season with salt and pepper. Pull the parchment up over the fish and fold to enclose the salmon and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until cooked through.

While salmon is cooking prepare the Salsa.
For the salsa, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and fry the garlic until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and the juice of the reserved half lemon and set aside to cool. Chop onion, tomato, cucumber and herbs and place in a medium sized bowl.  Once the garlic mixture is cool, combine it into onion, tomato, cucumber and chopped herbs in the bowl. Make sure the herbs are well mixed in.

To serve, open the salmon parcel and cover the salmon with the salsa and sprinkle with crispy shallots.

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: SCJSep
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018


For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights (GardAug)
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly (SCJSep)
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Lemon Verbena Lady's Pineapple Sage Jelly

This month the theme is corn, salsa and jelly.  I have located a few herb jelly recipes from some great herb jelly makers, with salsa and corn recipes from my archive to utilize the fact that the tomatoes and corn are at their prime.  I am teaching some canning classes this fall so I thought I would experiment with recipes I can include in the classes and share those with you!

This first recipe is a Pineapple Sage Jelly - I love this plant and unlike many herb is flowers very late in the season and is a great nectar plant for late season pollinators.



Lemon Verbena Lady's Pineapple Sage Jelly 
Makes four ½ pint (8-ounce) jars 

As many of you know my favorite herb is Lemon verbena.  It is not native to zone 5a, so I grow it in pots, but I have traveled to Guatemala and seen it in its natural habitat growing 6 to 10 feet tall. Early in my herb career I found the blog of LemonVerbena Lady.  Someone who loves this herb as much as I do.  A writer for many years for Herb Companion and Mother Earth News, she was a maker of herb jelly regularly and I love her recipes better than most I find.  So with a Jelly theme, I thought I must share one of hers first.  She suggests that you use one 12-ounce can of Old Orchard Pineapple Juice, frozen concentrate, reconstituted with 3 cans of water instead of a purchased pineapple juice.  She says one can will give you enough juice for three recipes of this jelly.

2 cups of pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple sage leaves, packed
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar OR lemon juice, your choice of one
1 pinch of salt
1 pouch of liquid pectin

Directions:
Wash and dry the pineapple sage in paper towels, then coarsely chop it. Put the pineapple sage in a large saucepan, and crush the leaves using the bottom of a glass. (or use a food processor.) Add the juice, bring slowly to a boil, and boil for 10 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes to steep.

Photo courtesy of Lemon Verbena Lady

Strain 1 1/2 cups of liquid from the saucepan and pour through a fine strainer into another saucepan. Add the vinegar of your choice (or lemon juice), salt and sugar, and bring to a hard boil while stirring. When the boil can't be stirred down, add the pectin. Return to a hard boil that can't be stirred down and boil for exactly 1 minute, then remove saucepan from heat.

Skim off the foam and pour the hot jelly into four hot, sterilized (in boiling water for 10 minutes) half-pint jelly jars. Leave 1/2-inch (or less) headspace and seal at once with sterilized 2-piece lids. I just leave my lids in hot water not boiling until you need them. Can the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

To use: I would use this jelly on thumbprint cookies, cream cheese and crackers for a quick appetizer or a teaspoon or two as a glaze for the last 15 minutes of baking chicken or pork.



To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: SCJSep
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)
   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)
   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)
   July - Grilling (GrillJul)
   August- Garden Delights (GardAug)
   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly (SCJSep)
   October - Squash Dishes 
   November - Pumpkin Recipes 
   December - Herbal Cocktails 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How tos-day Citrus Bath Bomb - Monthly Bath Recipe

Thought I would make this months bath recipe a how to, both because it is a Tuesday, but also it is getting close to gifting season and you can make these to give as gifts this fall.  They are great for a hostess, a family member, friend, teacher or anyone else who works hard for you (including you!)



To make them gift-able, wrap in colored cellophane or package in a glass jar.

How to - Citrus Bath Bombs


Mix together 1 cup baking soda,1/2 cup citric acid (I get mine through the mail - Etsy, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs, etc) 1/2 cup corn starch in a large bowl. Work out the clumps with your hands or a wooden spoon.

Now add in the 1/2 cup Epson salts and mix to combine.

You will need to use your hands to work in the Vitamin E as it easily clumps in the powdered ingredients.  This is a skin enricher and makes the bath bomb soothing to your skin.


Add some fragrance if you choose.  100% pure essential oil is best, add it by the drop and mix in carefully so it does not clump all in one place. You need to add at least 60 drops, but can add up to 120 drops depending on how strong you want the scent.


Here are a few choices and the benefits so you can decide what works for you:
     Grapefruit - anti-inflammatory and stress-fighter
     Eucalyptus - reduces inflammation, helps respiratory issues
     Lavender - anti-inflammatory, relaxing, reduces anxiety, improve brain function
     Lemon - rejuvenate energy, improve skin
     Lemon Balm - anti-inflammatory, skin health promoting, antibiotic
     Lemon Grass - reduces inflammation, repels bugs, fights bacteria
     Orange - decreasing wrinkles, easing anxiety, increasing circulation
     Rosemary - anti-oxidant, improves memory
     Thyme - increases circulation, balances hormones, kills germs


Now comes the tricky park.  You want to bombs to stick together, but if you add water they will fizz now and not later when you add them to the bath. So instead you use a spray bottle filled with Witch Hazel.  Spritz the mixture in the bowl a couple of times, then mix with your hands to get the moisture worked into the dry ingredients.



Spritz again.  Mix again.  Continue this process until the mixture clumps in your fist.  



Now it is ready to be pressed into the molds.  



Allow to dry in the mold for 24 to 48 hours depending on humidity, then unmold.  Store in a tightly sealed jar to hold back moisture.



TO USE: Add one bomb to bath water after tub is full.  Slip into the water and enjoy the fizzy joy and aroma.




Bath Bomb Recipe

 1 Cup Baking Soda
 1/2 Cup Citric Acid
 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
 1/2 Cup Coarse Epsom Salt
 1 1/2 Tablespoons Vitamin E Oil (3 droppers full)
 5 to 7 mL Essential oil of your choice (Skin safe fragrance)
 Witch Hazel as needed

Directions:
1. Measure out the Baking Soda, Citric Acid and Corn Starch and pour into the bowl. Work the powders to remove any clumps.
2. Add the Coarse Epsom Salt to the powders and mix until combined.
3. Add the Vitamin E Oil to the dry ingredients and mix using your hands until there are no more clumps.
4. Add Essential Oil and mix until well incorporated.
5. Spray the mix with Witch Hazel (between 10 and 15 sprays, 2 at a time.) Mix in with your hands until the mixture clumps in your fist.
6. Press your mixture into a silicone mold as tightly as you can. 
7. Allow to set over night.
8. Remove from molds and enjoy a nice relaxing fizzing bath.



Sunday, September 2, 2018

Corn Salsa with Pepper and Thyme Chicken - weekend recipe

The theme for recipes this month is Salsa, Jelly and Corn.  This is the perfect time of year for preserving.  Jams, Jellies, as well as Salsa and Chutney are perfect for saving your garden harvest.

Later this month I will chat about canning and preserving, but this first recipe is just a great way to enjoy salsa and corn on a wonderful southwestern chicken.  You can make extra to use on pork or beef or tacos.



CORN SALSA WITH PEPPER AND THYME CHICKEN
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
2 cups uncooked White or bi color Sweet Corn cut from the  cob, or 1 can (15 1/4 oz.) Whole Kernel corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups fresh diced tomato (or one 14 1/2 oz. can Diced Tomatoes)
2 Tbls chopped white onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped Flour tortillas (optional)
Chopped chili peppers (optional) 

Directions
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and thyme. Place on unheated rack of broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once. 2. Combine corn, undrained tomatoes and cornstarch in medium saucepan for salsa. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in beans; heat through. 3. Spoon salsa onto plate. Top with chicken. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and serve with flour tortillas and chopped chili peppers, if desired.

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: SCJSep
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018


For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:

   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)

   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)

   March - Jambalaya (JambMar)

   May - Ham and Shrimp Dishes (ShrHamMay)

   June - Bread recipes (BreadJun)

   July - Grilling (GrillJul)

   August- Garden Delights (GardAug)

   September - Salsa, Corn and Jelly (SCJSep)

   October - Squash Dishes 

   November - Pumpkin Recipes 

   December - Herbal Cocktails 

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