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Peach Salsa

peach-salsa

When the Dear One and I talked about getting married – really, the hows and wheres and whos part of getting married – it became apparent to us that we wanted only two things out of the ceremony (1) it had to be small and (2) we wanted all of our children there. Wait, maybe we wanted another – we wanted to be married.

Between us, there are 4 children (I always in include my dear daughter-in-law in that number), 7 parents, 4 sisters and 2 brothers, as well as their husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends. There is NOTHING small about that group of people. There is nothing intimate about that group of people. There is nothing simple about placing all those people in the same place at the same time.

Okay, so how about just you and me, our kids, someone to marry us, a best man and maid of honor. Everyone else? Well, we’re adults, this isn’t the first time for either of us, this is our choice and, hopefully, they will just be happy for us. We chose to be married this way and at our age not anyone else’s place to have issue or commentary.

Trying to put the 4 kids in the same place at the same time was proving impossible. We tried for 6 months and just couldn’t manage. It had to be all of them or none of them. How do you explain to the ones who couldn’t be there on a specific date and time that others would be there and we would just go on without them. Sadly, after trying to arrange something, it had to be none. We didn’t handle it very well – correct that – one of us didn’t handle that very well and it isn’t the one typing. Okay, okay, I didn’t handle some things well either.

But I honestly believe that it’s all about how you recover from your mistakes that really counts. If you make a mistake, and don’t admit the mistake and do nothing to rectify it, you’ve learned nothing and will likely do something very similar again. I believe that parents should apologize when they’re wrong – and we were wrong. I believe now we’re in a very good place together as a family. Our definition of family.

There is, though, one person, who I doubt will read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words meant more to us than you can possibly imagine. We will keep that note always.

We realized then, that as much as we love that small army of people, we married each other – not our mothers or fathers or sisters or brothers – each other. To a certain extent our children – it takes a village, don’t you know. We have a favorite son, a favorite older daughter, a favorite younger daughter and a favorite daughter-in-law. Mix them all together, add lots of love and a little understanding and patience, two adults who just love them to bits – oh, really, there’s no place else I’d rather be and no other people I’d rather be here with.

It’s that melding of people – all very different, things in common here and there, but somehow melded to make a family unit that bring me to … TADA! Peach Salsa.

peaches

This past summer we had TONS of peaches! You remember the Peach Liqueur – I think I do! There will be Peach Jam coming up.

I found this recipe in Small Batch Preserving. I’ve had it book marked forever, but I’m not quite comfortable with canning yet, so I would look at the book and cast it aside and then look and cast … the more I delve into it, the more I do like it.

The peaches bring a certain sweetness, a bit of kick from the jalapeño, tartness from the lime, they just all come together for one incredible bite.

The worst part of this salsa is peeling and chopping the peaches. IF – and that’s a big IF – I made a single batch, it might not have been so awful, but I doubled it. By the end of dipping them into boiling water, you JUST DON’T CARE.

  • 2 C chopped, peeled peaches (about 4 medium peaches)
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red pepper
  • 1 T finely chopped jalapeno
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 t pickling salt
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 T finely chopped mint

NOTE: To peel the peaches, bring a large pot of water to a boil. On the counter next to that pot have a large bowl of ice water. Place a couple of peaches in the boiling water for 20 or 30 seconds, transfer to the ice water. After a few seconds, the skins will pop right off. By the end you and your kitchen will be covered in sticky peach juice, but it’s totally worth it!

ingredients

Combine peaches, onion, peppers, honey, salt, lime rind and juice in a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

simmering

Stir in mint and stir for 1 minute.

NOTE: Not a huge mint fan so I used half the amount.

Remove jares from canner and ladle salsa into jars within 1/2 ” of rim (head space). Process 10 minutes for half-pint or pint jars.

NOTE: I process the jars in the dishwasher. I try to time the end of the dishwasher cycle to the salsa being ready.

 

Grilled Swordfish with Husk Cherry Salsa #SundaySupper

done

It’s been a long time, but know that I feel the urge to blog again, I’ve rejoined the fab people over at Sunday Supper. For those of you that don’t know, it’s a great bunch of food folk who post recipes from a specific theme each Sunday. There’s information at the bottom of this post on how to join. I’m going to do my best to keep up! This week’s #SundaySupper Tastemaker event is being hosted by Candace from Authentically Candace. Thanks for the hosting!

A friend of mine with a garden that is fair size bigger than ours and with some ingredients that are ‘experimental’ for my limited gardening knowledge, lets me come over and explore. While she and I were walking around her garden one day, I came across these Husk Cherries. They’re also called Choke Cherries or ground cherries.

husk-cherry

As you can see, they’re covered in paper, much the way a tomatillo is. They’re about the size and color of  a Sun Gold tomato, maybe a little smaller in size. Inside, they’re structurally akin to a tomato.

picked

peeledThey’re sweet. They’re tart. They’re like candy. They’re fabulous. Definitely going in my garden this year.

But now that I have them, what am I going to do – aside from admiring them!

They’re a pain to peel because they’re so small. They’re sticky.

But once peeled and rinsed, you just want to do something fabulous with them. I searched and searched until I came across a recipe from Michael Simon, who I am liking more and more every day.

 

FOR THE HUSK CHERRY SALSA

  • 1 pound ground cherries (husked, washed, and sliced in half, about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup thinly shaved red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. For better flavor, let sit for 1 hour before serving.

made

FOR THE SWORDFISH:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (5 to 6-ounces each) swordfish steaks

Prepare the grill (medium-high heat). Whisk the oil, mint, lemon juice, basil, and garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Season the lemon and olive oil mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

Brush the swordfish steaks with 2 tablespoons of the lemon and olive oil mixture. Grill the steaks until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (depending on thickness of steaks). Transfer the steaks to plates.

Add the Husk Cherry Salsa to the top of each Swordfish steak and you’re done!

Take a moment to visit the other great Easy Dinner Recipes for Two!

Chicken Recipes

Pasta Recipes

Pork Recipes

Red Meat Recipes

Seafood Recipes

Veggie Recipes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Artichoke Lemon Spread

Done

Silence is deafening, they say.

And, by the same token, words can be weapons.

I’ve been having a terrible time getting started blogging again. And I really do miss it. I have at least 20 recipes from 2014 that I never blogged. It isn’t that I don’t want to .. or that I don’t think about what I’d like to write about. I have still been cooking up a storm (get it, get it, haha), photographing dishes, getting them ready. I hadn’t been quite able to put a finger on the reason. AND THEN …

… while listening to This American Life one fine (SNOWY) Saturday, there was an entire segment with Lindy West on just the topic of internet trolls. I suddenly realized that a situation that had happened to me beginning in November of 2013 and finally ending at the end of February 2014 had emotionally and artistically crippled me. What had happened to Lindy was slightly different, but the sentiment was the same. At the beginning we agreed on one basic tenet … DON’T FEED THE TROLLS … which is why I never made the hurtful comments public, nor ever responded to them. Linda realized that silence is what best feeds a troll, giving them more power, giving them exactly what they want. Silencing the person at whom they aim their vitriol.

I don’t think … or at least I truly hope … the people leaving snide comments or sending snarky tweets realize the damage they do to the people they campaign against. While cloaked in the perceived comfort of anonymity, perhaps even giggling, the person reading these messages is hurt, cut to the quick, and left wondering WHY. Why me?

Just as an aside, let’s just touch on the illusion of anonymity on the internet. For this is truly an illusion, there’s no such thing as anonymity on the internet. Everything and anything you put out into the universe over the internet really does go out into the universe … FOREVER.

For me, dear readers, this is just food. Nice photos, good recipes (I hope), sharing with a community of like-minded foodies. There’s no political agenda, I’m not skinning cats, and I’m not polluting the world by burning vast amounts of fossil fuels to get my own point across. I write this for me. It’s nice to have readers, but even without a single reader, this would still be something I do for me. A form of expression. Coupling three of my joys in life … cooking, photography and writing.

Sadly, there had certainly been fear and a bad taste left in my mouth regarding blogging, something I really love to do. The thought that my personal words and thoughts could be used against me again, by someone who knew nothing about me had proven to be daunting.

I keep coming back to WHY. Why me? What did I do to cause this and what could I have done to avoid it?

I thought about giving up my blog entirely. I thought about starting a brand new blog. After listening to Lindy, realizing I wasn’t alone in this dilemma, I decided to sit down,w rite this post, get it all off my chest and continue soldiering on. I’m not giving up what I like to do. I’m not changing myself or what I write for acceptance. This is who I am. I have been basically the same person since I popped out of the womb (thanks Mom & Dad). I live my life trying to leave no carnage in my wake, treating people the way I would like to be treated.

While it still smarts, I challenge all internet trolls and stalkers out there … get to know the subject of your attack. You may just find you like them. Think before you push that button … if someone did this to me, how would I feel.

Linda has given me renewed strength where my public, blogging life is concerned. I will not allow someone else to rule my life, I will not live in fear.

I have come too far in my life, given up too much to be where I am right now to be stopped by anyone or anything.

Hello, World, I’m back and hopefully better than ever.

You’ll have to pardon a number of ‘off-season’ posts while I catch up. Thank you.

So with that in mind …

While poking around online for some yummy before dinner nibbles, and being tired of the ones I was using over and over and over again, I came across this recipe for Artichoke Lemon Pesto from Ciao Chow Linda.

It’s fabulous! It’s easy!

Vegetarian, filling, slightly tangy.

Everything goes into the food processor and with a whirl is finished!

Try it, you’ll be hooked.

  • 1  14-ounce can of artichoke hearts  in water (unseasoned)
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 C finely chopped parsley
  • a few small sprigs of thyme, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 t lemon peel, finely minced
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 3 T olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Mince the parsley and thyme roughly with the garlic and lemon peel. Place the artichoke hearts, the parsley and thyme and all the remaining ingredients into a food processor. Pulse or whir until everything is chopped finely and blended. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

NOTE: I roughly chopped the parsley, thyme and garlic. I mean, it’s going in the food processor, after all. As for the lemon peel, I used a zester instead of peeling and didn’t need to mince it further.

 

Thanksgiving Burgers

Thanksgiving Burgers

Thanksgiving is my favorite meal to cook.

Unfortunately, I find myself only doing the whole magilla once a year.

But, you know, every once in a while I just get a HANKERING for those wonderful Thanksgiving flavors!

Serve this with sweet potato fries and you’re all set, any time of year!

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 C chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 t Bell’s Seasoning
  • 1 box Stove-Top Stuffing
  • 1/4 C chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1/4 C dried cranberries
  • Cranberry sauce

NOTE: I used cranberry sauce I made from scratch. In a pinch you can use canned whole berry cranberry sauce, just put it in a small pan and melt it down a little so it because more saucey.

NOTE: Yes, yes, I know. A box of StoveTop. It’s quick and easy. And so much less fussy than starting stuffing from scratch. And, besides, stuffing from scratch kind of defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it? I used the cornbread mix.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Make stuffing according to package directions. When you take the stuffing off the heat to let sit, stir in the 1/4 C each of toasted, chopped pecans and dried cranberries. Allow to cool so it’s easier to handle.

While waiting for the stuffing to cool, mix the first four ingredients in a bowl and form 4 flattish patties. Place on cookie sheet.

Once cooled, form the stuffing into 4 flattish patties. Place on cookie sheet.

NOTE: You want the patties to be about the same diameter and not too thick.

Place cookie sheet in oven and cook until burgers are done, about 30 minutes, flipping the patties once.

Once cooked through, assemble the burger. A stuffing patty, a turkey patty, some cranberry sauce on top. A side of sweet potato fries. Voila! Thanksgiving dinner is served!

Cranberry Sauce

Done

I have never quite understood the appeal of canned cranberry sauce. I know people who swear by it … whose families would call for a mutiny if there was not a jelled, can shaped blob on the table when turkey is served. Okay, you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own, at least mush the canned stuff up a bit so it isn’t can shaped, rings and all!

My dad’s family has always been very fond of a cranberry relish, which is raw and really a bit tart for my delicate palate … hush up, all you naysayers, I am SO delicate!

My bestie Ernie gave me this recipe, and she gives it to me EVERY year, as I always misplace the scrap of paper I wrote it on, AND I ask her the same question every year after she sends it to me and I have promised to keep the recipe in a safe place!

This is so simple and so tasty and it freezes really well too! It’s best made days in advance so the flavors have a chance to meld. And besides, before you get down to the hysteria of cooking a Thanksgiving meal, this can be done and tucked into the fridge and you have a (false) sense of security that you’ve begun your cooking!

  • 2 bags (24 ozs) cranberries
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 3/4 C water
  • 2 C sugar

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350

Ready for oven

Stir all ingredients together. Pour into an 8×8 Pyrex dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

NOTE: I have stirred this in the Pyrex dish itself and in a bowl. If you’re a bit of a messy cook, like me, the bowl is easier!

Cooked

Let cool completely. Refrigerate.

NOTE: This will look very loose when it comes out, and you’ll want to call Ernie, as I do EVERY year, and say IT’S TOO LOOSE. But, once it cools it will thicken, I promise. You can also easily halve this recipe if necessary.

Ketchup

Yes, Ernie. Yes, I know Ernie. Yes, I understand there are companies that have been making ketchup and putting it glass containers and placing those glass containers on supermarket shelves for over 100 years. And, yes, dear, I am well aware that there is an aisle filled with almost nothing other than ketchup at my local supermarket. But aren’t either of you even just the tiniest bit curious to experiment and learn how to do it, or what it would taste like out of your own kitchen?

Can you all hear Ernie SHRIEKING …. NO, NO, NO!

I can’t either. It helps that I stick my fingers in my ears whilst singing “la,la,la,la, I can’t hear you”

I had to do this. Just had to. Quite frankly, it has been sitting on my to-do list for quite some time.  I would look, and sigh, and turn the page. But things have been pretty quiet in my end of the world and something was needed to occupy my time to not miss people so much.

KETCHUP to the rescue!

  • 1  28-oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch celery salt
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

NOTE: It’s all those spices that make the difference. It seems a little spicy as it’s bubbling away, but once it cools and sets up and then chills, it’s very mild.

Yields about 4 cups of ketchup (that’s about 3 1/2 pint jars)

Put tomato purée, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and brown sugar into a blender or food processor and pulse until just blended. Add in the vinegar and water and purée until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan; add cayenne, celery salt, mustard, allspice, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour, testing the consistency after an hour. ** 

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 month.

** To test the consistency of  how thick the ketchup will be when it’s cold, place a small plate in the freezer for about 15 minutes. When you think the ketchup is done, put about a teaspoon of the ketchup on the cold plate. Stick the plate back in the freezer until the ketchup is cold, about 5 minutes. Then taste it, see if you’re happy with the taste and the consistency. The consistency of the ketchup on your plate will be about how thick the ketchup will be once it’s chilled.

If you like the flavor and consistency, take the pot off the heat, let chill and jar. If you want it a bit thicker, simmer for another 5-10 minutes, and do the cold plate test again.

Avocado Cream

And so the last component of this fantastic birthday, Mexican fiesta was a recipe I was inspired by by at a fellow foodie’s blog. They had used this for enchiladas, but I thought this would be perfect on top of the Burgers al Pastor I was making – and it was!

Creamy, bright, fresh, rich – perfect on burgers, enchiladas, tacos, or to just scoop up greedily with tortilla chips when everyone else has gone to bed!

  • 1 1/2 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 3 heaping t sour cream (add a little more if you want his a little looser

NOTE: The lime, salt and sour cream can be adjusted to your own taste.

Everything into the food processor, blender or even a bowl and mash by hand. Done!

I halved this recipe and it made enough for the burgers and for a cook’s secret treat later! Although, it is really hard to eat crunchy tortilla chips quietly!