Friday, September 26, 2014

When the cool air begins to hit.... I know the pears are ready to pick.  I asked my husband to pick some pears... and boy did he pick some pears.  I've made 45 quarts of raw packed canned pears.  Some with whole cinnamon sticks and clove buds with half water and apple juice.  Some with half apple juice and blackberry brandy... first time for that, we will see how they taste~

My husband picked 4 large tubs of these beautiful organic bartlet pears....

I sit and peel and peel and peel, I find that I like to do things all at once and then move on to the next step... this one I had to do in large batches~  there were sooooo many pears....

As I peel, I put them in a very large bowl, filled with lemon water....  it helps to make them remain fresh looking and not turn brown...

Then I cut the pears and core them.... from the bowl to the sink, filled with lemon water also...  love my two bay sink~

They get put into sterilized quart canning jars... pour the very hot apple juice water mixture over them....  wipe the rims, but the lids on and process....

Friday, July 11, 2014


Had fun doing my grandson's baby shower~


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

I have seen recipes for this soup now and again, lately more often.  I just love citrus in anything and I immediately thought I would like this soup.  I finally made it today.  I looked at many of the recipes that I found and then put my version of it together.  I thought the lemon would be tart and took the chance with a little hesitation, adding a little, then after tasting added more.  It is very well balanced and such a fresh tasting soup.  I really need to start measuring my ingredients so that I can post more of my food ideas and creations.  I'll do my best with this one....


1 Organic whole chicken
4 sprigs fresh parsley
2 carrots, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 tsp. kosher salt
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken in a stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken.  Add the parsley, carrot and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cover letting the water rumble a bit for an hour.
Strain, keeping the broth and carrots.  Let the chicken cool.  When cool, pull all the meat off and add to the broth.

3 Tblsp butter
1 small onion diced
2 peeled diced carrots
2 tsp freshly chopped garlic
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
8 fresh basil leaves chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup orzo
3 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
rind of one lemon, grated

diced fresh tomato and green scallions ~ optional

Put the butter in the stock pot along with the onion, carrot and parsley.  Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.  Add the fresh garlic, basil leaves and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add the broth and chicken to this and heat to a soft boil.  Add the lemon, lemon juice, spinach and basil.  Continue cooking on medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Serve with fresh diced tomato and scallions on top.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Kneed Bread~


There is no bread better than homemade...  even when you go to say, Panera Bread or your local bakery.  You may think to yourself, "there is no way I can make bread like that!"  Well... yes you can.  It's actually very easy.  Like most things, the more you make it the better you get at it.  Most recipes say that it needs at least 18 hours to raise.  I don't do that, I will make mine at night before I go to sleep, say around 10:00pm.  Let it sit on the counter and then after my morning ritual of coffee and sitting, I will preheat my oven and start the cooking process.  Don't let it scare you.. it's easy peasy~

I use my kitchenaid countertop mixer.  I make a few loaves at a time, that is why the bowl had dough on it~  I add my water, kosher sale and instant yeast, no waiting for anything to "happen"....

 I then add my bread flour, I like to use bread flour.  You can use all purpose flour if you wish.  Once you do it using each flour, you will decide which one you like the best.  If you are low on one flour, you can also mix them.

 Using the "paddle" attachment, I mix the ingredients until combined and wet.

 I then scrape the dough out and put it in another bowl with plastic wrap on it.  Leave it for at least 8 hours or more.  I really think that if you even waited just a few hours it would be fine.  The longer you wait, the more "holes" will be in the bread.

When you are ready to bake your bread, you will need to preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  You need a pot that is cast iron, clay, or pyrex... as long as it has a lid.  These pots need to be put in the oven when you turn it on, so that they will preheat too.  I do 3 breads at a time.

Now... on a very well floured surface, scrape your dough out of the bowl.. it will be wet, but don't let that bother you.  Put it on the floured surface and sprinkle flour on it and pull the edges under to make a smooth top.  This take practice and you need not worry.  Do the best you can and when you bread is done it will be beautiful and rustic looking no matter what.

Top left is plain, top right is a sundried tomato and the bottom is a kalmati olive, fresh rosemary and feta cheese.  Use your imagination and add your additional ingredients to your water mixture before adding the flour.

Now that you have accomplished this, take the pot out of the oven.  Remove lid and put your bread into the pot.  It will be awkward but just get it in there, trust me :) it will cook fine.  Put the lid back on and cook for 20 minutes, remove lid (be careful not to burn your hands with the steam), and cook for another 10 minutes.  Your bread should be golden and rustic looking and will have a nice crust.  Take it out of the pot and let it cool on a baking rack.  Enjoy!

No Kneed Bread       

1.5 cups warm water
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
3 cups bread or all purpose flour

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until wet and combined.  Should only take a few minutes.  Scrape down sides and cover with plastic wrap for at least 8 hours to 12 hours.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a cast iron pot with lid in the oven to preheat too.  Meanwhile, put your dough on a very well floured surface and pull edges into bottom center to make a round ball. When oven is heated, take pot out and put bread in it and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, take lid off and cook 10 minutes longer.  Bread should be golden and rustic looking.  Take out of pot and let cool on a bakers rack.