I love the idea of summer pickling. Putting beautiful summer veggies in little jars that you can stow away in your cupboard and eat months later. It’s almost like packing up a little piece of summer for your future self when you really need it most, on a snowy winters day. Pickling is actually dead easy and pretty impressive, a rather excellent combination. It also leaves room for a lot of creativity. You can really play with spice blends and vegetable combinations, you can pickle just about anything. Use this recipe as a base and feel free to change it up once you have made a few batches, are a little more comfortable and have watched them disappear! I love to use these pickles in sandwiches throughout the year, but they also make a stellar addition to your cheese boards. These directions will help you pickle a batch of cucumbers and will last in your fridge up to a month, but if you want to water bath process them, they will last up to a year. Look up basic water bath instructions on Google or You Tube; it's a really easy way to process these to enjoy months later.
10 mini cucumbers
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp mustard seeds
6 thai chiles
2 tbsp black peppercorns
6 bay leaves
6 cloves raw garlic
3 500 ml mason jars
Slice cucumbers into spears that fit your mason jars.
Make your pickling brine.
Combine water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
Divide cucumbers between your jars. Divide spices between jars.
Fill each jar with pickling brine, leaving 1/2 inch of space from the top.
Let pickles sit for at least 2 days before eating.
Pickles will last up to 1 month in the fridge or up to a year if you water bath process them.
These days we are BBQ'ing almost every day. Most days I can make my entire meal on the grill but dessert has been an entirely new challenge. I was toying with the idea of fire and sugar (can we say YUM!) and was thinking about those warm and gooey Krispy Kreme donuts we all used to go bonkers over. I grabbed a package of glazed donuts one day and just decided to BBQ them. Net result? Pure magic! They had that warm and gooey quality I remember loving but also had a hit of smoke and char that made them a little extra special. I decided I would take it up a notch and see if I could coat them with a little extra sugar and get a bit more crunch on them. That extra hit of sugar did the trick. Topped with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkling of salty peanuts they were the perfect backyard BBQ dessert. I've served them three times now and every single person has demanded seconds. The best part of this recipe? It is is so quick and easy to make. Try them and make sure you keep an extra pack of donuts on hand - I guarantee you will need them!
1/2 dozen plain glazed donuts
2 tbsp sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup salted peanuts, crushed
Spread sugar out onto a plate. Press each side of donut into sugar.
BBQ donuts over high heat until sugar bubbles and scorches, about 2 minutes per side.
Top with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkle of peanuts,
I have been making this recipe a lot lately. Basically it takes care of all those saran wrapped veggie remnants lying around in the fridge and combines them with some chicken, pineapple and rice. Those sad little veggies are transformed into a delicious summer dish that is impressive when it’s served but tastes great the next day as well. It tastes delicious served at room temperature, making it a great recipe for summer outing or a grab-and-go meal. Try it and feel free to change up the veggies, herbs or even the meat protein. I’ve used chicken here to keep it light, but it tastes great with pork or steak too. The only real constants are the rice and pineapple, which keep it light and give it a perfect summer twist. Feel free to experiment with whatever herbs you have on hand. I love a combo of chives, mint and basil, but anything goes.
any leftover vegetables in your fridge:
any peppers, any zucchini, any onions, eggpplant
1 large package chicken breast
1 pineapple, cored
2 cups Basmati rice
1 can of your favorite beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice
6 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Take all your leftover veggies and roughly chop them into bite size chunks.
Season with salt and pepper and 1/3 the olive oil.
Make kebobs by randomly skewering all vegetables onto skewers.
Chop chicken into chunks.
Season chicken with salt, pepper and 1/3 olive oil.
Make kebobs by skewering chicken together.
Chop pineapple. Season with salt and pepper. Skewer onto kebabs.
Heat BBQ to medium/high. Cook all kebobs until cooked through.
Cook rice according to instructions.
Once rice is ready, add beans and mix.
Assemble bowl; spread out rice and bean mixture, top with chicken, pineapple, and grilled vegetables.
Sprinkle with herbs and olive oil and serve.