Monday, November 16, 2015

Summer in a Jar- Corn Relish

This corn relish is a hit!  So amazing!  When the local corn crop hits the stores, I hit the kitchen.  I've topped soups with this relish, topped baked potatoes and of course, you'll love it with hamburgers and hot dogs.

It's adapted from a Canadian Living Canning recipe.

This recipe makes approximately 6 500ml jars.

Monday, November 2, 2015

East Coast Cod Cakes- They're Back!

When I lived on the West Coast, my fish cakes were all about crab, 
scallops and salmon.  Now that I live in Ontario, I am looking to the
East Coast for my fish"y" inspiration.  Cod is a wonderful fish for
cakes.  You'll love these.

This recipe hails from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dill Pickles-

Fall canning classes are a great way to meet new friends, share canning experiences or create new ones, and put away great food for the family to enjoy over the winter months.  Big bonus- you know exactly what went into each jar- no chemicals or ingredients you can't pronounce.  Dill pickles are always on the annual pickling menu.

Pickles: dill, onions, spices and a brine.  Let sit for a few weeks and enjoy!
To make 6 x 500 ml jars

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Peach Jam- A Taste of Summer All Year Long...

I love leading a canning class!  It's great to share my passion for great food, fresh and in season.  What better way to ensure a steady supply of local produce through the winter than to can it yourself. Oh, and you'll make a lot of friends who will love you for sharing.

My canning classes feature three recipes: a jam, a jelly or a chutney and a salsa or pickles.  We prepared this peach jam at the end of August class.  This recipe is from the Bernardin Canning Book- a bible for canners.

Makes about 6 or 7 x 250 ml jars.

4 cups (1000 ml) crushed peaches, about (1.4 kg) or 9 medium
1/3 cups (85 ml) lemon juice
2 pouches (170 ml) BERNARDIN® Liquid Pectin
7- 1/2 cups (1875 ml) granulated sugar

• Place 6 to 7 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

• Peel, pit and finely chop or crush peaches, one layer at a time. Measure 4 cups (2 L).

• In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, stir together prepared fruit, lemon juice, all of the sugar and 1/2 tsp (2 ml) butter or margarine (to reduce foaming). Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add liquid pectin, squeezing entire contents from pouches. Return to boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

• Ladle hot jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.

• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 10 minutes.

• When processing time is complete, turn stove off, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pickled Bean Salad- version 2

Continuing to experiment with pickled bean salad.  This will surely provide a touch of summer in the middle of Ottawa's cold winter.

This recipe begins on the scanning website.  It requires an overnight steep and it contains oil which, for me, takes it out of the realm of pickles.

This recipe makes approx. 4- 500 ml jars.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rolly's Plum Chutney

Thanks to Bea for sharing her mother's plum chutney recipe.  You know the ones our mothers would write out on a piece of paper and slip into their favourite cookbooks.  It's fun to read these little yellowed notes- a little nostalgia in the kitchen.  These slips of paper hold so many great memories.  Ever wonder how mom made her famous and delicious cake, pie, roast, casserole?  Find yourself wishing she had written it all out for you?  Well, mom, thanks for the memories!

It will be the centrepiece of our end of August canning class, along with bread & butter pickles and peach jam.

Bea and I will recreate her mom's chutney, a treasured family recipe.  I estimate it will yield about 12 250 ml jars.  This is perfect at the end of the summer when all the fruit are plentiful.  I'm assuming a few things: the masher in the original recipe likely translates into a food grinder, I'll likely reduce the amount of sugar and we will process it in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes.

5lb   prune plums, mash the fruit before weighing
4 lb  apples
3 or 4 onions
4 lb   sugar – (2 lb white, 2 lb brown)
1 t    allspice
1 t    powdered ginger
3 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1 qt. vinegar


Wash the fuit; core the apples and destone the plums.  Put the fruit through a food grinder or finely chop.  Weigh the fruit: 5 lbs of plums and 4 lbs of apples.  Place all the fruit in a large pot along with the spices and sugars.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugars are melted.  When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to simmer until it thickens.

Ladle your chutney into clean, dry jars.  I use a chopstick to remove any air pockets in the jars, cover with lids and place in a boiling water bath.  Boil for approximately 15 minutes.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shallot Confiture

Every canning season, I like to experiment with new recipes, try new ingredients and decide on a new favourite.  In 2015, my favourite is shallot confiture... silky, smooth and so amazing!

I've always avoided finicky preparations but this dish is well worth it.  Trimming five pounds of shallots can be tedious, (I triple this recipe) but do it in front of the television and the time flies by.  From there, this preserve is easy and spread over three or four days.  The result is fabulous!

This recipes makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Pickled Three Bean Salad- All of my Favourite Things!

It's Summer!  Fresh green and yellow beans abound at the farmers' market.  Wow!  Bean salad is a go to salad all summer long.  Light, fresh, tasty and wonderful.

The thing about pickling a bean salad is you have to be careful of the proportions of vinegar, vegetables and beans so you can't deviate from the recipe.  Well, not so much anyway.  I started with a recipe from the website.  Changed the vinegars (as long as they have 5% acidity, you are good to go) and the beans to make it my own.  They have posted two versions which I am looking forward to comparing.

After a morning at the Farmers' Market, it was a pleasure to work on this salad.  And it looks great in the jars.

This recipe made 7- 500 ml jars.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Best Jelly with your Favourite Cheese- White Wine Roasted Garlic Jelly

i've been making this jelly for over 15 years.  The best local garlic is available in mid-August at the Carp Garlic Festival.  Perfect for this jelly!  Enjoy it on cheese and crackers, as a baste or give away to your favourite hostess.

I've had friends buy an entire batch as Christmas gifts.  So perfect...

This jelly sometimes takes up to a week to jel.  Be patient...

This recipe makes approximately 5 250 ml jars.  I like to mix 125 ml jars and 250 ml jars.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Whiskey Sour Cocktail Jelly

One of my favourite gifts to make and give.  Jellies made with alcohol- for adults only- and perfect with cheese and crackers.

This recipe makes 5 250 ml jars.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sweet and Sour Pickled Vegetables

I love summer shopping!  This pickle came together when I found beautiful cauliflower, great organic colourful carrots, fennel and shallots, all locally grown, all calling out to be pickled!  Perfect as a hostess gift...

This recipe makes about three 500ml jars.

Spicy Carrot Pickles

I love summer!  The grocers are chock full of local produce- at least the good ones are.  That mostly doesn't mean the large grocery stores where the offerings are usually American, South American fruit and vegetables when I know the local produce is ripe and fresh.  So frustrating...

So this weekend, the local good produce store had beautiful, organic, local carrots on sale.  Young, thin, purple, yellow and orange carrots just begging to be pickled.

This recipe makes approx. 4- 500 ml jars.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Southwestern Black Bean Burgers- Vegetarian at its Best!

Summer is BBQ season.  You know burgers and dogs... what is a vegetarian to do?  This vegetarian loves her burgers... black bean burgers that is.  These burgers use black beans, a little salsa, a little spice and a whole lot of other great ingredients to give you a flavourful, healthy burger...

Feel free to play with the ingredients- and plan on great toppings.

To make four burgers.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Apricot Jam- Use it for Asian Dipping Sauce

It doesn't get better than this!  Crispy, crunchy spring rolls dipped in apricot sauce (yes, apricot, not plum) made with your very own apricot jam!  Talk about multitasking!


125 ml jar    Apricot jam (the recipe is posted)
2 tbsp              soy sauce
2 tsp                ginger, freshly grated
2 tsp                rice vinegar
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.  You're ready to dip in your spring rolls!

Looking Forward to Apricots! The Jam that masquerades as a baste, a sauce...

Apricot season in Ontario comes and goes so quickly but it's worthwhile to watch for those golden little fruit.  Apricots don't have a lot of pectin so the jam will be a bit "looser" than most jams.

My apricot jam can also be used as a glaze for chicken or for pies; as the base for an Asian dipping sauce; an ice cream topper; baked with cookies- so many uses!

This recipe will make approximately 8 250 ml jars.  I like to mix it up by canning 1/3 in 125 ml jars.

1 cup     water
1/2 cup  bottled lemon juice
4 lbs      apricots
6 cups    sugar

Combine the water and the lemon juice in a large nonreactive pot.  Pit the apricots, adding them directly to the lemon water.  Add the sugar and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the gel stage is reached, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat.  Allow the jam to rest for five minutes, it will thicken slightly.  Skim off any foam.  Fill your jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the rim of the jars, centre the lids on the jars and screw on the metal bands.  Place in the boiling water bath for about 10 minutes.  Store in a cool, dry place for up to one year.

WANNA PLAY?  I've added shaved chocolate to the jam- note, it won't look great but it sure tastes special!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gingered Tomato Marmalade- a unexpected treat!

I'm always open to new ideas, on the lookout for something delicious and different.  This is one of those recipes.  Tomato marmalade?  Give it a try!

5 cups  coarsely chopped peeled tomatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs)
2 large oranges
1 lemon
4 cups granulated sugar

3 tbsp finely chopped peeled gingerroot added during the cooking (optional)

Place tomatoes in a large stainless steel or enamal saucepan

Halve and seed the oranges and lemon.  Finely chop fruit in food processor or blender and add to the tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a full boil over high heat.  Slowly add the sugar, stirring until the sugard is completely dissolved.  Return to a boil and boil rapidly until mixture forms a gel, about one hour, stirring frequently.  Removce from heat.

Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for approx. 15 minutes.

My Long Time Favourite- Roasted Garlic White Wine Jelly

Enjoy the sweet but subtle flavour of roasted garlic in this sophisticated jelly.  Use it as a glaze for meat, spread it over warm toasted bread, great with cheese!

I always look forward to mid-August when the local garlic is available at the Garlic Festival or at Farmers' Markets.  This year, I tried out the garlic at Silver Springs Farm, in Ottawa.  Their volunteers run the garlic project which supports people with developmental disabilities.

Great garlic and a great cause- I will be back!

To make about 5 250 ml jars

A Canadian Treat- Conserve of Blueberry, Maple and Walnut EH!

This is a go to recipe for very special friends.  It's a staple in my "jamming" classes and besides, it tastes great!

I wait until local blueberries are available to make my annual batch.  Missed the local season?  Look for imported organic berries...  With a touch of maple, a handful of walnuts, this conserve is not just for toast.  Add it to yogourt, top up your pancakes, drizzle it on our favourite sweet bread.

This recipe makes approximately 4 - 250 ml jars.

4 cups     fresh blueberries, crushed
1 cup       water
1/2 cup    maple syrup
2 tbsp      lemon juice
2 cups     sugar
1 cup       raisins
1/2 cup    chopped walnuts
1 tsp        ground allspice
1 tsp        ground ginger

Combine the blueberries, water, maple syrup and lemon juice in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gentle for about five minutes or until the blueberries are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the sugar and raisins. Return to a boil, reduce the heat and boil gently, uncovered until the mixture will form a gel - to check place a small amount on a cold plate.  Wait a few seconds- if the mixture has thickened and is not runny, you have a gel.  Or, use a candy thermometer- when it hits 220 degrees celsius, you're good.  Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts, allspice and ginger.

Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (250 ml jars).

One more thing!  I love that maple so, before sealing the jars, I add a drizzle to the top.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Touch of the Islands- Hot and Spicy Banana Ketchup

This ketchup was "discovered" on a trip to the beautiful island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean.  It's thick and spicy, fragrant of bananas and island spices, warmed by rum and perfect to top burgers, complement roasted or BBQ'd meats.  Definitely not the store-bought tomato ketchup we grew up with!

Fragrant, very ripe, but not mushy, bananas are the base for this ketchup.  This recipe will make a medium spicy ketchup- you can add more cayenne if you like it hotter.  But be cautious not to overpower the fruitiness.

I like to let my ketchup simmer gently at the back of the stove- its spicy aroma wafting through the kitchen.

This recipe makes approximately 7 cups.

Preserved Lemons- Beautiful Things!

Preserved lemons are unique and absolutely a must for many Moroccan dishes.  Try out this recipe and  you'll never want to be without these again.  Remember to decrease the salt you add to your dishes, until you have an opportunity to taste after you've added the preserved  lemon.

How to describe them?  Preserved lemons will impart intense lemon flavour; the flesh is soft and translucent, the pulp is jamlike.  And the jars looks great on the counter!

Makes about 2 litres

Moroccan Tagine of Preserved Lemons, Olives and Artichokes

My newly preserved lemons looks and taste wonderful.  This tagine is a great way to feature them!  A tagine is a delectable, slowly baked dish typical of Morocco.  If you don't have fresh artichoke you can substitute canned- just be sure to drain and rinse before adding to the dish.

This recipe will serve 4 to 6 guests.