According to instagram, it looks like there was a lot of eating going on the past few weeks!
There’s some breathing room in the calendar, so we are getting ready to finish painting the apartment and finally getting some art up on the walls. Will spend the next few days catching up on emails, hosting family in town, and maybe making some pickles? I’ve had canning on my mind ever since picking up this book at Powell’s. <- Why is it called canning when everything is done in jars?
Psst! Thanks to Phanie for the kale chip recipe. These things are addictive!
-> you can follow me on instagram here @lotusevents <-
Take advantage of the bounty of harvest time by canning foods so they are available to eat in the winter months. Despite the rumours, canning is not as difficult or time consuming as people make it out to be. It is a fun activity that keeps your mind and body healthy. Green beans are available year round, with a peak season of May to October.
4 500ml canning jars with lids and rings
3 pots – small, medium, large
For inexpensive jars keep a look out at your local thrift store. Double check that the jars are crack and chip free. Jars and rings are reusable, but lids are not. Once the lid’s sealing compound is used it will not reseal properly again.
If you find a bunch of jars at a thrift store with no lids or rings it’s no problem. You can buy them at most grocery stores. If you prefer to buy new jars Canadian Tire has a great selection.
Optional equipment: (These things will help, but are not necessary)
If you are missing some equipment have a look at this website for DIY canning equipment instructions.
¼ cup kosher or canning salt
2 ½ cups of white vinegar
2 ½ cups of water
2 lbs green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed
4 sprigs of dill
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp black pepper
Step 1: In large pot sterilize jars by boiling them for 10 mins. Water should be one inch above jars.
Step 2: While the jars are sterilizing, cut up the jalapenos and garlic.
Step 3: After 10 mins, take the jars out of the water. If you have tongs, use them. If not, wait for the water to cool before you take them out.
Step 4: Fill the jars with beans, jalapenos, garlic, dill and pepper.
Step 5: On high heat, stir the water, vinegar and salt in the medium pot, until the salt is completely dissolved. This liquid is the brine.
Step 6: Pour the brine into the jars, leaving about 1 inch of room below the top of the jar.
Step 7: Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or paper towel. There can’t be anything on the rim, or else it may not seal properly.
Step 8: Remove any air bubbles by using the plastic spatula. The first time I canned I just used a plastic fork.
Step 9: Put the jars back in the large pot, adding water if needed, and boil for 10 mins. This is called heat processing.
Step 10: After 10 mins, take the jars out of the water. See step 3. Leave your jars to cool. The lids will make a snap or pop sound when they have sealed. If any of your jars do not seal, keep them in the fridge and eat from those jars first. Store the jars for a min of two weeks before eating.
These are basic instructions for canning. You can use this method for other foods including turnip, beets, okra, carrots. Simply look online for ingredient lists and heat processing times.
I love yogurt and include it in my daily breakfast routine, but buying organic yogurt at the local supermarket can quickly add up on your grocery bill! I decided to take the leap the other day and discovered that it is a ridiculously simple process. So why make your own yogurt? By making your own, you control what you put into it and for those that are lactose intolerant or vegan, a soy option is also available.
My inspiration for this project comes from two sources: The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrel-Kingsley and the April / May 2010 issue of ReadyMade.
1 litre milk* (I used organic 2% from Avalon)
2 tbsp plain yogurt* (this is your starter)
A pot (2.25 litre is a good size)
A container that can hold 1 litre of yogurt (I used two 500ml mason jars)
A container that can keep the yogurt warm (see picture below—I used a large soup pot with towels for insulation or you may use a camping cooler).
An instant read thermometer to ensure the milk reaches a high enough temperature and then cools to the right temperature for the starter.
Makes 1 litre of yogurt
* For a vegan option, substitute milk with soy milk and yogurt with soy yogurt.
Clean everything in your work area with soap and hot water and leave out to air dry. Remember that we are working with a cultured dairy product and we want to ensure that no unwanted bacteria is introduced.
Heat your milk in a pan. I used a basic, fairly thick bottomed pot. You want to bring the temperature to 180° F/83° C, which takes approximately 10 minutes. This is just before it starts to boil and you will begin to smell the milk as it heats.
Once it hits 180° F, let the milk mixture cool down to 115° F/46° C and then whisk in the yogurt. Make sure that the yogurt is mixed in well.
Pour the yogurt into your container. This recipe makes 1 litre of yogurt, so I used two 500 millilitre mason jars to hold the yogurt. Make sure to keep the jars warm and still for 6 to 12 hours. I used a soup pot that I stuffed with towels to keep the heat in.
If you do not have a soup pot, the Home Creamery suggests placing the jars in a picnic cooler along with jars of hot water, then pouring the mixture into a thermos bottle.
After 6 to 12 hours, your yogurt should look like yogurt! Place the finished product into the fridge to cool.
When ready, mix well and enjoy. The yogurt will last up to a week.
Originally posted on Granville Online April 30, 2010
Since moving to London, we have been cooking A LOT and since some of the foods that we used to enjoy is not as accessible, I have started scouring the internet to create some of our old favourites.
I present to you my version of the Red Robin chicken mesa salad! Let me tell you, finding black beans and ranch dressing is no easy task in this City. I have only found two places in London that sell black beans (Whole Foods + Waitrose) and one place that sell ranch dressing (ASDA). Although my recipe below is not exactly the same, it has become one of my favourites.
makes 4 dinner size salads
One can of black beans
One can of corn niblets
One red pepper
Diced red onion
Chicken breast (1 per person)
Shredded cheese (I used white canadian cheddar)
Broken tortilla chips
Salsa (I made my own using this recipe)
1 tsp of fajita seasoning (from the package above)
(mix to taste – start with 1/4 cup ranch, one tbsp of salsa and seasoning)
Coat chicken breast with fajita seasoning. Once lightly coated, bake or cook on the stove as you normally would. Slice in strips and put aside.
Shred lettuce and cabbage. It depends on how big your cabbage is, but I bought a small head and used about 1/4. Dice red pepper and onion and put aside.
Rinse black beans and corn niblets. Mix together and add the red pepper, onion and cabbage.
In a separate bowl, place enough lettuce and bean / corn / pepper / onion / cabbage for one person. Add dressing to taste and mix until thoroughly coated. Place mixture onto dinner plate and add chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips on top. Enjoy!
I love pizza. Back in Vancouver, Robert and I used to make our own pizza dough all the time using this recipe. We had read about making pizza’s on your BBQ before and after trying to bake a pizza without a pan and having the dough drop through the rack and bake into the crust, I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Plus now that we have a private roof terrace, I see a summer filled with sun and BBQ fun. Enjoy!
4 C All-purpose flour; more for dusting 1-1/2 tsp. Salt 1 Package (2-1/4 tsp) Active-dry yeast 1-1/2 C Warm water (110°F) 2T Olive oil
Mix the flour and salt.
Pour in the water & yeast. Stir.
Add oil – be generous without flooding it.
Split the dough into two balls. Cover each bowl with saran (or an Abeego!) Leave it for as long as you can go – 40 minutes or more is ideal.
Pre-heat your BBQ to as hot as it goes (between 450° – 600°).
Cover a large cutting board with cornmeal. Lay your dough out in a parallelogram (you’ll see why later) and add your toppings. I prefer to keep it down to about four flavors for the base – tomato paste, olives, capicola, a sharp cheese and mozzarella blend. Shred some Romano and have some chilli flakes ready too. For added pleasure I like to salt the crust with sea salt.
When pulling the pie onto the BBQ be sure to give the cutting board a good shake to ensure that the pie will slip off. Get the board in deep and pull quickly. See video example here.
Allow the pie to cook a bit on the bottom rack. Once it’s cooked enough that you can lift it, move it to the top rack and pull your second pie (and so on) to the bottom.
Leave the pies on the grill for about 10 – 12 minutes.
When cutting the pie, cut in a ‘W’ to give nice large, New York sized slices. Yum!
Hello! We are a husband and wife team that share a love for a good cup of coffee and a slice of Victoria sponge. This is where we share our work, our travels, snippets of our everyday life, and most important, the things we ♥.