Friday, May 26, 2017

Barry's Pickled Eggs

A teacher I work with makes the best pickled eggs. He has brought them to teachers collaborative as a snack. They were so good I had to bring one home for SP to try. SP loves them even more than I do. After my last several attempts at pickled eggs, I finally remembered to ask Barry for his recipe. Buried in my email has been the recipe, lying totally forgotten, until today. I have yet to make them but when I do I will update this post with pictures. Off to buy some south west seasoning!

2 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
2 TBSP sea salt
1 TBSP mustard powder
1-2 TBSP Southwest seasoning
6 cloves fresh garlic
3 white onions
4 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water


1. Slice onions and garlic.
2. Add the cider vinegar, water, salt, celery seed,
mustard seed and pickling spice in the sauce pan and bring to a boil.
3.  Put peeled hard boiled eggs, sliced onions, and sliced garlic in gallon glass jar.
4. Pour in boiling sauce and put lid on immediately so that when it cools it will seal.
(If sauce doesn't  fill the jar, top off with white vinegar until it is about 1/4 inch from the

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pickled Asparagus for the May Raw/Cold Pack Challenge

I used Marissa's Pickled Asparagus recipe almost to a T, except I was unable to get Penzey's pickling mix which leads me to believe that I will have a much sweeter pickle than I intended. Marissa's recipe can be found HERE but I will write it out  my method below. One thing I regret not reading before I stumbled through the kitchen vying for available counter space was the recommendation to save the blanching water. Drained and left to cool, it provides a nutrient rich (and sustainable) water to water the house plants with! Thanks for the tip Marissa - no blanching water will ever go down the sink in this household again!

This was nice to do on a rainy Mother's Day after a wonderful Eggs Benedict breakfast from SP. Anticipating the rain, we got 90% of the garden in yesterday which is a tremendous feat for Maine and our track record. I'm still itching to get out there and plant the 160 onions that are just waiting patiently on the porch. 

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed to fit your pint jars and blanched in boiling water for approximately 10 seconds

3 cups vinegar (half apple cider vinegar, half white vinegar)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons pickling spice
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 slices of lemon
4 tall (12 oz)  pint jars

1. In a hot water bath, sterilize your jars.
2. Put a  lemon slice in the bottom of each jar and pack the trimmed and blanched asparagus into the jars.

3.  Tuck a garlic clove down into the asparagus spears.

4. Bring the vinegar, water and spices to a boil. Pour into jars on top of asparagus, leaving at least 1/2 inch of head space.

5. Affix lids and rings on the jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (you can skip this step if you plan on just putting your pickles in the fridge).

6. Wait at least 24 hours before eating, to give the asparagus spears a chance to get sufficiently pickley.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cocktail Onions for the Cold Pack/Raw Pack May Food in Jars Challenge

I decided to try my hand at preparing pearl onions from scratch. I had been warned, nevertheless, I persisted. In case of failure or a flailing temper tantrum, I made sure I had frozen pearl onions on hand to bail me out and cover for the wee bag of pearl onions I tasked myself to process.

I was pleasantly surprised by, after a 3 minute boil and three minutes in a cold water soak,  how easy it actually was to peel the onions. What was even better was the fact that the "skins" weren't really skins but more so meaty, that I popped all the waste into the freezer for future broth making!

The draw back I discovered was that my back up plan didn't look as appetizing. The pearl onions I processed were crisp, clear, and white while the frozen onions were blemished, green tinged, or had inconsistent color. Here they are all together just before I sprinkled them with salt, covered them with water and soaked them overnight.

If you look closely you can see some are pure white. Any onion with green came out of the frozen package. Any cloudy onion was also from the frozen package. I sprinkled them with generous amounts of salt, covered them in water, and put them in the refrigerator over night.  The following afternoon I drained them, rinsed well, and packed them into hot sterilized jars.

I then prepared the pickle by combining the essentials of two or three different recipes from the Food in Jars website

and two of my favorite canning books Food in Jars and Canning For a New Generation. (albeit one was just being used as a weight).

~ 3 pound pearl onions
1 cup sugar
3 cups White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Mustard Seeds
2 to 3 Tablespoons Prepared Horseradish (I love the stuff)
Bay leaves - one for each jar
(I'm lucky enough to have a market that stocks fresh ones right now!)

1. Combine vinegar ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

2. Pour liquid over onions in jars.
3. Affix caps and boil in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Yesterday, once fully cooled, I took them outside for their photo opp in a lovely silver tray. Unfortunately the sun went away and we were left with a grey, dark, damp back ground.

I look forward to trying them in a day or two!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Phyllo Tarts AKA Fillo Tarts

What the heck Athens - is it Phyllo or Fillo? It's driving me crazy!

 We had an entire weekend of eating as vegetarians. It feels good to go back to my roots, especially when SP asks for vegetarian meals. I pinned this recipe a month or so ago and forgot about it until we had the puffed pastry tarts. I was excited to see that our local hot house had the ugly heirloom tomatoes back in stock. I love the heart shaped ones on the tart to the right. Baby doesn't like tomatoes so he made the asparagus and pepper tart on the left. He also added lots of pepper - my kids loves pepper! Does anyone else's kid like pepper? it's strange.

From the blog  Girl Versus Dough, I bring you Tomato Ricotta Fillo Tarts. 


1 roll Athens Fillo Dough
¼ cup olive oil or melted butter
1¼ cups ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for topping
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper, to taste
1½ to 2 lbs tomatoes, sliced to ¼-inch thickness 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on parchment paper. Brush lightly with olive oil or melted butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo dough; brush lightly with oil. Repeat until all phyllo dough sheets are stacked.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, basil, chives, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste until well combined. Spread evenly on top of fillo dough, leaving a 1-inch border along edges.
5. Top with sliced or halved tomatoes.
6.  Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
7.  Bake 30 minutes until dough is golden brown and flaky.
8. Cool tart slightly; top with more chopped basil and chives and salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve warm or at room temperature.