Category Archives: handmade

dark chocolate covered candied orange peels

Ran across THIS online – http://whisksandwhimsy.com/2012/01/07/chocolate-covered-orange-peels/ recently and realized I could NOT go one more week of my life without making and consuming these delicious wondrous treats.

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So here I go.

I started with four oranges…

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cutting off both “ends” and scoring the peels – slicing off little strips and just…eating the oranges. because why not?

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Blanching the strips in boiling water – TWICE – for several minutes (3-4) each time.

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straining and rinsing the rinds in between the two blanchings

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meanwhile – I had one cup of sugar boiling with one cup of water – making a simple syrup

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after blanching, straining and rinsing the peels twice – I put them in the boiling simple syrup

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and covered it – turning it to low – and letting them simmer in the sugar water for an hour.

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then I removed them from the syrup with a slotted spoon and placed them on a wire cookie rack (parchment paper underneath) to cool and dry for a few hours.

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they’re so beautiful ..and delicious – just candied like that!

but chocolate makes everything better.

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so I melted some dark chocolate chips…

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double-boiling – water in the pot, and a glass bowl with the chocolate inside.

until it was all smooth and creamy-licious…

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and then dipped each slice right on in!

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and placed them on parchment paper to cool and harden…

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omg so freaking delicious and beautiful.

I love orange-vanilla everything, and orange-chocolate everything. I’m in heaven.

(the house smells delicious after blanching the orange peels, too, bee tee dubs)


today’s harvest

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four pear tomatoes, couple of peppers

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raspberries for syrup-making or jam-making!

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a butt-ton of basil …I’m makin’ pesto tonight!

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and what’s probably the last of the delicious fresh green beans, also to be gobbled up this very night

(date night!)

while the boy’s off en(hopefully)joying his adorable self with the rest of the 6th graders at Camp Bournedale!

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gonna do some catching up on Breaking Bad, too.

oh, Jesse.

you make me want to cry.


we all scream for bacon

SO. you want to make bacon maple ice cream?

hokay.

you start with like half a pound of bacon and you cook it up

with a spoonful of butter

[oh yeah, use this recipe]

 

cook the bacon some more

cook it nice and good

cook it REAL good

while the bacon’s cooking, take four eggs and magically remove the yellow parts from the clear parts

or use a slotted spoon. don’t forget to save the egg whites for your man’s breakfast tomorrow, ’cause you remember how huffy he got last time when you told him you threw the slime away.

oh, yeah. I had put like 8 tablespoons of darrrrk brown sugar in the bowl first. THEN the four egg yolks.

set it on (if you have a Kitchenaid) like 4-6 and let it go. whilst you’re tending the bacon.

also maybe start cooking dinner ’cause your man, he’s going to be home soon and darn if he doesn’t like meat and potatoes on the table when he gets home

bratwurst! potatoes!

when the bacon’s done cooking, remove like 1/3 of it and place it on a paper towel to sort of drain and cool (that’s going in the ice cream later on, babycakes)

add 8 oz of milk and 8 oz of heavy cream to the bacon that’s left in the pan, with all the grease and drippins.

cook that on low-medium for like 10 minutes

let the brown sugar/egg yolks keep mixing!

check on the delicious bratwurst

THEN. after the cream/milk/bacon mixture has cooked for about 10 minutes, put it aside and let it cool a bit, and then strain it

so’s you get all the bacon chunks out of it. THOSE bacon pieces should be tossed out, they’ve lost all their flavor. the recipe I was following said so, but I didn’t believe it and I tried a piece. it just tasted like …wet…skin. Not even delicious pigskin. Just wet..skin. floppy. wet. gross. Throw it out. it’s wet skin covered in cream. and not sweet cream, it’s just heavy cream at this point. heavy, creamy, wet, bacon with no flavor. BELIEVE ME!

then pour it into the mixer with the sugar/egg mixture and turn it down to 1, let it mix for a couple minutes;

then put it BACK in a pot (a clean one I reckon) and heat that up real good

and add about 3 tablespoons (or more) of maple syrup. the real stuff.

take it off the stove, put it in another bowl, a clean one, and put that joker in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for like 45 minutes.

yeah yeah, we need to defrost. today was busy, shaddap.

SO while that’s cooling, turn them taters into a German potato salad – the first one you’ve ever attempted and it came out quite nice if you don’t say so yourself.

head outside to pick some mint for a Mo-Ji-To

check on your awesomely climbing and curling green beans

go whip yourself up that mojito

and play some Dr Mario while you wait for your man

then eat dinner with him, play some cards, you know – the usual.

THEN. whence the mixture in the freezer is sort of solid-er and awesome, pour it in the handy-dandy ice cream machines your mom sent you and follow those directions.

garnish with extra baconz and nom til your arteries say uncle.

then when the kid gets home from the circus with his friends and the delicious scent of bacon and/or ice cream is permeating the house and he is drooling for some and there’s none left

you can laugh like a maniac while he bonks you on the head with his squeaky inflatable hammer he got from said circus

and rub your belly and groan.

goodnight everybody.

– janet


janet jams (again.) (this is addictive, this jam-making)

how to make Nectarine Honey Peach Jam.

get some delicious Shiraz.

wine

make sure the name of the wine is appropriate to the evening’s activities.

(also get a lot of honey. see back there, behind the wine.)

glass

drink some. limber up.

then peel, slice and chop like four hundred (I mean four.) nectarines.

cut your thumb (not on purpose, sillies) and have your fiance’ finish peeling and chopping the nectarines.

hoggle

peel and slice a bunch of peaches, too. (six or 8.)

find one that looks like that ^

freak out a little over the fact that Hoggle is probably trying to send you back to the beginning of the Labyrinth.

peaches

sugar

sort of mash all the fruit (sans skins and pits) in a pot, add like a cup of sugar

and two (or so) cups of honey

honey

pour

mmm

let that junk slow-boil/simmer for like an hour or so.

yum

I also added just the tiniest bit of fresh ground nutmeg. maybe like 1/3 of a nutmeg.

take your god-doggies for a walk, because you’re dog-sitting and they want to go out in the rain.

park dunk

shake walk

men

go back inside and get back to jam-makin.

add a box of Pectin, let it boil for like 5 or so minutes after that

finish mashing it all up with a ..hand-mixer..thingy.

til it’s all Jammy.

pour it in jars, give it a water bath to seal it and kill any and all bacteriums living inside

noms

3


bacon jam, thank you ma’am

SO!

to make this here bacon jam for yourself and those whom you love and whose arteries you care nothing about:

bacon

step one: cook up 1 buttload of bacon

(1 buttload = four lbs)

step two: ignore your dirty oven.

step 3: chop up a buttload of onions:

onions

(buttload = four onions)

THEN! since your bacon is all done cooking and cooling, pour in about 4 tablespoons of the bacon grease (into a big ole pot)

with the onions ^ aforementioned

and about 8-10 chopped up garlic cloves

so, grease. onions. garlic. just those things.

let that cook until the onions are “transluuuuuucent”

onionsgarlic

once they arrrrrrrrrrrrrre (to be read in a pirate accent), dump in ONE whole cup of apple cider vinegar

and TWO whole cups of brewed, black coffee. stronnng.

also about 1 cup of brown sugar and like 3/4 cup of maple syrup.

oniony

bring it to a boil.

continue to ignore your messy kitchen.

THEN!

dump in alllll four pounds of bacon, which you’ve let mostly cool, I guess

and have broken up into like 1 inch pieces, if you were using your time wisely.

yum

step Next: let that simmer for like 3 hours.

I went to Wal-Mart and Dunkin Donuts (happy National DONUT DAY! free donut! when I purchased my iced latte! sugar and caffeine yay!) and I came back.

I had a Number 9

or two

and I watched a Doctor Who episode.

or two.

and when most of the liquid had simmered out, I pulsatingly food-processed it til it was jammy

and sort of lumpy and awesome (like your mom) HA!

process

I continued to ignore my dirty stove (HEY! you’re gonna clean it after. keep ignoring it for right now.)

and after I pulsed and food-processed the whole batch, I “poured” it into jars, and then boiled those jars in a 10 minute water bath to seal them

Step 11: photograph your bacon jam with a tiny piggy

piggy

then photograph it with a label:

label

(but you must take it outside first. take it for a walk.)

Step The Last: eat a bacon jam sammitch. on toast.

eat it too fast to take its picture.

then watch more Who, drink more Nine.

the end


janet takes a stab at food blogging!

strawberries

so, to make this recipe for Super Sassy Strawberry Mint Peppercorn Jam, first start with

1 buttload of strawberries

slice ’em and put ’em in

1 giant pot

pot

then add:

1 buttload of sugar

sugar

start that big ole mother boiling and you’re gonna let it do that for like 2+ hours

hours

now. all the recipes I’ve found say add the mint at the very END of the process.

but all the reviews I’ve read say “ohhh I can’t really taste the mint, it’s just all strawberry-y and not minty enough”

so I decided. Ima add the mint at the BEGINNING.

they also all say to chop up the mint by hand, slice it, whatever…but I don’t want the size mint slices I’M capable of slicing all up in my jam, so I food-processed it till they were tiny little bits

process

[this mint is fresh from our garden, by the way]

fresh

so I added all that. probably like 15-20 leaves, all different sizes.

and let it simmer for a little over two hours, stirring every ten minutes or so

while I drank

Baby Tree

athena

out of my wicked great Athena mug

and watched some Kevin Smith q&a

state

chillin’ on the couch with my best friend ’cause we were home alone

martypants

…finished my Baby Tree

beer

lost all interest in taking pictures of the jam, cause hey, Baby Tree is ABV: 9.0%. and LARGE.

but still added the Peppercorn last for the final 15 minutes or so

the recipe calls for anywhere from 10-15 whole, fresh ground peppercorns

and I don’t know how in the crap to measure how many peppercorns are being ground up in my pepper mill

so I just twisted it 150 times. assuming maybe 10 twists = a whole peppercorn

but who knows

also I didn’t take any pictures of the pepper, but …who doesn’t know what a peppercorn looks like.

and it didn’t need any pectin at all, that was wicked cool. I did add a splash of lemon juice while it was boiling, though. at some point.

….

and when it was done, poured it in jars and then sealed it, boiled the heck out of the jars to ..seal them

and pasteurize them or what-have-you

voila

and voilà!

it’s super delicious, we tried it all by itself last night and were blown away – VERY minty, VERY strawberry sticky sweet

not so much peppery.

Will added some salt to his, which I thought was gross but he liked

and this morning he tried it on a PB&J which he thought was gross and I refused to try

I’m thinking, all alone on biscuits or scones

or on a sandwich with goat cheese and turkey

or on waffles or pancakes or crepes

mmmm.

so there you have it, my completely useless directions for how to make jam!


jam

I made vanilla pear jam yesterday!

http://www.foodinjars.com/2011/02/pear-vanilla-jam/ – I used this recipe

but I added a sprinkle of brown sugar, in the with the four cups of white sugar

also, I peeled the pears (bosc pears), even though the instructions said I didn’t have to

I didn’t want pear peel in mah jam.

I made six jars

omg so good

lookit all the little vanilla bean thingies up in there!

[click the pictures to see larger versions]

I wanna make jam every day now.

so easy. the peeling/chopping of the pears took the longest, I guess

…other than the standing around and waiting for things to boil.

Jam!