Archive for the ‘My kitchen’ Category

Snail Nail


2014
03.10
coffee and cream

Caffeine will kill snails and slugs.
Photo Patsy Bell Hobson

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has seen promising results using 1 and 2 percent caffeine solutions to kill snails and slugs. Research showed the 2-percent caffeine solution more effective than metaldehyde, a common pesticide used to control slugs and snails.

Instant coffee is about 0.05 percent caffeine. Normal brewed coffee is a little stronger. The coffee I make is defiantly strong enough to kill a slug. Though I have no idea where you find coffee cups that small.

cranberry relish


2014
03.01

Thanksgiving day table was loaded with all the traditional fare. At each place setting was a mini vase filled tiny red roses. I never normally have roses for the table this late in the Fall. But this summer I brought home some miniature roses and tiny vases at each place setting.

cranberry relish

1 medium orange
12 oz. package fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup good quality honey
½ cup water
2 apples, cored, not peeled and finely chopped

Zest the whole orange, then juice and remove the seeds. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large covered sauce pan. Reduce heat and continue boiling for about 10 minutes. Cranberries will pop open. Remove from heat. Refrigerate. Mixture will thicken as it continues to cool. Serve cold.

Herb Vinegars


2014
02.05

Make extra for gifts

Buy this at the store and it could cost you $20. Make it at home for pennies. Plus, your custom blend always tastes better.

Finally! It’s time to fill you salad bowl with home-grown greens. I love those little bitty butter lettuces, so tender and perfect. Place the whole head of butter lettuce in each salad bowl. Get a jump on spring with this selection of lettuces.

tarragon Begin adding layers of flavor in your herb vinegar by adding more herbs as they each become plentiful. Start with a good vinegar. If it doesn’t taste good now, it won’t get any better with the addition of herbs. Stock up on your own blends of herb vinegar.

Tarragon vinegar is a popular herb vinegar and so easy to make. Start with a white wine vinegar. Only two items are required: tarragon and vinegar. More instructions are here: Make Tarragon Vinegar

Tarragon is a low growing, disorderly bright green herb. It likes full sun, well-drained soil. Adding compost in the summer and leaf mulch in the winter is all the care, this little herb needs.

Once it is well established, you have a bonus in the garden traders plant exchange. You must have a starter plant, it does not grow from seed. Rarely does it bloom, but the seeds are sterile.

Fines herbes

Fines Herbes – parsley, tarragon, chervil, chives. A beautiful herb combination for a container garden near the kitchen door. photo by Patsy Bell Hobson.

Tarragon, (Artemisia dracunculus

You must have tarragon or you can’t make Béarnaise sauce, channel Julia Child, or cook like a French chef. Buy a starter plant. It’s lovely and fragrant. Say hi to Julia for me.

Summer in a ½ pint Ball jar: Peaches and champagne preserves


2013
12.08
English muffin peach preserves

Keep a supply of muffins in the freezer double wrapped in plastic. photo by PBH

Preserved peaches and champagne

Peach preserves with a hint of champagne make a chunky spread on toasty English muffins.

peaches are shipped across the country from this region. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Peaches with champagne in a jam

4 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar*
3 T. Ball flex batch powdered pectin
2 T. bottled lemon juice
1 cup LBV Brut

Prepare 4 half pint jars. I put them in the dishwasher. Lids and rings can simmer in water on the stove top in a sauce pan.

Add chopped peaches to stainless steel or enamel cast iron pot. Cook on low stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Using a potato masher crush some of the peaches to desired consistency. Use an immersion blender to create a smoother consistency.  I like my preserves a little chunky with fruit bits.

Add the sugar and lemon juice. Bring the temperature to medium, stirring constantly to bring the mixture slowly to a boil. Note: The jam with splatter like a volcano erupting so where an apron.

Once at a boil add champagne and stir for about one minute then add the pectin. Bring mixture back to a boil which will happen quickly and keep at a boil for one minute continuing to stir. Remove from heat.

Immediately ladle peach jam into jars leaving 1/4″ head space. Wipe rims and add hot lids/rings and process in water bath for 10 minutes at a full rolling boil.

LVB Brut -  Missouri made bubbly. Using primarily Vidal grapes gives the methode traditionale sparkling wine a refreshing aroma with a crisp effervescence and dry finish.

LVB Brut is the champagne I used in the jam.

* If you make flavored sugars, like vanilla or lavender sugar, this is an ideal time to use.

My recipe is adapted from the Canning Homemade  Many of my canning projects begin with recipes and instructions from this site.

peach jam Wolfermans English Muffins

Wolferman’s English muffins with peaches and champagne preserves.  Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

I love Wolferman’s English muffins. We became acquainted when we were both living in Kansas City.  I order them now and then See Wolferman’s online.


The next Peach Festival will be in August, 2014

The festival opens at 5 pm each night at Cobden Community Park

This event, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club where attendees can enjoy Karaoke and a DJ Show, Bingo and other games, great peaches and cream, peach cobbler & other great homemade food, along with a carnival, entertainment, and a Peach Queen contest.

There will be a 5K run/walk on Saturday morning, a parade on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm. The Union County Museum and Cobden’s restaurants and shops are open all day each day.

Free, for information call 618-893-2425  or visit www.cobdenil.com

champagne and peach preserves

Peaches and champagne are the perfect summer combination in Bellinis. In the winter, our peaches and champagne become sweet preserves and summer memories. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

 

 

Relive our summer memories

It’s Peach (Bellini) Season!

A fresh, juicy taste of summer

Spiced peach cobbler

 

 

It’s Peach (Bellini) Season!


2013
07.23

Choose sweet, ripe peaches and crisp, dry champagne

Bellini is this summer's patio drink at the historic Hobson Estate.

Bellini is this summer’s patio drink at the historic Hobson Estate. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

In Italy, the Bellini is made with Prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine. Elsewhere, Bellini is a champagne cocktail.

A Bellini requires only two ingredients: champagne (or prosecco) and peaches. Created in the 1930s or 1940s by bartender Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. He named the drink for his favorite painter, Giovanni Bellini.

Bellinis are 1 part peach puree and 3 parts prosecco.

Directions – Peel, chop, fruit and discard the pit. Puree the freshest, ripest chopped peaches. Start with two small or one large peach. Puree then sweeten to taste with stevia or sugar. I use a homemade peach butter. (made like apple butter or applesauce only with peaches.)

Pour enough peach puree into glass to fill ¼ of the champagne flute. Slowly add champagne. Stir gently. Garnish with a peach slice or mint leaves. Makes two cocktails. Enjoy!

Champagne Cocktails

Sweet peaches and dry champagne. The Bellini is a celebration of summer's best. Photo by PBH.

Sweet peaches and dry champagne. The Bellini is a celebration of summer’s best. Photo by PBH.

When we stopped at Les Bourgeois Vineyards on a sunny, summer afternoon, a glass of bubbly seemed in order.  We had Brut, a cheese plate, and enjoyed the bluff top view of the Missouri River.  We ended up buying several bottles, and bringing home the key bellini ingredient, Les Bourgeois Brut.

I’ll use the Brut from Les Bourgeois Vineyards for Bellinis. At last, I found an affordable version of Missouri-made champagne.

Here is what Les Bourgeois has to say about Brut: “Using primarily Vidal grapes gives the methode traditionale sparkling wine a refreshing aroma with a crisp effervescence and dry finish.” All I know is that it is the best made-in-Missouri version of champagne I’ve ever tasted.

Go to: Les Bourgeois Vineyards – 14020 W. Highway BB – Rocheport, MO 65279 – 1.800.690.1830

More cocktails

Create your own signature cocktails by combining any of summers best berries or stone fruit. Just use the same proportion of fruit to  prosecco. Try strawberries, blueberries, nectarines or plums. Some fruits are sweeter than others, so sweeten fruit purees to taste.

More about peaches

and the recipe for home made  Peach champagne jam

A beautiful cheese plate adds to the celebratory nature of champagne.

A beautiful cheese plate adds to the celebratory nature of champagne at Les Bourgeois Vineyards. Photo by PBH.

It’s Peach Season!


2013
07.13

A fresh, juicy taste of summer

Peach season is short and sweet - possibly stretching to six weeks. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Peach season is short and sweet – possibly stretching to six weeks. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

This is my favorite Peach Jam Recipe. It turned out great last year, so I’m making it again this year. I made little jars of jam and shared it with neighbor Patti. She loved it and returned the two empty jars within a couple of weeks.

Peach champagne jam

4 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 T. Ball flex batch powdered pectin
2 T. bottled lemon juice
1 cup champagne*

This year, I'm making two batches. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

This year, I’m making two batches. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Prepare four half pint jars by sterilizing.
Add sliced peaches to stainless steel or enamel cast iron pot. Cook on low stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender or potato masher crush the peaches till the recipe is smooth. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Bring the temperature to medium, stirring constantly to bring the mixture slowly to a boil. Note: The jam with splatter like a volcano erupting so where an apron.

Once at a boil add champagne and stir for about one minute then add the pectin. Bring mixture back to a boil which will happen quickly and keep at a boil for one minute continuing to stir. Remove from heat.

Immediately ladle peach jam into jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims and add hot lids/rings and process in water bath for 10 minutes at a full rolling boil.

Try this champagne cocktail recipe: Bellinis using sweet, fresh and local peaches.

BTW, I’ve tried several canning recipes from this site. Each one turned out perfectly and was loved by all. Canning Homemade! Sustainable Living and Preserving the Future!

* I used Brut from Les Bourgeois Vineyards  – 14020 W. Highway BB – Rocheport, MO 65279 – 1.800.690.1830 It’s the best Missouri version of champagne that I have tasted.

Grape Salad


2013
06.28

Original recipe makes about 8 servings

3 pounds seedless green grapes

1 cup of chopped celery

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 (8 ounce) container greek yogurt

2 Tablespoon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces chopped pecans

1 crushed graham cracker (optional) sprinkle on top for garnish

Directions

Wash and dry grapes, set aside. In a large bowl, process the cream cheese, sour cream, Truvia and vanilla. When blended, set aside. Add grapes, celery, nuts and mix until evenly blended. Sprinkle with graham crackers for garnish.

Or garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Caramel Apple Layer Cake


2012
10.17

with Apple Cider Frosting

I found this recipe on Pinterest. But first, I made the applesauce and then, I made the caramel sauce. Finally, I made  Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Apple Cider Frosting from the web A Hint Of Honey.com

Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Apple Cider Frosting    photo: PBH

No, funny girl, I did not grow the apples or press the apple cider. Missouri has a wide variety of apples. When Missouri apples appear each fall, we are in for weeks of fresh, crisp apples. Learn everything about Missouri Apples here. The Missouri Apple web site at the University of Missouri includes recipes, storage, locations of orchards, nutritions and cultivars.

You will learn that about 46% of the apples grown in Missouri are Jonathan, 32% Red Delicious, 10% are Golden Delicious, 5% are Gala apples, and the other 7% are other cultivars such as Rome, Empire, Fuji, Winesap, and Paula Red.

I’ll make this Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Apple Cider Frosting for Thanksgiving. It’s very moist and will keep well, in the rare event that there are leftovers.

I’m on Pinterest. The recipe sites for applesauce, caramel, and this fabulous apple layer cake are on Apple Everything.

Beautiful Black Hungarian Pepper


2012
09.26

It is a pleasant surprise to find only a hint of heat in this 4″ tall black peper. Catalogs said it was mildly hot. In a recipe, it would be hard to identify this as the hot pepper.  I just mixed it in with the bell peppers in the gazpacho. Chop and add this to the bell peppers when freezing for future stews and chilies.

Stake pepper plants to keep them from snapping off suring thunder storms or heavy winds. photo: PBH

I will grow this pepper again to add another level of flavor in recipes calling for bell peppers. It is thin walled, smaller and not a juicy as most bells.

Who knows? You may think it is spicy. Could it be the soil or the temperature affecting the flavor?

Learn more about how this pepper did in my zone 6, Southeast Missouri Garden. Read my Hub Pages evaluations for tomatoes and peppers :

Black Hungarian Pepper tastes more like a bell pepper than a jalapeno.

 

Peeling Tomatoes


2012
08.26

Dunking tomatoes in boiling water is the easiest way to peel them. photo PBH.

  • First, set a big pot of water on the stove to rolling boil. Half fill a sink with ice an water.
  • Next, choose the ripest tomatoes. Cut an ‘X’ into the blossom end of the tomato. Core the tomatoes now or later after they have cooled. If you do it now, the skin is just that much easier to remove.
  • Then, carefully drop a few tomatoes into the boiling water. I drop 4 to 6tomatoes in at one time. Allow the water to return to a boil. (usually about 1 minute.) Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and dunk into the ice water immediately.
  • Allow the big pot of hot water to return to a boil and drop in more tomatoes. In the mean time, peel the tomatoes after they cool in the ice water. Cut out the core or the green stem end, if you haven’t already. (This is when I do it. It seems like I get more of that tough, tasteless core out.)
  • If you want to remove the seeds, cut to tomato in half and squeeze it. Use your finger or a spoon to scoop out any remaining seed pockets.

Now your tomatoes are ready for processing, making salsa, spaghetti sauce or simply canning.

Making salsa

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