Wednesday, August 31

A Little Absentminded...

I have been absent lately again and am disappointed in myself. In my defense though I'm back in Stockholm and it has been a rather hectic week and a half, not a good enough excuse? Ok, well, I... spilled sangria on my macbook. Yes, I did. It's a tragedy, my poor new macbook won't even turn on. I haven't even taken it be be fixed, I'm so down. So now I have to use my ancient laptop, which won't let me load photos, which just generally hates me. Anyways, I'm starting up again (oh so slowly) and I've promised myself I will be more diligent. All my planned posts from summer at home are gone but tomorrow I am going to start posting about fall in here Stockholm, it may not officially be autumn but it certainly is chilly! I'm definitely ready for tweed, vintage (alright it's faux) fur and hot toddies!

I draw cartoon pugs in my spare time.

Monday, August 15

Cherry Sangria

Summer is sort of one long sangria recipe. Company's coming? What's in the fruit basket and the liquor cabinet? I'm pretty sure a winning combination can be found. I was really happy with this spur of the moment sangria because (it tasted great) it gave me a chance to use last summers preserved cherries. They were closing in on the end of their shelf life and I was worrying about that lonely jar, no longer though! One long summer evening of spontaneous cocktails later and I'm planning my next batch of sweet cherries preserved in liquor.

Cherry Sangria

2 bottles rosé wine
8 fl oz cherry brandy
2 fl oz juice from preserved cherries (cointreau)
1/2 cup cherries preserved in cointreau (or any liquor)
15 halved and pitted fresh yellow/pink cherries
2 tbs honey

  • combine all ingredients, stir well. Let sit for about half an hour in the fridge and then have yourself a nice evening!

Sunday, August 14

Friday, August 12

Cajun Peppers

I'm a little canning crazy right now and I've been preserving things left and right. It feels so productive, old fashioned and relaxing! I'm afraid I'm in a bit of a canning trance (and currently stained red from pitting cherries-but that's another post). My favourite part is getting new ideas, finding interesting local produce and preserving for the dead of winter when I can't even remember what warm weather feels like. My mom picked up some nice sweet yellow peppers at a farmers market and we wanted to try something a little new so we ended up with Cajun Pickled Peppers, we haven't tried them yet since they will rest a couple months but I think they're going to be great!

note on canning: it is very important to use proper canning methods and sterilize everything! Here is a link

Cajun Pickled Peppers

1.3 kg sweet yellow/green peppers
7tbs kosher salt
4 garlic cloves peeled
2 tbs black peppercorns
2 tbs pink peppercorns
2 tbs cajun spice mix
4 cup vinegar
5 cup water

  • clean the peppers and slice them into about four segments each, removing the stem, seeds and white membrane.
  • place a garlic clove in each sterilized jar, then evenly divide the peppers between the four jars (they need to be packed in pretty tightly).
  • Make the brine by combining the vinegar, water, salt, peppercorns, and cajun spice over medium heat till the salt fully dissolves and comes to a simmer.
  • Pour the brines into the jars over the peppers (leaving a half inch of head space) and seal the jars with the sterilized lids. At this point you can store them in the fridge instead of preserving them and eat them in about a week. They should last about 3 weeks.
  • Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
  • As the jars cool they should vacuum seal; there should be a little popping noise and the metal lid will be indented a bit. The ring can be removed after this point. Store in a cool dark place up to a year.

Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, August 7

The Cottage

A couple days at the cottage, not nearly long enough!

Thursday, August 4

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are an integral part of summer for me. Partly because I love them and partly because we have so many tomatoes in our garden in August that I start to wonder why we're not commercial tomato farmers. But we're not, so I get to enjoy every kind of green tomato you can imagine (totally eat tomato desserts), fried green tomatoes are my very favourite though!

Fried Green Tomatoes

5 green tomatoes
2 cups cornmeal
2 tbs New Orleans spice mix (or just something cajun)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2tbs cumin
tabasco sauce
3 eggs beaten
canola oil

  • Heat the oil over medium high heat (enough canola oil to be about 1/2 inch deep in a skillet)
  • Mix together the cornmeal, salt, pepper, cumin and spice mix in a deep bowl.
  • Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
  • dip the slices into the beaten eggs and then the cornmeal mixture, making sure they're thoroughly coated, then place them in the hot oil (not too many at a time, about 4). 
  • Fry for about 45 seconds each side (until browned) then remove and place on paper towel while you finish the whole batch.  Drizzle with a little (or a lot) of tabasco sauce and enjoy! Seriously, they're great.

Tuesday, August 2

A Summer Day

Blueberry pancakes, the farmers market, fried green tomatoes (recipe soon, they're so great!), asparagus soup beginnings, my silly little pugs, a baseball game and cocktails, mini donuts and the moon over vast canola fields on the way home; Summer is the best.