Sunday, September 18, 2011

Freeze Fruit -- then Can it or Jam it...Later!

We love buying or picking in-season fruit, then jamming (our term for making jam) or canning. The problem is, sometimes we pick or buy, but don't have the time to process it. Here is our solution: the freezer. Freeze the fruit in a box or on a tray. After it is solid, transfer to a ziplock bag, label, and pull out when there is time!

I also love this because most of the canning season is in the summer, when it is hot and when I don't want to be in the kitchen all day. Come fall, I am ready and excited. I grab my bags and off I go. Obviously this doesn't work with all fruit, but it can work with most, especially if it is jam or fruit butters that you are making.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quick & Easy Summer Herb Marinade

In the summer this is my go-to marinade. Essential ingredients in any good marinade are an acid (like lemon juice), a fat (oil), salt, and flavorings.
I am herb-crazy-woman in the summer since I only get to use them from my garden for 3 months. Every day I make something with herbs in it, or I at least put mint sprigs in my water.
For this easy chicken recipe, whip out the food processor and throw in:
Garlic -- go for it and live a little -- toss a handful!
Olive oil - around 1 cup, though I vary how much I use depending on how many pieces I'm using.
White Wine or Lemon Juice - 1/4 -1/2 cup or so
Kosher Salt - a couple of teaspoons
Lots of Herbs - I mix basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley usually.

Process until smooth and pour most of the marinade into a ziplock with the chicken breasts. Marinate for at least 4 hours. Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the marinade for grilling.

Grill the chicken over indirect heat - which means the upper rack until the center is no longer pink. Baste the chicken with the reserved marinade and cook 3 more minutes.
I love this recipe in summer salads!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Parfaits

This deliciousness is the easiest way to use that extra rubarb in your garden. It takes no time at all, and it is Y-U-M-M-Y!

4 cups rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 lbs. strawberries
1/4 cup water

Boil together the rhubarb, sugar, water, and strawberries until the rhubarb breaks down (about 10 min.) Let cool until thickened (at least 1 1/2 hours)

To make the parfaits:
Layer the sauce, whipped cream, and vanilla ice cream. Be sure to leave enough room on top to add sauce as the last layer.
I also like this rhubarb sauce for pancakes & waffles.