Friday, May 20, 2011


I am writing this in hoped that having this on the internet will hold me accountable. I don't want to get to the winter and have zero cans to show for myself again like last year.  I have planned 1 canning day a month between now and September.  Here are the dates: June 18, July 16, August 20, and September 10.  Here are the things that I hope to can:
Strawberry jam
Strawberry Pinot Noir Preserves
Rhubarb butter
Apricot and Vanilla bean preserves
Blackberry Jam with lemon zest
Peaches inn Vanilla Syrup
Cucumber relish
Apple Butter
Tomato Sauce

In reality I am sure that not all of this will get done,  but at least I have my goals in writing.  I am ready to can!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chickpea Burgers

I am not a big red meat eater.  I do like the occasional steak, but regular beef burgers are not really my thing.  I usually opt for a turkey burger or a veggie burger. I have been looking for a good veggie burger recipe for quite some time.  It is hard to find one that stays together and has the right consistency.  This recipe does a pretty good job on the consistency, and the patties do hold together well.  The wheat germ on the outside gives these burgers a nice crispy exterior and a more moist interior.I really liked the flavor of these a lot, and they left me feeling satisfied but not overly full like a regular burger normally does. 

Chickpea Burgers
Recipe from Eating Well

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 scallions chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1 cup cooked brown rice
2/3 cup wheat germ
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 6 inch whole wheat pitas
8 slices  tomato
1 cup baby spinach
4 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt

Heat a small skillet over low heat.  Add sesame seeds and toast until golden brown.  Add coriander and cumin ad cook until fragrant-10 to 20 seconds more.  Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.  Grind with a mortar and pestal-or if you don't have one a ziploc and a heavy rolling pin worked perfectly for me.  Set aside.
Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat.  Add scallions and garlic, cook until softened.  Set aside. 
Pre heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. 
Coarsely mash chickpeas in a medium bowl. Stir in rice, 1/3 cup wheat germ, lemon juice, salt, pepper, scallion mixture and the reserved spice mixture.  Mix well.  Shape into 4 3/4 inch thick patties.  Place the remaining wheat germ in a shallow bowl and dredge the patties in it. 
Grill the patties until browned and heated through-about 3 minutes per side. Warm up the pitas in the toaster oven or microwave.  Tuck the burgers into the pitas with tomato, spinach and yogurt.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry there is no picture.  I did not expect these cookies to disappear as quickly as they did.  Even though this goes against all the rules of food blogging, I am going to post this sans picture.  These cookies are so good, and I need to share them with you. 
I made these cookies last week because I had a whole day with nothing to do and some ripe bananas in the freezer.  I finally got my cooking/baking itch back and am really having fun with it again.  Levi is on a good, consistent routine which helps me know when I will have time to make things, and that is a little easier on me. 
I wanted to make banana cookies instead of just banana bread, or muffins because cookies are more fun.  The chocolate chips make them super sweet and delicious!  The texture of these cookies is really nice.  They are a little sticky, but extremely moist and soft. I froze them for about a week before we ate them last night, but like all cookies, they held up great in the freezer.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 Stick Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Cup Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups Flour
pinch of salt (only if using unsalted butter)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2  teaspoon ground cloves
1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until fluffy again.  In another bowl mix the mashed bananas with baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes.  In yet another bowl, mix flour, salt, and spices.  Add the banana mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.  Then add in the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for about 13 minutes.  These are great fresh out of the oven, but in case you can't eat all of them, let the rest cool on wire racks and then store in an airtight container.