Monday, October 26, 2015

Glace Icing

This glace icing is a fun alternative to your everyday sugar cookie topping, or if you're just looking for something different.  A little more work in my opinion, but I love the smooth finish it gives, and it is the best way to stack and store these for taking them to a party or gift giving.

Glace Icing
Recipe from Our Best Bites

1 lb. powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 c.)
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp. almond extract (or flavor of choice)

Whisk sugar and milk until completely smooth and lump free.
Stir in honey and extract.
Separate into bowls to add coloring, optional.

Cookies can be "flooded" by dumping icing in the middle and spreading it around to the edges.
Thicken the icing by adding additional powdered sugar, and pipe with a frosting bag.
Let icing harden completely (preferably overnight), before stacking.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pickled Beets

Pickled beets are a great way to preserve the garden all year long!  They make a great addition to relish trays and salads, or as a side dish to sandwiches.  I prefer making this with honey rather than sugar, but I will include measurements for both so you have options.  The amount of sweetener is based upon taste, I prefer using less, but feel free to up the amount to your liking.
These particular beets were chioggia and albino, which gave them a pretty pink color, but this recipe will work for any type of beet.
Pickled Beets
Recipes modified from Sandy Bishop and The Prairie Homestead

10 lbs. beets
1 large cinnamon stick
12 whole cloves
6 c. apple cider vinegar
3 c. water or beet juice
1 c. honey (or swap for 1 - 4 1/2 c. sugar, depending on taste)

Cut tops off of the beats, leaving about 1" of stem attached.
Wash thoroughly and place beets in a large pot.
Cover beets with water and boil until tender, but not soft, about 30 - 1 hour depending on size.

When cooked, rinse beets in cold water; skins should slip off easily.
Remove root and top of beet stem.
Chop beets into bite size chucks (or diced!)

Combine apple cider vinegar and water into a pot.
Place the cinnamon stick and cloves in a cheesecloth bag and add to the pot.
Boil mixure for 3-5 minutes.
Stir in honey or sugar, and stir to dissolve.  
Taste and adjust sweetener to your liking.
Remove cheesecloth bag.

Pack beets into hot sterilized pint or quart jars, accounting for 1/2" headspace.
Pour hot vinegar mixture over beets until just covered.
Remove air bubbles by running a knife along 4 sides of the bottle.
Wipe rims clean, and top with lids and bands.

Process in a hot water bath canner for 30 minutes, be sure to adjust for altitude, (40 minutes Utah time).

Monday, October 12, 2015

{Zupa's} Chicken Enchilada Chili

Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili.  You need this recipe in your life.  This was definitely not my first (or second, or third...) attempt at recreating this, so I can tell you right now, the secret is all in the sauce.  Save yourself the heartache of 'not as good as Zupas' soup and make the enchilada sauce from scratch.  It makes all the difference.  It makes the soup.
I use this enchilada sauce recipe from Our Best Bites, only subbing red bell peppers instead of green ones.  I also like to make a big batch of it ahead of time because it freezes beautifully, which means I can have this soup ready and on the table in a matter of minutes.

Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili
Recipe modified from Burnt Apple

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 c. small diced cooked chicken
2 1/2 c. enchilada sauce
1 15oz. can tomato sauce
1 4oz. can diced green chiles
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1 15oz. can evaporated milk
2 c. chicken broth

In a large pan, heat olive oil and add onions, cooking until translucent.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, green chiles, beans, chili powder, and cumin.
Allow mixture to warm, stirring occasionally, while you make the sauce.
In a separate pan, melt the butter.
Add in flour, and whisk to make a roux.
Gradually add evaporated milk, whisking and cooking until sauce is thickened.
Slowly add milk mixture and grated cheddar cheese into the soup, stirring until melted.
Add up to 2 c. chicken broth to thin soup to desired consistency.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Apple Butter

We like ours best swirled into oatmeal, but you could spread this over toast, slather it on a pork chop, eat it straight from the jar, etc.
This recipe is basically making applesauce, and then taking it a step further; thickening it and adding some spices.  I make both simultaneously.  I like to make the apple butter in my 7 quart crock pot; it makes my house smell like fall and doesn't require a lot of work from me.  You can do the same thing over the stove top in a shorter amount of time if you are in a rush.  You basically just need to simmer it down to your desired consistency.
This recipe includes instructions for canning, but by all means skip this step if this frightens you.  You can store this in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and freeze the extras.

Apple Butter
Recipe from Everyday Food Storage

28 c. sweetened applesauce (enough to fill a 7 quart crock pot)
Pour applesauce into slow cooker.
Use a cooling rack in-between the crockpot and the lid, to make evaporation of liquid possible.
Cook on low, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency is reached (8-24 hours).
**I like mine to reduce by half, which takes me the full 24 hours.  You can cook it on high for a shorter period of time, but if you are leaving this out overnight, use the low setting.

When desired consistency is reached, add the following ingredients
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice

At this point the apple butter is done.  Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and/or freeze.  If canning:
Spoon apple butter into sterilized pint jars.
Wipe rims and add lids and bands.
Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, be sure to adjust for altitude, (20 minutes Utah time).