Moldavian Potato Salad

This potato salad was given to me by a friend, it has a lot of flavour with feta, dill and so garlicky.  It is different from other potato salads in that there is no mayo.

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6 medium sized red potatoes, boiled in salted water until tender.  Once cooled enough to touch cut into chunks.

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Place 1/3 cup olive oil and 2 large cloves of garlic minced in a large bowl, throw in potatoes and toss to coat

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Cool to room temperature.

Then add 1 cup of crumbled feta, 3tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill and 1/4 cup chopped green onions.  I didn’t have green onions so I didn’t add those.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat.

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Allow to sit at least 1 hour before serving.

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Pickled Jalapenos

We used to make these every year when we got lots of jalapeños from our garden.  Our garden does not give us many peppers anymore due to shade from a large building that went up next to us.  I mentioned this recipe to Mimi when she said that she had a lot of jalapenos to use up from her garden and promised the share the recipe with her.

We use these on nachos and in any recipe that calls for a can of chopped green chilis, such as enchiladas, mexican rice, nachos or just on sandwiches.

These are easy to make and you can make as many jars as you like, even one if that is all the japans you have enough for.  I bought 6 or 7 large jalapeños and got these two jam jars.  You can easily double or triple this recipe if you need more.

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Remember one of the most important rules of canning is CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.  You can never be to safe when preserving food.  I also find it best to have everything prepped and ready to go in assembly line order.  Put the water canner on to boil while you are getting everything else ready as it takes quite awhile to get that boiling. I sterilize the jars in there for at least 10 minutes boiling before canning.  You can also sterile your jars in the oven, I have done that method as well.  Please, if you are new to canning please do your research and get to know the process I recommend these websites which I have used for basic safety information The National Centre for Home Food Preservation, Government of Canada, and the Company that makes Mason Jars.  There are other great resources too, but there is a lot of information on the internet that is not accurate so ensure that you are using a reputable website.

You will need:

1 cup vinegar

1cup water

1 bunch jalapeño peppers

for each jar: 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 bay leaf, 1clove garlic

Remove stem and seeds from the peppers then slice in rings.

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Combine water and vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Drop peppers in boiling liquid.  Cook for 5 minutes.

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While the peppers are boiling and once the jars have been sterilized, to each jar add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 a small bay leaf, 1clove garlic

Pack peppers into sterilized jars and fill with hot liquid, leaving about 1.5 inch headspace.

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Add lids (which have been prepared as for any canning (by softening the rubber rings in simmering water bath for about 5 minutes) and rings (do not tighten the rings, (they should just be screwed on lightly, fingertip tight, air has to escape during boiling and for it to seal properly) process in a water canner for at least 10-15 minutes at a rolling boil with the lids covered in about 2 inches of water (please make sure you check proper processing time for preserving based on your altitude).  Remove from water and let sit on counter undisturbed for 24 hours.  The jars should seal as they cool, you will hear a little pop as they seal.  The lid of the jar should be sucked down flat and if you push on it it should not pop.

These will last for a year in the cupboard and once opened store in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Tropical Coconut Rum Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

That is not a typo, there is rum in the banana bread!  This banana bread is delicious, moist and perfect for summer baking.

A banana bread with flecks of coconut throughout with a hint of rum and a sweet-tart lime citrus glaze.  Heaven in a loaf.

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I scored a huge bag of bananas which were marked down, I think there were 18 bananas for .99 cents…and they weren’t even that black yet!  I sliced and froze a large bag full for making smoothies.

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Preheat over to 350F and grease a 9X5″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine 2 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.  Stir to combine and set aside.

In another large bowl place 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1/2 cup softened butter, beat with mixer until creamy. Add in 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add 1&1/2 cups of mashed banana (about 3 ripe bananas), 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, 3 tbsp dark rum, 1/2 tsp vanilla. Beat until well blended.  Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just moistened. Stir in 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut.

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Add batter to a 9X5″ loaf pan that has been coated in cooking spray.

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Sprinkled the top with with 1 tbsp of coconut.

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Bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until done.  I always test with a wooden skewer.IMG_4239

Cool for about 10 minutes in pan on wire rack and then remove from pan.

For the glaze combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1& 1/2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lime juice (you could use lemon juice if you don’t have lime).  Whisk it together to make a glaze then pour the glaze over the top of the loaf into all of the cracks and crevices.  I also poked holes all over the top with a toothpick to let some more of the glaze sink in.

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And to make it pretty a fine zest of the lime sprinkled over the top!

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This is sooooo deliciously moist and flavourful with the hints of coconut and rum coming through, and that pairs really well with the hit of citrus from the sweet tangy glaze.  You really have to try it to see for yourself how good it is! ……and let me know what you think.

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Rice Salad

It is warm again today, it had been cool all last week and I was fearing that our short summer was over.  The sun is out today and it is warmer, thank goodness for that.  A friend came over for dinner last night and I made this rice salad to go with BBQ.  I am glad I did because when she saw it she was very happy and said “oh you made that salad again, I love it”.  Well that worked out well and I sent her home with the leftovers.

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2 cups of minute rice & 2 cups of water.  Cook the minute rice according to the package directions.

If you don’t want to use minute rice you can use any rice.  I think you will need 3-4 cups of cooked rice.

Once the rice is done let it cool.

To the cooled rice add:

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 medium sweet onion finely chopped

1 small sweet bell pepper finely chopped (i used orange pepper as i had one in the fridge)

1 tin of mushrooms

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To make the dressing mix together :

1/3 to 1/2 cup white sugar (depending on your taste)

1/2 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp celery seed

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Our the dressing over the rice mixture and stir well to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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This keeps well for a week in the fridge.

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Roasted Eggplant Dip

I guess you could call this baba ganoush ( i know that is probably not spelled right), no matter what you cal it or how you spell it, it is GOOD!

Take two small eggplants (about 500-600g total) and poke holes all over with a fork

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Roast them in a 350F oven until they are very soft (about 45 minutes).  They will look all shrivelled like this

Let them cook completely then peel or scoop out the insides and mash them.  Place in a sieve and let them drain for awhile.

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While the eggplants are cooking heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a pan and add 1 very finely chopped sweet onion and 3 large cloves of minced garlic.

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Cook until golden and soft.

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Add the drained eggplant mash to this and stir looking for about 5 minutes, take off heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Let cool.

Once this is cooled, stir in 1 cup plain greek yogurt.  Taste a little on a pita chip and season with some more salt if needed.

Chill until ready to serve.

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Serve with pita chips.  We will post the recipe for those the next time we make them, as I wasn’t thinking about the post completely since it was getting late as I was making this for a work pot luck and I needed to get finished so I could go to bed!

Very nice if you finely chop a few fresh mint leaves and sprinkle over just before serving.

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Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

In My Kitchen August 2015

I cannot believe that it is August already, summer is almost done.  Actually, I hope summer lasts until Christmas, it took forever for it to get here.  I have been seeing everyone’s posts and there is a lot going on this month, everyone is busily harvesting their garden goodies which is very exciting.

Here is a little of what we have had in out kitchen since IMK last month:

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Paddington Bear dummies, how cute are those?

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These are Evie’s favorite

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Some fresh light rye bread

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A savory snack, I love sour cream and onion chips

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and a sweet snack, ginger cookies

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Local cherries

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last of the local strawberries that we picked at a u-pick farm

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made some freezer jam out of those

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For September’s post we will be in Newfoundland for a wedding, so I am not sure if we will get an IMK post up for then.  Maybe we will have a post from our remote kitchen, I will see what I can do.

Thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting as always, even in an absence she is still bringing us together.

Cilantro Mint Chutney

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I have a favourite Indian restaurant close by that I usually crave just for their mint chutney, it is sooo incredibly good.  We order it with paneer pakoras which Evie also loves so we will have to start doubling and tripling the orders because we are like crazy seagulls fighting over them! Of course since she is the child we let her get her fill.  Since we have that mint field in the back garden we decided to search online and try our own which was reminiscent of my favourite but not really like it in consistency (probably because I used the NutriBullet) I am sure they hand chop everything.  This sauce was so good Evie even gobbled it up with her pakoras.  I did not make the pakoras, we ordered those from the Indian restaurant and picked them up just before we were ready to eat.  We will definitely be making this again!  I just saw that Natascha posted zucchini fritters and Elaine posted cauliflower cakes so I think I will be trying out those recipes to accompany the sauce.

This was very quick and easy to make.  I googled and checked pinterest and basically looked at a few recipes and combined different parts and came up with this.

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Into the large jar of the Nutribullet blender I added 1 cup fresh mint leaves along with 1/2- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (along wit h some team pieces), a thumb sized pieces of ginger chopped and 1 green chile, chopped and about 1TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1tsp cumin powder and a good pinch of salt.  I blended a little and it was dry so I added enough water just a TBSP or two and blitzed again.  This loosened the sauce a blended it nicely.

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Do not take a huge sniff when you take the lid off, it will knock your socks off, pretty potent stuff.   I did and it was like smelling salts.

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I placed it in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.  Give a stir before pouring out in bowl as some separation may occur.

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This sauce was so fresh and spicy, delicious!

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