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.

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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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Mango BBQ Sauce

Summer is in full swing and so is grilling.  This homemade BBQ sauce is so delicious and it isn’t full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial colours or nasty preservatives it has really ingredients and is full of flavour.  It keeps well refrigerated for weeks and you could freeze (in freezer bags) some as well.  It does make a lot.

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Chop the mango

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Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in pan and add 4 cloves chopped garlic and 1 sweet onion and 1 diced mango.  Sauce until soft and onions are translucent about 5 minutes.

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There is a handful of other ingredients

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I love this stuff and I add it to almost everything!

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To mango mixture add 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes and 1 small can (about 5 oz) of tomato paste, 1/2 pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup molasses,  1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground pepper.

Once these are all added together mix bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring often for about 30 minutes.  The sauce will get a little darker and thicken.

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Take off heat and let cool for about another 30 minutes, then puree, I use a hand blender, and place in containers and refrigerate or freeze.

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This makes a lot for a small price!  And it is much healthier than commercially prepared sauces, loaded with vitamins and minerals from the mango, molasses, maple syrup and tomatoes.  If you try it let me know what you think.

Adapted from Oxygen Magazine.

Two Cheese Tossed Salad

Salad with bacon and cheese! I hadn’t had this salad in many years and thought it would be nice for a change now that summer is here.  The only thing to keep in mind is that the dressing should be made the day before, though I often forget and make it in the morning and let it sit all day in time for supper, that is ok too, but best if prepared the day before so all the flavours can meld together.

To make the dressing:

In a jar with a tight fitting lid combine

1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

1/2 finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp dried minced onion (you can use 1/4 tsp onion powder, or leave it out as there is red onion, I have made both ways)

1/8 tsp salt

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Put on the lid and give it a good shake or whisk to mix.  Place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours)

In a large bowl combine

5 cups torn spinach leaves and iceberg lettuce

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 carton cottage cheese

1 cup shredded swiss cheese

2-3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

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Toss well with dressing

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Add bacon and serve.

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Chatelaine Sauce…tastes kind of familiar

I was doing a little downsizing of a pile of magazines that I have been keeping for recipes recently and came across this recipe in a old issue of Chatelaine magazine.  It is a burger sauce that reminded me of another burger sauce that I have had before.  This one is great because I had all the ingredients on hand and it only made about 1/2 cup so enough for a few burgers.

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The note on the recipe also pointed out that it is vegetarian and gluten free!  I will have to try this on veggie burgers as well.

You will need:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp prepared relish

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp white vinegar

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Simply whisk altogether in a bowl until combined.  I tasted it and decided toad a little more relish and vinegar, as I am not fond of mayonnaise I wanted to taste the other flavours more.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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We enjoyed it and I will definitely make it again.  Sorry no great burger photos this was a weeknight meal and the burgers were really simple, so the sauce helped dress them up and add more flavour!

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