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Posts Tagged ‘vinegar’

by Sarah Steimer

Squash blossoms with ricotta, corn and black beans and a roasted jalapeno chimichurri

Why not another squash blossom recipe! I you’re going to make some, go all out. Still not sold on edible flowers? At the very least, bookmark this amazing roasted jalapeno chimichurri sauce.

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by Sarah Steimer

I'm calling this one of our best guides ever. These jams have been incredible and I've spent hardly any time on mine. No pectin, no canning, just a quick jam to store in the fridge for the week. And don't worry about it going bad — it does not last that long.

I’m calling this one of our best guides ever. These jams have been incredible and I’ve spent hardly any time on mine. No pectin, no canning, just a quick jam to store in the fridge for the week.

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by Sarah Steimer

When I initially bookmarked this recipe, I thought the result would be something a bit more like what one of my favorite recipes serves. Sadly, it was not. But it was still pretty delicious! I added the feta aspect, which I think really helped kick it up.

When I initially bookmarked this recipe, I thought the result would be something a bit more like what one of my favorite recipes serves. Sadly, it was not. But it was still pretty delicious! I added the feta aspect, which I think really helped kick it up.


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by Sarah Steimer

This was not a particularly small serving, and I had seconds. I love Mexican-style food all year, but there is nothing like tacos at the peak of summer vegetable season.

This was not a particularly small serving, and I had seconds. I love Mexican-style food all year, but there is nothing like tacos at the peak of summer vegetable season.


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by Sarah Steimer

This month's (July) Bon Appetit magazine showed up a couple of weeks ago and I knew I was making that cover recipe. When Caitlin suggested we do kebabs as a guide this month I was all set with my first idea.

When Caitlin suggested we do kebabs as a guide this month, I was all set with my first idea. The July Bon Appetit issue had been sitting on my coffee table for a couple of weeks and I’d been eying these chicken skewers on the cover every day. What a cover model.

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by Sarah Steimer

I normally chop up all my chard stems and throw them into whatever recipe I’m making, but I’m sure there are instances when that doesn’t work. For those times, pickle them!

  • Swiss chard stems, chopped
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 small sprig dill

Add chard stems and onions to a small jelly jar — I went with a small jar in this instance because even a full bunch of chard won’t yield many stems.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, Sriracha and dill until the sugar has disintegrated. Pour over the chard stems and onions, covering everything (add water if it doesn’t cover completely.

Refrigerate for a few days.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

You really do have to like horseradish for this recipe – which I love. The beans stay really crisp and the horseradish and peppercorns give them a nice zip.

  •  1 large handful of yellow wax beans or green beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 dill sprigs
  • 1 tarragon sprig
  • 1 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Trim the stem ends of the beans and pack them into a 16-ounce jar, trimmed ends facing up. Add the garlic, dill, tarragon, peppercorns and horseradish to the jar.

I’ve just been snacking on these beans straight from the fridge. They’re great just with a simple lunchtime sandwich.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water. Whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Pour the liquid into the jar to cover the beans. If the beans are not covered, add some water to cover.

Let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from: Food & Wine

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill has been getting Sweet Fire Pickles from Stover’s Farm at our farmer’s market, and they served as the inspiration for this recipe. In fact, I even washed out one of their jars and reused it for my version. Oh – and if you’re wondering what the red is, those are just mature banana peppers (that’s right, not all are yellow).

NOTE: For any of these peppers, de-seed them entirely or at least some, depending on your heat tolerance.

  • 3 medium-sized banana peppers, sliced a little thinner than a 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced a little thinner than 1/2-inch thick, then quarter these pieces
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt OR canning salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

    My dad likes to make “refrigerator pickles” for his hot dogs in the summer. It’s a simple combination of cucumbers, onions, water, sugar, vinegar and dill (I’m probably forgetting something). This is like the amped up version of that, and I went with a chicken brat instead of a hot dog.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the vinegars, salt, sugar and turmeric until everything has dissolved. Add the vegetables to the liquids and mix thoroughly. Transfer the vegetables to a 16-ounce jar first and cover with the liquid, making sure everything is submerged. If necessary, add water to cover the vegetables.

Refrigerate for about three hours before using. These pickles can be kept in the fridge for about two weeks.

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

You probably already have many of these items in your pantry. What are you waiting for? Try out some of these tips! (All of these photos enlarge when you click on them, by the way.)

One of the best parts of spring is prying open the windows and letting the sun in. But boy, that sure shines a light on all of the cleaning you neglected during the winter.

This year I vowed to tackle as many cleaning tasks with natural cleaners as I could. I started in the kitchen with *five* simple pantry staples that double as cleaning products, and I’m amazed with the success I’ve had. Some of these methods work way better than the store-bought products I’ve tried. And I can’t help but breathe a sigh of satisfaction (rather than choke on bleach fumes) when I see the results.

Have you cleaned with these items before? I tried to list the tips I thought would be most helpful in the kitchen, but I’m well aware that this list is by no means comprehensive. What natural methods have you had success with?

The refresher Lemons' citrus fragrance is invigorating and refreshing, and the acidic fruit can act as an antibacterial and antiseptic cleaner.

Use half a lemon with salt to scrub away stains on cutting boards. The juice will also erase garlic and onion odors.

  • Lemon rinds can be run through the garbage disposal to freshen a stinky drain. Hot water mixed with lemon juice can deodorize any drain.
  • Clean copper-bottomed pots and pans with the juice from a lemon half. Dip the open side of the lemon in salt, and scrub away spots. Add more salt as you go. Rinse the pots with water before letting them dry.
  • To brighten white tea towels and cloth napkins, soak them in a solution of lemon juice and water. Set them out to dry in the sun. The lemon juice acts as a bleaching agent.
  • Rub lemon juice into the stains on a cutting board. Let it sit until the stains disappear. Rinse the juice away with water. The lemon juice will also disinfect the board.
  • To clean up stained plastic containers, squeeze lemon juice in the container with a bit of baking soda. Use the lemon as a tool to scrub the stain. For stubborn stains, let the mixture sit on the stains overnight, and scrub again the next day.

The polisher Olive oil is a natural moisturizer, and just a few drops can make a variety of surfaces gleam.

  • Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make a wood furniture polish. Use a rag to buff the liquid onto wooden surfaces.
  • Rub a rag with olive oil on stainless steel and brass surfaces to prevent tarnish, streaks and corrosion.
  • After washing a wooden cutting board in soap and water, let it dry. Once it’s dry, wipe it down with some olive oil to keep it from drying out.
  • Rub olive oil on your measuring utensils to keep sticky substances (honeys, peanut butter and syrups) from sticking.
  • Dab a little bit of olive oil on a towel and lightly wipe knife blades to preserve them.
  • Season a cast iron skillet by rubbing a faint amount of olive oil all over the pan’s surface and letting it sit in 350-degree oven for an hour.

The eraser Baking soda is a pH neutralizer and can zap away stains and odors. The powder is mildly abrasive and works wonders on troublesome spots.

One of my favorite ways to use baking soda is to scour away stains on my stove. I recommend wearing gloves when cleaning with baking soda.

  • Place a dish of baking soda in the fridge and freezer to neutralize smelly odors.
  • Use a sponge and some baking soda to scrub away coffee and tea stains on mugs.
  • Unclog a stopped-up drain by running a solution of warm water and baking soda down the garbage disposal.
  • Keep a box of baking soda near the stove in case of a grease fire. Throwing baking soda on such a fire is safer and more effective than attempting to extinguish it with water, which can further agitate it.
  • For pots with food burned to the bottom, sprinkle the dirty area with baking soda and add hot water. Let the pot soak overnight before attempting to scrub again. The baking soda will loosen the food.
  • To remove grease stains from towels and napkins, treat them with a paste of baking soda and water before running them through the washing machine.
  • Use a paste of baking soda and water to scour away burned-on crud from stovetop surfaces. Use a wet rag to mop away leftover residue.

The absorber Cornstarch is known for its ability to absorb grease and oils.

  • Remove grease spatters from appliances and walls by sprinkling a rag with cornstarch. Gently rub the grease spot until it’s gone.
  • Use a paste of cornstarch and water to polish good silverware. Let it dry before rubbing it away to reveal sparkling utensils.
  • To make a great glass cleaner, mix 4 cups of water with 1/2 cup of cornstarch and pour it into a spray bottle. Mist your windows with the solution and wipe it away for glistening results.

The dissolver White distilled vinegar is highly acidic and prized for its ability to break down stains and odors.

I don't use my microwave very often, so it doesn't get terribly dirty. But I was impressed by how swiftly I could wipe away stains after letting the vinegar-water heat up. I felt like I was in one of those cleaning product commercials!

  • Remove price tags and other sticky substances from walls and dishes by sponging vinegar over them several times. Wait about 15 minutes before rubbing away the substance with a damp rag.
  • Another great glass cleaner can be made by mixing 2 teaspoons of vinegar with 1 liter of warm water.
  • Clean the microwave by bringing a combination of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in the microwave. Vapors will loosen crusty food so that it can be wiped away with a sponge, and odors will vanish.
  • For glassware that has lost its luster, soak a cloth in vinegar and drape it around the inside and outside of the glass. Rinse it with warm water after letting it sit for 1/2 hour.
  • Set out a dish of white vinegar to get rid of pesky fruit flies.
  • Drench a rag in vinegar and use it to wipe away greasy grime on top of the fridge.
  • Eliminate calcium deposits on faucets by soaking a rag in vinegar and tightly wrapping the problem area. Let it sit overnight before wiping the crud away with a clean rag.

Looking for more cleaning tips and tricks? Check out our full Spring Cleaning guide here.

 

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by Caitlin Saniga

There's plenty of room for modifications in this recipe. Don't have whole black peppercorns? Use 1/4 teaspoon black pepper instead. Don't have star anise? Replace it with 1/4 teaspoon fennel.

There are plenty of opportunities for substitutions in this recipe. I didn't quite have enough apple cider vinegar, so I made up the difference with red wine vinegar. I didn't have star anise, so I used 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds instead. And I only had ground pepper, so I used 1/4 teaspoon of that instead of the whole black peppercorns.

  • 5 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • one 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into coins
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
These carrots are ready to eat in minutes, but they last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

These carrots are ready to eat in minutes, but they last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Place the carrot sticks in a pint-size jar, and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, coriander seeds and salt over medium heat until simmering. When the liquid is near boiling, pour it over the carrots and let the mixture sit until cool, stirring occasionally. When the liquid had cooled, the sealed jar can be placed in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or it can be served with the brine right away.

Makes enough for 4 side-dish servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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