Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Salted Lemons and Limes

Ever since I learned to include salted lemons in the Mediterranean style cooking, the salted lemons recipe has joined my 'favorite' recipes. 
This year with abundance of home grown limes, I preserved some limes also.

 After removing the seeds from each cut limes and lemons, stuff each wedges with sea salt mixture.
 Pack the sanitized mason jar tightly and pack with the rest of the sea salt mixture.

Clean the rim of jar very well, and cover with mason jar lid tightly. 
Label with Date and Content info.
Take advantage of the cold weather and store in garage if you do not have room in your pantry or have a cool dark place to store. Shake the jar a bit to help with settling every 2 weeks.  Ready for use after 2 months.
The followings are Salted Lemons made from homegrown lemons.

Candied Orange Peels

This candied orange peels recipe worked out quite well.   The oranges are peeled and pithed,. and simmered in the 4Cups:4Cups  --  Sugar:Water ratio with 1tsp of heavy corn syrup added to keep from crystallization.  5 nice medium size fresh oranges.  Preferably home grown (or un-waxed oranges.)    Extra sugar to roll the peels in.
3 Wire racks and sheet pans covered with 'wax' paper to dry peels on.   1 large wooden spoon; 1 tongue; 1 plate with rim.      *(wax paper is cheaper than parchment paper for this purpose or do without)
Mason jar to store in.
Tips:  Boil the water first and add corn syrup; then, to make sure that the sugar would not form crystals and start to crystallize the rest of the syrup, carefully add sugar in small portion at a time and stir well to dissolve without getting the sugar sticking to the sides of the pot, then add another portion of sugar.  Once the orange peels are added, basically those acid would keep the crystals from forming.   But if it's non-acidic type fruit peels, I noticed, even with corn syrup, the crystals might form. 

 Use a flexible fruit pairing knife and slide it across the peel in horizontal angle.


 Didn't think that there will be this much pith - 200 some grams of it.
 Bring water to boil; add heavy corn syrup; then, while stirring with a wooden spoon, add separate portion of sugar at a time to dissolve completely before adding more;

Simmer for 1 hour or until the peels are translucent.  Cool completely in the pot.
Transfer the peels to wire rack.  Blot to remove excess liquid.  
  Roll in sugar and place on clean dry wire rack to dry overnight. 
 Store in sanitized air tight mason jar.
You can eat it just as is or chop and add to cookies, bread, etc., dipped in melted chocolate and make chocolate dipped orange peels; or chop and add to prepared main dishes.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Cookies Baking Get Together

Here is our holiday family fun get together - Baking Cookies for the Holiday.
And it's time to split the goodies.
Wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
The family approved recipes after all the baking and sharing were done came from and   I am very happy with these site's recipe.
1.  Bakery Style Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - 2 batches; baked in our gas stove oven - checked right at 8 minutes and baked 2 to 2min30sec more minutes

2.  Christmas Chocolate Cherry Cookies - another bomb cookies (picture one at the top)

3.  Holiday Gingerbread Cookies from - this one is soooo good.   I love the distinct buttery taste.   I only put 1/2 Tbsp of Ground Ginger and Cinnamon, 1 tsp of nutmeg (instead of allspice because I didn't have allspice); however.   Because I don't like the feeling of eating 'spice' when I am eating cookies, but that is my preference.

4.  Cocoa Thumbprints - my grand-kids had the fun in stacking it up with caramels, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.

5.   Kourabiedes (Greece):  Walnut Sugar Cookies from     We used crushed almonds instead of walnut.  It turned out great also.

6.  My personal candied popcorn recipe - drizzled with caramel and chocolate.

7.  a Box of Sugar cookie from Trader Joe.   It came with 3 cookie molds, tool.   Grand-kids made it into all kinds of shapes.

8.   Chewy bar made with Chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, marshmallows, and heavy cream.  Baked in the new handy gadget - electric brownie baker (it came with mini-bundt cake and mini-cupcake mold as well).  The result was interesting - "Hey! we need a chain saw to cut this".