Monthly Archives: February 2012

Call off the search party!

I’m still alive.  My sincere apologies for the lack of activity on the blog and facebook page.  I made a career change several weeks ago, which has taken up much of my, well, life.  My days now begin at quarter to 5 and don’t slow down for the next 14 hours.  When I finally arrive home, the last thing I want to do is stare at a computer trying to focus my exhausted brain.

I have quite a few posts in the works, including more bread, some canning, and a mesh produce bag giveaway once I hit 200 blog subscribers… and that is only 2 readers away!  So don’t go anywhere!

So, until we meet again, my dear readers (which will be soon, I promise) I leave you with the best video in the “Shit –>insert group here<– Say” collection!  I’m still laughing about it!!

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Carob-dipped Citrus Peels

Often overlooked, citrus peels offer an ample array of delicious uses.  Whether dried and ground into a spice rub, simmered stove-top as potpourri, or candied into a gourmet treat, the end result is sure to please!

Carob-dipped Citrus Peels

citrus peels: grapefruit, orange, lemon, etc

2 cups granulated sugar

4 cups water

additional sugar for coating

1 cup carob drops (or chocolate chips)

It is best to wash your fruit before peeling it; scrap off pith and slice into 1/2″ strips.  I used thin-skinned mandarin oranges, so there was no need for scraping off excess pith.

In a medium sauce pot bring water and sugar to a boil, stir often to dissolve sugar.  Add peels and reduce heat to med-low; gently simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  With my next batch of candied peels, I think I will add a vanilla bean to the simmering pot!

When the simple syrup has reduced, remove from heat and allow peels to become cool-to-the-touch.  Pour additional sugar on a large plate and dredge peels through sugar, coating both sides.  Place sugar-coated peels on wax paper-lined baking sheets and set aside allowing them to dry for several hours.

Place carob drops in a double boiler and melt.  Add 1-2 tbsp of water to achieve desired dipping consistency.  If you add too much water you may need to dip your peels a second time.  Place candied peels back onto the wax paper and allow carob (or chocolate) to reach a firm set.

Transfer peels to an airtight container for storage… if you don’t end up eating them all the first day!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Childhood Flashbacks

When I was young, one of my favorite store-bought treats were mandarin oranges packed in light syrup. There was something so special about those tiny slices of citrus that made me smile!  As an (ahem) adult, I still receive the same amount of joy when cracking open a jar, only this time around they’re available in pint sized packaging!

Mandarin Orange Slices in Light Syrup

5 lbs Mandarin oranges

6 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

Wash and peel oranges (reserve peels for making a delicious candied treat), remove any pith or membranes on the fruit and section into slices.  If desired (or feeling a bit lazy), they can be kept whole or split into halves.

In a medium sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Fill hot, sterilized jars with orange segments (raw pack) and fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.

Process pints for 8 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure in a weighted-gauge steam-pressure canner.  For a dial-gauge, process pints for 8 minutes at 6 pounds of pressure in a steam-pressure canner.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  All processing times are for sea level altitude only.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Recipe yields 7 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe from USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving.

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Game Day Dip

I’m a lot of things, but a sports fan is not one of them.  If it weren’t for all the media hype, I’d be completely clueless that tomorrow is the “Big Game”.  Even if I had television, I would not be tuning in; well, maybe I’d catch a glimpse of the half-time show, and a commercial or two.  But overall, I couldn’t care less.

One thing I am a fan of is dip.  Spicy, savory, bean, or vegetable, it doesn’t really matter much to me, I love them all!  I whipped up a last-minute spinach dip last night when a friend stopped by to visit.  Should you find yourself in need of a quick crowd-pleaser to serve those snack-happy football fans, this dip is sure to do the trick!

Spinach Dip

1 16-oz bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 envelope mushroom and onion soup mix

1/2 container tofutti sour supreme

1 cup veganise

1/2 red onion, chopped

3 small black radishes, minced

1/2 block Follow Your Heart Mozzarella, shredded

1 tbsp fresh horseradish

a “healthy” squirt of sriracha

Combine all ingredients in a 2 qt casserole dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

There is something magical that happens when you pair black beans along side sweet potatoes.  It’s like they are truly meant to go together!  So when the December issue of Vegetarian Times featured a drool-worthy enchilada recipe combining those two ingredients, it jumped to the front of the menu line!  Making only minimal changes to incorporate what I had on-hand in my canning pantry, along with a few vegan substitutions, the dish turned out absolutely delicious!

Since the recipe can be made the night before, it’s a great go-to potluck dish!  And because it makes several servings, it is the perfect take-to-work-lunch.  I simply portion out and freeze single servings, then pack my fresh garnish the morning of.

(Despite my less than appetizing photograph, they really do taste better than they look!)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

For the Sauce

1 15-oz can of tomato sauce

1-3/4 cup vegetable stock

1 tsp cayenne powder

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

For the Filling

olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 quart canned tomatoes, chopped

1 pint salsa

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups cooked black beans

1 ancho chili pepper, minced

8 oz daiya cheddar style shreds

1/2 cup water

For the Enchiladas

olive oil for brushing the baking dish

16 whole wheat tortillas (I used the fajita size)

2 limes cut into wedges, for garnish

1 avocado, sliced for garnish

1/2 cup tofutti sour supreme

cilantro sprigs for garnish

To make Sauce: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk to combine, then remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make Filling: Heat oil in a separate sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onion, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.  Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salsa, garlic, chili, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.  Mash mixture with a potato masher until combined.  Add black beans, and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in half of the cheddar shreds and remove from  heat.

To assemble Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in bottom of dish.  Fill tortillas with filling.  Roll and pack close together seam-side down in baking dish.  (My baking dish only held 10 enchiladas, so I placed the rest of the filling in a container and ate it as is.)  Top with remaining sauce and cheddar shreds.  Bake 15 minutes.

Adjust oven to broil.  Broil enchiladas 5 minutes or until cheddar shreds begin to brown.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with lime wedges, avocado slices, sour supreme, and cilantro if desired.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Dec 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times.

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