Category Archives: Tutorials

IMG_8254

Neighbor Gifts

Still scrambling for last minute neighbor gifts?  I’ve got you covered!

Why not put together a little cookie platter that includes chocolate bark?

IMG_8250

 

For these I used my Trio of Holiday Barks, White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Chocolate Candy Cane Kiss Cookies, and peanut butter blossoms (I used the Hershey recipe).

IMG_8256

 

A full batch of each one of those recipes made 7 platters.  I just grabbed these disposable tins from the dollar store.

IMG_8257

 

Wrap them up in cellophane and tie with a pretty bow and there you have it!  A great neighbor gift idea!  Now maybe my neighbor will forgive me for the time my pug dog ran into his house and pooped right in his living room.  True story.

IMG_8142

 

Cinnamon Rolls would also be a great neighbor gift! Just bake them off in the same disposable tins I used for the cookie platter.

Happy Baking!

IMG_7795

Fried Turkey Tutorial

Yeah, I know, I know.  Thanksgiving is over.  But people still eat turkey for Christmas right?  Well at least we do in my family.  I know all the hype out there about how dangerous frying turkeys can be, but if you take the proper precautions you will be rewarded with a delicious and moist turkey.

First thing would be to buy a turkey fryer.  I would not suggest making your own.  Once you have your turkey fryer and turkey, take your turkey (still wrapped) and place it in the fryer and cover it with water.  Remove the turkey and mark the water line in the pot.  That is how much oil you will need.  We use peanut oil to fry our turkeys.

My dad is the deep frying master in our house, thanks Dad for the pictures!

IMG_7726 IMG_7728

Start by picking your marinade.  If you are a loyal reader you know my affinity with spicy food.  Well, that has to come from somewhere right?  My family is the same why.  Enter Frank’s Red Hot deep fried turkey.  It adds just enough kick to make this turkey awesome.  You can use any kind of marinade though.  We also did one with barbecue sauce.  You can use any store bought marinade or make one yourself.  Be warned though that the marinade needs to be really smooth.  If your marinade has any chunks in it, you will want to blend it up really well until its nice and smooth. Making sure to use a smooth marinade will ensure that your injector doesn’t get clogged! Inject your turkey with as much or as little marinade as your would like.  You better bet that we used a lot of hot sauce in ours!

Continue reading

IMG_7703

Pomegranate Jelly

For as long as I can remember, my grandparents have made pomegranate jelly every year.  It truly is a labor of love, but it’s worth it.  First you have to beg your granddaughter (me) for all of their pomegranates which she will unhappily part with.

Then you have to juice them.  This by far takes the longest time.  I’m pretty sure it takes my grandpa weeks to juice all of the pomegranates they collect.

IMG_6423

Here’s my grandpa DeVaughn.  Isn’t he cute?  You will want to wear clothes you don’t mind ruining while doing this. And preferably a straw hat.

IMG_6425 IMG_6428 IMG_6430

Then get to juicing.  Slice the pomegranates in half, place in the juicer, and squeeze!  (Note: I have done this using a traditional electric juicer and it works great.)

IMG_6454 IMG_6457

Strain the juice into a jar or pitcher and place in the fridge for about a week.

Continue reading

IMG_6572

Pomegranate Tutorial

IMG_6191

I don’t know what it is about me, but everywhere I have ever lived there has been a pomegranate tree.  When I was growing up we had a huge tree in our yard.  When I got married and moved into our first rental house, huge pomegranate tree in the front yard.  When my husband and I bought our first house, not one, but three!, pomegranate trees!  This is time of year when my tree is exploding!

IMG_6188

 

Most people are intimated by pomegranates, but don’t be.  They are very easy to deal and get those beautiful ariels out.

IMG_6561

Start with a pomegranate (and put on an old shirt or apron.  These can stain and if you have on your favorite shirt then you will get splattered with pomegranate juice.)

IMG_6563

Cut off the top,

IMG_6565

 

and cut slits around the outside of the pomegranate. As you can see, there is natural breaks in the pomegranate seeds.  Try to follow those.

IMG_6566

 

Then use your have and pull apart the pomegranate where you have split it. Place in a bowl and fill with water.  While underwater seperate the seeds from the skin.  Working underwater minimizes the juice spray.  When you are done all the little pith parts will float to the top.

IMG_6570

 

See. I just my fingers to pick out the inedible parts.

IMG_6571

 

Then drain them off.  You have these beautiful ariels to just eat or use in your favorite recipe.

IMG_6577

 

 

IMG_5731

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Making your own pumpkin puree is so simple.

Start by picking your pumpkin.  There are so many varieties out there to choose from.

I used a pie pumpkin that I picked up at my local supermarket.

IMG_5625

You start by cutting the pumpkin in half, and scooping out the strings and seeds.

IMG_5629

Place it flesh side down in a baking dish, add about an inch of water, cover, and bake at 350 degrees until fork tender.

Mine took about an hour and half.

IMG_5673

See the fork marks?  It should have no resistance.

IMG_5677

Scoop out the flesh and place it in a food processor.

IMG_5681 IMG_5683

Then just give it a whirl.  I didn’t need to add any water to mine, but you might need to to get the texture you are looking for.

From this small pie pumpkin I got about 3 cups of puree.

IMG_5697

This pumpkin puree can be used in any recipe calling for canned or fresh pumpkin.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fresh Pumpkin Puree
 
Fresh Pumpkin Puree
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pumpkin, any size of your choosing.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the strings and seeds.
  3. Place flesh side down in a baking dish, add an inch of water, cover.
  4. Bake until fork tender, about an hour and half.
  5. Scoop out flesh and place in food processor. Blend until desired consistency.
  6. Use in any recipe calling for pumpkin puree.
  7. Eat!
IMG_5731

Pumpkin Tutorial

Welcome to pumpkin week on with love from the vine!

I love fall and everything that comes with it!  I live in Southern California, so we don’t get to experience fall as much as the rest of the country,

but you can still feel the crispness in the air even if our leaves don’t really start to change until almost winter.

I visited my local pumpkin patch at Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch.

They have a huge variety of pumpkins, many of them that make great pumpkin puree.

IMG_5779

This one is called a Fairytale or Musque de Provence.  It tastes the best baked with Italian seasonings.

IMG_5776

This is a Marina de Chigga. It also pairs well with Italian spices.

Try it as a filling in ravioli!

IMG_5774

This is a Knucklehead.  Can you tell why?

This pumpkin lends itself well to all types of cooking preparations.

IMG_5771

Here we have a Mexican squash.

This pumpkin also lends itself well to all types of cooking preparations, and its seeds are delicious!

IMG_5769

This one is called an Austrailian Butter pumpkin.

It has great flavor.

IMG_5765

This one is a Tondo.

Goes great with everything!  Has a very smooth flavor.

IMG_5763

Here we have a sweet meat.
This is an old time favorite, with a golden flesh and smooth texture.

IMG_5760

This is a Cinderealla pumpkin.

It is best used for pie, since it is so sweet.

IMG_5758

Here we have a Jarrahdale.

These types of pumpkins lend themselves well to sweet or savory dishes.

IMG_5756

This is a Lumina. Farmers love this pumpkin, because it can be harvested at night in the moon light.

This is also a great pumpkin to use, as it lends itself well to all types of cooking preparations.

IMG_5754

Finally we have Long Island Cheese.  This pumpkin also makes a great puree.

Try it baked and topped with browned butter, honey, and pecans.

There you have it! All types of pumpkins and what uses they are great for.

I’m sure you can find one of these near you!.