Monday, September 19, 2016

Canning Season

Aryn here... 

Canning season has officially arrived! I have a love/hate relationship with canning season. I love my storage room shelves filled with beautiful bottles of fruit lined up and ready to serve with meals.  But on the other hand, I hate the sticky floors and backaches. I somehow forget about those details, because I end up doing it every year!

Canning season seemed even longer when my kids were younger.  But now they're getting older, they are becoming great helpers.  Sticky floors don't matter nearly as much as seeing them feel important and learn to get a project done - start to finish.  They also realize the amount of work it takes to get food on the table (besides having a little fun along the way - love their "fruity" smiles?)  Here are a few ways to include your kids in the process of preserving food!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fresh Corn Dip

It's a sad day when fresh corn is almost gone.  I love to buy it during the too-short season, but I have a tough time using up a dozen ears.  As a result, I usually have at least a few leftover ears of cooked fresh corn in my refrigerator I need to use up.  There are lots of ways to use up fresh cooked corn, but I had never tried it in a dip before. 

Usually corn dip is baked (and it's fabulous, by the way), but this fresh version is so unique & different than other summer dips.  If I were to make it again (cold) - I would eliminate the cheese.  You just don't need it.  But if you are baking it - by all means, don't forget it.  

A friend I work with in my mission is 88 years (young), but has had some recent heart problems.  When I bring something to share with everyone, I try to adapt it so she can enjoy it too.  "Slimming down" a recipe can be tricky - no salt, no fat, no sugar, etc...  I took a chance and put together a small portion for her by eliminating the garlic salt, mayo, sour cream, and cheese.  I substituted greek yogurt for the mayo & sour cream - adding just enough to hold it together.  Garlic powder instead of garlic salt.  I was totally surprised - I preferred the healthy version hands down.  It tasted so FRESH and not so heavy.  Next time I'll skip all the extras, and feel good about enjoying it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Perfect Peach Cobbler

My youngest son Chal married his beautiful wife Kelsey a few months ago.  

Chal's birthday is coming right up, and Kelsey was asking him what kind of cake he would like.  He surprised us by saying he wanted Peach Cobbler.  He couldn't really say WHICH peach cobbler he likes best.  So we quizzed him... do you like it cake-ey, crunchy, lots of topping, just a little on top?  Too many questions - but he knows it when it's "perfect".  

With it being harvest season here in Utah, I finally made it to our city Farmer's Market about 1/2 hour before they closed on Saturday.  I was on a quest for great peaches.  My favorite peaches are Lemon Elberta.  Of course, everyone was sold out.   I stopped at one last stand where they had about twenty peaches sitting in the bottom of a box.  Obviously they were the rejects people had asked them to replace from the top of the boxes they bought.  They were really bruised, but they were a great deal.  (Substandard peaches hide really well in a cobbler.)  Next day, I tried this fantastic cobbler recipe I found in a Google search.  Thank you Google!

This cobbler may seem a little more complicated because it takes three separate steps - the peach mixture, the "dumpling" mixture, and the topping mixture.  But it was simpler than I thought - and even though I didn't really want to pre-bake the peach mixture before topping with the dumplings - it turned out perfect.  Tender, just a little bit 'cake-ey', and that crunchy, cinnamon sugar topping took it over the top.  

If you don't love cinnamon, that's OK.  Just reduce it (or even eliminate it - but it would be really unremarkable without it)  If you like more topping, you could double it, but we loved it as is.