Blackberry Liquorice Cocktail or Mocktail

I’m surrounded by so many ripe blackberries that I’m needing to get creative with how I use them since a girl can only eat so many baked goods and drink so many smoothies (although I don’t think I’ll ever tire of eating them right off the vine)! Long, hot summer evenings are perfect for plopping down on the porch with a good sewing book in one hand (don’t you read books on tailoring for fun?) and a cocktail in the other. I’ve been experimenting with cocktails and mocktails that I can make out of blackberries using only ingredients in my poorly stocked cupboard (most everything is in storage right now). I came up with this fun little drink that I wanted to share! Ingredients: Handful of blackberries Honey or simple syrup Absinthe and vodka (for a cocktail) Licorice or anise tea (for a mocktail) Soda water Ice Directions: Put a handful of blackberries in …


Canning for a New Generation

Since canning my first batch of meyer lemon marmalade last month, I’ve been in a total canning frenzy. I’ve made salt preserved lemons, Indian lemon pickles, lemon curd, strawberry butter, strawberry jam with Thai herbs, strawberry and lemon preserves, strawberry syrup with chamomile, zucchini pickles, and cucumber relish. Whew. I’m running out of room in our tiny pantry and summer has barely started! All of the recipes that I have used have come from Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. I picked up a stack of books on canning from the library and quickly decided that this was my favorite so I bought a copy for myself. There are several aspects to the book that make it the best, in my opinion. The first is that the recipes really do have bold, modern, and interesting flavors. While plain jam is delicious, I will admit …


English Muffin Recipe Comparison

Apparently I’ve been thinking about English muffins for a while, because I was going through my pile of to-try recipes, and found that I had printed three different English muffin recipes. Not having any idea which would be the best, I did what any overly zealous scientist would do and baked all three recipes at the same time. Here I share what I discovered so you can benefit from my thorough (i.e. ridiculous) tendencies. The three recipes I compared, in order from easiest to hardest, were from Alton Brown, Budget Bytes, and Lottie and Doof (who adapted theirs from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas). Since I followed the recipes exactly as written, I’ll refer you to the original sources for the recipes themselves. Alton Brown’s recipe was very simple. Essentially, you mix the ingredient together in a bowl, wait for it to rise a bit, and then bake …


Easy Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Lavender

A co-worker gave me a giant bag of meyer lemons from a tree in his yard. When life gives me lemons, I make marmalade! I’ve adapted the recipe, just barely, from an recipe. Making marmalade is really quite simple and doesn’t have to be done in giant batches. I’ve included instructions for a large and a small batch, for canned or straight-to-fridge, and for adding lavender or other flavors.

Easiest Homemade Dog Treats

 For valentines day, what about making your beloved canine a special treat? I make these treats for my mom’s dogs every Christmas and they go nuts for them. (They love them so much that I simply could not get a picture of them patiently waiting for the treats.) They are about as easy to make as possible, but healthy and delicious (well, from the dog’s point of view).

My Mild Miso All-Purpose Salad Dressing

I love me some salad and I really love me some salad full of random toppings. I like to keep a couple of salad dressings in the fridge that have mild yet interesting flavors to complement whatever I throw into the salad bowl. This is my recipe for a miso salad dressing that has a mild asian flavor. Surprisingly, the flavor is delicate enough that it also pairs nicely with non-asian flavors. This is a spinach salad with avocado, cranberries, yellow carrots, and feta onto which I put this dressing. And it was quite tasty. Seriously! Mild Miso Salad Dressing 3 Tbs    Mirin (Japanese rice wine) 3 Tbs    Olive oil 1/4 C    Rice vinegar 1Tbs     Brown sugar 1/4 C    Water 2 Tbs    Soy Sauce 1 Tbs    Honey 1 Tbs    Miso 1 tsp     Salt 1 tsp     Ginger paste Gather all of your ingredients. Pre-crushed ginger is convenient, but you can …