Can It & Ferment It – Release and Book Launch Party

Although Can It & Ferment It released on July 18th, 2017, the pre-ordered books did not ship out until just a week ago due to the book selling out at release (WHAT?! That’s awesome!). The book is on the third print, and now (FINALLY) almost everyone that pre-ordered has the book in their hands. I cannot tell you how much fun it is to see the posts on social media that fellow Instagrammers and Facebookers are posting. Here are a few:

If you post pics of my book or recipes you’ve made from the book, please tag me (@minnesotafromscratch) and/or use the hashtag #CanItandFermentIt so I can easily find your picture.

Last Saturday I had a Book Release Party at GYST Fermentation Bar in Minneapolis. Here are some pics from the event!

I even got to meet one of my Instagram friends in person, how cool is that?!

I had a lot of great prizes to giveaway at the party including prizes from Le Parfait Wordwide – gorgeous jars sent all the way from France, GYST, Lakewinds Food Co-opFermentation Creation, as well as Stone Creek Trading and NWFerments!

The owner of Stone Creek Trading drove up from Chicago to celebrate with me too, and she generously gave away the awesome fermentation crock shown in the background of the pic of me and my Instagram buddy a few pics above (they are giving away another on Instagram in the next week or two, so be sure to follow my account!)

It was a fantastic event and I’ll post future book signings and demos that I will be scheduling in the next few weeks.

In other news since the release of Can It & Ferment It, New Jersey Monthly Magazine published an article about my book. Check it out here.

Also, REMINISCE Magazine featured Can It & Ferment It in their SPOTLIGHT in their August/September issue!

THANK YOU for all of the support! If you like my cookbook, please take a moment to leave a review on whichever website you purchased it from. 🙂 If you purchase the book directly from me, while supplies last, I will send a Can It & Ferment It bookmark, magnet AND sign your copy!

 

 

All professional photos of the event were by Joe Croissant of Photojo’s Photography, joecroissant@gmail.com, 612-986-3528

6 Delicious and Unique Recipes Featuring Rhubarb

Pic from one of our 2015 harvests, when we made some jam. 🙂

The rhubarb in our home garden started appearing in early March and I still have 20 cups of it (cleaned and chopped) frozen from last year’s harvest. Year after year I make dozens of jars of strawberry-rhubarb jam and apple-rhubarb jam and today I’m in the mood for something new. After some time spent searching the internet, I created a collection of 6 recipes that piqued my interest. I intend to give 1 or 2 of these a try this week!

  1. Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
  2. Rhubarb Simple Syrup
  3. Stewed Rhubarb 
  4. Spicy Rhubarb Chutney
  5. Rhubarb Butter
  6. Rhubarb Kimchi (Fermented)

If you have a favorite rhubarb recipe not listed, please let me know in the comments.

Dreams Do Come True: I’m Writing a Book!

13043429_899586575574_4574009827294808026_n

Next summer, in July or August of 2017, you’ll be able to buy my book! I’m writing a book! I cannot believe it. I wrote my first 4,000 words over the weekend and although it feels good, I have a lot ahead of me. It’s an awesome feeling but also so, so scary. It’s easy to let my insecurities creep into my mind but I will continue to be positive and keep my eyes on the prize, THIS BOOK IS GOING TO ROCK.

I began canning about ten years ago and it quickly became an obsession, I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean. After a lifelong love affair with kimchi, I decided it was time to start fermenting as well (I finally mastered my recipe two years ago). As the years go by, I’ve come to realize that most people stick to one hobby or the other, not enough of you can and ferment food. That’s when the idea came to me and I decided that I needed to write a book with both canning AND fermentation recipes, for the same produce item. Now you will be able to easily reference recipes for both canning and fermenting for the same fruit or vegetable in one amazingly resourceful book, my book!

I’m going to be laser focused over the next 9 months and do my best to produce the most delicious recipes I can come up with.

Thanks for all the love and support over the years on this blog, twitter and instagram. ❤

Cranberry-Apple Jam with Honey Recipe

IMG_3865

Cranberry-Apple Jam is one recipe I make every fall/winter. I love making jam, it’s so easy and it’s a great gift. It’s fun to preserve different fruits throughout the lovely seasons we have in Minnesota. One issue I have with jam is all of the added sugar and that’s why I have adjusted this recipe to only use half of the usual amount of sugar by substituting the rest with local honey.

Yield: 9 jam jars

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups of peeled and diced apple (which is 8 regular sized apples, or 6 large apples).
  • 4 Cups of whole fresh cranberries
  • 3 Cups organic sugar
  • 2 Cups of honey (1 pint)
  • 2 Lemons, zest and juiced
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves

IMG_3861

 

IMG_3870

Combine cranberries, diced apples, sugar and honey in a heavy bottomed pot, stir well and bring to a boil. I use any kind of apple because I like the chunkiness of the apples, therefore I am not concerned with using a soft apple. Dice the apples up in whatever size you prefer them. I typically chop them up in about 1/4-1/2″ chunks. Continue to stir while jam is boiling so it does not burn.

IMG_3877

Cook for about 12 minutes, until the apples are soft and the cranberries have begun to pop.

IMG_3871

Add spices, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir well and continue to simmer the mixture until the sauce begins to thicken (5-10 more mins). Feel free to take a little spoonful out to taste test and determine if you want to add more spices. Get creative! Other spices you might consider adding are ginger, nutmeg or allspice!

This recipe can be canned using the water-bath processing method or it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.

The deep red color and cinnamon flavor makes this the perfect holiday jam!

12399484_876843852174_1977982456_n

Enjoy!

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

2015 Canning/Fermenting Season Yield

This year has been my top producing year for canning and fermenting! I made two batches of strawberry rhubarb jam, three huge batches of garlic dill pickles, 35 jars of pickled jalapenos (possibly more), cinnamon and nutmeg spiced pear jam (from MN grown pears!), one batch of pickled beets and I even tried something new – Cowboy Candy! I’ll be canning some cranberry-apple jam this weekend as well. I also made spicy garlic pickled eggs!

Untitled 4

Spicy pickled eggs! These are the perfect snack to have around!

Untitled 3

Cinnamon and nutmeg spiced pear jam! This was A LOT of work since the pears are tiny and had to be peeled. I also had to cook it down for 3 hours!

Strawberry Rhubarb jam sealing in the waterbath

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, taking a dip in the hot tub to get all sealed up!

Untitled 2

Pickled beets, which I have not made since my very first year canning 8 years ago (HARD TO BELIEVE), pickled jalapeno slices and pickles!

12167556_866606632644_645738634_n

It’s so nice to have a little helper… so glad she likes to cook!

12177917_866607236434_1006164234_n

Cowboy Candy which is basically jalapenos in a sweet syrup.

I fermented garlicky carrots and garlicky rattlesnake pole beans from the garden, which of both were amazing.  Every  3 weeks or so I make a large batch of kimchi – I’m totally obsessed and have been since childhood. I’m working on fermenting green tomatoes from the garden today.

Untitled

Fermented garlicky rattle snake bean poles and carrots. All of the purple color came off of the beans as well as my cosmic carrots during fermentation, leaving the brine pinkish. And then more pickles… I love a good relish platter, especially when it’s all homemade!

12178143_866606612684_232151121_n

We had to pick all of the green tomatoes and peppers due to the deep freeze we got the other day, so spicy fermented green tomatoes it is!

Tell me about your yield! What did you preserve this year and which method did you use? Which turned out to be your favorite?

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe – No Powdered or Liquid Pectin Added

IMG_6174

Since the rhubarb was growing like crazy in the garden, I decided it must be time to start canning. Strawberry-Rhubarb jam has been my favorite jam since I was a kid and oddly, I haven’t made it since the first year I started canning.

I didn’t have a go-to recipe to use and when searching the web, I found that pretty much all of the recipes I came across either had a TON of sugar added (like 8 or more cups, isn’t that nuts?!) or used liquid/powdered pectin. One even used strawberry jello instead of real strawberries <gag>. So, I experimented and the results were great.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 5 cups of quartered strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 3 cups of organic sugar (or 2 cups of raw honey)

IMG_6178

Once you have all of your ingredients ready, toss the strawberries into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and use a potato masher to smash up the berries. Then toss in all of the remaining ingredients.

IMG_6180

Heat to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes. You must stir often to avoid burning the sauce.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam recipe - No added liquid or powdered pectin - all organic

That’s it!

Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch head space, and seal. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don’t bother with processing and just refrigerate.

For more inspiration on how to use up your rhubarb, here is the rhubarb and apple jam recipe I created last spring!

How to Make Kimchee (Kimchi) from Scratch: Step by Step Guide with Photos!

IMG_4620

Kimchi has been one of my favorite things to eat for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, many of the store bought brands have preservatives in them that do not allow fermentation to happen. Once I learned that a couple years ago, I began making my own. After years of friends asking me for the recipe, I am finally ready to share – I just needed time to get the taste down to my exact liking.

This is what  you’ll need:

  • 2 heads of Napa cabbage
  • kosher salt
  • Half a bulb of garlic (More if you prefer more, less if you prefer less)
  • 1 medium onion
  • a chunk of fresh ginger (again… add more if you like a prevalent ginger flavor)
  • 5 organic green onions
  • coarse hot pepper powder (found at the Asian food store)
  • HOT chili powder (optional)
  • Red Boat fish sauce (optional)
  • Food processor

Now here’s how you do it…

Buy two or three heads of Napa Cabbage (2 large or three small). I have seen organic Napa at a select few places, and I always prefer that to conventionally grown, but use what you have available.  Clean with cold water, rinsing in-between each leaf as well as you can.

001

Cut the cabbage in half length-wise and rinse again with cold water. Then cut a small slit into the core of the cabbage as seen below:

003

Sprinkle Kosher salt in between each leaf, gently massaging the salt into the leaf and be sure to get down towards to core. The salt gives the cabbage flavor and also tenderizes it.

005

After I am finished salting, I pile up the cabbage into a large pot and leave them for two hours. Then I turn them over and let them sit for two more hours. There are ways to speed up this process, but from my experience, I personally enjoy the flavor and texture best when I salt the cabbage for four hours.  Towards the end of the four hours, I’ll clean and prep my garlic, onion, green onions and ginger.

009

After salting, rinse the cabbage with cold water 3-4 times to remove the salt.

Now it’s time to grab the food processor. Toss in the garlic, ginger and onion. Pulse until it is evenly chopped up and put into a bowl.

IMG_4592

Cut up the green onions into about 1″ pieces. I use the green and white portion. Add the green onions to the bowl as well. Then add in the hot pepper powder(s). The amount of heat you want your kimchi to have will determine how much hot pepper you add but I add about 1 cup of the powders total.

IMG_4594

Then add 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce. I specifically say Red Boat fish sauce because it is only made from black anchovies and sea salt – no added water, no MSG, no preservatives.

Mix everything together and there you have your kimchee base.

IMG_4597

Grab the Napa cabbage, remove the cores and chop it up into bite size pieces. Once you have chopped it all up, grab the kimchi base and combine it with the cabbage.

Kimchi

Once mixed evenly, store the kimchee in sanitized, air-tight jars and leave on the counter for 5-7 days. You must “burp” the kimchi daily – this means open the jar, push down the cabbage and let any excess air escape. I do this twice a day, but I’m kind of obsessive over and I like to take a big wiff of it too. After 5-7 days, store in the fridge.

IMG_4615

You do not have to follow my recipe exactly. I tried a lot of different versions before I found what I liked best. Play around with the ingredients until you come up with what you like. If you are looking for a very hot kimchi, add more spice. It will turn out great no matter what. No two batches ever turn out exactly the same. I suggest taste testing the kimchi daily so you can see how as it ferments, the taste changes.

I’ve learned that kimchee makes everything taste better so be adventurous!

Enjoy!

Organic Rhubarb and Apple Jam – No Powdered or Liquid Pectin Added

Organic Rhubarb-apple jam - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Strawberry-rhubarb jam is my absolute favorite, but since strawberries aren’t available here in Minnesota for another week or two, I decided to try something new. I gave rhubarb-apple jam a whirl and it is a big hit around here so I wanted to share the recipe with all of you.

Ingredients

  • 10 stalks of rhubarb, which was about 5 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 3 organic apples, peeled and diced – which was about 3 cups diced
  • 1 cup of filtered water (we use reverse osmosis)
  • 2 cups of organic sugar

Organic Rhubarb apple jam - no pectin - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together all of the ingredients. Heat to a boil and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Organic Rhubarb apple jam - no pectin -MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

I like chunks of apple in my jam so I diced my apples in fairly large chunks which I decided I wanted a bit smaller once I started cooking. Once the fruit began to soften, I used the potato masher to smash things up just a little more. If your run into the same situation, the potato masher offers a great solution.

Organic Rhubarb apple jam - no pectin- MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Once your fruit is the consistency you want, grab your funnel and ladle the sauce into sterilized jars. If you are processing these, process for 10 minutes, otherwise refrigerate.

Organic Rhubarb-apple jam -- MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

After all said and done, I only had five small Weck jars of jam. Next time I’ll double this recipe for a larger batch. The flavor is beautiful with the sweetness of the apples and the sour of the rhubarb. My mom said it would be “great on pork” and my aunt said, “it tastes like rhubarb flavored apple sauce”. You could even add cinnamon or nutmeg for a great seasonal flavor for enjoyment in the fall or winter.

Take care, Stephanie

Garlicky Pickled Asparagus – Canning Recipe

Pickled asparagus --- MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

So last Tuesday I pickled 6 lbs of asparagus using a recipe I hadn’t tried before. It wasn’t actually a recipe, it was more of an experiment.  I began canning in 2008 and back then I used standard Mason jars to pickle with. But three years ago, I learned that the canning jar lids have BPA in the lining of the lids. Ever since, I have been hoarding Weck jars. They are more expensive, but I LOVE them.  If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you have likely already learned about my infatuation with Weck jars, but if not, you can read about it here. That said, the one problem I have run into is that I never know how many jars to clean or how many jars a recipe will yield because the jars that I use are all different sizes. (It is easier to eyeball with jams and harder with brines). The perk of this is that I am usually forced to quickly materialize a solution which has so far ended up with positive results and new favorite recipes.

I actually pickled 12 lbs of asparagus last week but the second “experimental recipe” didn’t turn out as well so I won’t be sharing that one. I was trying to hold out for two weeks before I tried the first batch I pickled, but with urging from my daughter, we decided to bust into a jar a week early and I’m sure glad we did. WOW! These are good. I’ve pickled asparagus in the past but this time the recipe was very different and very simple. I’d describe the flavor to be similar to a garlicky pickle; an asparagus pickle. They are perfect.

After tasting one spear, I decided I needed to try it out in a Bloody Mary. So I did.

Pickled Asparagus - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.comMmmmMmmm… yep, just as expected: Delicious

So here’s what you’ll need to recreate this awesomeness…

Ingredients:

  • 6 lbs of fresh picked asparagus
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried dill seed
  • 1.5 bulbs of garlic (15-20 cloves), cleaned and slivered
  • 1/2 cup of pickling salt (honestly, you could do less)
  • 4 cups of white, distilled vinegar
  • 4 cups of water – we use water from our reverse osmosis
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes (optional – add more for more spice)
  • Jalapenos (optional)

You may need more or less brine depending on the jars you are using. I used 4 small asparagus jars and 2 large asparagus jars. If you are using standard Mason jars, then you will likely be fine with the amount of brine.

I bought my asparagus from the local farmer’s market.  It was picked on Friday and canned by Sunday. Can’t really ask for anything fresher unless I grew it myself. I prefer to use medium-sized stalks, for some reason the really large ones totally turn me off. But use whichever floats your boat, they are going to taste great either way!

Pickled Asparagus - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Clean the asparagus thoroughly.  Snap off the ends at their natural point of breakage. (If that doesn’t make sense to you then just cut off the bottom 2″ or so). After it is all cleaned,  blanch it. To blanch asparagus, heat a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Put the asparagus in the boiling water for 60 seconds and remove.Pickled Asparagus - blanching 101 - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Then promptly place the asparagus in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.  Pickled Asparagus -how to blanch - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Then set them on paper towels to dry off some.

At this point, you’ll need to trim the asparagus to fit in your jars. The cut-off 1″ or 2″ can be used in a soup, or sautéed, or simply pickled with the rest of the group. I always pickle the extra cut-off part. Remember to leave 1/2″ of head space in the jar.

Peel, rinse and sliver the garlic.

Put together the brine. In a large pot, combine the vinegar, water, pickling salt, dill seeds and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Pickled Asparagus - - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

While the brine is heating up, divvy up the garlic amongst your jars. Begin packing the jars with asparagus. You want to pack them as tightly as you can without damaging any of the spears. I use a stainless steel chopstick to aid me in this task. Add jalapenos if you are looking for some spice.

Once you have all your jars packed, grab your funnel and pour the hot brine in the jars, leaving 1/2″ head space. Wipe the rims of your jars with a clean cloth, put on the lids and process for 10 minutes.

Try your best to wait for these guys to pickle before devouring. The longer you wait, the better they’ll taste!

Enjoy!

What is your favorite pickled treat?

Take care, Stephanie

CryOOw!-Dolls: Review and Giveaway! Encourage The Creativity Of Your Child

Cryoow dolls - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

I am so excited to introduce you to a company that I recently learned about called Cryoow! It is a company based in beautiful Bali that was the “brain-child” of the owners 7 year old daughter, Nora.  Cryoow! stands for “Create Your Own”. Nora asked a local tailor to create a doll from a drawing she had made and with that idea, came this wonderful business.

Kris and I had the opportunity to experience this process first hand since Waly and his staff in Bali offered to let our kiddos submit a drawing to be made into a real doll.

My daughter really enjoys drawing, coloring and painting so I knew she’d be up for this. The morning I told her the exciting news, we sat down at the table together and drew several different pictures. We had a great time inventing new pictures. After we were finished, I told my daughter to pick out which drawing she’d like to have made into a REAL doll. I scanned the picture to Cryoow! and within a few weeks, we received our awesome dolls.

Cryoow! Dolls - Minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

The dolls came in very pretty packaging that included a fun bracelet and a certificate stating who made the doll and who the doll belonged to.

Cryoow! dolls - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

I expected the dolls to look similar to the drawings Kris and I submitted for our kids, but I had NO idea they’d be SO detailed. We were both in awe of the dolls. Our kids were very excited to receive them and the expression on their faces after opening their dolls were priceless. The Cryoow! dolls are all handmade, without machines and every single detail of the drawing is taken into consideration while making the doll. Look at the giraffe below that my daughter colored in. She colored harder with the orange crayon near the bottom of the belly and on the actual doll, there is extra stitching to depict the darker color. Now that is what I call detail! There is no room for improvement on these dolls, they are amazing.

Cryoow - giraffe - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Cryoow Doll - Super James - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

These dolls are a perfect gift for any kid (or adult, honestly). Who wouldn’t love to see their unique creation pop off the page and become a 3-D toy to play with? This doll is not just another stuffed animal, this unique piece of art is a very well-made keepsake that I expect to be around well into my daughter’s adulthood.

Do you know a child that would LOVE to create their own doll? Well Cryoow! is giving one of Minnesota From Scratch’s lucky readers a chance to win their own personalized doll. This is a $149 value.

Cryoow! wants you to know that nearly 50% of the cost of the doll goes to DHL shipping. DHL shipping is super quick shipping that updates the delivery status continually, which allows your kids to track the doll’s status as it travels around the world. Can’t wait to get started? Order your doll now!

To enter this giveaway, please click the Rafflecopter link and follow the prompted directions: This giveaway has now ended.

Congratulations to the winner, Nicole H. You have 48 hours to reply to  my e-mail or another winner will be chosen.

Cryoow Doll giveaway winner

Good luck!

Take care, Stephanie

Cryoow

We were given these products free in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own and were in no way influenced.

Previous Older Entries

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-41549617-1', 'wordpress.com'); ga('send', 'pageview');