Archive | July, 2011

Zucchini Relish

23 Jul

It’s been a crazy busy week here, but I still feel like such a slacker.  The pictures for this post have been sitting in my camera for almost a week now.

Ya know what, real life happens.  Things come up, people get tired and here it is almost a week late and I’m finally getting around to sharing this beautiful relish with all of you.

One of my oldest and dearest friends generously offered….OK so maybe I begged, just a little…for some fresh garden veggies.  I was really in it for the Zucchini, but she was nice enough to send squash (we’ll talk about that later), and some tomatoes…Ummm, yeah those just ended up in my belly courtesy of a lovely  ‘mater’ sandwich.  Not much to talk about there.

This relish is super easy and is beautiful just hanging out in the bowl.  It’s great with hot dogs, but don’t limit yourself.  My husband likes it with his black eyed peas and honestly I just think it’s so darn pretty I look for ways to incorporate it into meals just so I can have the pretty little jar on the table, don’t judge.

Zucchini Relish

6 lg. zucchini
4 lg. onions
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1/2 C. salt
1 sm. jar pimentos
3 1/2 C. Sugar
3 C. Vinegar
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp turmeric

Wash, peel, and dice the zucchini, onions, and peppers into a large bowl. Add salt and cover with cold water. Allow the mixture to soak for 3 hours. Rinse and drain well, adding the mixture to a large stock pot. Add the pimentos. In a saucepan combine the sugar, vinegar, 1 cup of water, celery seed, and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add to the vegetable mixture and bring everything to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.

While the mixture is cooking prepare your canning jars.  I used pint sized jars. You’ll need a large pot that will cover the tops of the jars.  You’ll want a pot that will hold 6-8 jars.  Remove the lids and rings, set those aside.  Place the empty jars into the pot and cover them with water.  Set them on the stove top to simmer.  Your want the jars nice and hot.  Once your relish mixture has cooked for 10 minutes remove it from the heat.  Then remove one jar at a time from its water bath. Spoon the relish into the jars leaving about 1/4in of space in the top of the jar.  Wipe the rim clean and place on a lid and band, then return it to the water bath.  Continue until all jars are filled (you may need to remove some water from the stock pot to keep it from getting to full).  Let your jars cook for about 10 minutes in the water bath.  Remove to a clean kitchen towel.  Once the jars are removed from the water bath you should hear a little popping sound form each jar.  This lets your know the jar is vacuum sealed, no need to refrigerate until the seal is broken.  You can test the seal by  gently pressing on the the top.  It the top can be pressed down it isn’t sealed properly.  Reprocess it in the water bath.  It it still does not seal properly try replacing the lid with a different one and reprocess.


Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

14 Jul

So what happens when pregnant ladies come home from extended travel assignments??  Well around here you promptly ask what they’ve been craving and then you do your best to create something that contains those ingredients.  In this case chocolate and peanut butter….perfect for me because I don’t think I could have forced myself to turn something like Brussels sprouts into a cupcake or something.  YUCK!!

You’ll need lots of these so prepare yourself.

16 of these bad boys are going into this rich chocolate goodness….Ok, maybe 15 because one of them may or may not have accidentally fallen into my mouth as I was unwrapping and chopping them.

Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte Adapted slightly from My Baking Addiction

1 C Coco Powder, unsweetened
1 C Butter, melted
2 C Sugar
4 Eggs
1 T Vanilla
1 C All-purpose Flour
1/2 T Salt
16 Reese’s Cups, chopped, reserve 1/2 for topping


6 T Peanut Butter
1/2 C Confectioners Sugar
1 T Vanilla
3/4 C. Heavy Cream

For Topping:

1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, Melted
2 T Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1/2 C Roasted Peanuts, or more depending on how much you like peanuts

Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Prepare two 8″ pans by spraying them with cooking spray that contains flour, such as Bakers Joy.  In a small bowl melt the butter.  Once melted stir in the coco until completely incorporated.  Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.  With speed set to low gradually add the sugar in 1/4 cup increments.   Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well incorporated.  With mixer still on low add the vanilla, salt, and flour mixing until the flour is just incorporated. Fold in 1/2 of the chopped peanut butter cups.  Pour equal amounts of the batter into prepared pans.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.  Allow layers to cool slightly in pans and run knife around pan edges before tuning out onto wire racks.  Cool Completely

Prepare frosting/glaze by combining the peanut butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla.  Gradually add the heavy cream until the desired consistency is reached.  You want the glaze to be thick, but spreadable.  When it runs over the edges it should still hold it’s shape.

Once the layers are cool, assemble by placing the first layer on your cake plate.  Top with part of the glaze.  Sprinkle with some of the peanuts and peanut butter cups.  Place remaining layer on top of the first.  Top with the remainder of the glaze, allowing some to drip over the sides.  Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and peanut butter cups.  Drizzle with chocolate and caramel.  Refrigerate until serving..

About Me

12 Jul

What have I gotten myself into?  This whole blogging thing is new, exciting, and more than a little scary for me.  It’s kinda like walking around your house with the lights out.  You think you know where everything is, but you still end up stumbling around in the dark.  Even though I know I’ll be stumbling around in the dark until I get the hang of this I’m still excited that I’ve finally forced myself to start something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now.

I’m hoping this will be a place for me to share my baking adventures as well as random tidbits of my life.  It’s new and I’m excited!  Please be patient as I get the hang of all this and find my voice and direction for this blog.

If you don’t know me…


I’m a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and baker.  I love my family and I love all things that involve butter, sugar, cream cheese, chocolate…Oh my the list goes on and on.  Mostly here I think you’ll find my baking adventures as well as random tidbits and happenings in my life.  It probably won’t be perfect.  I’ll most definately be stumbling around in the dark for awhile, but hopefully you’ll find something you like!