I remember our friend John making chex mix for parties in the past, so when I ran across this Pioneer Woman recipe, I wanted to give it a go. It was very good, although I think better the next day.
Much like our green beans, our squash is out of control this year too, and we were looking for ways to use it up. I found a few different suggestions out there for zucchini chips, and decided to give one a go – they are AWESOME. Seriously, if you have a ton of extra squash, this is an awesome use for it. I found this on a blog call Add a Pinch and I made no changes. You can definitely play around with it and make all kinds of flavors, though. I do think without a mandolin slicer, this would be a serious pain, but you could still do it.
We grew green beans for the first time this year, and holy smokes are they prolific! They are definitely one to plant again. But like any heavy producing veggie in the garden, when you end up with a glut of them, it can be hard to use them all up. I decided to try refrigerator dilly beans. I got the basics from Cooking Light’s recipe for spicy dill beans, but I toned the spice down. Last year I overdid it a bit and the pickles were all kind of too hot for us. They would make a cute summery food gift if you wanted to take the final step and actually can them.
It seems like only yesterday that we went to London and Brussels, but it has been three years! Time really flies. To celebrate, we had a weekend of food we enjoyed there, from pubs around here with lovely Belgian and English beers on tap, to mussels and frites, baked beans (Shawn loves a full English breakfast 🙂 ), and finally meat pies. I won’t lie, I actually got the idea to make them to go with Shawn’s awesome beans when I picked up our Harry Potter cookbook and saw, “Molly Weasley’s meat pies.” How could I resist that? Coupled with the fact that Shawn had been wanting to make them for a while made it a no-brainer to give them a shot. We made two hand pies, a traditional beef and onion British pie, and a Tourtiere, which is a French-Canadian pork meat pie. We preferred the beef, but the pork was good too and with some adjustment (more gravy – it was a bit dry) would be excellent. These were a lot of fun, and if you make hand pies, you will have plenty to freeze for later!
We have endless cucumbers. Endless. Not joking. No complaining, of course. We went to visit Missy and John and they’d tried this Smitten Kitchen recipe and it was ridic…so it was clearly next on the list to get “rid” of the latest cucumber hoard. I diverged from the recipe and added a lot of spices – these are pretty puckery even 6 hours later! I imagine they’ll be awesome in a day or so!
Summer Sausage has always been one of my favorite snacks, but there’s all kinds of weirdness that goes into preserving some of the (admittedly delicious) grocery store brands. About a year ago, I looked into whether or not we could do it ourselves, and it turns out it is very easy! I’ve yet to make this sausage look pretty, though I did a better job of shaping them this time, but they would be nice in a gift basket. While there is still some curing going on, it’s controlled and it’s nice to know what’s in it. And we can make it with a leaner meat and spices to taste. It freezes very well, especially if you vacuum seal it. The measurements below are what we like, but you can absolutely adjust them (except for the curing salts to meant ratio).
Another great jerky recipe for the dehydrator…I’m undecided if I liked this or the beef jerky better! This one came from Chow.
So we bought a dehydrator. Mostly to make jerky, because this is pretty much my favorite snack, and Shawn is a huge fan too. Added bonus that we can dry the extras from the hopefully prolific garden this summer. Anyway, I got the marinade from an old Alton Brown recipe, and followed it to the letter – it as awesome. Next time I might add more soy sauce and less red pepper flakes, but overall it was delicious! Our first attempt at jerky was a total winner.