How to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking (recipe round-up)

I get asked so often how to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking, that I decided to expand my usual response into a post.

From what I have noticed, home cooks tend to purchase a jar of preserved lemons for a specific recipe – and then stuff the remainder in the back of the fridge for a year or two. Others get fired up over a DIY recipe, like my Spiced Preserved Lemons, but then don’t know what on earth to do with them afterward.

I use preserved lemons in practically everything. I should state from the beginning that I am a longtime devotee to preserved lemons and always have a jar or two in my refrigerator. Hopefully by the end of this post you are both inspired to stock your pantry permanently with preserved lemons and feel confident adding them to your cooking and baking.

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Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

It’s a little late in the season to be sharing rhubarb recipes, but my patch is still producing, fighting for space next to the English peas and the garlic that keeps getting taller.

Besides, I’ve been talking about making this jelly for far too long, ever since a friend brought a case to exchange at my very first ever jam swap. It was a clear favourite of both Danny’s and mine, and we hoarded our jars for as long as possible.

You’d think that after six years I’d develop my own recipe for the rhubarb vanilla jelly, but here’s the honest truth: jelly scared me. Homemade jelly is a whole ‘nother ball of wax from making jam. Jelly either sets or it doesn’t (becoming syrup). It’s cloudy or it’s clear. It either works – or it doesn’t.

Today I’m sharing a homemade jelly recipe that most definitely worked for me. It’s not actually that scary after all.

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Honey Sweetened Cara Cara Orange Jam

Back in mid-February, my husband and I made our quarterly trek out to Costco. We got necessary items like toilet paper and dishwasher tablets, as well as a number of not-so-necessary things like 96 ounces of dried blueberries and ten pounds of Cara Cara oranges.

I adore Cara Caras for their pink flesh and sweet/tart flavor. But as the sole fruit eater in my household, ten pounds is a lot to move through in a timely fashion. A preserving project was in order.

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Apple picking and Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day of the long weekend to truly relax at home. Saturday and Sunday were spent hither and yon at various family gatherings, but this morning we can stay in our slippers, leisurely sip our lattés, and give thanks for a cozy home and healthy family.

I don’t even mind that the weather is grey and rainy, as I’ll be in the kitchen  for a good part of the day anyway. I have a new set of appliances to break in and there’s no better way than with a turkey-trimmed Thanksgiving spread.

apple picking

I don’t have the usual Monday material for you today, but I thought I would share a few (iPhone) snaps from our apple picking outing last weekend. It’s one of our favourite events of the year, complete with a picnic and plenty of foot races up and down the orchard rows.

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Five ideas for preserving Meyer lemons (recipe: Meyer Lemon Finishing Salt)

five ideas for preserving lemons on simplebites.new

Winter is spilling over into its sixth month, bringing snow and freezing temperatures once again to our northern city. At dinner yesterday I tried to look on the bright side: “At least we don’t have to mow the lawn”, then slumped back into my chair, sighing over the elusive spring and her warm winds.

Last month I collected myself and resolutely embraced winter salads, but early March found me longing for fruit other than lackluster apples. Spurred on by fellow home preserving enthusiasts, Marisa and Autumn, I treated myself to a box of Meyer lemons from Lemon Ladies Orchard in California.

In record time the lemons arrived in good shape, and opening the box was better than unwrapping a Christmas present. The sweet smell perfumed my kitchen instantly and almost as quickly, my head began to swirl with ideas.

I was smitten.

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