French Macarons

WIN_20160222_203552

French Macarons might be the best dessert to ever emerge from Crowded Earth Kitchen. How’s that for an endorsement to try this recipe?

A Google search for “French Macarons” will turn up… wait for it… 630,000 hits. Does the world really need 630,001? Yes. Here’s why! You see, here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we sorted through a good long many of those 630,000 links, picking up tips and ideas along the way. The end result is Continue reading

Easy Bread and Butter Pickles

WIN_20150830_135132Somewhere in between the sweetness of sweet gherkins and the saltiness of dill pickles lives bread and butter pickles. Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we think they’re delicious!

Some bread and butter pickle recipes are fussy, requiring cooks to soak cucumbers for long periods of time and/or change brines throughout the process. In our humble opinion, none of that is really necessary. You can prepare these bread and butter pickles in less than half an hour, and be on with your day!

If you don’t want to can these, no worries – just stop after Step 1 below and transfer your pickles and brine into refrigerator containers. Refrigerate for at least one week and up to one month.

WIN_20150830_130254Ingredients (Makes 4 pints)

8 cups small cucumbers, cut into bite size chunks

1 small white onion, sliced thin

2 cups white vinegar

WIN_20150830_1304352 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon sweet curry powder, such as Organic Sweet Curry Powder (Salt Free)

Directions

WIN_20150830_133949Step 1) Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and curry powder to a boil. Add cucumber chunks and sliced onion. Return to a boil, then remove from heat.

Step 2) Ladle pickles into sterilized pint size canning jars and top with brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Top with lids and rims, and process in a boiling water canning bath for 10 minutes.

Tom Yum Vegetables

WIN_20150828_205931I enjoy garden fresh vegetables perhaps more than most people, but really folks, a gal can only eat so much zucchini before she starts to frown at the prolific plants in the garden! Luckily, I snapped out of my frown quickly, and mustered up a bit of kitchen creativity.

WIN_20150828_193953I keep a jar of Tom Yum paste, which is a Thai hot and sour seasoning base, in my freezer at all times. The flavor combination of lemongrass, tamarind, chili peppers, garlic, and lime (among other things) is exquisite, and really has no equivalent in American or Western cooking. In other words, it’s perfect for when you are feeling the Zucchini Blues!

WIN_20150828_194711Ingredients (Fills a 9″ pie dish, about 6 side dish servings)

1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rings

1 large yellow potato, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings

1 large tomato, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings

WIN_20150828_1952422 tablespoons Tom Yum paste – any variety, such as Spicy Tom Yum Paste / Instant Sour Paste

1 cup coconut milk

Directions

Step 1) Grease a 9″ pie dish with olive oil. Arrange zucchini, potato, and tomato slices as shown (zucchini, potato, zucchini, tomato, repeat).

Step 2) Whisk together the Tom Yum paste and coconut milk. Pour over vegetables. Use a pastry brush to spreading coconut milk mixture, evenly coating vegetables.

Step 3) Cover the pie dish with foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.