Monday, August 27, 2012

Roasted Summer Vegetables

If you come upon a rather cool summer day (and you don't mind turning on the oven) and you have a lot of garden vegetables, this is a great recipe. Roasting the vegetables with the garlic and herbs creates a hearty flavor. Serve with some fruit and you have a lovely summer time dinner.

Roasted Summer Vegetables


  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 eggplant, peeled & chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, choppped
  • ¼ - ½ of a cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • handful of fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, chopped fine
  • olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoonpepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan, drizzle all of the vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper with olive and toss to coat.
3. Roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
4. Serve over rice, pasta, or a slice of thick, hearty bread.

Print recipe for Roasted Summer Vegetables.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

I received a bunch of cucumbers from our CSA--too many to eat in salads--so I made refrigerator garlic dill pickles. I found the recipe on the farm's website. They turned out very tasty and the longer they stay in the refrigerator the more garlicky the flavor!

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

recipe from Spiral Path Farm


  • 6-8 large, firm cucumbers, cut into spears
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill seed
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6-8 whole garlic heads, peeled and papery skin removed
  • 6-8 fresh grape leaves (optional - for crispness. I didn't use.)
  • 6-8 clean glass jars, I reused spaghetti sauce jars.


1. Soak cucumber spears in an ice bath for 10 minutes. This will help improve crispness.

2. Prepare the brine: In a large sauce pot, bring the water, vinegar,  dill seed, salt, and sugar to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. While the brine is simmering, place the following in each empty jar: 1 minced clove of garlic, whole cloves of 1 head of garlic, 1 fresh grape leaf. Next, stuff the cucumber spears into each jar.

4. After brine has cooled, pour brine over the cucumbers, covering by 1/2 inch. Place cap on jar and let sit at room temperature for 2 days. Move to the refrigerator for up to a year.

Note - If your cucumbers are not crisp before you pickle them, they will not be crisp afterwards. Some of my pickles are mushy, but the center of some of the cucumbers wasn't firm. Taste wise the pickles are still good, just a little mushy. Be sure to use FIRM cucumbers!

Do you make your own pickles? What's your method? Let us know in the comments.

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This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Your Green Resource at The Greenbacks Gal.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY - Washing Machine Repair

As a wedding gift, my parents bought me and my husband a brand new washer and dryer. Just a few weeks ago, I was smugly admiring the fact that the set was still working very well 12 years later.

Until Saturday.

On Saturday, we arrived home after a week's vacation with extended family. I had piles of laundry to clean and started a load 2 minutes after we pulled into our drive way. I then helped my husband unload the van and we started to unpack. When I went to check on the laundry, I opened the lid and saw a machine full of water.

huh! I turned the knob to drain the water and nothing. Not a click. Not a single sound. Not good!

I tried different settings and found that the machine would agitate, but not drain the water.

Do you ever hear 'cha-ching' in your head? Well at this time, my head was spinning with 'cha-ching, cha-ching'. Have you seen the price of new washing machines? We really don't want to buy a new one right now!

But never fear, because Google can always find the answer. I typed "Kenmore top loading washing machine won't drain" into the search engine. Immediately, from various forums and sites, I determined that the problem was the lid switch. I also found a video that gave us step by step instructions to replace the lid switch.

We called Sears to order the part and were told we could pick it up on Monday and the cost was $40. No new washing machine or Sears labor costs for us! Miracles never cease.

It's kind of a daunting task to take apart your washing machine. I never knew what lurked in the  under-belly of the machine; it's pretty grimy.

When my husband got home from work on Monday, we replaced the part, cleaned up the machine and turned it on. It drained right away. YAY!!

All is well in our laundry room again.

The moral of the story--don't assume an appliance is beyond repair, especially a do-it-yourself repair.

Have you ever been able to fix an appliance rather than buy new? Let us know in the comments.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb mild fish, such as tilapia
  • 4-6 tortillas or taco shells
  • your favorite taco toppings, such avocado, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage or lettuce, chopped onions, and shredded cheese.


1. Place the tilapia in a baking dish. Mix together the first 4 ingredients and pour over the fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Pre-heat grill to high.

3. Place fish on grill and cover. Grill the fish for 2-3 minutes. Flip and grill for another 2-3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. (I found the light fish hard to flip without breaking apart. Covering the grill plates with a piece of foil before turning on the grill would prevent this. I will do this next time.)

4. Stuff your taco shell or tortilla with the fish and your favorite taco fixins’.

Print recipe for Grilled Fish Tacos.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

How to Grill Pizza

Homemade pizza night is a big hit at my house during the colder months, but who wants to turn the oven on in the middle of summer?

So I attempted to grill it and I soon realized just how quick and easy pizza is to grill.

How to Grill Pizza

1. Preheat the grill to medium, around 400 degrees.

2. I find it easier to do the prep work inside and then take it all outside, so while your grill is heating up, roll your favorite pizza dough into pies. Instead of making one large pie, I made two smaller ones. I think they are easy to move to the grill. I have a pizza peel, but I also used the under side of an un-rimmed cookie sheet to carry the dough.

Pull together your favorite toppings. My kids requested  boring cheese pizza, so that's what you see. But you can use any toppings or creations that you like.

You'll also need a little olive oil, a grill brush, and long tongs.

3. Using a grill basting brush, carefully brush olive oil on the grill. My brush endures heat up to 500 degrees, so be aware of heat. You don't want to melt your brush.

4. Place pizza dough on the hot grill. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.

5. After 3-4 minutes, the dough will start to bubble and turn golden brown on the underside. You can grill the pizza longer if  you want it more crispy. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

6. Using long grill tongs, flip the dough.

7. Add your toppings to the pizza. Close the lid and grill for another 3-4 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza is golden brown. Remove pizza from grill using your pizza peel or the rimless cookie sheet.

Do you grill pizza? What are your favorite toppings? Let us know in the comments.

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