Microwave Fresh Strawberry Jam-Summer’s Treat

Strawberry jam is certainly one of the all-time favorite homemade jams. Exceptional, chunky, fresh-fruit jams are easily made within half an hour utilizing the microwave oven. Homemade jams are less sweet than commercial jams and much more exciting in flavor, texture, and color.

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Quick Pickled Winter Vegetables


Giardiniera ~ mixed garden vegetables in a light vinegary brine ~ is probably Italy’s most popular homemade pickle. Serve giardiniera with a wide range of foods; it makes an excellent cheese platter garnish. It cuts the richness of winter stews,…

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Small Batch Homemade Sauerkraut


Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts

What You Need

Ingredients

1 medium head fresh green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
Equipment
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart wide-mouth canning jar (or two-quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional but it helps)
Smaller jelly jar that…

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Bread Machine: Crazy for Cranberries

It used to be a seasonal thing, being crazy for cranberries. Not any more. But there is no Thanksgiving holiday table without cranberry sauce. And I am not alone considering how many cooks love to make a batch of their own cranberry sauce for the holiday table. The array of flavors is close to infinite considering cranberries meld with so many other flavors from curry to ginger.

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Peggy’s Cranberry Chutney

Every holiday season I make lots of this bright cranberry chutney to serve with turkey and as a spread for sandwiches. I got it from extraordinaire food writer and recipe developer Peggy Fallon, a cranberry lover, who serves it as an accompaniment to a savory cheesecake for winter entertaining. This is one of my all time favorite cooked sauces, one I prepare every year and often give as gifts. Serve it as a condiment, or dabbed on unsalted crackers with soft cheese.

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Cranberry Ginger Compote

Cranberries and blueberries come from the same botanical family as rhododendrons and heathers. They are native to the bogs of New England, but great fruit comes from Oregon and Washington, all grown organically. Fresh cranberries arrive in stores in late fall and can be frozen in their original wrapping (don’t put frozen cranberries in the bread machine; defrost first) for use in the spring and summer. Use bags of fresh cranberries within two weeks of purchase so that they won’t get mushy or shriveled. My mother got this recipe from her antique dealer, Alan, who is a genius in the kitchen. For so few ingredients, the results are tart and satisfying with all sorts of roasted meats like poultry, pork loin, and ham. This method of preparing cranberry sauce with the ginger juice fast became a yearly ritual at Thanksgiving and Christmas in my family.

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Preserved Lemons/Tagine of Lamb, Tomato, Green Beans, and Sesame

Preserved lemons are made by soaking lemons in a brine solution made of lemon juice, plus salt, sugar, or a combination of the two, until the lemons turn pulpy and soft. They are used as a distinctive condiment or flavor accent in Moroccan cuisine, but have gone on to be so popular and addictive that they show up in everything from gingerbread to rice pilaf, couscous, and salad dressings.

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Ma Petite Chou: Kimchi

Sauerkraut and its relative kimchi have become popular again with the back-to-the-kitchen movement of fermented homemade foods that are so healthy. Kimchi is a Korean dish of marinated vegetables, most commonly thought of as a pickle condiment, but it is far more versatile a food.

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Cruising the Blogs: Orange Marmalade in the Microwave

My friend, award-winning food writer, journalist, food scout, restaurant critic, reporter on the lam, her own t-shirt boutique pusher, dancer in the dark, dragon boat rowing in the sun, and former editorial boss at the San Jose Mercury News is Carolyn Jung, aka FoodGal. She always has the best darn recipes, from her father’s steak sauce to the best cookies and cocktails.

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Small Batch Fresh Apricot Jam (Made in the Bread Machine)

I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley in Northern California, the home of the finest apricots grown in America because of it’s wonderful climate. Unfortunately, the trees were gradually pulled out and houses built to create Silicon Valley, but dotted around backyards and vacant lots are a few precious apricot trees. Apricot jam is just part of the legacy of living here and for good reason; it is luscious. Look for roadside stands and at farmer’s markets. The season is very short. Making jam was never so easy and no boiling of jars.

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