Friday, August 17, 2007

My New Toy and Zucchini Relish

With my Coke rewards points I bought this hot dog cooker. It is so cool. It cooks hotdogs, sausages, etc, by rolling it on rollers like the hot dog stands and 7-11 does. The hotdogs taste just the same as those in the stores and restaurants. My kids love them!

So we have been having hotdogs a bit more often this past week. I think we have used it three times in a week. It is so easy and so yummy.

Tonight we had hotdogs, corn on the cob, baked beans, and cole slaw. We used my homemade relish on the dogs too. It is super yum.
Here is the recipe for the relish. I adapted it from a friend of mine.

Zucchini Relish
8 cups of sliced zucchini
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced bell peppers
1 40z jar pimentos, drained
4 cups of vinegar
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 TB mustard seed and celery seed

Put the zucchini, onions, bell pepper, pimentos into a bowl. Pour 1/4 cup salt on them and cover with ice water.

Let sit for 2 hours, then drain.

Put vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed and let come to boil. Add squash mixture and return to a boil. Let boil for 3 minutes.

Put in a food processor and mince until little chunks but not mush.

Pour into hot jars and flip the jars upside down for at least 10 minutes. Then return to the upright position. If after a few minutes the tops have not sealed then you will need to process them in boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes.

The relish is delish on crackers, hot dogs or with pork.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Whitney's Not Cooking Right Now.

Whitney isn't cooking right now. We had tacos out tonight. Last night we were at my grandfather's house and we got KFC. Saturday night I went out with two friends from college. (Bertucci's). Friday night, we had hot dogs at home.

I do have a funny story though. Tonight I was cleaning patty pan and my husband and I were cutting them up to freeze. He said the skins were a little tough and at first we thought it was because they were a couple days old from picking. But then I realized that they had crossed with the pumpkins in the garden and we had "pumpkin squash". This has happened before a year ago. My husband likes to grow pumpkins and he plants them near the squash. Last year it was the summer squash (yellow crookneck). They were yellow orange in color, big seeds inside, and a pumpkin smell to them. Some were bumpy. These patty pan squash had no outward appearance that would clue you in but the skins were very tough and the seeds were large and some had that trademark pumpkin smell. We tossed them all in the trash!

Note to self, next year don't plant pumpkins with the squash at all. We will buy our pumpkins from the local berry farm!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's a "Backwards Night" tonight

It's a Backwards Night tonight. That means we are having breakfast food for dinner. I have spoiled my kids early on and added chocolate chips to pancake mix for chocolate chip pancakes. They don't like plain pancakes anymore and there are times when they ask for M&M pancakes too. The mini M&Ms work best!!

Whitney's Pancake Mix - with chocolate chips!!

1 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 TBS vegetable oil
chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients together in medium mixing bowl, except for chocolate chips. Then add the wet ingredients and mix until batter is mixed but still lumpy. Let sit for 5 minutes and ladle about 2 tablespoons of batter onto a preheated cast iron skillet, greased, and medium heat. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of each pancake while they are cooking on the first side. Wait until they bubble on top and a few bubbles pop, then flip and cook for about 2-3 minutes on second side. You should see little puffs of steam coming out from the sides when the second side is done.

Top with butter and syrup and serve with love!

Sometimes we play "restaurant" in our house with the kids. I am the cook, my husband is the waiter, and the kids are the diners. My husband takes their order, pancakes, bacon, and their drinks and they are served when the food is done. It is great for practicing ordering and manners!