Archive of ‘From Our Veggie Garden’ category

P.F. Chang’s Spicy Green Beans (copycat)

Looking for a tasty new way to serve those yummy summer green beans you get from the grocery store, Farmer’s Market or your own garden?  How about this delicious, quick and easy recipe for P.F. Chang’s Spicy Green Beans (copycat)?P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I’ve grown my own green beans for years now, so I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cook and serve them.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  I think you will be surprised how GOOD these green beans are… the addition of an Asian pan sauce makes them “practically perfect in every way” (to coin a phrase from Mary Poppins).  All in all the beans take only 5-6 minutes to cook… really!  The “hardest” thing you will have to do is snip the ends off the beans… ha ha!  Here’s how to make this delicious (restaurant copycat) side dish, from the comfort of your own home:

First make the Asian sauce by mixing ingredients in a small bowl. See how EASY that was? Now set the bowl aside until ready to use.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Put sesame oil into a large skillet or wok (you can buy sesame oil in the Asian food section of most supermarkets). Turn heat to medium high heat for 30 seconds.  To the hot oil add the chopped green onions, minced garlic, and the red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and being careful NOT to burn the garlic.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add the green beans to the skillet. Stir constantly and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they are just about fully cooked. The beans will turn a deeper green color as they cook.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When beans are done, move them over to one side of the skillet. Give the Asian sauce a good stir and add it to the skillet. Stir well, and cook the sauce for 30 seconds (still on medium-high heat); let the sauce come to a boil, then turn the heat to LOW. The sauce will thicken slightly.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Stir the sauce into the green beans to coat.  Cook beans and sauce for another 30 seconds, then remove skillet from heat.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the hot green beans and sauce onto serving plate or in a bowl, and garnish with sesame seeds (if using). Serve the green beans while hot… and ENJOY!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We enjoyed trying this recipe for fresh green beans. They are NOT too spicy at all, and have fantastic flavor!  I used only 1 pound of green beans, so if you are using 2 pounds of beans the quantity will be much larger than shown in my photos!  Hope you will consider trying this recipe… and I trust you will find it just as delicious as we did! Have a great day!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://domesticsuperhero.com/copycat-pf-changs-spicy-green-beans/

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans
 
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Fresh green beans are cooked in a flavor-filled Asian sauce in this delicious P.F. Chang's copycat recipe!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For Beans:
  • 1-2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, chopped thin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
For Asian Sauce:
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sesame Seeds, for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Make the Asian sauce by mixing ingredients in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside until ready to use.
  2. Put sesame oil into a large skillet or wok. Turn heat to medium high for 30 seconds. To the hot oil add chopped green onions, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and being careful NOT to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the green beans to the skillet. Stir constantly and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they are just about fully cooked. The beans will turn a deeper green color as they cook. When beans are done, move them over to one side of the skillet. Give the Asian sauce a good stir and add it to the skillet. Stir well, and cook the sauce for 30 seconds (still on medium-high heat); let the sauce come to a boil, then turn the heat to LOW. The sauce will thicken slightly. Stir the sauce into the green beans to coat. Cook beans and sauce for another 30 seconds, then remove skillet from heat.
  4. Place the hot green beans and sauce onto serving plate or in a bowl, and garnish with sesame seeds (if using). Serve the green beans while hot... and ENJOY!

Here’s one more to pin to your Pinterest boards!P. F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Summer Vegetable Tian

There are a lot of fantastic Summer veggies coming into season right now. This Summer Vegetable Tian is a GREAT way to simply & creatively serve fresh veggies to those you love!Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe serves 6, and is very inexpensive to make (especially if you have a backyard garden like me, and are bursting with harvested zucchini, onions, yellow squash and tomatoes about this time of year)!  If you have ONE onion, ONE zucchini, ONE yellow squash, ONE potato, and ONE tomato, then you have almost everything you will need to make this great side dish!

Here’s how you make this beautiful, delicious dish:  Start by sautéing the diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Note: I added garlic during the last minute of cooking, so it wouldn’t burn or become bitter.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread softened butter on the bottom and sides of a baking dish (again… playing with your food).

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread the cooked onions and garlic on the bottom of the dish.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Alternating veggies, stack the sliced vegetables in the dish vertically until dish is filled. (You will notice there won’t be as many tomato slices as everything else- no worries, just add them in.  Have fun playing with your food!  Season the veggies generously with salt and pepper, then add dried thyme.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and place the pan in a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake veggies for 30 minutes, then take the foil off the dish, cover the top of the veggies with the shredded Parmesan cheese, then continue baking for another 15-20 minutes. This is what they looked like when I removed the foil. (oops-forgot to take a picture after adding shredded cheese to the top after this!)

Summer Vegetable Tian / the Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, the Parmesan cheese will be melted and light brown in color, and the veggies will be cooked through.  Remove baking dish from oven, and serve while hot!  I found it easiest to remove a “serving sized section” of veggies using a spatula to keep them together in a compact, colorful line.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

On the plate, and ready to eat! I served this vegetable side dish with Baked Dover Sole Rollatini, but it would be a great side dish for a variety of main courses!

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I don’t think you can EVER go wrong with fresh vegetables on the table! The alternating colors displayed so beautifully made it a very appetizing looking dish. The vegetables tasted wonderful, too, so I will definitely be making this again! Have a blessed day!

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/08/summer-vegetable-tian/

Summer Vegetable Tian
 
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Delicious and colorful baked vegetable side dish, featuring zucchini, yellow squash, potato, tomato, herbs and Italian cheese.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dishes
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup shredded Italian Cheese (I used shredded Parmesan)
  • Non-stick spray (or softened butter), for pan. I used butter!
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400º F. While oven is preheating, dice the onion (finely) and mince the 2 cloves of garlic. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add onions; sauté them for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic the last minute of cooking, so as not to burn it. Set aside.
  2. THINLY slice zucchini, yellow squash, potato and tomato. It is best if these vegetables are all about the same circumference around, for uniformity.
  3. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray or coat bottom and sides of pan with softened butter (I used butter!). Place the cooked onions and garlic on the bottom of pan, spreading evenly.
  4. Evenly stack the thinly sliced vegetables vertically in dish (alternating veggies) to form a long line of colorful veggies in the pan. When one row is done, start another row, until all veggies have been distributed. (Think of this as playing with your food!)
  5. Once vegetables are arranged in dish, season them liberally with salt and pepper, then add thyme.
  6. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil; Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Take the foil off the dish, cover the tops of the veggies with shredded Parmesan cheese, then continue cooking (uncovered) for an additional 15-20 minutes (until the cheese turns light brown).
  7. Remove pan from oven, and serve! Enjoy!
Notes
I found it is easiest to serve the veggies by lifting a "section" out of the baking dish with a long spatula. That keeps the veggies together in a compact, colorful line.

 

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Rhubarb-Orange Jam

Last year I ordered the newest edition of “The Ball Blue Book – Guide To Preserving”, and had fun looking at recipes and getting ideas for jams. The first recipe I used from the book was for Rhubarb-Orange Jam, and boy, was I was surprised at just how GOOD it tastes!Rhubarb-Orange Jam / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe made 7 half-pint jars, so I had plenty for our pantry and a few to give away to friends!  I didn’t take photos while making this jam, but I really did make it, and it REALLY is delicious! I enjoyed being able to use rhubarb from our garden to make this jam!

Rhubarb-Orange Jam / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The recipe only has 4 ingredients… if you’ve made jam and canned it before, it is pretty “textbook” jam making.  I recommend following all basic USDA guidelines for canning, as a matter of precaution.

Rhubarb-Orange Jam / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The flavors in this jam are very delightful… a little citrus from the orange nicely compliments the slightly tart flavor of the rhubarb to provide a delicious topping for toast, muffins, etc. I hope you consider tying this recipe… and I truly hope you enjoy it!  Have a fantastic day!

Rhubarb-Orange Jam / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: “Ball Blue Book – Guide To Preserving”, copyright 2014, Hearthmark, LLC (dba Jarden Home Brands), page 54.

Rhubarb-Orange Jam
 
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Sweet and just a little tart, this Rhubarb-Orange Jam is a perfect combo to enjoy on toast or muffins!
As Prepared By:
Serves: Approximately 7 half-pint jars
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds fresh rhubarb (between 10 and 18 stalks, depending on size)
  • 2-3 medium navel oranges
  • 6 Tablespoons Ball Classic Powdered Pectin
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
Directions
Prep The Fruit:
  1. Prep the rhubarb and oranges. Wash and drain rhubarb, then cut off the leafy tops and the root ends from the rhubarb stalks. Discard. Slice rhubarb into ½ inch chunks. Rinse oranges. Cut them in half and take out the seeds. Juice the oranges (you will need 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice) Remove the peel from one of the orange halves. Remove the white part (pith) from the peel. Slice the peel into very thin little pieces.
Cook The Jam:
  1. Place the chopped rhubarb, fresh squeezed orange juice and orange peel slivers in a large saucepan. Cover the pan, and cook on a low simmer for about 3 minutes (the rhubarb should be tender when done). Stir in 6 Tablespoons of pectin powder, and stir until fully mixed. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook jam mixture until it comes to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, add the sugar to the pan all at once, stirring well, until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking the jam until the mixture reaches a FULL ROLLING BOIL (meaning it continues to boil even when stirring). Boil this for 1 minute. stirring constantly while boiling. After one minute, remove the pan from the heat. Use a spoon to skim off any foam that has appeared on top of the jam mixture (and discard).
Fill the Hot Canning Jars:
  1. Canning jars should be sterilized and preheated before filling. Ladle hot jam mixture into your prepared, hot canning jars. Leave ¼ inch headspace for each jar. Remove any air bubbles by running a plastic utensil down through jam. Completely wipe the jar rim clean. Put the jar lid and ring on jar. Tighten lid to fingertip tight. Place jars on rack in hot water bath canner over simmering water (180 degree F). Repeat with remaining jars.
To Process Jam:
  1. Make sure jars are on rack in simmering water. Water should cover the top of the jars by an inch. (Add boiling water to pan if necessary to completely cover tops of jars). Turn the heat to medium-high. Put a lid on the canner and bring it to a rolling boil. Once boiling, process jars (1/2 pint) for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and take the lid off the pan. Let the jars sit in pan for 5 minutes to slightly cool. Remove jars from canner (don't try to re-tighten the lids if they have loosened up). Let the jars cool on a dish towel on the counter for 12 hours (don't put hot jars right onto countertop). You should hear each jar "ping" as it seals. Check jars for secure seal after they have cooled for 12 hours. Label jars and store.

 

 

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Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad

Recently I used a birthday gift card I received to purchase a cookbook I had my eye on for a while: “Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl Of Love”. Amazing cookbook… and this Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad is the FIRST recipe I tried. Absolutely gorgeous and DELICIOUS!Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I thought the salad looked fantastic, but I was curious what a “Carpaccio” salad was. Turns out the word Carpaccio (according to Wikipedia) originally referred to a dish utilizing extremely thin slices of raw meat, layered with white truffles or Parmesan cheese. The dish was named after a Venetian painter named Vittore Carpaccio, who was well known for his paintings which prominently featured red and white tones. (see where red meat and white truffles play a part?). Nowadays the term “carpaccio” can be used for any dish made with thinly sliced raw meat, fish or vegetables. THIS salad uses fresh cucumbers and zucchini. No raw meat for me!

This salad was absolutely fantastic! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the dressing (which features fresh dill, flat leaf parsley, and mint), and the addition of feta cheese, and toasted pecans make this a unique looking and delicious, crunchy salad!!! Plus, it’s so easy to prepare, especially if you have an abundance of garden veggies and herbs! Here’s how you make this gorgeous salad…

I very thinly sliced one large cucumber and one zucchini of equal size (I picked both from my garden-yeehaw!). I used a mandolin to thinly slice the veggies, which made it very easy. However, if you are slicing the cucumbers and zucchini by hand, make sure you get the slices as thin as possible. Here are the cucumber slices, so you can see the “thin-ness”..

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Here is my trusty mandolin (a gift from our oldest son), slicing the zucchini thinly.

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Here are the finished cucumber and zucchini slices (peel is left ON).

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I began in the center of a serving plate, and alternately arranged the slices (one cucumber, one zucchini, etc.), working outward around the circle.

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
One zucchini, one cucumber, and so on, until all the veggies were distributed and it looked like this:

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Looks good already, doesn’t it? I think so! The next thing I did was to quickly mix up the dressing, which includes, olive oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, fresh mint, flat leaf parsley and dill (herbs also were from our garden… nice).

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I toasted chopped pecans in a skillet (no oil… just heat on medium-low for 3-4 minutes, keeping them stirred, until lightly toasted).

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I mixed up the dressing really well, then drizzled it over the top of the veggies, trying to cover them all.  I sprinkled the top of the salad with crumbled feta cheese, toasted pecans, and some cracked black pepper. I also added a few small mint leaves and dill for garnish,and a small red pear tomato (cut in quarters almost to bottom) from our garden, and that was it! If you want to make this up early, arrange the cucumbers and zucchini on plate, cover and refrigerate. Right before serving, add the dressing, feta, pecans and black pepper. This is what it looked like at serving time! Pretty, huh?

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The salad is amazing! The dressing is fresh, and the fresh herbs shine through, to make this such a wonderful, tasty, and beautiful salad. Here… I saved a bite for you! (You’re welcome).

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I will most definitely be making this salad again! Sure hope you will give it a try, also!

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: “Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl Of Love”, page 54, copyright 2011, by Cristina Ferrare., Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Cucumber And Zucchini Carpaccio Salad
 
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This is a GORGEOUS salad, featuring thinly sliced cucumbers, zucchini, feta, pecans,and a light, herb-filled dressing!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For salad dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
For salad:
  • 2 zucchini, sliced very thin
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced very thin
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped roasted pecans (or walnuts)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, mint, dill and parsley together until well combined. Set salad dressing aside (or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if making ahead).
  2. To make the salad, very thinly slice the cucumbers and zucchini. Arrange the veggie slices on a large serving plate, by alternating cucumbers and zucchini. Work from the inside of the plate around the circle to the outside, filling the entire plate. Once the veggies are arranged, sprinkle lightly with salt. NOTE: If you are making this salad ahead of serving time, wrap the veggie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate at this point. Add the rest (salad dressing, feta, pecans, etc. at serving time).
  3. When ready to serve, drizzle the salad dressing over the entire salad, trying to cover all the veggies lightly.
  4. Add the crumbled feta cheese, distributing over the top of the salad. Do the same with the toasted pecans (or walnuts), then finish with cracked black pepper.
  5. If desired, garnish salad with additional mint leaves or dill sprigs. I added a small red pear tomato (cut into quarters, sliced from top to bottom). Serve, and enjoy!!!
Notes
NOTE: For my husband and myself, I cut the SALAD ingredients in half (i.e. one cucumber, one zucchini, etc.), but kept the quantity of salad dressing the same. There was still enough salad for 3-4 small servings. Just an FYI.

 

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Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan

I don’t know about you, but I’m on the lookout for new, easy, and inexpensive side dishes to add to our dinner meal. It’s easy to fall into a rut and serve the same old, same old… that’s why I enjoyed making these Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan! Still easy… still potatoes, but skillet-cooked potatoes, with green onions and Parmesan cheese. Yum!Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
It helped that I had just harvested some red potatoes from our backyard garden (some of them are a little scarred from digging them up), so I was excited to use a few of them. I used 5 red potatoes, which made enough for 2-3 servings.

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I washed the potatoes very well, then sliced them into about 1/2 inch slices. I kept the peel on, because the color looks really good in the finished dish, plus they contain extra fiber.

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I put water (enough to cover the skillet with about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of water) into a large skillet. I put the sliced potatoes into the water and began to cook them on medium-high heat. I continued cooking the potatoes, turning gently, and added more water, when necessary, to ensure the potatoes did not stick to the bottom of the skillet. As the water cooks away, you will need to add additional water. (Important).

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Keeping an eye on them as they cook and making sure there is enough water in skillet is the key.  Continue cooking (about 15 minutes or so) until potatoes are fork-tender. Once potatoes are fork-tender, remove any remaining water from skillet; add the butter, salt, pepper, minced garlic chopped scallions (green onions). Coat the potatoes with the melted butter by spooning it up and over the top of the potatoes. Remove potatoes from heat after about 1-2 minutes (don’t burn the garlic!). Gently pour potatoes into a serving bowl and immediately sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The cheese will melt in about a minute over the hot potato slices, then they are ready. Add additional salt and/or black pepper to taste, if desired. Serve, and enjoy!

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Sure hope you will give this delicious side dish a try. I think you will love these potatoes! The recipe is easily adapted to double or triple the amount of potatoes YOU want to serve!

Skillet Potatoes with Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Have a great day!

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My brain. This dish was a no brainer.

Skillet Potatoes With Scallions And Parmesan
 
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Skillet cooked potatoes, with garlic, scallions and Parmesan cheese, are an easy, delicious, and inexpensive side dish!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dishes
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 red potatoes
  • water (enough to continue filling bottom of skillet during cooking time)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 scallions (2 green onion stalks-green and white part), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Directions
  1. Slice potatoes into ½ inch slices.
  2. Pour enough water into large skillet to completely cover bottom of skillet by about an inch.
  3. Add potato slices to water. Heat on medium heat until fork-tender (approx. 15-20 minutes). Keep an eye on water level... add additional water, as needed, to ensure potatoes do not stick to bottom of pan as they cook.
  4. When potatoes are done, remove any remaining water from skillet. Add butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and chopped scallions to potatoes in skillet. Mix gently, to combine. Continue to spoon melted butter over the tops of the potatoes. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove potatoes from heat. Place into serving bowl, and immediately garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. The heat from the potatoes will melt the cheese. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  6. Serve, and enjoy!

 

 

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Mom’s Marinated Cucumbers

When I was growing up, my mother occasionally made batches of Mom’s Marinated Cucumbers to have around. We either could add them to a green salad, OR as my Mom preferred,  eat them… crispy and cold, right out of the container with a fork!!! Since I’ve been growing cucumbers in our garden, this is a perfect way to use some of the abundance.Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The cucumbers are totally easy to prepare. Basically you mix up the marinade, slice up garden cucumbers, chop some red onion, mix it all together, then refrigerate for several hours so that the flavors come together beautifully! That’s it! And these cucumbers are crisp, slightly sweet, and delicious! I’m glad to have so many from our little backyard garden!

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

First, peel and slice the cucumbers, then put them in a container that has a lid. Finely chop some red onion, and add to the cucumbers. This step only takes a few minutes.

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Mix the marinade ingredients in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. This takes about a minute to prepare.

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pour the marinade on top of the cucumbers, then stir well to combine.

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, stirring a couple of times to make sure cucumber slices are covered. When ready to serve, or gobble up, remove from refrigerator and go for it! They are tasty right out of the container OR served on a crisp, green salad!  They are GOOD!!!!  Bet ya can’t eat just one of these!!!

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Mom

Mom's Marinated Cucumbers
 
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Quick and easy, these marinated cucumbers give a wonderfully sweet crunch to salads; they are just as good eaten right out of the container!
As Prepared By:
Serves: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste (guessing I would say about ¼ teaspoon each)
  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped
Directions
  1. Peel and slice cucumbers; place in a container (that has a lid)
  2. Finely chop red onion; add to cucumbers.
  3. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour marinade over the cucumbers. Stir well to combine.
  5. Cover and refrigerate cucumbers for at least 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
Please note: The 10 minute prep time is "active" prep time. I did not include the 3-4 hours "inactive" refrigeration time necessary for all flavors to permeate and come together. Please plan accordingly.

 

 

 

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Grilled Summer Veggies

The HOT summer continues here in the great Pacific Northwest! We are still using our BBQ grill a lot, as we try to keep our kitchen (and home) cool! Soooo… here’s a recipe I make quite frequently in the summertime… Grilled Summer Veggies!Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!This recipe is really, really easy.  All that is involved in the prep work for this delicious side dish is slicing and cutting up the veggies. I even was able to use some homegrown veggies from our garden as part of this dish (yee haw!)

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once the veggies are sliced and chopped, put them into a large bowl. I used zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, green and red pepper, green beans (even threw in a couple yellow fillet beans from the garden), and baby carrots, but you can certainly add in additional veggies to make this dish “your own”.

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I seasoned the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese (the kind in the green can – the name brand “shaker” cheese), garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I stirred the veggies and seasonings together, then put them into our BBQ-safe grill pan (we got one for about $8 at a home improvement warehouse; if you don’t have access to one, just use a cast iron skillet on your BBQ to cook these, but watch out… it will get REALLY hot!). This one has a handle to carry it that detaches once you get it on the BBQ grill.

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Cook the veggies on a medium-hot grill for about 15 minutes or so, stirring often. My husband was the “Grill-Meister and Stirrer-Extraordinaire” for this dish!

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Some of the veggies will get a nice char on them or get golden brown… that’s great! Just remember to stir them occasionally so they don’t burn!  We love cooking veggies on our Weber grill, cause the smoky smell permeates the vegetables, and gives them such a wonderful flavor!

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once the veggies were done (fork-tender), we brought them inside and topped them with grated Parmesan cheese, and served them up, straight out of the grill pan! YUM!

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Sure hope you will give this EASY recipe a try. These grilled summer veggies are a wonderful accompaniment to most meat dishes. I think you and your family will love them!

Have a great day!  May you find beauty all around you today. Hope you’re looking for it!

Grilled Summer Veggies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grilled Summer Veggies
 
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These grilled mixed vegetables are the perfect EASY Summer side dish!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 3 slices red onion (then quartered
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • green beans (I used about 10), ends trimmed and beans cut in half
  • 6-8 baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (the kind in the shaker can)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish once veggies are cooked)
Directions
  1. Prepare all veggies. Place into a large bowl.
  2. Add seasoning ingredients: Parmesan cheese (shaker can kind), salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, Mix well to combine.
  3. Place veggies into a sprayed BBQ grill saute pan or into a cast iron skillet. Place pan onto a medium high BBQ grill. Cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally so the veggies don't burn.
  4. When done, remove from heat (if using cast iron skillet it will be HOT... be careful!).
  5. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the hot vegetables, and serve.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

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Zucchini Relish

Last summer I was visiting a dear friend in her home. She told me she had canned some pickle relish, using shredded zucchini from her garden. Then she gave me not one, but TWO pint jars of her homemade zucchini relish to take home.Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I was too embarrassed to tell her that I don’t even LIKE pickle relish, so I thanked her (graciously, of course!), and took them home to occupy a spot in our pantry.  My thought was… I don’t eat hot dogs that often, and I don’t use it in my potato salad, so what was I supposed to do with TWO jars of the stuff? I figured I could always put it out with the condiments at a bar-b-que or something…I ultimately cracked open a jar (my curiosity got the best of me), and tried it on a grilled hot dog, and guess what? I LOVED it… (insert rolling of the eyes here). WHO KNEW?

Fast forward…It’s almost a year later… and those 2 jars of relish are long gone. Used up over the past year… it’s a Christmas Miracle! (perhaps my taste buds changed?) So I told (more like “confessed”) my friend the WHOLE story of my initial reaction to her kind gift (truth-telling,from start to finish) and asked her for the recipe. Ha Ha. We had a good laugh over it. She was kind enough to give it to me, just as she received the recipe from her Mom. I decided to make some for our pantry (you know… just in case there’s a world-wide pickle relish shortage!!!!!!); I cut the recipe in half, and it made 2 pint jars and one half-pint jar… which should last us for awhile. The recipe I’m posting is for the whole amount, and it makes between 5-6 pint jars of zucchini relish. So for all you relish lovers out there, here is a great relish for your hot dogs or hamburgers or potato salad, AND a great way to use up some of the zucchini that will overrun your garden this year! I’m glad I learned how to make my own (even if you don’t “can”, you can always keep one jar in the refrigerator for immediate use, and give a jar to a friend to do the same with…heh, heh, heh!)

Here’s how you make it (it’s easy!):

You start with shredded zucchini. Mix in diced onion, green pepper (I even snuck in a bit of red pepper), and salt. Let the mixture sit (covered) for 24 hours. The salt helps draw out liquid from the zucchini. Drain well, and rinse with cold water. Drain once more.

Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
After draining zucchini mixture,  add it to the rest of the ingredients in a large stock pot, stir well to combine, and bring mixture to a boil. Cook it for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ladle relish into hot, sterilized canning jars (following basic canning guidelines), leaving 1/2″ headspace, and process in a boiling hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove jars from canner and listen for that wonderful “ping” sound, indicating the jars have sealed properly. Let the jars sit on counter for 24 hours, then store in pantry.

Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Even if you don’t “can” food, you can always make this recipe, let the relish cool completely, then place it in jars (which will need to be kept refrigerated), and give one to a relish-loving friend or two… (never thought I’d ever say that!). And… enjoy your hot dogs or hamburgers this summer, with this tasty relish on them (of course!).

Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: Debbie Stephens (and her Mom)

Zucchini Relish
 
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Make this tasty pickle relish (using zucchini) for an amazing condiment for hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Condiment
Serves: 5-6 pint jars
Ingredients
  • 10 cups shredded zucchini (seeds scooped out and discarded)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced (I even used a bit of red pepper!)
  • 5 Tablespoons canning salt
  • 2¼ cups vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the shredded zucchini, onion, green pepper, and salt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let sit for 24 hours (this draws out liquid from zucchini).
  2. Drain zucchini mixture; rinse well with cold water, then drain completely again.
  3. Place the drained zucchini mixture into a large stockpot. Add the vinegar, sugar, black pepper, nutmeg, dry mustard, turmeric, corn starch, and celery seed. Stir to mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Ladle hot relish into canning jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar, adjust two piece lids.
  6. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Remove to a towel to cool. Make sure jars seal, then let sit for 24 hours before moving to pantry.
Notes
Note: I cut the recipe in half easily, and it produced 2 pint jars and 1 half-pint jar.
Also, note that the long prep time is the time allotted for zucchini/pepper/onion/salt mixture to soak overnight.
If canning this in half-pint jars, they only need to process for 10 minutes.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Zucchini Relish / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

Every year, I love to grow sugar snap peas in our backyard raised bed garden. I always have a bumper crop, and freeze bags of them at their peak. So it made perfect sense to me to come up with a good stir fry recipe to use these wonderful veggies. So here it is… my “Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry”.Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Try not to be too dazzled by the “oh so creative” name I gave this recipe… ha ha! It’s the best I could come up with, so don’t judge!)  Anyways… here is a tasty way to cook sugar snap peas, along with some red and orange peppers, mushrooms, garlic, teriyaki sauce, and topped with toasted almonds, that will delight your taste buds!

You can use either fresh or frozen sugar snap peas (I used some I had in the freezer from my garden this past summer). Either fresh or frozen sugar snap peas will work great in this recipe!  I served these with Sweet Ginger Teriyaki Salmon and it was a big hit! Sure hope you will consider trying this recipe…it’s a great way to get some veggies into your meals! Enjoy!

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here are the sugar snap peas in my garden this past summer…

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I stir fried the snap peas and peppers first, then pushed them over to one side of the skillet and stir-fried the mushrooms for a couple minutes, then combined them.

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Added some garlic, which was followed by grated fresh ginger and a bit of teriyaki sauce…

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lightly toasted sliced raw almonds in a “dry” skillet, to add as a garnish at serving time.

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Ready to eat, and enjoy!

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry
 
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This Asian-inspired stir-fry, featuring sugar snap peas, peppers, and mushrooms is a wonderful side dish!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
For Stir Fry:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup red bell peppers, sliced
  • ½ cup orange bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger (I used a microplane, to grate the ginger very finely)
  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
  • salt, to taste
For Garnish:
  • ¼ cup sliced raw almonds, dry roasted (see notes section on "how to dry roast")
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil on medium-high in a non-stick skillet.
  2. When oil is hot, add the sugar snap peas and the red/orange peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Push veggies over to one side of skillet; add the mushrooms.
  3. Cook mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, then combine veggies. Add the garlic and the grated ginger; cook for additional minute.
  4. Stir in the teriyaki sauce, and cook until all ingredients are heated through.
  5. Place veggies onto serving dish. Garnish with toasted almond slices.
  6. Serve, and enjoy!
Notes
How to dry roast almond slices: Heat a skillet (with no oil or butter) on medium-low. Add the sliced almond slices to the skillet. Heat 2-3 minutes until they begin to turn light brown. Keep the almonds stirred while they cook, so they won't burn. The End.

 

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My Heart Is Full… So Are My Pantry Shelves!

I took a good look at our canned and dried food pantry yesterday and was overcome with thankfulness for the blessing of abundance. I know lots of “serious canners” have LOTS and LOTS of canned goods in their pantries, so this would seem small, but for us, this is more than enough for our family and some of our friends to enjoy the bounty of summer!My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Up until this summer, the only canning I had done was making jams and jellies for our family’s needs, and to give as gifts for friends. I LOVE to give baskets of homemade jams and goodies to friends at Christmas. This summer I decided to learn more about canning and dehydrating.I did a lot of researching and reading up on canning and dehydrating foods, and then put that learning into practice. Baby steps…

Because we have a small raised bed garden in our back yard  and the fact that I bought a pressure canner (with birthday gift cards), I can now preserve a lot of what I grow in more ways than I was able to before. So… it is now September, and we are blessed to have “more than enough”. While I am absolutely in no way a “doomsday prepper”, it does feel good to know that we have canned goods in storage. It’s very convenient to pull a jar of home grown food off the shelf when we need something quick like salsa, veggies, jam, etc. (haven’t purchased jam in about 5 years!).

Canning some of our own home-grown food also saves us money, as we don’t have to purchase as much “stuff” at the store. Plus I LOVE to be able to give away a lot of the canned goods I “prepared with love” to our friends. For me, it’s a matter of being frugal and wise with what God has provided… and being able to bless others, as well. Now THAT’s a win-win situation.

My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Besides having produce and fruit available all summer to eat just by going out to our little backyard garden and gathering it,  I was also able to preserve from our garden (by canning OR dehydrating): strawberries, blueberries, green beans, tomatoes, onions, pickles, garlic, basil, flat leaf parsley, thyme, oregano, peppermint, sage, parsley, zucchini, coriander, rosemary, carrots, peppers. I was also able to preserve (by canning or dehydrating, or freezing) fruit that I picked at local U-Pick Farms or that I was given by friends ): apples, peaches, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries, more blueberries, asian pears, etc.

My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks! My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks! My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks! My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I feel very fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country (the great Pacific Northwest) with a great summer climate and adequate rainfall where I can grow, pick, and preserve the bounty God has provided. I realize that it is all a gift… others might not be as fortunate, due to life circumstances or geographical location, and I thank God for this blessing.

I worked really hard this summer processing our garden’s abundance (even after giving away a lot of it to family and neighbors), and now as a result, for the next year or so my family and friends can enjoy the “fruits of my labors” by simply opening a jar! I am so filled with thankfulness for God’s provision and blessing… my heart is full…and now my pantry is full, also. For all of it… I AM GRATEFUL!

My Heart is Full... So Are My Panty Shelves! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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