Thursday, July 23, 2015

How to Freeze Green Beans


  1. Step 1: Trim green bean ends. Working with a small handful of green beans at a time, line up the stem ends. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the stems. Repeat with remaining green beans.
  2. Step 2: Cut the beans into bite-size pieces. Many recipes, such as those for soups or casseroles, call for cut green beans. If desired, cut the beans into 1- to 2-inch pieces before freezing. Or leave the beans whole and, if desired, cut the frozen beans into pieces just before using.
  3. Step 3: Blanch the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Allow 1 gallon of water per pound of green beans. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in batches, carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water. Boil small beans for 2 minutes, medium beans for 3 minutes, and large beans for 4 minutes. Cool the beans quickly by plunging them into ice water. After the beans have cooled, drain them from the ice water.
  4. Step 4: Prepare the beans for freezing. Pack the drained beans into freezer bags. Press out as much air as possible. Seal tightly.
  5. Step 5: Freeze the packaged green beans. Label each bag with its contents, amount, and date. Lay bags flat; add bags or containers to freezer in batches to make sure they freeze quickly. Leave space between bags or containers so air can circulate around them. When frozen solid, the bags or containers can be placed closer together. Use frozen green beans within 8 to 10 months.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Banana-Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
  1. In a bowl, beat eggs. Blend in sugar and oil. Add bananas and mix well. 
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into egg mixture. Stir in zucchini and pecans just until combined.
  3. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. 
Yield: 2 loaves.
If Cooking for Two: Wrap and freeze one loaf to enjoy later.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Unique Hot Dog Toppings

July is national hot dog month! In honor of this special occasion here's a list of different ways to top your dog. This was our family's way of celebrating the 4th! Happy Independence Day!

Onion Dip Dog
French onion dip slathered on a bun with hot dog, potato chips and chives.

Frito Dog
Hot dog topped with chili, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped onion, and crushed Fritos.

BLT Dog
Wrap a hot dog in bacon, cook on the grill, and top with lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickle relish.

Pizza Dog
Top a hot dog with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil.

Nacho Dog
Top a hot dog with nacho cheese, chopped onion, salsa and guacamole.

Mac Daddy Dog
Top a hot dog with macaroni and cheese

Chili Cheese Dog
Top a hot dog with chili (no beans), shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped onion.

Chicago Style Dog
Place hot dog inside a poppy seed bun, top with sweet peppers, mustard, onion, pickle relish, tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, and celery salt.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

Ingredients:
4 ears fresh corn, in their husks
Butter (or an herb butter) for serving

Directions:

  1. Prepare your grill, gas or charcoal, with direct, high heat, about 550°F.
  2. The corn husks will protect the corn from burning or drying out while it is on the hot grill. If you want a bit of char on your corn, peel off a few of the outer layers of the corn husks first, before grilling.
  3. Place the corn in their husks on the hot grill. Cover the grill. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are completely blackened and charred on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the corn from the grill. Let them sit for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the silks and charred husks from the corn.
  5. Serve with butter.