Tag Archives: Spice Rack Challenge

April Spice Rack Challenge: Fermented Dill Beans

Okay, I’ll admit it.  Dill is almost exclusively a pickling spice for me.  Maybe reading all the delicious recipes everyone else in the challenge came up with will help me, but I didn’t actually have dill in my spice rack.  I grow it and use it fresh but don’t really do anything with it outside of the summer months.  I did have a few sad-looking heads of dill lingering in the kitchen, so I threw them into a quart jar with a handful of cleaned green beans, some water, a chili, some garlic and 3 Tablespoons of kosher salt.  Then I filled a Ziploc bag with water, tucked it down into the jar to keep air out and ignored it all for a while.  After about two weeks I had delicious dill beans. 

Lame I know, but there it is.  Spice Rack Challenge.


Filed under food, Spice Rack Challenge

March Spice Rack Challenge: Cardamom Rolls

I’ll admit I’m a slacker procrastinator.  I’ve always been that way.  I used to pull all-nighters to get my college papers done.  I could have paced myself like a reasonable human being, but that wouldn’t have been much fun.  So, as usual, my post is going up on the last day of the window.  At least it isn’t midnight.  Yet.

Add to the procrastination the fact that I didn’t even know what I was going to make until my lunch break this afternoon and you begin to get the full picture. I didn’t even find the recipe myself.   When I walked home for lunch I was grateful to see Mr. Hippie had googled some recipe choices.  (Is googled a proper verb???)  The first was a delicious-sounding Indian recipe.  I wanted to try it out but it required me purchasing (and taking the time to shop for) several spices we are currently out of.  And yes, I know I just dangled a preposition but, “spices of which we are currently out.”  just doesn’t sound right, now does it?  I also just started yet another sentence with a conjunction; DO NOT TELL MY THIRD GRADERS!!!  Indian chicken would have been nice, one of my 101 Things to do in 1001 Days is: 40. Make an Indian meal from scratch.  However, since as I have previously mentioned, I am a procrastinator and procrastinators do not have time to go gallivanting around town procuring spices at the last-minute.

Back to the point.  When I came home at lunchtime, Hubby also shared the recipe for Grandma Georgie’s Cardamom Rolls with me.  He knew I was working on a deadline and had even taken my time constraints into account.  I printed out a copy, wolfed down half my lunch and headed back to school.

After school, my afternoon went something like this:

  1. Get dressed for spin class at Yen Yoga.
  2. Read Recipe:Grandma Georgie’s Cardamom Rolls
    (Mind you, she’s not my Grandma, but her rolls sounded delicious.) Ingredients:
    1 cup butter
    1 3/4 boiling water
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 T. salt
    2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    7 1/2 teaspoons yeast
    2 eggs
    7 cups flour
    1 teaspoon oil
  3. Cut the butter up into the bowl of the Kitchen Aid mixer.  Add sugar and salt.  Pour boiling water over it.  Drag out the coffee bean grinder, wipe it out and coarsely grind 2 teaspoons of whole cardamom.  Dump the cardamom into the bowl and stir the mixture until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. 
  4. Put on your running shoes and wash your hands again while you wait for the liquids to cool to 105 degrees so that you don’t kill the yeast and coddle the eggs.
  5. Add the yeast, eggs and flour to the liquids in the bowl.  Mix to form a runny dough. Lightly oil the top of the dough, cover it with a damp cloth napkin and let rise in the slightly warmed oven until doubled in size.
  6. Run to spin class.
  7. Discover that, for once you are early for class. 
  8. Realize that, while you may be early, you have forgotten both your hair tie and your water bottle.
  9. Find a hair tie and get a compostable paper cup of water.
  10. Spin.
  11. Walk/ run intervals home.
  12. Clean up, punch down the dough and knead in the Kitchen Aid until soft and springy adding more flour as needed, about 12 minutes.  Grease a cookie sheet. 

    They were golf ball-sized.

    Form the dough into golf ball-sized rolls and place them 2 inches apart on the greased sheet.  Grease a muffin tin.  Fill it with golf ball-sized rolls.   Grease another cookie sheet. Repeat.  Let the rolls double in a warm place until double, about 50 minutes.

    Doubled in size and ready to bake.

  13. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake the rolls until the bottoms are browned and the tops are golden, 12-15 minutes.

    Finished rolls.

Mine took exactly 12 minutes and made exactly 28 rolls as the recipe stated. 

Verdict?  Excellent.  The texture of the rolls is perfect and the cardamom adds a subtle flavor.  The kids loved them.  Probably because of the 1 1/2 cups sugar.  We’ll definitely be making these again.  Next time I make them (with or without cardamom, because I think this is a great basic roll recipe) I will cut the sugar in half, but it could probably be reduced even more.  I’ve never made hot cross buns, but I think this recipe would make a great hot cross bun.

The only downside???  I used all the butter.  Don’t worry about me, Mr. Hippie already went to the store to buy another pound so that I won’t have to go without.


Filed under food, Spice Rack Challenge

February Spice Rack Challenge: Clementine Teriyaki


I have to give full credit for this recipe to my hubby, Mr. Hippie.  He has been experimenting with teriyaki sauces for a while.  One day shortly after I saw the spice featured this month was citrus he mentioned making teriyaki again.  I decided that citrus would be the perfect addition to teryiaki.  I was right. 

This recipe is so delicious and so simple that anyone can (and should) try it.

Clementine Teriyaki

  • 1 T. minced onion 1 T. minced onion
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 C. soy sauce  1 C. soy sauce
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C. Champion Hill Farm honey  Champion Hill Farm honey
  • zest of one clementine

    clementine zest

    This is actually the zest of two clementines; I dried and reserved half for later.

Caramelize onion in olive oil in small sauce pan. 
Add 1 cup soy and reduce heat. 
Stir in honey 1 tablespoon at a time tasting for sweetness after each tablespoon.  Stir until dissolved. 
Add zest of one clementine. 
Turn off heat and let steep until cool.

Marinade Steeping

Marinade Cooling

orange chicken

Clementine Teriyaki

Add about 1/3 of this marinade to chicken, pork or whatever you want to Teriyaki-ize and marinate for several hours or overnight.  Reserve remaining sauce in freezer for future use.
Remove meat from sauce and sear on all sides.  Add marinade to pan and simmer until cooked through.  Serve with rice and vegetables (or whatever else you have on hand).  I actually served it with ramen noodles and mixed vegetables.


Filed under food

January Spice Rack Challenge: Rosemary 3 Ways

I found several different recipes that I wanted to try for this month’s Spice Rack Challenge but in addition to the Spice Rack Challenge, I still have my 101 in 1001 to think about.  So, I opted for recipes that would allow me to do double duty.  Cheating?  Maybe.  Efficient?  Definitely.   Besides, is it cheating if I do three posts with three different rosemary recipes?

Buffalo Stroganoff with Rosemary and Morels over Homemade Pasta


All three recipes turned out great.  First I made homemade pasta with rosemary, garlic and cracked pepper.  Several days later I used the pasta as a base for a Dark Days dinner of Buffalo Stroganoff with Rosemary and Morel Mushrooms.

Finished Rosemary-Lemon Marmalade

 I also made Rosemary/Meyer Lemon Marmalade.  I can honestly say it was the best marmalade I have ever made.  It was part of Tigress’ Can Jam round up last year and originally came from Prospect the Pantry.  I should share this marmalade, but I think I will end up hoarding it.

I also made Rosemary Lemon Muffins.  I intended to make Rosemary Lemon cupcakes, but I toyed with the recipe and ended up with more of a muffin.  I found three different recipes for lemon cupcakes and married them.  The result is a light but sweet rosemary/lemon corn muffin.  The flavor is excellent and I think I will make them again, but I will go back to the original recipes and tinker a little more first.

Rosemary/Lemon Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick real butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups corn flour (flour, not the grittier meal)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • zest from 2 lemons, divided
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 T. fresh minced rosemary, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream melted butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly after each.  In a separate bowl combine flours, salt and baking soda.  Alternately add 1/3 of dry ingredients and 1/3 milk to wet ingredients mixing after each addition.  Add lemon juice, half the minced rosemary and half the zest; mix for one minute more.

Ready for the oven


Combine remaining zest, rosemary and 1/3 cup sugar.  Reserve.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.  Fill each tin half full. Sprinkle Rosemary-Lemon Sugar onto each muffin.  Bake 17-20 minutes.

Rosemary Lemon Muffin

I used jumbo muffin tins so mine needed to cook 23 minutes.

Feeling inspired?  Have a good rosemary recipe?  There’s still time for you to join the Spice Rack Challenge.  Hop on over to Mother’s Kitchen to sign up and post your recipe before Friday January 21st.


Filed under canning, food

Dark Days Dinner: Buffalo Stroganoff with Rosemary and Morels over Rosemary Pasta

Stroganoff is a classic dish.  I don’t think I have ever followed a recipe for it the way I was supposed to.  Some things require recipes.  Baking for example is science.  You can’t mess with chemistry and have it work out the same every time.  Sauces are different.  You can play with the seasonings, adjust the thickener or the cook time and it’s all good.  So, as usual my “recipe” is more of a set of guidelines to follow.

Buffalo Stroganoff with Rosemary and Morels over Homemade Pasta

Buffalo Stroganoff with Morels

  • Cube a buffalo sirloin steak (8-10 oz.) and place the chunks in a non-reactive dish.  Cover the steak chunks with plain yogurt (about a cup and a half, but enough to cover all the pieces)  Allow the meat to tenderize for 4-6 hours.
  • Heat a cup of stock (I used homemade chicken, but beef would probably be better.)  Add 8-10 dried morel mushrooms to the stock and allow to soak while meat tenderizes.
  • Sautee a small, diced onion and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic in hot oil.
  • Add sirloin to skillet (reserve yogurt) and sautee until browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste and about a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary.
  • Roughly chop morels and add them to the pan (reserve stock).
  • Sautee until heated through and add enough flour to thoroughly coat meat and mushrooms. (Probably about a half cup.)
  • Turn heat to high and add stock reserved from mushrooms stirring continuously to avoid clumping.
  • Reduce heat and add reserved yogurt.
  • Add a cup of heavy cream and simmer until thickened.  Add another half cup or so of yogurt to tang up the sauce.
  • Serve over hot egg noodles or homemade pasta.  I served ours on homemade rosemary garlic pasta.


Filed under Dark Days, food

#37 ~ Homemade (Rosemary Garlic) Pasta

When I decided to make homemade pasta every month I didn’t realize Mr. Hippie would get involved, but tonight’s pasta was his idea!  We made two batches because the pasta maker, like the meat grinder is a pain to clean.  The first batch we made exactly like the last batch.  The second batch however, I wanted to use for the Spice Rack Challenge so we modified it a little.

Sheet of rosemary pasta waiting to be cut.

When we got to the hand-kneading step (#8), we cut the dough in half.  One half we treated just as the original recipe.  To the other half we added a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary, a clove of minced garlic and a turn of cracked pepper from the pepper mill. All the other steps were exactly the same. 

Waiting for their turn in the dehydrator.

However, with twice as much pasta to dry, we needed to find a way to speed up the process.  After a little internet research I decided that the dehydrator would help with this.  We put pasta on the racks and dried it for about an hour instead of letting it sit out overnight like I did last time.  It kept us busy adding and removing pasta from the machine all night, but we finished our pasta in a day instead of two and I didn’t have noodles hanging all over my kitchen.

The pasta is fragrant and delicious.  We could have easily doubled the amount of rosemary in the recipe, but rosemary can be overpowering and I didn’t want to ruin a whole batch of homemade pasta.


Filed under 101 in 1001, food

January Spice Rack Challenge: Rosemary

I LOVE rosemary.  Its pungent, piney fragrance is at once refreshing and relaxing.  Although I’m sure I had rosemary before, the first time I remember seeing rosemary was when I started working at the Grand Traverse Resort (and Spa).   I was young and on my own for the first time.  The Resort was impressive and ritzy and there, garnishing the dinner plates in the Trillium restaurant were fresh sprigs of rosemary. 

My two-year-old rosemary wintering on the porch.

Since then I’ve had rosemary plants of my own but here in the brutal zone 5 winters of Traverse City I’ve never had much luck cultivating it.  I’ve never been foolish enough to think that I could grow it from seed but even when I start with seedlings I haven’t had much luck keeping it alive.  I do fine all summer.  I usually even manage to keep it alive most of the winter.  One year I managed to keep a rosemary plant alive outside until March Then, it died. Last year I managed to winter my rosemary plant on the back porch.  So far, it is still doing well.  I’m hoping now that it is a little more stable and mature I will be able to keep it alive year-round. 

I prune sprigs from it to add to recipes from time to time but it doesn’t get used as often as it should.  I add it to roasts and other meats when I am braising or roasting them or roasted potatoes, and I added it to my strawberry jam last summer, but other than that, my plant doesn’t see much action.  Thanks to Mom, that is all about to change.  This month I need to make something that features rosemary.  My first thoughts were savory, but rosemary is versatile.  This challenge will take a lot of thought and possibly some experimentation.  Right now I’m off to clean my refrigerator.  But when I finish, the hunt for rosemary recipes begins.


Filed under food

The 2011 Spice Rack Challenge

“Mom” at Mother’s Kitchen decided she needed some inspiration to try all those spices tumbling around her kitchen.  So, she created the Spice Rack Challenge.  I signed up, of course.  I tend to use the same few spices from my drawer over and over no matter what I’m making so this will be a good challenge to help get me out of my spice rut.  It might also be a good way to help me finish some of the cooking items on my 101 in 1001 list. 

So, how does it work?

  • Each month a dried herb or spice will be featured.  Each participant will use the herb/spice in a recipe and write a post about it.
  • On the last Wednesday of each month Mom will post a round-up and announce the next month’s spice/herb. 
Want to play along?
  • There’s still time to participate in the challenge!  Sign up before the deadline for the first post, January 21, 2011 by sending an email to: momskitchen(at)comcast(dot)net  Put Spice Rack Challenge as the subject and include your name and blog url.  Participants will be listed here.
  • You have to have a blog to participate but blogging is much easier than it looks!  If you can upload pictures to Facebook or Twitter, you can blog.  Really. 


Filed under food