We may or may not have mentioned before that we enjoy cooking for others as much as we enjoy it for ourselves. We’ve made a habit of cooking food for new parents we know, either by taking over their kitchen for a meal or dropping off batches of food.
One of our neighbors recently had a baby, and they’re similarly focused on eating real food. We did what we do best and took them a batch of this soup after they came home from the hospital. The next day, while out walking our dog, their oldest son ran up to the fence and said, “I really liked your soup!” With eight nieces and nephews, I know how hard it can be to get kids to eat. So, unsolicited praise must mean we did something right!
Just this weekend we made another batch for ourselves, and froze more than half of it. As we look forward to our own baby’s birth in June, we are slowly planning ahead for the inevitable weeks of exhaustion that will follow bringing the baby home. Batch cooking now will save us time and money in the future. We hope you’ll like this soup as much as we and our neighbors do.
Pickles—just thinking about them makes my mouth water. They’re easily one of my favorite snacks, and I’ve been known to sit down on the couch with one of the gigantic jars you can buy at Costco and put a serious dent in the supply. We’ve also come to love local pickles as well as craft pickles. Brooklyn Brine makes some amazing flavor combinations, especially spicy ones, that we love, but our wallets do not (plus, they’re not quite gluten-free).
Making pickles with a traditional brine is fun, and like craft cider or wine in a lot of ways (fermentation), but it is definitely not an immediate reward. When we made our own pickles back in 2012 based on another recipe, we waited a good 5 days before trying them and had mixed results. We also did something similar with Brussels sprouts a little while back. Even with this recipe, it took the better part of a week.
We have more than a handful of Brussels sprouts recipes. But, we love them so much, we’re always looking for creative ways to make them. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, Brent’s mom saw a Brussels sprouts slaw at Wegmans and told us about it. We agreed that it was an interesting idea, but there were a few ingredients we wouldn’t usually incorporate into our cooking. So I took the premise and made my own, fall-inspired salad. We served it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner and it was a unique and refreshing vegetable on the plate. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
There’s something magical about fruit trees. In our experience, which admittedly is very little, they don’t require much work and reap many benefits. Our fig tree produced a great harvest, more than either of us expected between early August and mid-October. In case you missed our other recipes, we had a lot of fun creating Chicken and Fig Tagine, Cider-Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Figs, Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad, and Fig Coconut Yogurt.
Today, even though we’re away on vacation, we bring you another fig recipe: homemade fig jam. It is great on rice crackers; you might also enjoy it with a soft cheese like brie (if you can tolerate high-quality dairy) or Kite Hill almond-based Cream Cheese Style Spread. Brent’s mom used it with almond butter on sprouted bread (a new twist on PB&J!) and plans to use it instead of store-bought fruit spread in her Linzer cookies for Christmas. Whether you have your own fig tree or find them at the store, we hope you’ll enjoy making and eating this fig jam or any of our other fig recipes. Let us know what you decide to do—we would love to hear from you!
On more than one occasion, I’ve walked past the deli counter green with envy over the variety and quality of the salad offerings. There’s something magical about the thin slices of cucumber, the finely shredded vegetables, and the perfectly-positioned garnishes.
This particular cucumber salad came to be after seeing a deli-style cucumber salad for sale at Costco. It was a great idea, but had about as much sugar as a candy bar and preservatives. This has neither of those downsides, and has a crunch, spice, and flavor that is a winner. We know you’ll enjoy this salad.