Canning

Butters and Jellies and Jams! Oh my!

butter jellies jamsOk, I cannot stop talking about cooler weather!  It means fall is here, sweaters, scarves, and all things pumpkin!  It also means that I am not avoiding my stove top and oven like the plague, which means when I got my latest order for a gift basket I was jumping for joy!  I had already been canning cucumbers like a mad woman despite the heat and humidity, but now I can have all the windows open on a cooler evening, have a glass of wine, crank up Miles Davis, and bust the ol’ recipe cards out.

I wanted to do something just a little different for this gift basket.  With the combination of seasonal produce and the love I have for the combination of sweet and savory flavors, I decided to play with both ideas!  Nettie’s Bread & Butter Pickles, Jalapeno Jelly, Ginger Peach Jam, and brand new to my recipe collection: Rosemary Pear Butter, were the winners for this little basket.  I must say the Rosemary Pear Butter paired wonderfully with my glass of Côtes du Rhône!  

The basket has been sent off and I eagerly await to get feedback! But like all batches of pickles, butters, jellies, and jams (oh, my) I am left with a little extra!  What does that mean?!  Well, for those that are interested in trying some new treats, but aren’t quite ready to make the commitment to a pint size jar, or perhaps you too are in search for a gift basket for someone… Look no further!  I have put together a trio of sweet and savory gift bags that need homes!

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What’s inside? Three 4 oz. jars! 1 Jalapeno Jelly, 1 Ginger Peach Jam, and 1 Rosemary Pear Butter.

How much? $13

Interested?  Please don’t hesitate to contact me!  (lauraleeimhoff@gmail.com) I will find a way to get them to you!

Cocktails, Recipes, Uncategorized

Last of the Season: Melons & Margaritas

IMG_0258Summer is slowly coming to an end, which in Texas, means cooler weather is rapidly approaching. In fact, we actually got some this weekend, but I’m not holding my breath as this weeks forecast is back up in the nineties.  While we are all itching to bust out our sweaters and scarves, This particular seasonal crossover allows for glorious finds at the farmers market. The last cucumbers, melons, and peppers are still making an appearance, but the fall favorites are starting to show themselves too. Although, I am eagerto be able to walk outside without my make up sliding off my face, I am not quite ready to let summer slip through my fingers. Reflecting on these last few months, I definitely got in my vacation time, hiking, swimming at the springs, but the one thing I did not get my fill of are summer fruit and margaritas. Now, in most cases, they don’t have to be combined. In this instance, I went for the most bang for my buck. Inspired by Rio Rita’s Honeydew Thyme infused tequila, I grabbed a cantaloupe and jalapeños from the farmers market. I’ve dipped my fingers into infusing many a time (yes, the rumors of bacon infused vodka are true), but for the sake of quenching my thirst, the juicer came out!

I’m looking forward to drinking this Jalapeño Cantaloupe Margarita next year, all summer long.

Jalapeño Cantaloupe Margarita

  • 1/2 cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1 jalapeño (seeds removed)
  • 1 lime- tequila of choice-triple sec (or Cointreau)
  • ice
  • agave (optional)

Put cantaloupe, jalapeño, and half of the lime through the juicer. In a glass, pour 2 parts tequila and 1 part triple sec over ice, top off with melon pepper mix. Garnish with lime wedge.

Note: I find margaritas are very personal, just like coffee in the morning. Some like them stronger, sweeter, or more sour. I dissolved a little agave and shook it in with the mix and tequila. However, you like your margarita, this one is delicious! Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Ready, Reset, Go!

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Vacation, it’s like milk, it does the body good. It also did my tired little brain some serious good. It has been a while since my last post and while I realize I have a little guilt about that, a break definitely helped me realign myself. Since my last post, I left a negative work environment to join the warm and welcoming family at Opa Coffee and Wine Bar. Thanks to having days off, I now have much more time on my hands to be cool and crafty!
Thanks to this great new job, I could also take time to have a vacation! I made my yearly trek to the West Coast to see my friends, Emily and Zane. My trip was filled with beach outings, museums, dancing, Vegas adventures, lots of great food, and more beach outings. Being an East Coast girl, sometimes all that is missing from central Texas is the ocean.IMG_1063
My brief sabbatical also allowed for some alone time which I utilized for self reflection and planning for my future. The one thing that kept creeping into my mind every chance that it could was a memory of a lunch date I had with one of my favorite farmers. He spent our lunch recounting stories from 40 years ago about a wealthy man he used to work for, being flown around the world, real estate scams, unknown love, etc. His stories were something you would read in a book or the beginnings to a movie. I was fascinated and envious at the same time. During my time away I kept thinking to myself, “I want to be able to have my own stories like this.”
To jump start my story making, I bunkered down and worked on a very detailed two year plan. I’m very eager to begin checking items of my list and looking forward to sharing with you, until then… Stay tuned.