Bra and Panty Cookies

I love these cookies! all you need is a basic sugar cookie recipe and a heart shaped cookie cutter.

When you roll out the cookies and cut in hearts, there are a few options for shapes.  The easiest is to cut the pointy end off and turn upside down for decorating. 

neon

 Another way is to leave the whole heart and turn it upside down for panties, and then use the top of the heart opposite itself for bras.

White sugar cookies

There are 2 different ways to do the frosting.

In the colored cookie version we just added water and lemon extract to powdered sugar, separated into 4 small bowls for 4 colors and used mini decorating spatulas and toothpicks to draw designs.

The second method is the one we used for the white cookies.  These were then decorated with edible markers for a bridal shower cookie decorating competition.  For this version we made the same powdered sugar and water mix for the fill, but made a second batch of icing with meringue (you can use powdered or fold in beaten egg whites).  We piped the stiff batch with the egg whites using a narrow nozzle to outline bras and undies, and then piped the looser icing into the middle and spread with a knife to fill the space in.  This method was much less messy and can be done in multiple colors as well.

outlined cookie

These were great for the bridal shower as well, because the edible pens made for a no mess, easy clean decorating competition.

Finished

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Bread and Butter Pickles

Oh the famous bread and butter pickle.  I have never liked any I have bought in stores, but I couldn’t stop eating these!

This recipe is for 4pts, we doubled it, you can cut it in half, whatever you like. The great think I have learned about pickles is that you need enough liquid and a spice guide is nice, but overall they are hard to mess up.

Another note, many people like to add bell peppers to their bread and butter recipes, but I prefer not to.  Really all it takes is adding 2 thinly sliced red bell peppers to the mix.

Bread and Butter Pickles

What you need:

20 pickling cucumbers (8 Cups ish)

2 Medium Onions Sliced

4 Tbs Salt

2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Cup Sugar (you can as much as double this if you want them really sweet)

2 Tbs Whole Mustard seeds

1 Tbs Whole celery seed

1-2 Tsp Red pepper flakes for spicy or ground clove for traditional (we went with the clove)

Dissolve suger in liquids, then add spices and bring to a boil. Add the pickles and onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Ladle into jars. These are great as refrigerator pickles or you can process them. YUM!

Dill Pickles

I suppose if I am on this pickle kick I should write about traditional pickled cucumber.  We used a standard refrigerator dill recipe and an ad-hoc bread and butter pickle recipe.  No one could decide which was better, but the left overs were gone faster than any other pickles we have made. This post is about the Dills.

Again, thanks to Isabel farms and their delicious pickling cucumbers, we had the best of local produce to cook with.

We used 5 lbs of these guys for each of the two recipes.  I tried to keep track of the measurements, but these come out best if you just keep adjusting for taste and any needed additional liquid.

Dill Pickle Recipe:

5lbs cucumber – we did long sandwich slices, but spears are good too.

2C Apple cider vinegar (Or 1 C each apple and white)

2C water

3Tbs Salt

10 Cloves Garlic

5tsp Dill

3tsp Black Pepper Corns

1tsp Chili flakes (Optional but strongly suggested)

Equally divide garlic, dill, pepper corns, chili flakes into sanitized jars. Fill jars with cucumber slices.  Bring remaining ingredients to a boil on the stove and pour over jars while hot, leaving 1/4″ head room if you plan on processing.

For processing, wipe rims and seal jars, then boil for 12 minutes. After boiling, remove and let cool on counter until lids pop, then store.

Otherwise, seal and refrigerate. Enjoy after cooling and up to 1 month after.

Pickled Peaches

When friends of mine started eating my pickles we got some requests and thanks to those requests we made these delicious peaches.  These, like the cherries, are perfect for salads and the juice works well as a vinegar dressing substitute.

They can turn a bit brown over time (as you can see from the photo of mine), so many recipes suggest adding vitamin C tablets to the mix, but they taste just the same with out it.

Pickled Peaches

What you need (makes 6pts, we doubled the recipe for our purposes):

24 not quite ripe peaches

6 1/2 C water

1 C Sugar (If you like it sweeter you can double or even tripple this)

1 1/4 C White or Apple Cider Vinegar (we used a mix of the two)

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

1 tsp ground ginger

1tsp Coriander Seed

1tbs whole Allspice

1tbs whole mustard seed

1tsp whole clove

We started by pitting the peaches and cutting them into wedges, but you can slice them if you like too.  Then fill sanitized jars with the peaches.

Separately, bring the liquid and all the spices together to a boil in a pot then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over peaches into jars, again leaving space at the top of the jars and wiping the rims dry if you plan to process.

For processing, seal the jars and boil in water for 12 minutes.  Otherwise, seal and refrigerate. Delicious.

Watermelon Rind – Pickled

I had heard of pickling water melon rind, I thought there had to be something more to do with them other than compost or a treat for the dog and once I saw pictures of how beautiful they look in jars, I knew we needed them for the wedding.

I haven’t found as many uses for these as the other pickles, but they are pretty and nice to have a pic-nic for eating on their own.  Even with half the sugar they are a sweet treat.

I started with Paula Dean’s Recipe and then made a few adjustments (of corse I forgot to take a picture of mine).  Below, I wrote down my adjusted version of her recipe.

Pickled watermelon rind

Ingredients

4 quarts white parts of the watermelon rind, cut into “pickle spears” (Paula does 1″ cubes)
1 cup kosher salt
1 gallons of water (2 gallons divided if you want to brine the rinds first)
3 cups white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole, black (Paula used assorted color) peppercorns
3 1/2 cups sugar (half of Paula’s, her recipe makes it almost a syrup)
12 8oz canning jars (Paula used 3, 1 quart jars, but 8oz are better for gifts)

Directions

Paula starts by soaking the rinds in a brine over night, I skipped this step on accident, but they came out delicious so I now consider it an optional step.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook watermelon rinds with remaining one gallon of water. Cook the rinds until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Return the saucepan to heat and add vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add watermelon rinds and cook until transparent, about another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you want a pink color to the rinds you can also add red food coloring  or beet juice at this stage, but I chose to leave them natural.

Sterilize jars and lids and fill while rinds are still hot. Pour liquid over rinds, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top so they can seal. Process in a boiling water bath (making sure water level is 1 inch over the top of the jars) for 10-12 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow to cool on the counter overnight.

If you are going to eat them right away, you can skip the sterilizing and processing and put them in the refrigerator after they cool.  They will be ready to eat next day and good for about a month.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

A continuation of the wedding pickles, these were made on a suggestion from our favorite local farmer down at Isabel Farms in Lafayette, CO who let us pick as many green tomatoes as we wanted straight off the vine – Thanks Natalie!

They may sound like they wont be your cup of tea, but believe me, if you make them you won’t be able to stop eating them!  We put them on everything from sandwiches & burger to potato chips and by themselves. They are by far my favorite pickles EVER.

We used a recipe from theHomesick Texan which yields a quart jars worth and just quadrupled the recipe.  We sliced the jalapenos rather than cutting lengthwise, and sliced the garlic rather than putting in whole cloves.  Slicing them allowed us to distribute more evenly though the jars and made those pieces edible and easier to put on sandwiches along with the tomatoes.

If you only make pickles once in your life, make these. Happy Pickling!

Pickled Cherries

For our wedding my Fiance and I decided that we wanted out thank you gifts to be unique and hand made. After dozens of ideas we finally agreed on pickles! To keep it interesting each table at the wedding will be identified by a different pickle rather than a number so we can make many different recipes throughout the year with local, seasonal organic fruit and veg.  

These are all so easy and so delicious I can’t help but make double batches so that we have plenty to keep and eat for ourselves and use as universal environmentally friendly holiday gifts this season.  So far we are about half way through and I thought it would be fun to post recipes and results.

Where better to start than the first pickles we tackled, Cherries.  These I picked from my mom’s cherry tree last july and they are amazing on salads with a little of the  pickling juices poured over  as a dressing.

Pickled Cherries

 

(This recipe is per/jar)

roughly 3 cups Bing cherries pits removed (believe me it’s worth the effort)

 

3/4 cup white vinegar

 

2tsp Suger (you can add more, up to 1/4 cup, if you want extra sweetness but I suggest trying them savory first)

 

4 cardamom pods

 

1 teaspoon peppercorns

 

1 teaspoon whole coriander

 

pinch chili flakes (optional)

bring all the vinegar and suger to a boil in a pot.  Add the spices and cherries to sanitized jars individually and pour the boiling liquid in on top.  

For long lasting storable pickles seal and boil the jars for 12 minutes as store as long as you like.

For an easier ready to eat version,  just shake to mix and refrigerate after adding the liquid. If you make them the refrigerator way, they can be enjoyed a couple hours after mixing and up to one week, maybe a little longer after. In the refrigerator version, the longer they sit the more pickled they taste.