Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Late summer/early fall is my favourite time of year. There’s so much wonderful produce available and so many options to preserve it. Preserving some of the produce you come across at this time of year allows you to experience the freshness and flavours throughout the winter. 

Today we’re sharing a quick way to keep those garden cucumbers hanging around just a little longer. This is a refrigerator pickle recipe which means we are not hot water canning it, it’s not shelf stable, and it MUST always be kept in the fridge. You can keep these in the fridge for up to two months, but I promise they won’t last that long. 

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles
This quick and easy refrigerator pickle recipe makes about one 2-cup mason jar of pickles.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb cucumbers, sliced
Brine
  1. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  2. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 cup vinegar
  6. 1 tsp pickling spice
Instructions
  1. Add sliced cucumbers to a sterilized 2-cup mason jar, set aside.
  2. Add brine ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour brine over cucumbers.
  4. Allow jar to cool for about 1 hour and then refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Notes
  1. These pickles will taste great right away but will become more flavourful the longer they sit in their brine.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

The garden tomatoes are here! Can you hear our cheers through your computer screen?

We’ve been able to pull the first few vine ripe tomatoes out of the garden but we have many, many more green ones that are just waiting to ripen. Sure enough in a few weeks time we’re going to have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. 

If you’re like us and you have a hundred in your garden or just want to take advantage of the super affordable tomatoes in store during this time of year, we have you covered. We collaborated with some blogger friends to bring you 25 ways to eat more tomatoes!

25 Ways to Eat Tomatoes

Salads

Quick Heirloom Tomato Salad – Eye Candy Popper

Summer Bounty Grilled Panzanella – The Grey Bell

Roasted Tomato and Olive Panzanella – Sugar Love Spices

Tabouleh – Bon Appet’Eat

The Perfect Simple Tomato Salad – My Kitchen Love25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes 

Canning & Preserving

How to Peel a Tomato for Canning – The Rustic Wife

Simple Roasted Tomatoes – Homemade and Yummy

Green Tomato Chow – My Island Bistro Kitchen

Oven Roasted Tomatoes – Cookery Nation

Moms Chili Sauce – The Rustic Wife

Oven Roasted Heirloom Spaghetti Sauce – Eye Candy Popper

25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

Condiments & Sauces

Fresh Salsa – River City Cookery

Classic Tomato Sauce – Earth Food and Fire

25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

Lunch or Dinner

Vegan Scalloped Tomatoes – The Taste Space

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup – The Food Blog

Summer Tomato Pasta – My Kitchen Love

Sausage and Eggplant Bucatini with Fennel Tomato Sauce – Diversivore

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Radish and Red Onion in Tomato Vinaigarette – The Yum Yum Factor

Easy One-Pot Classic Ratatouille – Bacon is Magic25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

Try Something New

Polenta Tarts with Honey Roasted Tomatoes – Beth Dunham

Catalan Tomato Bread – Bacon is Magic

Tomato Bruschetta – Kitchen Uncorked

Spicy Tomato Cobbler – Joe and Sue

Aged Goat Cheese Tomato Tart – Sugar Love Spices

25 Ways to Eat More Tomatoes

We hope we’ve inspired you to eat more tomatoes! Please share your favourite ways to eat tomatoes in the comments below. 

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Pecan Cranberry Granola Bar

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars

It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks, school will begin, along with numerous other activities, and time for preparation will cease to exist.  You can’t help but ask yourself, what happened to my summer?!  This granola bar is a great option to have on hand when planning lunches or when you need a quick and easy snack.

 

 

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups large flake oats
  2. 1 cup puffed rice cereal (i.e. rice crispies)
  3. 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  6. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  7. 1/4 cup honey
  8. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix together oats, cereal and coconut in large bowl.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Wait for the mixture to come to a full boil and then let it boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Turn heat down to prevent it from overflowing, but maintaining the boil.
  4. Pour hot mixture over oats. Stir together until the oats mixture is completely coated. Here, you can add in the pecans and the dried cranberries to your mixture before pressing into your pan. Press firmly, so they don’t fall apart when you cut them.
  5. Place in fridge for 20 minutes, or until ready to serve.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

It’s only the beginning of August, but back to school is already on our mind. 

Back-to-school time brings full days, busy nights, and struggles with getting nutritious foods on the table and into lunch boxes. We’ve all been there, but experience has shown us that just a little bit of planning ahead will help you keep on top of things.

One of our favourite make-ahead snacks are muffins, and these whole wheat raspberry muffins are sure to do the trick. These muffins are a simple and delicious snack packed full of fibre and fruit, to help keep you fuller longer. 

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

We really like this recipe for a number of reasons. Fresh berries, when not in season, can be a fortune and this recipe works well with fresh or frozen berries. It’s also very quick to throw together and we include common kitchen ingredients. 

Look no further for your go-to back-to-school muffin!

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter or margarine, increase to ½ teaspoon)
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  10. 1 ½ cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
  11. 1 tablespoon sugar, mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, or line your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time - beat well after each addition.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat well. Stir in the milk and both the vanilla and the almond extracts. Mix till smooth. Stir in the berries quickly.
  5. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if using.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

This back-to-school season we hope to bring you nutritious, time saving recipes that are sure to please everyone in your family! Follow along this fall as we share our favourites.

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Overnight Pizza Crust

Overnight Pizza Crust

This overnight pizza crust is a great potential time saver, if you are like me and you like to meal plan as much as you can.  The dough can easily be made one day ahead and left to sit till you’re ready.  You can even freeze it for use at a later time.  

And when it comes to toppings?  You can literally put anything you want on it.  Change up the sauce and use pesto instead of regular tomato sauce.  Do an all veggie pizza with some great fresh produce from your garden.  Do an all meat pizza for those who don’t seem to enjoy the veggies as much as you might.  Do both so you can please everyone!  Top with spinach, while it’s hot out of the oven, to get an even fresher pizza.  Just a few ideas to get you thinking…

Overnight Pizza Crust
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 1 cup all purpose flour
  3. 1 cup semolina
  4. 1 ½ tsp salt
  5. active dry yeast
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil
  7. 1 ¼ cup warm water, not hot
Toppings
  1. ½ - ¾ cup tomato sauce
  2. 2 cups assorted veggies: green/red peppers, red onion, tomatoes
  3. 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook. Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Add the olive oil and pour the warm water in a steady stream.
  2. Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, increase the mixer speed and knead for 2 minutes.
  3. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
  4. Flour your work surface and hands WELL.
  5. Turn out the dough onto the surface and fold in thirds, like you would a letter.
  6. Turn and fold again in thirds. Place the dough back in the bowl and let it rest overnight until you are ready to use it.
The next day
  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a cookie sheet to make a rectangular pizza, which is great for a crowd.
  2. Have a well floured work surface ready for the dough. Turn the dough out onto the surface. Flour the dough well and begin to stretch or roll. You can begin this on your work surface, and finish it in the pan.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes. You want the cheese to be nice and bubbly and the crust to be golden brown on the edges. You can also check the bottom carefully by lifting up a corner with a spatula.
Notes
  1. You can top this pizza with pretty much whatever strikes your fancy. Veggies from the garden, deli meats, Italian sausage, many kinds of cheeses...let your imagination go wild!
  2. Feel free to also cut the dough in half once it's made, so you can make two thinner pizza crusts instead of just one thicker crust.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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How to Grill Vegetables

Warm summer nights means it’s time to break out the BBQ for dinner! 

Don’t be fooled into thinking the BBQ is only good for cooking meats, you can also grill an assortment of vegetables with great results. We’ve done asparagus, peppers, onions, potatoes, and zucchini – just to name a few! Take your BBQ skills to the next level and follow these easy steps to grill vegetables at home. You’ll become a master griller in no time!

How to Grill Vegetables

How to Grill Vegetables

  1. Become familiar with your grill and have the tools you’ll need. Know how to turn it on and off (both the BBQ and the propane source) and how to clean it properly. Make sure you have a BBQ brush (or other cleaning device as well as metal tongs and a flipper.
  2. Set your BBQ to about medium heat. We like to turn the grill on, scrub it clean, then start cooking. 
  3. Cut your vegetables. Make sure to cut them in even thicker strips – especially if you’re doing something like zucchini, eggplant, or peppers. You want them to cook evenly, not too quickly, and you don’t want them to be so small they fall through the grate.
  4. Season your vegetables. Add your vegetables to a bowl and coat with 1-2 tbsp canola oil and seasonings of your choice. Try salt, pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning.
  5. Cook your vegetables. Place veggies on the top rack across the grill and allow to cook on one side for 7-10 minutes. Flip them and cook for another 7-10 minutes. Depending on the heat of your BBQ or if your cooking other things at the same time the times could vary. 

It’s important to never leave a BBQ unattended and know about your grill before you use it (i.e. read the manual or get a tutorial from a master griller).

How to Grill Vegetables

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Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing

Whenever we attend a potluck we like to come with a veggie-packed dish in hand and having a go-to potluck worthy salad in your repertoire is always a great idea. Not only can you prepare it in a pinch but if you always have the required ingredients in your kitchen, you can make it any time you need. This spinach salad with a raspberry dressing is packed with flavour and contains many ingredients that you may already have on hand in your kitchen.

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing

This salad is also incredibly versatile and can be made with any combination of veggies you might find in your fridge. The dressing we created for this salad is made using pureed raspberries, making it 400% fancier than any other dressing you could buy at the store! We always have frozen raspberries in our freezer and combined with a few other pantry staples you can create a restaurant worthy dressing in a split second!

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing
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Salad
  1. 225 g Baby Spinach
  2. 1/2 Red Onion, sliced thin
  3. 1 English Cucumber, diced
  4. 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  5. 1/3 cup Pecans
Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup Raspberries, thawed frozen or fresh
  2. 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  3. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  4. pinch salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mash up raspberries to form a puree. Combine in a mason jar with the other dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Shake up your dressing to ensure it's mixed and serve it with the finished spinach salad.
Notes
  1. You can add or substitute any of the vegetables in the salad for what you have available in your fridge.
  2. Feel free to roast the pecans before adding them to your salad.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
 
If you’re looking for more ways to use up your spinach, why not try our sautéed spinach. Oh, and don’t forget to store your leafy greens properly to get the most life out of them!
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Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed Spinach

As spring slowly turns into summer, us avid gardeners are looking forward to harvesting our first lettuce, baby kale, swiss chard, and perhaps also spinach.  That is, if we haven’t already made a fresh salad with the first cuttings!

This super simple sauteed spinach recipe takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, and can easily be modified to add other great, fresh vegetables if you want.

Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed Spinach
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Ingredients
  1. 6 oz spinach
  2. 3 cloves of garlic
  3. 2 tbsp canola oil
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice, preferably fresh
Instructions
  1. Heat canola oil in non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Peel garlic and crush with the side of the knife, so they are cracked open. Add to the pan and let them heat through until they become fragrant, about 30 sec-1 min.
  3. Add spinach to the pan and saute. The spinach will shrink down immensely; it will only take about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice to the pan, put a lid on the pan and let the spinach steam for 1-2 minutes.
Notes
  1. This recipe is easily doubled. Feel free to double the amount of spinach, or add different greens to the mix. If you are adding kale or chard, it may take longer for the leaves to cook down.
  2. To make a variation, begin by sauteeing some diced onions,peppers, and spices. Add the spinach (or kale/chard) at the end with a shot of cooking wine or stock and let steam until tender.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Do you have an over load of spinach in the house? Here are some of our best tips for storing leafy greens!

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Greek Barley Salad

This colourful Greek Barley Salad is packed full of flavour, fibre, and veggies. Using barley as the base to this salad has the benefit of giving it a huge nutritional punch while also being easy to prepare.

Greek Barley Salad

The recipe is very versatile. You can use pot or pearl barley to make this salad and feel free to make extra barley to freeze for future use. Any veggies you have on hand can be added or substituted to make this salad your own. We strongly recommend making the salad dressing in a mason jar so that you can shake to mix the ingredients well – this is a fun task for kids too!

Greek Barley Salad

Greek Barley Salad
This colourful Greek Barley Salad is full of veggies and packs a nutritional punch. Serve it as a dinner side or as part of a healthy lunch.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Pot or Pearl Barley
  2. 1 English Cucumber, chopped
  3. 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
  4. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  5. 1 cup Baby Tomatoes, slice in half
Dressing
  1. 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  2. 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  3. 1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  4. 1 Tsp Oregano
  5. pinch Salt
  6. pinch Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine barley with 2 cups of water and cook until tender (about 40 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, combine salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake and set aside.
  3. When barley is cool, combine with cucumber, onion, pepper, and baby tomatoes in a large bowl.
  4. When ready to serve, pour dressing over salad and mix to combine.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
 For more information about barley, check out our past post!

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Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing

Having a go-to potluck worthy salad in your repertoire in always a great idea. Not only can you prepare it in a pinch but if you always have the required ingredients in your kitchen, you can make it any time you need. This spinach salad with a raspberry dressing is packed with flavour and contains many ingredients that you may already have on hand in your kitchen.

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing

This salad is also incredibly versatile and can be made with any combination of veggies you might find in your fridge. The dressing we created for this salad is made using pureed raspberries, making it 400% fancier than any other dressing you could buy at the store! We always have frozen raspberries in our freezer and combined with a few other pantry staples you can create a restaurant worthy dressing in a split second!

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing

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Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing
This spinach salad with a raspberry dressing is packed with flavour and contains many ingredients that you may already have on hand in your kitchen.
Course Salads
Servings
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Course Salads
Servings
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Instructions
  1. Mash up raspberries to form a puree. Combine in a mason jar with the other dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Shake up your dressing to ensure it's mixed and serve it with the finished spinach salad.
Recipe Notes
  • You can add or substitute any of the vegetables in the salad for what you have available in your fridge.
  • Feel free to roast the pecans before adding them to your salad.
  • Store your leafy greens properly to get the most out of them.
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