April 27, 2012

Crusty bread * * * Canning * * * and Rainbow Swiss Chard * * *

Wow! Right now, my head is just all over the place...and I am loving it!  There are SOOO many new things to try, and thankfully, I have actually been getting to some of them.

For instance...I finally made myself try this very easy.... very beautiful.... very delicious.... no-knead bread, that is baked in an insanely hot Dutch Oven. It turned out perfect and was no bother at all! I am now hooked and I am never looking back....ever! Here's the link to the recipe. Simply So Good--Crusty Bread.

Another thing I am so excited and ready to dabble in, is canning! I am planning to start out slow and easy...taking my time...learning all there is to learn, studying all there is to study, watching videos on YouTube, the whole nine!  I am bound and determined to experience canning this Spring! So far, I have purchased a water bath canner, funnel, jar tongs annnnnnnd....this wonderful book, by Ashley English, called Canning and Preserving. It just arrived in the mail today and I am ecstatic! I flipped through it at the book store 2 days prior and decided this was the one....THE BOOK...to get me started. It is very informative and Ashley really spells it out....every little detail...and that is definitely me....I am such a detail person! Especially when it comes to canning...you've got to know what you're doing! I haven't made the purchase of a pressure canner yet {for veggies/low acid foods}. Not sure if I am ready for that yet! One thing at a time....baby steps!

I've come across a wonderful website called Sweet Preservation. It's all about canning.... great information and great recipes! Check it out! I have to admit.... I am nervous and don't want to mess up or make anyone sick!! I will be following the recipes and every single step to the letter! I believe I am finally confident enough to do it. Oh...you will most definitely be reading about  my canning adventures here on this blog...so stayed tuned for that my friends!

Another thing I've been into lately...... trying foods that I have never tried before..... things like Swiss Chard, golden beets, dandelion greens, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, collard greens, and plenty more....these things have been on the grocery produce shelf forever, and I keep passing them by. I have had beets before...but only the red ones...this is the first time I've ever seen golden.....they are a yellowish, orangey color. I cooked with rainbow Swiss Chard for the first time last night, and it was fun! It was great trying something new! Just look at the colors of this veggie! Just stunning and brilliant....so vibrant! I was reading how Chard is one of the most highly nutritious vegetables out there! That's pretty awesome, and that will definitely make it a contender for new foods winding up on our dinner plates!

I cooked it with chicken, shallots, and garlic in one big fry pan...all in a bit of olive oil and a bit of water. It turned out great! I got the recipe from the twister tie that was holding the stalks of Swiss Chard together in a bundle! How great is that!

By the way...I did not do the cheddar cheese part of the recipe...somehow, it just seemed to cheapen it. Cheddar cheese??? It just seemed wrong....here was all this healthy food I was cooking...and then to top it with cheddar cheese! I don't think so!

Well, let me close with that.....that being the last subject for now. There are many other things that I've been excited about and they will be turning up here...sooner or later!

For now, have a great weekend and enjoy your blessings!


  1. Fun, Fun, FUN!! Great new hobbies for you!! The must have book you need is the Ball Blue Book, found at your fave walmart or local farm supply store in the canning section. .It also does blow by blows. I would master water bath before going down the pressure canner for now. .I hardly ever use that kind. .only when we do our fave salsa that has hardly any vinegar in it! I will have to try that chard recipe. .I have grown the Bright Lights variety you show for the last couple years. .mostly we eat it in salads, because we weren't thrilled with the other couple recipes I tried with it. .goat cheese might taste good instead of cheddar. While you are trying new things. .do the prosciutto and goat cheese wrapped asparagus on your grill. .YUMMMO!! By the way. .you could EASILY grow some of that chard yourself in a long deck planter with a pkg of soil. .I think I saw those seeds in Walmart this year. .if not, I'll send you some. .even if you don't like to eat it, it makes a gorgeous statement to look at! Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi Melanie! I am definitely going to purchase the Ball book for sure! I know they can be trusted and they are very reputable. My sister has a Ball book, but just as soon as I borrow it, she'll be needing it back! haha...so I will buy my own. So...you have experience in canning, eh? I need you to come over!! haha! I will give the prosciutto and goat cheese wrapped asparagus a try...that will be something I will love. I love roasted asparagus...so I know I will like it on the grill.

  2. You'll love it. .here's my post that describes how to make 'em!! http://princessdivamel.blogspot.com/2012/01/asparagus-appis.html

  3. Wow! the bread looks super! I love crusty bread! Every since I lived overseas it's had to eat plain soft white bread. You go girl with the Swiss chard! I have never tried it. Wouldn't have a clue how to use it.
    Oh, for sure need the "Ball" book!