The Birth of Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy

 Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy came to be out of two separate events in my life. My youngest son loved to cook with me. At an early age he declared he wanted to open a restaurant when he was older, called "Tyler's Yummy in Your Tummy" He never did open that restaurant but I loved the name and decided to use it for my Blog on Cooking and Recipes.

 "Ollie" replaced the name "Tyler" in the title simply because that same son suggested the nickname Ollie when my first grandchild was born. My middle name is Olive after my Grandmother, and I became Grandma Ollie to my grandchildren. And thus Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy was born!

 This blog will be a collection of recipes - family, my own, and any others I can find in my collection. I've been cooking for almost 50 years - having started as a pre-teen. In Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy I'll share my favourite recipes, tips and techniques with you.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Preserves: Kak's Chili Sauce

A few weeks ago I decided to try making hubs' grandmother's famous Chili Sauce. Kak used to make dozens of jars every year then at Christmas she would deliver a few jars to each family member.

I remembered it as being delicious and since she passed away in January I wanted to see if I could carry  on her tradition. So I got the recipe from my mother-in-law and started chopping the required vegetables.

After 3 hours of simmering on the stove my Chili Sauce was ready. I placed the sauce into sterilized mason jars, put them a hot water bath for 15 minutes and they are now labelled and in the basement staying cool. One jar went immediately into the fridge and the next morning I tasted it. Amazing! It is so good.

Here's the list of ingredients needed to make your own

3 quarts (about 12 cups) of tomatoes
1/2 bunch of celery, chopped
2 sweet peppers, diced
3 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup pickling spice
1 Tbsp. celery seed
about 1 cup white vinegar
about 2 cups sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper

This will yield about 13 cups of finished sauce.

First you need to remove the skin from the tomatoes. I do this using boiling water, and if you aren't sure how to do this, you can read the instructions on Peeling Tomatoes the Easy Way. After you remove the tomato skins, rough chop them and pour into a saucepan.
Roughly chopped tomatoes in saucepan

Chop the red pepper, onions, and celery into bite-size pieces. Add them to the pot with the tomatoes.

Next add the dry ingredients and vinegar.

All ingredients in saucepan
Stir the mixture well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 3 hours or until mixture is the thickness you want. Remember that it will thicken a bit more as it sits in the storage jars. You can remove the lid during the last bit of simmering if you need to.
Kak's Chili Sauce mixed in pan
Chili Sauce simmering on stove
Pour sauce into sterilized mason jars and put in a hot water bath for 15 minutes

Remove jars from hot water bath and let cool overnight. In the morning test that the seal is good by pressing down on middle of lids. If they move, that jar is not sealed properly and must be used right away.
Label the jars with name and date then store in a cool dry place until ready to use
Chili sauce, Asparagus Frittata, 8 Day Icicle Pickles
Serve chili sauce in place of ketchup or as a side with chicken or pork.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Making Zucchini-Onion Relish

I love zucchini. Zucchini bread. Zucchini muffins. Grilled zucchini. Stuffed Zucchini. Zucchini lasagne. It doesn't matter how you cook zucchini, I love it.

 But I never thought of making zucchini relish before. Then I stumbled on a recipe on that sounded pretty tasty and I had four zucchini in the fridge that were about to be fed to the pigs. So I thought the time was right to try this out.

And it is delicious! I only got 4 jars out my shriveled up zucchini but I can always make more.

Here's what you need:

6 cups raw zucchini
2 cups chopped onion
2 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1/2 Tbsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar (no substitutes)
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 sweet bell pepper

Let's get started:

Wash the zucchini. Cut the ends off (but leave the skin) then shred it or grate it using your food processor. Chop or finely dice the onion. Soak the zucchini and onion overnight in cold water. In the morning drain the mixture and gently squeeze out some of the moisture.
 Here is the rest of what you need: Dry mustard, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, nutmeg, one sweet bell pepper diced. I forgot to put the kosher salt in this photo
Put all the ingredients into a pot on the stove. Mix and bring to boil, then simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes
And here is the Zucchini Relish simmering. Almost ready for the sterilized jars!
When the zucchini relish has reduced down to a consistency you like, pour it into your sterilized mason jars
Next step is to put the sealed jars of zucchini relish into a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let cool, make sure the lids have popped. Test each lid by pushing down in the middle with your finger. If they sealed properly you can't move the lid at all. Label with date and name then store your relish in a cool dark place!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dehydrating Rhubarb - Fun and Easy!

 Rhubarb. Such an amazing food! I have rhubarb growing in my garden and it's one of my favourite things to freeze or dehydrate for winter cooking.

If you missed my blog post on freezing rhubarb, here it is. But if you want to dehydrate rhubarb, I'm going to show you how I do it. Super easy!

And when you're ready to cook with it, just rehydrate it overnight in a pan or bowl of water. Drain the next morning and use in your recipe as you normally would.
First cut the rhubarb into chunks about 1 inch long
Next wash and drain the chunked rhubarb in cold water
Now spread the chunks of rhubarb on your dehydrator trays.
Here's the rhubarb in the dehydrator

Set your dehydrator to 135' and leave it for about 10 hours. You may have to leave the rhubarb a few hours more, just check it every so often. It should be nice and dry and shriveled up. See the difference when the rhubarb is almost ready?

And here it is in a jar. I don't use expensive Mason Jars for my dehydrate fruits and vegetables but you can. I prefer to use clean jars that I've saved from such things as Salsa or Pickles or... whatever
Last you should label your dehydrated food with the date and the name of the food. I also like to add a note that shows me the amount I started with (such as 6 cups of rhubarb) and the final dehydrated amount. That helps me remember how much I need to take out and rehydrate to end up with a specific number of cups.

Now I'm ready to make Rhubarb Loaf in January when there's a blizzard out there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pancakes are not my thing. I love to eat them but I'm not the best pancake maker in the world. But for some reason I make yummy pumpkin pancakes!

These pancakes are amazingly good. I guarantee if you serve them to overnight guests they'll be raving about them and begging for your recipe.

You need two bowls. In bowl #1 put 2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix the dry ingredients with a spoon until blended well

In bowl #2 put 1 3/4 cup milk
3 beaten eggs
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. cooking oil

Whisk ingredients in bowl #2 together. Then dump contents of Bowl #1 into Bowl #2 and whisk or stir with a fork until lumpy. Don't overmix.  You want a batter with some small lumps in it.

 Bowl #1 has all the dry ingredients - flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt

This is going into Bowl #2 - pumpkin puree and beaten eggs (plus milk & oil)

Adding the dry to the wet (Bowl #1 to Bowl #2)

Heat a skillet on the stove top with a bit of Canola oil. Drop the batter by spoon or small ladle and cook approximately 1 to 2 minutes per side. Yield 16 pancakes.

Oil your griddle or skillet and heat until bubbly
When bubbles form it's time to turn the pancakes over to the other side
A nice golden brown - these pancakes are ready to serve!

Put pancakes on a serving platter or individual plates and sprinkle with Confectioner's sugar. Serve with pure Maple Syrup (not the phony stuff!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Scrumptious Tomato Onion Relish

Tomato Relish
After I made Chili Sauce using hubs' grandmother's recipe (with a few alterations to modern it up a wee bit) I still had tomatoes left.

So I decided to make my own Tomato Onion Relish. I'm not a big fan of green relish you buy in stores and I buy a gourmet zesty tomato-onion when it's available. But I can't always get it so the idea of making my own appealed to me!

I found a recipe online from Exclusively Food that sounded good and with a few tweaks I was ready to go. I ended up using the last 12 tomatoes and making a delicious relish for hamburgers, hot dogs or a side with turkey, chicken or pork.

12 tomatoes
4 Tbsp. oil - I used Canola
4 onions
4 sweet bell peppers. I used red but yellow would be nice for a contrast with the red of the tomatoes
8 cloves garlic
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Remove the skin of the tomatoes. See instructions (two different methods) for doing this the easy way! Chop them up and dump all bits including juice, in a large pot.

Saute onions, pepper, garlic
Dice the onions and peppers. Heat the oil and saute the chopped onion and peppers until onion is translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook one more minute.

In the pot, bring to boil

Put the onion mixture into the pot with the tomatoes. Add sugar, vinegars, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil then simmer, uncovered, about one hour or until the mixture is as thick as you like it. Remember it will thicken a bit more when cooled

Simmering on stove top

Almost thick enough

So yummy!
Pour mixture into sterlized mason jars and seal. Put in a hot water bath for about 20 minutes.
Relish with Empanadas
Served this tomato-onion relish with my homemade Turkey Empanadas and it was yummy!
Relish with Turkey Pot Pie & Brussel Sprouts
Served the tomato-onion relish with my homemade Turkey Pot Pie and Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Garlic. It was a great contrast with the zest of the tomato, the sweetness of the relish overall and the garlic in the sprouts.

Yield from 12 tomatoes was 6 1/2 cups of relish.

Peeling Tomatoes the Easy Way

There are two easy methods for peeling the skin off tomatoes.

You want to remove the skin if you are making relishes and preserves and also if you are freezing tomatoes for later use.

Here's how I do it (I prefer Method #2)

Method #1:

Cut a cross in each tomato
Make a cross cut in the base of each tomato. Put them in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over. The skin will crack and loosen and you can easily remove it.

Method #2
Tomatoes in boiling water
Put a pot of water on to boil. As soon as it boils, carefully drop uncut tomatoes into the water. When you see the skin start to crack, remove tomatoes with slotted spoon and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, you can easily peel the skin off.
Skin is beginning to split

Friday, September 7, 2012

Preserves: Zucchini Relish

Zucchini Relish
Yesterday I made Zucchini Relish for the first time. I have to admit it didn't smell very appealing as it cooked but boy oh boy was it yummy!

I didn't get very many jars out of what I started with, but I only had a few zucchini in the fridge, enough to start with 6 cups of raw grated zucchini.

I forgot to show zuke/onion/salt

Here's what you need
6 cups grated zucchini, skin on
2 cups diced onion
2 - 3 Tbsp Kosher salt (or pickling salt)

Dry Ingredients
1/2 Tbsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper

1 bell pepper, chopped. Use red, yellow or orange, not green 

1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups white sugar

Wring out zucchini-onion
Wash the zucchini and cut off any yukky bits of the skin. Grate using a food processor. Chop the onion.

Toss zucchini, onion and salt in a non-metallic bowl. Mix with your hands and put in fridge overnight. 

Next morning, drain and rinse the zucchini-onion mixture. I wrung mine out by hand so it would be drier.

Ready for Stovetop

Put the zucchini-onion mix into a large pot on top of the stove.

Mix the dry ingredients together and toss them into the pot.

Add the chopped Red pepper and the syrup ingredients. Stir to mix.

Simmering. Almost ready

Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes.

I took the lid off my pot half-way through the simmering as I wanted the liquid to be reduced.

When done, pour mixture into sterilized mason jars and top with sterilized seals and rings.

Filling sterilized mason jars

Be sure to wipe the top of the jars off with a damp paper towel before putting the seals on. Tighten by hand then put in a boiling water bath in a canner for 25 minutes.

Remove from hot water bath and let dry on a tea towel. When cool, wipe off jars, label and store in a cool dry place.

Zucchini Relish
Yield from 6 cups of raw zucchini was 4 cups of relish.

Serve this on burgers and hot dogs. It may be too runny for your liking and if so, just remove the relish with a slotted spoon before putting it on your burger or hot dog.