Category Archives: giveaways

Burnt Honey Bramble Cocktail + A Beyond Canning Giveaway

In autumn, I love that the chaos of summer slowly fades away and you suddenly have permission to take it slow for a while. In spring, at least for me, that feeling inverts and every fiber of my being turns needy: craving nothing but sun, dirt and fresh air (erm, and maybe iced coffee). Spring also means time to turn over the freezer and pantry inventory before new fruit grows to take its place, as the cycle goes. How is it that I still have at least three gallon bags of raspberries in the freezer? Time to find a way to use it all up, and my friend Autumn has just the ticket.

Seriously, the arrival of Autumn Giles’ Beyond Canning couldn’t be better. I read a lot of preserving books. (Probably too many.) I have had the pleasure of meeting Autumn in person (and swapping for some of her amazing marmalade) and I can vouch that her bubbly personality and knack for amazing flavor combinations shine through every page of Beyond Canning. While I have only made one batch of Autumn’s Raspberry and Burnt Honey Gastrique, I can safely say it’s found a permanent home in my regular preservation rotation. AND I have more than a few recipes dog-eared for this upcoming preserving season. I have never before made a gastrique, and I am impressed how this one does double duty as a sauce and shrub and is even quite delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Autumn was kind enough to let me share the recipe and has offered to give away a copy to one of you.

Spring is here and Autumn has written a fantastic book. I propose we celebrate with a cocktail. (I’m so predictable.) Cheers!

Raspberry and Burnt Honey Gastrique
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1 cup fresh raspberries
Pinch salt

1. Measure the vinegar and set it aside before you start cooking the honey. Over medium-low heat, cook the honey in a medium saucepan until it darkens noticeably, about 6 minutes.
2. Carefully stir the vinegar into the hot honey. The honey will sputter a bit. Stir in a pinch of salt.
3. Add the raspberries and return the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the berries break apart and the mixture reduces slightly, about 10 minutes.
5. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the liquid into a mason jar for storage in the fridge.
[Autumn goes on in Beyond Canning to provide waterbath processing instructions, if you think you’ll need them. I bet there’s no way this vinegar-based preserve will go ignored that long.]

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Burnt Honey Bramble
2 oz. mulberry infused bourbon
1 oz. raspberry and burnt honey gastrique
1/2 oz. Suze gentian liqueur
1 egg white
2 dashes cherry pit bitters
2 dashes aromatic bitters

Dry shake egg white in a cocktail shaker or mason jar for about a minute. Add the bourbon, gastrique and gentian and shake for another 30 seconds. Double strain into a short glass over ice. Top with bitters and savor spring.

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Catch the rest of the Beyond Canning Virtual Book Tour:
3/7: Food in Jars
3/8: Punk Domestics
3/9: CakeWalk
3/10: Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
3/11: Snowflake Kitchen
3/14: Good. Food. Stories.
3/15: Heartbeet Kitchen
3/16: Brooklyn Supper
3/17: The Briny
3/18: The Preserved Life
3/21: Hitchhiking to Heaven
3/22: Hola Jalapeno
3/23: Cook Like a Champion
3/24: Local Kitchen

Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce Cocktails + A Practical Pantry Giveaway

We moved house and home in September. Into not our first place, but the first one that’s ours, mortgage and all. The joys (and headaches) of being new homeowners have been simultaneously overwhelming and exhilarating. How it’s supposed to be, right?

Moving stinks. Trust me, I get it. But I had a triple whammy of being a preserver, and burgeoning cocktail nut, during shoulder season. You can imagine the acres of delicate (and full!) glass we had to schlep. Like multiple carloads. Multiple MULTIPLE cardloads. Combined with forced down time during the height of the season. Now that it’s all said and done, the joy of sitting down and relaxing in our own space makes it all worth it, ten times over.

Another joy has been Cathy’s wonderful book, which was delivered a few weeks ago. I got a chance to sit down under a warm blanket and digest it with a cup of tea. This book is far more than meets the eye, folks (even though that cover is sure a looker!). Its nothing short of an inspirational collection of preservation techniques and recipes of all colors and flavors, from entry-level to expert territory. I have already bookmarked the Blackberry Hazelnut Conserve for next year’s list (if I don’t sub the black raspberries in my chest freezer in the interim). As someone who has waterbath canning pretty down (or so I’d like to think), I am most excited about Mrs. W’s forays into other areas. I’ve been pouring over the smoking and curing sections, looking at Gravlax, Guanciale, Hot-Smoked Salmon, Smoked Whole Chicken, and Maple-Bourbon Bacon. Plus, in the index, there are SEVEN entries under bourbon alone. Mrs. W is singing my tune.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry

I especially appreciate Cathy’s new twist on old favorites. Just in time for this month’s big holiday, her Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce recipe strikes just that chord. New preservers? Fear not – you can make the recipe, put into a jar and refrigerate. Want to be able to put it on your shelf or give as gifts? Follow Mrs. W’s waterbath canning instructions (it’s super easy – if you have hot sauce you are 90% there!) Just follow the recipe below.

Reprinted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving by Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2014 by Cathy Barrow. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce
4 cups (28 oz., 800 g) granulated sugar
4 cups (32 oz., 950 ml) nonchlorinated water
Grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups (14 oz., 390 g) cranberries
1 cup (8 oz., 225 g) fresh raspberries
1⁄2 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)

1. Combine the sugar, water, zest, and juice in your preserving pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

When the mixture is briskly boiling, carefully add the cranberries. The berries will burst when heated and may splatter. Cook until most of the berries have burst and the sauce is thickening, about 12 minutes.

2. Add the raspberries and bring back to a boil that will not stir down. Boil hard for about 10 more minutes. Test the set using the wrinkle test or the sheeting test. Add the butter, if using, to clarify and clear the sauce.

3. Ladle into the warm jars, leaving 1∕2-inch headspace. Clean the
rims of the jars well with a damp paper towel. Place the lids and rings on the jars and finger-tighten the rings.

4. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

The sauce is shelf stable for 1 year.

Snowflake Kitchen | Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce Cocktails

The preserve is great all by itself, but I, of course turned it into several libations. First, I added a spoonful to a can of raspberry-lime seltzer while I waited for the jars to process in the waterbath. Then, I added 3/4 of an ounce of Michter’s Toasted Barrel bourbon and some Hella Bitter Aromatic Bitters. Then, the next day, it was the perfect happy hour accompaniment with some Bombay Sapphire Far East, homemade Kaffir Lime bitters, and tonic. However you choose to use it, any cocktails made with Mrs. W’s Whole-Cranberry Raspberry Sauce are equally beautiful and delicious.

Interested in a deeper look at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry? One lucky reader is going to take home a copy of this gorgeous book. Leave me a comment below, telling me what new-to-you preserve is first on your list for 2015. Then seek out some bonus entries. The giveaway ends on 11/10/14. Good luck!

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Winter Blues + Lemon Ladies Giveaway

What a strange winter we’re having. It’s snowed only twice. I mean, actual accumulation on the ground snow – not wintry mix quasi flurries freezing rain stuff. Twice. Once during Snowtober, once last week. Its a running joke that I have reverse seasonal affective disorder – but not in 2012. I’m just as cranky as the rest of you this year.

Cranky for a bunch of reasons, but also cranky because of my pantry. It’s the same old story – too much jam. Too many pickles. Not enough other stuff. Typical, but still frustrating. Luckily, I stashed away some fruit in the chest freezer. (It even survived Irene!) I’m even luckier, as I have the California secret weapon to eliminate all winter crankiness. Its guaranteed to cure what ails ya this time of year. I dare you to breathe in the scent of fresh-picked meyer lemons and not feel instant relief from the winter blues.

I was introduced to Karen’s fabulous lemons last year, and I am as hooked as ever. Before I order this year’s batch, I’ve promised myself to finish last year’s. That’s right – lemons I ordered a year ago – preserved in salt and spices since last February. Smoked paprika, cayenne, sugar, cinnamon, salt, peppercorn and bay leaf have worked their magic and transformed the meyers into something completely different. These lemons are my favorite use from last year – they bring an an amazing amount of flavor. Blueberries and lemon are one of those epic combinations – and this compote is no different. Best served over ice cream or yogurt, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Winter Blues Compote
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
Rind of one whole preserved lemon (4 quarters) chopped fine
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients over medium-low heat. Cook until it reaches desired consistency – but be careful – blueberries will set up quickly. If you’re feeling impatient (ahem) mash the blueberries to speed up the process. Remove cinnamon to serve. This will keep well in the fridge, though I am equally sure it would transition well as a shelf-stable recipe with the addition of a little lemon juice.

To help cure your winter blues, Lemon Ladies Orchard has offered a meyer lemon gift bag to one SK reader. Let me know how you beat winter crankiness – leave a comment with a valid email address below to enter. Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Saturday February 4.

Back to the Roots + Giveaway

I have about ten square feet of gardening space. It happens to be next to my pool, hence the need for containers. For everything. Because of the pervasive shade, we don’t get much sunlight in our windows either. Enough for  filtered light, sure – enough to grow? Questionable.

One thing we can grow though – shrooms. They love shade! If we were to stay here long term, I would think about getting plugs and making a mushroom garden. It seems easy enough – get a few logs, do some inoculating, wait a while, ta-da mushrooms. Of course its more complicated than that, but they seem to do fairly well if you ignore them. My kind of garden.

Maybe someday. Until then? Its Back to the Roots. Have you heard of them? They’re everywhere these days. Not only do they encourage urban food production, they partner with Peet’s Coffee to make a sustainable, eco-friendly product out of coffee grounds that would otherwise go to waste. What’s not to like?

It was a super easy process, too. Day 1: Soak the bag. Day 2: Cut open the bag, keep it moist by misting 1-2 times per day and wait. Here’s how things progress:

Day 5: Finally something to show for daily misting.

Day 6: Things move fast from here.

Day 7: Almost there.

Day 8: Harvest time.

What can you do with fresh mushrooms? What can’t you do with fresh mushrooms? My first batch went into risotto. The next one was dry roasted with garlic – used as a pizza topping and a tapa. Roasted mushrooms + garlic + thyme + lots of extra virgin Spanish olive oil + grilled bread = amazing. You should try it.

Oh, you can. Just leave a comment here telling me about your favorite way to shroom. I know I really need to get around to pickling some. Entries to close Friday August 26th at 11:59pm eastern time.

Disclaimer: I was the lucky winner of a BTTR kit from Eating Rules. They did not sponsor this post. All the words are my own. I am giving away a mushroom kit out of my own budget.

Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam + Giveaway

So there’s something absolutely magical about the first quart of local summer strawberries around these parts. Actually, there’s something really magical about the second quart – the first quart rarely makes it home. Joel gets it. Strawberries are a fleeting thing in the Northeast – before you know it they’re gone. In fact, I completely missed them last year due to that pesky rite of passage for new lawyers (ahem, the bar exam). So this year, I knew I had to do it up.

After a strawberry deluge last week (51 jam-ready pints!) I got more from my CSA this week. The perfect pairing with some of the world's greatest wood fired chocolate chip cookies.

Obviously, some had to go into jam. A simple strawberry jam is what I was after. You know the one – strawberries, sugar, some lemon and a little pectin to make it set – thats it. The kind that takes you right back to early summer in the middle of the winter, or whenever you happen to pop open the jar. I set that second quart to macerate with the typical double berries to sugar ratio. Almost everything went according to plan – even with a new kind of pectin. It set beautifully. It even looked like Martha Stewart made it. Except… the sweetness. It was way, WAY over the top. I dont know if I spaced when macerating (it happens) or the berries just were that ripe (also possible) but it was just too much. A huge wave of guilt came when I thought about ruining that precious quart.

What’s that – necessity is the mother of invention? Apparently. I had all the ingredients of Kaela’s (er, Tai’s) Rhubarb Ginger Jam ready to go. Back into the dutch oven went the cavity-inducing strawberry batch, with an almost equal amount of rhubarb and candied ginger. For extra punch, I added in a tablespoon(ish) of powdered ginger, to ensure the jam would even up.

I’m really happy with how the jam turned out. Its still sweet, but nicely warming from the ginger. Due to its creation, though – I can’t really share a recipe – there isn’t one! I’m sure you would end up with an equally tasty version by adding some ginger to your standard strawberry rhubarb recipe. As always, if you want to put it up, add 220° jam into hot jars, top with hot, wet lids, and process for 10 minutes. [If you need a review, please buy the Ball Blue Book and check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation.] As always, you can just turn it into a fridge jam – the best way to experiment in small batches.

If you’re not a huge ginger lover like me, I would only add a bit of candied ginger to taste. And dont worry – there are plenty of simpler strawberry recipes to come. If you are a ginger lover, though, I can’t recommend this jam enough. In fact, I’m so happy with it that I’ll even send a half pint to one lucky SK reader in the US or Canada. Just leave a comment here telling me about your favorite way to use/inhale/preserve seasonal strawberries. Need inspiration? Check out last night’s #punkberry discussion started by Sean at Punk Domestics. Entries to close Sunday June 26th at 11:59pm eastern time.

Giveaway! From the Lemon Ladies Orchard

So in case you missed it, I have a Meyer Lemon problem. Specifically, I have a Lemon Ladies Meyer Lemon problem. I just can’t get enough of the sweet and sour flavor. The scent of them is almost floral. Its addictive. In case you missed it, I took seven pounds of lemons and made them into Raspberry Lemon Preserves, Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Preserved Lemons and Limoncello. I made Meyer Lemon Curd, Kiwi Meyer Lemon Jam and an absolutely amazing Lazy Lemon Tart and froze some of the juice for later lemon cravings. I even shipped some of Karen’s lemons to Anchorage, Alaska so I could share them with friends.

They should come with a warning label, they are so addictive.

It’s safe to say I am Meyer obsessed. I had to get some more lemons – I still haven’t made Meyer Lemon Salt for this summer’s catch or Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken. I’m still coveting Nicole’s Lemon Pull-Apart Loaf at Arctic Garden Studio. And I must dehydrate Meyer slices to savor the flavor for as long as possible.

Have I linked you to death yet? Well I’m glad you survived the onslaught – there’s a reward. Karen at the Lemon Ladies Orchard has graciously offered to send one lucky SK reader a Meyer Lemon Gift Bag. They come from her own trees in sunny Emerald Hills, California. If the fruit wasn’t a good enough reason to check her out, the story behind the orchard is pretty amazing too. This means she will pick a dozen beautiful lemons and send them direct to your door! How can you say no?

How to Enter:
1. Post a comment here and tell me what you’re going to do with your meyers. What’s your favorite tried and true recipe? Or are you going to try something new?
2. Earn an additional entry by liking Snowflake Kitchen on Facebook. Leave a comment here to let me know you did.
3. Earn an additional entry by liking the Lemon Ladies page on Facebook. Again, post here to let me know you did.
4. Tweet about it: “Check out the Meyer Lemon Giveaway going on at @snowflakekitchn! http://is.gd/xjbV78” then post back here with the link!

Even if you dont win, the Meyer Lemon season in California is almost done – place your Lemon Ladies order soon! And this giveaway ends on Monday April 25 at 11:59pm EST!


UPDATE:

Congrats to Jeanne in Toledo the winner! Please check your email. Thanks to everyone who entered – stay tuned for more giveaways! -Kate