A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

A Very Merri Kitchen

A Very Merri Kitchen

A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.


Gimme Some Oven Roasted Artichokes

Gimme Some Oven Roasted Artichokes

Gimme Some Oven is one of my favorite blogs to follow. I had noticed a post on roasted artichokes last spring, and it was at the back of my mind to make. Last week I was at Sprouts and they had gigantic artichokes so on […]

Enchilada Style Chili Rellenos

Enchilada Style Chili Rellenos

I had thawed a container of red chili sauce this week, intending to make something else, but never got around to it. I needed to use the thawed sauce though. I remembered that I had a block of Monterey Jack cheese that was getting rather […]

Vodka Suns aka Adult Capri Suns

Vodka Suns aka Adult Capri Suns

I don’t really get why everything is called a hack these days, but one so-called hack caught my eye last week—Adult Capri Suns. Mix vodka and lemonade, put it in a plastic bag with a straw, and you have your very own Capri sun!

And it was on.

I made lemonade:

I had one opened and one unopened bottle of vodka, and right beside them I had a bottle of limoncello. That sounded promising.

There was about a cup of vodka left in the opened bottle, so I poured it into the lemonade.

Then I poured in a couple of shots of limoncello. Then I poured some in a cordial glass. You know, to taste test.

Next I lined four small glasses with sandwich size plastic bags. This made it easier to fill the bags with the vodka mix.

All filled up and sealed.

And into the freezer they went!  I wanted them to be a slushy-like consistency when it was time to drink them.   The plan was to take them with us when we went golfing the next day.

I got them out that morning and packed them in a freezer bag with some ice packs and stainless steel straws.

As we started the 9th hole, it was time!  They were still a little solid so you had to squish them around a little. And then my golfing partner took a drink.

My other golfing partner also took a drink and declared, ‘This does not suck!’  So I’m thinking we should probably make them again.

Vodka Suns


4 lemons, sliced

3/4 cup sugar

4 cups ice water

Place the lemon slices in a large flat bottom bowl. Pour the sugar over them and let them sit for at least one hour. Take a potato masher or large spoon and mash the lemon to release as much juice as possible. Add four cups of ice water and stir.

Vodka Mix

1 cup vodka

4 cups lemonade

2 shots limoncello

Add the vodka and limoncello to the lemonade. You can add more of either, but it will probably change the frozen consistency.

Assembling the Suns

Place sandwich-sized resealable plastic bags into short glasses. Pour the vodka mix into the glasses, seal, and put them (glasses and all) in the freezer overnight.

When you are ready to drink them, take them out of the freezer a short time before serving. Knead the bag to make them more slushy-like. A stainless steel straw makes it easier to pierce the frozen drink.


Sausage and Peppers

Sausage and Peppers

Two weekends ago I went to St. Louis to visit my nephew and meet my new great-niece. While I was there I went to the Tower Grove Farmers Market, and while I was THERE I visited the Salume Beddu stand.  I bought four different types […]

Sungold Tomato and Basil Jam from Food in Jars

Sungold Tomato and Basil Jam from Food in Jars

I didn’t realize that I had never put this on the blog before until I started to make this jam last night. FoodInJars.com is a fabulous site, and I love the small batch recipes for canning. This is a particular favorite and one where I […]

Halloumi Cheese Sticks and Sweet Chili Sauce

Halloumi Cheese Sticks and Sweet Chili Sauce

Recently I made some fried Halloumi croutons to go in my tomato soup. When I posted it, a friend mentioned that she likes Halloumi fried and served with sweet chili sauce.

Since I had both the cheese and the sauce, tonight I decided to fry up some sticks and try it.

I heated up some olive oil in my All-Clad pan over medium heat.

While it was heating I sliced the cheese into sticks.

When the oil was hot I placed the sticks in the pan, leaving some room between them.

And then it was all about watching it and turning to each side as it browned.

I probably could have used just a little more oil, or maybe I should have dried the cheese before frying so they all browned more evenly.

Once they were all browned I removed them to a paper towel lined plate to get rid of any excess oil (there wasn’t much).

And served with some sweet chili sauce.

I shared them with Steve and this is all I ended up with:

But since the chili sauce was a little sweet for me, it gave me the opportunity to add a little Sambal Oelek for a touch of heat in the sauce.

This was so easy, tasted great, and I’ll do it again!

Fermented Ginger Turmeric Carrots

Fermented Ginger Turmeric Carrots

I’m still working on using that turmeric I bought at Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica! I decided to give fermenting a try, using this recipe from The Wild Gut. First I had to buy a fermenting kit though, and I decided on The Easy […]

Blueberry Peach Lemonade

Blueberry Peach Lemonade

I came across this recipe in Pinterest (of course) and I had the last of some blueberries in the freezer that I wanted to use up so I pinned it.  Then today I made a peach pie using some homecanned peaches I had made. I […]

Lemon Ginger Turmeric Drink with Mint

Lemon Ginger Turmeric Drink with Mint

I am still trying new recipes in order to use up spices I bought in Costa Rica. Primarily turmeric, but I also have some black pepper.  Those were both from Finca Luna Nueva, a biodynamic farm and eco-lodge where we stayed.  I also bought some organic ginger there. It’s not from Finca Luna Nueva, but from Cinco Ramos nearby.

As long as I’m talking sources, the honey is local honey from Odessa, MO. Busy Bee Acres.  We buy it at the Kansas City, MO City Market. The mint is from a pot on my deck

I pinned a recipe from Cotter Crunch. I didn’t follow it exactly, but what I ended up with is delicious.

Here’s what I did.

I used a full two teaspoons each of ginger and turmeric, and added to 5 cups of just boiling water.

I also ground some black peppercorns and added a pinch

I let it boil for a minute, then reduced to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile I added 4 tablespoons of honey and probably 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice to a pitcher. I also decided I wanted the drink to steep with mint versus just using it for garnish so initially I added mint to the pitcher as well.

After 10 minutes I removed the spice mixture from the heat and let it cool a bit. The  color was just beautiful.

I decided I needed to make sure the honey was well blended before stirring with the mint, so I took the mint out. I then put a mesh strainer over the top of the pitcher and poured in the spice mixture.

Then back in went the two sprigs of spearmint, slightly crushed, and then into the fridge to steep overnight.

It is absolutely delicious.   The turmeric iced tea I made last week was really good. But this is outstanding. I’m going to have to make a gallon of it. It’s refreshing, has just a hint of spicy ginger,  not too sweet.


Lemon Ginger Turmeric Drink with Mint

5 cups filtered water

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ground ginger

pinch freshly ground black pepper

4 Tablespoons honey

3/4 – 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

two sprigs fresh spearmint

In a medium saucepan, bring water just to a boil. Whisk in the spices, boil for one minute, and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the honey and lemon juice to a pitcher and stir to blend.

Remove the spice mixture from the heat and let it cool some, but not too much. The honey will blend a little easier if the mixture is still warm.

Place a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth (but know that it will stain from the turmeric) over the mouth of the pitcher and pour in the spice mixture.  Discard the grounds.

Slight crush the mint leaves with your hands and add to the pitcher. Chill overnight if you have time.

Pour over ice and garnish with mint and lemon slices.

Cinnamon Turmeric Iced Tea

Cinnamon Turmeric Iced Tea

I’ve been pinning all kinds of different recipes using turmeric.  I bought some of Finca Luna Nueva’s turmeric while vacationing in Costa Rica, and have been trying to make sure I use my food souvenirs instead of waiting for ‘something special.’ (check out Finca Luna […]