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.

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Granola Featuring Cacao Nibs

Granola Featuring Cacao Nibs

Another food souvenir I brought back from Costa Rica was cacao nibs from an organic, biodynamic farm where we stayed called Finca Luna Nueva. As I have said on other posts, I have a tendency to ‘save’ food items I bring back, then never get […]

Preserved Lemons Take 2 – David Lebovitz Version

Preserved Lemons Take 2 – David Lebovitz Version

I made the Mark Bittman quick preserved lemons awhile back, but this time I thought I would try the long version.  I had saved the link to the David Lebovitz post on Moroccan preserved lemons, which you can find here, and so I went back […]

Making my own vanilla extract

Making my own vanilla extract

A vanilla bean was one of the food souvenirs I brought back from Costa Rica, and I wanted to make sure I used it.

Often I keep things longer than I should, hating to use them up because then it’s over—and then wait until too late, when whatever it is, is no longer good.

So, what could be easier than making vanilla extract?

I cut the pod in half, so it would fit into the bottle I had, and then split it lengthwise.

Put them into the bottle and poured in the vodka.

Capped it, put it into a cupboard away from the light, and now we wait!  I’ll have to update this post after a few weeks.

A Sardine Sandwich – Who Knew?

A Sardine Sandwich – Who Knew?

I’m supposed to eat more oily little fishes.  Besides just eating sardines straight out of the tin, I have been looking into other ways to use the little fishies. Then yesterday Sam the Cooking Guy posted a video of him recreating an after-school snack his […]

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spiced Chickpeas from Budget Bytes

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spiced Chickpeas from Budget Bytes

I’ve used a few recipes from Budget Bytes, and have had good luck with them.  I thought this salad looked good, and I had everything to make it so it was a go.  You can find the recipe here. It was a pretty salad, too. […]

Taco Seasoning – Gimme Some Oven

Taco Seasoning – Gimme Some Oven

I’ve made this before and never posted about it.  I don’t really make any modifications, although you can (she makes some suggestions on the recipe) so I’ll just provide the link, here.

One of the nice things about making your own taco seasoning is that although you might not happen to have a packet of seasoning mix, you are almost sure to have everything that actually goes into the mix (at least I do).

I should play a little with the chili powder next time, maybe using some chipotle powder, or, one of the three different smoked paprikas a friend just brought to me from Madrid.

Mix it up, and you are ready to go.

Gimme Some Oven recommends 2-3 Tablespoons per pound of ground beef.  This makes just a little over 3 Tablespoons.

I wanted to season some ground beef for taco salad later in the week, so mixed the seasoning with 1/2 cup of water (as I remember the instructions on the back of taco seasoning packets) and added to 1 pound of browned ground beef.

I simmered the beef until most of the liquid had evaporated, let the mix cool, and froze for use later in the week.

This is an easy mix, with none of the additives or stabilizers you might find in commercial mixes—including flour which keeps it from being gluten-free.

Gouda and Caramelized Onion Stuffed Portobellos

Gouda and Caramelized Onion Stuffed Portobellos

Here’s the backstory:  I’m trying to do a lower carb diet, and I got to craving one of my favorite grilled cheese sandwiches—roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Gouda cheese. I wanted the flavors, but not the bread. My first thought was to do caramelized onions […]

Pinterest Fail!  Slow Cooker Charro Beans

Pinterest Fail! Slow Cooker Charro Beans

I’ve been trying to do a few more slower cooker meals just to make weeknight dinners a little easier. I’d never made beans in the slow cooker before, saw this recipe on on Pinterest, and thought, I like Charro beans!  I’ll give it a try. […]

Melting Sweet Potatoes

Melting Sweet Potatoes

Why do my sweet potatoes look better before I cook them?!  And these look nothing like the pictures in the recipe.

I had this recipe pinned for quite awhile, and finally made it as part of my quest to finish up what seemed like the endless bag of sweet potatoes that I had.

Honestly, these were fine, but not great.  I probably won’t bother again, I’ll just make my standard roasted sweet potatoes.

The recipe is found on The Kitchn, here.

The sweet potatoes are peeled then cut into 1 inch rounds (I even measured!); basted with butter; sprinkled with sea salt; turned and basted and seasoned again.  They are roasted 20 minutes, turned and roasted 20 minutes more.

As I said, they tasted fine, but really not outstanding.

So what if it looks like it’s covered in fur?

So what if it looks like it’s covered in fur?

I was still trying to finish using up a bag of sweet potatoes, and I had a packet of organic turmeric that I brought back from Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica.  So, I decided to make some roasted sweet potatoes with turmeric, cinnamon and […]