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Sauerkraut and Kielbasa, a slow cooker recipe

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

This is actually a very light dinner, contrary to popular belief that sauerkraut with sausages is a fall or winter dish for hearty appetites. The tangy kraut is a very nice change of pace.

We used our homemade sauerkraut for this dish, and it was so delicious. I want to make more sauerkraut so we can make this dish again, it is that good!


Sauerkraut and Kielbasa
adapted from:  Fix it and Forget It, New cookbook
serves 6-8

5 slices bacon
1 medium onion, diced
2 pounds sauerkraut - drained
2-3 T brown sugar
1 pound kielbasa, cut on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices

Saute the bacon until crisp, lay on paper toweling to drain. In the drippings, saute the onion. Remove from skillet and allow to drain off excess fat.

Crumble the bacon slices, and mix with the sauerkraut, onion, brown sugar and sliced kielbasa in a 5qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Sauerkraut and Kielbasa, a slow cooker recipe
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa

Serve with dark bread or boiled red potatoes and butter.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up forOur Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

this post shared with:
cook your books @ kitchen flavours
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
hearth and soul @ 21 century housewife
simple supper tuesday @ hun what's for dinner

2

Preserving the harvest effectively, even when the harvest is small.....-part 1

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Preserving the harvest effectively, even when the harvest is small. Part I
Preserving the harvest effectively Part I


The garden continues to grow even when we are busy with other tasks. I find this to be one of the best things about a garden, it does not need constant care. Yes watering on regular intervals and some weeding, but honestly the weeds won't stop the growing of food, thankfully. We try to inspect daily or nightly depending on our schedule, if something needs picking, we pick. And that is where waste can happen if you are not careful. Picked is not processed. Which has been my story from time to time.

I have mentioned before the difficulties in cooking for a large family, to only two people, in what seemed like overnight. There is no getting around it, while I knew how to cook for large groups, for two people only, not so much. Waste happened. In the past couple of years I have learned or more accurately relearned how to process food. It isn't any harder and some of my suggestions might help others along the way.



Keep in mind these ideas are more geared to garden processing of small batches, of food ready to be picked. In past years, and many years ago (30+), I would drive down into the Yakima Valley and purchase large quantities from an organic farmer. At the time we did not have a garden, but I still canned all our food. Having made the financial investment in food, I now had to make time to can and process for the freezer. I would set up what was actually a production line and many hours later, be done with that task. Until the next trip.

Through the years I got the large batch/production line process, perfected. And then something happened, the kids were now adults and had moved on to lives of their own. Not only were they starting over, I had to. In just about everything. How much food I bought, how much food I cooked, how many other household supplies I bought and other things one does not think of until there is not more room on your shelves.


One trick I use is to tray freeze produce. This helps for two reasons. Each piece freezes individually and once frozen, it can bulk stored in gallon freezer bags until you have enough to freeze in individual sized packages for long term storage. In our household we do use a seal a meal device. For us, the cost of the bagging material is worth the improved long term storage conditions.

A colander of snap peas or beans might not seem like enough to process for the freezer, but it should be. It takes hardly any time at all to put a pan of water on to boil. Drop in the cleaned vegetables and let them blanch for a minute or two. Drain and cover with ice and water to stop the cooking and cool them down fast.

We pick, process and bulk store our produce, repackaging into shrink bags later, when the harvest is over. This works best for our smaller harvests.


Drain cold peas well. You will want to dry the chilled vegetables. A salad spinner works very well or lay the peas out on a towel to absorb the excess water (blot the tops with another towel also helps). Scatter the peas or beans on a large pan (a jelly roll pan is wonderful for this)  in a single layer and place in the freezer to freeze. Once frozen bulk, when convenient repackage using your preferred method for long term storage. Don't do as I have done so often, and forget to label what it is and the date it was processed.


Some other tips to think about:


Freeze food in the size or shape you will want for the recipes you know you will make in the future. For instance rhubarb is frozen in chunks for poaching, thin slices for pie and diced for muffins and cakes.

Green beans freeze just fine with no blanching. Simply snap and freeze! Our green beans from last year were not blanched and they tasted wonderful and had a great texture. With that said, I do plan on experimenting with a quick blanching of whole green beans and try this delicious salad in the heart of winter with home grown green beans. For the salad I think all I will have to do is thaw the beans and toss it all together.

Applesauce freezes well, however it become a bit watery when thawed. Counter that by adding but 1/2 cup water to get the cooking started. Once the apples begin to cook, they will release natural juice. This will help with a thick and chunky sauce even when thawed. Sugar will also thin the apple sauce, so don't be alarmed if your cooked apples start out as thick as mashed potatoes.


Extra fruit for pie? Toss together the fruit portion of your favorite pie recipes and place in gallon sized bags. Lay the bag into a pie plate smoothing the contents into the plate. Let freeze and then simply remove the bags and store, stacked in your freezer. When you want pie, make up the crust, remove the frozen pie shaped block of fruit from the freezer bag and lay in the crust. Add top crust and bake. Some fruits do water a bit when frozen this way, counter that by sprinkling 1-2 tablespoons of minute tapioca over the bottom crust before adding the fruit. No sense wasting those good pie juices on the bottom of the oven floor.....

Diced tomatoes freeze well and are perfect to cook with. That honest tomato taste will be appreciated, especially in the winter.

How do you process the garden bounty?

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

this post shared at:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
homestead barn hop @ the prairie homestead
hearth and soul @ 21 century housewife



6

Of artichokes with a savory sauce or, how to start a summer dinner

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

In our garden, there are two artichoke plants. They were rescue plants, on the clearance table at the local drug store on a late summer day. They were cheap, withered and without identification tags.

However, I knew they were artichokes and also knew I would like to have some in the yard, so into the cart they went. I did not know at the time that they were of different types. One of the plants is a globe variety and the other is what I shall refer to as regular.......

Artichokes from our garden.
 The globe variety is compact, while the regular kind has a much longer leaf.

As a kid, my mom would cook up a pan of regular artichokes and serve them hot with a side of mayonnaise to dip the leaf tips in. As a kid, I loved "artichokes" because, in reality, I loved mayonnaise! Creamy, lemony and rich tasting. 

But it was fun to pull off a leaf, scrape it across the mound of mayonnaise on the edge of my plate and then carefully pull the tip, soft side down, across the top edge of my bottom teeth. You also had to gently close your top teeth so there was a bit of pressure upon the leaf to scrape clean, leaving precious little behind!

That little (the tip is but a tease, until your reach the heart, but the tease does go on row after row of leaves...) bite is fresh and wonderful and speaking for myself, will keep me working that artichoke until I reach the heart. 

As an adult, I do not dip each leaf tip in sauce, because I end up eating my share of the sauce before I reach the heart. So I simply savor the tiny tastes along the way, in the natural state of pure artichoke bliss.


Terry placed the artichokes in the electric pressure cooker, it was a tight fit, but there were no complaints. Added 1 cup of water and cooked for 10 minutes once full pressure was reached. They were left to rest until the cooker had cooled. 

Lemon and Chive Dipping Sauce, for Artichokes

Lemon and Chive Dipping Sauce, for Artichokes
by the seat of my pants
makes a generous 1/2 cup

1/2 c mayonnaise
2 t mustard - I used some homemade mustard lurking in the fridge, even ballpark style will be delicious
1 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t sugar
1 scant T finely snipped chives
A mustard adventure, in the fridge to enjoy.

Combine until smooth, pour into a shallow dish, decorate with knotted chives, enjoy with artichokes! (and the leftover sauce will make a great sandwich spread)


Pull off a leaf,
dip into the sauce,
Place soft side down, and tug gently to get that little bite of the artichoke!

Repeat leaf by leaf until you reach the center also known as the "choke". I can only think that the center of the artichoke is called the "choke" because these hairy pieces, could never be swallowed! Never. Ever.

This is where determination is boss, gently pull little fingers-full of the choke (taking great care to have the choke separate itself right at the base, you don't want to lose the heart to the garbage bowl), leaving behind the crown.....
Yes, this is not a pretty vegetable at this point, but believe me, this is the tastiest! 


For the finale, top with a spoon of sauce and cut into small (so you can savor the flavor for a long time!) pieces and enjoy each one thoroughly. 

I have thought from time to time thought that the artichoke is really a tedious feast.....but one I gladly partake.



How do you enjoy an artichoke?

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


this post shared with:
foodie friday @ rattlebridge farm
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
see ya in the gumbo @ ms enplace
4

New Potatoes on Rosemary Skewers

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Deliciously charred potatoes with rosemary centers, that is what you will enjoy when you make these potatoes. And may I suggest that these are so delicious, make extras because the leftover will not go to waste!


New Potatoes on Rosemary Skewers
adapted from:  Great Grilling, easy and elegant entertaining all year round
serves 4-6

2 pounds red skinned potatoes
2 large bunches rosemary
extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a 2 qt saucepan, add potatoes and enough cold, salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook about 15-20 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain in colander and cool completely. DO NOT RINSE!

When potatoes are cooled completely poke a skewer through the potato from top to bottom. Remove skewer and replace with a sprig of rosemary. You should be able to get 2 potatoes on each sprig.

Generously coat potatoes with olive oil, rub crushed garlic over all and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare grill. Grill potatoes over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, rotating occasionally to ensure even cooking. Outsides should be slightly charred.

Hot off the grill, New Potatoes on Rosemary skewers.
New Potatoes on Rosemary Skewers, grilled.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


this post shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
cook your books @ kitchen flavours
6

Quick pickled red onions, and why we follow other bloggers

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Once you have been blogging for awhile, eventually you run out of new and distinctively different (from any and all previous posts) recipes. Then throw in the problem of liking something so much that you do make it often, but you have already blogged about it, and should your readers/followers/friends remember, well now that could be a slight problem.


Add in family preference, time constraints, pantry ingredients (or lack of, maybe it is time to shop.....), finding the camera and then remembering where you actually saw the recipe you want to make, means that some days, blogging does not get done. One thing that we bloggers do, is follow other bloggers. This can be for inspiration, hello Carolyn or because you really really like their recipes, hello Rocquie or because you dislike what they dislike, like raw onions, hello Pam.

Today we are making quick pickles onions. I have made pickled onions before, and they were really good. That recipe also many steps and since this is a holiday weekend, I think easy is definitely in store! Oh and one other thing, when I made pickled onions before, they were not diced. And then I noticed that I pretty much chopped them up, each and every time they were used. Let's make this easy for future times too, let's pickle them diced.....


Quick Pickled Onions
adapted from: sidewalk shoes
makes 1 pint (or so)

1 large red onion, diced

3/4 c white or cider vinegar
2 t salt
3 T sugar
1 bay leaf
2-4 whole cloves (use what you prefer)


Combine vinegar through cloves in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil and let simmer until sugar is dissolved.


Add onions, stir once or twice, remove from heat (do not cover) and let set until room temperature. Pour contents into a pint jar, cap and place in your refrigerator.

Add to salads, sandwiches, toss into a pan when you are de-glazing the pan for a quick sauce. I am sure you will come up with some great ideas too.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

this post shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
4
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