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Leena Cooks and Bakes: Ella’s 2nd Birthday Party!

By on May 28, 2013 in Cookies, Cupcakes, Desserts, Fruit, Leena Bakes, Leena Cooks, Meat, Pickles, Recipes | 0 comments

I can hardly believe that my baby, my first kid, my Ella has finally turned two. Except when she pitches the LOUDEST FIT EVER because I won’t let her do something obviously fun, like drive the car home from the grocery store or poke the cat with a stick like a pinata. Then I am pretty certain she is two. As much as I didn’t want Ella to become obsessed with licensed characters at an early age, somehow, probably during a road trip or a morning when I was sick on the couch, she discovered Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and of course, the infamous Minnie. The obsession came fast and fierce, and when I stumbled across a dress that looked exactly like a Minnie Mouse knock-off at Old Navy (aka–affordable!), I knew I had found her birthday party theme. In December. 5 months BEFORE her party. Some of my fellow mom friends thought I was being quite ambitious, starting party planning...

Leena Cans: Giardiniera for Ella’s Birthday!

By on May 15, 2013 in Canning, Leena Cooks, Pickles, Recipes, vegetable | 0 comments

Life has been a blur, friends. I have hardly had time to document, let alone blog about my culinary adventures! I have been canning up pickles galore for my daughter’s second birthday party picnic (garlic dill asparagus and pickled carrots to name a few). And having a two year old is trying wonderful and impossible a joy to can around. “What you doin, Mommy?” is both adorable and just an innocent question…the first two times it is asked. The next 37 time sort of make me want to stuff her adorableness into a mason jar, water bath can her and not open until her 18th birthday. So. Her birthday has a picnic theme because I’d rather cook my ass off BEFORE the party, not the day of, nor do I want to deal with utensils. The adults are getting a muffaletta sandwich, which is a popular New Orleans sandwich that basically consists of Italian cold cuts (I’m...

Leena Cooks: Pickled Onions for tacos and other goodies

By on Feb 28, 2011 in Leena Cooks, Pickles, vegetable | 0 comments

Spicy pork taco with salsa verde and tangy, spiced pickled onions. Hell yeah. Pregnant or not, I’m a lady who likes her pickles. And when I’m not feeling all Martha Stewert-y and wanting to can, I like to rock out some good old fashioned refrigerator pickles*. These pickled onions were for a batch of spicy pork tacos, but they go great with any grilled, smoked or roasted meat, on cheese platters, and my favorite, in sandwiches (like grilled cheese!). (*Technically, any recipes for canned pickle fruits and vegetables can be made in the fridge instead of hot water bath canning, so be sure to check out my recipe section for other pickle ideas.) A super simple recipe and food porn after the click. One simple red onion is about to have it’s world rocked and vinegared! The lazy part of me (which is getting bigger and bigger these days) is all about fridge pickle recipes....

Leena Cooks n Cans: Spicy Bourbon White Peach Pickles

By on Sep 13, 2010 in Canning, Fruit, Leena Cooks, Pickles | 12 comments

For this month’s can jam topic, stone fruit, I decided to get a little crazy. The recipe I was looking for, essentially a drunken stone fruit pickle, was difficult to come by. But here’s the thing–I sort of got addicted to eating peaches and bourbon together this summer, in crisps, in pies, and in cobblers…oh the cobblers. I got addicted to the flavor combo in a crack addict sort of way, and I can’t let it go, not even for this challenge. The pairing is so damn tasty, I just can’t leave my precious bourbon out. I was totally planning on adding some bourbon to my white peach butter, which I also canned, but I forgot to add it until the jars were in the canner, and then sheer laziness kicked in. There was no way I was going to unearth the molten hot cans, dump their contents back into a  pot, add bourbon, adjust flavor and consistency, all while...

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for July’s Tigress Can Jam!

By on Jul 19, 2010 in Canning, Condiments, Leena Cooks, Pickles, Relishes | 9 comments

Wow. When Gloria over at Laundry, ETC. named this month’s can jam project to be cucurbits, to be honest, I wasn’t excited. WTF are cucurbits, you might ask? According to Gloria, “it refers to Cucurbitaceae, a plant family commonly known as melons and gourds, including crops like cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), loofahs, melons and watermelons…” To me, there is nothing special about cucumbers and zucchini. At all. I was the opposite of excited. And then a bitch canned five different products. FIVE! And then a bitch remembered, oh yeah! I’m a pickle whore! and a bitch was able to stock her larder for the entire winter with pickles and relishes and experiment with a few new recipes. The bitch felt a bit like, well, a bitch. Cucurbits, you have humbled me. I am not worthy. Five recipes and food porn after the jump. So, let me be clear here—I am...