Monday, June 17, 2013

Quick Pickles

Summer is always busy.  Even though my husband and I do not have any summer vacations planned this summer, it feels as though every weekend flies by.  It is already the middle of June!  From hanging out with our friends at the beach and the park to having friends come visit us, it seems as though there is never any downtime.  I am not complaining though.  I love being outside soaking up the sun and reverting to our childhood ways, screaming and yelling as we play games.  This is a total random fact, but the city of Savannah, GA does not sell Frisbees.  I am not lying.  We spent over 2 hours going into every single gift shop in the city looking for a Frisbee to no avail.  It was horrible.  The toy sections of each gift shop had fake guns, little stuffed ponies, but absolutely no Frisbees!  Weird!

With the days long, it does make it difficult to force yourself to be in the kitchen for extended periods of time trying out new recipes.   But, it is also the time of the year where produce is abundant.  The garden is doing well.  To date, the cucumber plant has produced the most.  We had picked a few cucumbers from the plant on Friday and decided to make quick pickles this weekend.  We bought fresh dill at the farmer’s market and had a lot left over to freeze for later use.  This recipe is borrowed from Rachel Ray and is quick, easy, refreshing, and delicious!

1/2 cup white vinegar
2 rounded teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove cracked garlic
2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
1 bay leaf
3 cucumbers

Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.


~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes on Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings are the best!  I absolutely love them.  I sleep in as late as I want and then slowly let the day start.  I have all the time in the world to enjoy all the coffee my heart desires.  I am not rushing off to the gym or to 100 other errands on my to-do list.  I sit on the couch in the living room (I honestly think this is the only time I sit there), catch up on blog reading or the news, look at 3,764 pictures of cute cats and dogs, and allow myself a little bit of relaxation.  It always feels amazing.  I do not rush to make breakfast, but finally when my stomach starts to growl, I hop off the couch and try to decide what to have for breakfast.  Usually, I will do eggs of some sort (over easy, poached, scrambled with lots of veggies), but there times when I am tired of eating eggs and need something a little different.  Enter these delicious pumpkin pancakes which are not your typical pancakes… they are actually more egg than pumpkin, but whatever, they are delicious.  I top the pancake with sliced bananas and a drizzle of raw honey.  You could use pure maple syrup too or unsweetened applesauce as a topper.

4 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

  1. Warm up a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Whisk the eggs, canned pumpkin, and pure vanilla extract together.
  3. Sift the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and baking soda into the wet ingredients.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, mix the oil into the batter.
  5. Grease the hot skillet and spoon the batter into the skillet to make pancakes of your desired size.
  6. When a few bubbles appear, flip the pancakes once to finish cooking.
  7. Enjoy!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal

Monday, June 3, 2013

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are one of those foods I thought I did not enjoy eating.  Prior to a few months ago, I had eaten them two times exactly.  I was certain they tasted like feet and smelled like it too.  Then, we had a girl’s trip planned to Cumberland Island (so cute, you should go there!) and each of us made a few dishes to eat for the few days we were staying there.  My friend made Roasted brussel sprouts and I decided I would give them another try (they smelled yummy cooking).  Low and behold, the brussel sprouts were delicious.  After that weekend, I told myself I was going to try making them.  Well, each time I was at the grocery store, I would almost buy some, but always decided against it.  Then, this week, in my Local farmbag came brussel sprouts.  I had no idea how they grew.  I guess I never really thought about it, but now I know.  Pretty cool!  Although it did reinforce that I need to learn more about the food I eat and without further ado…..
Local Farmbag - No idea brussel sprouts grew like this!

It is time for a little rant.  BUY LOCAL!  Don’t be a jerk, haha, just kidding.  You are not a jerk if you do not buy local, but you should try to as much as you can.  My husband and I visited the farmer’s market on Saturday morning.  I love it there.  It is a small market, but they have a large variety of items.  We stopped at the organic dairy stand and talked with the farmer for just a few minutes, while his son went to retrieve a fresh gallon of milk out of the truck for us.  He talked to us about his farm, and we found out that he travels all the way up to our old home of Harrisburg, PA for the Farm Show every year.  I admit it, I am selfish, but it makes me feel good to buy local and support our local economy, especially one that is providing easier access to whole foods.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 cup brussel sprouts (ends cut off and then halved)
2 slices bacon
Salt, Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. While the oven is heating up, start cooking your bacon on the stove.  Cook until crispy.  Remove your bacon from the pan and set aside.
  3. With all the bacon grease left in the pan, throw in your brussel sprouts.  Cover the pan and let the brussel sprouts cook for about 5-6 min.  Make sure you tend to them, and give a good even stir every 2 minutes or so. 
  4. When the brussel sprouts are browned, remove from pan and place on greased baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper
  5. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes, then add your crumbled cooked bacon.  Cook bacon and brussel sprouts for another 10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal