Monthly Archives: July 2011

Dilly Beans

Well I had a full day of work today, made 2 Chocolate Hazelnut Tortes, a Ricotta Tart in an Almond Crust, 2 Lemon Olive Oil Poundcakes, one New York Cheesecake, a Tiramisu, some Tuille cookies, Flathead Cherry Sauce (for the cheesecake of course), and a Rhubarb Compote for the tart.  Whew!  I will post recipes for a couple of those lovely sweet treats soon.  But for now I wanted to tell you about the Dilly Beans I made and canned a few days ago.

Last week Will was working in WA and visited the produce farms in the area.  He brought home a large bag of green beans, among some other great fresh produce. 🙂  So I figured this was my opportunity to make Dilly Beans for first time and can them.

I ended up with six pint jars of canned beans and gave two to my mom.  I like them a lot, they are very dilly and very good.  If you like pickles or pickled asparagus, you’ll love these.  Perfect to snack on, have as an appetizer, or even part of a meal.  I put a couple in my sandwich since I didn’t have pickles!

The recipe is from my cousin, Nichole, over at Born in the Wrong Century.  It can also be found in one of my favorite books, Williams-Sonoma The Art of Preserving.  Nichole recommended it to me a year ago and I’m so glad I got it.

It is chock-full of beautiful photos, great recipes, and helpful instructions on canning.  If you love to cook, and enjoy canning also, this is a great book to add to your collection!  Very inspirational during the summer months, but can be used all year long.

::Dilly Beans::
(Compliments of Nichole)

(Yield – 6 pints)
3 cups white vinegar, 5% acidity
6 Tbsp kosher salt
3 cups filtered water
6 fresh dill heads (or 6 Tbsp dill seeds & 6 fresh dill sprigs)
Cayenne pepper
Yellow mustard seed
6 cloves garlic
4 lb green beans

In a sauce pan combine vinegar, salt and water. Bring to a boil to dissolve salt.

Meanwhile, place the following in each sterile, hot pint jar: 1 dill head (or 1 Tbsp seeds & 4 sprigs), 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/8 tsp mustard seed and 1 clove garlic. Trim the beans so they are 1/2 inch shorter than the pint jar. Pack the beans as tight as possible into the jars.

Ladle the hot brine into the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a chopstick to remove any air bubbles and add more brine if necessary. Wipe the rims and seal. Process the jars for 15 minutes (for 5k’ elevation) in a hot water bath. Let cool and check the seals.

I will add that I ended up making twice as much brine, I ran out while filling my jars! 🙂

Have you had, or made, Dilly Beans before?

Mom, you better pop open that jar and enjoy!


Handsome Jackson

Well our little puppy Jackson has settled into his new home with his mama and daddy.  It might sound cheesy, but really it’s been like having a little baby here or a kid.  We are just head over heels for him.

Not that I know exactly what it’s like to have a baby here, but his first night here I had to get up and take him out at 1am, 230, 4, and at 7.  Probably a total of 3 hours of sleep that night.  It’s better now, but the first night was hard in a new place and a new mama.

It’s been five days now with the little guy.  A busy five days.  He is so cute, sweet, fun, soft, and I just love the big floppy paws and ears, the puppy smell and kisses, and how soft and sweet he is in my arms.  He is so full of curiosity, cuteness, innocence, and little noises and actions that just make your heart melt some times.

Now I can’t make it sound like it’s all peaches and a walk in the park.  He is a lot of work, very busy when he’s awake, and I’ve definitely been chasing around pee spots and dirt around the house.  When he’s in play mode he’s full of energy and a little rambunctious.  I have to watch him really close outside, so he doesn’t run off too far and he wants to chew on the plants, grass, weeds, picnic table.  And inside wants to get my shoes, the rugs, drapes, clothes on the floor, and his toys so I have to be actively working with him when he’s awake.  He has been keeping me on my toes!

Will was away for the week with work, so I got him and brought him home Monday evening and he was just all over the place, playing everywhere and in his own little puppy world of new smells, and a new place.  Just in five days he has totally settled in and is at home now and really bonded with us.  It’s like he has kind of woken up to us now and is more attentive to us.

It was really a cute moment when Will came home at the end of the week, after Jackson got used to just me here.  Will came in and Jackson was sleeping on his bed by the kitchen, he looks up and sees Will and is just friendly, sweet, and happy and it’s all kisses and play.  Will could hardly stand it all week not being here and so anxious to get home.

The week has been busy with starting the potty training, chasing him around the house, cleaning up pee, taking him out a few times in the night and he gets me up by 6 or 630 for potty, a walk, play, and breakfast.  I’ve been working with him to get him used to his kennel and get into a routine.  He sleeps in his kennel at night and is in there for 2-3 of his naps throughout the day.  This routine has got him comfortable in there so he likes it and doesn’t cry.  He goes in there when we leave the house too, but we can’t be gone for more than 3 hours, as that’s as long his bladder is good for.  The other couple naps are on his bed by the kitchen, which is featured in the pictures here and he loves that spot.  (Along with the furry squeaky pheasant in most of the pictures, he loves it.)

He has a routine of playing for 1-2 hours, then is wiped out and sleeps for 2-3 hours.  And now does pretty good sleeping through the night, only needing to go out once.  He sleeps a lot, as he’s growing significantly each day.  I can already tell a difference in just five days.  He feels a little heavier when I pick him up, legs looking longer, and is looking bigger.  I really don’t want him to get so big so he can’t fit on our laps and lay on our chest, and I won’t be able to carry and hold him in my arms.  But on the other hand, I am excited for him to be big enough that we can go run, walk, and hike together.  He will make a great running partner for me, and a great hunting companion for Will.  These dogs can put on up to 15 miles a day during hunting season.

We are working with him a lot to get him enough exercise and play.  And working on training him, he is already catching on to his name, come, and sit.  We are still reading the Gun Dog book, and it is really good and specific to this breed of dog, giving a lot of guidance on how to train and teach them, starting at this critical age.

I wish I had video clips for all of the cute moments and the ones that just makes my heart melt.  He does a hoppy run around the yard, tripping on his big paws, runs into the screen door, rolls off the side of the patio, chases his toys around, runs with Will’s old belt in his mouth.  And every once in a while I’m sitting on the patio step watching him play and he’ll notice me sitting there, come up to my lap and just hop up and lay there.

Well that’s enough stories and detailed updates for now, we’re just enjoying the puppy stage because he won’t be this small for long, and he has added so much joy into our home and lives already.  Can’t wait for our adventures together.

Puppy Excitement

Well I just went to visit our new puppy this evening, and am going to go get him tomorrow and bring him home!  I was in town shopping and stocking up on all the puppy goods, and since I was in the area I got to go see him for a bit.  It just made me all the more excited to get him and begin our new adventure and lives together!  I’m working tomorrow so I figured I’ll pick him up after that, so I won’t be leaving him home alone his first morning here.  That wouldn’t be very nice of me.  I hope he’ll adapt well, as he won’t have mama or his 10 brothers and sisters around to play with.  I am glad I don’t work 5 days/wk, 8-9 hr days, I would hate to leave him home alone that much.  We probably wouldn’t be getting one of these guys if I did work full time, they do not do well cooped up in a kennel all day without people and without exercise.

So I have been, and am, perusing the web, reading about German Wirehair Pointers.  Will has always been more familiar with these pointer breeds and has wanted one for a long time now, whereas I am more familiar with little lap/toy dogs like my two little Pomeranians that my family and I had for 15+ years.  So I’m reading up and we have both been reading this book, Gun Dog, by Richard Wolters.  Seems to be a classic and well-known among bird-dog owners.  Very informative and good guidance for training and having these dogs.

Found a few good things just on Wikipedia though.  So I thought I’d share in case you want to check it out and learn a little about them!  Some important and fun things to know about them… (from the wikepedia site)

“The German wirehaired pointer is very affectionate, active and intelligent. Eager to learn and loyal to its family…”

“This is one breed of dog that does not do well in a kennel environment. German wirehaired pointers are happiest and most well behaved when they are part of the family and can spend time with their people. They can be rather willful and they like to roam. Powerful and energetic, they can become bored and hard to manage without enough exercise. The German Wirehaired pointer is a good all-around gun dog, able to hunt any sort of game on any sort of terrain. This dog has a good nose and can track, point, and retrieve on both land and water. Steady, lively and vigorous.”

“This is a dog that can fully respond to the needs of its hunter. The goal was to develop a wire-coated, medium sized dog that could:

  • Search for, locate and point upland game
  • Work both feather and fur with equal skill and retrieve water fowl
  • Be a close-working, easily trained gun dog
  • Be able to track and locate wounded game
  • Be fearless when hunting “sharp” game such as fox
  • Be a devoted companion and pet; and
  • Be a watchdog for its owner’s family and property.”
The more I learn about them the more awesome they are.  
We are still back and forth on the name.  The breeders are calling him Colonel.  He has some black/grey markings around his tail which look like a ring around it, and I guess a dog with those markings on the tail can be called ‘Colonel’ or ‘Sargent’ among people who know this breed.  🙂  So as of now he is Colonel Jack (short for Jackson).
Well more to come on the little guy soon!

Wilson #3

Is soon to be adopted and brought home!  He is 46 days old right now, the puppies have to be with mama for 49 days so we’ll be going to get him and bring him to his new home and family soon.

What will we call him?  He is Waylon.

We have been back and forth between Waylon, and Jackson.  We like both, so might just put Waylon Jackson on his papers, and call him one or the other.  In that case, he’ll have the same initials as Will.  =)  WJW.

I will have pictures of our little guy soon and an update on his transition.  I’m off to go looking for doggie items that we need to have here at home in order to bring him home!  A kennel, leash, collar, dish, rope toy, bed for the living room, and food.

So excited!

Leave me a comment if you have any thoughts and opinions on the name.  I’d love to hear!

Spinach, Beet, Goat Cheese Salad

I love goat cheese.  Even better, I love goat cheese with beets, orange segments, toasted almonds, in a light and fresh spinach or butterhead lettuce salad.  Perfect for summer.  This is one of my top three fav salads, very light and flavorful.  We have been enjoying spinach and lettuce from the garden and this is a great way to enjoy the fresh greens.

Butterhead Lettuce and/or Spinach
Goat cheese crumbles
Beets, roasted or boiled, cooled and diced
Toasted almonds
Orange segments (slice segments out of the membranes of a peeled orange w/ a paring knife)

::Honey-Orange Vinaigrette::
Juice from 1-2 oranges (1/3 c.)
1 T. honey
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
Mix o.j., honey, vinager, s+p in a bowl, whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream.  Or put all liquids in a blender, slowly stream in the oil.

I hope this has inspired you to try a fresh and flavorful summer salad!  And if you like beets and goat cheese, you’ll surely love this.