February 2011

Buttercrunch Cucumber Pickles

Prep time:
20 mins + 12 hours standing
Cook time:
15 mins
4 large jars

3-4 tlarge cucumbers, very thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
4 large onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
½ cup salt
3½ cups sugar
4 cups white vinegar
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp celery seed
2 tbsp mustard seed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Place sliced cucumber and onions in a large, non-corrosive bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water.

Leave at least 12 hours then drain off all liquid.

Place the sugar, vinegar, turmeric, celery, mustard and garlic in a large pot and bring to the boil over high heat.

Add the drained cucumbers and onions.

As soon as the liquid boils remove from heat and spoon into sterilised jars, leaving 1cm at the top.

Screw down tightly with plastic lids and store in a cool place.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies : Tested By Jaime


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture; mix until just combined. Mix in raisins.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart.

Flatten slightly.

Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks using a spatula; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Perfect Pink Soup

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30-45 mins

Serves 6-8 – freezes well

50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds, finely ground
750g beetroot, cut into small pieces
750ml chicken or vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Soften onion in butter and oil, add cumin seeds. Add beetroot chunks and then add stock. Simmer for 30 mins, or till beetroot is tender. Puree the soup, return to the pan and season. Serve with a swirl of crème fraîche or yogurt and a few toasted cumin seeds on top.