Strawberry vinaigrette, and Ball giveaway

It is no secret to any of you that I adore kitchen classics; cast iron pans and Mason jars are at the top of the list. When Ball contacted me to see if I wanted to do a giveaway with them for the inaugural International Can-It-Forward Day I was ALL OVER THAT. This is stuff I use in my kitchen every single day, and have for years before I even started a blog.

The info on Can-It-Forward day:

On Saturday August 16, Jarden Home Brands will host the first annual International Can-It-Forward Day with special guest renowned chef and Bravo’s Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson!  A day to celebrate home canning, International Can-It-Forward Day allows food enthusiasts to connect via a variety of online and in-person activities. New and experienced canners can participate in a live webcast on http://www.frespreserving.com, taking place on ground in Brooklyn Borough Hall Farmers Market, filled with canning demos where viewer questions will be answered in real-time by Chef Acheson and other experts while they learn the most popular (and delicious) home canning recipes. Twenty five farmers markets across the country will also be hosting Can-It-Forward Day celebrations!

In addition to the canning demos, there will also be segments on crafting, herb gardening and the brand’s new drinkware line! We will also be attempting a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Mason Jar Mosaic!

Here is the ridiculously awesome prize pack for the giveaway:

You can see my documented love for Mason jars here, and here’s another favorite food-in-a-jar, a recipe that’s sort of an amalgam of a few recipes I found online:

Strawberry vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 10 strawberries, hulled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Process the strawberries in a food processor until they’re pureed, then add lemon juice, sugar, and salt; process again until completely blended
  2. With the processor still running, add in the vinegar then oil in a steady stream until completely combined and thickened

I’m required at this point to tell you that Ball provided me with all these goodies to review at no charge, but for heaven’s sake y’all already know I love the stuff. Opinions are mine, and I’m not paid to say how much I adore them. I just do.

Giveaway closed! Thanks, y’all, and CONGRATS LEAH!

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Want some???

Let’s make this easy: just leave a comment below telling me which item in the prize pack you’re most excited about, and what you’d use it for (or for what you would use it, in case my Aunt Jane is reading).

Want an extra entry? Pin this post and come back and leave an additional comment telling me you did.

I’ll use random.org to pick a winner after midnight on August 15, central time.

And go!

JACKed sweet potato muffins

I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite recipe.

I was going through my bookshelves to see if I had any cookbooks I could live without (spoiler alert: I didn’t), and came across this one: Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook.

This had belonged to my great aunt, and was signed to her from one of the authors, Lynne Tolley. It’s a treasure trove! I went looking for something involving sweet potatoes and found these, what they call sweet potato muffin delights.

They are SO GOOD, y’all. There isn’t a lot of flour, so the eggs and sweet potato make these so light and airy, and the flavors are great! Just a little hint of Jack, but not so much that you can’t respectably eat these for breakfast. ;)

JACKed sweet potato muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 1 1/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (microwave is fine here)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease or line 12 muffin cups
  2. Combine eggs, milk, Jack, sweet potatoes, and butter and mix well
  3. Put a wire strainer or sifter over the top of the bowl and add flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar; shake or press through until all the mixture is sifted into the bowl
  4. Mix until JUST combined, then spoon into prepared muffin cups
  5. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar, then bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean; the cookbook says 35-40 minutes but mine were done after 20, so don’t go far

Because I am positive that you all need to make these, this is a good time for you to try out my snazzy new ZipList functionality! You can save recipes from One Particular Kitchen (and all these amazing blogs), and create your shopping list as you do it! Just click on that “save recipe” button at the top of my recipes, or you can get to your ZipList recipe box or shopping list from my main menu. Let me know if you have any questions!

Also, let me know when you make these muffins, m’kay? Trust me.

Sweet, savory carrots

I am not the world’s best vegetable eater. I know this about myself, but I also know they’re, you know, vegetables; I need to find ways to make them taste good to me.

And friends? I have found the way with carrots. I am in LOVE with these. I’ve eaten them with lunch every day this week. This is HUGE.

I started with bacon, because so many good things start with bacon. I fried it up in a pan, then added some carrots (I used baby carrots because I had them; any kind will do). I poured in some chicken broth I had in the freezer and let them simmer a long time, because I’m Southern and I like my vegetables cooked a long time. I salted them and they were really good, but could maybe use something else, so I was digging around the fridge looking for inspiration and I found it: apricot preserves. Seriously, one tablespoon simmered in with the chicken broth and they were heaven on a plate. Please try it and let me know what you think!

Sweet, savory carrots

Ingredients

  • two slices bacon
  • half pound carrots, cut however you like them
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. apricot preserves

Instructions

  1. In a shallow pan, fry the bacon till crispy, then add in carrots, chicken broth, and salt; simmer, covered, till the carrots are as soft as you like them
  2. Add in apricot preserves and simmer with the lid off, stirring periodically, till preserves are all melted in and sauce is slightly thickened
  3. Serve with a little sauce spooned over the top (these are awesome served over rice so the rice can soak up a little sauce as well)

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.

The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.

By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
  2. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
  3. Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)

Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?

Sweet potato bake

Kiddo is not really a huge fan of sweet potatoes (or many other vegetables),  but he LOVES this. He calls it “the sweet potatoes with the eggs” and is almost guaranteed to eat it. Peanut loves it too, and this cooks up thick enough that I can cut it and give her little finger-food sized pieces. Honestly, I love it as well! I’ve yet to meet a sweet potato I didn’t like, but these are especially good.

Sweet potato bake

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • extra cinnamon sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes (or microwave!) till completely soft; discard the skin
  2. Use a fork to mash the sweet potatoes, then mix together with sugar, beaten eggs, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla
  3. Dot the top of the mixture with butter, and sprinkle with extra cinnamon sugar if so desired
  4. Spoon into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned

Notes

After baking, I slice this like a pie and freeze the pieces individually; they warm up beautifully in the microwave and are a great way to add easy veggies to lunch!

Of course sweet potatoes make me think: what is your stance on the mini marshmallows on sweet potatoes? Yay or nay?

Broccoli bites

My little Peanut, as you may have heard, is NUTS for broccoli. Like, a crazy woman. I actually thought I didn’t like broccoli for years and years — it was roasted broccoli that won me over, and now I just love it in general. Since Peanut loves broccoli all the time any time, I was looking for some new ways to prepare it to give her a little variety. These turned out to be so good that we both ate them! I dipped mine in a little ranch dressing; quite tasty!

Broccoli bites

Yield: about a dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces chopped broccoli, drained well
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then scoop out with a cookie scoop, gently shaping into patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
  3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes; flip them over and bake for another 10

Since Peanut is ALL ABOUT THE BROCCOLI I would love to hear more broccoli ideas! How do y’all use it?

Coca-cola pot roast

I’m freezing. Are y’all freezing? It’s prime comfort food time for me, and this delivers.  A librarian printed this recipe out for me once and I promptly lost the paper; I make it from memory now, and I’m not sure of the original source. Regardless of its origins, it’s hot and tasty and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender.

Coca-cola pot roast

Ingredients

  • Chuck roast, about 4 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (coarse/kosher salt, ideally)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 packet French onion soup mix
  • 1 can Coca-cola
  • Baby carrots or chopped carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven till it’s nice and brown
  3. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and onion soup mix, pour in the Coke and add in the carrots around the roast; put a lid on it and stick the whole thing in the oven
  4. Cook till the internal temp of the roast is 165F; this will take about three hours or so depending on your oven and the size of the roast. Let it rest for about ten minutes before serving

… and may I suggest serving with mashed potatoes? Trust me.

Bonus: you can also make this in the slow cooker so it’s ready when you get home at night. Please to enjoy.