Jac o' lyn Murphy

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Easy Valentines from The Grocery Store!

Typically Valentine's Day 
is all about flowers and candy to express our love.
Often times life gets in the way and the last minute scramble for a gift,
means exorbitantly priced roses and chocolates.  
Well don't worry, there are lots of amazing, fun and useful things 
you can pick up at the store that will make them laugh and swoon on February 14th.

Sometimes condiments, sauces and spices say it best...

Tell your Valentine that they are special...

Oh SOY do you love them...

and that nothing beats, 
U and MI...

Then head to the candy aisle.
A big tub of licorice is all you need to ask them to Be Vine...

Everyone should be grinning on this day of love, 
and Barry Manilow said it best, 
isn't your Valentine the reason you smile?  
Keep it fresh with a new toothbrush...

It is amazing what switching out a few letters will do!
Whether you love them a "latte" or a "lotto",
 they will appreciate a coffee or a chance to win the big bucks...

and why go out to a restaurant when you can have a 
Ramen-tic dinner at home??

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Preserved Lemons from Ibiza

I was thrilled to receive a copy of the new cookbook Ibiza, Land and Sea, by Francoise Pialoux.
It has stunning pictures, beautiful food and makes you long to visit the Spanish island.
One of the first recipes that caught my eye was for Preserved Lemons.
Citrus season is a huge highlight of winter in California.
It makes me so happy to see our Meyer lemon trees full of sunny spheres.
Now I can have them all year, and pretend I'm in Ibiza!

This recipe is so easy to make.
After I picked the lemons...

I washed them, sliced them into pretty petals, 
then salted...

Then tightly packed them into a glass jar, 
and nestled in fresh thyme...

and a bay leaf.
(she also adds chilies but I omitted those simply so I can use the lemons in more recipes)

Boiled and cooled water was added...

and a topping of olive oil.

It is so pretty to look at that I don't even mind the 1-2 month wait for them to preserve!
They will be perfect to use in salads, tagines, pastas... 

Ibiza may be known as a party mecca but it will always remind me of lemons.

Fatima's Mum's Preserved Lemons
from Ibiza Land and Sea

For a 3 L jar (6 pints)
Preparation 1-2 months before using

12 organic lemons
24 tsp course salt
1 bay leaf
1 branch of thyme
3-4 small chillies
Olive oil

Clean the jar you are going to use in very hot hater and dry.  Boil a large saucepan of water for 5 minutes, then leave to cool.  This will later fill the jar.  Wash the lemons and half-cut into quarters, ensuring the cuts allow the lemons to stay whole but open lie flowers.

Take the first lemon, open it up and pour 2 tsp of coarse salt into the centre, in the heart of the four quarters.  Close up tightly and place in the jar.  Repeat for all the lemons, pressing down as tightly as possible in the jar. In between, slip in the bay leaf, the thyme and the chillies.

Gently pour in the boiled water but do not fill to the top. Leave about 2 centimetres and top up with olive oil.  Close the lid of the jar tightly and turn the jar upside down, leaving for 24 hours.  The next day, turn the jar back up and leave the lemons to soak for 1-2 months before using.

With this method, the lemons can keep out side the fridge for a year if the jar is tightly closed.  Once it has been opened, place the lemons in the frig.

Thank you to ABRAMS Books for sponsoring this post and for sending me an advanced copy of Ibiza, Land and Sea.  I am part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party so there will be more wonderful recipes to come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

All the Creatures were Stirring...Holiday Cocktails

The holidays are here and I am ready to stir it up!
I am giving 2 festive cocktails a whirl this Christmas.

Jolly Jelly Cocktail

When enjoying a cocktail, I tend to be a creature of habit.
Typically I will have the old standby, a vodka soda.
With one spin of spoon, I've transformed the old standby 
into something as jolly as a bowlful of jelly...

I definitely think it would make Santa laugh and stay for a sip...

I prepared the standard vodka, soda and crushed ice...

and swirled in a dollop of raspberry jam.
I may preserve this recipe all through the winter!

Hot Buttered Rum, Pa, Rum, Rum

When there is a chill in the air, 
you long for something warm in your mug...

I've drummed up the easiest, Hot Buttered Rum.
It is one of the finest gifts to bring to the Christmas Cocktail menu!

I've taken my favorite recipe and made it even easier...

Fill your cup with one shot of rum and very hot water...

then stir in my secret ingredient...

the magical Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Butter from Trader Joe's...


Blog Widget by LinkWithin