Jac o' lyn Murphy

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...


Friday, December 7, 2018

The best holiday gifts from Trader Joe's

I love Trader Joe's for so many reasons.
It started in my hometown, 
I can rely on them for quick easy dinners, 
they always have free samples,
their products are one of a kind and
it is inexpensive.
This year it is also a treasure trove of fun gifts for everyone on my list!

Bread and Butter Hostess Gift

There is nothing better than fresh bread and creamy butter.
These 3 unique flavored spreads, 
paired with a fresh baguette is a comforting gift your host can enjoy the next day.

Hi Ho Cherry O

Cherries are cheery, colorful and crucial to have on hand to garnish drinks and desserts.

They are a great gift and paired with a festive toothpick holder, it's 
the "cherry on top"!

No Bake Gingerbread

There is nothing like the holiday smell of fresh baked gingerbread.
Give them a Trader Joe's candle and cute gingerbread men 
and you've all of the elements without any of the work!

Blue Cheese Burgers

Give that fast food lover the 1st class treatment!
This wonderful spread elevates any hot dog or burger 
and this elegant ornament spruces up any tree...

Ring around the Rosemary

Definitely a present they will go nuts for!

Top this amazing nut mix with a fresh rosemary wreath. 
It instantly decks the halls and gives them something to enjoy while they conspire by the fire.

Make it a Blue Blue Christmas

Blueberries and Acai are all the rage to eat and to scrub on your skin.
It'll give them the instant holiday glow!

There is a reason Ho, Ho, Ho rhymes with Trader Joe, Joe, Joe!

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