candied ginger

This actually makes four products if you want, all from a kilo of ginger!

Candied Ginger:
1 kg fresh ginger root (aged if you desire for stronger flavour)
4 liters water
2 kg sugar
Peel the ginger.  Reserve the peel for making ginger candy and tea (optional)
Slice the peeled ginger across the root, (not lengthwise) about 1/4 inch thick. Add ginger pieces to 4 liters of water and 2 kilograms of sugar in a heavy bottomed pot, heat to boiling, then reduce to medium cooking down to half of the volume. Stir just enough to keep it from sticking.
Remove from heat and let the ginger soak overnight.
Drain the ginger well, and reserve the syrup. Spread the ginger pieces on racks and dehydrate until chewy. I used the dehydrator for a couple hours, but you can use your oven at its lowest temperature. Be sure to turn the fan on!

Ginger Syrup:
Warm the reserved ginger syrup from making the Candied ginger. Its great added to ginger cookies, tea, or straight out of the bottle for immune-boosting. 

Ginger Tea:
Puree the reserved ginger peels and squeeze out all the juice. Reserve the juice to make Ginger Candy!
Lay the squeezed puree of the peels evenly on drying racks and dehydrate until very dry. Store in a cool dark place and add to your tea cup with boiling water for a zing of ginger tea.

Ginger Candy: (This is the most complicated of the four recipes.)
1 kg sugar
reserved juice from squeezing ginger peels
Set up some cookie sheets with parchment paper, and spread with tapioca starch. Make some depressions with your fingers for pouring the candy.
Use a large, thick-bottomed pan & slowly caramelize 1 kg of sugar. Cook VERY slowly! Have your candy/cooking thermometer ready! You're looking to reach firm-ball state, meaning the temperature of the boiling sugar should reach around 120°C (248°F) and no more.
(if you go past 248°F and the sugar is still in big lumps, you had the heat too high. You will need to make hard candy instead of ginger chews! just keep cooking until all is melted and bubbly up to 300°F and carry on with the recipe.)
Add ginger juice from the puree. Now move quickly! On your cookie sheets, pour the candy into the depressions, let it cool, then cover with more starch. Cut into nibble-size pieces, (break into chunks if you made hard candy) and store in an airtight container with ample starch to keep the pieces from sticking together.

A word of caution: Please be careful when working with hot sugar. Sugar burns are nasty. Hot sugar is almost impossible to quick rub or rinse off the skin, and it will continues burning long after it comes into contact with your skin. Please don't allow yourself to be sloppy or distracted when working with hot sugar, and avoid dangling hair, jewelry, or clothing. Candy temperatures

ultimate GF chocolate chip cookies

We have been trying a lot of different ideas to create the fabulous chocolate chip cookie that we KNOW is possible to make without wheat flour and finally came up with this delicious recipe. Just the right amount of crisp in the gooey chocolate goodness!
Three steps: mixing, chilling and then baking. Makes about six dozen cookies. 

dry ingredients
2 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup soft butter
1 1/4 cups golden yellow sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients. set aside.
In mixing bowl, beat the butter until light. Add the sugars. Cream until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue beating until mixed. Add chocolate chips and stir in.
Refrigerate this cookie dough at lease an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper or we recently starting using silicone sheets on the metal cookie sheets. Work great and the cost is worth it!
Drop cookie dough by 1" balls about 2" apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 F in the middle of the oven for between 9 - 11 minutes. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to complete cooling. 

mustard beans

Makes about six jars of pickles... one of Brad's favourites.

4 quarts fresh green beans
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup dry mustard
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon turmeric
3 cups white vinegar

Prepare your jars and lids. Wash & sterilize.
Wash and string beans and cut into one inch pieces. Steam until just tender.
While the beans are heating up, put sugar, flour, mustard, spices in a pot and mix. Add vinegar and blend. Boil just until thickened.
Drain beans as soon as they turn bright green and pour mustard dressing over them.
Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Try to get all the air pockets out from between the bean. You may have to really push them in.
Seal in sterilized jars 15 minutes in a hot water canner.
These are great in sandwiches too.

peach tomato salsa

by special request, here is my peach salsa recipe!

9 cups fresh peaches: blanched, peeled & chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 cups fresh tomatoes: blanched, peeled & chopped
2 large green peppers, seeded & diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, diced
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Peel, pit, and chop peaches, and mix with lime juice as you go!
Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel pot. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently, then turn heat to simmer.
Ladle salsa into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Top with sterilized lid. Screw on band tightly. Place jars in boiling water in canning pot, making sure tops of lids are covered. Bring canner to full boil, and process for 10 minutes.
Remove, and cool on the counter for a day before labeling and storing in a cool dark place. Try your best to wait a month before tasting. So so much better after it ages a bit.