Gifting Food

With a little thought, you can make your food gifts the highlight of someone’s holiday season—and of yours. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
With the holiday season on your doorstep, you’re likely planning meals and buying and making gifts. If you’re like me, you’re preparing to give the gift of food. It may not sound as sexy as an Apple AirPod or gravity blanket, but when you’ve taken the time to make it, package it, and set it aside with a specific person in mind, it carries far more love.

Still, giving and receiving food has its challenges. I’m not talking about the effort you put into preparing it, which you’ve likely already planned into your schedule and budget. I’m talking about ensuring your hard work will truly be appreciated by the receiver—and about how you, when you’re the receiver, can value what’s been created for you. With a little thought, you can make your food gifts the highlight of someone’s holiday season—and of yours.
Read more about gifting food

Tomatoes

Grilling and preserving pair perfectly, and their advantages stretch far beyond flavor. Get grilled tomato recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
You’ve probably noticed that I love grilled vegetables. I also love home-canned goods, and the techniques of grilling and preserving pair together perfectly. The advantages of grilling for canning stretch far beyond flavor, particularly for tomatoes.

Grilling combined with freezing makes it easy to start processing vegetables as they ripen throughout the growing season, making preserving seem more like a habit than a chore. During tomato season, we pull the ripest fruit from the vine every few days. That evening, we fire up the grill and cook off a rack or two of tomatoes; the hot halves go straight into a colander set over a large bowl to drain off the juice—usually while we’re enjoying a grilled dinner. Once they’re cool, I pour the separated solids and juice into separate containers, weighing and labeling each before adding them to the freezer.

When the freezer’s full, I have two products ready for processing: solids and juice. Because the juice was drained off, any sauce or salsa doesn’t have to cook for hours to thicken. Because the solids have already been pulled out of the juice, I can quickly apply it to any recipe, from beverage to soup. In just a couple of hours, I can have several canner batches processed for long-term storage. The freezer is ready for the next round of preserving, and the canning shelves are full of delicious fire-roasted flavors.
Learn to make Grilled Tomato Pasta Sauce and Tomato Juice Soup

Quick Saves

This primer brings together ways I quickly save the last rounds of in-season veg. Read more about quick-save vegetables. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
As the growing season winds down, I get plenty of questions about what to do with the last weeks of homegrown harvests and the last crops from farmer’s markets. By now, you’ve likely eaten your fill of your favorite fresh dishes and processed your favorite canned and frozen goods. If you’re like me, you’re torn between wanting to be done with the labor of weeding and harvesting and wanting to capture those last few tomatoes, those last few broccoli stalks, to enjoy after snowfall.

I’ve already shared many of my favorite ways to save excess and end-of-season produce. This month, I’ll continue to share some of my favorite fall canning recipes. But this week, I wanted to bring together in one post some of the ways I quickly save the last rounds of in-season veg.
Read more about quickly saving vegetables

Grilled Peppers

You could spend a small fortune buying jars of oily, roasted red peppers. Or you could grill your own. Get roasted red pepper recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Every year, we stuff at least 40 pepper plants into a hoop house, including bell peppers, Gypsy peppers, Poblanos, and several types of chilies. We go big because peppers can go in and on almost anything: salsas, salads, dips, sauces, breakfast eggs, lunch sandwiches, dinner pastas—the list is endless.

The challenge is in waiting for the peppers to ripen to bright yellows, oranges, reds, and purples and then capturing their peak flavor. My favorite variations use the grill to add a little char for fresh eating, such as for Corn, Bean, and Pepper Salsa and Shish Kebabs with Garlic–Soy Marinade, or a lot of smokiness before long-term storage, such as for Smoked Chilies and Home-Smoked Chili Paste. My latest trick falls somewhere in the middle: roasting peppers on the grill and then freezing them in a dice to throw in winter dishes or as a puree to use as a spread or sauce.
Learn to grill peppers and make Red Bell Pepper Puree