Getting Stuffed

Food that comes in its own edible wrapper can be fun to make and eat. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
There’s something special about food that comes in its own edible wrapper. It can be filling, comforting, flavorful, unique—but mostly it’s fun to eat. It can also be fun to make if you approach it with the right mindset.

Self-contained perfect bites have plenty of advantages. Some, like Sourdough Empanadas, travel well and make ideal meals at school or work. Others, like Pumpkin–Goat Cheese Ravioli with Butter–Nut Sauce, can be frozen for later quick-and-easy meals. With Mushroom-Stuffed Blini, it’s hard to decide whether the freshly made packets or the leftovers, sautéed until crispy, taste best.

These scratch-made recipes also have a downside: They take time and effort. The key is to keep the entire process relaxed and fun. I have several tricks that will help you enjoy the time, break the project into stages, and sample some of your creation along the way. Hopefully these tips will ease you into some of the food projects already on the blog—and the new ones I’ll be sharing this month.
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Storing Pickles

Several tricks and tools will help you store pickled foods so that they stay fresh and crisp. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Now that you’re eager to or have successfully made pickles from the recipes in my new cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling, where and how should you store them? I talk briefly about pickle storage in the book, but several more tricks and tools will help you keep your pickled foods fresh and crisp.

As I mentioned in my post about pickling hacks earlier this month, you need two basic tools to make and store pickles: a container and a way to cover it. To ensure your pickles and their container stay clean and fresh, inside and out, choose nonreactive containers and lids—in other words, ones made of glass, stainless steel, food-grade plastic, or silicone.

Sure, you can cap your pickles with old metal mayonnaise lids or reuse tin-plated canning lids and rings; I did this, and recommended this repurposing, for years. But both will rust and break down over time as the acid in the pickle brine eats away at them, leaving an unattractive sticky mess around the jar threads, on your refrigerator shelves, and even potentially on the underside of the lid, where it can flake down into the food. Instead, I now save those old lids for dry storage and have switched to nonreactive options for high-acid foods.
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Pickling Tools & Hacks

Use tools already in your kitchen to make pickles. Read more about pickling tools and hacks. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’ve been hearing all week from people receiving their copies of The Complete Guide to Pickling. Now that it’s in your hands, I hope you’re excited to start making some tasty pickles. But where to begin, and what do you need?

In writing this book, I not only expanded my pickling repertoire but also tested a range of tools designed to make pickling easy and foolproof. I only had space to briefly describe some of those tools in the book, so this month I want to share some of my favorites and why you may want to add them to your pickling toolbox.

But let me be clear: you can make most of the pickles in The Complete Guide to Pickling using tools that are already in your kitchen or that you can pick up easily and cheaply. That’s how I first started pickling on my own, and I still reach for many of these tool hacks today. I recommend starting this way—you’ll quickly learn what should be at the top of your list for a tool upgrade.
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Fun Pickles

Fun Pickles. Get the recipes in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Gravlax (Salt-Cured Salmon). Photograph by Andrew Purcell.

In case you missed the news: my pickling book went on sale this week! The Complete Guide to Pickling is officially out in the world for you all to read and enjoy. As a bonus, I’ve also released The Pickled Picnic, a digital recipe collection that uses some of the pickles in my new book.

Both the book and the bonus collection are packed with fun recipes. But if you’ve been impressed by the flavors I’ve shared so far, just wait until you get to the final chapter of the book. These pickled foods will take your pickling experience to an entirely new level. I know, because that’s what they did for me.
Read more about fun pickles and learn to make Sweet Vinegar-Pickled Eggs