Jalapeno Garlic Pickles

I love stepping outside of the ordinary and trying something new! New foods new places – I am a traveler at heart. No one told my wallet so farmer it is! What I’ve come to learn is that is actually the next best thing. Those that can’t travel, grow!
New and exciting is adventurous and all however there are a few good ‘ole foods that have found a home in my heart and one of those is pickles! I absolutely love pickled foods – anything from okra to beans! Now you know pickled cucumbers fall into that group! In recent years my husband has begun grilling with pickle juice. You would have to ask him the point of it. All I know is it tastes DIVINE by the time it hits the plate! So here at the Bain home, I eat the pickles, Mr. Bain Home Gardener grills with the juice. Funny right? Well I slipped up and said I was making more pickles and now a certain someone is holding me to it. Join as we make easy Jalapeno Garlic Peppers and Pickled Jalapenos at the same time!
The Produce
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 Garlic clove with stem
  • 5 medium jalapenos
  • 1 sprig fresh Dill
Let’s Prep
  • Wash a 16 oz Mason jar appropriate to the size of the cucumbers you have on hand (if you are making spears as we did) and an 8 oz jar for jalapenos. We didn’t account for how much the jalapenos would cook down so used 2 16 oz jars when actually only an 8 oz  jar was actually needed.


  • Sterilize jar, lid and ring. Since we are doing a refrigerated version just for our family this step really isn’t necessary however we are being extra cautious while maintaining a certain ease. We simply washed our jars well with really warm soapy water and rinsed. We then placed water into a 8 × 8 pan and placed jars upside down in pan with water at the base in a 250° oven. We added the rings and lids to this pan as well.


  • Chop the cucumber, jalapenos and green garlic (up to the beginning of the leaves) to desired size. Consider wearing gloves when handling the peppers AND DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE!
The Spices (always to taste)
We used a pinch (mama’s unit of measurement) of each of the tasty spices below:
  • Celery Salt
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic Powder
  •  Dill Seed
We also Added:
  •  4 African Peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
The Brine
  • We used 10 ounces water to 10 ounces of white vinegar, a one to one ratio.
Let’s Cook
  • Mix brine with jalapenos and garlic into a pot. Add spices. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute then simmer for 4 minutes. You will notice the deep green color changing on the jalapenos to a more olive color. This means the vinegar is infusing into the jalapenos and the jalapeno flavor is diffusing into the brine. This is exactly what we want!
  • With about 1 minute left to simmer carefully remove the jars from the oven.
  • Loosely pack cucumber spears into the 16 oz jar leaving room for jalapeno/brine mixture.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out 2 tablespoons of jalapenos and place them into the jar of cucumbers. Then pour enough of the brine over the spears to cover them. Leave a quarter inch head-space in jar.
  • Pour the remaining, jalapeno brine mixture into your 8 oz jar leaving the same quarter inch head-space. These pickled jalapenos are great on tacos, burritos and greens!
  • Using a paper towel dipped in vinegar, wipe the rims of both jars.


  • Apply lids and rings securely.
  • Now carefully flip the the jars upside down. Allow to stay in this position until completely cool. The heat will normally seal the jar. Again this is just something we do for small batches for the family.
  • Refrigerate. We refrigerate as a precaution since the pickles are not water bath processed or pressure canned. Better safe!
You can enjoy these right away if you desire. However, if you want the flavor deeply infused into the cucumbers  then allow about 7 – 10 days before trying. Now for our moment of honesty – we never wait that long! We usually wait at least one day and then we begin tasting. Maybe you will be more patient than us!
So are you going to try this simple recipe? If you do you know we wanna see those photos! Let us know how they come out! If you would rather let us do it we understand. You can pre-order yours here – from our family to yours!

Garden Fresh Pasta


The baskets were so beautiful this week that Rachel and I were a tad bit jealous! Can you blame us? Truly it is OK since we are also members of this CSA and we harvest for ourselves when we harvest for you. Here is a meal that we did Sunday evening with our baskets. It was so good that we thought we would share!

If you have followed our recipes then you know that we really REALLY hate waste. So at our home we reinvent leftovers quite often. This is especially so on the weekends when I really have tired of cooking. So for the beginning of the recipe I’ll share the pasta which happened to be the left over portion.

The Pasta

I used Rigatoni pasta Saturday night to go with the meatballs in tomato sauce instead of Angel Hair pasta. After cooking I did the following:

  • Drain pasta.
  • Add back to pot and place on a no heat on the burner.
  • Add 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese.
  • Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and stir until the pasta is well coated.
  • Season to taste – we used our own home grown dried basil.

The Garden Fresh

When we say garden fresh we usually are referring to the fact that it was freshly harvested from the garden. While we used items from our weekly baskets and other fresh produce, this recipe really will work with just about any vegetables you have on hand – fresh or frozen.

Ingredients – All of the ingredients were diced finely.

  • 3 small eggplant (totaling 6 oz)
  • 5 ounces winter greens
  • 2 small turnip roots
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 radish root

Let’s Cook

  • Add your freshly diced produce to 2 tablespoons warm olive oil and saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Season to taste – We used an all purpose seasoning here.
    • At this point I put a small amount into a bowl and sent it into the living room for Mr. Bain Home Gardener to try. All I heard was “WOW!” So if you would like to stop here and just enjoy your veggies, you will not be disappointed!


  • Add pasta and be sure to blend well.
  • ENJOY!


As we transition from Fall to Winter there will be beautiful greens and root crops in abundance! WE CANT WAIT! Rest assured that we will be cooking more and more garden fresh meals and we will try our best to save the best ones to create more easy yet tasty recipes – from our family to yours!

Eggplant Chips

So you have these beautiful Thai Eggplants in your basket – what next?

First of all let me tell you why we decided to grow Thai Purple Ribbed Eggplant (that’s a mouthful!). Have you seen them? They’re beautiful! Outside of that, it’s something we would personally like to see in grocery stores or at the very least Farmer’s Markets. So we figured we would grow it ourselves! And while its stunning beauty is why we started growing it, its taste and ease of preparation is why we will continue growing it!

So just how do we prepare?

The Eggplant

Since your eggplant came from Bain Home Gardens or Hawkins Homestead Farm, you do not have to worry about harmful chemicals. It has been rinsed and inspected for critters. Having said that do one final wash before cooking.

  • Preheat oven to °400.
  • Remove the stems from eggplants. We have found this to be a little tricky with these varieties. The cap of the stem tends to really hug the fruit so you will need to pull the cap up on each of the ends to see the best place to cut. This is the best way to prevent excessive waste of your veggies. If that is not a concern for you, you may simply cut as you wish.
  • For our chips you really want to cut the slices thinly. Otherwise cut them to your liking and adjust cook time to account for thickness. We cut ours thinly thus a shorter cook time.
  • Place sliced eggplant on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Leave 10 minutes. This allows time for the salt to pull the water out of the eggplant which makes for crunchy slices (chips). Pat dry with a cloth.

*If you are going for a more traditional take on your meal, skip the above step.

  • Brush on a thin coat of oil of choice. We used Olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with seasoning of choice. We love garlic so we used garlic powder.

Let’s Cook

  • On a nonstick cooking sheet arrange eggplant slices so they are not touching.
  • Bake on °400 for 15 minutes. *Remember to adjust this accordingly if your slices are cut thicker.
  • Once done, remove from oven allowing to sit for 2 minutes before eating.
  • Enjoy!

We prepared our Eggplant Chips with Fettuccini & Greens Pesto for a more sophisticated switch up on brunch. That recipe to follow in the upcoming weeks. Look out for it along with more home grown goodness – from our family to yours!

Sauteed Kale

Kale – in all its shapes & forms – is everywhere, in everything and for good reason! Kale is a nutrient rich green that is extremely versatile. Eat it raw or cooked, juiced or blended – you can’t go wrong. When we started growing Kale I may have been jumping on the Kale bandwagon but also it isn’t always easy to find organic and fresh.

Over the last few years we have cooked kale nearly every way imaginable. Today we will share with you our simplest yet most sophisticated recipe. For this recipe you will need a good skillet or Wok.

The Kale

If your kale came from Bain Home Gardens or Hawkins Homestead Farm, then you do not have to worry about pesticides. Your Kale has been rinsed and inspected for critters. Having said that – WASH YOUR GREENS CAREFULLY!

  • Remove stem ends from kale leaves (do not throw away).
  • Chop or tear into edible pieces. With my greens I use the “Mama Technique” (my mother and my husbands mother both used this technique thus the name) which is rolling the leaves up tightly and cutting at desired with.

Mama Technique

The Garlic

  • Take 1-2 (always to your taste) cloves of garlic and chop to desired size. For the purpose of this recipe we like to do thin slices. Set it aside.

Let’s Cook

  • Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook until browning begins.
  • Add Kale and be sure to toss it evenly with your garlic and olive oil mixture.
  • Cover and cook for about 5 – 7 minutes depending on how small or large you chopped your leaves.
  • Remove lid and season to taste. If you prefer your greens with less moisture let cook and additional 3 minutes with the lid off to allow for evaporation.
  • ENJOY!

Kale Stems

Kale stems are edible and just like their leaf counterpart, can be used in many different ways. We have made Kale Fries, used them in soups, smoothies, and even omelets! If you are not using them right away, blanch and freeze for later use. How do you prepare your kale? We’d love to know – from our family to yours!

Rosemary Chicken & Kale Fries

If you didn’t know from following our Facebook page, we purchase our whole chicken and eggs from Hawkins Homestead Farm. Rachel and I have been friends for a few years now. I remember when she first had the dorky idea of raising chickens. Now look at ’em go! Consider me the proud sister. We enjoy knowing the care that goes into raising and butchering our food. If you haven’t now is a good time to check out their products.

The Chicken

We love that slow cooked chicken flavor & I personally do not care for standing over a stove so it only makes sense that this recipe calls for a crock-pot.

  • Thaw chicken in refrigerator the evening before preparation.
  • The next morning, prepare one bundle of Rosemary. No need to pull the leaves from stems. We really like it so we used a large bundle.
  • Peel one small onion. Cut in half

Time to Season (always to taste)

  1. Sea salt
  2. Pepper
  3. Five Spice
  • Rub chicken down thoroughly with the above seasonings and do not forget the under the wings!
  • Stuff Rosemary and onion inside the chicken.
  • Place chicken in crock – pot breast side down.
  • Set to low and go to work!

The Kale Fries

Something you will learn about us is that we hate to waste anything! We have recently been making lots of kale salad. It requires that you remove the stems from the leaves, leaving you with perfectly good stems. I thought, “Why toss them? There has to be another way to use them.” See, we already use these in our smoothies but I wanted something more! I began to scour the internet for ideas. There were so many ways to cook them so I chose one – roasting.

  • Prepare stems by ensuring all leaf bits are removed. We had 1 pound.
  • Clean.
  • Blanch (Click here for how to blanch).
  • Dry.

Time to Season (always to taste)

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. Garlic salt
  • Toss kale stems in oil.
  • Add garlic salt & toss again.
  • Spread out evenly, not touching if possible, on a nonstick baking sheet.
  • Place in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes (depending on thickness of stems).
  • Enjoy

Kale Fries & Rosemary Chicken