Recipe: Five Minute Half-Sour Pickles

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I’ve loved pickles ever since I was a kid – in fact I loved them so much that close family members knew that spare pickle spears (the ones you get with a burger and such) were to be immediately surrendered to me. I could eat them all day – in fact, one summer not too long ago I bought a massive jar and finished the entire thing off while watching black & white films with my sister. I probably should have died from salt intake, but boy is it amazing what the human body puts up with!

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Here’s a super simple, easy recipe for half-sour pickles. Now I’m a mostly indiscriminate pickle lover except for one type – those sweet butter kind. I hate ‘em. Which is why you’ll never catch me makin’ them. Now these, they’re not like normal salty green hamburger pickles – the garlic flavor really gives them this mouthwatering freshness and bite! They go great with burgers and sandwiches, as well as all by themselves. But seriously, this recipe is so easy that you’re going to love impressing people with your “home-made pickles” – they’ll think you’re a culinary genius!

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Five Minute Half-Sour Pickles
Super simple, super quick pickles. Perfect for parties, BBQ's, or last minute pickle cravings!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Kirby Cucumbers*
  2. 3 Cloves of Garlic, thoroughly smashed
  3. 1/4 Cup of White Vinegar
  4. 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  5. 1/2 Cup of Water
  6. Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Slice up those kirby cucumbers to ideal pickle size – you can do spears or the normal “chip” shape. Pop them in a glass heat-safe bowl or cup – something that they’ll fit comfortably in – then take your vinegar and pour it on top of your cucumbers.
  2. In a small pot or pan, combine your water, sugar, pinch of salt and 3 smashed garlic cloves. Once the mixture begins to boil remove from heat and pour it over your cucumber/pickle mixture.
  3. Five minutes is enough time for your cucumber slices to absorb all that flavor and emerge as tasty pickles! Take them to BBQ’s, picnics, and the next time you have an insatiable craving!
Notes
  1. * The recipe should turn out the same if you use normal or hot house or “English” cucumbers, in case you can’t get a hold of kirby.
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Cape May: Mario’s of Cape May Review

Two New Yorkers accustomed to legendary New York pizza make pretty tough customers for any pizza shop. But during our visit to Cape May on the Jersey Shore, my sister and I absolutely loved the pizza from Mario’s of Cape May. We stopped by while looking for a fast easy lunch during a hard laborious day of shopping. Located in the Acme parking lot, across the street from Washington Street Mall, and next to Cape Orient, Mario’s is completely unassuming. I mean really, if you’ve seen one pizza joint then you’ve seen them all – what separates the wheat from the chaff is all in the pizza.

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During our visit they were running a lunchtime special of two slices and a medium drink for $5 – a pretty good deal. The first time we stopped buy, we weren’t in a sharing mood and opted for separate slices – I had a slice with broccoli and tomatoes, and my sister had a slice of the margherita.

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Mine was ridiculously good – the crust was warm and crunchy, not too thick, not too thin – and stood up to the weight of the toppings without being hard. And the toppings tasted fresh, well seasoned, and delicious. The slice was super filling, although I could have gone back for another one – but my sister had promised me a dessert of Polish custard and I was determined to leave room for it.

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My sister’s margherita slice inspired jealousy on my part. It smelled so good! My sister, being generous of spirit, required no coaxing to offer me a bite. And yes, it tasted it as good as it smelled. The margherita contained mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino romano, white cheddar cheese, garlic, fresh tomato chunks, and fresh basil – all combined on a crunchy, warm crust. My sister commented that she could even taste the yeast in the dough – she’s made bread, and make’s lots of pizza dough, and pie crusts all the time so if she’s impressed I’d take her word for it.

We came back a couple days later to take advantage of their lunch deal. You can’t really do a review of a pizza place without tasting the standard plain cheese slice – at least that’s what I told myself.

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The plain cheese pizza re-affirmed my opinion that Mario’s was a pretty darn good pizza joint. Warm, cheesy, enough sauce, crunchy (but still soft) crust, and not too much oil – what more can you ask for?

Mario’s was another great Cape May find for us – we did try a pizza place on the boardwalk, across the street from where we were staying and it was overpriced and horrible (it didn’t even rate a review, or a even a picture). If you’re staying near the boardwalk, Mario’s is more than worth the walk (or drive). However, we did have a Chicken Parm & Pasta Molto Mario Meal one rainy evening and found it satisfying – or should I say filling – but unimpressive. So I’d recommend you stick with the pizza, with which you’ll be thoroughly impressed!

Have you been to Mario’s – what was your experience like? Have any favorite places that you visit while in Cape May? Let me know in the comments below!

Crunchy, Cheesy, Delicious – My Farm Rich Review and Giveaway! Ends 9/5!

There is nothing that brings family together like a plate of steaming hot Mozzarella Cheese Sticks. I mean literally. When I served Farm Rich’s Mozzarella Cheese Sticks at our last movie night those crazy people I call family crowded around the plate like it their lives depended on it. Which was totally fine with me because I was secretly hoarding my own plateful back in the kitchen.

Now in my extensive experience with frozen snack food, if a product that normally requires frying suggests that you pop it in the oven for optimal taste then chances are you will put it in the oven for well over the suggested time (because for some reason, the people who suggest cooking-time for these products seem to like their food frozen). And when it’s finally done the lack of crunch and flavor will make you wish you had just fried it instead. Not so with Farm Rich’s products. They come out of the oven tasting like they were just fried- well actually, they taste better because they’re crunchy, hot, and cheesy without dripping oil. And the cooking time indicated on the bag is perfect! Plus, they’re packed with so much great flavor- you can even eat them (happily) without any of the marinara sauce that usually accompanies cheese sticks!

With everybody heading back to school, I’m so happy that we’ve got Farm Rich as an after-school snack option, as well as a family movie, and family game night snacking favorite. Also, I’d like to point out here that the packaging for our Cheese Sticks was so good! First of all, there was a LOT of Cheese Sticks in the bag so you get plenty of product for your buck. Secondly, the bag has a resealing sticky tape that makes storage a breeze. And lastly, I really appreciate that the packaging is in a bag and not a box- because boxes tend to take up loads of space in the freezer which can be annoying.

Right now we’re really massive fans of Farm Rich’s Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Mozzarella Bites, and Mini Quesadillas. But they’ve got loads of other snacking options- check them all out here!

Now if you’re about as excited (and hungry, because how can reading about Mozzarella Cheese Sticks not make you hungry?) as I am about Farm Rich- then here’s the really great part. Farm Rich has kindly offered to give one lucky NYC Talon reader two Free Farm Rich Product coupons!

Enter by clicking HERE or on the image below- good luck!

*Disclaimer: I received compensation for this post in the form of two Farm Rich product coupons. No other form of compensation was received. My opinions are my own and always honest, which means if I don’t like it I won’t blog about it – for more info on that check my pr tab at the top of this page. Thanks so much, and good luck!