Girls Who Love Pickles

Quick Guide to Pickled Cucumbers: 
Want a zesty snack that packs a punch? Then try your hand at pickling cucumbers! It’s easier than you think, and the results are oh-so-satisfying.

This recipe is for Quick Pickles, ready to enjoy in just a few hours. Perfect for impatient women (and men) who crave that satisfying crunch.


2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced (use a mandoline slicer for ultimate thinness!)
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
Fresh dill sprigs (optional)
1 garlic clove, smashed (optional)
Peppercorns (to taste)
Red pepper flakes (a pinch for an extra kick, optional)

Instructions for preparing your vessel:

1. Wash a clean pint-sized mason jar with hot soapy water and rinse well. Pat it dry with a clean cloth.
2. Pack it in: Fill the jar with the sliced cucumbers and red onion (if using). Toss in the dill sprigs, garlic clove (if using), and peppercorns.
3. Brine Time! In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Don’t let it boil!
4. Hot and Steamy: Carefully pour the hot brine over the cucumber mixture in the jar, ensuring everything is submerged. If the brine doesn’t cover everything, add a little more hot water or vinegar to the jar.
5. Seal the Deal: Wipe the rim of the jar clean. Screw on the lid tight.
6. The Waiting Game (almost over!) Let the pickles cool completely on the counter for about 30 minutes. Then, transfer them to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.

The Daring Twist: Feeling feisty?
Try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the brine for an extra spicy kick!
Enjoy your homemade quick pickles!

Just a Girl Who Loves Big Pickles!

Spicy Sausage Showdown!

Craft Your Own Culinary Adventure: Spicy Sausage Showdown!
Ready to become a sausage-making superhero? Here’s your guide to crafting a batch of amazing hot sausages, perfect for grilling, pan-frying, or stuffing into sandwiches. 
This recipe assumes you have a meat grinder and sausage stuffer. If not, pre-ground pork and store-bought casings will work in a pinch!
The Base:
    2 pounds ground beef OR pork shoulder (not too lean!)
The Spice Symphony:
    2 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust for your heat preference)
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed (optional, for a licorice-like depth)
The Extras:
    1/2 cup red wine (optional, adds moisture)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    Hog casings (soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes)
1. **Spice Up Your Life:**  In a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder)  toast and grind the fennel seeds.  Combine all the spices in a bowl and mix well. 
2. **Get Chilly:**  Place the ground beef OR pork in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. This helps with even grinding and prevents the sausage from getting mushy.
3. **Grind Time!**  Attach the grinding plate (medium size works well) to your meat grinder. Grind the chilled pork shoulder. 
4. **Spice Mix Magic:**  In a large bowl, combine the ground pork with the spice mixture.  Using your hands (or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment), gently mix everything together until evenly distributed. 
5. **Liquid Love (Optional):**  If using red wine, slowly add it to the meat mixture, a little at a time, and mix it in until incorporated. This helps with moisture content. 
6. **The Oil Factor:**  Drizzle in the olive oil and continue mixing until everything is well combined. 
7. **Chill Out:**   Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the sausage mixture for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. This allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
8. **Stuff It!** Attach the sausage stuffer nozzle to your stuffer.  Feed the soaked casings onto the nozzle, leaving a small tail at the end.  Gently fill the casings with the sausage mixture, using a sausage stuffer or a spoon. Be careful not to overstuff, as the casings can split.  Leave a few inches of empty casing at the end and twist to create a link. Repeat until all the sausage mixture is used.
9. **Taking Shape:**  As you stuff, twist the sausage into links of your desired size. Pinch the casing to create a division between each link. 
10. **The Water Test:**  Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a simmer (not a boil!). Carefully add the sausages and simmer for 5 minutes. This helps cook the sausages slightly and firm up the casings.
11. **Time to Shine:**  Remove the sausages from the water and pat them dry. Now you can cook them however you like – grill them, pan-fry them, or even bake them in the oven. 
**Pro-Tip:** Before grilling or pan-frying, prick the casings with a sterile needle a few times to prevent them from bursting.
Congratulations! You’ve created your own batch of amazing hot sausages. Enjoy your culinary adventure and impress your friends with your daring deliciousness!

Just a Girl Who Loves Hot Sausage

Just a Girl Who Loves Hot Dogs!

 They Don’t Call Them “Pink Ladies” for Nothing: The Queens of Competitive Hot Dog Eating
Forget dainty tea parties and bottomless mimosas. These ladies are all about shoving hot dogs down their throats in a race against time (and maybe good taste). Yes, we’re talking about the fierce females of competitive eating, specifically the queens of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
In the past, hot dog eating was a sausage-fest (pun intended). But in 2011, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas broke the gender barrier by devouring 40 dogs to become the first ever Women’s Champion. Since then, we’ve seen a league of extraordinary eaters rise to relish-filled glory.
The reigning champ, Miki Sudo, is a legend. This momma bear doesn’t just pack away lunches for her kids; she packs away hot dogs like they’re going out of style. With nine wins under her belt and a jaw-dropping world record of 48.5 hot dogs, she’s the undisputed queen of the ketchup castle. 
But Miki isn’t the only one with a competitive appetite. Michelle Lesco and Juliet Lee are always chomping at the bit (pun again, sorry!), ready to dethrone the champ. These ladies train like athletes, developing techniques like the “dunking method” (dipping the hot dog in water to make it slippery) and the “cobra grip” (all about maximizing hot dog real estate in your mouth).
So, the next time you see a hot dog eating contest, don’t just watch the men. These women are redefining what it means to be a champion, and they’re doing it with a smile (and maybe a little bit of indigestion). 

Just a Girl Who Loves Hot Dogs