DIY: Homemade Pickles

Michelle Chahine Sinno Mornings With Minjay Pickles

Last week, my mom was visiting and I took the opportunity to make homemade pickles with her. I find most canned pickles available in stores to be too sweet (and with unnecessary added sugar). As a kid, I used to love the pickles at home that my mom used to make, based on my grandma’s recipe. I don’t know if it would be accurate to call them “Lebanese Pickles,” but they are definitely a staple from growing up there.

It’s been so exciting to see the pickle jars on my kitchen counter the past few days (It’s the small things in life, after all). I can’t wait to pop one open later this week and try them out.

Here’s the recipe for one large jar (around 37-40oz. For reference, I used the IKEA Burken Jar and doubled the recipe to make 2 jars total).

  • 1 C water
  • 1 Tbsp rock salt (not heaping)
  • 1 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lb small Persian cucumbers (easily found at Trader Joe’s)

Place the water in a saucepan on high heat and stir in the rock salt until it melts. When the water boils, add the vinegar and return to boil. As soon as it does, remove from heat and cool completely. 

Michelle Chahine Sinno work life balance recipes

When the mixture is cooled, slice the cumbers and add them into the jar.

Peel one large garlic clove (or two small ones) and add on top of the cucumbers.

Cucumber pickles homemade recipe

Pour the water-salt-vinegar mixture into the jar. Cover with an air-tight lid. Wait 5-6 days and then refrigerate after opening.

Michelle Chahine Sinno Pickles

(Note: I took this photograph right when I sealed the jar. The green color will wilt significantly once pickled).



If you’re new to this blog, read my first 2 posts in this series:


6 Tips for Going Seasonal Part 1: Home Accents & Decoration for the Fall

There is such joy in embracing a new season. Fall is one of my favorites, because it brings with it that cozy back-to-school feeling when you’re filled with new possibilities. It also ushers in the festive mood of the holidays.

Ever notice how your spirits lift when you see fall decorations in coffee shops or restaurants? When you enter Trader Joe’s and are greeted by a pumpkin patch? I know my spirits always are.

The same can go for our homes. Without much fuss or effort, we can take a moment to welcome a new season and change up our living spaces to match the season. If you don’t have loads of time to decorate (I know I don’t), picking up a few mini-pumpkins from Trader Joe’s, fall-colored flowers and other easy, inexpensive accents can go a long way.

Because, as my new motto for balance is: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good Gretchen Rubin

It’s brought me such pleasure to take a few extra minutes at the supermarket to pick out pumpkins or flowers, and it can be a significant contributor of getting out of the day-to-day haze to notice and enjoy the season we’re in.

Some ideas:

Choose flowers that have fall colors.


Display seasonal fruits on your kitchen counter, especially orange and red-colored produce like apples, pomegranates and all sorts off colorful squash.
Add mini-pumpkins of different colors to a few shelves and countertops
You can buy beautiful bouquets of fall leaves from most supermarkets (these are from Ralph’s, which is Kroger here in LA). And of course, candles with scents like Autumn Harvest, Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice.

The nice thing is that most of these accents can stay through Thanksgiving, maybe rearranged a bit here and there.

Fall leaves and candles
Weave in Halloween touches in October, and switch them out to Thanksgiving-themed accents in November.

Bonus: Simple Halloween decoration for your front door to get into the spirit, even if you live in an apartment building.

Witch’s hat and broom, with a large pumpkin of course. I feel every doorway should have one or two good large pumpkins in the fall 🙂

Happy Fall!