IN A “JAM”

We’ve had such nice weather lately that when I was out in the valley this week, I decided to stop at the local berry farm and pick up some berries.  I opted to not “U-pick” as I was wearing white pants that day. 🙂   I headed into the market and found the berry counter.  After looking at the “flats” I purchased a 15 lb flat of strawberries and 10 lb flat of raspberries.  It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how many berries I actually had gotten!  I think I was mesmerized by all the good looking red berries haha

Once home I had to decide what to do with 25 lbs of berries!  After all you can only drink so many smoothies and eat so much yogourt with berries sprinkled on top.  Off to the market to pick up more mason jars, sugar, lemons, and pectin (liquid).

These recipes make one batch.  I made strawberry and raspberry jam and the recipes are slightly different but the general idea is the same.

I took the lids off the jars and washed them all in hot soapy water, rinsed well and placed on a deep cookie sheet with 1/2 inch of water in a 300 F degree oven to sterilize them.  I leave them in until just before I have to fill them.

IMG_4201

Take the lids and place them in a sauce pan with water and bring to a simmer. (Screw caps don’t have to be hot and sterilized.

RASPBERRY JAM

4 cups prepared raspberries (pick out leaves, stems and rinse quickly)

6 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp of butter

1 pouch of liquid pectin

Use a deep stainless steel pot as jam will boil up quickly.

Add the raspberries and the sugar and use a potato masher to crush.  I keep crushing and stirring until the sugar is all incorporated.  Add in the butter as it keeps the foaming to a minimum.

 

Boil over high heat stirring constantly until it comes to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.  Add one pouch of pectin and stir in. Boil x 1 min and then remove from heat and skim off any foam.

IMG_4229

Place the hot jars on a clean tea towel and using a wide mouth funnel fill the jars up to 1/4″ from the top.  Wipe the mouths of the jars so that no stickiness remains and top with heated lids and apply the screw cap and screw finger tight.

 

Place jars in a hot water bath using a canner, with 1″ above all the jars.  Cover the canner with the lid and bring water to a full rolling boil. I boiled them for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat at 10 min and remove the lid and let sit for 5 min.  Then using a jar lifter I removed the jars from the water and placed them on another dry tea towel.  Within a few minutes you will start to hear the lids popping (they become concave).  Do not move for 24 hours.

Then label and put away to enjoy!

I used 500ml (1 pint)  canning jars and each “batch” made 3 – 4 jars

STRAWBERRY JAM

3 3/4 cups of crushed strawberries (hull, wash, slice and crush)

4 Tblsp lemon juice

7 cups of granulated sugar

1 pouch liquid pectin

1/2 tsp of butter

Add the sugar, and strawberries and lemon juice and crush until there is no dry sugar visible.

Bring to a full rolling boil and then add the pectin and boil for 1 minute.  Follow the remaining directions for filling jars and water bathing as above.

I ended up with 12 pints of strawberries and 10 pints of strawberries, plus I froze a  ton of berries as I was getting tired from standing and stirring.  Plenty of other recipes to come in future blogs.

Stay tuned!!

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

 

 

 

BANANA PECAN MUFFINS

If you are looking for a tasty, high fibre muffin, this is it!  It’s from Canadian Living Magazine, I believe, in the 80’s.   So moist and flavourful and they freeze well.  The orange zest gives the muffins a bright fresh taste.

Ingredients:

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup of melted butter ( I used margarine)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

grated rind of 1 whole orange

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill, 1 to 1)

1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt ( I use less in all my recipes)

1/2 cup chopped medjool dates (remove pits)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

In one bowl, mix bananas, butter, egg, vanilla and orange rind together. (the bananas had been frozen and they started to congeal the melted butter, but it still worked out fine)

IMG_3956

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dates and pecans and toss together lightly.

Pour dry ingredients into wet mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon into 12 large muffin cups.

Bake at 350 degrees  for 20 minutes.  Check with a skewer to see if it comes out clean. If not, put in for another 5 minutes and check again.  (the original recipe says 15 – 20 minutes)  I’m not sure if its my oven but mine is convection and I find it takes at least 25 minutes.

Let cool and then enjoy (If you can wait that long 🙂 )   Great with a cup of tea or a dish of yogourt for breakfast!

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie!

IMG_3887

I recently saw this recipe done up and it was so quick and easy that I had to give it a try.  I was visiting my mom and I thought it would be something she could whip up when she has her ladies group over and doesn’t want to make something too involved.  I also am looking forward to give it a try when the family comes over next time. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 large package of chocolate chip cookies ( I used Chips Ahoy)

1 glass of milk

1 large tub of Cool Whip

8 x 8 pie plate or cake pan

Dip cookies one at a time into glass of milk and then shake off. Layer in bottom of pan.

Cover with layer of Cool Whip, then dip cookies and layer on top of Cool Whip.  Continue until you have used up all the cookies except for 2 or 3.

End up with a layer of Cool Whip. Crumble the remaining few cookies over the top or you could use a several miniature chocolate chip cookies as the top layer.

Cover with Saran wrap and leave in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours.

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

SLOW COOKER BEEF SHORT RIBS

 

 

IMG_2823

It’s cold and rainy outside. The perfect day for comfort food. I’ve been meaning to make this dish the last couple of days but left it too long and it wouldn’t have long enough in the slow cooker so today was the day!!


This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Jess at Little Girl Story.

growing edge


 

I don’t have an exact recipe as it just depends on what I have in the pantry/fridge, but the basics are there.

The beef ribs I get are thin sliced and there are 4 – 5 slices in a package. Today I used 3 packages so approximately 15 beef slices.

 

1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt/pepper

1 quart of canned tomatoes (still using my own canned tomatoes)

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup of gluten free barbeque sauce

1/2 cup of celery ribs/leaves, chopped

1/2 cup of sweet white onion, chopped

1 Tblsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tblsp of dry mustard

2 Tblsp of brown sugar

1 Tblsp of white vinegar

1 cup of beef stock

1 Tblsp of cornstarch or potato starch

So I start by sprinkling the meat with salt and pepper and brown both sides in a hot frying pan or deep pot with the olive oil. Don’t over crowd meat or it just steams and doesn’t brown.

Once the meat is all browned (it takes several batches to get it all done), I add in the onions and celery and cook until wilted and slightly carmelizing.

IMG_0061

 

Add all the other ingredients, except the cornstarch, into the slow cooker. Break up the tomatoes and stir all together. Add in celery and onions and then layer meat in until all the meat is covered by the sauce.

 

Turn the slow cooker to high until it starts bubbling and then down to low to let it simmer for 4 – 5 hours.

IMG_0062

Twenty minutes prior to serving make a slurry with cornstarch using either water or beef stock and add to pot. Cover up with lid and let thicken.

 

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and vegetables.

I can smell this cooking as I sit here and can hardly wait for supper.  Yum!

I hope you give this a try! You won’t be disappointed.

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

 

Bunny Eats Design Our Growing Edge

HOLIDAY STUFFING

So my families favourite part of the holiday meal is the stuffing I make. Unfortunately for them, I only make it at Thanksgiving and for Christmas.  You could make this any time and I think that I should surprise them by making this yummy dish at a random meal.

Usually 2 – 3 packages course (cubed) bread crumbs

4-5 skinned Italian sausages broken up

1 gala apple cubed

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1/2 large sweet onion chopped finely

1 cup of frozen or fresh whole cranberries

1 box (1 litre/quart) of organic low sodium chicken stock

1 cup of butter

1-2 tsp of poultry seasoning

1 tsp of fennel seed

salt and pepper to taste (but the meat is usually salty and everyone salts food later anyways)

In a large dutch oven type pot, add onion and celery and butter and cook until softened and just starting to carmelize on the edges.

IMG_2917

Add in apple and cranberries and cook until starting to soften.

In a separate frying pan cook the sausage, breaking up until fully cooked. I add the fennel seed at this point.

IMG_2912

Once sausage is cooked add into the onion,celery,apple mixture.

Mix well and then add the bread crumbs, seasoning, and mix again. You can transfer to a large bowl at this point if the pot isn’t big enough. I make a huge amount as my family prefers this to potatoes.

IMG_2924 Continue reading “HOLIDAY STUFFING”

SPRING DESSERT – PAVLOVA

We’ve just finished Easter dinner and it was enjoyed by all! For years the dessert I have made is Pavlova with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Always requested and always enjoyed.

The recipe is very simple, even though it looks like something few would attempt. This makes a special end to a meal whether it be for Easter or for a spring meal.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites (I use large size eggs)

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp white vinegar

1 cup of whipping cream

Assorted berries or fruit

2 tablespoons of  toasted sliced almonds or pistachios

Separate the 4 eggs making sure that you don’t let any yolk get into the whites. Put them into your mixing bowl and start mixing on medium high speed until peaks are soft when you lift the beaters out.

IMG_1756IMG_1758

When you get to the soft peak stage you start adding the cup of sugar while beating at a medium high speed. Once the sugar is incorporated add in the vanilla and white vinegar. Wipe down the sides occasionally and keep beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks and are glossy.

IMG_1762

Lay a piece of parchment out on a flat cookie sheet. Spread out the whipped egg whites into a circle approximately 8 inches with the edges slightly raised. It does spread slightly when cooked.

IMG_1763

Put into a 275 F oven for 1 hour then shut off the oven and leave the door closed and let pavlova dry out for 4 hours or over night.  It turns slightly golden when dried.

IMG_1771

Whip cream and pile in center of pavlova. Add strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi etc over top of the whipped cream.

IMG_1774

You can also add toasted sliced almonds or chopped toasted pistachios for a bit of crunch.  Try adding another dollop of whipped cream on top of the fruit as well.

Occasional I have made individual size meringues as well and these are fun to eat as well.

Hope you try this fun and fancy dessert.

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤