Friday, August 27, 2010

Just so you know...

My computer crashed. It sounds like I've lost everything I had on there - pictures of recipes and all. I'm currently using our dinosaur of a computer that is so incredibly slow. So, I won't be posting any new recipes until we get our computer fixed or replaced. Until then, enjoy the recipes that are already on here! Hopefully I'll be back soon!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Things

Over the summer I've been thinking about some changes I'd like to make with this food blog. And, now, with my sister-in-law's help, I'm making them! One big change - I now have a button!! I'm so excited about it! So, please feel free to add a button to your own blog. If you have questions, let me know and I'll try to help you out.



Friday, August 20, 2010

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

Before summer is over, I wanted to post this recipe I tried for lemonade. It was DELICIOUS!!! We made it for Father's Day for my hubby and my father-in-law. I'm not sure what my father-in-law thought of it, but we LOVED it!!

Here's what you'll need:

2 C. sugar
1 C. water
2 C. fresh lemon juice
1 gallon cold water
1 lemon, sliced (0pt.)

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. This is called a simple syrup. Allow to cool and refrigerate until chilled. When you're ready to juice your lemons, roll them against the counter with your hand pressed on top to get the most juice out of your lemons. I happen to be using a lime in this picture since we were making both Lemonade and Limeade. We made the syrup and juiced our lemons the night before and let them chill in the fridge overnight, along with our gallon of water. Then when you're ready to serve it, combine the syrup, the lemon juice, and the gallon of water.

Serve cold in nice tall glasses with a wedge of lemon, if desired.

Sip it nice and slow and enjoy what's remaining of the last summer days.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homemade Raspberry Jam

I'm new at this. I've never made jam before - like REAL jam. Not that super easy and not very good freezer jam. I rarely will even eat that. I mean the real deal raspberry jam, cooked and canned, and soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo delicious!!!

So, I was a little nervous to say the least. I don't do a lot of canning, nor do I know a lot about it. As I was preparing to make this, I was wishing my mother-in-law was right next to me to help me through it. She's a PRO at canning. I'm a total rookie.

But it worked out! Yay!! I took some pictures to walk you through the basic steps of making jam. Now, one thing you should know is that depending on what pectin you purchase, the recipes vary. FOLLOW THE RECIPES THEY GIVE YOU INSIDE THE PACKAGE. Since the recipes are different, I'll just walk you through how to do it - no recipe included.

Here's what you do:

Bring a boiling-water canner, a little more than half full with water, to a simmer.

Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. I keep the flat lids in the hot water as well. Drain well and dry off just before filling.

Prepare fruit as directed. Whatever you do, do not puree the fruit! You want the jam to have fruit bits. So, crush with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor.

Measure exact amount of sugar in a separate bowl and set aside.

Measure exact amount of prepared fruit into a 6 or 8 quart saucepan. Stir in pectin and a 1/2 teaspoon of margarine or butter to reduce the foaming. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (it doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat; stirring constantly.

Stir in the sugar quickly, all at once. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 4 minutes; stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon.

Remove approximately 3/4 of the seeds then ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads clean. Cover with lids and screw band tightly.

Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. Water must cover jars by 1-2 inches; add boiling water if needed. Cover; bring water to a gentle boil. Process jams according to instructions. Make any adjustments for your altitude if needed.

Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If the lid springs back, it is not sealed and will need to be refrigerated immediately.

Let stand at room temp for 24 hours. Store unopened jams in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jam for up to 3 weeks.

But if you're anything like us, the jam won't last for three weeks in the fridge. As you can see, one batch made only four pint sized jars and I MUST have more! So my next attempt will be Huckleberry Raspberry Jam. Mmmmmmm!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Busy-ness

Here are a few of my projects that have kept me busy this summer...

My son's pirate ship b-day cake

My baby's Choo-choo train b-day cake

My daughter's purse b-day cake

I catered the desserts at my sister's wedding reception. She had a beach theme, so these lemon raspberry cupcakes had crushed graham crackers to resemble sand and a white chocolate sea shell on top.
These dark chocolate Bavarian cupcakes had sugar pearls and white chocolate sea shells on them.
My new brother-in-law loves cheesecake, so we had to have them as well!
Talk about FUN!!!

Oreo Fudge Pops

Hello, my friends!!! It's been a while and I'm so sorry for it. I've been busy. Really busy. Since the last time I posted (which was the end of April - that's so, so sad), I've been busy with end of school activities, birthdays, a garage sale, catering, having fun with the kids, bottle-feeding calves, traveling, a Carrie Underwood concert, family reunions, more catering, bike rides, tending a garden, walks, BBQ's, camping, family, a wedding reception, and getting ready for school to start again. I even got a new job this summer too. I'm now a Dessert Specialist and I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited about it!!!

Like I said, I've been busy. But today I have some free time and really wanted to post a sweet treat that I recently made with the kids. They loved it and it was super
easy and nice and cold for these hot summer days.

Here's what you'll need:

1 (3.9 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding
2 C. milk
6 Oreo cookies (or about 1/2 C. crushed Oreo's - or more if you want, like I did)
1/2 C. thawed Cool Whip

Beat pudding mix and milk in a large bowl with a whisk for 2 minutes.
Place cookies in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add cookies and Cool Whip to pudding; stir just until blended.
Spoon into 9 (3 oz. - those mini bathroom paper cups) paper cups.
Insert wooden pop sticks or plastic spoons into each for a handle.
Place on a tray and freeze for 5 hours or until firm.
When ready to eat, let sit for 10-15 minutes, then gently pull out of the cups.
A perfect treat for a hot summer day!
Enjoy and I hope to be back soon!!
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