22 July 2015

Watermelon Jam

Okay maybe it's just me put I've pinned thousands of things onto Pinterest, most of which I will never try. But everyonce in a while I come across a pin that I have to try as soon as possible. The other day I was browsing pinterest and saw a pin for watermelon jam.  Mind blown. I've never heard of watermelon jam and I certainly never would of though putting watermelon in jam.  Well, I had a big watermelon on my counter that my 4 year old convinced me to buy. It had been sitting there a while and needed used up, so I decided to give the watermelon jam a try. It's delicious. It's like summer in a jar.  Now, here's the thing. I looked up recipes online and came across a few different ones.  It seemed like most recipes called for 1 package of pectin and a ton of watermelon, but people noticed it didn't always set up well.  Other recipes used special brands of pectin, some used liquid and some used 2 packages of pectin.  It was all a little confusing and not very consistent.  Basically I decided to consult the little jar of Ball Classic Pectin. The kind that lets you just use the pectin by the tablespoonful and came up with my own recipe.  The first batch I made, I doubled. Bad idea. It boiled over so bad eventhough I used  my largest pot. I was also a little short on sugar.  The next batch I made pretty much used up the rest of my pectin leaving just a tiny bit in the jar so I just dumped the rest of the pectin in making it a little bit more than 5 tablespoons..  While both batches set up, it seemes as though the second batch set up much better. I don't know if that litle extra bit of pectin did the trick or if it was actually using the right amount of sugar or if it was because it wasn't double, but it worked much better the second time around.  I should probably note that 5 tablespoons of pectin from the jar is a little bit less than 1 box of powered pectin. I believe it's supposed to be 6tablespoons to equal one box. I figure using a little extra pectin wont hurt the recipe, but  may actually increase your success. Also good to note, between the two batches I canned 17 half pints and I didn't even use an entire watermelon!

Watermelon Jam

  • 4 cups Watermelon puree
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin (or 1 box powdered pectin)
  • 3 cups sugar

Start by preparing you boiling water canner and jars. 

Remove rind from watermelon and discard rind. Chop watermelon into smaller pieces and puree in blender until you have 4 cups watermelon puree.  Remove seeds (I didn't take the time to remove evey single one of the little white seeds that are still edible because it was a pain, but I did remove any seeds that seems larger or black).

Mix watermelon puree and lemon juice together in a large pot. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam (I don't usually skim foam off of my jam, but this recipe definitely needs it.)

Ladle hot jam into prepared hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude*. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours.

*1,000-3,000 ft add 5 minutes
3,000-6,000 ft add 10 minutes
6,000-8,000 ft add 15 minutes
8,000-10,000 ft add 20 minutes

15 June 2015

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

A few weeks ago we had a grumpy 4 year old with a double infection. When I asked him what he wanted for dinner, he said he wanted cinnamon rolls.  Since he seemed so miserable I was happy to comply especially since I had my eye on this no yeast cinnamon roll recipe from Recipe Girl.   THey were really delicous and they were quick. We're they as good as fluffy yeast cinnamon rolls that take hours to prepare. Not quite, but they were still yummy and perfect for cinnimon rolls that need to make a little faster.

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

  • 2all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Prepare the filling: In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients with a fork until a crumbly mixture is formed.
Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a stand mixer with the cookie paddle or use a pastry blender to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the milk and the egg and stir to combine. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into roughly shaped large rectangle (about 1/4-inch thick). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around. Carefully roll up the rectangle (the dough will be soft). Use a sharp knife to cut 12 rolls. Carefully place the rolls in the prepared muffin tin.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting: Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk/buttermilk in a medium bowl will an electric mixer to combine. Add a little more milk if you wish to have a thinner frosting. Spread the frosting on top of warm rolls or drizzle on top. Serve warm.

12 May 2015

Cinnamon Carrot Cake

This Easter we had a  nice dinner with my family. I volunteered to bring a carrot cake. The past couple of years I made this carrot cake cheesecake,  It's wonderfully delicious, but for some reason a regular carrot cake so much better (and a bit easier too)  This recipe came from my mother in law and was meant for a 9 x 13 pan, but  I decided to bake it in a bundt pan and just drizzle the frosting on.

Cinnamon Carrot Cake
  • 1 1/2 C. oil
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C. plus 1 T. unsifted flour
  • 1 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 C. grated carrot
  • 3/4 C. chopped pecans
Cream oil and sugar. Add eggs. Sift dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture and mix well. Add carrots and nuts. Bake in greased and floured cake pan--375 for 45 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese icing.

  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
Mix till smooth.

28 April 2015

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

So I needed to make some cookies for a church event.  So I set out to find something on pinterest. It's spring so was in the mood for something with lemon. I came a cross this recipe for lemon short bread cookies.  So good. I've already made them a couple of times and I'm sure this will be made many more times in the house hold.

  • 2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (55g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon (255g) all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch, sifted
  • 2/3 cup (94g) powdered sugar
Place the butter and 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the flour and corn starch and beat just until a smooth dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Place each half onto a large piece of baking paper form into a 20cm (8in) long log. Wrap well in the paper and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one of the dough logs (keep the other in the fridge) and slice it into 1cm-thick rounds. Place onto the prepared baking sheets 5cm (2in) apart and bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the oven and cool on the sheets for 5 minutes.
Gently toss the warm shortbreads in the 2/3 cup sugar and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

19 March 2015

Veggie Sushi Rolls

Sushi is not something we eat very often. But the hubby has been craving sushi lately. Since we don't have the opportunity to  leave all 3 kids home and go somewhere nice whenever we want, I decided search the internet for information on making easy sushi rolls. I discovered making sushi rolls is pretty easy. You just need some seeweed, fermented rice, and veggies.  The fermented  rice is pretty simple to make and just needs sugar and some rice wine vinegar.  I'll let you in on a secret. I forgot to buy the rice wine vinegar when I was at the store so I used apple cider vinegar instead. That's what I had in my cupboard and I think it worked just fine.  We've already made sushi rolls a couple of times and I forsee making them a lot over the summer. The first time I used cucumber, bell peper, and carrot for my veggies. I wanted to use avocado, but my avacado was rock hard and not edible. The second time around, I had a much riper avocado, so we did cucumber, bell pepper, and avocado.  Both combinations tasted great, but I liked the second combination better.

If you need help figuring out how to construct and roll the sushi I found this video on youtube and thought it was pretty helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phBFVm0gNaI

Veggie Sushi Rolls

  • 2 cup cooked rice
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Veggies cut into long strips: 
    • Cucumber, carrot, avacado, bell pepper, streamed asparagus, etc.
  • Seaweed
Mix vinegar, sugar, and salt in small saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour vinegar mixture over rice and a mix.  
Place one sheet of seawead on a towel. Spead a thin layer of rice over seaweed, leaving about one inch of top edge uncovered. Place veggie strips at bottom edge of seaweed. Tightly roll seaweed around veggies, using water to help seal edge of seaweed closed. If needed use the towel to help roll tightly and evenly. Cut itno 1" pieces. If desired serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

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