Saturday, March 28, 2009

easy freezer strawberry jam...

last week i replenished my freezer with strawberry jam.  i don't have any secret recipe, i just use the one on the pectin package:)  but just incase any of you haven't discovered how easy strawberry freezer jam is... this post is for you!!  i will be honest too- i prefer freezer jam to cooked jam if you have the freezer space.  not only is it so easy, but it tastes so fresh.  i am also posting the tag that i created for the jam i gave as gifts.  i used a 3" circle shaped punch to cut mine out.  you can pick one up at the craft or scrapbooking store.  Enjoy!

{strawberry freezer jam}

2 cups pureed strawberries
4 cups sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
3/4 cup water

In a large bowl, combine strawberries, sugar & lemon juice.  Let sit 10 minutes.  Meanwhile in a small sauce pan- bring water to a boil.  Add pectin.  Bring back to a boil.  Cook at hard boil for 1 minute.  Pour pectin mixture into strawberries.  Stir until sugar is all dissolved. (i usually feel it between my fingers till it is no longer grainy)  Pour into washed & dried containers, either glass or plastic, store in the freezer up to 1 year or in the fridge for 1 month. 

{to get the tag: right click on the image of the tag, "save image as...", save where you want to your computer.  print ( i used a textured card stock).  attach with ribbon, twine or ric rac}

i'll post a recipe for my sister-in-law's super yummy Heavenly Biscuits.  they go perfectly with this jam!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jane's Buttermilk Pie

one of my good friends from high school's family would invite me over quite a bit for sunday dinner.  not only was the company so fun, but the food was always delicious!  one week, his mom made this pie.  it was really good, but she kept saying that something was off.  that is when she realized that she had left out the buttermilk:) ooopps!  i got the recipe from her & have made it quite a few times since then, i have yet to forget the buttermilk.  i always serve it as seen... with homemade raspberry sauce & fresh whipped cream.

{Jane's Buttermilk Pie}

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

3 eggs, beaten

pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk

1 deep dish pie shell (store bought or homemade)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cream together melted butter & sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Add vanilla & lemon juice to butter mixture.  In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Add buttermilk & flour mixture alternating each.  Mixing each one in before adding the other.  Pour into a deep dish pie shell.  Place onto a cookie sheet & place into the oven.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn heat down to 350 degrees & for 40-50 additional minutes or until knife comes out of center clean.  Cool completely.  Serve with berry sauce & whipped cream. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

vermont maple salad with maple soy chicken...

i had a salad similar to this at a little cafe a while back & haven't stopped thinking about it!  so i finally just buckled down & focused on recreating it.  i love the difference in flavors & textures as well as beautiful colors.  i think it might me my new favorite... for today:)

{vermont maple salad with maple soy chicken}

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 small bag fresh baby spinach, chopped

1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2 granny smith apples, cut into small cubes

1 cup candied cinnamon pecan gems**

Layer salad ingredients in order on a large platter or shallow bowl.  Serve dressing on the side.  Also great topped with Maple Soy Grilled Chicken.

{Creamy Maple Vinaigrette}

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup champagne vinegar or white wine

1 TBSP sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients, except oil, in the blender or food processor & pulse until combined.  With blender still on slowly add oil in a steady stream until emulsified.

**to candy the pecans:  add 1 cup pecans to a small pan over medium heat.  In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar & 2 TBSP cinnamon.  Stir until combined.  Add cinnamon/sugar mix to the pecans.  Stirring constantly, cook until all sugar is melted & coated all of the nuts.  Careful not to burn.  Pour onto waxed paper to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

{Maple Soy Chicken}

4 chicken breasts

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag.  Mix all together syrup, soy sauce, garlic & ginger.  Marinate at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours.  Place on a hot grill.  Cook only turning once to keep in juices.  

If using for salad, let cool slightly, then chop.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars...

so if you can't tell by now, i LOVE bars.  & i don't mean the drinking kind:)  bars are like the casserole of desserts.  they are usually fairly easy & almost always delicious!  i am constantly wanting to find & make variations on cheesecake bars.  i have cranberry cheesecake for christmas, pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving & this everyday bar that is right up there at the top of the yummy list!  i know it seems like there are a lot of steps, but they really are quite easy.  oh yeah & so delicious!  try 'em out & let me know what you think!

{caramel apple cheesecake bars}

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel topping, recipe follows

1/2 cup good caramel topping


 Streusel Topping

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg white

In a medium bowl or food processor, mix flour brown sugar & butter.  With a pastry cutter or fork, mix until crumbly.  Using the back of a measuring cup, press into a foil lined & buttered 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until light golden.  

In a different bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese & 1/2 cup sugar- beat until smooth.  Beat in eggs & vanilla.  Mix until all combined.  Spread over hot crust. 

In a small bowl, mix together 2 TBSP sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg.  Stir it into sliced apples.  Evenly layer sugared apples on top of cream cheese layer.  

To make the streusel topping, mix together brown sugar, flour, oats & softened butter.  Using a fork or pastry cutter again, mix until crumbly.  Stir in egg whites until evenly mixed in.  Spoon over apples. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until filling is set & streusel is golden.  Cool 15 minutes in the pan, lift out of pan with foil overhang.  Cool completely.  Drizzle caramel sauce evenly on the top.  Chill in refrigerator until firm.  Cut into 24 squares.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mykelle's marinated mushroom pork tenderloin...

{Mykelle's Marinated Mushroom Pork Tenderloin}

10-12 pork tenderloin boneless chops


1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup worcestershire sauce

2 TBSP dry mustard

1 TBSP pepper

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 1/2 TBSP fresh minced parsley

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

3 cloves garlic

2 TBSP sugar

16 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms

Place all marinade ingredients in the blender.  Blend on high until light & creamy.  Place pork into large Ziploc bag.  Add marinade.  Marinate in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.  Grill on the barbeque over medium flame until cooked through, basting occasionally with remaining marinade.  

In a sauce pan on the stove, saute mushrooms in 3-4 TBSP butter.  Pour in leftover marinade & bring to a boil.  Boil for a couple of minutes to cook off any meat juice.  Pour over cooked pork & serve.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

shredded meat tostada...

this is a great dish for a crowd!  you can make things ahead & even assign toppings to other people.  you can use chicken, beef or pork.  in the theme i started i used pork.  enjoy!

{shredded meat tostada}

4 lbs. chicken, beef or pork- cooked & cut up
2 sweet onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3- 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2- 7 oz. cans diced green chilies
3- 15 oz. cans pinto beans, undrained
1 1/2 TBSP oregano flakes
1 TBSP cumin
salt & pepper
juice of 3 limes (don't add until after cooked)

Uncooked flour tortillas- fried

Mix together all ingredients except lime juice & tortillas.  Pour into a large roaster.  Cook @ 325 degrees for 2-3 hours.
Squeeze lime juice on just before serving.

Place fried tortilla on a large plate.  Spoon on meat & bean mix.  Top with Sweet rice or Spanish rice.  Serve with any additional desired toppings.

Sour Cream
Pico de gallo
Sweet Corn

Friday, March 6, 2009

3 days of pork...

so it is no secret that i am NOT AFRAID of the PIG!  i'm a pork fan!!  that's why i will be posting 3 different pork recipes in the next 3 days.  what can i say- pork was on sale:)  
the first is an easy, fool proof recipe so you can enjoy BBQ anytime.  hope ya like it!

{easy shredded pork sandwiches}

6-7 lbs. boneless country style spare ribs
2 TBSP grill mates Montreal steak seasoning
1/4-1/2 cup Worcester sauce
1 1/2 cans beef broth

Place spare ribs in a oven safe roasting dish (aluminum disposable ones work great).  Sprinkle steak seasoning evenly over pork.  Pour Worcester sauce into the pan.  Add beef stock around the edges of the meat.  Reserve the other half a can, in case meat gets too dry.
Cover with lid or aluminum foil & place into a 400 degree oven for 4-4 1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven & shred with 2 forks.  Serve on rolls with your favorite BBQ sauce.