Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fruit Butter: Chai Peach

Here is another fruit butter I made over the weekend.  Chai Peach Butter.  I think this might be the best one I have made.

10 medium peaches pitted and cut in pieces
10 Chai Spice tea bags
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups of sugar
Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to taste

In a sauce pan put 5 cups of water and tea bags.  Heat over medium/medium high heat for approximately 15 minutes, remove tea bags and from the heat.  In a large pot put fruit and hot tea.  Cook until fruit is easily mashed.  Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree fruit.  Add lemon juice.  Cook in slow cooker for 8 to 10 hours or on a stove top for 4 to 5 hours.  Stir occasionally.  Add sugar and spices to taste.  I added 2 1/2 cups of sugar, more nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to make it extra spicy.  Cook for another hour or until it has the consistency you like.  Put in jars, attach lids and rings and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.  It made 3 half pints and 3 pints.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fruit Butter: Strawberry Vanilla Bean

A couple of weeks ago I made blueberry butter following a recipe I found on I doubled the lemon zest and added an extra 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. It turned out awesome. I was trying to think of something else I could make a fruit butter out of. Strawberries? That might work. But what could I add to them to make it a little something special? I checked with our local health food store to see if they had whole vanilla beans. They did and they smelled great. Strawberry vanilla bean butter.

9 cups blended smooth strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups of sugar
3 vanilla beans

Put blended strawberries, lemon juice and seeds from vanilla beans in slow cooker for 10-14 hours on low. It will depend on how juicy your strawberries are. I also put the scraped vanilla bean pods in to cook for a couple of hours to make sure I got all the seeds out of them. Stir in sugar. I also added 1 tsp of classic pectin to thicken a little more. Put in jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

It is amazing how dark the strawberries became after 14 hours of cooking. The recipe yielded 4 half pints.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Food and Friends

What is better then spending time with friends and enjoying good food?

Celebrating the upcoming birth of a friends second baby was a great way to spend a hot August afternoon. Luckily the hostess was more the happy to let me help with the food. Since there was going to be lots of kids the hostess put together a table of kid friendly snacks. For the "older kids" we had:

Sausage balls with a honey mustard dipping sauce
Parmesan artichoke dip with crostini
Fruit salad with a vanilla lemonade glaze
Pasta salad

Sausage Balls Recipe

2-3 lbs of sausage
1/3 to 1/2 cups of bisquick

Mash together with hands and roll into balls. Bake at 350 or 375 until throughly cooked. I always cut one in half to make sure they are fully cooked. Try the bisquick for meatballs and even your meatloaf.

Parmesan Artichoke Dip

Two Costco jars of marinated artichokes. Drain but keep 1 cup of the marinade.

In food processor blend artichokes, marinade, 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of Italian dressing. Blend as smooth or as chunky as you like. Add 1-2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Depends on how cheesy you like it. I normally add 2 cups. Blend for a couple more minutes. Dip can be served cold or I like to put it in a oven safe dish and bake until hot stirring occasionally. Do not over heat or it will separate.

Vanilla Lemonade Fruit Glaze

1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can of frozen lemonade mix thawed

Mix together and pour over chopped fruit. Stir until fruit is evenly coated. So easy but so good, you will be asked to bring the fruit salad to every gathering!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vacation in a Jar

Kiwi daiquiri jam, just saying it makes me excited for our upcoming Hawaiian vacation. I decided not to make any changes to the recipe, I could not think of anything that could make it better. Kiwi, pineapple and rum!!! Below is a link to the recipe. My only question is, what will I use it for? Suggestions please.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Something Sweet

So I decided today was the day to start sharing some of the fun things I create in the kitchen. I started canning this year and I have to say it has been a lot of fun. I find myself searching websites and books for something different and fun I can put in a jar and enjoy this winter. Looking at the Ball Canning website I found a recipe for chocolate raspberry sauce. What is better then chocolate and raspberries? Well maybe adding a little vanilla. For some reason when I read a recipe I immediately think of ways I can change it or make it my own. So after reading the recipe many times I decided that adding seeds from a vanilla bean would add a little something extra. I found some great looking raspberries!!

So I mashed these beautiful raspberries and followed the recipe but added the seeds from the vanilla bean right at the end.

The smell in the kitchen while making this was indescribable. The recipe yielded 8 half pint jars for me.

I am very excited to try this over ice cream or cheesecake. But when doing my holiday baking I plan on using this for my thumbprint cookies. Yum!!! Next on my list of things to try is kiwi daiquiri jam and peaches. So many things to try with peaches!!!