Monday, October 17, 2011

A Wealth of Marmalades...Wonderful Bread Spreads

Citrus comes gloriously into it's own in this recipe for a traditional spread on the breakfast table. It introduces the Seville Oranges. However it works just as well with firm thin skinned oranges such as Valencias.

* 2 pounds Seville or Valencia Oranges (4 to 6 )
* 4 cups water
* Juice of 3 lemons
* 8 cups sugar
* 1/4 cups Scotch Whiskey

Wash the oranges and slice thinly, catching any juice and reserving the seeds. Place the oranges and juice in a large bowl and add the water.Tie seeds in a cheesecloth bag an add to the bowl. Cover and let stand for 18 hours.
In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, combine the contents of the bowl with lemon juice and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the orange zest is tender.
Add the sugar, stirring until  it has dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook fro 30 to 40 minutes, or until the marmalade reaches the gelling point. Use a slotted spoon to remove any film that forms on the top.
Ladle into warm, sterilized jars allowing 1/4 inch head space. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. The flavor develops even more with added time, but the marmalade is ready in 2 weeks. Refrigerate once opened. Makes 8 half pint jars. Total time 1 1/2 hours plus 18 hours.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Spot of Jam...A Spot Of Tea...

What better way to use your own seasonal fruit than by making it into Jams and Marmalade's?

Three components are necessary for making jams and marmalade's successfully; pectin, acid, and sugar,which must always be in correct proportions. Pectin occurs naturally in fruits and is released when fruits are boiled. Some fruits have more pectin than others, which is the reason high-pectin fruits such as apples, are added to some jams where the pectin would otherwise be low.

Commercial gelling pectin-powders and liquids are available from health food stores and some grocery stores. Acid helps extract pectin and aids in gelling. It also improves flavor and color of jams and marmalade's. Acid is added in the form of either lemon juice or tartaric acid. Sugar- beet or cane- helps to make the mixture gel, brings out the flavor of the fruit, and acts as a preservative.

Making Jams And Marmalade's

1. Place the washed and prepared fruit and any liquid in a large 6 quart or more flat bottomed, non-reactive saucepan or kettle with a tight fitting lid. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cook as directed in the recipe
2. Add the sugar and bring the mixture back to a boil. Keep stirring until you are sure all the sugar has dissolved. Using a long wooden spoon, which is non-reactive to acids, protects your hands from the heat of the mixture.

3. To check gelling readiness, remove the pan from the heat and drop a teaspoonful of jam onto a cold saucer. The surface should wrinkle when pushed with a finger. If not, return the pan to the heat, cook a bit longer, and retest.

4.Once the mixture has gelled, remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove any film that has formed. Stir to distribute the fruit, then ladle into warm sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath.

Strawberry Jam
Here is a simple recipe for Strawberry Jam. It's great for beginners. If you pick your own strawberries, avoid woody ones because they have less flavor.


* 2 Quarts fully ripe strawberries
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 7 cups sugar
* 3 ounces liquid fruit pectin


Wash and hull the strawberries. Use a potato masher to crush the strawberries. You should have 4 cups of strawberries.
In a heavy 6-9 qt. non-reactive saucepan, combined the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar.
Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil, still stirring for one minute.
Add liquid fruit pectin, boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat, and skim off the foam.
Ladle hot mixture into warm, sterilized jars, allowing 1/4 inch head space. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Ready to eat in 2 weeks. Refrigerate once opened. Makes about 8 half-pint jars.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pickled Preserves

Bottling fruits and vegetables in brine or vinegar is a time-honored method in preserving them. These tart condiments add color and flavor to any meal.
Almost any vegetable can be used for this spicy pickle. It will brighten a chicken salad, or a hot baked ham dinner, or add spice to a simple tuna salad. Get creative...these preserves can go with lots of dishes. Make it your own and have fun!

Mixed Vegetable Pickle
* 4 kirby cucumbers, halved
* 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets, about 4 cups.
* 8 shallots
* 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into strips.
* 2 sweet red bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
* 1 pound green beans, topped and tailed
* 1 bunch baby carrots, scrubbed and trimmed, or 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into strips
* 2 tablespoons salt
*6 cups white vinegar
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved
* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 tablespoon each mustard seeds, peppercorns, allspice berries, and dry mustard

Place all prepared veggies in a glass bowl.
Sprinkle with the salt
Cover and leave for 24 hours
Rinse the vegetables with cold water and then drain well
Place vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan with sugar, ginger and spices
Bring to a boil
Add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes
Lift the vegetables out with a slotted spoon and arrange them in an attractive pattern, make layers of color, for example or use the pepper slices to make vertical stripes- in warm clean, wide mouth jars.
Discard the ginger, strain the hot vinegar, and pour it over the vegetables, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Okay now here's the Water Bath Method Directions:
Pickle recipes that call for plenty of vinegar can safely be processed by an easy water bath method in which the jars are boiled for the amount of time specified in the recipe. You can buy a water bath set or simply fit out a large pot- the one you cook corn or pasta in, for example- with a tight fitting lid and a rack or basket that holds the canning jars off the bottom of the pot. The pot must be deep enough that the boiling water covers the tops of the jars by at least an inch. You can buy canning jars at the grocery store or your local hardware store.Glass canning jars and their metal screw bands, which help make the seal, are reusable. However, the lid that actually seals the jar is not. Don't forget that.
Wash canning jars in hot sudsy water, rinse, and cover with boiling water until ready to fill. Prepare tops according to the manufacturer's directions. Place cool processed jars on a rack or towel with air space between the jars for 12 to 24 hours. Then press the center of each lid. If the depression holds, the seal is good and you can remove the screw band and store the jar. Otherwise refrigerate the jar and use the contents right away or reprocess the filled jar.
Canned foods should last a year in cool dry dark storage space as long as the seal holds.

Home Made...Is the Best Made...

Nothing says "homemade" better than good food prepared in your own kitchen. For the next several weeks and into the Holiday Season I will be focusing on celebrating the diversity of cuisines and cooking styles available to the home cook. I will be blogging about many different recipes, and methods that will hopefully rebirth some old time favorites. I will be posting things such as pickling, jarring and canning marmalade, chutneys, jellies and jams. Also I will share recipes on sauces and condiments, spices,dips and spreads.This time of year where a lot of us are cooking more and entertaining, sharing and giving gifts, I thought it would be fun to focus on some of those yummy homemade creations.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Piggy Pulled Pork Sandwiches...Nascar Sunday..

Big John's Speedway Grill Cookbook is loaded with fun, tasty, Nascar themed recipes. And during race season Sundays are usually spent watching "The Race" and cooking a checkered flag dish from Big John's Cookbook. Today I thought we would try the Piggy Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Since it was a rainy and windy day I decided to grill indoors and cook the pork loin in an iron skillet.

So.... Ladies and Gentlemen Start Your Grills (Or Ovens).....Lets get cookin....Boogity....boogity....boogity....!!

First on the Pole is:

*4 lb boneless pork loin
*1 cup brown sugar
*1 teaspoon celery salt
*1 teaspoon celery seed
*2 tablespoons onion powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 tablespoons black pepper
*2 onions chopped
*1 large celery stalk chopped
*1 cup ketchup
*1 8oz can tomato sauce
*1 cup water
*1 cup barbecue sauce( I like Sweet Baby Rays)
*1 package potato rolls
Boneless Pork Loin

Brown Sugar

Celery seed and celery salt




Barbecue Sauce

Winner of the race heads to Victory Lane!!

Place pork in a heavy-duty pan or iron skillet.
Sprinkle with brown sugar, celery seed, celery salt, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Add onion, celery,and ketchup directly onto the meat.
Add tomato sauce and water.
Cover with foil.
Pre-heat Grill or oven to 350 degrees.
Place pan on lower cooking surface.
Grill or bake for 3-4 hours, checking every half hour or so for adequate moisture. Add water if necessary.
Remove from oven. Use fork to pull the meat apart.
Add BBQ sauce to the pork and mix thoroughly.
Serve on Potato rolls with Ruffle Potato chips and a side of cole slaw.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Think Pink... October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

The Sweet Happy Color Of Pink!!....It celebrates us...The Girls....!! Everything sweet and sugary, cute and pretty, charming and lovable. It also symbolizes all of the courageous women who have fought and are still fighting Breast Cancer...Pink also carries with it the colorful memories of many mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends who will live in our hearts forever. I think each of us has known and loved a woman affected by this disease. So to celebrate Life, Love, and The Girls we Think Pink...and we think of You.

Here's a special Recipe to celebrate our Think Pink..

*Pink Moon Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

*Pastry for 2 crusts
  9 inch pie
*2 1/4 cups fresh rhubarb
 (frozen rhubarb, thawed and well drained, may be used)
*1/2 cup strawberry halves
 (thawed, frozen, unsweetened strawberries may be used)
*2 eggs
*1 1/4 cups sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*2 tablespoons melted butter
*1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix drained strawberries, rhubarb; set aside.
 For custard, beat eggs, sugar, and salt slightly.
 Stir in heavy cream, butter, and vanilla.
 Cook mixture over low heat until mixture thickens, stirring constantly-7 to 10 minutes.
 Roll out a little more than half of the pastry and fit into a 9 inch pie plate.
 Place mixed fruit on pie shell bottom. Pour custard mixture over it.
 Roll out remaining pastry and cut into strips 1/2 inch wide and weave lattice crust.
 Brush with egg wash.
 Bake in pre heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes...or at 325 degrees if you are using a glass pie plate. Makes 6 servings.

*Recipes obtained from "The Farmer Country Kitchen Cook Book" a collection first published in 1894. This recipe was a South Dakota State Pie Recipe Winner in the early 1900's.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You Must Try This....Butter Bath??? Yippeee Ki-Yay....

Yes Butter Bath...!! Okay I know it sounds a little strange but bathing in butter...lots of it...sticks of warm melted wonders!! Try it and you will never cook your tenderloins, london broils, or chicken the same way again...(unless you are a strict calorie counter, gym rat or Vegan) Needless to say butter gets a bad rap..most people fear it..but those of us who love it know it's amazing flavor producing powers and tenderizing qualities...

I am about to tell you how I found out about this amazing way to cook meats and poultry... here goes..On Saturday morning I was watching my new fave Food Network show.."The Pioneer Woman" (if you haven't seen need to..) Well...anyway they were hosting a Ranchers Party..and Tenderloin was the meat on the menu. What happened next was pure genius...they cooked the whole tenderloin in a roasting pan filled with melted butter...I knew then that I was going to have my own Ranchers Party that evening because I had to try it immediately!!

So.....Saddle up your've got a trail to blaze.....

*1 3-4 lb. Whole trimmed tenderloin of Beef
*4 Sticks of Sweet unsalted butter- melted
* Lemon Pepper
* Whole peppercorns crushed

Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan.
 Melt butter on stove.
 Pour over tenderloin.
Add Lemon Pepper liberally... and I mean liberally.
Also add crushed black peppercorns.. a handful or so.
Place on hot grill or in 350 degree oven for 1 hour turning every 1/2 hour and basting.
Then gitty up to the table and get your grub on.....!!
(this works well with any other meat or poultry, just adjust cooking times)

"Yippee ki-yay" is an old, American cowboy saying :"yippee" is an word to used to express extreme joy, like "Whoopee!!"

It is also a part of an old cowboy song whose lyrics are:
"I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
But my legs ain't bowed, and my cheeks ain't tan
Well I'm a cowboy who never saw a cow
Never roped a steer ’cause I don't know how
And I sure ain't fixin’ to start in now
Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay, yippee-i-o-ki-ay"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jaxsons Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant in Dania Beach Florida...Black Cherry Milkshake....Heaven on Earth!

I have lived in Florida all my life, born and raised. I have known about Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor for years but never visited.Well, last night was date night and we decided to visit this Historical Culinary Landmark. I couldn't believe what I had been missing.
 This legendary restaurant circa 1956 was amazing! As we walked in we were taken back in time to a nostalgic period where life was simple and family and food were a part of the American way of life. The decor of memorabilia from times past lined every inch of the walls. It was a museum of treasures shouting Americana at its best!
 The food was gigantically as vocal. The experience was truly happy filled and tummy stuffing. The food portions by far were as generous as they were delicious. Uniquely presented and thoughtfully prepared. The ultimate star of the smorgasbord was by far, hands down the "Black Cherry Milkshake" with an ice cream floater. Never had we tasted a milkshake so divine!!
 If you ever plan to visit Dania Beach you must, must, go to Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor!! You will need to bring an empty stomach and a camera..not to mention girls throw on your old poodle skirt, and guys your leather jacket!


Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour
128 S. Federal Highway
Dania Beach, FL 33004
Phone: 954.923.4445

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Cheese Cake

A friend asked me if I had any Pumpkin Recipes on my blog yet and I told her... not yet...still trying to get into the Fall mode!!....So..I grabbed this recipe for her from Taste of Home Magazine. It looks yummy and pretty easy to here it is for you Becky....I will have more in a few weeks and will post them. Going through all of my Grandmothers Fall recipes now... Enjoy


  • CRUST:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (softened or cubed), softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 to 16 pecan halves


  • In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press into the bottom of a 9-in. springform pan; chill.
  • For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the pumpkin, spices and salt.
  • Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for topping, combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over filling; return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
  • Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish each slice with a pecan half. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nana Banana Bread

I don't LOVE bananas......(yuk)..... I try to actually sort of like them....(yuk).... It's hard...I know... but these yellow monkey fruits are a great source of potassium and for that reason...I must buy them...!! A whole big bunch of them!! Green ones!!...(whats the point they ripen too darn quick!) Then I'm left with a whole bunch of browned speckled, mushy,well.. you know the rest....

But....I LOVE Banana Bread!!...I truly believe that is why Bananas were created!! it....!! (Shhhh...don't tell any of your Monkey friends I said that...)

I could eat it all day...especially if its loaded with walnuts or pecans!! My gram had absolutely the most yummiest Banana Bread Recipe Ever!!

So here it is..........I call it "Nana Banana" Bread...I thought it was cute because thats what my grand daughter Kate calls me....Enjoy!
(You could put a spin on this bread by adding cashews, white raisins, or chocolate chips or even add alittle crunchy peanut butter...yum!!)


* 1 egg
* 3/4 Cup Sugar
* 2 Cups Flour
* 1 Tsp. Baking powder
* 1 tsp. Baking soda
* 2 Tablespoons melted Butter
* 3 Large (brown spotted mushy)  bananas...oh mashed!


Beat egg, add sugar and butter. Sift baking powder, and soda with flour and add to egg mixture. Add bananas. Then add any other ingredient that you would like such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, choc chips or chunky peanut butter. Bake 1 hour in a 325 degree oven.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cup of Joe for a Joe!!

I encourage all of my friends on my blog and those who take the time to read my blog to check this out and think about doing this!! It's amazing how something so small like a cup of Joe could mean so much to our Troops!! I know how I would feel if I couldn't have a good cup of coffee in the about you?? Please read this note from one of our troops...It makes you realize how important it is for us to encourage them... God Bless The USA!

Terri and her family in Jacksonville, FL sent out a COJ that reached Matt, a Lieutenant Colonel with the US MARINES at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan. He took a few moments to write this letter back to them before heading to the Green Beans café to pick up his Cup of Joe! To send YOUR COJ & message to the Troops, click: More

My Little Baker!! Miss Kate the Cupcake Princess!!

I am convinced that when God made little girls he added cupcake sprinkles & pixie dust!