Strawberry Freezer Jam

This morning I ate Lazy Oven French Toast, Strawberry Freezer Jam, Mix and Match Citrus Curd, toasted croissants and Mini Vegetable Frittatas.  I know  what you are thinking! Yes, I do! Girl gone and had too much of this…

I know she knows better than capitalizing like a mad woman! You can relax, I haven’t had a swift toe to the chin from mini Batman in his bike helmet. I just had brunch with a couple of cookbook authors and their specific dishes! I had you worried, didn’t I?

I have to say that lately I have been in a bit of a food rut. This morning, at Rakestraw Books, I was able to shake that rut away! Rakestraw is a beautiful, little independent bookstore for those who want the newest, prettiest and most unique book selections. Most of us can’t afford to shop for books that way, but I try to support Rakestraw whenever I can. E-readers just don’t do cookbooks justice, so I am happy to splurge occasionally on a book of recipes at Rakestraw.

So, away from my kids I sat. Ah. I chatted with and listened to both Leslie Jonath, a San Franciscan who is ridiculously sweet and polite, and Katie Workman, who was lovely and inspiring. Both women spoke about the difficulties associated with feeding kids. Leslie Jonath, along with Ethel Brennan wrote the book, At The Farmers’ Market With Kids. Here is is, along with all the candles and French cheese knives you usually find at a bookstore. You can buy here book here.

   

I’ll be posting more about Katie Workman’s The Mom 100 Cookbook this week, but today I want to share the fast, fun recipe I was able to whip together after the brunch.

I am duh-ying to make the lemon curd I ate this morning, but the vat of strawberries in my fridge dictated today’s direction. The strawberry jam I ate this morning was so full of bright flavor. It was sweet, yet not too sweet and it tasted like actual strawberry, not like strawberry flavoring. Best part of it all, no cooking! This is a mix and go recipe!


Strawberry Freezer Jam
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dips & Spreads
Cuisine: Jam
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1¾ oz. pectin
  • 6 half-pint glass jars with tight fitting lids
Instructions
  1. Wash, hull and smash berries.
  2. Mix the sugar and pectin in a small bowl.
  3. Place jars in a large pot, cover with water and let boil for 15 minutes.
  4. Use tongs to remove and dry all the parts.
  5. Mix the pectin and sugar into the strawberries and stir for 3-5 minutes until mix thickens.
  6. Spoon into jars ½″ from the top.
  7. Wipe any drips on the jar with a wet towel and tightly seal.
  8. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  9. Throw those jars in the freezer to set and you is done, honey.
Once the jars are out of the freezer, they are good in the fridge for a month. They can stay in the freezer for up to a year.

Why You So Fresh? Why You So Easy?

It was 99 degrees at 7 p.m. this evening. I want to take this moment to thank God for inventing ice. So smart. I’ve been keeping myself busy with my school work and taking a class about teaching kids to read. Way more interesting than I thought it would be.  Preschool graduation has come and gone and I’m birthing-hip deep in a home organization project. It’s more like a home-overhaul.

I’ve been seriously obsessing over www.iheartorganizing.blogspot.com and www.betterafter.blogspot.com

It all started when I pulled the crisper drawers out of my fridge and threw some child labor into action. I once accused my parents of having kids just so they’d have someone to clean for them. This is the year I confirmed that suspicion. Check out the battle my brave boys fought:

I gave one a box of baking soda and one a spray bottle of water and vinegar and let them go crazy until my husband got home to do the scrubbing. You can see the clean, albeit empty fridge in Wednesday’s post.

So there are lots of photos about to be shared in mediocre quality. I promise to stop with the phone photos. They look so much better on my phone screen!

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The boys after hunting down…

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The ice cream truck! Luckily Grandma had cash on her!

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Dallas played with some of his best gal-pals and joined in with the princess fun. Great photos, not cool for me to post them. He will see them someday.

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Next on the F&E to try list. I didn’t buy the bowl of rice, my family needs way more than that!

The last meal we ate was super good, I posted a photo on Wednesday, but it was a pretty bad one. Here’s are the components:

I mixed it up a bit and tried a wrap using F&E’s BBQ Chipotle dressing instead of hummus and threw in an avocado for good measure. This was a super easy dinner and I was sad when I ran out of ingredients after a lunch of leftovers the next day!  I usually prefer to buy only raw chicken, but having the precooked chicken breast in my fridge was pretty darn nice on a 95 degree night!

More fun Fresh & Easy news, for $19.99, you can buy the only road to truly fresh coffee flavor, the French Press. My mom always warns me that my eyes will twitch if I use it, but I’m game. There are peely coupons on the side of the press for a free bag of coffee, I chose decaf mostly because I want to extend my coffee drinking into the evening. The party don’t quit over here. My husband said it’s not something to be happy about that my two year old can clearly say, “I wanna go Starbucks.” What can I say? He is my son.

So, if my dad is reading this, he should stop now. Also, you should all get a Snuggie on, because hell has frozen over. He can never remember the name of my blog! I grabbed him some of the wine below to add to his “French Father’s Day” gift of french bread, french salt and two fat cookbooks by Frenchy-foo-foo Dorie Greenspan. She’s not foo-foo, just her books. I’m hoping he’ll crack open the extra sweet F&E Chocolate Shop wine tomorrow night, I want to taste it! I took part in a fun F&E wine taste test and the people who had gone before me were raving about the Chocolate Shop wine. I just gots to get me a taste of the juice.

Thursday Night No Fussin’

We’ve been a bit short on time around here lately. Now that I am back in school and trying to keep up a regular exercise schedule, dinner seems to be one of the first things to get thrown out the proverbial window. While it isn’t the a photo you’ll see popping up in Gourmet magazine anytime soon…(Ha! Jokes on you, Gourmet is out of print), I can promise you this chicken is so juicy and flavorful, it is magazine worthy.

I’d love to tell you it’s my mom’s secret recipe, but that would be a fib. Everyone knows my mom’s recipe is more about baking chicken into jerky and hiding the shreds with white rice and bbq sauce. Sorry mom, the secret is out!

This chicken, all five pounds of it (including bones), carrots and potatoes only needed the following to create a super easy, fuss-free, weeknight dinner.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

one packet of all natural seasoning from McCormick. 99 cents at Fresh & Easy. Yes, you could make it yourself, but it ain’t Sunday, honey and frankly, no one cares. No long term marination needed. The packet suggests 3 pounds of chicken, but I went for the gold and got some bang for my buck. By the way, this dinner is a total two-shirter. This means I went through TWO t-shirts after eating one stinkin’ chicken leg. Two juicy and greasy splatters of melted chicken fat and olive oil and multiple sprays of Shout. Use a bib.

While on the topic of F&E, I shall now express one concern in video form. Get my Emmy ready.

 

 

And then here are my sensitive kids wanting nothing more to do with my video.

Coffee Cake Muffins

 

Coffee Cake Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: Muffins
Serves: 8-12
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for the muffin tin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I use at least one cup of whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup sugar, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Topping
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans, or cashews
  • 2 extra tablespoons melted butter
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and line it with paper or foil muffin cups if you like.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Beat together the egg, milk, and melted butter or oil in another bowl.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
  5. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating and stopping as soon as all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. The batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but quite moist; add a little more milk or other liquid if necessary.
  7. Mix half of topping mixture into batter.
  8. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full and handling the batter as little as possible.
  9. Top with remaining topping mix.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes
 

Check out Dallas at Starbucks, intent on eating every crumb of his coffee cake.