{Recipe} Strawberry Jam (using natural pectin)

More strawberries! 8 quarts is a lot to go through so you still have one more strawberry post coming! It’s a yummy recipe for Pudobbler…. Next Friday, it’s coming!

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Ingredients:
■ 8 cups of hulled strawberries
■ 2 lemons
■ 3 cups of sugar

You’ll need a peeler (or a zester). This recipe can be canned as well but I freeze mine. I have a large freezer but a small pantry!

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Zest both lemons into a large pot. Juice one lemon into zest. Reserve the other lemon you will use it momentarily.

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Pour your sugar into the pot. Heat over high heat stirring to incorporate. Juice second lemon over sugar mixture. Heat until your mixture turns into a syrupy substance.

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Add strawberries. Mix to coat. Remove from heat but leave stove on. You’ll only be away for a minute or two.

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Mash.

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Return to heat. Natural pectin does not foam like commercial pectin does. Stir like crazy. Not really but you do need to stir constantly. Eventually you will see a change from a thin substance to a thicker constancy.

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Remove from heat. This time you can shut the stove off. Cover with a towel. This will keep the heat in but will let the substance thicken. It will also cool it slowly for packaging.

After a few hours, it’s time to separate and package. I put 8 ounces per bag and had 3 bags plus 8 ounces for the jar in my fridge.

Now you have to make some biscuits so you can eat jam! Or peanut butter samdwiches! Yummy!

~ Hope

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{Recipe} Guacamole

Guacamole from a jar is kind of gross in my opinion but I love it so of course that means homemade guacamole was a necessary recipe for my recipe book. Luckily I didn’t need to look far! My wonderful mother-in-law makes the most delicious guacamole and was gracious enough to share it with me!

Now sadly I don’t have any great photos of the final guacamole because we all dove in to the bowl as soon as it was ready to hit the table but I’ve got a semi fuzzy one. But trust me, it may not look great but it’s delicious!

Ingredients:
■ 6 Avocados
■ 1/2 Onion
■ 1 large Tomato or 2 medium Tomatoes
■ 1 Lemon
■  Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
■ Black Pepper

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1. Put all the avocado “guts” in a bowl and mash.

2. Chop the onion and tomato. Add to the avocado.

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3. Juice the lemon into the veggies. Add the Lawry’s Seasoning Salt. (This is based on taste preferences.)
*If you add too much, you can add more tomatoes to absorb some of the seasoning salt.*

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Enjoy!

If you want to kick the flavor up a notch, you can add some jalapeño pepper and roasted corn.

I’ve also tried the pit in the guacamole trick so it wouldn’t brown but had no success, I still haven’t mastered that.

~Hope

{Recipe} Tart Summer Salad

Last summer, I was introduced to a marinated cucumber and tomato salad. Basically you dump a bottle of Italian dressing over the cucumbers and tomatoes and served it cold. Simple but it didn’t last very long in the fridge and it was kind of expensive to make considering it took an entire bottle of dressing. So I went searching for something different.

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Tart Summer Salad
(loosely adapted from Lifting Revolution)

Ingredients
■ 1 cucumber, chopped
■ 1 tomato, chopped
■ 1/2 onion, chopped
■ 1 tsp dill weed
■ 1/2 cup vinegar
■ 1 tsp sea salt
■ 1/2 T honey
■ 2 T olive oil

This recipe will fill a large (1 L) Mason jar. You can use a different style container but it needs to have a tight sealing lid. You also need a smaller jar to use for mixing while your building your salad.

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Place the dill in the bottom of the jar.  Put your cucumber into the bottom of the jar.

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Layer with the onion and tomato. Pack it down, not to tight but push it in.

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Time for the juice. Put your honey, vinegar, oil, and sea salt into a separate jar and shake. You want it well incorporated before you go any further.

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Pour it slowly into your other jar. If you pour too quickly, it will splash out.

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Refrigerate. (I made 2 for a family gathering, doubled the recipe)  I turn them a couple of times before serving them. I don’t know that it’s necessary but I do it! You’ll want to refrigerate for at least an hour before serving but it will last up to a week even after you start eating out of the jar.

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How delicious does that look? It’s super easy and delicious!

It’s great as an easy to take side on picnics too! A pint size jar is the perfect serving size for 2 people. I also cut up a chicken breast and tossed it into my salad one day in a hurry and it was delish!

Make it! Share it! Enjoy it!

~Hope

{Recipe} Creamed Peas and Toast (aka Feel Better Soup)

Whenever Hubby and I were dating he would talk about this soup that his Grandmother made for them when they would get sick as children. He described it as a pea soup that you put on toast. After we were married and I had come down with something, he decided to make me some of the famous soup.

Basically it was a rue and peas. Nothing fancy but when you feel sick it’s filling and not hard to keep down. One day, my mother and I were talking about Feel Better Soup and she asked me if it was what they called Creamed Peas growing up. I, of course, wasn’t sure but told her that I would make her some the next time I saw her and she could tell me. Later that week she confirmed the fact that we were indeed having Creamed Peas (but Feel Better Soup sounds cuter!)

The only issue I had with making a basic rue is that sometimes I get it too watery, then the next time it’s too thick, but it’s never perfect. So I went to perfecting the recipe until I got it right! And I think I did! It’s much easier to pass on the recipe now too because I have exact proportions and measurements.

Now remember this is a sacred recipe. Passed down from generation to generation, simply labeled with measurements by me. Cherish this recipe.

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Doesn’t that just look delicious!  It’s yummy even when you aren’t sick too!

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Ingredients for the soup:
● 5 oz can of Evaporated Milk
● standard can of Sweet Peas
● 1/2 cup of flour
● 1/2 cup of water
● salt and pepper to taste

Toast requires bread and a toaster of course. I won’t go into further detail here. Make toast! 😉

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1. Put the entire can of evaporated milk into a sauce pan. Add in 1/2 cup of flour.

2. Incorporate really well. It will seem pretty thick at this point (kind of like a paste). That’s normal.

3. Add in 1/2 cup of water. It will get pretty runny for a minute but will thicken back up quickly.

4. Drain the peas and add to the pan. Stir continually until everything is heated through.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste. If your making for someone who’s sick you may want to completely omit salt and pepper.

Serve that yummy goodness and enjoy! I like to put a little on my toast and eat it that way! Delicious!

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Do you have your own version of Feel Better Soup?

~Hope

Cleaning a Burnt Pan

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In the last month I have burnt 2 pans. One with brown rice (I even followed the packaged directions…) and one with kidney beans. I am not good at the simple things sometimes.

So I turned to my wonderful Grandmother! I called her up and explained my predicament and she immediately offered up advice. I love that lady like you wouldn’t believe. I can always call her in a pinch and she knows how to fix my cooking dilemmas.

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Start with vinegar and water. Place enough vinegar in the pan to completely cover the burn. This pot has burn running up the sides of it so I added a little more than I would have if it was just the flat bottom of the pan. Add in about a cup of water. Place on stove over medium heat.

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When it’s running at a slow rolling boil get your baking soda ready. I poured it into another container then poured from there. That’s a preference thing. Take your pot off of the heat and slowly add in the baking soda. Remember it’s going to begin bubbling.

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Begin scrubbing with a washcloth or sponge. You can use a scrubber tool if you have one. I used a washcloth that has a scrubber side. You still have to put some elbow grease into it but it’s a lot easier than if you don’t use something first to loosen the burn.

Also just so everyone knows, the gas caused by vinegar and baking soda is much heavier than air so if you fill balloons with that gas they will drop to the floor like lead balloons not float. Definitely not a replacement for helium like you randomly see in those pins on Pinterest. Just thought I’d share.

~Hope

{Recipe} “Enhanced” Macaroni and Cheese

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I don’t know about you but my children can eat the exact same meal every single day! Which can get pretty boring for anyone sharing those daily meals…aka Me. So when I starting making Mac N Cheese for the second time this week I knew I had to do something, hence the birth of “Enhanced” Macaroni and Cheese.

Ingredients:
● Macaroni and Cheese package (you’ll use both the noodles and the cheese packet)
● sour cream
● ground beef (I had some leftover from taco night)
● can of corn

1) Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and put back into original pot.

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2) Add in the cheese package (included with the mac n cheese). Add in a dollop of sour cream and stir. You want it to be about the consistency of mac n cheese fixed the way it normally is.

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3) Go buy an awesome can opener and can strainer. Just kidding. 🙂 Kind of. Hubby bought me a new can opener for Christmas this year (I asked for it). It cost a pretty penny (around $20…ouch!), but it’s the best can opener I’ve ever owned! It’s OXO brand in case your wondering. After opening the can I strained off all the liquid with my can strainer, another tool I couldn’t do without in my kitchen. It’s Pampered Chef and works on all standard cans! Then you add it to the Macaroni along with the cooked meat. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes on low. Basically your heating it through.

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Brother loved it! I put a little salt and pepper on it and devoured it. I was actually happy to have a few leftovers for the next day instead of dreading the same dish day in and day out.

Do you have a standard lunch meal?

~Hope

{Recipe} Creamy White Chicken Chili

On Wednesday, the last day of April, it was cold and raining. It even hailed at one point so I decided to make some yummy Creamy White Chicken Chili. This is a great dish to take and share with friends too!

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Ingredients:
■ Can of: Rotel, Corn, Great Northern Beans, Light Red Kidney Beans
■ Block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
■ Block of Monterey Jack Cheese
■ Cooked Chicken (you can use canned, pictured above is some chicken Hubby grilled earlier in the week)
■ Taco Seasoning Packet
■ Ranch Dressing

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One: Pour all canned ingredients into pot, liquid and all. Cube chicken and half of cheese. Add to pot along with taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of Ranch. **By using the dressing instead of a packet of dressing mix you won’t need to add water and it will be creamier but you can sub water and dry seasoning here.**

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Two: Stir everything and bring to a slow rolling boil. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in pot. Turn the heat down to low and melt cream cheese into soup.

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Serve with sour cream, the rest of the cheese (shredded or cubed), and tortilla chips.

–》If you enjoy this recipe you might try my Taco Soup Recipe 《–

~Hope