Recipes

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

I got the most random appliance for Christmas (I asked for it, btw) — a jelly and jam maker! I absolutely love making homemade jams and jellies and thought I’d share a recipe or two with you guys.

Today I made strawberry jam. It’s the hubby’s favorite and it is so soooo delicious. I like making my own because I don’t have to put nearly as much sugar in it as the store-bought jellies. Plus, it is tastier.

Here’s what you need (yes, real measurements! I know, that’s crazy coming from me.):

  • 2 lbs Strawberries
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp pectin
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Before I start I should add that this recipe will work on the stove as well. The jam maker is preset to make jam or jelly and has a stirrer in the middle so nothing burns. It’s just a glorified pot. (But it is awesome!)

First, cut up your strawberries into little bits. If you like your jam chunkier, leave some bigger chunks of the fruit.

Next, mash your berries with a potato masher to get some of the juices loose and the strawberries extra squishy.

IMG_0062

Add your strawberries, butter and pectin to your jam maker and turn it on. In my jam maker, the preset time for jam is 21 minutes. If you make it on the stove, cook on medium heat for about the same amount of time.

Side note: I had no idea what pectin was before I started experimenting with my jam maker, so here’s what I’ve learned. Pectin is a natural substance found in apples that helps fruit to gel up. For fruits with a lot of pectin in them, you do not have to add pectin to make the jam or jelly (although it doesn’t hurt). Berries don’t have a lot of pectin, so you need the added stuff. I buy mine on Amazon.

After 4 minutes, add in your sugar. Cover and walk away and let the pot do its work.

Jam

Come back in 21 minutes to a steamy pot full of delicious jam. If you want to can your jam, do it immediately while the jam is still boiling hot and you won’t have to boil your jars to seal them. Simply place your seal and your lid onto the can after it is full, then flip it upside down. The heat from the jar’s contents will seal the jar and make it last for about a year.

The jam will also burn badly if you spill it on yourself. I learned this the hard way after spilling a bunch of boiling peach jam on my hand. Be careful!!!

If you are going to use some right away, plop it into a container and place it in the fridge. Once it is cool, try it out!

jam on toast

(Don’t just my white bread. … It’s what the hubby likes and mine was out :p)

The main reason I am sharing this recipe is that when I got my jelly and jam maker it came with a recipe book. This recipe book called for a ton more pectin (which is expensive) and a TON more sugar. I’m talking three cups. Gross. I think the recipe I have here is a really good one that I plan to use from now on with this jam.

Enjoy!

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Recipes

My Bake Off entry: Cinnamon and Sugar Cream Cheese Rolls

Today was our 2nd (sort of) Annual MarComm Bake Off at work and I made the most delicious dessert ever: Cinnamon and Sugar Cream Cheese Rolls. They are a recipe from my Great Aunt Dorothy and they are like crack. My sister Emily is always in charge of making them for the holidays, but I figured I’d take a go at them for the competition.

If you want to try this amazing recipe out, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be addicted and will likely start making them every year, too. Good luck — it’s a tough addiction to fight, so I wouldn’t bother if I were you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of white bread
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, sugar (3/4 cup), egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Cut the crust off of the bread (discard crust, as well as heels of loaf) and roll each slice flat with a rolling pin.
  3. Spread a thick layer of the cream cheese mixture onto the flattened bread, then roll the bread into a little log.
  4. Optional: place on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight .
  5. Combine cinnamon and sugar (1 cup) in bowl. Melt butter in a separate bowl. Dip each roll into the butter, then roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place back on backing sheet.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool, then enjoy!

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Back to the Bake Off…

The competition was fierce, with nine desserts in the running. Check out these mouth-watering treats. Mmmmmm. Can you say “sugar coma?”

When all of the votes were tallied, we had three winners. Drum roll?

1st place winner of the golden pie plate: Rachel *cheers*

2nd place winner of the silver whisk: Julie *applause*

3rd place winner of the bronze cookie cutter: MEEEEEEEEEEE *And the crowd goes wild! (Or, at least I did.)*

I’m pretty sure one of the first things I said was, “Dana is going to be so proud.”


Man, what a fun day. Try out the recipe. It is officially award-winning 🙂

Also, a big “hey girl, heyyy” and thank you to my coworker Amy for organizing this much-needed afternoon of fun. You’re the best.

Recipes

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

If you are a fan of A Smith of All Trades on Facebook, then you saw my funny post yesterday of my GIANT zucchini that is almost half the size of Remmy.

Well, that zucchini was way too big to cook up for dinner, so instead I made four batches of chocolate chip zucchini bread.

I found a really good zucchini bread recipe at EatingWell.com, and two hours later had wayyyyy more bread than I knew what to do with. A loaf to the neighbors, a loaf to my mom and John, some muffins to my Dad and Jill… and STILL so much left.

I saved the big loaf for me and the hubs.

 

Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmmm. Zucchini bread is delicious — especially with mini chocolate chips 🙂

Now, time to craft!

And in case you were wondering, we still have a third of the zucchini left over for dinner!