Friday, September 13, 2013

Pick Your Flavor Zucchini Jam

My lovely neighbor brought me over a jar of jam the other day! Is there anything better in the world?! She shared the recipe with me and I just love it. It's a great way to use your zucchini from the garden!
Pick Your Flavor Zucchini Jam
6 cups of grated Zucchini/Courgette (peel it if you don't like the skin to show. I love the skin bits, so pretty)
1/2 cup water
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 (6 ounce) box raspberry Jell-O (you can use any flavor, strawberry is AMAZING!)
1 (2 ounce) box surejell fruit pectin  or equivalent - I currently use 6 TBL of a powdered pectin.
1. Place nine clean glass  half-pint jars ( or 5 pint jars... or whatever you have on hand) with hot/boiling water in them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees. Put the matching lids and rings in a pan with hot water on the stove at a simmer. Do this first as the cooking times really fly by and you want them to get good and hot! (I usually put a dishtowel under the jars so they don't slide around.)
2. Bring 1/2 cup water and 6 cups of zucchini to a boil thel let simmer for 6 minutes.
3. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and pineapple (juice and all) and let boil for 6 minutes.
4. Mix in the Jello and boil 2 minutes.

5. Add Surejell and boil for 1 minute.

Bonus Step: I don't like texture at all. *shudder* So I use my immersion blender at this point to mulch up all the pineapple and zucchini bits. If you like 'fruit pieces' in your jam then it's great as is. I could never handle that so I blend it. The zucchini skin gives the impression of seeds, and is very pretty, but doesn't have any discernible presence in your mouth.
6. Turn off heat and move pot to the counter where you'll be filling the jars (easier to clean than the stove). Take the jars out of the oven and carefully pour out the water.  Ladle jam into the hot jars. I leave some headroom - not sure the proper amount but I leave 1/2 - 3/4 inch.
7. Wipe rims with a damp cloth, put lids and rings on to finger tight and then turn jars upside down for 5 minutes.
8. Flip them back over and keep an eye on them. Once the lids all 'pop' they're ready to store, it can take up to 24 hours.

 NOTE: this jam looks very runny, but after cools it sets up quite firm. I know how solid your jam is can be regional thing and/or a matter of personal preference. If you want it runnier I'd skip the Sure jell.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Southwest Stuffed Peppers
6-8 - Sweet Red Peppers
2 Tablespoons-Divided - Olive Oil
1 - Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Tablespoon - Garlic, Minced
1 Pound - Ground Turkey or Ground Beef
1 Envelope - Mild Taco Seasoning
1 Teaspoon - Salt
1/4 Teaspoon - Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon - Dried Ground Cumin
2 Cups - Cooked Brown Rice
1 (15 Ounce) - Can Petite Dice Tomatoes, Drained
1 (7 Ounces) - Can Corn, Drained
1 (7 Ounces) - Can Ortega Chilies
1 (15 Ounce) - Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/2 Cup - Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup - Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 1/2 Cup - Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs. Coat peppers with cooking spray (Pam) inside and out.  Place into a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam as well. Set aside.
2. In a large saute pan, over medium  heat, cook the onion is 1-2 tablespoons of oil until soft.  Add garlic, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook 3-5 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium and add ground beef.  Cook until there is no longer any pink in beef.  Stir in taco seasoning, salt, pepper, cumin, brown rice, diced tomatoes, corn, ortega green chilies, beans, sour cream, and cilantro.
4. Fill peppers with filling.  Bake about 45-50 minutes or until the peppers are soft.  Remove from oven and top peppers with cheddar.  Return to oven and cook until cheese is nicely melted.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1½ tsp lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups milk
Fresh blueberries, for decoration
Lemon blueberry preserves (below)
Lemon buttercream frosting (below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.
Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remaining equally among the 3 prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. This gives you a smooth surface to work with. Add 2½ tbsp of the lemon blueberry preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Use a skewer to swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer stuck in the centre comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Lat the layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to cool completely.
Lemon Blueberry Preserves
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Puree the blueberries with any juices that have exuded in a blender. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer to remove the skins.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the blueberry puree with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check the proper thickness place a small amount of a saucer and put in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through it. If a clear path is made through the preserve then it is ready. Let the preserves cool before using. (Can be made up to 5 days in advance).
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 eggs
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.
In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beast the eggs briefly. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium,-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature. This can take 15-20 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter. Beat in the lemon juice, and the frosting is ready to use.
To Assemble
To assemble the cake, place a layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Spread half of the lemon blueberry preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides with the lemon buttercream.
Decorate with fresh blueberries and serve.
Makes one 8 inch triple layered cake.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

February 2013 Gourmet Night at Nics

Cucumber Sparkling Drink
2 cucumbers thinly sliced
1-2 quart liter sprite
Canned frozen limeade
Marinate sliced cucumbers in limeade for a few hours until ready to serve. Put all in punch bowl. Cover with ice and sprite.

Phoenix Salsa               Brenda Robertson
2 Avacados
2 pomegranates (1 pkg Costco)
2 tomatoes
1 bunch green onions
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp Accent
1tsp coriander
I family sized bag Frito Scoops

Wild Green Salad with Pomegrante Vinegarette
1/4 cup Pomegrante juice
1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup toasted walnut halves
8 ounces mixed greens
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Pomegrante seeds
1 can mandarin oranges
Salt and pepper

Maple Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 T basamic vinegar
2tsp Dijon mustard
Combine in saucepan and let simmer and cornstarch to thicken.
1-2 pork tenderloin strips. Cover with foil bake at400 degreese until meat reaches an inner temp of 160 degrees, about 20 min. Let sit 10 min, top with sauce.

Twice Baked Potatoes     
4 med baked potatoes
1 cup sourcream
1/2 c buttered, softened
1 3oz cream cheese softened
2 green onions
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup grated cheese
Bake potatoes and cut half lengthwise, spoon potato ,into mixing bowl, and set skins aside, mix everything else together except paprika. Put in potatoes and sprinklr with paprika. Bake at 350 for 20 min.

Italian Cheese Bread Ring      Stir Thing Up
4 1/2-51/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 c milk
1 c water
2 eggs

1cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c butter, softened

Combine 2. 1/2 c flour, sugar, salt, yeast. In a saucepan heat milk, water, and 1/2 c butter until very warm. Add warm mixture and eggs to flour mixture.  Blend then best for 3 min. By hand stir in remaining flour until stiff batter.
Grease 12 cup bunt pan. In small bowl combine filling ing. Spoon half of batter into pan, then filling,spoon remaining batter over filling. Cover loose with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place. About 30 min. Cook 30-40 min at 350, until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan and cool on wire rack.  Serve warm or cool.

Pizookies Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips 1/2 pkg milk chocolate chips
Cook at 375 8-10 min.  For pizookies put dough in ramican cook at 375 for 12 min then top with ice cream.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Swig Copycat Sugar Cookies

Really, no one has posted since November?

I made these tonight and they are so delicious. Try them! Here is the link:

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