Friday, March 30, 2012

Raspberry Freezer Jam

 Raspberry Freezer Jam

This isn't a's just to help myself remember what I did.  So the next time I make jam I can decide if I want to switch it up.  I'll explain....

In January, I stumbled on a blog called and it opened my eyes to the extreme amount of processed foods we eat. High fructose corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated oil, etc.  So when I went to make a batch of freezer jam and again looked at the amount of sugar and corn syrup, I wanted to try and make a change.  So I made a batch of sugar free that was sweetened with stevia (a natural non-caloric sweetener - still not the healthiest thing, but I feel like a step in the right direction).  The batch was awful (stevia has a bitter after taste sometimes) and I was so mad that I wasted that much fruit.  So I made a normal batch and decided to conduct an experiment on my kids.  I combined the two batches and waited to see if my kids would notice.  They never did.  I was thrilled that at least it was less corn syrup and sugar per serving.  So unless a better or different product comes along, this is what I'm going with for now!  Here are the two pectins, a batch of each, made separately and then mixed before putting them in containers.
**Breanna taught me that frozen raspberries work equally as well as fresh and if you can get them on sale, it's a way better deal!
**Today I made 6 batches (3 of each) and ended up with 15-2 cup containers of freezer jam.  I would love for it to last a year, but I'm guessing 6-7 months.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lemon Asparagus Salad

Lemon Asparagus Salad

1/4 C pine nuts toasted (350 for 5-8 minutes)
1 lb asparagus, rinsed (a bit bigger than I normally buy)
1 lemon
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1-2 oz parmesan

On a cutting board, lay a single stalk on its side, and while holding the tough/big end, use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin ribbons from stalk to tip. Peeling away from the tough end in your hand.  Discard the tough ends, and gently pile your ribbons on the serving platter or bowl.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss gently and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. Eat immediately.

**Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
**A lovely fresh salad that is different and delicious!
**I used a normal peeler and it worked, but a Y-shaped peeler was suggested. And I personally think large shaved pieces of parmesan would be a lot prettier!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Southwestern Frittata

Southwestern Frittata

1/2 T olive oil
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1/4 t cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 roma tomatoes, diced
5 eggs, lightly beaten
salt (about 1/2 t)
pepper (about 1/4 t)
1/2 C cheddar cheese (or pepper jack for some spice!)
avocado, salsa, cilantro, sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium, oven safe, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the pepper, onion and cumin, cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.  Add the beans and tomatoes, stir until evenly distributed.  Pour the eggs over the vegetable mixture, making sure it distributes through all the vegetables, stirring a little if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the edges begin to set.  Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and mixture is slightly puffy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.  Return to oven just until cheese is melted.  Serve with avocado, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

**I have made a southwestern frittata a few times and was craving it the other day, and proceeded to waste an HOUR looking for the recipe and never found it.  So I recreated my own.... I might be making adjustments when I make it again.  Also, I had 8 asparagus spears in my fridge, so I chopped them up and added them in with the peppers and onions.
** I served it with a warm tortilla on the side and Tru put his in it and made a little breakfast burrito.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Elise's Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake For Angel Food Cake Haters ;)

10-12 large egg whites (11 Costco)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 C flour
1 1/2 t cream of tartar
1 t vanilla
1 C sugar

Bring egg whites to room temperature.  Sift powdered sugar and flour together 3 times.  In a large bowl beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).  Gradually add sugar, about 2 T at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).  Sift about one fourth of the flour mixture over beaten egg whites; fold in gently.   Repeat, folding in a the remaining flour mixture by fourths.

Pour into a freshly washed, ungreased 10 inch angel food cake pan.  Bake on the lowest rack at 350 for 40-45 mintures or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Immediately invert cake (leave in pan) and cool completely.  Loosen sides of cake from pan with sharp knife, invert and remove cake.

Serve with any combination of fruit and cream.

**This story is too good not to share.  I was at my friend Elise's house and she had made a marvelous dinner that I had already requested the recipe for.  We were discussing food, as usual, and were talking about a recipe that had angel food cake in it and someone suggested replacing the angel food cake with pound cake. I said, "Oh my word, that's brilliant! Who would prefer angel food cake over pound cake? Angel food cake is such a waste!"  OH YES I DID....and guess what dear Elise was serving for dessert!  Oh, my friends let me have it and I groveled for forgiveness. It was a hoot!  Elise was the best sport ever!  In all honesty, I had NEVER had a homemade angel food cake, just the grocery store 2 day old ones! It was so yummy! I was wrong, way wrong! Elise agreed to give me her recipe and she titled it "Angel Food Cake for Angel Food Cake Haters!"  It's been several years and I have yet to live that night down!  Thank you Elise for loving me enough to serve me that slice even though I was very unworthy! Love you!