This year my apple bag felt a lot heavier than usual. Perhaps it was taking a cue from my heart. My apple picking companion was conspicuously absent. My son and his girlfriend of four and half years have parted ways and although both have happily moved on, I found myself very sad. We had our apple picking perfected, an ideal picking team so to speak. My lovely young friend always remembered what apples we didn't care for and knew precisely were to find the Honey Crisps. I thought we would be enjoying this wonderful autumn tradition together for many seasons to come. It's funny how just the simple act of picking apples in an orchard can break your heart.
Hearts will never be made practical until they are made unbreakable.
My neighbors were kind enough to invite me over to pick some of the wild blackberries that grow in their yard. I am so happy I did. The jam is delicious and so simple to make. Recipe from Paula Deen.
5 cups blackberries, washed and drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
7 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package dry pectin
6 (1/2 pint) Canning Jars with lids
In a large saucepan over high heat add blackberries, sugar, and lemon
juice. Stir frequently while bringing to a rolling boil. Stir in pectin
and continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam
from the top if necessary.
Sterilize jars and lids directly before using for 10 minutes in
simmering water or in the dishwasher. Remove one at a time when ready to
fill. While blackberry mixture is still hot, ladle into the hot
sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims with a
clean damp cloth and seal jars with lids and rings. Process in a
boiling water bath (making sure water level is 1 inch over the top of
the jars) for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow to cool on
Here is my first batch of canned roasted tomato sauce. I will make two more batches before the end of summer. This batch made seven pint and half jars. The recipe is simple and very straight forward. You will need enough tomatoes to fill (to capacity) a half sheet pan. I usually buy a large box of canning tomatoes at the farm and have about 10 tomatoes left over, so you will use a lot.
Cut all the tomatoes into quarters. There is no need to peel or core tomatoes. Fill a half sheet pan with the cut tomatoes
about a layer and a half deep. Chopped a head of garlic and add to the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, 3 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, kosher
salt, and pepper.
well and roast in a 400 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
With the top spout of the blender open, spoon the tomatoes into the blender. Once it is pureed to your desired consistency add 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning and more salt and
pepper to taste. Fill your prepared hot jars with the sauce and then add 1 tbsp. of Real Lemon Juice before putting on the lid
Process covered in a rolling boil
in a water bath canner for 35 - 40 minutes:
These are the pint and half size jars was mentioning. This is the first year that I have seen this particular size jar in the canning section of any store. If you care to make spaghetti sauce from this recipe, I would simmer for an hour or two and add sweet basil a chopped onion and what ever meat you choose. It's a delicious basic tomato sauce.
What makes canning so much fun for me is that I know exactly what ingredients are in the food I use. These tomatoes were purchased from a local farm not far from my home.
Tomato, tomate, tomaat, tomate, pomodoro. I don't think it matters what language you speak, nothing compares to a sun ripened native tomato.
Aren't these two of the prettiest little tomatoes you have ever seen? They were grown in a galvanized bucket in my yard and they were sweet, juicy and so delicious. I gave them a quick rinse and popped them right in my mouth. How do you like to eat your garden tomatoes?
"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." - Lewis Grizzard
It's a pancake, it's a smoothie, it's a pancake, it's a smoothie. IT'S DELICIOUS!
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Greek no-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted ( you can use butter )
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup diced ripe strawberries
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Oil or spray oil for cooking
a griddle or large frying pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, combine
flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; then whisk yogurt, mashed banana, vanilla extract and eggs together; add yogurt and eggs to flour mixture and stir to
combine. Stir in melted butter or oil, fold in strawberries.
Spray oil on hot griddle and spoon batter into even cakes – about 8 –
and let cook until bubbles form on the surface of the cakes, about 2
minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about
another 2 minutes.
I had a gnawing sensation in my stomach this afternoon. A kind of peckish gnawing that grew more bothersome as the resounding rumbling grew louder. A few of these ingredients were featured at my local healthy grocer a few weeks back and I knew this quick and easy snack would quiet the growing roar in my stomach.
A crisp buttery waffle cookie, tangy goat cheese, sweet native strawberries and sticky, slow flowing cranberry honey. It was a simple, it was easy and it filled the emptiness in my stomach before supper.
A gigantic thank you to my lovely niece Meghan and Pinterest. These delectable mini cannoli were the hit of my other niece Katie's graduation party. You have to make these! They are absolutely deliciously addicting! Thanks Meghan. You have a knack for yummy desserts. Here is the recipe from Pillsbury Ready Made Pie Crusts.
whole milk ricotta cheese
confectioners sugar, plus extra for dusting finished cups
mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Flour, for dusting work surface
Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened according to package directions
coarse natural sugar (Turbinado)
For the filling: In a
large bowl with an electric mixer combine all ingredients for the
filling except the chocolate chips and mix well until creamy. Place the
filling in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag and chill while you make the
To prepare cannoli cups: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Unroll the piecrusts onto a lightly floured
surface and sprinkle the top of each crust with the natural sugar and
the cinnamon. Lightly roll over it with a rolling pin so that sugar and
cinnamon are pressed into the dough. With a 2 1/2-3 inch round biscuit
cutter or cookie cutter, cut out circles and lightly press them inside
an ungreased mini muffin or mini cupcake pan to create a pastry cup.
Bake for about 10 minutes or
until cups are golden. Remove from oven and allow cups to cool. Once
cups are cool, they can be removed from tin and filled.
Remove filling from
refrigerator, cut one of the bottom corners off the bag and pipe a
little less than a tablespoon of filling into the cooled cannoli cups.
Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.