Archived entries for recipe

Slow Cooked Apple Butter

Its apple season again! Now that I don’t have the dread of the return to school, I love the fall! Its all about apples, pumpkins, crisp mornings and eating lots of food to “bulk” up for the winter. I got a good 10 lbs to pack on so I can survive my winter hibernation. Lets get started. Just kidding guys, this recipe won’t bulge your bellies as long as moderation is kept in mind AND you can now enjoy your apples GLUTEN FREE.**

apples are always gluten free, dummy.

Slow Cooked Apple Butter
makes 12 pins

20-25 lbs apples, skinned and cored
6 c. apple cider or juice (or 4 c. water)
4 c. sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp all spice

You can use whatever apples you want for this, but a sweet apple is best. The softer it is, like a Mac will cook faster. If you use something hard like honey crisp, you will just have to cook it a bit longer and use a blender to help break down the pulp. But just go with your bad apple self. There are no RULES.

Wash, skin and core your apples.

Put apples and cider in large 5 gallon cooking pot and bring to a boil. If you don’t have a pot that big, get one. If you can’t get one, use two pots. Or half the recipe. Or you can choose to go to another recipe where they don’t do everything in bulk.

Cook apples down on medium heat until they begin to form apple sauce, about 1-2 hours.

Add sugar and stir until sugar is melted. Add spices and stir. Bring heat down to low and cook uncovered to allow excess water to evaporate. Cook until the apple butter has thickened. Joy of cooking describes consistency as: sheeting from a spoon and suggest for testing, “putting a small quantity on a plate. When no rim of liquid separates around the edges of the butter, it is done.”

For my part, I cook for about 6 hours after I add the sugar, stirring occasionally to keep from burning to the bottom of the pot. I let it cool overnight and when I test it in the morning, its good to go.

Place in sterile jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Freezing Blueberries

Its blueberry season! You won’t get as tasty blueberries any other time of year, so make hay while the sun shines.  Be a good little ant and store some food for the winter.  Here’s the best simple way to ensure quality in your frozen berries.

Freezing Blueberries.

1. Wash berries and drain until nearly dry.

2.  Lay berries flat on a cookie sheet.

3.  Place in freezer.  Freeze for 24 hours.

4. Remove from freezer, remove berries from trays and put into freezer bags.  Mark date and put back into freezer.

And, done.

Strawberry Freezer Jam With Honey

I’ve been wanting to try making Jam without so much sugar.  The best natural substitute for sugar seems to be honey, however, honey is very expensive.  Recently I was given a bunch of honey form the hives on my in-laws property.  Finding myself honey rich, I decided to finally try out a natural jam.  I found this simple recipe and decided to give it a try.

Strawberry Freezer Jam with Honey
makes 4-5 pints

  • 4 c. crushed strawberries
  • 2 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 box of Sure Jell
  • 4 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 c. water

Wash, stem and crush strawberries using food processor or potato smasher. Measure out and pour 4 cups of strawberries into a bowl and set aside.

In a pan, mix honey and sure jell.  Mix water and cornstarch until cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Add water/cornstarch mix to honey.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Allow to boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Mix into strawberry mixture until well blended.

Pour strawberry jam into clean jars, leaving 1-2 inches of head space to allow for jam to expand during freezing.  Allow to stand at room temp. for 24 hours.  Cover and place in freezer.

I think this recipe turned out very tasty.  Its a bit runny for a jam, but since I use my freezer jam more often as a sweeter for plain yogurt, I don’t mind mine being more syrupy.  I think one might try perhaps adding a few tablespoons more of cornstarch to achieve a better consistency.


Pickled Pears

I keep finding seckel pears at the market this year.   Thora loves them as children love all mini sized foods, so we’ve been buying them a lot.

This last batch, I decided on a whim, to pickle.  Why not?  They’re so cute, they’ll look even cuter stuffed in a jar with spices and a sweet brine in my pantry.

I’m using seckel pears, but you could try any pear cut into sections.

Pickled Pears

  • 3-4 lbs pears


  • 4 c. vinegar
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. honey

Per pint jar (double for quart):

  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 thin slice of lemon peel

Wash pears and cut in half.

Mix brine ingredients and bring to a boil.

Stuff jars with spices and lemon.  Stuff jars with sliced pears.  Pour boiling brine over pears.

If canning, process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Allow pears to sit for 4-6 weeks before eating.



Your Grandma’s Chirstmas Wreath Recipe

This is probably the most nostalgic holiday cookie of all time. For me, these glorified rice crispy treaties conjure up memories of 80′s grade school holiday parties.

These were never part of my family’s holiday cookie list, which is why I call this cookie “Your Grandma’s Christmas Wreath Recipe” because although my Grandma didn’t make these, yours did! Lets get green and sticky!

Your Grandma’s Christmas Wreath Cookies

  • 1/3 c. butter or margarine
  • 4 c. marshmallows  (10 ounce bag)
  • 1 teaspoon green food coloring
  • 6 c. cereal of your choice
  • red cinnamon candies

In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Melt marshmallows into butter, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.  Mix in green food dye. Remove from heat.

Mix melted marshmallows into cereal.

Spoon cereal mixture onto baking trays lined with parchment or wax paper.  Using your fingers, shape cookies into wreath shapes.  Lightly coat your fingers with water to help shape the wreathes and keep the marshmallows from sticking to your fingers.  I suggest having a small dish of water near your work station.

Place wreaths in fridge until hardened.  Place in an air tight container layered with wax paper to keep from sticking together.  Good for up to 1 week.

Oatmeal Lace

Nothing fancies up a Christmas party like a little lace!  These delicate crispy confections are the perfect blend of cookie and candy.  Eat up!

Oatmeal Lace
makes 6 dozen

  • 1 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 3 c. rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • parchment paper

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowls, combine oats, sugar, brown sugar, flour and salt.  Add melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract.  Mix until blended.

Line baking sheets in parchment paper.  Drop rounded tsps of batter 3 inches apart on parchment.  Bake for 5-8 minutes until lightly browned on edges.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool for 1 minute.  Place tray in freezer for 5 minutes until cookies harden.

Place cookies in an air tight container and store in refrigerator or freezer.



Heirloom Maple Meltaways

Have you ever wondered if you would have had what it took to survive out on the homestead? Well, imagine yourself stoking the wood fire in your log cabin kitchen stove. You’re preparing to make your holiday cookies. You go to gather your ingredients. You may have fresh cream butter you just whipped up from your morning milking.  But, oh, no! Where is your processed granulated sugar? You forgot to plant a crop of sugar beats! Where is your Mexican vanilla, not to mention your cream of tartar?

Well, never fear. Here is a recipe, with only just 4 ingredients you would probably have in your food stuffs: butter, maple syrup, flour and salt. If you want to be real old timey, you can grind some wheat berries to get fresh milled flour. (A coffee grinder works well if you don’t have a flour mill). So get out your gingham apron and enjoy a taste of the good ol’ days.

Heirloom Maple Meltaways


  • 2 cups flour-whole wheat pastry flour works great!
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Cream butter and maple syrup. Mix flour and salt. Mix together with butter.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment , drop dough balls by the tablespoonful 2 inches apart. If you want, top with a whole shelled nut.

Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Keep cookies chilled for best texture. They can get crumbly at room temperature.

Bavarian Apple Kuchen

If you multiply the deliciousness of this cake times the easiness of its preparation your calculator will explode (or your head if you’re really good at math.)  Just try it and see.  I DARE YOU.

Bavarian Apple Kuchen
serves 12

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. veg oil
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 c. apples peeled and sliced.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with oil until creamy.  Add sugar, vanilla, flour, cinnamon, soda and salt. Mix well.  Batter will be stiff.  Fold in apples.  Pour in a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-60 minutes until center tests done with a toothpick.


Acorn Squash Custard In A Half Shell

Nothing hits the spot on a crisp autumnal day like pumpkin pie. However, sometimes you don’t have a pumpkin, you’ve got a squash. And sometimes, you’re lazy and don’t feel like making pie. So, here’s a way to skip the pastry and get right down to business. Squash custard in a half shell.

Acorn Squash Custard in Half Shell

  • 2 c. roasted squash (about 3 large acorn squash)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 c. milk

Cut squash in half and scoop out as much squash from shell as possible.  Place in roasting pan and roast at 400 degrees for 30-60 minutes.

Using a food processor or mixer, process squash until smooth.  Add sugar, eggs, spices, and milk and process until smooth.

Pour custard mixture into squash shells. If you have extra, you can just pour into baking ramekins. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn temperature down to 350.  Bake for additional 30 minutes or so until the centers test clean with a toothpick.

Eat up!

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled green tomatoes are sooooo good.  A serious party pleaser as well as gourmet garnish to spruce up your next hot dog night.  They are as easy to make as they are to eat.  Yum! Who doesn’t love pickles?  Enough talking, lets pickle.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

  • 10 lbs small green tomatoes
  • 5 c. vinegar
  • 5 c. water
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • garlic
  • mustard seed
  • dill seed
  • crushed red pepper

Prepare tomatoes: Wash and remove stems.  You may want to cut large tomatoes in halves or quarters.  I find its best to use small ones you can leave whole.

Prepare canner: Start enough water to cover your jars in canning pot.  It usually takes a while for this amount of water to boil, so I usually start this first thing.

Make brine: Add water, vinegar and salt to pot and bring to a boil.

Prepare jars: Wash and clean jars.  Heat up with hot water to temper jars for brine. (Don’t skip this step or you might have a bunch of broken glass all over when you add your brine.) Boil jar seals to prepare for sealing.

Stuff jars: Fill jars with spices and garlic

per pint jar (double for quarts):

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1 clove of garlic

Stuff jars as full as possible with tomatoes.  Make sure nothing is sticking up above rim of jar.

Add brine: Pour boiling brine into jars leaving half inch head space.  Wipe edges of jar to remove any materials which might impede lids from sealing.  Seal using boiled seal and screw on lid.  Screw lid on tight.

Process: Process in rapidly boiling water: pint jars for 5 minutes, quarts for 10.  Beginning timing when water in canner comes back to a rolling boil.  When time is up, remove from water and allow to cool on counter top.  Do not jostle jars as it can impede a proper seal.

Once jars are cooled and sealed, mark with contents and date.  Put in your pantry and feel good about a job well done!



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