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Posts Tagged ‘homemade’

Bird’s Haven Farms & Canning Raspberry Jam

February 11th, 2009

Yesterday after sharing my recipe for homemade Raspberry Jam Bars, I realized that I have yet to share my recipe for canning Raspberry Jam. 

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One of the best things about canning Raspberry Jam, is that it gives you a great excuse to head out to a local pick your own farm to hand select bright red sun-ripened raspberries. Read more…

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Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars

February 11th, 2009
Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars

Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars

In the month of February the days begin to get a little bit longer and it is a thrill to wake up to a sunny bedroom in the morning. It may still be blustery cold outside, but I can not help but dream of warmer days that will be spent in my garden, at the local farm markets, and at an assortment of pick your own farms.

I long for the days when I can leave the house early in the day with great big empty baskets and not return until they are full of the season’s treasures. As the sun sets, I will sit on my patio with a glass of wine and a good book while our dinner cooks on the grill. Late into the evening when the weather has cooled and a slight breeze billows through my windows, I will begin the process of canning the brilliant flavors of spring and summer.

On wintry grey days like today in Ohio, I will go down to the basement and pull out a jar of food that was preserved during my favorite time of year. I smile every time I hear that Ball Jar lid pop open and I am reminded to hold on just a little bit longer, that nothing lasts forever, and this season too will pass.

Today as I popped open a gorgeous, jar of my homemade Raspberry Jam the deep red color reminded me of sunnier times. It was an absolute pleasure to use it to make Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars. After mimimal effort, my home was filled with the exquisite fragrance of raspberries, butter, and sugar. Because they are blissfully decadent, but easy to make, these cookies and this recipe will always hold a special place in my heart. So, for Valentine’s Day I am choosing  to share a taste of my home and a cookie that we love with you. Try them with your favorite jam, preserves, or marmalade and I bet you will love them too.

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Vanilla Souffle

February 9th, 2009
Vanilla Souffle     Vanilla Souffle

Whenever I set a souffle on the dining room table, the room gets quiet, guests hold their breath, and for a brief moment there is complete silence. Secretly, this always amuses me, because there have been many things that I have completely annilated in the kitchen, but knock on wood, a souffle is not one of them. At least not yet…

Now yes, I will admit that once upon a time, anytime I saw a souffle recipe in a magazine or cookbook, I would quickly flip the page. I had absolutely no intention of making one in this lifetime and suffering through the humiliation of serving something that resembled a flat soggy pancake in a souffle dish. However, a few years ago, I discovered that souffles were very simple to make, using ingredients that I almost always have on hand. A basic souffle does not cost a fortune to make, require you to slave in the kitchen for hours, or disastrously explode without warning. Instead it can be the most inexpensive, yet most impressive desserts you have ever made.

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A Simple Asparagus Salad

February 8th, 2009

 

Asparagus Salad

Asparagus Salad

Once I had tasted asparagus that had been roasted or grilled, I was hooked on its delicious caramelized texture and never looked back. Other then enjoying them pureed in a soup or canning Pickled Asparagus for Bloody Marys, I really did not crave it any other way. However, recently while searching through some old Polish recipes, I found a simple and inexpensive way to prepare it that completely captured my curiosity.

I picked up a fresh bundle of asparagus at the market this weekend for $1.99 and for less than $3.00, I made this gorgeous dish to enjoy as a light snack. The colors were bright, he flavors were crisp, and although, I am not a huge fan of hard boiled eggs, I found myself dragging them through the remnants of the dressing on my plate till there was nothing left. The pairing of flavors was so divine, that I can not wait to make this again. It is a perfect make-ahead dish that would be a welcome relief to vegetables and dip at a party. The hard-boiled eggs could easily be replaced with cocktail shrimp or do not use either and serve this as a side dish next time you make dinner.  Either way, you really should try it and remember how good asparagus is when it is lightly cooked and simply prepared.

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Blueberry Bran Muffins

February 4th, 2009

 

Blue Berry Bran Muffins

Blueberry Bran Muffin

A few more minutes under the covers or a healthy breakfast? 

Enjoy both!

 

Today was a bitter cold winter morning in Ohio and I did not want to get out of bed. For the 3rd day in a row, I traded breakfast for the luxury of pulling the covers high up over my head and hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock. For 10 minutes that seemed more like 10 seconds, I was able to stay tucked into the warmth of my bed. However, reality hit quickly as as soon as my feet hit the cold floor and like many morning before, I was in a full blown rush just to get out the door.

While shivering in my freezing cold car, I immediately regretted not having a hot cup of coffee with cream and something healthy to fuel my day. Knowing that a commitment to get up earlier was not the solution, I decided that as soon as I got home, I would make some Blueberry Bran Muffins for breakfast and set the timer on my coffee pot. Tomorrow morning, I will probably hit the snooze button again, but this time I will have breakfast too. Read more…

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Homemade Strawberry Jam

June 15th, 2007

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As I sit here at my laptop, and look around at all of the modern conveniences that life in this century has afforded me, I can not help but wonder if my great grandparents would recognize most of them. If they were to be able to travel through time and space for a visit, how would my everyday existence appear to their old world eyes and sense of accomplishment? Would they be impressed with the fact that my home and life is stuffed to the gills with time saving gadgets which free up my time, only so it can be over scheduled and filled up with a million other distracting tasks, preventing me from savoring the moment at hand? Above all, could they comprehend the fact that living green and practicing sustainability is something I am learning and not second nature? Yes, these are questions that make me wonder about who I am and what I can do to leave something more behind me then an enormous carbon footprint in this world… Something that would make them feel proud of the legacy they have left behind them as well…

At the moment, the steps I am taking still seem small and insignificant to me, but all of them have enriched my life, giving it a deeper sense of value, and purpose. In my journey, towards eating local, living greener, and incorporating more sustainable practices into my life, I have found that Read more…

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Homemade Lemonade and Wild Violet Ice Cubes

May 13th, 2007

Homemade Lemonade with Violet Ice Cubes

Now that it is Spring, I find that I just can not seem to get enough time outside. My first cup of coffee is sipped in the garden before the morning dew has even had the time to evaporate. Lazy afternoons are spent under a tall shady tree with an ice cold glass of homemade lemonade. If I am lucky, my evenings are spent unwinding on the patio with a glass of wine, my journal, and a book or two as my toes wiggle their way into the cool green grass. My winter’s hibernation, of long naps, heavy reading, endless internet surfing, late nights watching foreign films, occasional crafting, and attempts to master new culinary techniques have, by this time, long been forgotten…

It is during this long awaited season that I find myself gravitating towards Read more…

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Extending the Season for Meyer Lemons and Blood Oranges

April 25th, 2007

Meyer Lemon and Orange Marmalade

One thing I really miss about living in Florida, are the orange trees that grew like weeds almost anywhere they were planted. I loved the way the orange groves would perfume the the air every spring when they were in bloom, and it was always a treat to be able to pick and eat the fruit when it was at it’s peak.

I will never forget the time myself and the other neighborhood children, could no longer resist the bright orange spheres slowly ripening on a local farmers trees. Completely disobeying our parents orders, we snuck into the orange grove, hid in the trees, and struggled to remove the peel from a few stolen pieces of fruit. Our hearts raced as we did so and Read more…

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Blustery Spring Weekend

April 10th, 2007

Asparagus

Our Easter weekend was ice cold and blustery. Other then venturing out to Holmes County (home of The World’s Largest Amish Population as well as The World’s Largest Buffet) for canning supplies, we stayed home cringing in horror as last week’s perfect green grass and shivering little yellow dandelions were periodically buried under a light dusting of snow. We also mourned the Hyacinths outside our door that had been reduced to limp little stems lying defeated on the ground as their fragile purple flowers bowed down in defeat to winter’s last hoorah…

The ten years we lived in Florida had long ago Read more…

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