Friday, July 10, 2015

Strawberry Freezer Jam and Homemade Bread

Strawberry Freezer Jam
We had a really fun night making homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam as a group of women at church a few weeks ago. I just have gotten around to catching up on blogging about it. I learned a lot from some experts. 
This Strawberry Freezer Jam was to die for good. And to make it even BETTER we put it on homemade warm bread just out of the oven. What could be more delicious than that? 

Gladys made the yummy bread. It was wheat bread and it was soft and spongy and wonderful. Mine always turns out like a brick. But she did give us a few tips. She uses bread flour and fresh yeast. That could be my problem right there. And she also uses crisco instead of oil or melted butter. Hmmm.....worth a try. 

Linda made and taught us how to do the Strawberry Freezer Jam. I've made it before just using the package. She did use the package directions also. But I guess there are lots of pectins to choose from. This is her favorite pectin. 
Original recipe makes 5 pints
You can also use low sugar pectin and use 1 less cup of sugar. Lots of reviews on recipe boards suggest this. I did think the jam was a little sweet but I actually love that. yummy. So do what is your taste. 

Get the ripest strawberries that you can and use them the same day you buy the berries so they are perfect. We made this jam in June so it may not have been the best summer month. But you can often find sweet strawberries this summer at Costco. 

So they used the MCP and the SURE JELL pectins both and both were good. One was lower sugar if I remember well. There were a lot of opinions shared that night from lots of old timers who have done jams for decades so lots of good info was shared. But some disagreed with others on this and that. Especially how much sugar to add. 

While the strawberry jam was setting up we watched a demonstration on bread baking. This was her already put together bread rising in a low oven. I think she turned it on to 200 degrees and then turned the oven off and left door open for 30 minutes so oven was a bit warm. The bread rose perfectly as you can see. 

Gladys was a master bread baker. This is the bread just out of the oven. She sprays the top with butter flavored oil spray to make sure it stays soft and looked kind of glossy. 

Here is her best wheat bread recipe. I tried making it and mind was kind of hard and bricky but I didn't have dough enhancer. I also didn't have bread flour. She used half bread flour and half wheat flour. I think that is what makes the difference. Her bread is half white half wheat. Also she didn't add the 9 grain cereal. It was just plain wheat bread. The dough enhancer makes the bread softer she told me later. 

She was so cute in her little apron. She offered to come over and help me make some wheat bread with her because I told her mine always turns out heavy and bricky. haha. She is so sweet. Like I'd let her into my messy kitchen. 

She shared another great tip. She likes to use glass pans for baking because she can see the corners and she has been able to figure out just the perfect golden look to the bottom of the loaves so she knows they are done. 
The brown and white can in the front is the dough enhancer stuff. You can get it from the Bosch store. That's where I found mine. 

We each got one of these little tubs of freezer jam to take home. They had put a little note on the top on a round sticker. So cute! 

Then we all chowed down on homemade wheat bread hot out of the oven and freshly made strawberry freezer jam. OOOhhhh it was a yummy night! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Rice Krispie Pops

Here's my Rice Crispie Treat Pops...with M and Ms
Want to make a fun treat for summer backyard BBQs? This twist on the Rice Crispie Treat is so easy yet packs more of a punch for a kid's party. They just have a WOW factor! The recipe is easy too.

Here's how I made my cool Rice Krispie Treat POPS
Heat up 1/2 a stick of butter with a 10 oz. bag of marshmallows in
a pan on the stove or in the microwave.
Then when it is white and melty mix in 6 cups of Kelloggs Rice Crispies
I looked on the rice crispy website for some creative things to do with rice crispy treats. I followed their recipe which is HERE at the Kelloggs website.
They had some cute pops using colorful Popsicle sticks. But I was out of them.

I poured all but about 3 cups into a 9 x 9 buttered pan and topped with M & Ms...yum!
Rice Crispie Treats!  
Then I melted 1/3 cup of white candy melt discs in the microwave for 1 minute

Then I buttered my hands and formed the rest into 4 balls. Then I dipped the ends of them into the melted white chocolate and sprinkled the colorful toppers on as well as some M & Ms for my Rice Crispie Treat Pops. 

The M and Ms kept sliding off the balls....It may have been the slippery butter! So
I pressed them into the white candy melts before they hardened...NOT easy to do!

I didn't have any Popsicle sticks so I cut some BBQ skewers and  curled some ribbons and tied them on.

Then I poked the wooden skewers into those cute Rice Crispie Treat Balls and here
they are with their curly ribbons decorating them!

Then I had to sit back and taste-test my Rice Crispie Treats .....they were yummo!

My granddaughters LOVED them! Who can resist anything with M and Ms? Hmm.....?
Rice Crispie Treat Pops. Do them for the next family gathering with kids.

 My older granddaughter said, "These are delicious!" So cute! They loved my little rice crispie treat pops.  I love them! :-D

Monday, June 29, 2015

Eight is Great! Fun Birthday Parties

Eight is Great! Marisa turned 8 years old! Woo Hoo!
My Granddaughter Marisa's birthday and baptism celebration! Eight is Great!
Marisa and I at her Baptism. 
Dessert table at the luncheon party for Marisa Belle. I made a little heart Bundt cake just for her!

I have a few of these pretty heart individual bundt cake pans. I made chocolate cupcakes and then used the bundt with the leftover batter. 

Then I frosted them with cream cheese icing. 
This is the recipe I use for any chocolate cakes I bake. It is from All This recipe has cream cheese and a pudding mix in it and mini chocolate chips. It is dense, rich and wonderful with cream cheese icing. It also has 4500 reviews with almost 5 stars. That is a good recommendations people!
HERE is the link.  You will not find a better chocolate cake recipe. It uses a boxed mix. My favorite boxed mix is Betty Crocker Supermoist Chocolate Fudge.

My favorite boxed cake mix. I just doctor it up a little with sour cream and a pudding mix. 

Cream Cheese Icing - I use a brick of cream cheese, a cube of butter, a few cups of powdered sugar and a little lemon juice for flavoring. 
Cream Cheese Icing
1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
1 brick of room temperature cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 -3 cups of powdered sugar
milk to the desired consistency

Eight is Great! And a birthday party is too! 

Little Miss Marisa is my sweet first grandchild. I love her so. 

Birthday cupcakes made with homemade cream cheese icing, sprinkles and jelly beans, and little suckers as toppers. 

My friend Aimee Ferre made this cute flag and I bought it at one of her sweet boutiques.  I will use it when each of my grandkiddos turns eight! 
Eight is Great! It is a milestone birthday in the LDS church because it is the year you can get baptized too. 
Tiff ser ed chicken salad sandwiches on pretzel rolls. They were SUPER YUMMY! I love those rolls. Get them at Costco. They are a little pricey though, I think they are around 6 bucks a package. 
Gary baptized his little girl. It was very tender to see. I love all these peeps!

This is the first party Tiffany has had in her new home. It has the greatest kitchen with a huge marble island. I love it! 
Veggies and dip. 
Fruit platter. Make some of that yummy marshmallow fluff dip to go with the fruit.

I put little suckers into each of the cupcakes for the kiddos. 
I forgot to take pictures of Marisa opening gifts. But she got this really cute gift from my son and daughter-in-law Devin and Caitlin. It was a tiny tiny silver necklace that had an 8. I just LOVED it! How clever is that? I got her jewelry too; a pearl necklace and earrings. She got lots of cool loot. 

I loved the entire day. Milestone Happy Days are so fun to spend with family. Yes they are. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Strawberry Pie with Jello Glaze

I made some Strawberry Pie for my daughter and daughter-in-law for a Mother's Day gift today (it's a day late but they won't care.....cuz it is so good it's criminal!  I use Jello for the easy glaze! 

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Jello Glaze...don't ya want a bite? Yes, you do! 

I love fresh strawberries and I had a ton I got from the  market for $3.75 for a 2 pound package! What a deal!!  So I bought 2 of them and made 2 strawberry pies! This recipe is so easy and it was deeeeeeelish.  You make the glaze with jello! It is SOOOOOO easy peasy.  

I'm gonna do some in peach as soon as they are in season.

Peaches from my tree last year were so yummy. It is just now filled with pink flowery blossoms!
Well, not as pretty as this little Peach at her Spring dance recital! 

  Here is Miss Megan being her cute, little, joyful self after the recital. So cute!

I like to make my pie crust with real butter. It just tastes better to me, like a yummy crescent cookie. So try your crust with butter to see if you like it too.

 I used 1 cube butter,
 cut in 1 1/3 cup of flour.
 Add 1/2 teaspoon salt
 3 Tablespoons ice water
(I add ice cubes to the just works better to have COLD water!)

The glaze is easy..just jello mixed with sugar water and cornstarch...
Then I like to whisk it up mold it into a ball and roll it out on a large zip lock baggie. It just makes life easier and I was out of waxed paper. :D  I rolled it out so it was about 1/2 inch bigger all around than the pie tin layed over it.  Then I cut around it.
I rolled it out onto the gallon size could use waxed paper too. 

cuttin' around the upside down tin...1/2 inch bigger for the cute edging...

It's so easy to flip the pie crust into the pan and peel off the baggie...then toss it!

Making the beautiful edging is my fav part. Just pinch between your left thumb and your right thumb and forefinger to make the pointy peaks around your pie crust edge.  Or opposite if you are a lefty.

Don't forget to poke forkholes in the butter pie crust...then bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes.
While the crust was baking I did the glaze and cut off the tops of the strawberries and washed and dried them. The glaze is super easy.

Strawberry Glaze Ingredients and Directions
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons cornstarch   Mix first 3 ingredients....

Put it in a saucepan on the stove till it is smooth and when it is bubbling....boil  for about 2 minutes. Then take it off the heat.

Add 1 small 3 oz. strawberry jello into the thickening syrup.
 Whisk it for a minute till it is dissolved and then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool.

Boil the syrup for about 2 minutes....It's a little bit thick...

Take it off the stove and toss in the small box of jello....

Then arrange the yummy strawberries with the pointy side up in the cooled pie shell. By the time I had the green tops cut off and them washed and dried, the glaze was cool!  Pour the glaze over the top,  coating each of the top strawberries. Then pop it into the fridge for a 1/2 hour until set.
Here's my glaze before I refrigerated it for 15 minutes....

 It was delicious because the top of the crust was still crunchy cookie tasting. I hate pie crust that is all soggy Ug! So we ate that baby up so fast!!!  It was gone by morning. Yum is all I can say.  But I wish I had made 2 of em.  

Who says you can't have a piece of Fresh Strawberry Pie for breakfast...NOT ME!
I'll be dreaming of this Strawberry Pie  for awhile......mmmmm good!


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