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


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