Friday, June 25, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly

5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 medium green peppers, chopped
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
6-1/2 cups sugar​​
2 pouches (3 ounces each) liquid fruit pectin
​About 2 drops green food coloring, optional
​Cream cheese and crackers, optional
1. Chop peppers fine, leave in jalapeno seeds if more heat is desired.
Add the sugar, peppers and vinegar to pan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
2. Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. ​ Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Add food coloring if desired.
3. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. ​
4. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Serve over cream cheese with crackers if desired. Yield: 7 half-pints.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Herbal Tea Jellies

Another experiment in jelly making was tea jelly. This was easy and rewarding and plus used up those herb tea bags I seem to collect.

The first tea was a Davidsons Chamomile. I steeped 12 tea bags in about 2 cups of water, set it in the sun for about 2 1/2 hours. Combined with lemon juice this jelly was tasty! I was a bit surprised, I didn't think it would be so yummy and it turned a deep orange. The second tea was a Crabtree and Evelyn. Orchard herb tea, I know it contained rosehips, but not sure what else. This turned a deep plum color and was delicious also.

I think I might try this with some of those limited edition seasonal teas from Celestial Seasonings, what a fun holiday gift!

Herb Tea Jelly

2 c hot water
12 tea bags
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
3 c sugar
3 oz liquid pectin

Steep tea bags in 2 c water for about 2 1/2 hours, in the sun if possible.
Take out bags and combine tea with juice and sugar. Bring to rolling boil and boil for 2 minutes. Take off heat and stir in pectin. Bring back to boil and boil for 1 minute. Take off heat, skim foam and pour into jars. Seal and process for 20 minutes.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Lemon Thyme Moscato Jelly

You know its a good day when your jellies jell and your jars seal.

I wanted to make wine jelly, and I wanted to make an herb jelly. So I decided to just make an herbal wine jelly. I had a bottle of Moscato and lots of lemon thyme in my garden, it seemed like a good match and it was. I warmed the wine in the microwave and steeped about 2 cups of fresh thyme, for about 2 hours. I strained the mixture and added lemon juice. This turned out a golden green jelly that tasted like liquid honey sunshine. So glad I have another bottle of Moscato as I will definitely be making this again.

Lemon Thyme Moscato Wine Jelly

3 cups of white wine or moscato
2 cups loosely packed lemon thyme
3 TBsp fresh lemon juice
4 cups sugar
3 oz liquid pectin

Warm wine in microwave and steep thyme for about 2 hours. Strain out herbs.
Combine wine, lemon juice and sugar in deep sauce pan. Bring to rolling boil, boil for 2 minutes. Take off heat, stir in pectin. Bring back to rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Take off heat, skim foam and pour into jars. Place a sprig of thyme into each jar if desired. Seal jars and water process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. This will not jell hard, and will firm up more as it cools completely.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, June 20, 2010


What a weekend so far! I picked up some lovely raspberries at the Coop this week and decide to make some jam. The berries were riper than I realized, and this jam is very soft set, its a little set, but I'm afraid if I re-batch it, it will be gummy or hard. Personally I like a soft spread, so I'm not gonna mess with it. I did test it on my bagel and I am pleased with the flavor.
The very Merry berry came about because I had a cup each of blueberries, strawberries, mulberries, blackberries and raspberries, and I didn't want to waste them, so I combined them and made this all berry jam. Now it did not set, so I re-batched it, its fine now. Tested that on my bagel today, its good. All the berry flavors mellowed into one flavorful jam!
I used green and yellow bell, a red pimento, and red pepper flakes for the hot pepper jelly, its very good! I may make that one again. The jalapeno contains jalapeno and green bell, its mild but does have that nice green chile flavor. I wanted to use only one drop of green color, but two drops slipped out so its greener than I anticipated, but its mellowed now that it jelled. The recipe called for two packs of pectin, so it is not a soft spread at all!
I tested the pepper jellies with cream cheese and crackers, I must say, very very tasty, it was hard to stop eating them!
I usually give these away to family and friends, I hope they like them!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, June 14, 2010

Garden, life update

I am loving this summer, and having much more fun than I have had the past two years. I've decided to do those things that hadn't felt well enough to do that last few years. Farmers markets, sun tea, and just generally being more active.
I feel better, my garden is doing great, plenty of rain and warm weather, found a fix for mildew on my squash and cucumbers and have gotten ahead of the weeds, for now.
I always have a project or more accurately, an obsession, this time its rediscovering my Asian roots. I have been eating more Japanese-philippino food, and I really like using my Chopsticks, I eat slower and get less indigestion. I feel close to my mom and that's a big part of this too. When I use her Asian bowls etc. I remember the meals she made for us, the summer mornings when it was just the two of us, sometimes I cry, but mostly thank God she was my mother and praise that I was lucky enough to be her daughter. She taught me so much.

Bought a bento tray for home and bento box for away from home. I have been cooking bao and shumai, and making onigiri and sushi, and having an awesome time prowling through the local Asian stores, seeing lots of foods and home stuff from my childhood.

I am enjoying going meatless too and feel better now that I have given up red meat, and I don't miss fried food, well, except when I have PMS, then you deep fry my house shoe and I would salt and eat it! Mark is on board with the new healthy eating too, which makes life a lot easier.

I've decided to get back to stitching too, and to quilt whenever my carpel tunnel and arthritis are too painful for stitching, and to read when its to painful to do anything else.

I am loving my friends, both near and far, and appreciating them more everyday, I do truly have treasures in Belinda and Mary.

I also have reconnected with my cousins, they were my best friends from childhood, a time when life was happy and full of new adventures, when family was always there and you could count on lots of hugs, good food and family stories.

I am a lucky lucky lady.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Meaghan's Quilt

Finally finished, this was a fun quilt to make. She is attending northern Illinois this fall and so I tried to make the quilt using those colors.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Something green and fishy on my grill

If this is what being on a heart healthy diet is about, I'm a lucky lady.

Went to the farmers market today and picked up some asparagus, so that led to grilling. I had some fresh brussel sprouts, green beans and vidalia onions, and tilapia in the freezer.
I treated everything to basically the seasoning, except the tilapia.

I shish kabobbed the onion and brussel sprouts, and tried tying the green beans together with a sprig of green onion to make a bundle, but they rebelled.
So I seasoned everything with olive oil, minced garlic and sea salt. The tilapia I used olive oil and Sylvia's Soulful Seasoning and a grinder blend of my own.

Tossed all on the grill and cooked until the fish was opaque and the veggies were caramelized.

Oh my goodness, only a few sprouts and a filet were left, hmmmm, that's my lunch for tomorrow!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry