Long-time followers of this blog know, my love of strawberries is no secret. So when strawberry season rolls around here in North Carolina, I over-indulge big time (I even finally dug up 40 sq ft for a strawberry garden in the backyard). So what to do when even I find I can’t consume these plentiful strawberries quickly enough? Prepare for the dark days ahead and preserve them by making strawberry jam! Its pretty hard to beat the flavor of good, home-made jam, and if you’ve never made your own, its incredibly easy.
yields approximately 6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars
- 3 and 1/3 pints strawberries (about 2.5 lbs)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 box pectin
- 3.5 cups granulated sugar
As with all home preserve-making endeavors, be sure to follow safe canning practices. That means a few things:
- Wash the jar(s) in warm soapy water and then submerge in boiling water until you’re
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For the better part of my life, I had never really considered how simple and straightforward it would be to make doughnuts at home. Until making paczkis, I had come to accept that the likes of Dunkin Donuts were as good as it got. Oh how wrong I was.
Not only can you indulge for breakfast–you should. Saying its like having deep-fried cake for breakfast might make it sound like a not-so-healthy idea, but everyone should enjoy a good doughnut now and then…and this is a good doughnut. Tender inside, crisp and golden on the outside–just what a good doughnut should be.
I was largely by this recipe for cake doughnuts. This recipe is a solid base recipe to play around with flavor-wise. I went with a light touch of spice (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla) and a sweet, tangy, purply blackberry glaze. I’ve also played with a coating of cinnamon-sugar, a dusting of powdered sugar,… click to read more…
I love meatballs in pretty much any form. There’s something homey and inviting about them just conceptually, no matter how dressed up they are (and yes, I recognize how pretentious the title of this dish sounds right next to my “homey” statement). For this dish, I returned to one of my favorite meats: lamb. Ground lamb always seems to wow me where I least expect it, and these meatballs kept the trend going.
For the meatballs, I wanted them to be relatively simple with all of the appropriate spices and aromatics that would make the lamb sing without masking it–such as touches of cumin, allspice, garlic, and parsley. A bit of creme fraiche helped to enrich them and keep the texture light and delicate.
With that out of the way, onto the sauce. I have always thought that lamb pairs wonderfully with fruit, so the idea of a pomegranate-centric barbecue sauce seemed… click to read more…
This post is a little later than I’d like it to be seeing how strawberry season has come and gone by me. My love of strawberries is no secret. When they’re at their peak, I’ve packed away several pounds (maybe four or five? Seriously. I love strawberries) a week just for snacking (forget the baking). So this is one of those tasty desserts you can go to when you need a break from inhaling strawberries by the pound: a berry scented bundt cake topped with a rich, strawberry cream cheese frosting.
This was delicious and very strawberry-ish. I would be happy just eating the frosting (and shamelessly licked the bowl clean. Very clean). My only disappointment was that the cake was a little denser than I would have liked–I’d consider lessening the amount of strawberry puree (e.g. by half a cup) in the cake so that it might rise more and take on a lighter texture. As… click to read more…
When I found myself with a cut of lamb known for having an incredibly tender texture (the top round roast–it comes from the upper hind leg), for some reason, steak was on my mind rather than the usual roast. I’d never had lamb steak before, so I thought that this could be a fun change–I’d just give them a quick, buttery pan sear (since its not grilling weather at the moment) and top it off with a simple sauce. Being autumn and all, cranberry seemed like a great thing to focus on sauce-wise–and like pork, lamb with fruit always makes me happy.
The lamb was indeed very tender. The resulting steaks had a crisp, buttery, exterior with a juicy and just-a-little-pink interior (random aside: why aren’t lamb steaks more common?!)–very tasty. The cranberry sauce I made to go with this was very similar in style to one I’ve made for the past few Thanksgivings. Aside from the… click to read more…
Just like I get the strong urge to braise everything in the winter, I find myself wanting to preserve everything I encounter during the summer. After enjoying many a peach (and I must confess, I think I prefer Carolina peaches over Georgia peaches…), I vaguely recalled a recipe for peach preserves I had encountered and knew I had to make some for myself while I could still find some amazing local peaches.
My first inclination when it comes to preserves is always jelly or jam, so I thought I’d try to not do that, instead opting for larger chunks of fruit and a looser syrup. Also, while the best preserves tend to be simple (e.g. just fruit + sugar), some pairings are a match made in heaven, and peach + cardamom is such a match. They both offer such a distinct sweet flavor and richly complex perfume…its really something. Its taking me some restraint… click to read more…