Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More canning???

Yes! I got 3 more boxes of peaches from my Dad, so we did more canning on Saturday. I'm excited though. I got 10 more jars of slices and 6 jars of Cinnamon Peach jam. YUMMY!! It's even better then plain peach jam. All I do is add 1-2 Tablespoons of cinnamon to the jam recipe I get from the Sure Jell box. (I add it to the fruit before we start cooking.) I also get the pink box, because it requires less sugar. However a tip for anyone wanting to make jam, I have heard that it is hard to get the splenda version to set, so think twice about making jam with splenda.Sorry, my camera wouldn't focus. Its probably me, but I took like 10 pictures and this was the best!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Every time I ask my brother what we should make, he says gyros, even if I am needing a dessert. HA!! I always laughed and promised that I would find a recipe and help him make them sometime. We finally did it a few weeks ago. It turned out not to be too hard and I liked them, except that there was a little problem with the salt. There was a lot of it. I have never had anything more salty. I am not sure if it was the recipe or my brother. He didn't measure the first bit he put in, so I don't know how much was there before I came to help. Other then that the meat was really tender and easy to eat and the tzatziki was great. Using the greek yogurt is worth it, I have made other tzatziki with regular and it just didn't taste the same.
Homemade Greek Gyro
By: Nancy Gaifyllia, about.com

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds of boneless pork loin, shoulder, or fresh ham
  • white wine vinegar
  • ----------
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of finely crushed (powdered) Greek oregano (rigani)
  • ----------
  • 6-8 pieces of thin pita bread (not pocket pita)
  • 1/2 cup of tzatziki (see below)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • french fries (optional)
  • olive oil


In a small bowl combine paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano.

Make the Gyro Meat:

Slice the meat against the grain as thin as possible and pound with a meat mallet to less than 1/4-inch thick. In a flat-bottomed container, arrange one layer of slices, sprinkle liberally with seasoning mixture, then with a little vinegar. Spread the vinegar over the meat so that all pieces are moistened. Add layers, spices, and vinegar until all the meat has been marinated. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour to 2 hours.

Remove meat from the refrigerator and slice into strips about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide and 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. Dry fry (without any oil) in a non-stick frying pan until browned and slightly crisp.

Yield: 6-8 large pita wraps, or gyro meat dinner for 6-8

  • 16 ounces (2 cups) of thick Greek yogurt
  • 4 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber (Kirby or "English")
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice


Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, according to taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed. Garnish with a bit of green and serve well chilled.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Pizza-Adona style

I came up with this great idea for a pizza for my daughter Adona. I used the butternut squash puree that I had in the freezer as the sauce and pita bread as the crust. Then for toppings I put her frozen vegetables and cheese. I put it in the over on broil and a minute later she was scarfing down her very one pizza. It was a great way for her to get in a couple of servings of vegetables and she loved it!Sorry the picture is out of focus, its my only picture.


A few weeks ago my sister Erin host a bridal shower. I was very excited to help with the food. I saw this recipe on a blog and was DYING to try it. I think it turned out okay. Some of the problems we had was the frosting was separating, because it had jam in it. I don't know if it was the hot weather or just the recipe. It still tasted great, it just didn't look like I wanted it to. Also it made a ton of frosting. My sister didn't pipe much on the cupcakes, but we only used like a 1/4 of it. If we used more, we still would have had 1/2 of it left. The raspberries tasted AWESOME! I would make them just for a treat if they weren't so expensive!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam Buttercream and Raspberry Truffle

Devil’s Food Cake
Raspberry Jam Buttercream
Raspberry Truffles

Deeply Dark Devil’s Food Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
11 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour mini cupcake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix to incorporate.
Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the warm water in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake cupcakes for 13-15 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and remove cupcakes from pan. Let cool on wire rack. When cool, frost with Raspberry Jam Buttercream.

Cake Source: Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

Raspberry Jam Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups powdered sugar
½ cup seedless raspberry jam

Place butter and jam in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream butter and jam until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. If frosting gets too thick you can add a little milk to thin it out.

Raspberry Truffles

2 pints fresh raspberries, cleaned and dried
5 ounce semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup seedless raspberry jam

Place chocolate and raspberry jam in a heat proof bowl.
Bring cream to a boil.
Pour cream over chocolate and jam and let sit for about 3 minutes.
Whisk together chocolate mixture. If it is still a little lumpy, put in microwave for a few seconds and whisk again.
Put ganache into a piping bag fitted or even an plastic bag(with a tiny hole cut out). Pipe chocolate ganache into fresh raspberries.
Let sit in fridge for about 15 minutes. Top frosted cupcakes with raspberry truffle.

Smores Cheesecake

I have always LOVED making cheesecake and eating it. I found this recipe a couple of years ago and have made it a couple of times. My brother Jordan has been wanting me to make him one since he got here and I finally did the other day. It turned great and was so easy for a cheesecake. If you are dying for a smore, but want it a little upscale, give this a try.

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 1/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
1/3 cup sugar

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand, 300ml)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter


Combine butter, graham wafer crumbs and sugar. Press into the bottom of a 10" springform pan.

In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and beat until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pour over crust. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 40 to 45 minutes, until centre is almost set.

Remove cheesecake from oven and sprinkle marshmallows over top. Return to the oven and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, until the marshmallows are puffed.

Melt chocolate chips and butter together. Drizzle over the marshmallows.

Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.