January 28, 2010

February's Can Jam...... CARROTS!

The chosen veggie for this month is CARROTS....  new friends at 'Doris & Jilly Cook' have given us some important information at and I am starting my search this afternoon for a few good recipes using carrots! Stayed tuned for the results of canned wonders!

January 27, 2010

Healthy Bread...

Continuing with my own personal challange I was hoping to find a bread recipe using more grains but still incorporating this awesome 5 minutes a day plan!! Lo and behold, my husband got his first issue of Mother Earth News (a subscription as a Christmas gift)!! The front cover shows beautiful loaves of bread with the words 'Recipes For Healthy No-Knead Bread' across the top!

Evidently, the authors of the cookbook that I have, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, have come out with another cookbook; Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetable and Gluten-Free Ingredients. Thomas Dunne Books, 2009) Check this out.... These are the authors/bakers who wrote the book! Click on the link below.... (I still haven't figured out how to add a Youtube video).

Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Frencois demonstrating their bread....

Shortly after discovering this book, I visited Amazon "just to check it out!"
One thing lead to another and, uuuumm, ahhhh, hmmm, well....
                   it arrived yesterday in the mail!  YIPPEEEE!!!  

Check out these breads.... don't they look yummy?!
The recipes seem easy enough and the finished breads
look amazing! I'll keep you posted so you can make some of these in your kitchen too! Are you excited yet?!

January 18, 2010

The Challenge? Citrus.... My Answer? Clementine Marmalade!!

Who can resist one of these juicy clementines especially in the cold weather of January?! I've made plenty of jellies & jams, but I've never tried to make marmalade. Originally I was hoping to try something with grapefruit or lemons....  and I still may, but marmalade piqued my curiousity!
After looking through many recipes, I decided to try one
 that I found at
Recipe Gold Mine, it goes as follows:

Peel 8-10 clementines. Remove seeds & white membrane
 from the peeled fruit.
Dice the fruit and slice the peel into thin strips.


2 cups thin strips of clementine peel
4 cups cold water
8-10 clementines (pulp & juice)
1/3 cup lemon juice (1 lge. lemon)
2 cups boiling water
3 cups granulated sugar

In a heavy saucepan, combine clementine peel & cold water. Bring to a simmer, covered & over moderate heat. Continue to simmer until peel is tender, approx. 30-45 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Combine the cooked peel, diced fruit, lemon juice and boiling water.
Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
Quickly bring to a boil and cook until mixture is thick and reaches 220 degrees F on a
candy thermometer. The recipe said it should take 20 minutes, but it took much longer than that!

Remove from heat, skim off any foam and ladle into hot sterilized 1/2 pint jars, filling to within 1/2 inch from the top. Seal & process in a boiling bath for 5 minutes.

Voila! 4 jelly jars of Clementine Marmalade!
Not too sure that this will ever become my favorite
 thing to have on an English muffin, but I'll keep trying!

One thing I would do differently; instead of boiling the peelings for 30-45 minutes and then starting the rest of the recipe, I would drain and repeat this procedure another two times. I read a bit on how 'candied' grapefruits & oranges are made. Part of the directions are to boil, drain & boil again the peelings to soften the peel & flavor. I wonder if this would soften the flavor of marmalade which may make it more appealing to me. I can't wait for my dad to try my new creation... he loves marmalade!
 In his opinion, the old English marmalades are the best!

January 13, 2010

Honduras Departure Date Coming Right Up...

It's that special time of year again when Pete, Audrey & Austin all dream of warmer weather and not because they can't wait till spring (although that is certainly true!)
It is time for their mission's trip to Honduras!! This is their third trip to this Central American country and they can't wait! Last night Audrey went to the packing meeting...  they bring pot luck dinner and pack up bag after bag of medicines, vitamins, clothes & supplies to take with them to give to the people who come to the clinics! She said so far they have thirteen 50 pound bags!
This is one of the clinics from a previous trip.... as you can see, this church had no walls or partial walls made from tarps! The people are geniunely thankful and for most of them, this is the only time in the year where they will see a doctor or dentist. I know that wouldn't break some of our hearts, but if it wasn't by choice it would be different I'm sure!
 They leave on the 21st of January for Boston and fly out around 5PM to Houston, TX. They will have fun sleeping at the airport (NOT) and leave there in morning for
San Pedro Sula, Honduras and then have about a 2 hour ride by vehicle into the village that they use as 'home base'. Needless to say, they'll be excited and exhausted when they arrive!

PLEASE keep them all in prayer.... they have a team of eight people going this year!
(Pete, Audrey, Austin, Roger, Sue, John, Debbie & Ron)

January 10, 2010

First Attempt at Baking Artisan Bread

Ok, here it is... rising on the cookie sheet! I took the container out of the fridge and sprinkled flour on it. Then with one hand I grabbed a handful of dough (about the size of a grapefruit) and with the other hand using a serrated knife I cut it off from the rest of the dough. Quickly form a ball and set it down on the floured pizza peel. In my case, I used a baking sheet with no lip. I will need to get a pizza peel if this doesn't work, but hopefully I've put enough flour on it so it will slip easily enough onto my baking stone in the oven!

The oven is all preheated 450* with the baking stone lightly covered with corn meal inside heating up too. The recipe calls for a broiler pan to be put under the stone and then as soon as I slide the dough onto the stone, I need to put about a cup of hot water in the broiler pan and shut the door! STEAM is one of the keys to successful arisan bread. Below is a picture of the bread 30 minutes later!

There were 5 of us here for dinner tonight and there is NO BREAD LEFT! The crust was very crusty like artisan bread is and the flavor was very tastey! OOOh, I think I'm on to something good here! I think tomorrow night may have to be corn chowder and another loaf or two of this bread!
Pretty cool huh!?! Give it a try and let me know how yours turns out!

January 9, 2010

Here Is Step One...

Step one really isn't all that difficult! The hardest part was deciding on which container to use for refrigerator storage! :) It needs to be a container that is not be air tight and yet have a lid. My first thought was one of the rectangle storage containers because they aren't airtight at all, but I didn't have one available and I wasn't going to make a trip to the store & spend money for one! Last night, I discovered a perfect sized EMPTY container right in front of my eyes! (I had been using it for rice... but it was emptied last week! PERFECT!!)
Now add 6 cups of lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons of yeast, 3 tablespoons of course salt and 13 cups of white flour into the large container! Using a wooden spoon, mix until there are no dry patches of dough but don't knead or over mix it! This entire process took all of maybe 10-15 minutes! There is enough dough here to make 8 one pound loaves of bread! I opted to double the recipe as the book said, but the base recipe calls for 3 cups lukewarm water, 1 1/2 TBsp. yeast, 1 1/2 TBsp. course salt and 6 1/2 cups white flour. This will make enough dough for 4 one pound loaves of bread.

See, the dough is mixed but not smooth like when it is kneaded! Let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. It will rise and then collapse (the top will flatten). And now it is ready for the fridge!
Find a good spot in the fridge and slide it in.... it will be good for 14 days!!
(It can be frozen in 1 lbs. portions and thawed for later use too!) Here's the cookbook that I'm using! It says 5 minutes a day...  we'll find out for sure if that is true!
Tomorrow or Monday will be the real test....
 I'm hoping to make some to go with a baked ham dinner!

January 8, 2010

Another Interesting Challenge.... BREAD!

Not sure how I'm going to pull this off,  but I'd like to challenge myself to make at least one type of bread each month. Something new and different then I've made before...  artisan breads, callah, baguettes, marbled bread, english muffins, bagels, pita bread, rye & pumpernickle bread and donuts just to name a few ideas!! I think this would be fun! What do you think? I have two new bread cookbooks... 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' and 'The Panera Bread Cookbook.' I'm excited to get started!!

January 5, 2010

New Year and New Ideas...

Happy New You as our pastor put it this past week at church! God is looking to do something new in each of us! This year has a new 'feel' to it...  no more looking backwards with guilt over what I shoulda, coulda, woulda done differently! I'm ready to move forward and set goals!  Hmmm, just saying that makes me cringe because goals are measurable and therefore achieve or fail becomes an issue.  Oh well - so what! A goal not set is nothing more then a thought not acted on right!? No movement in thinking...  and it is time to move!

One thing I've decided to do is to join with a group of  'canners' from all over in a challenge to can something EVERY MONTH!! How exciting is that! The deadline to join this group was 12/22 but I just found out about it this morning, so whether it is too late to officially join or not I'm not certain yet. Regardless, I am committing myself to join the challenge on at least a private level (and sharing with you all of course!) For more info. click here... 

The January challenge from this group is: CITRUS  It can be any kind of citrus: lemons, limes, grapefruit, kumquats, clementines, pomelos, oranges, tangerines! (photo by tigress) Whatever I come up with, I will be posting it here by the 22nd of the month! It's gonna be fun!!!

PS. I just got my confirmation email back! I'm in and excited!