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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rhubarb and Blueberry Jam

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It’s blueberry season again. I know that last year I went a little crazy and although I only posted once last year about my jam, I continued to make it all summer long. Similarly was my obsession was apple butter two years ago. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff .This year I’m going to be adding a bit of rhubarb to my jam, as well as a whole vanilla pod. This way I can get more of the creamy, vanilla flavor to balance the sugar necessary for the rhubarb to be sweet enough to be edible.

Rhubarb and Blueberry Jam (with balsamic vinegar and lemon)

  • 4 rhubarb stalks
  • 2 cups of blueberries (fresh is preferred, buy frozen works just as well, do not thaw when adding)
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar (I used  1 1/2 cups of regular sugar, and 1 cup of vanilla sugar)
  • 1 vanilla pod (opened and seeds scraped out)
  • 1 pectin box (1.75 oz sure-jell containers)*
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon

Place everything but pectin in a dutch oven and slowly heat on stove, over medium heat. After ten minutes of warming the fruit should be releasing the juices. Add in the pectin and stir.

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Let bubble away slowly, about thirty minutes, keeping an eye to make sure it doesn’t stick.

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Continue to cook till desired consistency is reached, about 1.5 hours.

Using a potato masher, attempt to pulverize the fruit that is now lovely, and soft. Using a whisk add in juice of one lemon with zest. The Whisk will allow the fruit to soften even further.

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To test that the jams doneness, place a plate in freezer for ten minutes. Take out and add a line of jam (about a teaspoon) to cold plate. Let sit for a few seconds, and move plate around to see if the jam has set. If it has, you’re all set for canning! If not, bubble away a little longer and retest (there is too much natural juice that needs to evaporate).

* The rhubarb gives off A LOT of juice, therefore the sugar is not enough to solidify it. The extra use of the pectin here will help with that.

Turkey Meatloaf

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I’ve never made meatloaf. In fact, I’ve always turned meatloaf recipes into meatballs. However, today was the day that was going to change. I just didn’t feel like making endless balls of yummy meat goodness, and instead decided that a meatloaf would be perfect. It’s been a lazy Monday,  so to celebrate lazyness, my BBQ meatloaf hit the spot.

I used my own BBQ sauce for this. But you can use any kind you like, or even just some ketchup to make the top moist and delicious.

Adapted from Skinnytaste

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Turkety Meatloaf

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.3 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I use 4c Whole Wheat)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 2 tbsp ketchup and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cut up the onion as finely as you can, or if you like (which is what I did), add them to a food processor (I have a mini one, so my clean up was a cinch) and puree the onion.

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In a medium bowl mix turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, salt and marjoram. Place mixture into a loaf pan or shape into a loaf and place on a baking pan. Spoon sauce on top and sides. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, and halfway take out of the oven to add your extra sauce if desired (like BBQ).

uncooked

uncooked

Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

My First Time with Spaghetti Squash

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It has been a crazy few months. This last class has been too hard to put into words. Needless to say, I have been aware that I’ve been away far too long from the blog here. I am sure that I will be keeping up now that I’ve gotten my grade for the class back (an A- woo hoo!), and with some unexpected free time, be prepared for lots of summer, healthy fun.

Onto to today’s recipe…

I’ve never eaten or cooked spaghetti squash. Till today. I went out to my local grocery store and bought it. I did the deed. And I have to say, that it was fantastic! I can’t believe that I’ve been missing out for so long, on such a delicious and simple meal. A half or a whole, with marinara or alfredo sauce, with meat or without, it’s delicious.

It took an hour to actually bake the squash, and maybe ten minutes to make the sauce and prep everything. That includes cleaning and doing the dishes while the sauce was simmering. I’m in awe, simple as that.

Recipe  slightly adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

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  • 1/2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 milk or heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons extra for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, prep the squash. Cut spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, about an hour.

As an alternate way of baking: Poke a few holes deep into the whole squash with a paring knife. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing in half with a large serrated knife. Scoop out the seedy inside leaving the spaghetti strands.

Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center. Place in a bowl.

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For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk or cream until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cheese, salt and pepper and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add to bowl and stir. Taste and season further.

Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

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