Hon, what's for dinner?: strawberry freezer jam

Author: Holly // Category: , , ,

For the record, THIS IS NOT MY POST!! This came from an awesome food blogger/educator named Sienna!
You will now find her in the Blog Roll to the right and you can also link to her from this post. She has so many AWESOME recipes... You SHOULD FOLLOW HER!!  =D

Strawberries were 75 cents a piece last week. I was all out of jelly, so one thing led to another... This recipe is super easy and it turns out great... no extra trips to the store for pectin necessary.

Freezer Jam

4 cups strawberries hulled and cut in fourths
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Put strawberries and sugar in pan and cook them stirring often until they reach a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until reduced in half.
The longer you cook the strawberries the thicker your jam.
When finished thickening , add in lemon juice to the mix.
Pour jam into ball freezer jars.
Chill overnight in the fridge, then move to freezer for storage.

I found another AWESOME RECIPE BLOG that she is a part of!! It will also become a part of the blog roll to the right. So EVERYBODY, go show Sienna some love!!  =D
Really, sisters... There is no reason to EVER say, "I don't know what I can make for dinner!"

HOWEVER... FOR ALL of YOU that WANTED this recipe swap capability... I'm SURE FEELING ALONE HERE!!  START SHARING!!  ;p   ((HUGS))

Ham and Broccoli Bake

Author: Holly // Category: , , ,
Ham and Broccoli Bake for a Crowd (BH&G)
2  20oz packages frozen cut broccoli *(or FRESH)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2  10 3/4 oz cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
2  10 3/4 oz cans condensed cream of celery soup
2 soup cans milk
2 cups shredded sharp American cheese *(cheddar)
6 cups cubed fully cooked ham
4 cups quick-cooking rice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Cook broccoli till tender; drain well. In saucepan cook onion in butter till tender but not brown.

In a large mixing bowl stir together soups, milk, and cheese. Add drained broccoli, cooked onion ham, uncooked rice, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Divide mixture between two 2 1/2 qt casseroles.

Bake, covered at 350 till rice is done, 45-50 minutes.
* my adjustments 
I actually cooked it uncovered and it was still GREAT!  ;D

Makes 20 servings


This recipe is in the Casseroles for a Crowd section of the Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Casserole recipes. This will make 2 large casseroles to serve 20. I, however, have to do things my own way. YOU CAN 1/2 the recipe and only make one. BUT I figure if I'm going to the work of putting it ALL together... make the WHOLE SHEBANG and get use out of it other nights!    =D 

In all honesty... divide into whatever SIZE works for YOUR needs!! Pyrex has some great dishes with lids that go nicely in the freezer. I happened to divide this one into 2 baking dishes and a small Pyrex container that I'll be bringing to a sweet lady that will be coming home from rehab following knee surgery soon. So our family gets 2 meals and one for her, too! If you were just a couple, you could divide it up into several! Follow the cooking directions for the one you're going to eat only.

FREEZING:  Make sure the dish you are using to freeze in will seal properly and that there is enough room at the top for expansion. Plan to use within 2-3 months for best results. When you are going to cook it, let it thaw completely and then bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes (until rice is done).

I've also made variations of this when I didn't have ham and not enough broccoli. That's the great thing about many casseroles... You can substitute ingredients and it still comes out YUMMY! On that occasion I used lean ground beef in place of the ham and broccoli and cauliflower for the veges.   ;D

Easy Cassoulet

Author: Holly // Category: , ,
From Better Homes and Gardens All-Time favorite Casserole recipes (1977)

1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, sliced (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
* small can mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
2 Tablespoons snipped parsley
1 bay leaf
2 15-oz cans navy beans [UNDRAINED]
1/4 cup dry white wine *[apple juice]
Dash ground cloves
* mozzerella cheese

In skillet cook sausage, onion, *(mushrooms) and garlic till meat is lightly browned and onion is tender; drain off fat. Add ham parsley, and bay leaf; Mix well. Stir in UNDRAINED beans, wine *(apple juice), and cloves. Turn into casserole dish. Bake, covered at 325 for 45 minutes. Uncover, *[This is when I removed the bay leaf, stirred, and topped with mozzarella cheese] and bake 40-45 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf.
Makes 6 servings
*my adjustments

Serve with Apple Juice and Cornbread!

I blogged about my first experience with this one... LOL!

Cauliflower-Ham Bake

Author: Holly // Category: , ,
This is from Better Homes and Gardens ALL-Time Favorite Casserole recipes (1977)

1 large head cauliflower
2 T butter or margarine
2 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 4oz can mushrooms stems & pieces, drained
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 T butter or margarine melted

Break cauliflower into flowerets (should have about 5 cups); cook in boiling salted water till tender, about 10 mins. Drain thoroughly, set aside.

In saucepan melt 2 T butter or margarine. Stir in flour; add milk all at once. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and stir till melted. Stir in cookedcauliflower, ham, and mushrooms. Turn into 2 qt casserole. Combine crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 till heated through, 30-35 mins.

Makes 6 servings

Gelatin for Eggs in Recipes

Author: Holly // Category: , ,
With Easter coming, I thought I'd give you some information concerning "Eggs" - see below. "Unflavored Gelatin" is a storage item that every family should have on hand. This is the same stuff as Knox Brand Gelatin that you use to make Knox Blox and to thicken jellos, etc. except much much cheaper. 

Fresh Eggs can be stored for up to 1 year.  Rub warmed mineral oil on your hands and coat the entire surface of the fresh egg with the oil.  Replace egg in carton with the point down.  In cold climates they can be stored in a cool, dark place.  In warmer climates, place in the refrigerator.  Rotate once a year.

“Eggs” from unflavored gelatin (Knox):  Buy in bulk; Knox Brand packages are very expensive.  The gelatin is less expensive than powdered eggs (less than 3 cents per egg or 1 tsp) and has an indefinite shelf life.

1 tsp gelatin = 1egg
1 oz gelatin = 12 tsp or 12 eggs
1 pound gelatin = 192 eggs

Making an egg:  Combine 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin with 3 Tb of cold water and stir until dissolved.  Then add 2 Tb of hot water and stir.  When using your own recipes, decrease the liquid called for in your recipe by about ¼ cup to compensate for the added water from the “egg”.

Maple Syrup

Author: Holly // Category: ,
Ann Workman has been making maple syrup for about 30 years and shares her recipe with us.  Thank you Ann!!!

Maple Syrup

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 16 oz. bottle Karo syrup
1 teas. Vanilla flavoring
1 teas. Maple flavoring
Approx. ½ cup water

Put all in a saucepan and heat until the sugars are melted and dissolved.

Carry Cook

Bottled Butter

Author: Holly // Category: ,
Carry received this recipe from Mandy Taggart (Stake Prominent Living Specialist) on how to Bottle Butter.  She is awesome and has lots of great ideas that she is willing to share with us.  I also contacted an expert on canning from Idaho Falls and she has Bottled Butter for decades with no problems.   This recipe is so easy that I can even do it.

Bottled Butter
Real butter is best but margarine works too.  
  1. Heat pint jars in the oven at 250ยบ for 20 minutes.  
  2. Heat lids in boiling water for 3 minutes. Slowly stir and melt the butter in a pan until it comes to a boil.  
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  
  4. Stir and then scoop the butter into the hot jars.  Use a funnel to keep butter off the rims.  
  5. Place the hot lid and ring on the jar and wait for the “plink”.  Shake jars several times over the next 15-20 minutes.  The separation will stop.  
  6. While still slightly warm, put the jars in the refrigerator.  Check every 10-15 minutes, shaking jars each time.  Eventually the butter will harden.  Leave in the refrigerator for one more hour.  
Bottled butter can store on your shelf for at least 3 years.

Five Different Syrup Recipes via Carry ;D

Author: Holly // Category: ,
Maple Syrup:
2 cups sugar (I use 1 white and 1 brown)
1 cup water
    Bring to a boil then add
1–2 tsp maple flavor (optional to add vanilla as well)

Let cool and place in syrup bottle.
Other recipe:4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup Karo Syrup
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. mapeline
2 cups water
Bring ingredients to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
I pour the extra into an empty squeeze bottle (ketchup or syrup bottles work great)
and store in the fridge.

Blueberry Syrup:
1 c sugar
1 c br sugar
1/2 c blueberries
1/2 c water
Boiling together until sugar disolves then add:
1/2 c blueberry jam
1 tsp maple flavoring

Apple Syrup:
1 c sugar
1 c br sugar
1/2 c water
boil then add 1/4 c apple jelly and 1/4 c chopped pecans.

Orange Pineapple:
1 c sugar
1 c br sugar
1/2 c water
boil then add 1/4 c crushed pinneapple and 2 Tbs orange marmalade.