Monday, August 30, 2010

Caramel Spice Pear Butter

Pear Butter on left and Pear Jam on right :)

So I made Pear butter for the first time this year and I have too say that it was way yummy! I also made pear jam, which didn't sound so good to me, but I had 36 pounds of pears to use so I gave it a go. It is surprising really good! Try it! The recipe for pear jam can be found in any box of Sure Jell for canning jams... it's REALLY easy and REALLY worth it!

Caramel Spice Pear Butter

Makes 9 half pints

15 Barlett or other large, firm, ripe pears
2 c Water
6 c sugar
1 t nutmeg
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger

Wash and core, but do not peel pears. Slice and place in a 5 qt pot. Add water, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until tender.

Let cool slightly, then force through a mill, sieve or whirl in a food processor until finely chopped; return to kettle.

In a wide frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, (do not get it on your finger... OUCH!) stirring often, until it caramelizes to a medium brown syrup. Pour immediately into pear pulp (syrup will sizzle and harden ,but dissolves again as the preserves cook.) Stir in remaining 4 1.2 c sugar and spices until well blended.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and cook, uncovered for about 45 minutes or until thickened. To prevent sticking, stir frequently as mixture begins to thicken. Stir in lemon juice just before removing from heat. (This step can be done in a crock pot; low setting for 5-7 hours.)

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Seal and process in a Hot Water Bath for 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Guest Blogger...

Guest Blogger...
Well, the girls over at "Or so she says" asked if I would be a guest blogger on their blog and I said yes. My post is up... so go check it out! Here If you have time leave me a little comment :)

P.S. I have two yummy recipes for Pear Butter and Pear Jam coming up!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Black Bean Veggie Burritos

These were so yummy. I will definitely make them again.

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1 medium onion, finely chipped
1 Tbsp. water
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 whole wheat tortillas (8 in.) warmed
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 cup salsa

1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sweet potato, onion and water. Cover and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Stir in the beans, corn, green pepper, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings.

2. Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup filling on center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.

3. Place seam side down in a 13-in x 9-in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with yogurt and salsa.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Taco Salad Dippers

So I have decided to keep going on this.. even if there are only a few of you out there reading it... I might change a few things, start posting pictures and only doing it myself. I am going to run it by those friends of mine that are currently co-authors.. if they are still interested in posting we will leave it as is.. if not then we might change a few things. :) THANKS to those that gave me some feedback!

This was good and my boys loved it, which is saying alot cause they are picky. We ate it like a taco salad... put the chips down and then layered it with this stuff, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese or whatever sounds yummy.

Taco Salad Dippers
**Found on My kitchen Cafe**

2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups water
1 cup rice (white or brown)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

In a large pot, brown the ground beef or turkey with the onion and garlic and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain any accumulated grease. Add the water, rice, seasonings, tomato sauce, tomato paste and beans. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, watching to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot (if you are using brown rice, it may need to simmer for up to 60-70 minutes). The mixture will seem very watery at first, but after simmering, it will thicken to perfection as the rice absorbs water and all the ingredients meld together.

Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping and other taco garnishes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Should I keep this blog going???

Just putting this out there.... Originally I started the blog and invited co-authors so that we could share recipes that we had tried and liked, but I am not sure anyone out there is still reading or contributing??? I feel like the only one putting anything on here. Should I keep this going? Do any of your co-authors out there still want to contribute?? Are there any readers out there still checking in??

Amazing Chili's Fajitas

Amazing Chili's Fajitas
**found on the one of my favorite blogs**

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 T. canola oil
1 large clove garlic, pressed
3 t. vinegar
2 t. soy sauce
1/2 t. liquid smoke
1 t. salt
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. ground black pepper
Dash of onion powder
1 pound top sirloin or chicken

Mix all ingredients. Place with chicken in a ziplock back and marinade overnight.

1 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 red or orange pepper, thinly slices
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 t. soy sauce
2 T. water
1/2 t. fresh lime juice
dash of salt and pepper

Remove chicken from marinade and grill. In large skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, and mushroom and cook until tender but crisp. Add soy sauce, water, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Thinly slice chicken and toss with vegetables. Serve immediately with flour tortillas. Top with tomatoes, avocado, cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce or anything else you love!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This was way yummy! I have been trying to come up with healthier snacks for my kids and this one fit the bill. I think the time it states is a little bit to long... at least in my oven. Next time I think I will probably cook it for about 5 minutes less...

Wish I could remember where I found the recipe so I could give credit where it is due... this is why I need to put the website on the recipe when I save it.

Easy Homemade Granola

2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries (we used cherry flavored Craisins)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the oats with cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.

Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them. Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the nuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Return the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and chocolate chips over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container. The granola will keep for 1 week.