Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Best Ever Banana Muffins / Banana Bread

My husband told me that once you have made a recipe a certain number of times, you don't have to give credit to the person who gave you the recipe since it is now adopted as your own. I like this philosophy! Haha! Well, it has had some changes from the original, so I suppose it really is my own recipe now! :)


2-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp oil (I use olive or grapeseed)

3/4 cup milk

4-5 mashed bananas (4 if large size; 5 if medium)

1 - 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress F.

2. Mix first 8 ingredients together - leave slightly lumpy. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. For BREAD: grease and flour pan, and bake for 55-65 minutes. For MUFFINS: use muffin liners and spray lightly with Pam; bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Makes one loaf pan, 18 large or 20ish medium muffins.

Super light, moist, fluffy, and full of chocolatey goodness! Enjoy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quick & Easy Peach Freezer Jam

I love peach and I love freezer jam. I prefer freezer jam to cooked jam, mostly because the fruity flavour of the freezer jam is the closest match to the fresh fruit flavour.

Making freezer jam is super easy - mash the fruit, add the sugar, boil the pectin, stir, and pour into jars. That's it. You can easily make freezer jam in under 30 minutes, including the fruit prep.

For peach:

2 lbs peaches (2-1/4 cups prepared fruit)

1 lemon (I used 2 tbsp bottled lemon juice instead)

5 cups white sugar


Follow the instructions in your package of pectin. These were my instructions:

Pre-prep: Prep glass jars by washing and scalding (easy way to scald is to submerge the jars in boiling water on the stovetop). Dry fully.

1. Peel
2. Prep fruit by pitting and finely chopping/grinding. (Do not use a food processor. You can use a potato masher - I didn't have one of those so I used a pastry knife.)
3. Measure fruit, add lemon juice, and stir in measured sugar.
4. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes.

5. Add fruit pectin to 3/4 cup water; bring to hard boil (a boil you cannot stir down) for one minute, stirring constantly.

6. Remove from heat; add fruit and sugar, and continue to stir for 3 minutes.
7. Jam texture should be similar to gelatin that is beginning to set.

8. Immediately pour into jars, leaving about 1/4" room for expansion during freezing.
Let stand at room temp for 24 hours before freezing.

Note: If jam will be used within 2 or 3 weeks, you can store in the fridge instead of freezer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How To: Easy Way to Peel Fruit

I have been wanting to make jam since last year and was completely committed to making it happen this year! No more slacking!

In order to make the jam (peach this time around!), the fruit has to be peeled, and who wants to spend lots of time with their paring knife? Not me. Here is what I did...

Step 1: Gently cut a large X in the bottom of the fruit. (This is where the skin will begin to pull away from itself.) Get a medium sized pot of water boiling.

Step 2: Place the fruit in the boiling water for a couple of minutes. Different fruits may take different amounts of time. I left the peaches in for approximately 2-3 minutes.

Step 3: Remove the fruit from the boiling water. Check the X in the bottom - if it has spread apart or is already peeling, you are good to go!

Step 4: Immediately place the fruit in an ice bath. Several ice cubes in a bowl of cold water will do the trick. Leave in for a minute or so, as this will finish the blanching process.

Step 5: Remove fruit and peel off the skin. It should come off very easily and in large pieces. Most of my peaches needed only 4 pieces removed to skin the entire fruit. (I usually leave each fruit in the water until I can peel it as I don't like them to dry.)

Step 6: Repeat Step 5 until you are all done. Then, on to your recipe!

Note: Some of my X's were a little deeper than I would usually cut. Not to worry though, as this should not affect the fruit or the recipe.

This method of peeling works well with peaches, plums, tomatoes, nectarines, apricots, etc. Happy peeling! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not Dead or Maimed

Wow, it has been a long time since I have posted. However, I have been writing blog posts in my head. Does that count?

In the past few weeks I have been ridiculously busy - 3 parties (university grad party for my sister, my daughter's birthday party with garden fairy theme, my son's birthday party with Star Wars theme), producing a yearbook for a private elementary school, juggling a crazy work schedule, and being a wife and mother. And I made my daughter a super cute 4th of July dress!

I have sooo much to blog about; I just have to sit down and find a few minutes to slap together to actually do it, and to go through all the pictures I have taken. Whew. I would like to thank the Academy my hubby who has been making more than his share of dinners lately. So Baby, here is a shout out to you: I love you!!

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