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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Printable Recipe

Mix together:
3 1/3 cups flour
2 ½ t. baking powder
1 ½ t. salt
1 T. ginger
1 ½ t. cinnamon
1 cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup molasses

Slowly add:
¾ cup plus 2 T canola oil
1 cup boiling water

Mix thoroughly. You'll need to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan and bake at 350 for about 50-60 minutes.

This is a dark cake. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Holly's Note:
I wanted to do a gingerbread bundt cake for a bridal shower (we were serving different bundt cakes). I found the original recipe at
Pinch. I think this would be really good with vanilla ice cream or just real whipped cream. I served it sprinkled with powdered sugar.

This post has been shared at Food on Fridays

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We Go Together...

Do you have certain recipes that must go together? Meaning you cannot make one without the other?

For example: we cannot have Baked Beans without cornbread. Granted, I use a Jiffy cornbread mix, but we must have cornbread with beans.

Last night it was about 10 degrees outside and definitely a soup night. So, I made Chicken with Wild Rice Soup, and you can't serve that soup without Honey Oat Rolls (or some kind of wheat roll). It's sacrilege. It doesn't work.

Teriyaki Chicken must be served with Sauteed Pepper and Mushrooms.

Beef Enchiladas must be served with Spanish Rice. Must, I tell you.

What about you? What are the recipes at your house that must go together?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving: Gratitude

Gratitude: a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation.

May you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Waffle Iron Cookies

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 T. packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1 cup regular rolled oats, although instant works too

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, oats and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful onto a greased, heated waffle iron. Close the lid and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Time will vary depending on your waffle iron.

Holly's Note:
These are good, but my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe is better. The waffle iron is fun to use, but I prefer my cookies baked in the oven! These end up really crispy. I found the original recipe at Fine Cooking.

Chocolate Waffle Iron Cookies

Printable Recipe

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 t. salt

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs, vanilla, cocoa, flour and salt. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased, hot waffle iron. Close lid and bake for about 2 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Cooking times will vary depending on your waffle iron.

Waffle Iron Cookies

Printable Recipe
3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 t. salt
1 3 oz. package fruit-flavored jello
1 t. baking powder
2 3/4 cup flour

Cream together the shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, salt, jello, baking powder and flour. Mix well, until a soft dough forms. Roll into small balls and place on a hot, greased, waffle iron. Close lid and bake for approximately 2 minutes. Times will vary with waffle makers.

Holly's Note:
The above photo is of the recipe using Lemon jello. The photo below is of the recipe using Berry Blue jello. Little boys love the aqua-colored cookies! These are easy to make, although they can be somewhat time-consuming. However, children love them.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cookies as Muffins

I made Peanut Blossoms this week and instead of doing it the normal way: rolling the ball of dough in sugar and baking it, then pressing an unwrapped chocolate kiss into it towards the end of baking; I baked them in mini muffin tins.

They turned into little bite-sized morsels of deliciousness. I think I prefer them this way, actually. They're easier to eat, easier to store and easier to pop into a lunch box.

Check out the recipe here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Family Favorites: Rice Pilaf

Do you ever need a really good, really easy side dish? This one is about as easy as they come.

Rice Pilaf.

It's easy and versatile. You can use beef or chicken broth and bouillon, depending on the main course. It simmers on the stove top and is simply delicious. Pair it with a Roast Chicken for the perfect complement.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chili-Cheese Dip

Printable Recipe

1 can Chili (we prefer no beans)
1 block/cube Cream Cheese

Place the cheese and chili in a bowl. Microwave it for about a minute. Stir it together and serve with tortilla chips.

Holly's Note:
This is the perfect dip for game days or any time you need a quick appetizer. It's our favorite.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chocolate: A Love Story...Review

About the book:
With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation.

Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant's visionary founder and "bald man." Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow, delicious recipes, and a serving of Max's unique vision for spreading "chocolate culture" around the world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.

For all my love of chocolate, I was not familiar with Max Brenner before I received this book. And, it's a lovely book. All the recipes are rather avant-garde and fancy. No simple, everyday cakes or cookies here. Many recipes begin with a short anecdote from Max. In one, he's sitting outside a cafe in Paris; in another, he recalls a childhood experience at an amusement park.

While, technically, a cookbook with recipes, this is really more of coffee table art book. There are few photos of the finished recipes. The artwork is very retro 60s and is fascinating. While this isn't one that will most likely end up in my kitchen, it nevertheless would be a terrific book for any Max Brenner fan, or a true Chocolate connoisseur.

Thanks to Anna Balasi of Hatchette Book Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Max Brenner here. You can purchase the book here.

* * *
3/5 Stars

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comfort Food: Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are just a good meal. I often wonder where the name came from, but I've never done a search. We have an old family recipe that is called Western Burgers, but is basically a sloppy joe. It cooks up nice and thick and can be eaten like chili. Your house will smell delicious, as it cooks all afternoon.

It's perfect for a cold, windy, fall day. It's also made with ingredients you probably have in your pantry. It's sweet and smoky, more than spicy. But, for true comfort food, give it a try! You can find the recipe here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Conversation at our house

Picture warm chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. A neighborhood boy (who is like my third son, and whose mom is my good friend) wanders into the kitchen.

Me: "There's a cookie here and it's calling your name!"
Boy takes a bite of the cookie: "Thank you. Holly, your cookies are the best."
Boy walks towards the door and turns around: "Don't tell my mom I said that, ok?!"

Want a yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe? Look no further. This one is delicious, and my go-to cookie recipe. Crispy and chewy!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Sometimes a simple, toasted tuna sandwich on white bread is just perfect. White bread, tuna with mayonnaise and a little butter in the pan. Nothing fancy. Just filling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Favorites: Pasta Rustica

If I ask my boys what they want for dinner and the answer isn't pizza, chances are it's this:

Pasta Rustica.

My sister gave me the original recipe and it's become a family favorite. It's not low-fat or healthy, but it's yummy and super easy. It's also a meal that I can guarantee will have no issues or complaints and will be eaten by everyone. Of course, one boy picks out the red peppers and the other boy picks out the mushrooms...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pretty Peppers

I love the vibrant colors that we find in nature, and in cooking.

I was chopping peppers for Teriyaki Chicken and Sauteed Pepper and Mushrooms and they were just so pretty, I had to take a photo!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Muffins

Printable Recipe

So, when I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies, I got to thinking. How would they be in a muffin tin?

I made a batch of cookie dough and a batch of brownie dough, although I eliminated adding the chocolate chips to the brownies. You can certainly use your own brownie and cookie mixes or boxed ones. I just happen to like mine!

Then I just did a marbleized mix: a drop of brownie and a drop of cookie dough. Bake the mini muffins at 350 for about 12 minutes and the large muffins at 350 for about 20 minutes.

You could frost them with yummy Chocolate Buttercream frosting, but they were pretty rich and I think they were just fine without.

Definite thumbs up from my boys and their friends.

This post has been shared at Inspire Me Monday, Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Creative MondaysClever ChicksMotivation Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Monday Funday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, See Ya in the Gumbo, The Art of Homemaking MondaysMerry Monday, Making Monday, Monday Handmade, Modest MondayMama Moments Monday, Monday MusingsPlucky's Second Thoughts, Craftastic MondayWhat'd You do this Weekend?Manic MondayTickle My TastebudsTasty TuesdayTuesday's TableTwo Cup TuesdayThe ScoopTotally Talented TuesdaysTreasure Box TuesdayYou're Gonna Love it Tuesday Simple Supper TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Tuesday's with a Twist, Tip Me Tuesday, Tutorials and Tips, Do Tell TuesdayA Bowl full of Lemons, Time to Sparkle, Handmade Tuesday, The Gathering Spot, Inspire Us Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Moonlight & Mason JarsThe Inspiration Board, Share It Link Party, Creative Muster, Whatever Goes Wedmesday, Wednesday Roundup, Real Food Wednesday, Homemaking Link Up, Winsome Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Whole Hearted Wednesday, Show & Tell, Wow Me Wednesday, Wonderfully Creative Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Inspire Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Create and Share, Works for Me Wednesday, Homemaking Party, Party in Your PJs, Wise Woman, Your Whims WednesdayCenterpiece Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Project Parade, The Yuck Stops Here, Coffee and ConversationWildly Original Linky Party, Creative Ways, Inspire Me Wednesday, Cook It, Craft It, Share It, Full Plate ThursdayGreat Idea ThursdaysPin It Thursday Think Tank ThursdayShowcase Your Talent ThursdayShare Your Cup ThursdayCreate It ThursdayTreasure Hunt ThursdayThrifty Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Doggone Dirty Craftin' Party, Pin It Party, Thriving ThursdayAll Things Thursday, Grace at Home, Coffee and Conversation, Bloom Designs, Artsy Fartsy Link Party, Krafty Inspiration Party, Creative Inspirations, Hearts for HomePure Blog LoveCreativity UnleashedHandmade HangoutSimple & Sweet FridaysCountry Fair Blog PartyFridays UnfoldedFeathered Nest FridayFoodie FridayFamily Fun Friday, Weekend Retreat, Let's Get RealWeekend Social, I am Mrs. K,Weekend Bites, Pretty Pintastic Party, Freedom Fridays, Frugal Friday, Old-Fashioned Friday, Fabulous Finds, Flaunt It Friday, City of Links, Eat Create PartyPin Junkie Pin Party, Five Friday Finds, Weekend Potluck, Friday Favorites, Pinworthy Projects, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Flashback Friday, Front Porch Friday, That Friday Blog Hop, Kitchen Fun & Crafty Friday, Anything Goes, Pin Me Linky, No Rules Weekend Blog Party, What to do Weekends, Muffin Tin Month, Showstopper SaturdayShow & Tell SaturdaySkip the Housework PartyBest of the WeekendSerenity SaturdayStrut Your Stuff Saturday Show Me SaturdayThe Party BunchHappy Holidays Link PartyFall Into the Holidays 

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Need Chocolate: Chocolate Mint Sticks

Craving chocolate? Craving chocolate and mint? Want an easy, delicious recipe that will make your mouth water and satisfy those cravings?

Chocolate Mint Sticks.

The original recipe came from one of my church cookbooks and is one of our favorite treats. If you like chocolate and mint together, you will love it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Comfort Food: BBQ Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker

Do you ever need a quick and easy recipe that can simmer in your crock pot all day?

Here it is: BBQ Pork Chops.

This one take 5 minutes to put together and makes your house smell divine. Serve it with a baked potato and you will think you've died and gone to heaven! It's good for summer time cooking, but it's wonderful for fall and winter. True comfort food!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Favorites: Church & Community Cookbooks

Raise your hand if you love church or community cookbooks? You know, the ones that your mom has had for ages and ages. Some families put together their own as well.

Some of my favorite memories are thumbing through my mom's old cookbooks. She had several that were done by church ladies and it was fun to see my Grandma's name in there and lots of women I knew as I was growing up.

While I haven't managed to get her to give me any of those old cookbooks, I have managed to acquire a few of my own. Check out the tags on the side.

I'm even in one of them!

I love these kinds of cookbooks. Two of the books I have, give little tidbits about the women who contributed recipes: favorite songs or scriptures, favorite flowers or colors, tips and tidbits and hints. These are tried and true, good homestyle recipes that you know work. Notice the water stains and my own note.

What about you? Do you like church/community/family cookbooks? How many do you have?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Comfort Food: Baked Beans

It's cold. It's fall. Do you want a warm, comforting meal when it's cold outside? I do! How about if that warm, comforting meal was easy too? If you agree, then try this one:

Baked Beans.

This is our favorite side dish for barbeque, but it also makes a delicious, almost meatless, meal on its own. Serve it with some cornbread and enjoy! Hearty and filling and delicious.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook...Review

About the book:
Make Ahead meals are not just for Moms who work outside of the home. It's a way of cooking that helps all families, big and small. It all comes down to a little planning. Make a meal or two in advance when you have some extra time. Then you'll be rewarded with quick, delicious home-cooked meals when you really need them!

I really liked the layout of the book: each section is alphabetical, which makes it easy to find a recipe you want. All the recipes feature ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, which is something important to me, especially if I'm not planning ahead. The directions include bold highlighting to show what needs to/can be done a day ahead. While many of the recipes can be made ahead of time, they don't need to be. These are recipes you can simply make on the spot, but you have the option of freezing.

There are no photos, but the book is easy to read. I would have loved it to have a spiral binding so it would lay completely flat, but once open, there wasn't any flipping of pages, so it worked.

I think this would be a terrific, all-around cookbook for anyone, especially cooks looking for some good, go-to recipes.

Thanks to Tracee at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Jane Doiron here. You can find additional reviews of this book, and additional tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Monday, October 5, 2009

Autumn: Soup and Stew

Autumn has arrived in Idaho. The irrigation water gets turned off this week, so we definitely know it's Fall! The leaves are starting to change and the weather has grown colder. We had our first frost and it's rained for the last three days. Snow has fallen in the higher elevations, and I put flannel sheets and extra blankets on all the beds today.

With Fall, at least in our home, comes soup and stew. If you want to try a delicious beef stew recipe, you need to check out this one.

We had it tonight with cornbread. I cooked it on the stove top, as I didn't decide early enough in the day to use the crock pot, and it was delicious. Perfect for a cold fall evening!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Potluck Club Cookbook...Review

About the book:
From the popular authors of the Potluck Club books comes a cookbook loyal fans (and anyone who likes to eat) won't want to miss. The potluck meal makes sharing good, home-cooked food with family and friends simple and easy. Start with a few (or a lot of) guests, bring delicious dishes to share, and mix with love. A proven recipe for success. Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson , veterans of countless potluck dinners, have gathered their favorite recipes. From salads to casseroles to slow-cooker delights, there's something for everyone, even those watching their waistlines. Eating in is the new eating out. These great potluck ideas not only save money, but also build memories to last a lifetime.

A versatile cook book that will appeal to many people. All the recipes are easy and made from simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. The authors share their own dishes with little anecdotes about each recipe, as well as anecdotes about the Potluck Club book characters.

If I have any complaints it's that there are some inconsistencies: some recipes state how many servings, but others don't.

One recipe from the book:

Linda’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

2 ½ T. chopped onions

¼ cup butter
3 T. flour
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cup chicken broth
1 t. salt
3 T. jalapeno peppers
1 ½ cups chopped canned tomatoes (stewed)
3 cups cubed chicken, cooked
½ cup shredded cheese
12 tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

Sauté onions in butter, then add flour and cook until mixture is bubbly. Stir in milk and broth gradually. Stir in salt, peppers, and tomatoes.

In casserole dish, layer chicken, cheese, then strips of tortillas. Pour sauce over layers then sprinkle casserole with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot. Serves 6-8.

Linda: “You can’t go wrong with this tasty dish. It’s a potluck crowd favorite.” (Page 130)

Available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Donna Hausler from the Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Linda Evans Shepherd here, and Eva Marie Everson here. You can learn more about the Potluck Club books here. You can purchase your own copy here.

* * *
3/5 Stars

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken

Printable Recipe
Serves 4

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 eggs, beaten
~1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
~2 cups dried bread crumbs
2 large tomatoes, chopped or about 2 cups canned tomatoes, drained well
1 1/2 t. dried basil or more to taste (about 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil)
2 garlic cloves, minced (~1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Mix the tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt/pepper together. Set aside so the flavors can blend.

Beat the eggs, place them in a pie tin or flat plate. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together and place in another flat plate. Flatten the chicken breasts, dip in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumb/cheese mixture.

Place in a greased pan. Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes, until crust is browned and juices run clear. Top the chicken with the tomato mixture and bake for about 8 minutes longer.

Serve with baked potatoes.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at Bakin' Bits and, like most recipes, modified it before I even tried it! I didn't have fresh basil on hand and no large tomatoes, only a few cherry tomatoes. So I drained a pint of home-canned tomatoes and mixed in a few fresh cherry tomatoes. Fresh basil would definitely give it a fuller flavor, but the dried basil was just fine. This is an easy recipe to double or triple. I rarely measure, but usually just eyeball the Parmesan and bread crumbs, so it's easy to adjust it to your tastes or needs.

This works just as well without breading the chicken.

This was definitely a keeper for our family.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yummy Pecan Shortbread Bars

Printable Recipe

~26 Pecan Shortbread Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup vanilla chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Chop cookies until they are crumbs. Mix with softened butter until mixture comes together. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle pecans and chips over crust. Sprinkle coconut on top of nut/chip mixture. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over everything.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve with a glass of milk. Rich and delicious.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe in a magazine. I modified some of the measurements because the original recipe was incredibly rich. These are very "moreish" as my British husband would say. You keep wanting "more".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

1 recipe Cocoa Brownies
1 recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 recipe Homemade Chocolate Frosting

Prepare brownies as directed. Spread in a greased 9 x 9 pan.
Prepare cookies as directed. Drop dough by teaspoonful into brownie batter. Press down gently. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Mix frosting ingredients together, spread over cooled brownies.

Holly's Note:

These are very rich!
I found the original recipe in a Betty Crocker magazine. It called for a boxed brownie mix and a boxed cookie mix. I don't buy boxed mixes because I think my homemade ones are better, so I modified the recipe to use my own.

The first time I made these I used a glaze-type frosting with butter and unsweetened chocolate and powdered sugar. I think they're better with the buttercream-type frosting, and even good without frosting at all. I bake one tray of cookies in addition to the brownies and then just freeze the rest of the dough for later.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sneaky Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars

Printable Recipe
16-24 bars, depending on how you cut it

2 cups zucchini, grated
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the dry ingredients. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350.

Holly's Note:
I had a zucchini on hand and needed to use it, so when I saw the original recipe at Divine Domesticity, I knew I had to try it. I peeled the zucchini, mostly so I could disguise it. I knew if my kids saw anything green in chocolate chip bars, they wouldn't eat it. The zucchini was really wet, so I added a bit more flour to the mix.

The original recipe said to refrigerate them. We didn't make it that far! My youngest sniffed them (he does that to everything) and wouldn't touch them. My oldest and his best friend thought they were terrific. I did too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Raspberry Jam

5 cups crushed raspberries
7 cups sugar
1 box dry pectin

Bring your boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. (I leave my jars in the canner until I need them.) Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.

Wash and crush raspberries. Mash one cup at a time, using a potato masher. Dump prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. sauce pot.

Stir pectin into prepared fruit in sauce pot. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and boil 1 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.

Immediately ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10-15 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

Holly's Note:
I usually just follow the recipe that is inside the box of pectin. They vary just slightly from brand to brand, but the basic is like this one.

This post has been shared at Miz Helen's Canning and Preserving Foods

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Apricot-Pineapple Jam

Printable Recipe

  • 3 cups prepared fruit (I use 3 1/2)
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 box dry pectin
  • 7 cups sugar, measured into a separate bowl
Cooking Directions
  1. Bring your boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer.
  2. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. (I leave my jars in the canner until I need them.)
  3. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan. Let stand in hot water until ready to use.
  4. Drain jars well before filling.
  5. Chop finely or crush peeled and pitted apricots.
  6. Measure exactly 3 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. sauce pot.
  7. Add crushed pineapple and lemon juice.
  8. Stir pectin into prepared fruit in sauce pot.
  9. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
  10. Stir in sugar.
  11. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 4 min., stirring constantly.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Skim off any foam.
  14. Immediately ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.
  15. Wipe jar rims and threads.
  16. Cover with two-piece lids.
  17. Screw bands tightly.
  18. Place jars on elevated rack in canner.
  19. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if necessary.)
  20. Cover; bring water to gentle boil.
  21. Process 10-15 min.
  22. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.
  23. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe for this jam at Kraft. The original recipe called for 8 cups of sugar, but I use 7. I've seen variations that used less sugar and the pineapple is plenty sweet on its own. You basically want about 5 cups of fruit total. Most recipes tell you not to peel the apricots, but I prefer mine peeled. I dump the apricots into a pan of boiling water for about a minute. Remove and immediately immerse them in cold water. The skin slides off, just like with tomatoes.

I usually get about 10 half-pints (8 oz) jars of jam from this recipe.

This post has been linked to Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Miz Helen's Canning and Preserving Foods, Pin It Party, Gooseberry Patch, Frugal Friday, Old-Fashioned Friday

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sno-Cone Syrup

Printable Recipe

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid

Bring sugar and water to a full boil.

Remove from heat and stir in Kool-Aid. Chill. Pour over crushed ice.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at
Cookin' With Friends. We have a Sno-Cone Maker and I love the idea of making my own syrup.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blitz Bread

Printable Recipe
12-24 pieces of bread, depending on how you cut it

1 1/2 c. warm water
3 T olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
1 1/4 t. salt
3 1/2 c. flour
1 T instant yeast
1/2 t. garlic salt
3 t. dried herbs (I used my Carrabba's blend)
extra dried herbs for sprinkling

Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.

Combine all of the ingredients, except the dried herbs for sprinkling, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.

Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it is puffy. (I only let it raise for 30 minutes and it was fine.)

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger (I used the end of a wooden spoon).

Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with the dried herbs of your choice, if desired. Bake the bread till it’s golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Holly's Note:
This was delicious. Very easy and nearly foolproof to make. I found the original recipe at
Taste and Tell, who found it at My Kitchen Cafe, who adapted it from King Arthur Flour. How's that for giving credit?

I used my Carrabba's blend for the seasoning, but this is a versatile bread and you could season it any way you want. Mix your own herbs or use a favorite blend depending on what you're serving. I figured it would be greasy and so I used less olive oil for drizzling. It ended up being a bit on the dry side, so next time I will drizzle away!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day, 2009

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chocolate Monkey Bread

1 recipe Good White Bread
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. cocoa
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. butter, divided
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. water
Chocolate pieces: semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, mini Hershey's kisses, or your favorite chocolate.

Mix granulated sugar, cocoa and cinnamon, set aside. Mix together 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar and water in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth when stirred.

Pour mixture into 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pinch off pieces of bread dough; form into balls, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, placing 3 pieces of chocolate inside each ball.

Dip each ball in remaining 1/4 cup melted butter; roll in cocoa-sugar mixture. Place balls in prepared pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 20 minutes in pan; invert onto serving plate.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at
Hershey's, and modified it to use my own bread recipe.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Snickerdoodle Cake

Printable Recipe

2-1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 c. milk
3 T. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Alternately add milk and flour mixture in three stages, mixing well with each addition.

In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over cake.

Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.

Holly's Note:
I found this at
One Food Crazed Maniac. Thanks Kami! This sounds absolutely delicious. As soon as I try it, I'll post a picture and an amended note.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Printable Recipe

2 1/2 c. milk
2 3/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. half and half
1 1/2 t. vanilla
6 c. whipping cream

Scald milk until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat and add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Stir in half and half, vanilla and whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Freeze as directed in your ice cream maker.

For chocolate chip: add chocolate chips immediately after removing the dasher. For mint: add 2 t. peppermint extract when you add the vanilla. For green mint: add 1/2 t. green food coloring when you add the vanilla.

Holly's Note:
This recipe came from the owner's guide to our Rival Electric Ice Cream Maker. It makes 4 quarts.