Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberry Jam

This is what Cheyenne's teacher and bus driver ended up getting for end-of-year presents.  I didn't remember about needing presents until 8:30 last night, so I ran to Wal-Mart and bought two lunch bag cooler and two cold packs.  Then, this morning, I wrote a card for them, stuck it in a ziploc bag so it wouldn't get wet from the condensation off the jam, and gave them each a jar of the freezer jam.  I didn't think it was half-bad for completely last minute panic!


Strawberry Freezer Jam

2 pts. Strawberries (about 3 cups)
1 pkg. Sure-Jell
4 cups sugar
¾ cup water

Crush the strawberries and measure exactly 2 cups of crushed berries.  Mix the 4 cups of sugar thoroughly into the berries.  Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir ¾ cup water and the Sure-Jell together in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir pectin mixture into berry/sugar mixture.  Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about three minutes.

Pour into prepared containers (1 to 2 cup plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids), leaving ½ inch space at the top for expansion during freezing.  Cover.  Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours, until set.  Refrigerate for 3 weeks, or store in freezer for up to 1 year.  Thaw in refrigerator.

I won't buy jam from the store anymore-- this is way too easy, and way too yummy, to eat anything else.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chicken and Stuff

I have a messy pile of recipes sitting beside my computer, waiting for me to type them up. So I grabbed three that might sort of go together as a meal.  And that's about as thought-out as this post is.  Although it's taken me a month to get this all typed up, which is really pathetic.  I typed up most of it one night, but the computer shut down and lost it, and then it's just sat there, this forlorn little tab I never close.

This, however, is worth waiting for. This is my favorite marinade recipe for chicken. It comes from my mother-in-law's family, so I guess I could call it Pikcilingis Chicken. Usually we just refer to it as The Really Good Chicken.

Really Good Chicken
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten (for any size recipe-- do not double this part)
Mix all ingredients together and marinate chicken breasts for 30 min. to overnight to 2-3 days (I know you're not supposed to leave meat in marinade that long, but it really does get excellent, without that mushy texture they always warn you about when they talk about over-marinating.  Four days gets a little dicey and vinegar-y.).  Grill (preferred) or bake.  Serve with jasmine rice, Rice-A-Roni, potatoes, whatever your little heart desires.

Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw (from Cooks Country)
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, cored and shredded (I use my salsa chopper)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 8 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Toss shredded cabbage and carrots with 1 tsp. salt in colander set over bowl.  Let stand until wilted, about 1 hour.  (It's amazing how much liquid comes out of there!)  Rinse cabbage and carrots under cold water, drain, and dry with paper towels.  Transfer to large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients, plus salt to taste.  (I have been lazy and not bothered with rinsing, draining and drying the cabbage after the salting, and it was fine.  I figure a lot of the salt ends up in the exuded liquid.  Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.

I was never much of a coleslaw fan, but I could eat this stuff like candy!  Evan, who is a bit more of a connoisseur, says it's some of the best coleslaw he's ever eaten.  Cooks Country knows whereof they speak.

Raisin Bars

  • 2 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, heat raisins and water to boiling; simmer 15 minutes, then drain. Stir in applesauce, lemon juice and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press 2 ½ cups of the crumbs into a 13x9 ungreased pan. Spread raisin mixture over the crumbs. Sprinkle on remaining crumbs and press in lightly. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely and cut into bars.

I made these one time right before we went on a trip with the Cottens, and they didn't last long around the kids.  I was looking for this recipe the other day, and couldn't find it anywhere-- only to find it days later, neatly typed up on my computer.  Disconcerting!