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Strawberry Peach Freezer Jam

26 Aug

Have fruit you don’t think you can use in time? Try Freezer Jam! No need for the typical heat treatment. Thanks to my dear friend Amy I learned about SureJell and Freezer Jam. SureJell is the pectin you will use (get the pink box!) and the instructions are inside. I used the recipe for the strawberry but used half strawberries and half peaches! Tried it today- and had to force myself to walk away… it was sooo good! Note: my jam was thinner than the kind I buy, but the taste was divine! Made the hubs some sandwiches for the week. Did you know you can make pb&j’s and freeze them?! Think Uncrustables.. just cheaper. Make the sammies, put them in baggies, and then the baggies in a gallon sized freezer bag! He pulls them out each morning and by lunch they are perfect!

When life gives you peaches… make salsa?!

14 Aug

A friend of mine recently offered me a fresh peach slice while eating lunch at her house. I tell you, I almost swooned. It was the most delicious peach I’d had all summer. It was ripe, sweet, and honestly it made me feel like I was at the beach- why I have no idea, but I felt like it was my little slice (pun intended) of heaven. When I told her this she told me about Jaemor Farms which I’d never heard of before. Her father passes by there sometimes and he, being the great father that he is, picks up fresh produce for her family. My friend Amy is passionate about feeding her family fresh foods and has recently started a new series on a blog she writes for on her foray into doing that on a budget. For more info on that you can read her first two posts HERE and HERE. (The blog she contributes to is also a great resource for learning how to coupon and save money. You should check it out!)

So, Amy calls me one day and asks if I would want some of those peaches that had knocked me off my feet the week before. Her father would be passing by the farm the next day and we could split a basket¬† (note: half of a basket is around 14 peaches….plenty for my family of TWO!). I of course said yes and set up a lunch date at her house for the day following the peach arrival!

I arrived at home after lunch with Amy with my basket, feeling a bit like Red Riding Hood and decided that I must think of tasty things to concoct with these beauties. I was wanting to get away from the traditional southern peach cobbler (it has its place people, no worries, but I was craving something…. different) and after some Pinterest searching and blog reading I came upon this recipe from Taste of Home.* Now I just needed the right opportunity to make it.

The other part to Burlap to Baking, Jessica, and I had our weekly Friday breakfast fun. We love our Fridays and cooking and spending time with friends (obviously– that is why we created this blog) After breakfast was over, we spent the day working from my home and decided she should join myself and my hubby for dinner. We went for a walk and then picked up the ingredients I was missing for salsa making! The salsa became the pre-dinner snacking option as we talked about life and the hubs napped. Let’s just say it was good enough that Jess and I finished half the batch…….so that is about 8 “servings” of salsa. Oops? Oh well, it was great to munch on while we talked.

If you ever find yourself intimidated by salsa making- don’t! It was so simple. All we did was cut up some veggies, throw them in a food processor, and then let it do the work for us! And unless you are buying the fresh stuff from the grocery store, you should definitely consider making your own. Homemade salsa lets you control the flavor AND it is much better for you (note- no added sugar people! And it didn’t need it anyways!)

*The only changes to the recipe I made were the addition of salt and I juiced an entire lime. Also, upon refrigerating overnight, the flavors really had a chance to meld together and created a better salsa day two.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

1 Jun

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These might be the best pancake I have ever put in my mouth. In fact, we loved these pancakes so much that they have made several appearances in the last few weeks. And I think all of our friends would agree that they are wonderfully delicious and relatively easy to make!

I’ve seen quite a few variations of the cinnamon roll pancake on different food blogs that I read. I happen to love all things pumpkin and knew that I had to make this version when I stumbled on this recipe by Recipe Girl. I was also inspired by the flavors of this Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Pancake from Recipe Girl. So Laura and I made some minor flavor adjustments and came up with what we consider the best pancake recipe. Ever. It’s a bold statement for sure but we think you’ll agree.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Makes: 8-10 pancakes (depending on how big you make them)

The Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted (added slowly until desired consistency; may not use all of it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Method:

1. Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl- mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk the filling ingredients together and then pour it into a sandwich-sized zip baggie. Zip up the baggie and place it in the fridge while you prepare the pancake batter. You want this to have time to set.

2. Prepare the icing: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese 30 to 60 seconds, just until butter has melted and cream cheese has softened. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Set the icing aside.

3. Prepare the pancake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all is moistened.

4. Check on your cinnamon filling: Open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated. You want the mixture to thicken a bit- it’s best when it’s similar to the squeezing texture of toothpaste. Don’t try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened as it will be too runny! Snip off a small piece of the corner of the baggie.

5. Cook the pancakes: Pre-heat a large skillet or griddle to medium, and spray it with nonstick spray. Use an ice cream scoop (or ladle) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or ladle to spread out the batter into a nice, even circle. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pick up your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze the filling into the corner. Starting at the center of the pancake squeeze the cinnamon filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a cinnamon roll). Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it is golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.

What we learned:

Well, I will say it again. These pancakes are delicious! When we first made the cinnamon filling it was very runny (melted butter will have that effect). We let it set in the refrigerator while we prepped the other components and it was the perfect consistency when we were ready to use it. The spices are definitely to taste. We happen to like lots of spice so we were generous with those. And the cream cheese icing is pretty quick to mix together but you may not need all the powdered sugar. Just add the sugar until you get a nice drizzle-able consistency.

We hope you enjoy this phenomenal morning treat… and we apologize in advance if you find yourself addicted to these!

Starting Out

17 May

polenta pancakes with blueberry compote

Every Friday morning a group of women get together at a house in the suburbs. There is nothing special per se about this group. Their ages vary from 26-almost 40. Some are married, and some are single. All are hungry. They arrive each week with perhaps an idea of what is going to be set on the table. It can be anything from homemade cinnamon rolls with brown sugar frosting to sweet potato and grits spoon bread with maple bacon. The coffee is plentiful. Conversation is too. It is our (Laura and Jessica) favorite time of the week. Sometimes there are 3 of us, other times closer to 8. It is beautiful to listen to the conversation that flows like coffee from the coffee pot.  And it is here that we will document the lives of this group, what they eat, and what they make. Our goal is simple- to put our life in to words and pictures and of course, to enjoy really, really good food.