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Triple Berry Syrup



Triple Berry Syrup

  • Servings: Makes 3 cups
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4 cups mixed frozen berries
1/3 cup raspberry jam (I used this homemade Raspberry Nectarine Jam)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 Tbs cornstarch

Combine berries, jam and sugar in a saucepan. Mix together water and cornstarch and mix into berries in pan. Over medium heat, cook sauce until thickened and just barely beginning to boil. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes about 3 cups syrup.

Serve over Waffles, Pancakes, Cheesecake, Ice Cream


Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments/Sauces, Uncategorized

Homemade Maple Syrup

SD Maple 031-1

Homemade Maple Syrup

SD Maple 031-1

2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 Tbs honey or corn syrup (dark or light)
1 cup water
1 tsp pure maple extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a large 5-6 quart pot, combine the sugars, honey and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low so the mixture gently simmers. Cover the pot and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the maple and vanilla extracts. Pour the hot syrup into a mason jar and immediately seal with lid and ring. As it cools the jar seals. Store unrefrigerated for 1-2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Reheat before serving, if desired.

Makes about 2 ½ cups


Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Blueberry Syrup



Blueberry Syrup

  • Servings: Makes 4 cups
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5 cups blueberries
3 cups water
1 cup sugar (Turbinado or regular white sugar)
1 whole lemon, washed

Using a sharp paring knife, peel three or four strips of lemon peel from the lemon. Skin should be about 1/2 inch wide and not have too much of the bitter pith or white part on it. Then juice the lemon, and set both zest and juice aside.

Place blueberries and 1 cup of the water in a medium pot. Don’t worry about stems or leaves; they will be strained out later. Using a potato masher, crush the berries. Over medium-high heat, bring the berries and water to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer berries for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will darken considerably.

Remove pot from heat and ladle berries into a fine sieve set over a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup. Using the back of a  ladle, press on the berry solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids.

Wash out your pot, then add the remaining 2 cups of water, lemon peel(not juice yet), and the sugar. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens (or reaches 225°F). Add reserved blueberry juice and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and stir to combine. Boil another minute or two. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove lemon zest.

Using a funnel, pour syrup into clean jars. Top with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to six months. Or process in sterile canning jars with a boiling bath canner (Process half pints for 10 minutes; pints for 15 minutes).

Serve over Cheesecake, Waffles, Pancakes, Ice Cream

Makes about 4 cups


Recipe from Simple Bites

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Canning/Freezing, Condiments/Sauces, Uncategorized

Vanilla Buttermilk Syrup


Vanilla Buttermilk Syrup

  • Servings: Makes about 2 cups
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1 ½ cups white or brown sugar (I use half white, half brown)
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 Tbs dark corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped**

Combine sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, baking soda, salt and vanilla bean (both seeds and split pod) in a large pot (mixture will increase drastically in volume while cooking from the reaction between buttermilk and baking soda. Use a LARGE pot: soup pot size). Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until syrup is a light golden brown. Remove from heat. Remove and discard vanilla bean pod. Serve warm.

Store in refrigerator. Syrup will thicken to a soft caramel consistency in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.

Serve over Waffles, Pancakes, Ice Cream, or anywhere you would use a caramel sauce.

** You can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract for the vanilla bean, if desired. Stir vanilla extract into syrup AFTER cooking and removing from heat.

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Baking & Board Games: A Perfect Snow Day

View Snow Day Baking

Baking and Board Games:
What better way to spend a mid-week, school-canceled SNOW DAY!

View Snow Day Monopoly

With a little sledding, snow-fort making and hot chocolate sipping added to keep things balanced.

View SnowDayJan2011

080610 022-1Raspberry Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins (recipe below)

021910 095Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe HERE)


Raspberry Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

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**Prep Note: the oats need to soak in the milk for 1 hour before adding the rest of the ingredients.

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbs white vinegar or lemon juice)
1 cup rolled oats
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raspberries or mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup dark chocolate chunks or chips

Combine buttermilk and oats in a large bowl and let stand for one hour. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir the egg into the oat and milk mixture; add brown sugar and sugar; mix to combine. Stir in melted butter. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to over mix. Gently stir in raspberries and chocolate.

Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, about 15 minutes (they will take slightly longer if using frozen berries).

Cool on a wire rack.


Recipe from Aimée at Simple Bites



Filed under Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Cookies, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Meal Prep Planning

For me, an enjoyable, stress-free Thanksgiving is all in the advance planning. Best plan: pot-luck meal where you have limited cooking responsibility! But it is still possible to have a low-stress day and prepare the entire meal yourself. With one oven. Here is our menu this year, and the plan for getting it done with the least amount of Thanksgiving Day chaos.

Our Thanksgiving Menu:

Herb Brined Roast Turkey



Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Stuffing

Green Beans with Bacon and Almonds

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms

Pumpkin Pie

Cherry Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Thanksgiving Gameplan:

  • Monday (or earlier):
    • Make rolls; parbake and freeze
    • Cube bread for stuffing, set out on trays to dry; roast garlic for stuffing and potatoes, refrigerate (see Roasted Garlic Stuffing for full recipe)
    • Eat all of the leftovers in the fridge so you have room for all of your advance preparations and Thanksgiving leftovers! Keep eating leftovers Tuesday and Wednesday until your fridge is empty; no more leftovers? Order pizza.
  • Tuesday:
    • Prepare brine (see Turkey Timetable below)
    • Prepare Make-Ahead Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes; refrigerate
    • Make cranberry sauce; refrigerate
  • Wednesday:
    • Add turkey to brine (see Turkey Timetable)
    • Chop vegetables for stuffing; place in Ziploc bags; refrigerate
    • Prepare veges for Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Mushrooms (this is a new recipe I’m trying this year from Kalyn’s Kitchen. It sounds great, but does require a lot of oven space and time, so I am going to try to roast it for half the time on Wednesday, refrigerate, and then finish on Thursday)
    • Cook bacon and toast almonds for the Green Beans with Bacon
    • Make pies
  • Thursday:
    • Prepare stuffing. Cook for 30 minutes in oven. Transfer to crock pot. Keep warm on lowest heat. **Do this before putting the turkey in the oven
    • Prepare and roast turkey (see Turkey Timetable)
    • Remove mashed potatoes from fridge; place in covered casserole dish; let potatoes come to room temperature (I am going to reheat the potatoes in the oven; you could also reheat them in a crock pot on low for several hours)
    • Remove sweet potatoes from fridge and place on baking sheet;cover and let come to room temperature.
    • Remove rolls from freezer. Place on a baking sheet and cover with foil or plastic wrap.
    • Sit and enjoy family for the next hour or two while the turkey cooks!
    • When turkey is done: remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
    • As soon as turkey comes out of oven: mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes go in the oven
    • Make gravy; keep warm on low heat
    • Steam green beans; stir in bacon and almonds (see Bacon Beans for full recipe)
    • While you are preparing beans, have someone else begin to carve the turkey, and kids begin to put food on the table
    • Remove potatoes and sweet potatoes from the oven. Bake rolls for 5-7 minutes, until hot and golden brown.
    • Relax and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Turkey Timetable:

  • Tuesday evening: Prepare brine. Cover and let it sit overnight.
  • Wednesday morning: Add turkey to brine; Let it sit in a cool place (below 40°F) for 12-24 hours (I usually go with close to 24 hours)
  • Thursday (Thanksgiving!):
    • 4 hours before you plan to serve the meal: Remove turkey from brine. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
    • 3 1/2 hours before eating: Prep turkey and put in the oven. Roast until cooked through (about 2 1/2 to 3 hours total)
    • 30 minutes before eating: Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 30 minutes.
    • Serving time: Carve and serve turkey.


Filed under Main Dishes, Tips and Tutorials, Uncategorized