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Friday, September 30, 2011

CHEERS! Wine Slushies and Wine Jelly - It's Finger Lakes Wine Season!

The inspiration for this week's recipe posting - my sweet MIL is visiting our area this weekend on a local wine tour! If you'd like to schedule your own, here's a super link:



One 750ml bottle of sweet or semi-sweet wine
One large canister of a sugar based lemonade mix
One large canister of a sugar based instant tea mix, could be raspberry flavor, peach flavor, choose.


Pour 750ml of your preferred wine into a zipstyle bag, add 1/2 bottle of water. Per canister directions, add enough lemonade powder to make 2 quarts. Add half that amount of instant tea mix. You can substitute the lemonade with sugar based limeade, or even a sugar based "orange-ade".
You can play around with the sugar free varieties....just be sure to use the equivalent of 2 quart citrus base and 1 quart instant tea base.
Seal the zipstyle bag well, and shake bag gently, kneading with your hands to ensure all ingredients have dissolved.
Place in freezer for about 6 hours. Prior to serving, allow to sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes. Serve in glass of your choice. Can be topped off with lemon-lime soda for a spritzer, or eat as is for a tasty frozen treat. Return any unconsumed product to the can thawed and refrozen an unlimited amount of times.

Some flavor combos:

*sweet red wine, lemonade powder and raspberry flavored tea mix
*sweet white wine, limeade powder and lemon flavored tea mix
*semisweet rose, cherry lemonade powder and lemon flavored tea mix
*Dessert raspberry, lemonade powder, and raspberry flavored tea mix
*Dessert blueberry, lemonade powder, and lemon flavored tea mix (serve in a hollowed out lemon half, which has been frozen)

TOTAL SERVINGS: 750 milliliters = 25 oz, plus add another 12 oz. for the water and you end up with 37 oz. That would give you about 6 6oz servings. Or you can add half Sprite and serve even more. I like it with the Sprite!

***Kid friendly version:
Substitute wine with sparkling juice variety OR non-alcoholic version wines ARE available in liquor stores!



4 cups wine
6 cups sugar
2 pkgs. liquid pectin


Heat the wine just enough to melt the sugar. (Do not let the wine come to a boil, or you will get a bitter taste due to the tannins in the wine. Add the liquid pectin and heat to just before boiling, you will see small bubbles begin to form on the bottom of the pot. Pour into jars and process. Takes about 45 mins from beginning to end. Super simple!



4 cups port wine
1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter
5 half pint canning jars with lids and rings


Pour the port into a large saucepan, and sprinkle in the pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, pour in the sugar, and stir until dissolved. Return the mixture to a boil, and stir in the butter until melted. Continue boiling for 1 minute, skimming and discarding any foam the forms on the surface.
Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pour the jelly into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.

"Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
Pour not by cups, but by the bellyful,
Pour out to all that wull."
~Edmund Spenser

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Now THIS is the way to eat yer veggies! IRISH Carrot Cake recipe...

Emer Fallon’s West Kerry Carrot Cake

2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bread (baking) soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated carrot
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of sunflower (vegetable) oil
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
1 tsp of vanilla essence

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk the sugar, eggs and carrot together in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Finally, add the oil, pineapple, walnuts and vanilla essence and beat everything together, pour your mixture into a lined cake tin with a removable base and bake for about an hour at 170 C, 350 F.

If the cake looks like it’s getting a little too brown on top, cover it with tinfoil, and after about half an hour turn the heat down to 150 C, 300 F.
When the hour is up, test it with a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is done. You can also gently pat the top – if it’s firm your carrot cake is ready to come out of the oven.
Leave it to cool before removing from the tin and icing.

For the icing:

Juice of half a lemon
1 cup of cream cheese
1 cup of Icing sugar (10X, confectioners)

Mix ingredients together, spread the icing generously over the top of your cake, and decorate with some whole walnuts. Voila – or sin é, as we say in West Kerry.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! Bumper Crop of Crab Apples!

Apples, apples everywhere! All the rain early this spring prevented bugs and diseases from getting to the apple trees, so even if you didn't spray your trees,
you probably have great apples this year. Here are a few recipes to use up the harvest!



4 pounds apples(about 16 medium)
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves


To prepare pulp: Cook apples down and put apples through a food mill. Combine apple pulp, sugar and spices in a large saucepot. Cook slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon. As mixture thickens stir frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, adjust two piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Note : If butter becomes too thick add water or apple juice for desired consistency.

(from Ball Blue Book!)


"This is a fresh tasting, pure jelly with NO PECTIN added! Just the goodness of your backyard. No commercial pectin is required as crabapples have high natural pectin content."



8 cups fresh crabapples
water as needed
3 cups white sugar
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick (optional)


Remove stems and blossom ends from crabapples, and cut into quarters. Place them in a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pot or saucepan. Add enough water to be able to see, but no so much that the crabapples are floating. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should soften and change color.
Strain the apples and juice through 2 or 3 layers of cheese cloth. You should have at least 4 cups of juice. Discard pulp, and pour the juice back into the pan. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Next, stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Continue cooking at a low boil until the temperature reaches 220 to 222 degrees F (108 to 110 C). Remove from heat.
Pour the jelly into sterile small decorative jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath to seal.




4 quarts crabapples, washed,cored and quartered
4 cups sugar
3 cups vodka


Fill 1 (4-quart) mason jar with tight-fitting lid with prepared crabapples.
Add the 4 cups of sugar and three cups of vodka.
Store the jar on its side, turning once every day for 16 days to help the sugar to dissolve.
After 16 days, filter out the fruit bits and bottle.




1/2 c. shortening (or use oil)
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
2 c. chopped red crab apples, peeled
2 c. flour


Mix all together. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.



Cover crab apples with water. Cook about 15 minutes. Let cool. Drain well.

2 c. juice
2 c. water
1/3 c. sugar

Boil 5 minutes. Pour while hot into jars. Can, or cool the juice well, then freeze.

"Somebody’s little girl—she played once under a crab-apple tree in June and the blossoms fell on the dark hair.
Let ’em dream long as they want to … of June somewhere… and crabapple blossoms."
~from "Crabapple Blossoms" by Carl Sandburg

Use up those peels & cores! :)


After peeling your apples, you boil the skins and core (minus the blossom end) to make jelly. To the boiled juice add about 1/2 c. red hots candy and make candy apple jelly...


(Makes about 4 (8 oz) half pints)


1-3/4 cups unsweetened apple juice (14 oz)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 3-oz pouch Ball® RealFruit™ Liquid Pectin
3-1/2 cups sugar
4 Ball® Plastic (8 oz) Freezer Jars


1.) COMBINE apple juice with sugar in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes.
2.) ADD entire contents of pectin pouch and lemon juice. Stir for 3 minutes
3.) LADLE freezer jelly into clean freezer jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Apply caps and let jelly stand in refrigerator until set, but no longer than 24 hours. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 1 year.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Here's what you'll need....


Just make sure it's equal amounts.
Put in a bowl and microwave for a few seconds (enough to make soft but not liquify)
Stir together. If you find it's not stirring very well, you can nuke a few more seconds...but no more!
Pour into a pan (I used an 8 x 8 inch silicone pan)
Oh! Before you pour into the pan you can add nuts if you'd like...I didn't in this one.

I let it sit out on the counter to harden, and then when I couldn't wait any longer, stuck it in the frige. Up to you, how you let it harden. It won't get super-hard though.

And y'all, seriously, that's it!

Add in or top with chocolate chips if you'd like!

***with love from Southern gal "Sweet Jeanette", you can see more at:

Easy FALL wreath, repurposing a sweater!

So glad to see the signs of fall, my favorite season!
Here's a simple project to decorate your doorway for autumn.
You probably have most of the materials lying around somewhere!


Wreath form
Old sweater
Fake flowers and leaves
Hot glue gun
Sewing machine (or just needle and thread)


are HERE, just copy & paste:

HAVE FUN! I think sweaters in brown, gold or orange would be FAB too!

-from Brittany aka "Pretty Handy Girl"

Keep full, eat less, WIN WIN with eggs + these foods!

Food That Keeps You Full: Eggs

For just 70 calories, an egg delivers more than 6 grams of protein, says Shelley McGuire, Ph.D., a spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition. One study found that women who ate eggs for breakfast lost more weight than those who had bagels with the same number of calories, possibly because all that protein kept their hunger in check. The egg eaters reported more energy too!



-from Glamour magazine

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Forget the apple, Eat an EGG a day!


This nutritional powerhouse does a body good: One egg provides 13 percent of your daily protein requirement and only 4 percent of the average recommended daily calorie count. Plus, it contains a hefty dose of lutein, an antioxidant that protects your eyes from macular degeneration and UV damage. An egg a day may even help prevent Alzheimer's: The yolk is a significant source of choline, a nutrient that reduces inflammation in the brain.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time to FILL the Freezers! Some EASY recipes for those veggies abundant right now!

Hello all!
Crazy busy here with harvesting and back-to-school!
I'm using every chance I can get to prep food for the winter.
When you're too tired to can, FREEZE! :)
Enjoy your early fall, y'all!


16 c. corn
1/2 to 1 stick butter
4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
3 tsp. salt
Shuck and brush corn. Cut kernels from cob. Mix above ingredients. Heat and cook 1 minute. Cool and fill into cartons or Ziploc bars and freeze.


Use freshly picked corn
Strip, wash corn
Lay cobs on cookie sheet, freeze
Pack in freezer bags
Do not remove from freezer until water is boiling. Put promptly into water. When cooked put into water to cool.


Grated: If you would like to have grated zucchini ready to go for your favorite recipes in your freezer this is a method to use.
Grate the required amount for a specific recipe then steam it by placing it in a sieve or colander 1 inch deep. Steam it over water for 5 minutes. Steam the zucchini 3 inches above the boiling water and have a lid on the kettle. Cool the zucchini before putting it in a container for freezing. Label the package with the amount you started with.
Slices: To freeze wash and cut zucchini in 1/2 inch slices. Place in boiling water for 3 minutes. Start timing immediately, do not wait for the boil to return. Cool in cold water. Drain and freeze. If you wish to fry it in slices, freeze on cookie sheet and then package frozen. Dip slices in mixture and crumbs or flour before it thaws. For casseroles, freeze cubes or small slices of zucchini.


20 lg. tomatoes, with skins, quartered
4 lg. onions or 1 c. diced onions
4 lg. carrots, cut into sm. pieces
1/4 c. dry parsley
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
Place in large pan. Boil. Lower heat to thicken, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Measure about 3 cups in blender. Whirl at high speed 1 minute. Can or freeze. When using, you add the spices to taste.


1 lb. hamburger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
2 cans tomato soup
8 green peppers
1 c. chopped onions
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. sharp cheese, cut up
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
Cook beef, onion, garlic until meat is brown. Add seasonings and soup, simmer covered 10 minutes. Add cheese, cooking until cheese melts. Stir in rice. Cool.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and take out seeds. Cook in boiling salted water about 3 minutes. Drain and cool.
Place peppers on baking sheet. Stuff with meat-rice mixture. Place in freezer until frozen. Remove, wrap, seal and return to freezer.
To serve: Remove wrapping and partially thaw at room temperature. Place in shallow pan, cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

"A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion....Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners."
~George Orwell

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mamma Mia! It's a SOUP kind of day! 2 Italian faves for you....

Hello everyone!
Enjoying the rainy weather? Cold, wet and damp - yep, definitely soup weather!
Put a pot on at your place, and fill your home with the yummy smells! It'll use up some of those garden veggies laying around!

(Potato Kale Soup, EXACTLY like the one at that yummy Italian restaurant that serves this all-you-can-eat!)


1 lb ground Italian sausage
1½ tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp bacon pieces
2 tsp garlic puree
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
¼ of a bunch of kale


Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese-optional, for garnish


1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add in zucchini, green beans, and diced tomatoes. Stir in vegetable broth and water. Add beans, macaroni, oregano, and basil. Simmer until vegetables and macaroni are tender-about 35 minutes.
2. Season soup with salt and pepper and serve warm. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.

"Everything you see I owe to pasta."
~Sophia Loren

"Life is too short, and I'm Italian. I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0." - Sophia Bush