HOMEMADE CHUNKY APPLESAUCE, PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER & PUMPKIN RAISIN BUTTER

In the fall it ALL begins with apples which ultimately leads to applesauce!   Once you have the applesauce THEN you can begin the butters.

HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE
5 large Apples (I like Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Braeburns)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can peach nectar (Papaya or pineapple are good too)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup water (I often use orange juice instead)

  • In a large sauce pan pour nectar over raisins and let sit while you prepare apples.
  • Wash, core, peel and chop apples.
  • Add water to sauce pan and stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and mix well.
  • Add apples and cook over medium heat until until apples are tender and mush easily.
  • Mush to desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool and chill.
  • Can be kept in refrigerator for a week though it never lasts that long around here. When my apples are at the height of the season and falling off the tree I make this in huge batches and put it up in canning jars for the following year.

PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER
2 cans (15 ounce each) LIBBY’S solid-pack pumpkin
4 cups apple cider
2 cups applesauce (recipe above)
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground gloves
1 cup golden raisins

  • Combine everything except the raisins in a large dutch oven until well blended.
  • Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring periodically until thickened. Add raisins at the 1 1/2 hour mark.
  • Ladle into sterilized jars.
  • Water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Cool jars and make sure seals are secure.

PUMPKIN BUTTER
2 cans (15 ounce each) LIBBY’S solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup golden raisins

    • Combine everything except the raisins in a large dutch oven until well blended.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
    • Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered , stirring periodically until thickened ans spreadable (about 20 minutes).
    • Ladle into sterilized jars.
    • Water bath for 15 minutes.
    • Cool jars and make sure seals are secure.

MONTE CRISTO SANDWICHES with RASPBERRY JAM

I have been thinking about our trip to Disneyland that is on the horizon. We even made lunch reservations for the Blue Bayou restaurant where I already know I will be ordering their Monte Cristo sandwich.  I first ate this sandwich at this restaurant as a child and I have often wondered what the origin of the Monte Cristo sandwich actually is? So, I finally did a little research on it.

In the early 1900’s many chefs and culinary experts believed that the Monte Cristo Sandwich was a variation of the French Croque Monsieur that was served in Parisian cafes, a grilled cheese sandwich consisting of Gruyere cheese and lean ham layered between two slices of crust-less bread, fried in clarified butter and made in a special grilling iron with two metal plates.

Then from the 1930s to the 1960s… American cookbooks showcased this sandwich under a myriad of different names including the French Sandwich, Toasted Ham Sandwich and French Toasted Cheese Sandwich, all sounding quite delicious, but lacking that truly unique sandwich identity.

Then in the 1950s the sandwich was first served under the name “The Monte Cristo” in southern California. But the BIG push came in 1966 when Disneyland made its own contributions to the popular Monte Cristo Sandwich when it first appeared on their menus at the Blue Bayou and Tahitian Terrace restaurants in New Orleans’s Square in Disneyland. It was also around this time that the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was being built was opened in 1967 as a ride that slinks along the river next to the Blue Bayou restaurant.

Ironically these are my 2 favorite Disney restaurants ever. Unfortunately the Tahitian Terrace with its LUAU inspired Polynesian menu and the Royal Tahitian Dance Troupe floor show did not stand the test of time, but the Blue Bayou still stands today. Ever since then, the Monte Cristo Sandwich has made huge advances in the culinary world becoming one of the most delicious sandwiches of our time and finding its place on menus all over the world.  I believe the Tahitian Terrace was sponsored by Kikkoman.

For me, it needs to be served with homemade RASPBERRY jam to be the correct version. Many restaurants try to pass off strawberry freezer jam and omit the powdered sugar, but it just isn’t the same! Here is my version of the classic sandwich – it still makes my mouth water today at the thought of the perfect Monte Cristo sandwich!

MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH
2-3 tablespoons butter
powdered sugar
for each sandwich you will need:
2 slices thick Potato bread
1 slice QUALITY roasted turkey
1 slice Swiss cheese (preferably Gruyere)
1 slice QUALITY smoked or baked ham
BATTER (enough for 2 sandwiches)
1/2 cup milk
1 JUMBO egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup self rising flour

  • Assemble sandwiches with the cheese between the 2 pieces of meat.
  • Cut into halves or quarters.
  • Whisk together the milk and egg. Add the seasonings. Add the flour last.
  • Melt butter on griddle.
  • Dip each sandwich piece in batter coating well.
  • Fry each sandwich until crisp. Make sure to turn onto each side and edge to grill batter well.
  • Cool on paper towels.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Serve with fresh raspberry jam.
Half the battle of making this sandwich is finding a good quality and tasty turkey and ham. The other half is actually using your fingers to dip the sandwich pieces in the batter.
RASPBERRY JAM

8 cups raspberries
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange peel
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package unflavored gelatin

  • Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel in a stock pot.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil – stirring constantly. Let boil 1 full minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
  • Skim any foam.
  • Pour into sterilized jars.
  • Water bath process 15 minutes.

HIP HIP HOORAY FOR BANANA JAM an oldie, but goodie from 2014 and a 2 for 1 with BANANAS FOSTER BUTTER

I’m still working on blog compilation and I ran across this recipe and can’t wait to make some later this week.  I can actually eat this YAY!
I LOVE!!!!! trying new recipes, but more importantly I LOVE!!!!! trying a new recipe that blows my socks off! My friend Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home mom featured a Banana Jam the other day.  I know, sounds weird right?  WRONG!!!! It’s the most fantastic, addictive recipe I’ve tried in a long time and even better it’s SOOOOOOOO simple.

BANANA JAM
4 cups mashed bananas
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure Madagascar vanilla extract
Juice of 1 large lemon

  • Combine ingredients together and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until your boil.
  • Turn down heat and simmer until nice and thick, stirring frequently.
  • Pour into sterilized jars and water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Once open, refrigerate.

I’ve already added pineapple for a varied flavor and caramel for an ice cream topping.  Next is turning it into a Banana Cream Pie.

And OMG you have to try it on sourdough toast with JIF peanut butter.

Then a few weeks later  I was searching through my box of tricks, er recipes for tailgating recipes I wanted to try and found a recipe for BANANA FOSTERS BUTTER. It just screamed out for me to try it. It was fantastic too and great on Peanut Butter Toast.

BANANA FOSTERS BUTTER
8 ripe, firm large bananas
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons light rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Mash bananas until smooth. Transfer bananas to a pot.
  • Stir in sugars, lemon juice, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Bring to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Ladle into hot sterilized jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Wipe jars clean, add lids and rings.
  • Process filled jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Cool on wire racks.

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

BANANAS FOSTER BUTTER

A while back my friend Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home mom featured a Banana Jam which I had to try, you can see my recipe here.  It really was great.  Then yesterday I was searching through my box oftricks, er recipes for tailgating recipes I want to try and found a recipe for BANANA FOSTERS BUTTER. It just screamed out for me to try it. It was fantastic too and great on Peanut Butter Toast.

BANANA FOSTERS BUTTER
8 ripe, firm large bananas
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons light rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Mash bananas until smooth. Transfer bananas to a pot.
  • Stir in sugars, lemon juice, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Bring to a slow boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Ladle into hot sterilized jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Wipe jars clean, add lids and rings.
  • Process filled jars in a boiling water bath  for 10 minutes.
  • Cool on wire racks.

LEMON CURD

I love lemon curd, but haven’t made any in a lonnnnnnnnnnnng time. I ran across a recipe for scones today over at Full Bellies Happy Kids that reminded me of this old recipe.

Juice of 6 lemons
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 pounds sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into small cubes
6 eggs, beaten

  • In a large saucepan combine lemon juice, lemon peel and sugar. 
  • Mix until sugar dissolves. 
  • Add the butter and eggs. 
  • Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour into sterilized pint jars. 
  • Store in refrigerator. BE SURE IT IS COVERED TIGHTLY as it will darken with oxidation.
  • Mixture will thicken as it cools.


It is great on scones! If your looking for an easy and good scone recipe, head on over to Full Bellies, Happy Kids. But it also good as a cake or tart filling.

Makes 2 pints ~ Makes a great holiday basket gift.

FLUFFY BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

As my good friend Martha over at Menagerie tells me, storm days are perfect “CAVE” days. Days to just snuggle in and do nothing or better yet ONLY what you WANT to do! Today is one of those days as we batten down the hatches for what they tell us will be a “significant late season storm“. The temperature has dropped almost 20 degrees and the wind is blowing almost 60 miles an hour so I decided brunch was in order – a comfort brunch that is. Hot, fluffy buttermilk pancakes! Hubby likes to top them with molasses, but I love my homemade maple syrup.
The key to fluffy pancakes is not to over mix the batter.
Do NOT beat it smooth. You should have some small lumps.

FLUFFY BUTTERMILK PANCAKES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Heat griddle to 375 degrees.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar into a medium bowl.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
  • Using a 1/2 cup measure, pour pancake batter about 2 inches away from each other.
  • When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over.
  • Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
  • Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes warm.
  • Serve with homemade maple syrup.

Maple Syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
scant 1 cup water
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple extract

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a slow boil.
  • Simmer gently 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
  • Store in refrigerator.

SHREDDED CHICKEN VEGETABLE EGG ROLLS

SHREDDED CHICKEN VEGETABLE EGG ROLLS
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken or pork pieces (cheat and use a rotisserie chicken)
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic, jar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons canola oil
egg roll wrappers (I use Melissa’s)

  • Heat skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots, Saute’ until tender.
  • Drain, retaining oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss meat pieces with sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add vegetables and blend well.
  • Cool 5-10 minutes.
  • Fill center of each wrapper with 2 tablespoons of filling.
  • Fold 1st corner towards the center. Then fold each edge towards the center. With a pastry brush wet the exposed triangle of dough and roll the bulk onto it.
  • Add oil back into pan and add the additional 2 tablespoons and bring to medium heat.
  • Cook egg rolls on all 4 sides until golden.

RASPBERRY PINEAPPLE DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup Raspberry Jam
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • Heat jam in microwave for 20 seconds to warm and thin.
  • Whisk in honey and soy sauce.
  • Set aside.

BLACKBERRY PINEAPPLE JAM
4 cups blackberry pieces
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
3 cups sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 packet KNOX unflavored gelatin

  • Ina large pan combine everything except the gelatin.
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Bring to a low rolling boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes until fruit can easily be mashed.
  • Remove 1 cup of juice and whisk gelatin into it until completely dissolved.
  • Add juice mixture back into pan and simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Pour into sterilized jars and water bath 10 minutes.

BLACKBERRY PINEAPPLE DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup Blackberry Pineapple Jam
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • Heat jam in microwave for 20 seconds to warm and thin.
  • Whisk in honey and sauce sauce.
  • Set aside.

BALSAMIC BERRY SAUCE

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup fresh blackberries, pureed large
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained slightly
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the berries, pineapple, sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Cook until the strawberries are heated through and darkened to a deep purple.
  • Spoon berries over shortcake or ice cream and serve.

RASPBERRY JAM

RASPBERRY JAM
8 cups raspberries
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange peel
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package unflavored gelatin

  • Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel in a stock pot.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil – stirring constantly. Let boil 1 full minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
  • Skim any foam.
  • Pour into sterilized jars.
  • Water bath process 15 minutes.

You too can learn to Preserve

One thing that many of you don’t know about me is that I love to cook (LOL) AND to preserve. To me there is nothing that says I love you more than preparing those special meals and treats for my family. Canning is easy, but it is time consuming and you do have to follow sterile rules to make it safe. You can be a plain or as inventive as you want.

Hubby pointed out this would be a good time to share my award pictures that I began to scrapbook about before the move and have yet to finish. I always thought it a little ironic that I was ‘preserving’ my preserving ribbons. Here are a few pictures.


How I got started on entering the county fair is actually a cute story. I was still working for a major phone company and I make a Spiced Pear jam that really is awesome. We had a cafeteria in the building I worked in and the engineers would stop by my desk to buy a jar of jam before their coffee break so they could put it on the pancakes and waffles. I loved making it and only charged them enough to actually cover my expenses so I could make more.

My boss kept trying to get me to enter it into competition, but I was reluctant as I really didn’t think I had what it took to compete against women who had been doing it all their life (one woman had an entire 4×8 foot wall with just her entries and had been winning 1st and 2nd place awards for over 20 years) because I was a self-taught newbie and ‘shy’. Unbeknownst to me, one of the guys entered me in the upcoming county fair. He knew I went every year to drool over the jams and jellies and crafty items in the home building. You have to picture my jaw actually dropping to the floor on this particular year when I see my name, my jam and an actual 3rd place ribbon attached to it! I was literally speechless especially since I hadn’t entered the fair. Long story short I will always be eternally grateful to him for giving me the courage and confidence to enter each and every year after that for 10 years until I moved away. I have also been published in several of their cookbooks the years I won first place. I hope to start again soon.
 
Over the next few days I’m going to post several of my recipes and hope you enjoy them.

HIP HIP HURRAY for BANANA JAM

I LOVE!!!!! trying new recipes, but more importantly I LOVE!!!!! trying a new recipe that blows my socks off! My friend Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home mom featured a Banana Jam the other day.  I know, sounds weird right?  WRONG!!!! It’s the most fantastic, addictive recipe I’ve tried in a long time and even better it’s SOOOOOOOO simple.  

BANANA JAM
4 cups mashed bananas
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure Madagascar vanilla extract
Juice of 1 large lemon

  • Combine ingredients together and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until your boil.
  • Turn down heat and simmer until nice and thick, stirring frequently.
  • Pour into sterilized jars and water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Once open, refrigerate.
I’ve already added pineapple for a varied flavor and caramel for an ice cream topping.  Next is turning it into a Banana Cream Pie.

And OMG you have to try it on sourdough toast with JIF peanut butter.

AN OLD FASHIONED RECIPE FOR COMFORT FOOD ~ APPLESAUCE, HOMEMADE, THE ONLY WAY

In today’s world there are more conveinence foods than the average person can count. Every can, jar, bottle, tube or frozen container is full of preservatives, additives or some form of chemical. As most of you know I DO NOT do any of the above. Our entire meals are made from scratch, a fact that according to my oncologist saved my life. So it’s no wonder I love simple, old recipes! This picture does NOT do this recipe justice!Applesauce

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

10 Honey Crisp apples, washed, peeled, cored and chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

2 lemons, juiced

2 tablespoons butter

  • Combine all ingredients in a stock pot*.
  • Bring to a slow simmer.
  • Simmer 2 hours +/- stirring regularly.
  • Simmer until apples are translucent.

I like the applesauce warm, but it’s great warm or cold!

*I like to use a large, but shirt stock pot so more of the applesauce touches the pan.