Monkey Butter

Monkey Butter is a WONDERFUL tropical jam-like-spread that is perfect on toast, english muffins and even on ice-cream. The mix of bananas, pineapples and coconot flavor is DEVINE. It’s the monkeybutter
perfect summer sweetness and SUPER easy to make! Click HERE for the recipe, or find it on the RECIPE menu to the right. One batch makes about 2.5 – 3 pints.

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SoufflĂ©d French Toast with Buttered Blueberry Sauce

I used to make french toast by dipping triangle pieces of sandwich bread (sometimes texas toast) into a mix of milk and egg, seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. While that did seem to satisfy my family, personally, I’ve never been very happy with it. I wanted something more ‘professional.’ So today, I set about creating something I thought would make me feel better about my simple weekend french toast regime. lol

Here’s what I did:

I took a loaf of french bread and cut it at a diagonal, in about 1″ pieces. Next, make a custard with a few eggs, a small amount of milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Don’t whisk it, just incorporate. You’re not trying to add any air into your custard. Next, get your griddle heating up and brush it with butter. Drop a few slices of french bread into the custard and let it sit a minute. Flip it once. *If you don’t want your toast as wet, don’t leave it in the custard as long. The longer you leave it in, the more liquid it absorbs and will take longer to cook and will be more like bread-pudding on the inside. You may have to experiment with what you prefer. Take the bread from the custard and put it on the griddle and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. You’re looking for a very nice golden toasted color.

*NOTE: If your toast is sticking to the griddle, it’s not ready to flip. Just leave it alone for a minute and then check it again. When it moves easily, it’s ready to flip.

When the toast has reached a nice golden toasted look, remove from the griddle and place on a large cookie sheet. When all the pieces have come off the griddle, place the cookie sheet in an oven pre-heated to *400 and bake for about 10 minutes. Flip them, and bake another few minutes. Again, you’re looking for a nice even toasted look. Baking them in the oven will act like a souffle and the egg will expand and puff up a bit. Remove from the oven when you feel like it’s done.

Buttered Blueberry Sauce:

I used about 1.5 cups fresh blueberries. Put them in a sauce pan, add some sugar if needed. Mine were pretty sour so I added a good amount of sugar. Use a potato masher and mash-up the berries a bit. You want some texture, but not whole berries. Bring to boil and turn down the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Next, add in about 2 tbsps of butter and melt. Serve immediately over the french toast.

*NOTE: If you don’t care for the very wet, soft insides, just dip the bread in your custard instead of soaking and you can skip baking them in the oven. But then you’d have regular ol’ sandwich sliced french bread. lol.

ENJOY!

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Spiced Pecans

Our lovely daughter Sarah, made these DELICIOUS Spiced Pecans for Christmas last year and we loved them so much, that she made them again for her dad on Fathers Day. These things are positively addicting! lol. For the recipe, click HERE or use the RECIPES menu to the right. 🙂

spicedpecans

Canning White (sour) Grapes

I found grapes at walmart for .97 cents a pound, so I bought two bags. Normally I taste them before doing so, but this time I didn’t. So when I got home and ate one, I found why they mightwhitegrapes have been on such a sale. They were S O U R to the core! lol. So what now? Well, I got out my Ball Blue Book guide to canning and guess what? There’s a recipe for canning unripe grapes! There are also some for making grape juice and jelly but I don’t have the proper strainer or cheesecloth for such an undertaking, so I decided to can them. It’s super simple! (you can also find the recipe and how to in the RECIPE menu to the right)

Here’s How:

Ingredients grapes

  • Sour Grapes (the Ball book says 2 pounds per quart) I don’t know how much I had, but I filled 5 pint jars.
  • A Medium or Heavy canning syrup.

 

 

Medium Syrup = 3 1/4 cups sugar + 5 cups water = 7 cups syrup

Heavy Syrup = 4 1/4 cups sugar+ 4 1/1 cups water = 7 cups syrup

Wash and drain grapes. Make a medium or heavy syrup, keep hot. Ladle 1/2 cup syrup into sterilized, hot jar. Fill jar with grapes. Gently shake jar to pack grapes closely without crushing, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Add hot syrup to cover grapes, if needed, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Remove airbubbles. Adjust two piece caps. Process pints and quarts 20 minutes in boiling water-canner. When done, remove from canner, set on a towel and allow to rest for 12 hours. Refrigerate any jars that don’t seal.

All of my jars sealed and they look so pretty! I used a medium syrup and I can tell the grapes cooked a bit and released juices into the jar because when I filled them, they went all the way to the top. After cooling, the jars have about 2″ of space below the grapes. I’m thinking that when I get ready to open a jar, I’ll have some nice white grape juice concentrate and I can either use the grapes in a salad or even use them to make some jelly. Either way, I didn’t let them go to waste! 🙂

Strawberry Orange Jam

So this is my third time canning and I think this was the most successful yet! None of my jars leaked during their water bath, the canner boiled consistently, and I DIDN’T FORGET TO WIPE THE strawberryorange4JAR TOPS before putting on the lids. lol. And all three of my beautiful jars sealed perfectly. I’m so excited! Ok, now on to what’s IN the jars!

I found this recipe on the internet and when I saw strawberries on sale for .99 a container, I KNEW exactly what I was going to do with them! The recipe doesn’t call for much so even if the fruit isn’t on sale, it would still be an easy thing to do. Getting the pulp from the oranges though, that was a bit labor-intensive. However, once I started treating them as if I were eating a grapefruit, it went much better. I cut each orange in half, ran a knife around the outside edge and down each section and then used a spoon to scoop out the pulp. It worked like a charm!

The other thing I did this time, was to pre-measure out ALL of my ingredients and set them to the side. starwberryorange1

This kept me from running around and getting confused as to what I needed to do next. I actually had time to just sit and wait on the canner to heat up. 🙂 Anyway, this is a great recipe and the jelly started setting even before it was in the jars, which pleased me immensely. So go ahead and give this one a try, it’s super delicious and not difficult at all to make. For the recipe here on my blog, click HERE or use the RECIPE menu to the right. Happy canning!

Canned Apples in a Medium Syrup

So the Husbeast was very gracious in helping me core and slice 10 pounds of red delicious apples. I followed (nearly) the Ball Blue Book for the recipe and I didn’t like how cooked the applesreddelicious were by the time they went into the canner. Next time, I think I’ll raw pack with a medium syrup and maybe do a few jars of apples pie filling as well. I know that the apples will go on sale this Fall around town and so I wanted to do at least one batch before then so I can decide how best to do it later. I got 9 pints out of this batch and one of them didn’t seal and leaked into the canner. So that made the jars sticky and they needed a good bath before getting stored away. All in all, not bad for being only my second time canning. lol.

apples2

Bacon gooood!

So my local discount store had a great sale on rind on bacon today. I got 10 lbs for $16, making it $1.60 a pound. If you’ve bought bacon lately, you know that’s a LOT cheaper than what you bacon
can find in the store. Some people don’t like the rind on cut, but once it’s cooked, you can just cut that part off. If you live in the south, then you know that we dump our bacon into a large bowl of flour seasoned with salt and pepper and shake the bowl like crazy to coat the pieces. Then it’s baked in the oven and savored for the rest of the day! lol
A note on vacuum sealing bacon. After three failed bag seals, I discovered that if I wrapped the bacon in parchment paper before putting it in the bag, the juices didn’t run up the bag and prevent the food saver from sealing. Good to know!

baconpacked