Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buttermilk Pancakes



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Karissa's Smoothie

My 12 year old daughter is addicted to smoothies, so much so that we tease her about a smoothie blender being her first thing we buy for her dorm room when she goes to college in a few more years. She loves fruit and since we have been working on freezing and canning of fruits, she has been enjoying her smoothies. When I woke to a sticky note with her new recipe she made up and pictures on her camera, I knew she wanted this one in the "save" pile. So this is what she has been enjoying as of late....

Mix 1 3/4 cup ice in smoothie blender with...

1 1/2 bananas, (she inserts here ~ can use less)  As you can see we freeze mashed bananas for quick use.

3/4 cup blueberries, these are fresh (YUM) but you can use frozen too.

1 1/2 cup strawberries, again these were fresh but can use frozen.

1/2 cup of raspberries....using up last years, more are on the way now.

as much milk as needed.  may add a sweetener too, such as sugar or honey.

Blend and if too thick, add more milk.

Apparently, you are supposed to enjoy it in a super big glass!
All her leftover smoothie drinks end up in my freezer in the popsicle molds.  Another yummy way to get your fruits!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Canning Rainier Cherries

This is my first year canning cherries. I've always wondered what I would do with sweet cherries or if we would even like them canned. I had a 1/2 box that I picked up from a local mennonite store that I thought we would eat fresh, but my canning curiosity got the best of me so in the jars they went....well, that is after I took all the pits out. No cherry pitter here, so if we do like them canned a cherry-pitter will be necessary....It took forever to get those pits out!

Here's my pot of cherries after getting the pits out.  I hear you can raw pack these but they are in a light syrup here and cooking just long enough to get somewhat soft.

Ladeling them into the jars....

Looking pretty good still......

And here is the final product.  In TWO of my jars I added one small drop of almond extract with a medicine dropper.  Always experimenting!  See the jar on the left?  I had 2 pints of cherry syrup left over.  Yep, canned that too.  I'll find something to use it for!
Of course I had to search online for ways to use these cherries since eating them straight out of the jar almost seems like a waste.  I need something fancy or delicious.  So here are the two things our family came up with to try this year with our cherries.

1.  Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Soda
2.  Homemade Cherry Ice Cream

And now for the "how-to":

  • 6 cups sweet cherries (Rainier, Bing, or other sweet variety)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup – 2 cups sugar
  • vanilla beans, almond extract (optional)
1. Wash and pit your cherries. You can use a cherry pitter or simply cut the cherries in half to remove the pit. Do this over a large bowl to capture any juices.
2. Combine the water and sugar in a large saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Keep hot (but not boiling) while you prep your jars.
3. Ensure your jars are clean, sterilized, and hot. (Adding hot syrup to a cold jar may cause the jar to shatter!)  Ladle cherries with syrup into jars.
4. If you want to add vanilla to your cherries, cut  1 inch pieces of whole vanilla bean.  Add to the desired jars.  Alternatively, you could add a drop or two of almond extract to the cherries.  (I added the almond extract to 2 of my jars.)
5. Fill each jar with the hot syrup, stopping 1/4 inch from the rim of the jar. With a clean, hot, wet cloth, wipe the rims of the jars and place the sealers and lids on top. Tighten with your hands.
6. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
7. Remove from the water bath, let cool, and listen for the pops.  Let set for a few weeks to let the flavor seep into them before eating.  If you have any that did not seal properly, put in refrigerator for eating immediately.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

6 Week Muffins

Want a recipe for muffins that taste good and makes enough to feed a large family?  We use this recipe often and just recently I made these for a walkathon.  These muffins are super easy to make and the batter lasts for 6 weeks in your refrigerator.  You can make as little or as much as needed in 15 minutes.

So here's the recipe:

1 box Raisin Bran or Bran Flakes (10 ounces)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour

Mix all ingredients.  Store in covered container (I use an ice cream pail) in refrigerator.  Keeps six weeks.  Do not stir when putting mix into muffin tins.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

That's it!  Easy.

This is what the batter will look like when you take it out of the refrigerator to bake.  Don't stir!

Just scoop the batter right into the muffin tins.  I use a large cookie scoop, that way they are all the same size.
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