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I love canning pie filling.   I always have an easy dessert on hand for a last minute dessert.    It's easy to make, especially if you have cherry pitter.  It pits 4 cherries at once and your hands don't get all red.


CANNING CHERRY PIE FILLING
(6 quarts)

Ingredients:
*18 cups of sour (or sweet) cherries (approximately 8 pounds)
*4 cups granulated sugar
*3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons) Clear Jel (don't use corn starch)
*4 1/2 cups water (I use the water that I boiled the cherries in).
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
*8 Tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:
~Fill your water-bath canner with water and bring to a boil.
~Sterilize 6 quart canning jars in hot water.
~Wash, remove stems and pit the cherries.
~In a large stock pot (nonreactive) fill with cherries and cover cherries with water.
~Bring water to a boil and boil for one minute.
~Remove 4 1/2 cups water and set aside.
~Drain blanched cherries and place into a large bowl.
~Cover the cherries to keep them warm.
~In the same pot that you blanched the cherries in, mix the sugar and Clear Gel.
~Slowly whisk the water in.
~Add in cinnamon and allspice.
~Heat over medium-high heat, until the clean gel and sugar are dissolved and the mixture starts to boil, continuously stirring.
~Add lemon juice and boil for one minute.
~Remove from heat and gently stir in cherries and any of the juice that is at the bottom of the bowl.
~Take the jar rack out to the hot-water canner
~Place the 6 quart jars onto the jar rack.
~Carefully pour filling into jars, leaving a 1/2 inch space at top (I use a ladle and a canning funnel).
~Wipe the rims of the jars free of any pie filling residue.
~Place a new lid (I boil mine for a few seconds before putting them on the jar) on each jar.
~Screw on lids finger tip tight.
~Carefully place jar rack with filled jars into hot water-bath.
~Place lid on water-bath canner.
~Process for 35-40 minutes.
~Remove jars with canning tongs and place on a counter top (I place a folded towel on my counter before placing the very hot jars onto it).
~The lids will be flat after a little bit not a bubble in the center if they canned right)
~Allow to sit for 24 hours before storing.

***To make a pie.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Place a crust into a pie plate.
~Fill crust with pie filling.
~Cover with top crust and flute the edges.
~Flute the edges and cut vents in the top.
~Place on a foiled lined cookie sheet for any spillage.
~Bake for 50 minutes (or until crust is a golden brown)
~Cool completely before cutting.
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    This is good over pancakes, waffles, french toast, ice cream, strawberry shortcake and just about anything.


    CANNING STRAWBERRY SYRUP:
    (makes "7" 1/2 pints)

    Ingredients:
    *6 pounds of fresh strawberries (about 6-7 cups)
    *3 cups granulated sugar
    *1/4 cup lemon juice
    *1 tablespoon butter, softened
    *1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    *dash of salt (scant 1/16 teaspoon)

    Directions:
    ~Remove the stems of the strawberries.
    ~Cut strawberries into quarters.
    ~Rinse.
    ~Place strawberries into a large pot (it will boil over, if it's not large enough. I use a spaghetti pot).
    ~Pour lemon juice and sugar over strawberries.
    ~Stir until well combined.
    ~Place over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil, stirring often.
    ~Boil for 35 minutes more minutes, stirring often.
    ~Once strawberry mixture has thicken up some and reduced by about half, remove from heat.
    ~Skim off the foam and discard.
    ~Stir in vanilla, butter and salt until butter has melted.
    ~Carefully pour hot syrup in to clean half pint jars, that have been rinsed in hot water.
    ~Wipe rim clear of any residue.
    ~Add a new canning lid on jar (I put my lids into hot water before placing them onto the jars).
    ~Put canning ring on next (not to tight).
    ~Place in a hot water bath canner, making sure water is over top of the jars by a couple inches.
    ~Cover pan and allow to stay in boiling water for 15 minutes.
    ~Carefully removed the jars from the canner and place on a counter or table (I put a towel over the counter before placing hot jars on the counter, to avoid jars from breaking).
    ~The lids will make a popping sound when they seal.  The bubble will disappear once it pops.
    ~Allow to sit for 24 hours before storing.
    ~If the jar doesn't seal (bubble will still be on lid), either store in the refrigerator or take lid off, wash rim of jar and do the hot water bath again.
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    Not a low calorie potato, but very good.  You can either bake them or deep fry them, both are delicious.





    GARLIC BUTTER PARMESAN FRIES
    (serves 4)

    Ingredients:
    *6 russet potatoes
    *1/2 (1/4 cup) stick of butter
    *2 garlic cloves, sliced in thirds
    *1 teaspoon parsley flakes
    *1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    *1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    *1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    *3 cups vegetable oil (only if you are deep frying the potatoes)
    *1/4 cup olive oil (only if baking potatoes)

    Directions:
    ~Peel potatoes (optional).
    ~Cut potatoes in half, and then cut each half into thirds.
    ~Place peeled slice potatoes into a large bowl of cold water.
    ~Allow to set in cold water for 30 minutes.
    ~Drain and dry potatoes with a dry clean towel or paper towels.
    ~In a large bowl, melt butter in microwave for 30 seconds.
    ~Add garlic and microwave for another 30 second, or until butter is completely melted.
    ~Add, parsley flakes, pepper and salt.
    ~Set aside.
    Oven Directions:
    ~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    ~Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet.
    ~Place potato wedges into a ziplock bag along with the olive oil.
    ~Seal bag and shake until potatoes are coated.
    ~Place potato wedges on cooling rack/cookie sheet.
    ~Bake for 30-35 minutes.
    ~Reheat butter in microwave until butter is melted again.
    ~Toss hot potatoes in butter and then place on a large serving platter.
    ~Sprinkle parmesan cheese over fries and serve hot.
    Deep Fry Directions:
    ~Heat oil in large pan over medium high heat.
    ~Allow oil to heat up to 350 degrees.
    ~Carefully place dried potato wedges in hot oil
    ~Cook for about 5-6 minutes.
    ~Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.
    ~Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
    ~Return to oil for 2-3 minutes.
    ~Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.
    ~Put hot fries into garlic butter.
    ~Toss until fries are coated and then place on a large serving platter.
    ~Sprinkle parmesan cheese over fries and serve hot.
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    Have you ever made a poke cake?  So simple to make and so good.  This one reminds me a of cinnamon rolls.





    CINNAMON ROLL CAKE
    (serves 12)

    Cake Ingredients:
    *1 ( ounce) box white cake mix
    *1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    *1/4 cup butter, melted
    *1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
    *2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    *1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    Frosting Ingredients:
    *1/2 cup heavy cream
    *1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
    *1/4 cup butter, softened
    *1 cup powdered sugar
    *1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    *1 cup pecans, chopped

    Cake Directions:
    ~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    ~Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan (i spray it with cooking spray).
    ~In a mixing bowl, prepare cake as directed on package.
    ~Pour into prepared baking pan.
    ~Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when in inserted into cake.
    ~Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.
    ~In a medium mixing bowl, whisk sweetened condensed milk, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and, salt tougher.
    ~Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.
    ~Pour sweetened condensed mixture over cake, making sure filling goes into holes.  Works best with a rubber spatula.
    Frosting Directions:
    ~In a medium mixing bowl, whisk heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.
    ~In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and softened butter together, until smooth.
    ~Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
    ~Mix in vanilla.
    ~Fold in whipped cream.
    ~Spread over cake.
    ~Sprinkle chopped pecans over frosting.
    ~Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before serving.


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    I love a good salad and this is a good one.  Good quick meal.







    PASTRAMI SALAD with HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING
    (serves 4)

    Dressing Ingredients:
    *1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    *1 1/2 teaspoonS honey
    *1 teaspoon yellow onion, chopped very fine
    *1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
    *1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    *4 tablespoon olive oil
    *1/2 teaspoon salt
    *1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    Salad Ingredients:
    *1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
    *2 celery stalks, chopped
    *1 roasted red pepper, chopped
    *2 pepperoncini peppers, chopped
    *1 small onion, thinly sliced
    *favorite salad greens (I use spring mix greens)
    *1/2 pound pastrami, sliced
    *1/4 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
    *1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
    *2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
    *1 cup croutons (I make my own from rye bread)


    Dressing Directions:
    ~In a food processor or blender, blend Dijon mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar
    ~Slowly drizzle in olive oil, until mixed well.
    ~Mix in salt and pepper.
    Salad Directions:
    ~In a large mixing bowl, add cucumbers, celery, roasted peppers, pepperoncini peppers and onions.
    ~Drizzle salad dressing and mix well.
    ~Add lettuce and spinach and toss.
    ~Add pastrami, Swiss Cheese, sharp cheese, and eggs.
    ~Toss and serve.



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    This recipe was a big hit with everyone.   This recipe is great of making and then freezing before you bake it.  I divide it, and cook half and freeze the other half for another day.   Sorry, I forgot to take a picture with the lettuce on top.






    CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE
    (serves 8)

    Ingredients:
    *1 pound bacon, chopped
    *1 tablespoon olive oil
    *2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
    *1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
    *2 garlic cloves, minced
    *2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    *1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    *1 teaspoon pepper
    *2 tablespoons butter
    *3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    *2 cups whole milk
    *2 cups heavy cream
    *1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    *1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
    *1 teaspoon salt
    *1 teaspoon pepper
    *2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
    *1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
    *1 tomato, seeded and chopped
    *8 slices American Cheese
    *1 (8 ounce) bag cheddar and Monterey jack cheese blend
    *1 small onion, sliced very thin
    *1 head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded or buy shredded lettuce
    *desired condiments (chopped pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo) (optional)

    Directions:
    ~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    ~In a large frying pan, cook bacon until crispy, stirring often.
    ~Remove from pan and place on paper towel line plate.
    ~Add olive oil to bacon grease.
    ~Add ground beef, onions, salt and pepper to pan.
    ~Cook until ground beef or ground turkey is almost won, breaking up beef as it cooks.
    ~Add in minced garlic and cook until ground beed is done.
    ~Remove beef/turkey with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set aside.
    ~Add butter to frying pan (don't drain the grease).
    ~Whisk in flour, stirring for 1 minute.
    ~Slowly whisk in milk.
    ~Once the sauce starts to thicken add heavy cream.
    ~Cook until sauce thickens up (it will just be a little thick)
    ~Stir in mustard and hot sauce and a dash of salt and pepper.
    ~Remove from heat.
    ~Layer the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with a thin layer of the white sauce.
    ~Place 1/2 of ravioli on over the sauce.
    ~Sprinkle Swiss cheese over the ravioli.
    ~Spread half of the beef over the ravioli.
    ~Place half of the chopped tomatoes over the beef.
    ~Pour half of the white sauce over next.
    ~Add the remaining ravioli.
    ~Layer the American cheese over the ravioli.
    ~Spread the remaining beef over the American cheese.
    ~Add the remaining tomatoes.
    ~Spread the rest of the white sauce over casserole.
    ~Sprinkle chopped bacon over top.
    ~Sprinkle cheese blend on top.
    ~Bake for 35-40 minutes or until edges are bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
    ~In a large bowl, mix lettuce and sliced onion.
    ~Plate casserole and  place lettuce on top of each serving.
    ~Add desired condiments.

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    If you have never brined your turkey, you should give it a try.  It will make the most moist turkey that you have ever tasted.  Even if you just brine it in salt water it will do the trick.  Just always remember to rinse it off before roasting it.




    ROASTED TURKEY
    (serves 10-12)

    Ingredients:
    *1 (12-16 pound) turkey (fresh or a thawed frozen turkey)
    *1 cup kosher salt
    *1 quart apple cider or apple juice
    *2 or 3 allspice berries
    *2 cinnamon sticks
    *1 apple, sliced
    *1 orange, pealed & sliced
    *1 small onion, sliced
    *2 carrots, sliced into large chunks
    *2 celery stalks
    *1 clove garlic, sliced in half
    *1 tablespoon italian seasoning
    *4 springs rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary)
    *4 sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
    *1 teaspoon black pepper
    *3-4 gallons ice water
    *1 quart turkey stock or chicken stock

    Directions:
    ~In a large pot, heat up apple cider/juice, kosher salt, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, apple, orange, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, italian seasoning, rosemary, sage & pepper until it comes to a boil.
    ~Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
    ~Remove from refrigerator and add ice water into a 5 gallon clean bucket (only used for brining).
    ~Remove the inners from turkey.
    ~Place turkey breast side down into brine (throw away brine).
    ~Cover and refrigerate or place in a cool area for 12-48 hours, making sure you keep the brine cold (add ice if necessary).
    ~Remove turkey from brine and rise inside and out very well (do not skip this step or your turkey will be salty).
    ~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    ~Place turkey back side down into roaster, and pat dry with a paper towel.
    ~If you are going to stuff the turkey, this is when you do.
    ~Sprinkle a little pepper & salt over turkey.
    ~Pour turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
    ~Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil.
    ~Place turkey into oven and roast for 4 hours (if it's stuffed 4 1/2 hours).
    ~Remove lid and roast for another hour, basting it every 15 minutes.
    ~Check for doneness with a meat themometer .  Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
    ~Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.









    Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

    Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
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    Just another way for you to use up those old bananas.   It's so good.   It's good with or without the glaze, but the glaze gives it just a little more hint of orange.




    BANANA-ORANGE-CRANBERRY BREAD
     (makes 1 loaf)

    Bread Ingredients:
    *1/3 cup vegetable oil
    *1/2 cup granulated sugar
    *juice from 1 - 2 oranges (1/4 cup)
    *2 large eggs
    *1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    *zest from 1 orange
    *3 very ripe bananas, mashed
    *1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    *1 teaspoon baking soda
    *1 teaspoon salt
    *1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    *1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (Craisins)

    Glaze  Ingredients:
    *1 cup powered sugar
    *1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
    *zest from 1 orange

    Bread Directions:
    ~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    ~Grease a 9 x 5 inch bread pan with cooking spray.
    ~In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugar, orange juice, eggs, vanilla and orange zest together until smooth.
    ~Whisk in mashed bananas and mix well.
    ~Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into egg mixture.
    ~Stir until just combined (Do not over mix.  There should be small lumps)
    ~Pour into prepared pan.
    ~Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    ~Remove from oven, and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
    ~Place bread on a cooling rack.

    Glaze Directions:
    ~Sift powered sugar into a small bowl.
    ~Add orange zest and orange juice.
    ~Mix until smooth.
    ~Drizzle  over top of bread once it's removed from the pan (the bread will still be warm/hot)
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    If you love chocolate, you are going to love these.  If you don't have unsweetened chocolate squares you can melt 4 tablespoons of butter and then mix in 12 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, until the cocoa is dissolved.  Then follow the recipe as directed from butter on down.

                                          


    ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES
    (serves 12-16)

    Brownie Ingredients:
    *4 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares, roughly chopped
    *1 cup butter
    *4 large eggs
    *2 cups granulated sugar
    *1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    *1 cup all purpose flour
    *1/8 teaspoon salt
    Frosting Ingredients:
    *2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares, roughly chopped
    *1 cup butter
    *1/2 cup egg beaters
    *1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    *1 pound, powder sugar, sifted
    *3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
    *4 cups mini marshmallows

    Brownie Directions:
    ~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    ~Spray a 9xx13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    ~Melt butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until chocolate in melted, stirring often.
    ~Remove from heat.
    ~Stir in sugar, vanilla and eggs and mix until well mixed.
    ~Sift flour and salt into mixture and stir until mixed, but don't over mix.
    ~Bake for 25-30 minutes.
    Frosting Directions:
    ~While brownies are baking, start making the frosting.
    ~Melt butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until chocolate in melted, stirring often.
    ~Add egg beaters, vanilla and sifted powered sugar and stir until smooth.
    ~Stir in chopped walnuts and marshmallows. 
    ~Spread over hot brownies as soon as they come out of the oven.
    ~Cut when brownies are completely cooled.
    ~Store leftovers in  refrigerator.  

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    Every once in a while I have a real hankering for some rich ooey-gooey chocolate.  This recipe takes care of that hankering.




    MICROWAVE MUG LAVA CAKE
    (servings: 1 large or 2 small)

    Ingredients:
    *1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    *1/4 cup granulated sugar
    *2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    *1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    *1/16 teaspoon salt
    *3 tablespoon butter, melted
    *3 tablespoons whole milk
    *1 medium egg
    *1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    *1/8 - 1/4 cup chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet or dark)
    *1 tablespoon water

    Directions:
    ~In a large (2-cup) microwave mug, whisk with a small whisk or fork, the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
    ~Add melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla.
    ~Whisk until mixed well.
    ~Put chocolate chips in center of mug over cake mixture.
    ~Drizzle water over mixture.
    ~Microwave on full power for 75-90 seconds, or until the cake rises to the top.  The edges will be set, but the center will still be wet and shiny.
    ~Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-6 minutes before eating.

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