Strawberry Fig Jam

We have become serious jam hoarders in the past couple of years.

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I would say it’s becoming a problem, but really, when we’re stocked on homemade jam and don’t really want to share with anyone – is that actually a problem? I don’t think so.

And we do share. With family. But that’s it. And honestly, it’s hard to see those jars disappearing around the holidays when we’re giving them away as gifts. But we know that our family loves jam as much as we do, so it’s worth it to share.

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I just love walking downstairs and seeing our basement shelves filled with the jeweled toned jars or opening the fridge and being able to pick what jam I want on my biscuits or toast. Knowing you made something yourself automatically makes it taste better, too, right? You put in the time and the effort and the end result is always seems sweeter.

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I’m no expert when it comes to canning – I just started a few years ago – but jam is definitely one of my favorite things to make. It’s one of the easiest things to can, so it’s the best way to get your feet wet.

If you can chop fruit, let it simmer, ladle it into jars, and then let the jars cook for 12-15 minutes, you’ve got it! You’re closer to homemade jam than you think.

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Strawberry Fig Jam

A spin on classic strawberry jam, this mix has a little extra oomph from the light flavor of the figs. If you don't have fresh figs and can get frozen, they work great! Let them thaw before pureeing them, then cook the same.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups figs, pureed
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1.5 cups agave syrup
  • 3 Tbsp low sugar pectin

Directions:

  1. Cut the stems off the figs (either fresh or thawed if frozen) and add them to your blender. Puree the figs on low speed until it's mostly smooth and broken down. If there are still a few larger pieces of fig, that's fine.
  2. Place the strawberries, figs, agave, and pectin in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook on medium, stirring, keeping the heat up enough so the fruit mixture stays at a low, rolling boil.
  4. While the fruit mixture is heating, place jar lids in a small pan of water and simmer. Get your jars and lids ready for canning and have a large pot of water heating on the stove top.
  5. Once the berries have mostly broken down and the mixture is thickened slightly, remove from the heat.
  6. Fill each jar and leave 1/2 inch headspace, place a lid on the jar and secure the ring.
  7. Process in a water-bath canner for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove from canner and let the jars sit, unmoved, for a few hours until they have cooled and the lids have popped.

Cherry Cheesecake Sour Cream Waffles

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There is one way, and one way only, to eat waffles. I’m convinced of this.

Really, the only thing you need besides butter and maple syrup is a big glass of ice cold milk. Am I the only one who has to have that with a crispy, still-warm-from-the-iron waffle?

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Maybe it’s because that’s how I always had them when I was growing up. Maybe it’s the mix of the hot waffle with the cold milk. I don’t know why it is – I just know that’s how it has to be.

And even though my normal waffle topping of choice is usually pretty simple (butter, maple syrup, maybe some homemade jam), these cherry cheesecake waffles sure were a fun way to change it up a bit. The cherry topping adds some fruit and sweetness to the perfectly crisp sour cream waffle, and the cheesecake mix gives just enough tang to keep it from being too sweet.

But yeah, I know what you’re thinking.

Dessert? Sure! Breakfast? Of course. Lunch? Even better. These waffles can stand in for any meal you want.

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Cherry Cheesecake Sour Cream Waffles

Dessert or breakfast - it's your choice! These waffles make a great base for any of your favorite toppings, whether you like sweet or savory. Make a big batch and throw any extras in the freezer for later.

Ingredients:

Sour Cream Waffles

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil

Cherry Sauce

Dreamy Cream Cheese Topping

Directions:

Sour Cream Waffles

  1. Stir dry ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Separate eggs and whisk yolks with sour cream and oil. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir together until flour is just moistened.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into batter. S
  4. Spoon about 1/2 cup of batter onto a greased, hot, waffle iron and cook 4-6 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve immediately topped with Cherry Sauce and a dollop of Dreamy Cream Cheese Topping.

Cherry Sauce

  1. Measure juice and add enough water to make one cup of liquid.
  2. Blend cherry juice and water with cornstarch, salt and sugar and add this back to cherries. Cook  mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat add almond extract.

Dreamy Cream Cheese Topping

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy. Drop by spoonful onto center of waffle and top with cherry sauce.

Recipe adapted from/updated from the original with Dixie Crystals Sugar

I have an ongoing partnership with Dixie Crystals.

Peach Clafouti

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Peaches are all I can think about this time of year. And every year, it’s the same. It’s the break between spring strawberries and late summer figs and blueberries. Peaches are the bright, juicy bridge carrying me into fall.

Every summer, when our counter is covered in peaches, cobbler is the first dessert we think of, but I’m here to tell you that I have a new favorite summer dessert.

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The clafouti.

Last year, it was blackberry.

This year, it’s peaches.

No matter what you want to put in it – blueberries, cherries, or apricots – a clafouti is one of the quickest and easiest desserts to whip up. It’s almost a cross between a custard and a dutch baby pancake….which means it’s perfect dessert and it makes a killer breakfast.

The batter bakes up into a creamy mixture that wraps around the slices of peaches and the top crisps up, leaving a crust on top that’s just begging for a splash of milk or ice cream.

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Plus, a stress-free dessert like this means it’s especially easy to make for guests and customize, too! Have someone with a gluten intolerance? Try swapping in gluten free flour in the batter. Lactose intolerant? Use lactose free milk in the batter – easy, peasy. Did you know lactose free milk and milk products are real milk products, just without the lactose? They taste great and provide the same nutrients as regular dairy foods so it’s a simple swap to make in every recipe.

Still looking for your perfect summer dessert (or breakfast)? This might just be it.

Peach Clafouti

A perfect light summer dessert, the clafouti is an easy way to show off juicy summer fruits. Cherries, peaches, berries - you name it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium peaches
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup lactose free milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch cinnamon
  • heavy cream, for topping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray or butter a 8×8 baking dish.
  3. Slice the peaches and place in the dish.
  4. Beat eggs until frothy.
  5. Add sugar to eggs and mix.
  6. Beat in the vanilla and milk until combined.
  7. Slowly add the salt, baking powder, flour, and cinnamon until everything is combined.
  8. Pour the batter over the peaches.
  9. Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes, until the batter is set.
  10. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or room temperature.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by NDC – all recipes and opinions are my own, as always. I also have an ongoing partnership with Dixie Crystals.

strawberry coconut soda

It seems I have a new problem.

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I am hooked on making my own homemade sodas.

First there was the cucumber lime spritzer, which is still one of my favorites (and I don’t even like cucumber!).

Then, just a few weeks ago, I was stuck on an easy strawberry honey soda.

But this. This may be taking my soda addiction a little too far. Maybe? Maybe not. It’s still homemade. I know everything that’s in it. I say it’s still healthy and way better than a can of soda.

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This soda has one surprising ingredient in it, and it makes this soda frothy and creamy and all kinds of delicious.

The secret ingredient? Coconut milk.

Straight up, full fat coconut milk. Don’t be scared. Plus, buying coconut milk means you’ll have enough to make this soda AND use it in your coffee this week (*maybe I just have a coconut milk problem, because this is my other new addiction).

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Soda gets such a bad wrap, but if you’re making something like this at home with your own fruit syrups and club soda, there’s nothing to worry about! No HFCS, no crazy amounts of sugar or sodium, no artificial sweeteners.

And come on….sometimes, you just need bubbles. Straight water doesn’t cut it all the time –especially in the summer.

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Strawberry Coconut Soda

For the syrup in this, I used another batch of the strawberry honey mix from my strawberry honey soda, but you could use whatever fruit syrup you want in this – the coconut is subtle enough that it will be great with anything (especially blueberries or pineapple!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • club soda

Directions:

  1. Place the strawberries in a medium bowl and toss with the honey. Cover the bowl with a lid or foil and let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours until the berries have started soften and given up some juice.
  2. Pour the berries and the syrup that has released in the bottom of the bowl into your blender or food processor. Blend the berries until the mixture is smooth. (At this point, you can strain the mixture to remove any seeds that didn’t get pureed or you can leave them in; I’m lazy and didn’t feel like straining it, but I don’t mind some seeds in my drinks.)
  3. To make 1 soda, put 1 tablespoon of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of the strawberry honey base in the bottom of a glass. Slowly add at least a cup of club soda (or more), stirring to combine. Add ice and serve.

Food for Your 4th

I don’t know what you have planned for the 4th of July, but I hope it involves time with family, friends, and some good food.

Right now, I’m thinking my day will be filled with NO alarm clocks, time at the lake with the nephews, a big afternoon nap and maybe some reading.

This just means I’ll probably be sunburnt, way too full, and super exhausted. Fun!

Holiday week or just good summer weather, these are some of our favorite recipes right now – make ‘em while you can!

Strawberry Feta Skewers


Chicken Spiedies with Farmhouse Bread

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad

Spiced Chicken Kabobs and Chickpea Salad

Burgers with Avocado and Cilantro Mayo

Bacon and Leek Focaccia Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza with a super easy and fast crust

Drinks:

Cucumber Lime Spritzer

Triple Citrus Margaritas

White Wine Peach Sangria

Fresh Strawberry Mojitos

Strawberry Mint Sparkling Lemonade

Homemade Izzes

Desserts:

Frozen Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough

Whole Wheat Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Browned Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

No Bake PB Oatmeal Bites

Oatmeal and Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crust Pie

Cheesecake Yogurt Chocolate Cups

Happy 4th of July!

Green Onion Potato Bread

This is one of those weeks where I’m going to hate my computer. A little because it messed up on me this weekend but mostly because we’re going on vacation and I’m going to ignore it for the next week.

I had this post scheduled to go up a few days ago and – nothing.

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I wanted to share this bread recipe with you over the weekend so you could go ahead and put it on your 4th of July menu. Since it didn’t happen when it was supposed to, let’s talk about this now.

We love bread in this house, especially a loaf right out of the oven. And this recipe is going to be put in our regular rotation from now on.