Monday, August 12, 2019

Fig Preserves

My friend, Joyce, has a gorgeous fig tree in her backyard, and two years ago she asked me to make fig preserves for us.  The preserves turned out so tasty, but last year, she didn't get enough figs to make any.  However, this year she happily shared with me and I perfected the recipe to our liking. The preserves are good for a charcuterie board with crackers,  and I like them on my homemade Civil War starter bread, which is filled with lots of wholesome grains.  Joyce likes them on peanut butter bread.  


I have had this teacup planter for years, and this year I planted some succulents in it.  

On the 16th of this month, it will be the 6th Anniversary of my beloved's passing.  I keep this photo of him on the bar of my kitchen. 


You all know that I am a dish lover, and this pretty salad plate comes from a set that my hubby and I discovered when we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Wimberley, TX, that our daughter gave us as a gift.  Of course, while there, I had to peek underneath at the make and name of the dishes.  We found the Berry Delight set by Mikasa, and I have loved them ever since.  Because I like to mix and match, the teacup is from another set that we had early in our marriage, and it is called Brentwood by Adams.  I gave this set to my daughter, but kept back one teacup and one salad plate. 

 These two granddaughters, Ella on the left, and Avery on the right, came over for lunch, cooking, sketching, and school supply shopping.  We made chocolate dipped Oreo cookies and Crunchy Fudge Sandwich cookies in a short time!


Cissy celebrated her 12th birthday with a pool party at her home, with pizza, snacks, and shaved ice from Bahama Bucks!  My daughter received her first letter from Marines boot camp from Connor!  Connor also had prepared a video for Cissy to see on her birthday with wishes from him, and a gift that he had bought her ahead of time.  Of course, there were tears all around. 




Yield: 5 half pints
Author:

Fig Preserves

This a spicy, perfect fig preserve recipe. I've used figs from my friend, Joyce's, fig tree, and made some for her, too.

ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 cups fresh figs, stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 half pint canning jars, with lids and rims

instructions:

How to cook Fig Preserves


  1. Dissolve the baking soda in about 2 quarts of cool water, and immerse the figs in the treated water in a large bowl. Gently stir to wash the figs, then drain off the water and rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water. Place the figs into a large pot. Add 1 cup water, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Very gently stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar, keeping the figs intact as much as possible.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the figs are golden brown and coated in syrup, about 1 hour, or until the preserves are thick enough to your liking.  Stir gently a couple of times to keep the figs from burning onto the bottom of the pot. Add a pinch of salt, if desired, to tame the sweetness.
  3. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the figs into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
  4.  Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot,
  5. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area, and wait at least 2 days before opening.

NOTES:

I put the hot fig preserves into the sterilized jars, put the lids and rings on, tightened the ring, and placed the jars upside down on a towel for about 5-8 minutes. I then turn the jars right side up and the little button in the center, pops down to ensure the jar is sealed.
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Monday, August 5, 2019

No-Bake Granola Bars

What a perfect day to enjoy a cup of tea and a granola bar.  Please join me!


You can choose whichever strawberry teacup that you'd like to use.


Riley came over to cook this time!! 

Before we made the bars, we had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, and went backpack shopping.  I think the kids liked the granola bars that they got to sample and then take home. 





Yield: About 20
Author:

No-Bake Granola Bars

I saw this recipe in the Dallas Morning News, but we changed it up because the kids didn't want raisins.

ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats, we used old-fashioned, but the recipe called for quick
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or raisins)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

instructions:

How to cook No-Bake Granola Bars

  1. Grease a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together the oats, cereal and chocolate chips (or raisins) in a large bowl.
  3. Heat butter in a small pan until melted.  Add brown sugar and honey, and stir until combined.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat,  Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  We let this mixture cool for a bit because we didn't want to melt all the chocolate chips.  If you're using raisins, pour the hot syrup over the oat/cereal mixture.  Stir well until oats are completely coated. 
  4. Pour the oat mixture into baking dish.  Place wax paper on top and press down to make a flat, even layer. 
  5. Refrigerate the bars for 1 hour to set.
  6. Invert baking pan onto a cutting board and cut into rectangle shapes. 
  7. For best texture, keep refrigerated. 
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 Thank you for your visit!  xo
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