Blueberry freezer jam

I love blueberries. And living in the Pacific Northwest we have tons of locally grown delicious blueberries readily available. Several months ago Daniel worked some magic in the kitchen and came up with this tasty freezer jam recipe:

Blueberry freezer jam

  • 1 lb blueberries (~2.5c), these can be fresh or frozen
  • 2T red wine
  • 2T honey
  • 1T lemon juice

Combine all ingredients into a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly. Use a potato masher (or a fork) to squish the blueberries as they warm (warning: this can get a bit squirty!). Continue to simmer and stir until you have the right consistency1. Remove from the heat and let cool, then put into jars and put the jars into the freezer. Pull them out into the fridge as you need them.

1 What’s the right consistency you ask? That’s a bit of a challenge as the jam will solidify further as it cools. When we think it’s done, we take a small spoon full and place in a small glass bowl in the fridge to cool it down and check on its consistency. You’re mostly looking for something you can spread on bread, mix into yogurt, etc.

Banana Nut Bread

Jen asked for this recipe after I brought a loaf (sans nuts) to the office. This recipe is originally from my friend Jan who got it from who-knows-where. Regardless, it’s delicious.

  • 3/4 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c buttermilk (I’ve used regular milk and even almond milk)
  • 1/2 c pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. Add baking soda and salt.
  4. Slowly add flour and milk in batches, alternating between the two.
  5. Add pecans.
  6. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Divide dough evenly between them.
  7. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

The original recipe calls for mixing all the dry ingredients together and then slowing adding that with the milk to the banana mixture, but why dirty another bowl?

Chocolate Honey PB Granola Bars

I made this back in May and took me forever to find the recipe today (luckily I emailed it to Renee after I made it and remembered enough to search for it in my email!).

  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 3 c oats
  • 2/3 c flour
  • 1/2 bag mini chocolate chips

Mix ingredients in the order in which they are listed in a mixer. Spread in 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then cut into bars.

Chili con Carne

When I mentioned to Mom that I was making this dish tonight, she asked for the recipe. Instead of typing it up for just her, you get to share in the goodness.

Chili con Carne

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 14oz canned tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp sweet chile sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 15oz canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

Note: This recipe takes 3 hours to cook so wait until a cool day when heating up the house isn’t going to be an issue. I make a double batch and share the goodness around!

  1. Heat oil in oven-safe pan on stove-top. Cook beef until well seared. Remove the beef from the pan.
  2. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomato juice and tomatoes and bring to boil. Return beef and add chili sauce, ground cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in preheated 325 degree oven for 1.5 hours or until beef is almost tender.
  3. Stir in the beans, oregano, and parsley and adjust seasoning. Cover and return to oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve with rice.

From Cook’s Library Low Fat cookbook, p64 (which was given to me by Renee, Robert, Wally, and Darrel as a housewarming gift waaay back in 2003!).

Candy Cane Cookies

I’m cooking these this Thursday and thought I’d type it up here. Mom found this recipe in a Southern Living cookbook, attributed to Mrs. HS Wright from Charlotte, NC. I’ve made it off and on at Christmas for years, with some modifications.

Candy Cane Cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermints (not in original recipe)
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • 1/3 cup crushed peppermints
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Original directions:

  1. Cream shortening and butter in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add next 6 ingredients and mix well.
  3. Divide dough in 1/2, add food coloring to one portion.
  4. Make candy canes and place on greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes or edges begin to brown.
  6. Combine 1/3 cup crushed peppermints and sugar and sprinkle on warm cookies.
  7. Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes or edges begin to brown.

Casey’s version:

  1. Cream shortening and butter in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add next 6 ingredients and mix well.
  3. Divide dough in 1/2, add food coloring and 1/4 cup crushed peppermints to one portion.
  4. Mix 1/3 cup crushed peppermints and sugar in a bowl.
  5. Take a bit of each colored dough and form marbleized balls.
  6. Roll dough balls in crushed peppermint and sugar and place on greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes or edges begin to brown.

Yields about 4 dozen cookies. As you can tell, my version has a bit more peppermint and a lot less work. The candy cane forms tend to cook unevenly and burn on the edges, not to mention they tend to break and are time consuming to make.

Pea-Pickin’ Cake

The story goes that my great-grandmother, Grandma Timian, use to make this on hot summer days when folks were out in the fields. I’ve no clue if that’s true or not, but the cake is refreshing and delicious on hot days!

Pea-Pickin’ Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 11 oz can mandarine oranges & juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Bake in 3 layers at about 330 degrees for 20 minutes — do not overcook.
  3. Cool completely before icing.


  • large box instance vanilla pudding
  • 16 oz can crushed pineapple & juice
  • large carton cool whip
  1. In mixer, combine pudding mix, pineapple.
  2. Add cool whip and mix well.
  3. Use icing to layer between the 3 cake layers, on top, and the sides. Be forewarned — it’s going to get messy! Cake must be refrigerated.

Chocolate Kissed Macaroons

Someone recently asked for this recipe so I thought I’d type it up for everyone and share the wealth. Enjoy!

Chocolate Kissed Macaroons

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 8oz milk chocolate Hershey’s Kisses


  1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add egg yolk, almond extract, and orange juice; beat well. Add baking powder, salt, and flour beating until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut.
  2. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in remaining coconut. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned. While cookies are baking, remove wrappers from enough Hershey’s Kisses (1 per cookie — try not to eat too many of the remainders!). Remove cookies from oven; immediately press Kiss on top of each cookie. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes ~26 cookies.