Category Archives: Recipes

Peach Syrup for Sweet Tea

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Peaches and summer just go together. When I canned peach slices, I kept the syrup for making this tea, but you can make your own without canning.

To make 2 pints of peach syrup you will need: 4 cups water, 2.5 cups sugar, and 5 very ripe diced peaches.

Put all ingredients in heavy pot and simmer for 20 minutes, squishing the peaches to remove juice.

At this point you could cool and strain it, but I let mine cool, then set overnight in the fridge.

I simmered it again (can you tell I wanted a really peachy syrup?), strained it, then put it in the fridge.

Don’t toss the strained peach bits, you can stir them into plain yogurt or add them to a smoothie.

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To make a really good peach tea, add this syrup to unsweeted tea. I like a 1:4 ratio of syrup to tea.

I suppose I could get really fancy and freeze it as cubes.

Any other ideas? Do you like the idea of peach tea or are you a purist? Or are you maybe completely confused because “tea” is only a hot beverage to you?

How To Can Sliced Peaches

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When I knew I would be getting 75 pounds of peaches, I had a list of ideas for what to do with them.

1. Eat fresh. I love eating fresh fruit in season.

2. Make PEACH JAM!!

3. Can peach pie filling.

4. Can peach slices.

5. Make peach butter.

6. Can peach blueberry jam.

7. Try making peach syrup for peach sweet tea??

peach slices

Let’s talk about canning peaches, shall we?

Start with peeled peach slices.

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Simmer them in a medium syrup until hot. I used the recommended 3 cups sugar to 5 cups water from the Ball book.

I used the hot pack method because I felt that the brief heating/cooking time would allow me to fit more in the jars and lessen the amount that would float to the top.

Pack them into pint jars, and fill with syrup, leaving about 1/2″ head space.

how to can peach slices

Process in boiling water canner for 20 minutes.

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These will be nice to have later, once the boxes of peaches on my kitchen table are a distant memory.

How do you like your peach slices? Chilled? Over cottage cheese? Fruit salad?

Don’t throw away the syrup either, as you can use it to make peach sweet tea. I also made some peach syrup specifically for tea using the leftover syrup from canning. Recipe soon!

Oven-Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce

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Swimming in tomatoes? Here’s a great way to use up a glut of tomatoes and have a flavorful addition to many meals.

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Start with a bowl full of fresh tomatoes.

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Wash, slice them in half, and place them on a cookie sheet, skin side down.

Add onions, peppers, and garlic if desired. All three vegetables are versatile and can be used in a tomato base for either Italian or Mexican dishes.

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Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

If you want to remove the skins, now it is easy to remove the larger pieces, but I don’t bother.

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Process in food processor until smooth. If you like a chunky sauce, process in short bursts.

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I put mine in quart freezer bags and froze it.

What an easy addition to Crock-Pot chili or spaghetti sauce!

75 Pounds of Peaches

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I’m finally staring at the bottom of my last box of peaches.

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So far I have made peach jam, blueberry peach jam, and peach pie filling. On the to-do list for today is plain canned peaches, more delicious peach jam, and freezing those peaches in need of emergency attention. If I still have some left, I hope to make some syrup for sweetening iced tea, and maybe a batch of spiced peach butter. I’ve already posted recipes for the peach jam and the blueberry peach jam, but I plan on posting a recipe for the peach pie filling soon; it’s really tasty! Also, I’ll let you know how the peach syrup turns out. If it turns out as good as it sounds in my head, it should be a really really good summer beverage.

What would you do with 75 pounds of peaches? Did I miss one of your favorite recipes? Let me know!

Oh, and I have my first ever video in the works! Stay tuned!

Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs with Fresh Herbs

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Why should I buy breadcrumbs?

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I just save my bread ends in a bag in the freezer. It’s really easy to convert what some throw away into a yummy ingredient.

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Simply process them in a food processor with fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil, and thyme. Now they are ready for use in meatloaf or other dishes.

If your recipe calls for dry breadcrumbs, you can toast them in the oven at 300°F for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

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I recently used them in Chicken Parmesan. It was so yummy, especially with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

What happens to bread ends at your home?

Chocolate Cake with Zinnias

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chocolate cake with edible flowers

Mmmm, chocolate and flowers, what a great combination!

Even though I like to decorate cakes, I still think it’s hard to beat fresh flowers as a cake decoration.

chocolate cake with pink zinnias

I was bringing  a dessert to my sister’s house, and decided to bake a cake. Typically I like to do some type of piping or ruffles or something on cakes that I bring.

However, I didn’t really have the time to do that, so decided to go with a rough finish and to add some edible flowers just before I left.

I just love the contrast of the bright flowers against the chocolate frosting, don’t you?

easy chocolate cake decorating idea

The edible flowers used as garnish on the cake include: zinnia, Sweet William, orange daylily, and a few yellow mustard blooms as accent. The leaves are from a sweet potato plant. Did you know that they are a yummy edible green for summer?

Oh, and the spiky grass-looking greenery? Yep, just grass. 🙂

Do you use edible flowers as a garnish in your home? For a picture of a pretty flower-garnished salad, click here.

So next time you have to bring a cake, take it easy and decorate it with flowers! Edible, of course. Stay away from alstroemeria.

Like this idea? Pin it for later!

Dear Crock-Pot: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

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My Crock-Pot is probably the closest that I will ever get to a personal chef. I love to throw some ingredients in it, set it, then come back to a completely finished meal. Yesterday my Crock-Pot is saved me hours of babysitting a stock pot.

Homemade Stock in a Crock-Pot

Homemade Stock in a Crock-Pot

In this batch is some rotisserie chicken bones, carrrot peelings, and fresh herbs from the garden. At the top are thyme clippings, then garlic chives, then parsley at the bottom. You may also recognize green onions on the left. You can read more about how to make stock in a previous post.

I love to have homemade stock in the freezer. It makes a rich base for soups, and I have cubes of it in my freezer to add flavor to sauteed veggies.

Do you love your Crock-Pot? What has it done for you lately?

One Dish Chicken and Yellow Rice Recipe

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We all need a dinner idea that just requires 5 minutes of hands on time. This recipe only has two ingredients. Ok, three ingredients, if you include the water.

This chicken and yellow rice recipe is one of my husband’s favorite meals and is a snap to throw together.

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Ingredients: chicken thighs, Mahatama yellow rice mix, and water

I usually use 6 chicken thighs and a 5 serving bag of rice mix, but you can use smaller amounts as desired.

Don’t use generic yellow rice; you will regret not spending the 14 cents for the superior product. With some ingredients, brand doesn’t matter; it matters in this recipe.

Pour the rice mix into a 9×13 pan, then pour in the amount of water required on the package.

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Lay the chicken thighs evenly on the rice and water.

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Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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Pretty simple: pour rice, pour water, place chicken, and bake.

It’s delicious, but doesn’t require much prep or time over a stove.

I like to serve this with a green vegetable, like some collards or savory sauteed mustard greens. It makes for a pretty plate and it’s an easy side dish to make too.

I love easy dinners, don’t you? Remember to pin this recipe for later. Feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook, too!

Quick Stir-Fry Recipe with Mustard Greens

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I love to throw together a stir-fry as a quick and healthy dinner. All you really need is rice, a meat, and some random odds and ends of vegetables to make it work.

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Stir-fry with Mustard Greens

Here I used chicken, onions, bell peppers frozen last fall, carrots, and fresh mustard greens.

The mustard greens added such great flavor!

While the rice is cooking, I cook the meat, then begin adding vegetables. I start with the vegetables with the longest cooking time (like carrots), then end with those that just need a quick saute (mustard greens).

I typically just make my stir-fry seasoning to taste using the following: garlic, chili powder, soy sauce, pepper, powdered ginger, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

So quick, yummy, and nutritious.

If I didn’t think ahead to make something in the Crock-Pot (like fajitas!), I like to make something like this.

What’s your go-to quick dinner?

Crock-Pot Corned Beef- Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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It’s nice to have a random holiday in the middle of the week.  We don’t go crazy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but we do like to eat corned beef and cabbage.

Cooking our corned beef in the Crock-Pot saved me time and made a very tasty dinner.

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Simply place the beef, spices, and a few chunked carrots, potatoes, and onions into the Crock-Pot. Do not add water.

Cook on High for 3 hours. Internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees.

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As for the cabbage, you could put it in the Crock-Pot about 30 minutes before the beef is done, or you can steam it in a pot with some of the Crock-Pot liquid for 7-10 minutes. I got so involved with planting some wax beans that I went the steaming route tonight. 🙂

It felt a little strange to be eating a green vegetable that I did not harvest from my garden, especially after all of the winter greens that I have been harvesting and cooking lately.

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Yummy!

I have been planting seeds and babying some seedlings and will let you know how that is going very soon. It seems as though we are transitioning into summer quite quickly here in North Florida.

I have more planting on the to-do list for tomorrow, so a quick dinner is on the menu- Reuben sandwiches made with the leftover corned beef!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

If you’re looking for another quick Crock-Pot dinner (maybe for Cinco de Mayo?), try some Busy Day Crock-Pot Fajitas.

Who says celebrations have to be a lot of work?