Posted in Dessert, Easy Meals, Food, Inspirations, Maine, Recipe, Recipes, Uncategorized

No Churn Homemade Maine Blueberry Ice Cream

When I was wracking my brain trying to come up with blueberry recipes, I remembered making ice cream in a bag back in my 10th grade biology class.  Unfotunately, that may have been the only thing that stuck with me from that class. But,  I thought that the recipe was would be  perfect to share here.  Now, the recipe itself is easy, but you may want to skip arm day at the gym before making this.  You are about to get one hell of a workout.

Ingredients:

2 Cups half and half

4 Tbs sugar

1 Tsp vanilla extract

2 cups of blueberries

You will also need:

Ice

1/2 Cup kosher salt

1 Gallon size Ziplock bag

Several plastic shopping bags.

Instructions:

Fill one of the shopping bags about half way with ice.  Keep in mind, it’s going to leak so I highly recommend double or triple bagging it.  Pour the kosher salt over the ice and let sit while making the ice cream mixture.  In a food processor, pour in the half and half, blueberries, sugar and vanilla and mix on high for a few minutes.  Pour mixture into ziplock bag and seal tightly.  Place the ziplock bag into the shopping bag with ice.  Shake for 10 minutes.  You’re arms will get tired, and time will go by slow, and you’ll worry that you did something wrong when it doesn’t harden.  Keep shaking.  I found that tying the shopping bag and rolling it on a table worked well too.  Once you feel the consistency get harder, pour mixture in a freezer safe container.  And there ya have it. Enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Baking, Dessert, Easy Meals, family, Food, Maine, Recipe, Uncategorized

Blueberry Lemon Freezer Jam

When we found the blueberry bushes in our yard, my mind immediately started racing.  I don’t really care for the texture of most fruits, blueberries included. So I needed to be a little creative in what I made out of them.  My first thought was jam.  I had already been on a toast and jam kick for a while, so it was perfect.

A few months ago, my grandfather spent some time at our house.  In the morning, I would ask him what he’d like for breakfast.  It was always the same thing, toast with jam and coffee.  Normally, at home, he’d tell me, he would only have one piece.  But, since he was at our house, he’d have two pieces of toast. I don’t know what it is about our house.  Maybe because it’s a few hours away from his, he felt like he was on vacation?  He wanted to let loose a little bit. I know when I’m on vacation I usually eat more than I do normally. Anyways,  because of that, a breakfast of two pieces of toast is now known as the Bampie Special at our house.

I have never made jam.  Initially, the process seemed daunting. Just the set up alone was intense.  I knew there had to be an easier way.  I just had to find it.  And luckily, I did.  It’s called Freezer jam. It’s delicious.  And this is how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups blueberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  •  Half a lemon
  • 1 package of fruit pectin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6, 8oz ball mason jars

In a bowl, combined blueberries, sugar and juice from the halved lemon.  Use a potato masher to smush (that’s very technical kitchen lingo) the ingredients together.  Once sufficiently smushed, let sit for 15 minutes.  While that’s doing it’s thing, pour water and pectin packet in a small sauce pot and heat to boiling while stirring constantly.  Boil and stir mixture for 1 minute.  Combined the pectin mixture with the blueberries and stir constantly for 3 minutes.

Pour into mason jars and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours or until the mixture has set.  Then, put in freezer for up to 6 months.

 

Also, I bet this mixture would be amazing in a homemade pop-tart.  Check out my homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tart recipe to get started.  Just put this blueberry lemon jam inside instead of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.  And instead of adding cinnamon to the icing, use lemon zest.  Man, I’m already super excited to try this out later this week.  If anyone makes either of these recipes, I would love to hear how they turned out!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baking, Dessert, Dinner, Easy Meals, family, Food, Health, Maine, Recipe, Uncategorized

Foraging Our Little Lot of Land

I found some blueberry bushes on our property a few weeks ago. We only have 2 acres.  But those two are filled with apple trees, blackberry bushes, a pear tree and several blueberry bushes. Most of which we didn’t know about before we bought the house.

A few weeks ago, when we found the blueberries, we had already missed out on the first round to ripen. Hundreds of blueberries littered the ground.  But that didn’t matter much. Our first haul garnered six and a half pounds of some of the biggest blueberries I have ever seen.
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I don’t even really like blueberries. I mean, they’re alright.  But finding them, picking them and cleaning them has brought something out in me that I didn’t know was there.  A foragers instinct that I’ve never explored.  Every few days I’ll go and survey the land.  I’ll take my colander just in case anything is ready to be picked.  I’ll stop by my pear tree, check on the one pear that still hangs.  At one time there were 2 pears on it, but something got one of them.  After I confirm that the pear, is in fact, still in the tree, I move on to the blueberry bushes.  I pick what I can.  Trying to contain my excitement at the bounty so as to not pick any before they’re ready.

Next, I move on the apple trees.  When we did our home inspection before we bought it last year, our inspector was pretty impressed by how old the trees appeared to be. Upon inspection of the apples, some research, and a professionals opinion we have concluded that these are Baldwin apples.  One of the oldest types of apples there is.  First introduced to Maine in the late 1700’s.  They are great for making pies, apple sauce, and cider. A couple of friends came over for dinner the other night and they tried some of the apples. The smaller one they tried was still tart, but the bigger one was sweet.  They should be great for baking.

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I told my husband the other day that I wanted to be a farmer.  He looked concerned.  I assured him that I meant as a hobby, not a profession.   We are going to work our way up to getting some chickens next spring, I think.  In the meantime, I wanted to make sure I could keep something alive, other than humans and dogs.  So I started a herb garden.  So far so good.  Much better than my succulent garden last year.

 

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As the weather changes and fall creeps in, the thought of all the baking and cooking possibilities with these provisions gets me even more excited for fall than I usually am.  I’ve already tried out a few recipes that I’m excited to share here soon.  So keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Blueberry Lemon Freezer Jam
  • Homemade No-Churn Blueberry Ice Cream
  • Tomato Basil Bisque

More will be added as soon as the apples ripen.

 

 

Posted in Lularoe, Recipe, Uncategorized

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

For me, cooking and baking are best when easy.  I don’t often measure, and if any of my chef friends saw the mess I make when I cook, boys oh boys, they may disown me.  So, this is going to be a down and dirty, go with the flow recipe.  Have fun, take it easy, and every thing will come out just fine. I promise.


 

When you do a LuLaRoe party, they’re called a “Pop Up”.  I wanted to have a little fun with it and bring something special to each event. And I really like word play, so I decided to make homemade pop-tarts.  They’re a quite a few recipes out there, but they all seemed really time-consuming and way too complicated for my taste.  So, I simplified it, and they are absolutely fantastic, and best of all, super easy!

Start with pre-made pie crusts.  If you really want to go above and beyond, by all means, make your own, you overachiever you.  Most pie crusts you buy at the store come in a package of 2, which will make about 15 pop tarts.

Roll out the pie crusts.  When rolling it out, it’s going to be tricky to get it into an exact rectangle, but try as best you can.  The thickness should be about 1/8 of an inch thick.    Take a pizza cutter and cut the dough into rectangles or squares.  Mine were all different sizes but you should be able to get 7 or 8, 2×3 rectangles out of each sheet of pie crust.

Place half of the pieces of pie crust on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Make an egg wash by mixing 1 egg with about a teaspoon or 2 of milk and brush that over the top of the pie crust pieces on the baking sheet.

To make the brown sugar cinnamon filling, mix 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon and a tablespoon of flour.  Mix it with a fork to get some of the clumps out.  Put a big spoonful in the center of each of each piece of pie crust.  try not to get it too close to the edge.

Then brush egg wash on the other pieces and lay them on top of the filling egg wash side down.  After all pieces have tops, lightly seal the edges with your fingers.  Take a fork and  crimp the edges. Then take a tooth pick and some holes in the top.  Put the baking sheet in the fridge and pre-heat the oven 350 degrees.  Once the oven is preheated, bake for 20 minutes

To make the icing, you’ll mix about a cup of confectioners sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon,  and just a few drops of vanilla.  Mix that together with a couple of tablespoons of milk.  The consistency needs to be pretty thick so it stays on the pop-tart.  If you need more milk, just add some slowly so it doesn’t get too thin.

Let the pop-tarts cool for a while and then frost.  All Done!!!