Friday, April 29, 2016

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

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I remember when I was a kid my mom made some fruit syrup. It was not something she did often, but I remember just loving it. So now that I'm the mom, I love to make strawberry syrup, raspberry syrup and I've even made blueberry syrup. I know there are ways to make it fresh, but I prefer to can a few batches each year. That way there's not a lot of prep work the morning you want to eat it. I don't know about you but mornings are always a bit crazy around here.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup
It's been a while since I've shared a canning post. Mostly because I generally can the same things each year and I've already shared it all. You can see them in the canning tab of my header.

If you're new to canning I'd recommend getting the Ball Blue Book of Preserving Cookbook. It's  inexpensive, has the latest canning info plus tons of recipes. That's where I got this recipe from. {It's at the bottom of the post for your reference} You can also find Ball recipes online.

Let's get started:

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

Begin by washing, stemming and cutting up 2 1/2 quarts of strawberries {about 3 pounds}. Place them in a pot with 1 1/2 c. water. Add a strip of lemon peel and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

Strain the strawberries through a jelly roll bag, or several layers of cheesecloth.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup
I usually let it sit for a bit while I start the next step.  Combine 1 1/2 c. water and 2 1/2 c. sugar. Bring it to a boil until it reaches 230 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

Then add corn syrup and strawberry juice and boil another 5 minutes.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

Stir in lemon juice and skim foam from top of syrup.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

Pour into jars, add lids and rings

How to Make Strawberry Syrup
 
 and process for 10 minutes {adjusting for altitude} in waterbath canner.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup

Now whenever you want strawberry syrup for your pancakes or waffles, simply open a jar and warm it up. Since it's a bit thin, I like to add 2 T. cornstarch to each pint and bring it to a boil for one minute before serving.

Print Recipe

Strawberry Syrup Recipe

adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving

2 1/2 quarts strawberries
3 cups water, divided
1 2-inch strip of lemon peel
2 1/2 c. sugar
3 1/2 c. corn syrup
2 T. lemon juice

Wash, stem and cut up strawberries. Add to a pot with 1 1/2 c. water and lemon peel. Boil 5 minutes. Strain through a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth.

Combine sugar and 1 1/2 c. water in a pot. Boil until temperature reaches 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in corn syrup and strawberry juice. Boil an additional 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and remove skim from top of syrup. Pour in pint jars. Add lids and rings. Process 10 minutes in waterbath canner. {Adjust time according to your altitude.}

If a thicker syrup is desired, add 2 T. cornstarch for each pint jar, bring to a boil for one minute, then serve. {Do not add the cornstarch before canning}


How to Make Strawberry Syrup
This syrup is fruity and super yummy. I love it on top of freshly made waffles.



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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pearl Multi-strand Jewelry Set - Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet

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I've said this before, but there's just something about pearls that I love. They are timeless and classy. Today's projects are a multi-strand pearl necklace, earrings and bracelet. One of the things I wanted to do with this set was to use different sizes of pearls to create some interest in the strands.
How to Make a Pearl Multi-strands Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings

 Let's start with the necklace. This is my favorite piece of the three.

How to Make a Pearl Multi-strand Necklace

You will need:
rice pearls
round pearls
beading wire
crimp tubes
jump rings
toggle clasp

How to Make a Pearl Multi-strands Necklace
Instructions for Necklace:
1 - Cut three pieces of beading wire, 30" 25" and 22".  The finished lengths are 28", 23", and 20"
2 - Fold over a small section of wire and secure with a crimp tube.
3 - String on your pearls in the pattern desired. For the smallest strand I did all rice pearls. The middle strand I did a pattern of four rice pearls, one round pearl. The longest strand I did six rice pearls and then a round pearl, alternating the sizes of the round pearl.
4 - Add a crimp tube, fold over wire and insert back through the crimp tube and several beads. Crimp in place.
5 - Connect each strand with a jump ring and toggle on each end.

How to Make a Pearl Multi-strand Bracelet


You will need:
rice pearls
round pearls
beading wire
crimp tubes
jump rings
toggle clasp

How to Make a Pearl Multi-strands Bracelet
Instructions for Bracelet:
1 - Cut 3 strands of beading wire 8-9" long.  {Use a few inches longer than finished bracelet needs to be}
2 - Fold over a small section of wire and secure with a crimp tube.
3 - String on pearls in desired pattern.
4 - Add a crimp tube, fold over wire and insert back through the crimp tube and several beads. Crimp in place.
5 - Connect each strand with a jump ring and toggle on each end.

 

How to Make Pearl Multi-strand Earrings


You will need:
rice pearls
round pearls
beading wire
crimp tubes
jump rings
earwires

How to Make a Pearl Multi-strands Earrings
Instructions for earrings:
1 - Cut 2 strands of beading wire 5 1/2" and 6 1/2" long.
2 - Fold over a small section of wire and secure with a crimp tube.
3 - String on pearls in desired pattern.
4 - Add a crimp tube, fold over wire and insert back through the crimp tube and several beads. Crimp in place.
5 - Connect both ends of each strand with a jump ring and earwire.
6 - Repeat for other earring.

 All three pieces use the same technique and are easy to make. I hope you enjoy making yourself a timeless piece of jewelry.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownie Cupcakes

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 So a few weeks ago, it was my birthday. I don't really like cake. Sure, I love Molten Lava Cake, Angel Food Cake, and Caramel Nut Coffee Cake, but I'm not a big fan of a regular old cake with frosting. Usually I eat the top third of the cake that has the frosting and leave the rest. Just like the kids :)  Another thing I hate about cake is the mess that ALWAYS comes with it. It seems I'm sweeping up cake crumbs for days after I let my kids have cake.  So for my birthday treat I definitely didn't want cake.

This year I made Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownie Cupcakes. These are a favorite of mine and I know you'll love them too. Adding a few special ingredients to a brownie mix and baking them into cupcakes instead of a brownie pan made them the perfect birthday treat. These brownie cupcakes are perfectly chewy, with bites of crunchy walnuts,  and topped with a velvety cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownie Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cupcakes Recipe

Brownie:
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1 c. mini chocolate chips, plus extra for garnish
1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients to make the brownies

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
1 t. milk
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Mix the nuts and chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of the brownie mix. Set aside. {Coating the nuts and chips with the mix helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the brownie when baking}
Make the brownies according to the directions on the box. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into muffin tins. {I always use sprayed cupcake liners} Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Make the frosting by whipping together the cream cheese and butter. Add milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.

Top brownies with cream cheese frosting and garnish with extra chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownie Cupcakes
I used up all my mini chocolate chips in the batter, so I had to garnish with regular ones.

Give these brownie cupcakes a try. Your taste buds will be happy. There's just something about the contrast of textures and flavors that make my mouth happy...the crunchy walnuts, the chewy brownie and the creamy frosting = perfection!


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