All posts filed under: Cooking Methods

Homemade Strawberry Jam Sans Pectin

The weekend before last, I went strawberry picking on the most wonderful weather day in Virginia.  I wondered what I could do with a relatively large strawberry haul–there’re are only so many strawberries a girl can eat in one go. Sporterhall (enjoy her delightful blog here) suggested that I make strawberry jam and/or homemade pop tarts–both wonderful ideas! I’m happy to report that I have at least taken the first half under advisement :-). After I consumed a ridiculous amount of strawberries, I had about 1.5 lbs of those delectable berries left, leaving just enough strawberries to make roughly 2 3/4 Ball jars of strawberry jam. The recipe is easy–I had a harder time canning. I decided to make jam without added pectin, as strawberries already naturally contain a certain amount.  Commercial pectin tends to contain artificial ingredients that I would rather not consume (though you can find natural pectin in some stores).  Ergo, this is recipe does not use added pectin. Jam Ingredients: 1 – 2 lbs of strawberries 1/4 cup lemon juice 4 cups …

How to Caramelize Nuts in the Microwave

Ever wonder if you could caramelize nuts in the microwave? Well, I didn’t. But since my water heater flooded and ruined the kitchen floors (where my electric stove happens to be plugged in), I haven’t been able to use my stove for the past week. Apparently, water and electricity don’t mix (shocker!). I cook quite a bit and was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to use my stove, so I figured–easy fix–I’ll just make salad! Hahahaha. Of course, most of the salads I make are quite “fancy.” Like this spinach, pear, goat cheese with caramelized pecans salad I like to make (recipe here). But I forgot that in order to caramelize the pecans, I would need my stove. Dang it! Refusing to be defeated (and taking the hard road because of course I couldn’t just leave the nuts out…duh!), I thought to myself “I wonder if I can do this with a microwave.” It turns out you can. The microwave and I had a little bit of a stare down contest before I got up …