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Blog Description:

A blog about homesteading and getting back to a simpler lifestyle. Posts include subjects such as cooking from scratch, backyard gardening, canning, cooking, crafts, sewing and household DIY.
Blog Added: January 17, 2015 12:23:21 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: Weebly Weebly
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
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Total Visits: 1,300
Blog Rating: 2.90
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How to Save Tomato Seeds

Gathering your own seeds is a great way to save money, and to have fresh, viable seeds to plant every year in your garden.  Collecting tomato seeds is really easy to do, and it is a great way to make use of those tomatoes that are split or damaged that you would not want to eat.  Here's how to do it.​ ​I want to apologize for not posting for so long, normally I would never let weeks go by between posts, but I do have a good...

Gathering your own seeds is a great way to save money, and to have fresh, viable seeds to plant every year in your garden.  Collecting tomato seeds is really easy to do, and it is a great way to make use of those tomatoes that are split or damaged that you would not want to eat.  Here's how to do it.

​I want to apologize for not posting for so long, normally I would never let weeks go by between posts, but I do have a good reason.....I was in the hospital for a few days.  If you have ever been in the hospital, you know how fun it is.  NOT!  It has taken a while, but I am now on the road to recovery, and back to the blog!  I have some great ideas for posts for the rest of the summer, so stay tuned!  Now, on to how to save tomato seeds!
The technique is easy, just make sure you follow the instructions.

1. Start out with a very ripe tomato, in other words, let it grow for a bit longer than you normally would before picking it.

2. Cut the tomato in half and take a teaspoon and scoop out the insides, goop and all. Do not try to separate out the seeds.

3. Dump the insides of the tomato in a glass jar and add about an inch of water.

4. Set the jar on your counter and shake the mixture a few times a day.

5. When the seeds all sink to the bottom (should take less than a week) scoop the goop, that will still be floating, off the top and rinse the remaining seeds thoroughly.

6. Place the seeds on a paper towel, and let them dry. This should take about two weeks.

7. When fully dry, place in a paper envelope and the type of seed and the date.


Harvesting tomato seeds from your homegrown tomatoes is an easy way to know for sure that you have healthy, non GMO seeds to plant in your garden in the spring.   It will also save you a few bucks as well as contribute to the goal of self sustainability. 

Have a great week!

​Jade    :)
Finding yourself with an abundance of tomatoes?  Try this recipe from a post I made in 2014, it is a delicious and easy one pot meal!

One Pot Tomato, Cheese and Basil Pasta Dinner



10 Ways to Soothe a Sunburn

​With the 4th of July right around the corner, this is a subject that many people will find useful!​  Outside barbecues, pool parties, picnics and outdoor sports all will cause people to be out in the sun longer than they normally are.  Many people will use common sense and make sure to generously apply sunscreen, but even then it can be washed off by sweat, or watered down by swimming, leaving part or all of your skin open to the burning rays of the sun. ...


​With the 4th of July right around the corner, this is a subject that many people will find useful!​  Outside barbecues, pool parties, picnics and outdoor sports all will cause people to be out in the sun longer than they normally are.  Many people will use common sense and make sure to generously apply sunscreen, but even then it can be washed off by sweat, or watered down by swimming, leaving part or all of your skin open to the burning rays of the sun.  Some, of course, will not wear sunscreen at all, so they are doubly susceptible to getting sunburn.  Ouch!  


Everyone hates getting a sunburn.  They hurt, they make you feel hot and dried out.  It makes you want to stop wearing clothes.  All you want is relief, but how?  Instead of running out and spending a lot of money on sunburn creams and sprays, why not use what you have at home that achieve the same results?  There are many simple things that you can do to ease the discomfort of a sunburn with things you have in your home right now.

Here are 10 simple ways to soothe a sunburn with common household items:
  1. Cool Bath with 1/2 cup baking soda - the water should be just below room temperature, no colder.  Sudden submersion in icy water could shock your system and cause other problems.
  2. Take an over the counter pain reliever - this will help ease the pain and ache.
  3. Moisturizing Cream - Slather your sunburn with moisturizing cream 2 or 3 times a day, especially before getting dressed or going to bed
  4. Aloe Vera - the gel squeezed out of the plant directly does the most good.  It cools the burn and helps the skin heal.  If you don't have a aloe vera plant, then you can cut the gel tablets and squeeze out the liquid.  (must be real aloe vera, not synthetic)
  5. Yogurt - Spread it over the burned area and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse off in a cool shower.
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar - is healing to sunburned skin.  You can put it on directly, with cotton balls, but if it stings, you can put a cup or two in a cool bath and soak for 15 minutes.
  7. Witch Hazel - swab burned areas with cotton balls soaked in witch hazel and leave it on.
  8. Green Tea - put 6 tea bags in a hot bath and let the water cool to room temperature and then climb in and soak for 10 to 15 minutes.  The tannic acid within will ease the pain and swelling.
  9. Potato Juice - Cut a potato in half and rub the cut portion over the sunburn.  Leave on for 30 minutes to an hour and then wash off with cool water.
  10. Drink water - sunburned skin is usually dehydrated, along with the rest of your body, so along with any of these remedies, you should drink lots of cool water.
​If your sunburn is bad enough to blister, then you need to be very careful.  Do not break the blister, and if they break on their own, the area should be disinfected immediately to prevent infection.  The signs of infection are:

  • Fever
  • Swelling, or redness around the broken blister
  • Increased pain in the area of the blister
  • Red streaks running from the blister area, outward
  • Drainage of liquid that is not clear
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If you have any of these symptom, it is imperative that you see a doctor as soon as possible.  Infections of this nature should not be taken lightly, they can spread very quickly and be a serious health threat.


​Sunburn is never fun, but with a little effort, it can be a lot less uncomfortable.  


Have a great week!

Jade    :)

​This is my favorite moisturizing cream, it was recommended to me by my doctor.  It works!

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I have an aloe vera plant that I use for sunburns, but if you don't have one, I recommend using this gel.  It is the closest thing to natural gel straight from the plant!





Cauliflower, Cheddar and Bacon Salad

A Delicious Chilled Salad for Summer Meals If you garden like I do, you have an abundance of fresh vegetables in the summer months.  I have so many that I keep a separate folder of recipes just for vegetable recipes that are great cold summer meals.  This cauliflower salad recipe is one of my favorites.  You can make it as a side, or as the main dish.  It's easy to make and extremely inexpensive if you have a vegetable garden!​ This...

A Delicious Chilled Salad for Summer Meals

If you garden like I do, you have an abundance of fresh vegetables in the summer months.  I have so many that I keep a separate folder of recipes just for vegetable recipes that are great cold summer meals.  This cauliflower salad recipe is one of my favorites.  You can make it as a side, or as the main dish.  It's easy to make and extremely inexpensive if you have a vegetable garden!

This salad can be made with any vegetables that you like, as long as you make sure to add cauliflower (can substitute broccoli) cheddar cheese and bacon.

Ingredients:

2 cups small raw cauliflower florets  
1 cup coarsely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 pound of bacon, cooked crisp 

1/2 a green pepper chopped small 
1/2 a red pepper chopped small
1/2 onion chopped small 
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks of celery chopped small
3 radishes, diced

This recipe is for a side dish, if you are making it the main dish, double it.

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil  (or oil of your choice)
1 envelope of Good Seasons Salad Dressing Mix (or find the recipe to make it HERE)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon of seasoned salt
2 tablespoons warm water

You can adjust the amounts to your taste

Direction:

Mix all dressing ingredients, and put in refrigerator.
Chop all veggies, crumble bacon and grate cheese
Put veggies, bacon and cheese in a large bowl (with tight fitting lid) and pour half the dressing on them and put the lid on and shake
Open and check the amount of dressing, putting on more a bit at a time and shaking till you reach the amount of dressing you like

If making this for your main dish, you can add more meat to "beef it up" if you like.  I like to bake a couple skinless, boneless chicken breasts  and refrigerate them.  When they are cold, chop them up and toss them in with the veggies and bacon.  Any meat would work, ham, pork medallions, even steak.  I have never tried seafood, but I bet that shimp would be delicious in this salad.  

I serve this with fresh bread and butter, but it would also be good with crackers, or soft flour tortillas.

Have a great weekend and enjoy! 

​Jade    :)
​​

Salads are great for summer meals and so are crockpot dishes.  These are are two of my favorite cookbooks for each.  I especially like the Salad Cookbook, it has some very unique salad ideas !



Our First Time Processing Meat Chickens

​Hard to believe it's been 9 weeks since we bought our meat chicks.  In that time they went from chicks to teenagers to adults ready to harvest.  It really was unbelievable how quickly they grew up, so much faster than the laying hen chicks we bought at the same time.  I would say the rate at which the meat birds grew was almost double to the rate of the laying hens, on the same food.  They also ate a lot more!  I noticed the meat birds didn't really do...


​Hard to believe it's been 9 weeks since we bought our meat chicks.  In that time they went from chicks to teenagers to adults ready to harvest.  It really was unbelievable how quickly they grew up, so much faster than the laying hen chicks we bought at the same time.  I would say the rate at which the meat birds grew was almost double to the rate of the laying hens, on the same food.  They also ate a lot more!  I noticed the meat birds didn't really do much of anything other than eat and roost.


​We found a place that processes chickens about an hours drive from our house and made an appointment to take them in.  I am proud that I never let myself get attached to them, it would have made having them butchered so much harder.  When you raise your own meat, you have to separate yourself from food animals while still giving them the best care.  Making pets of them is the worst thing you can do, it will only lead to heartache when it is time to put them in the freezer.


​When the day came, my husband packed them into the back of the truck in a big wire cage and off they went.
​When he got there he transferred them into the crates the people provided.  The processing lady giggled at my husband while he was chasing them around the cage trying to catch them.  He does not have much experience at this.  She gave him a poultry catcher to get a hold of them easier and after that it went much quicker.  
After packing them off, he went out for breakfast and then went to buy ice for the coolers.  When he returned, they were already done.  The chickens were all cut and packaged with labels, just like you see in the store.  It was pretty impressive since this was a very small establishment with only one large barn to house the whole operation.

We got the chickens cut into pieces.  It was only $.50 more per chicken, and it was so worth it!  The whole bill was only $33, for 12 birds!


When he got home, I was all prepared.  Table covered with a plastic cloth, Food Saver out and plugged in and bowls to divide the individual pieces.  We wanted to freeze them in meal sized portions of the pieces we each like. When we opened the first bag and took out the pieces, we both about fell out of our chairs!  The pieces were HUGE!  Check out the size of this breast!
All the pieces were really big, even the legs.  The birds were between 5 and 6 and a half pounds, not overly large, but the pieces certainly seemed bigger than what you buy in the store.  After splitting up the pieces we began dividing them into meals for two.  We had to do it in halves as the bowls were not big enough to hold all 12 at once.
Once they were divided up, it was time to get bagging.  When putting up a large amount of meat or poultry, you really do need a vacuum seal system.  We bought a Food Saver about a year ago, and truthfully we have not used it much.  We just can't afford to buy large quantities of meat at a time, and that is (in my opinion) one of the only times it is worth it to use the Food Saver.  The bags for it are not cheap, however I did notice that Amazon has off brand rolls at a lesser price.  I am going to order some and see if they are as good.
For those of you that don't know what a Food Saver is, it is a vacuum machine that will suck the air out of a bag and seal it, mostly for use in freezing, but you can also use it for marinades and for keeping food fresh in the refrigerator.  This is my Food Saver, I got the more deluxe model that has a vacuum sealer for jars too.
The bags come in precut sizes or rolls of bags that you can make any size you want.  All you do is pull the bag off the roll as much as your want and then cut it on the included bag cutter, stick the end it and seal it, put the chicken in and slide the top in.  The machine grabs it and it sucks the air out and then seals the top.  Them machine shuts off and you just remove the bag, write on the bag what it is and the date, and you are ready to put it in the freezer.
How it looks like when bagged
How it looks like after sealing

We ended up with 26 bags of meal portioned chicken.    More than enough to last us till the end of winter.  It's nice to know we won't be having to buy any chicken for a while.

Now I am not going to say this is a cheaper way of getting chicken to eat.  Considering the cost of starter feed, (50 pounds a week!) the litter for their brooder and then their coop, the labor of daily feeding and cleaning and the extra electricity for the heat lamps.....well, they are not exactly cheap to raise.    But the taste and quality is superior and we know that they were not fed any hormones or antibiotics.  We also know they were treated humanely and with respect while they were alive.  This means a lot to us.  But this was our first time and we learned a lot.  We will do some things differently the next time around.  Live and learn!
Living in the country and getting back to the basics is an ongoing experience.  After living here for two years, you could say that the bloom is off the rose.  There are things about it that are not pleasant, and some things that are downright awful.    I am working on a post that covers this very topic, and you will be seeing it soon.  When I started this journey, I promised you that I would be honest and that is exactly what I plan to be.  Warts and all!

Have a great weekend!

Jade    :)

If you put food away in your freezer, meat, vegetables, or whole meals, you really need to have a Food Saver.  Food lasts so much longer in the freezer when vacuum sealed.  To see how much longer different kinds of food last, check out the table on this page.

I highly recommend the Food Saver System



Recipes for a Mexican Fiesta Cookout

​Well, this is Memorial weekend.  Most people have Monday off work, so it is the perfect time for a cookout.  But cookouts are so common, what can you do to make yours different and special?  Make it a Mexican fiesta!  Everyone loves Mexican food, but instead of doing the same old tired taco/burrito menu, make traditional cookout food but with a Mexican flair!  Here's some great recipes to make your fiesta cookout the most memorable ever!First and most important, are...

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​Well, this is Memorial weekend.  Most people have Monday off work, so it is the perfect time for a cookout.  But cookouts are so common, what can you do to make yours different and special?  Make it a Mexican fiesta!  Everyone loves Mexican food, but instead of doing the same old tired taco/burrito menu, make traditional cookout food but with a Mexican flair!  Here's some great recipes to make your fiesta cookout the most memorable ever!

First and most important, are the burgers.  You have to have burgers at a cookout!  These burgers are definitely fiest-ive!  If you would like more heat in these patties, mince a jalapeno and add it in with the onion!

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​Mexican Bacon Burgers

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies, drained (save liquid)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup salsa, pureed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (learn to make it HERE)
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed corn chips (not tortilla chips)
  • 1 pound of thick cut bacon
This is the list of toppings I recommend, though you can serve whatever toppings you like.
Toppings:
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped ripe olives
  • Shredded mexican cheese or pepper jack cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pickled pepper rings (hot or mild)
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
Directions:

Beef Patties:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine green chilies, beaten eggs, salsa, chopped onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper, taco seasoning and Worcestershire sauce (learn to make it here:  How to Make Wocestershire Sauce From Scratch)
  2. When well combined, add ground beef and crushed corn chips and mix well
  3. Shape into patties and grill in the normal manner

Bacon:
  1. Place strips of bacon on the grill 
  2. When they start to brown, brush with the juice from the green chilies
  3. Continue to brush until cooked to your desired crispness
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After the burgers are cooked, you can either serve them on hamburger buns, or you can toss tortillas on the grill and serve them warm so the burgers can be wrapped.  With all the delicious toppings to choose from, there is something for everyone. 

What sides should be served at your Mexican Fiesta Cookout?  There are so many,  I cannot even list them all.  Tortilla chips and salsa are a given.  Another perfect accompaniment is cold corn salad.  I love any kind of corn salad, but this one has a spicy flavor with the perfect amount of heat.  It's delicious, and perfect for a fiesta cookout!

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​Mexican Corn Salad

  • 2 16 ounce of cans of corn or thawed frozen corn
  • 1cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1cup diced red onion
  • 1cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 large minced and seeded jalapeno
  • 1 cup finely shredded or crumbled cheese (optional)
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon cumin (fresh or dried)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon taco seasoning (more or less to taste)
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Additional ingredients that were in the original recipe, but I don't like   :)
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup black olives

Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well
  2. Cover and chill overnight
  3. Stir well and sprinkle cheese and fresh parsley on top before serving.
Corn salad, like any other cold salad, is pretty flexible on what you put in it.  As long as you add the olive oil, lime juice, herbs, taco seasoning and corn, the other things you put in it basically rests on what you like.  My husband and I are not a fan of raw tomatoes, so we omit them.  If you like them, toss them in!

Another great side for a Fiesta Cookout is Mexican pasta salad.  Like the Corn Salad, it should be made the day before and chilled overnight.

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​Mexican Pasta Salad

​Ingredients:
  • 1 box of colored curly pasta noodles
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can olives, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
  1. Mix the dressing and put in the refrigerator to chill
  2. Cook the pasta in the normal manner, drain and set aside to cool
  3. In a large bowl mix the cooled pasta (do NOT try to mix this with hot pasta!), Rotel, beans, olives, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion and 1/2 of the cilantro
  4. Pour the chilled dressing over the pasta mixture and stir gently till combined
  5. Refrigerate overnight
  6. Top with the feta cheese and the other half of the cilantro and serve 

​I almost always serve fruit for dessert at my cookouts.  I was happy to find this delicious recipe for chili lime seasoning that goes on fruit salad.  It gives plain fruit salad a flavorful twist that I really love.  I sprinkle it sparingly on the fruit and put a shaker of it on the table in case anyone wants more.  It has been a hit and really gives the fruit salad some zip!
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​Mexican Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of pineapple chunks
  • cups of 1 x 1 inch watermelon chunks
  • 2 cups halved strawberries
  • 1 cup grapes (whatever color you prefer)
  • 1 cup of 1 x 1 inch mango chunks
  • 1 cup of 1 x 1 inch papaya chunks
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chili lime seasoning to taste

Instructions:
  1. Place fruit in a shallow layer in a large bowl and sprinkle lime juice and a small amount of chili lime seasoning
  2. Place another shallow layer on top and repeat till all fruit is in the bowl
  3. Stir gently to mix, cover and chill in refrigerator overnight
I have included an recipe for chili lime seasoning.  This seasoning is not just good for fruit salad, it is also great on tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, or basically any Mexican dish.  I really like it on refried beans.  If you don't feel like making this seasoning from scratch, Trader Joes's makes a tasty blend you can buy from Amazon.

Chili Lime Seasoning

​Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
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The last recipe I wanted to share with you may be the most important!  What is a fiesta without a delicious adult beverage?  And the most delicious delicious Mexican drink that I know of is Sangria!  

Now you can make Sangria in red or white and both are delicious.  I decided on white for the fiesta cookout because it is lighter and more able to be flavored by summer fruit.  Here is my favorite recipe:
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Fiesta Sangria

Ingredients:
  • ​3 cups of 1 x 1 inch watermelon cubes, frozen
  • 2 cups of green seedless grapes, frozen
  • 1 cup of 1/2 x 1/2 inch cantaloupe
  • 1 cup of 1/2 x 1/2 inch honeydew melon
  • 1 whole lime sliced thin in half rounds
  • 2 cups dry white port wine
  • 1 full bottle of Moscato
  • 4 cups lime seltzer water

Directions:

  1. Freeze grapes and watermelon cubes until completely hard
  2. Chill the seltzer and Moscato until completely cold
  3. Soak the cantaloupe and honeydew in a bowl of the port wine in the refrigerator for at least an hour (do not let them get mushy)
  4. In a punch bowl pour the seltzer and Moscato
  5. Remove the cantaloupe and honeydew from the port and put in the punch bowl (discard port)
  6. Add lime slices and stir with a wooden spoon to mix 
  7. Right before serving add frozen grapes and watermelon
  8. If you want your sangria to be sweeter, you can add some simple syrup (learn how to make it here:  How to Make Simple Syrup
There are many other things that you can have at your Mexican fiesta cookout, these recipes I have shared are only a few.  Have fun with it!

Have a great Memorial Weekend!

Jade    :)

This is my favorite punch bowl for two reasons.  First, it is plastic and cannot be broken and second, it does not come with cups, which I never use  (too small!)
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How to Make and Use Simple Syrup - Recipes Included!

​Simple Syrup is an easy to make sweetener with so many uses!  Many people think that use it think it is only good for making adult beverages.  Now, while it is good for that, there are so many other uses for it, this is something you need to know how to make and how to use.  Let's begin!The recipe to make simple syrup is, well, simple!  It can be made with sugar, honey or agave nectar.  As long as the ratio is 1:1 it will be perfect.Simple Syrup Using Sugar, Honey or...

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​Simple Syrup is an easy to make sweetener with so many uses!  Many people think that use it think it is only good for making adult beverages.  Now, while it is good for that, there are so many other uses for it, this is something you need to know how to make and how to use.  Let's begin!

The recipe to make simple syrup is, well, simple!  It can be made with sugar, honey or agave nectar.  As long as the ratio is 1:1 it will be perfect.
Simple Syrup Using Sugar, Honey or Agave Nectar
  1. ​Heat water until it is boiling and then add the sugar, honey or agave 
  2. Reduce heat to medium and stir until syrup is no longer cloudy and immediately remove from heat
  3. Cool and pour into a container with a tight fitting lid
  4. Plain simple syrup will last in the refrigerator for up to a month.  
You can flavor simple syrup with any number of things.  This list is virtually endless:
You really can flavor simple syrup with anything you want.  To flavor your syrup you can either heat the flavorings with the other ingredients on the stove and then strain after it cools, or you can place the flavorings in the jar and pour the cooled syrup over then and then cap the jar and let it steep for 2 or 3 hours and then strain.  I prefer the second method, as I think it produces a stronger flavor.  Just make sure you remember to remove the flavorings from the jar and strain the syrup.  If you don't, it will spoil in a matter of days.

If you use fresh fruit, then it really becomes fruit syrup, which is delicious on pancakes or waffles or even dribbled over fresh fruit salad.
Fruit Syrup

  • 1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions:

Peel, de-stem, or remove seeds from the fruit, as appropriate.
Place the fruit, water, and sugar into a pot.
Cook the fruit with the sugar and water, bringing it to a boil and then lowering the heat to simmer.
Smash the fruit while it is cooking.
Simmer until the mixture has thickened to a syrupy consistency. This should take about 10 minutes.
Once the mixture has thickened, you can press it through a strainer to make a thin syrup.
If you prefer a thicker syrup, process the cooked syrup in a food processor.
Note: You don't necessarily need to thaw frozen fruit before cooking it, but if you can remember to take it out of the 

freezer and put it in the refrigerator a few hours before your preparation, it would speed the cooking.
What Else Is Simple Syrup used for?
Believe it or not, simple syrup is used in making cakes.  It is brushed or sprinkled on after the cake is cooled in order to make sure it is moist and to add flavor.  The easiest way to put it on a cake is to use a soaker bottle like the one showed in the short video below.
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The soaker bottle on the left is one that I found on Amazon.  It is like $5 cheaper than the one in the video, so if you want to buy one, that is where I got mine.  It really does make putting simple syrup on a cake a lot easier and more uniform.  

I know it seems like a strange thing to do and you would think that spraying your cake with liquid would make it a soggy mess, but it doesn't.  It soaks into the cake and keeps it moist.  It is also really great to infuse flavor into your cake.  I made some syrup using coconut water and a dash of coconut extract and I put it on a pineapple flavored cake and you could really taste it!  Voila!  Pina colada cake!  (you could even put a dash of rum in your simple syrup)
One of my favorite cakes to make with simple syrup is Sticky Lemon Cake.  I don't put any icing on this cake, though you could if you wanted to.  In my opinion the simple syrup on top infuses so much flavor into the cake and makes it so moist and delicious, icing is not necessary!
Sticky Lemon Cake

Cake


  • 3/4 cup white sugar 
  • 1.5 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice 

Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar (can use honey or agave nectar)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees     
  2. Line a5 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and flour sides
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter
  4. Add eggs and flour and stir until well combined (by hand or electric mixer)
  5. Stir in vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  6. Empty mixture into tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Make your lemon infused simple syrup
  8. When the cake is done, remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes
  9. With a fork, poke holes into the top of the cake evenly all over
  10. Load your soaker bottle with warm syrup and evenly soak the top of the cake, letting the syrup soak in.  Do not over use the syrup and make the cake soggy.

I serve this cake warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

More uses for Simple Syrup
  • Make a cocktail 
  • Sweeten your coffee or hot tea
  • Sweeten iced beverages 
  • Use it on a fruit salad
  • Add it to your oatmeal or cold cereal
I could go on and on.  Simple syrup is such a versatile sweetner, it can be used on all kinds of dishes.  But what if you can't have sugar?  If you are a diabetic, or someone that is giving up sugar in their diet, take heart!  Simple syrup can be made with stevia sweetener.

Simple Syrup Made with Stevia Sweetener

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Boil the water in a small saucepan.
Add stevia and stir till dissolved and clear
Remove from heat and let cool
Store in a jar in the refrigerator, should stay good for at least 2 weeks

Hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy your simple new sweetener!

Jade    :)


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