Strawberry Preserves with Vanilla Bean

Whole Strawberry Preserves

I don’t really know why, but these strawberry preserves connect me with my inner anglophile. Perhaps because it is not a jam recipe which makes it seem much more sophisticated than it really is. Simply saying ‘jam’ with my Canadian accent has a harsh, twangy ‘a’ sound. Whereas saying, ‘preserves’ seems like they belong on a posh table that is being set for a cream tea. This is probably me just grasping at a dream that I could someday live in England. I have a deep longing to live there but I haven’t even visited there. Sad, I know. I […]

Vanilla Bean Lemonade

Vanilla Bean Lemonade

I may have a slight addiction to vanilla beans. I buy them in bulk and they seem to find themselves in quite a few of my recipes. In fact, I’m always looking for excuses to use them. I had never made real lemonade before and I do love just straight up fresh lemons, I couldn’t seem to stop my hand from reaching for that bag of vanilla beans I keep around. The recipe uses a basic simple syrup of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar but there are a couple key tips to keep in mind when making this: just […]

Rhubarb Mousse

Rhubarb Mousse

Since becoming pregnant I have been on a pregnancy forum ‘birth club’ and I find it equal parts helpful, annoying, infuriating, depressing, and amusing. The people that have signed on to the group are all due in November so we are all in the same stage of pregnancy, give or take a few weeks. To be honest, I just go to the forum out of boredom more than anything else since this is round two for me and I don’t really want to put extremely personal questions to a forum. If I have questions I will ask my midwife. One of […]

Rhubarb Lemon Grass Compote

I honestly don’t know if I’m going to do any canning this summer. This might just be crazy talk because I’m in an absolute shite mood right now but I can’t seem to get the motivation to get the canning pot out, dig of the tools all while thinking ahead to the move to the new house in August. I would like to make some jam but we hardly eat any bread in this house any more; my husband never does and just uses jam in yogurt these days. I still love to indulge in some nice, well-buttered toast with […]

Notes from my Freshman Canning Summer

Preserving is addictive. I started canning with a rhubarb jam that I had been thinking of and before I knew it I was ordering pound after pound of rhubarb from Bailey’s. When strawberry season hit, I knew I was in trouble. I made so much jam last summer that I sold a lot of it at a Christmas craft and jewelry get together that my mom held at the end of November. I remember being in the kitchen sweating over my stove berating myself about why I have bought so much fruit and then ordering more the next day. I […]

Honey Vanilla Peach Margarita

I’m not actually a big fan of cocktails or hard liquor in general. It is just too strong for me.  I am pretty much a wino and not a very knowledgable one either. I usually go with and $11 bottle of Malbec from South America.  I do like a good margarita though and not the slushy type. I prefer the mixed, non-blender method with real lime juice. The way this drink came to be was a happy accident, like many great things in this world (such as my Timothy).  I canned peaches for the first time this summer and I followed […]

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jam

This rhubarb jam is probably one of the best things that has ever come out of my kitchen. My husband, always my biggest fan, said that it is the best jam he has ever tasted. While it was cooking my house smelled amazing. If I had a clue how, I would bottle the scent or make scented candles out of it.  The idea for this jam has been rattling around my head since last summer after I made what I guess would be called stewed rhubarb that I put on plain yogurt.  I was pretty darn nervous about making proper […]