Happy HJMD!

Today started out great!  I woke up and had a delightful apple before heading to the gym for a quick sweat sesh.  I knew that I’d be eating a fabulous breakfast later…so I opted to pass on the pre-workout fuel.

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical – completely pain free!  My joints have recuperated completely!  (And as such, tomorrow I’ll be trying out my first body pump class ever!)

Then, I hurried over to waffle breakfast!  While they had more or less finished their waffles, I whipped up some DELIGHTFUL dairy free waffles.  I topped my waffle in two parts: part 1, homemade blackberry syrup ala Kat; part 2, maple syrup ala Trader Joe’s.

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Apparently I was so excited for waffles…I forgot to snap the photo with the toppings.  Whoops!  I halved this recipe for just me:

Waffles (Dairy Free!) (Makes 6 whole waffles)

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • splash vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, separated

Mix flour, baking powder & salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cinnamon, milk & splash of vanilla.  Add to the flour mixture.  In a third, separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re stiff (they peak).  Then slowly fold the egg whites in.  Heat waffle maker for about 7 minutes, or until hot.  Then cook (per instructions that go along with waffle maker) and VOILA!  Dairy free waffles!

I really liked this recipe, but they didn’t get as dark as ‘regular’ waffles do.  I left them in the waffle maker for a minute or two beyond the timer, but it will really depend on the waffle maker.  But the flavor was awesome, and they definitely hit the spot.

After waffle breakfast madness.  We cleaned up, Maggie bleached the kitchen, and then Kat and I set up shop to celebrate HJMD! 

What is HJMD, do you ask?!  Why, it is Homemade Jam & Manhattan Day!  A holiday that isn’t actually a holiday yet, but that should be celebrated in Canada.

And what do you to celebrate?!  Why, make & can jam & drink manhattans, of course!

On the menu today: Strawberry Jam!

We started by boiling a laaaaaarge pot of water.  For sterilization of the jars. 

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Okay, that’s a lie.  We started with Kat’s Cranberry Liqueur.  TO DIE FOR.  So good.  She used 3 pounds of cranberries.  I need this recipe…

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Then, we defrosted about 8 cups of strawberries (the recipe called for 6, but we decided 8 was the proper amount)

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While the strawberries were defrosting, we started sterilizing the jars.

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Then, once the strawberries had melted apart, we added the pectin & first part of the sugar.

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Then, once the strawberry mix was at a rolling boil, we were able to add in the FOUR additional cups of sugar needed.  I emphasize the 4, because we almost put in 6, but then I decided that sounded like way too much and peeked at the the instructions.  Luckily I did or it would’ve been SUPER SUPER sweet jam.  Ridiculousness.

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Then, once the sugar was mixed in, we brought it to a full boil for a bout a minute.  And then, the goodness was added: 1/4 cup brandy. 

I would’ve never added brandy on my own, but I liked the addition.

Then, we started the canning process.  Kat ladled the jam into the jars, and I wiped the rim, and screwed on the lids.  Once they were all tightened, we CAREFULLY dropped them into the large pot of boiling water we had used for sterlizing the jars, making sure there was an inch of water between the jar lids and the top of the water.

Then, they boiled.  For 15 minutes.

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While we indulged in a Manhattan.  Or two.

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And then, we removed the jars from the large pot o boiling water to sit on the counter for 24 hours before we can say for ‘certain’ whether or not they properly sealed (though we heard some ‘popping’ noises, so we think we’re good to go!).

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All in all, it was a great success!  And I now know how easy canning is!

I even went out and bout a 12-pack of canning jars today from Safeway.  And I plan on making apple butter next weekend!!!

(Actual recipe for strawberry jam is forthcoming…I need to get a few more specifics from my ‘teacher.’)

What’s your favorite type of jam?!  Have any canning recipes I should try?!  I’ve always wanted to make kosher dill pickles…but I really don’t want to just pull a recipe of the internets.  Anyone have one to offer?!

I’m off to study and enjoy some more of HJMD!  Happy Saturday!

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