Wednesday 19 August 2015

Golden Oat Pancakes

My youngest refuses to eat scrambled eggs.  Or fried eggs.  Or boiled eggs.  Or poached eggs.  His distaste for eggs is actually just one of hundreds of his dislikes.  It's so frustrating, because eggs are such an easy, nutritious breakfast food.

However, he loves both oatmeal and pancakes.  I have a tried and true pancake recipe that I use frequently.  It's easy to change up the flour, or even hide some ground flax in it.  However, even I'm getting sick of plain pancakes.  

A few weeks ago I came across a new pancake recipe to try, courtesy of Taste of Home.  I am currently a volunteer field editor with this awesome magazine.  The field editor group was challenged to test out a set group of recipes and provide our feedback.  One of these recipes was Golden Oat Pancakes.   It was a HUGE hit with both of my kids.  It's a nice hearty change from our everyday recipe.  Served with some chopped fruit and a bit of maple syrup, these are a fantastic breakfast!  I've made them several times since finding the recipe, and they're consistently great.  

Golden Oat Pancakes - courtesy of and adapted from Taste of Home Magazine. LINK to the original recipe.

1 cup oats*  
1 and 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten**
2 tbsp canola oil***


 *The original calls for old fashioned oats.  I have used both old fashioned and quick oats.  The old fashioned oats make for a bit of a delicious, chewy texture, while the quick oats make for a bit lighter.

**The picky kid eats eggs in things.  Just not plain.

***The original recipe calls for 3tbsp oil.  I find 2 tbsp plenty.  Just a preference.

(1) Mix oats and milk and let stand for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl.  

(2) Add eggs and oil to the oat mixture and lightly stir.

(3) Add oat mixture to dry ingredients, and lightly stir just until moistened.

(4) Cook on preheated griddle or frying pan until golden brown.


Tuesday 18 August 2015

Not So Pretty Peach Jam

Summer canning season continues.  This time, I'm posting this peach jam, despite the fact that it looks like an epic failure.  I've made plenty of jam in the past, and this has never happened to me.  All of the delicious peachy pieces floated to the top after processing, and it looks, well.....gross.

See??!   As my youngest would say..... eeeew.

Let me assure you that this jam is DELICIOUS!  However, I certainly wouldn't give this away.

I went to my good friend, Google, to see where I went wrong.  I must say, it made me feel a lot better.  Apparently this is a really common problem with fruit jam.  The most likely cause?  I didn't chop my fruit finely enough.  It is also helpful to stir the jam mixture occasionally for 5 minutes after taking it off heat, prior to pouring into hot, sterilized jars.

In this case, I used my food processor, but didn't want to make it into a complete pulp, so I just pulsed it.  Next time I'm going to be more aggressive with that pulse button.  It's a shame, because this jam is really, really tasty.

Google tells me to stir it all up to uniformly distribute the fruit prior to serving.  Sounds like a plan.  Next time, I hope to have beautiful, uniform jam.  Stay tuned, I'll try again another day.

In the meantime, here is a DELICIOUS recipe for Peach Jam.  Pulverize those peaches, people.

Peach Jam (adapted from Bernardin Canada)

4 cups FINELY chopped or crushed peaches
1/3 cup lemon juice
7 1/2 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin

Prepare peaches, and immediately mix with lemon juice to prevent browning.  Add sugar, and stir continually over medium heat until boiling.  Add pectin.  Return to a rolling boil, and cook for 1 minute.  Pour into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2 cm head space. Add lids and rings.  Process for 10 minutes, plus additional time as recommended for your altitude.  Here's a handy guide.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Peach Jalapeno Jelly

A few weeks ago my husband's aunt came through Calgary with a big bag of the most delicious looking peaches ever.  They smelled and tasted AMAZING!  She lives in the Okanagan and these peaches are TO DIE FOR!   Even though these peaches were so juicy and amazing, unfortunately I was the only person in the house eating them in any quantity.  The kids were trying to help, but my daughter just took a liking to cherries and has been gorging solely on them, and my son, well, he refuses to eat most new things.

Now.....What to do with the peaches before they went bad?  We just ate a lot of pie..... (see Saskatoon Streusel Pie).  I would be the only person to take down a cobbler, and I certainly don't need that.  So, I went to Pinterest in search of a peach jelly recipe.  I've been on a bit of a jelly making roll lately, so I thought I'd keep that going.   What did I stumble upon?  A peach jalapeno jelly.  I love jalapeno jelly.  It's a perfect snack with cream cheese and crackers!  It's a staple oh-I-need-a-quick-appetizer-for-this-unexpected-company snack.  So I gave it a whirl!  This recipe is adapted from minced blog.
I have re-written what I did, below.

7 or 8 large peaches (or about 10 small to medium sized)
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 jalapeno peppers
1 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 package of liquid fruit pectin (I understand that these only come in one size)

To prepare your peaches, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute.  Immediately put them in an ice-water bath to cool off.  The think skin should peel right off in a couple of big pieces.

Remove the pit from the peaches and coarsely chop.  Put in a large pot with lemon juice.  Use a potato masher to squish them into a lumpy puree.  Add the vinegar and chopped jalapenos.  I left the seeds in half of them.  I think next time I'll leave the seeds in all of them for more heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Turn heat down just to keep it at a simmer, and allow to boil for about 20 minutes.  Mash every few minutes.

Strain the juice using a fine cheesecloth, or a jelly bag.  I highly recommend a jelly bag, which is available by the canning materials at many grocery stores.  Do not squeeze the bag.  Just let it drip into a bowl until you have 2 cups of juice.

Bring the juice and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan.  Quickly stir in liquid pectin and return to a hard boil,  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim foam, if necessary.

Fill warm, sterilized 8 oz/1 cup jars to within 1/4 inch of top.  Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth and gently put on sterilized snap-lids and rings.  (I suggest keeping your snap-lids in a pot of boiling water, ready to put on the filled jars).  Process in a boiling water canner as suggested for your altitude.  It is generally recommended to be 10 minutes at sea level.  I do 17 minutes for Calgary.

After jars have processed, remove from canner and allow to fully cool, undisturbed, for 24 hrs.  Ensure all jars are sealed, and refrigerate any that didn't.