Strawberry Freezer Jam 2012

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This is my favorite time of the year.  Fresh fruits make their way onto our table and into our freezer for those long winter months ahead. 

Making strawberry freezer jam has been a seasonal tradition in our family since I was a small girl. 

If you didn’t catch my recipe for it last season than get it here now!

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Do you make your own jams and jellies?  What is your all-time favorite flavor?

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Strawberry & Cream Cupcakes

I’ve only used one pre-packaged cake mix in the last year.  It happened to be King Arthur’s Deliciously Simple Chocolate Cake Mix which they sent me in celebration of my blog turning a year old.  The cake was chocolate flavored, and was absolutely delicious.  It tasted as if it were made from scratch, but only took a few minutes to throw together.  People who I shared the cupcakes with raved about them.  I imagine they would have never suspected they were a mix if I hadn’t said anything, and the fact that they were a mix didn’t seem to detour anyone from chowing them down.

I have never made a strawberry flavored cake mix before.  I’ve always been a little worried that a strawberry cake would have an artificial strawberry taste to it.    As I was strolling through the grocery store recently I happened upon a display of Pillsbury cake mixes.   Feeling a bit creative, but not overly ambitious, I bought the strawberry flavored mix to experiment with.

I made the cake batter according to the directions on the box.  I tasted the batter just before pouring it into the cupcake tins, it was then, that I decided to add a teaspoon of my Madagascar Vanilla Extract to the batter.  I really liked the results that adding the vanilla yielded – I think it toned down the strawberry flavor just a bit.  I also decided to add a dollop of homemade strawberry jam into the center of each cupcake before  I baked them.   As the cupcakes baked, the jam settled into the bottom of each cupcake leaving a super moist, and flavorful bottom.

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To save calories, and keep the cupcakes lighter, I topped them off with light whipped cream just prior to serving.

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My opinion, the  Pillsbury’s cake mix yielded delicious, moist cupcakes too.   These would make  great, happy endings at a picnics or barbeques this summer.  What is your favorite cake flavor, and how do you feel about using cake mixes?

Jam Fest

Strawberry Freezer Jam

 

When I was a little girl my mother would make homemade strawberry freezer jam every year.  She made it after she would take us to pick locally grown berries.  I remember it was nearly impossible for her to make enough jam to get us from one June to the next without running out.  The more she made, the more we ate.  Some days, in desperation (if we had run out of jam and she forgot to take more out of the freezer) we would take it out of the freezer and proceed to spread it on our morning toast.   

My mother has since passed away but I will not let her strawberry jam legacy die.   Every June, I too prepare for the annual jam fest.  Last night I pooled all of our fresh grown strawberries together (that I had temporarily put in the freezer)  to see if I had enough to make a batch of jam.   Luckily, I had plenty of berries to make my first batch of jam, and the good news is there are enough for another batch.   

As I was making the jam my hubby noted how much sugar goes into it.  He’s right.  2 cups of crushed berries to 4 cups of granulated sugar.  That is a lot of sugar, and probably explains the reason I’m so attached to this sweet little confection.   

In memory of mom – jam fest 2010!