Cappuccino Lay’s are a huge FAIL

I love potato chips.  If you were fortunate enough to know me as a teen then you would know that I was found more often then not in the Breakfast Room with my bad leg up on the tile table, a Dr. Pepper in one hand, a spoon resting in a pint of vanilla ice cream, a bag of Lay’s on the table and a good book in my hand.  I wasn’t overweight then but I am now. Continue reading

Peach Jam Recipe

I have gotten a request from a good friend for the peach jam recipe we used.  I of course found them all on Pinterest.  I made 4 different versions of peach jam because I am usually up for experimenting.  The first version I made was this Vanilla Peach Jam.  It doesn’t use pectin so it has to simmer for hours to get to the right consistency.  I already had the vanilla beans on hand because I make my own Vanilla Extract.  But if you buy individual beans at your grocery store they will set you back $3-4 each.  Ouch.  So I order about 1/4 pound of them each year from somebody in California who sells them  on eBay.  They are great quality and you get a lot more than you would think for the price.  I think I spent a total of $9 last year and I got 27.5 beans.  It was fantastic.  I made over a half gallon of vanilla extract.

My Vanilla Peach Jam was simmering. Do you see the huge vanilla bean there on the bottom?

My Vanilla Peach Jam was simmering. Do you see the huge vanilla bean there on the bottom?

The second version of peach jam I made required pectin and boy was it so much easier with pectin.  I followed the recipe on the pectin package and it turned out pretty great.  This is the version I opened for the girls’ PB&J’s last week.  I also gave a pint size jar of this to our friends who went camping with us.

The third version I made was an overnight crock-pot version.  Never again will I try that.  I started it after 10pm so it would be ready early in the morning after cooking for 8 hours like the recipe said.  No, just NO! This resulted in a nasty smelling, burnt looking and tasting, pathetic excuse for jam.  If you want to try making jam in the crock pot then please do it during the day when to can constantly check on it.  This whole batch got dumped down the garbage disposal.

And this is the color you DO NOT want your jam to be.  Crock Pot Jam was a failure.

And this is the color you DO NOT want your jam to be. Crock Pot Jam was a failure.

The fourth version was a no-pectin version again but following a basic recipe.  It was easier to do the simmering this time because I had the practice from the day before.  I also knew what consistency I was looking for and it felt like it just took a lot less time.

All of my pretty jars of Peach Jam.

All of my pretty jars of Peach Jam.

I really enjoyed being able to make all of this jam for super cheap.  I stopped in at Walmart to get the lids with bands.  The store had them stocked in the wrong place so I got a killer deal on them.  And because of this I decided to buy my bags of sugar there as well.  My budget for supplies was the $11 I had in my pocket.  And at $8 even it left me a little extra to stop in at the local coffee place and grab a much desired fancy coffee concoction.

I got my lids with bands for only $1.48 because they were stocked in the wrong place in the store.  I saved $2 per box because of their error.

I got my lids with bands for only $1.48 because they were stocked in the wrong place in the store. I saved $2 per box because of their error.

My bags of super cheap sugar and the lids with bands needed to create a good seal.

My bags of super cheap sugar and the lids with bands needed to create a good seal.

Do you make your own jams?

Pizza Casserole… Fail

We had a Pinterest fail this week.  The other night I set out to make a Pizza Casserole.  It seemed like a good idea.  How can you go wrong with Mozzarella and Pepperoni, right? WRONG!!! When the secret ingredient and main substance in the recipe is cauliflower you might not want to kid yourself into thinking it will be edible.  I followed the directions precisely.  It seemed like a good way to sneak cauliflower into my kids without them noticing.  Believe me, they noticed.  I love cauliflower.  The others will eat it once in a while.  I usually roast it, serve it raw with ranch, puree it and hide it in something, or even substitute it for rice.  All of these things are in an attempt to get my kids and husband to see that cauliflower is not scary or icky.

Two of my kids did eat it, one of which was Mr. Picky, but that was only because he was promised dessert if he ate it.  My youngest wouldn’t do more than pick out the whole pepperonis and beg me to scrape the other stuff off of it.  My Husband Extraordinaire and I both agree that this is officially on our “Never make again” list.  Cooking for a family is a lot of trial and error.  And around here we have some favorite meals and some not so favorite meals and often we like to try something new.  I’m not sure the kids like to try new things but I sure don’t like to get into a rut with our meals.  Thank goodness for Pinterest and the internet.  But we also have some great cookbooks and some meals that we have come up with on our own.

During our marriage I have found some recipes that got rave reviews yet turned out to taste horrendous.  It doesn’t happen often.  One specific incident happened during our first year of marriage and we still laugh about it.  I wanted to make a casserole with ground beef.  Seems simple enough right? Well the internet lead me to a recipe that claimed to be the best ground beef casserole.  So I made this thing up.  About 15 minutes into the process I realized that the only palatable color in the recipe was coming from the frozen peas it asked for.  When I served it we both kind of look disgusted.  It looked and smelled like canned dog food.  And we weren’t surprised that it tasted like dog food too.  I took a bite, gagged, and tried to remove the plate from in front of my husband.  He was so sweet, he tried to keep eating and he even told me it was great.  I knew from looking at his face that he was lying to make me feel better.  But I appreciated the effort.  After his second bite I was able to take the plate and offer to go out to dinner.  It is the kind of newlywed story that many experience.  So I am going to do you a favor here on my blog, I will not lie to you when I try something and it is just plain disgusting.  I will not gloss over it or sugar coat it.

Have you come across a recipe that ended in you needing to go out to dinner?