Strawberry Chia Seed Jam in the Crock-pot

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I have made strawberry jam in the crock-pot before. Using apple for the pectin to make it gel. For me that process it hit or miss, one time I used apples it set up fine the next time we ended up with strawberry syrup. Then I got some Chia seeds to use as egg substitute in baking. You mix 1 tablespoon Chia seeds in 3 tablespoon of water let it set for at least 15 minutes. The seeds absorb the water and you are left with this jello type mass to use in place of your egg.

That got my dark mind racing, ideas began to form. I think there may have been evil plotting music playing in the background. Or that might have been in my head. I asked myself, can it work? Will Chia seeds be the gel that holds my jam together?

I went to Pinterest (I go there now before heading to Google) to search this out. I discovered that yes, yes you can use Chia seeds. Once I discovered that golden gem of knowledge I began to form a recipe. I then tried that recipe out. Eureka! It worked!


 

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Ingredients:

4 packets of Truvia (or 6 for a sweeter jam) You can also use granulated sugar. ½ cup.

2 pints strawberries, cut in half

¼ c. lemon juice (this will help the strawberries keep their red coloring)

2 tbsp. Chia seed

In the Crock-pot add berries, lemon and Truvia. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Stir and mash your mixture up some. Cover and cook 1 more hour. Stir. Cook uncovered for 2 hours or until the mixture thickens/reduces down some. Stir in Chia seeds. Let set about 15 minutes. Then pour into your jars. Refrigerate and/or freeze.

Strawberries, sweetener and lemon juice in crock pot

Strawberries, sweetener and lemon juice in crock pot

I wish I could tell you exactly how much this made but it seems the day I made it and before I could put all of it into jars the husband went on a PB&J kick. I did manage to fill two 4 oz. jars and one 8 oz container before he confiscated the rest. He ate a lot of PB&J over the following days. His only complaint… he would have liked it to be a little sweeter. Next time I make the jam I will use more sweetener.

Nice and cold. oh so yummy

Nice and cold. oh so yummy

That was a month ago. I froze the 8 oz container of the jam. Today I thawed it out to see how well it held up. It was still great.

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Super Bowl of Disaster

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In baking sometimes things can go wrong, sometimes they go Titanic. The ship is sinking with no hope for rescue. That happened today. One baking pin went wrong and one went Titanic.

Pin 1:
Baking pancake mix in muffin tins to create a pancake bowl. I ended up with pancake muffins. So I didn’t get my pancake bowl, no problem. I just cooked up some sausage patties and made pancake/sausage breakfast sandwiches. Pretty tasty.

Pin 2:
Turning your muffin pan upside down to make cookie bowls. Yeah…that one was a disaster. No survivors. I have burnt cookie pieces in my hair, a pan that almost did not come clean and a husband who is still laughing at me. I will laugh about this one day also. Just not today.

The pancake bowl. I followed the instructions so I don’t know what went wrong. I will check out more pancake bowls pins and see if I can do something different next time. When I finally get it right I will share the experience with you.

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

The cookie bowl. It was a last minute thing, I was baking cookies for tomorrows family dinner. I was down to the last bit of dough when I spotted my muffin pan sitting innocently in the dish rack drying. I got an idea (obliviously this was my first mistake). I remembered a pin, if was just a photo with no instructions, but it looked easy enough.
So I flipped the pan over, gave it a nice coat of cooking spray, slapped on the cookie dough and popped it into the oven. The pin showed the cookie down covering each muffin tin completely. I worried I didn’t use enough cookie dough, I didn‘t have much dough left. Apparently it does not take much cookie dough to make a bowl. I used too much and ended up with a darn big mess.

Prelude to the horror

Prelude to the horror


Cookie was baked/burnt onto the pan. I had to get a butter knife to fight and scrape the cookie mess off the pan. Burnt cookie was going everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All over my nice clean counter, the floor, my hair, I even had some crumbs get into my eye. I did learn that saying curse words at burnt cookie stuck to a pan does not do a thing to help get it off the pan. I did go seek out other pins. Next time I will mold aluminum foil to the muffin tin. I will also use less cookie dough per bowl. Hopefully I will have success next time.
Shameful

Shameful


Oh the horror!

Oh the horror!

Chia Seed Pancakes

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Yes it is true I have a new love in my life. I have fallen for Chia seeds. I use the Chia seeds to replace eggs in most of my baking recipes. This weekend I used them in my pancake mix. If you are wondering how Chia seeds affect the taste, they don’t. Your baked goods will still have the same great taste you are used to. The only thing I noticed different about my pancakes and this could be all in my head is the pancakes seem to soak up the syrup more than my usual pancakes. Still they are very tasty pancakes and more filling since Chia Seeds contain fiber.
The Chia seeds I am using now I got from Amazon. My local Ingles carries them also. I think Wal-Mart may carry sell them. You will think they are pricey (I did at first) but I use them a lot. A LOT and I have only used have a bag. They go far.

This is the basic egg replacement how-to for 1 egg:
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp water
Mix in a small bowl, let set for 15 to 20 minutes for the seeds to absorb the water and gel. I like to call it Chia Goop. You can also make the goop ahead and store in fridge for up to a few days so it is ready when you are ready to bake.

Scratch Pancake Recipe
1-1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp. coconut palm sugar (or regular sugar)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg (replace with chia goop)
1-1/4 cup milk (more or less, depending if you like a thick or thin batter)
1 tbsp. melted butter or oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

This is what the Chia seeds look like after they gel.

This is what the Chia seeds look like after they gel.

You can also use box mix (I use them a lot, I find the store brands are better than the name brands)
Just add 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar and the Chia goop
Even the complete mixes that don’t call for egg I still add the Chia seed goop. If you don’t want to use the Chia seed, still add an egg to the complete mixes. It just makes a better pancake batter.
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Open Sesame Chia Seed Candy

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I have been wanting to do this for awhile. I have went through tons and tons of Pins to find the perfect recipe. Is there a perfect recipe for this? I don’t know but I found the perfect recipe for me, it was more the measurement and technique I needed. I omitted and added a few things here and there.
What am I talking about?

Sesame Seed Candy!

Yes that little bitty pale unassuming seed that adorns out hamburger buns. You take that seed, work a little bit of magic, and BAM! You have a nice little candy that makes a great tasting, sorta close to healthy snack.

Here is the original Sesame Candy recipe. Below is my adapted recipe along with my account of the whole process.

Sesame Chia Seed Candy

Ingredients:

1 c. Sesame seeds
2 tbsp. Chia seeds
3-4 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. coconut sugar

Dry roast your sesame seeds for 5-7 minutes. Pour into a bowl add the Chia seeds and mix well. Set aside. In a small pot add the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, now simmer for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly. Add seeds. Stir. Pour onto a piece of wax paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with another sheet of wax paper, roll candy with a rolling pin until about ½ inch thick. With a knife cut/score into 1 inch squares. Let cool. Break apart. Done!

I measured out my sesame seeds, put them in the pan to toast. I toasted mine the full 7 minutes because I wanted some of my seeds a dark brown color. After toasting I pit them and the Chia seeds in a dish. I happened to have my small pie dish close by so I used it.

Ready for toasting

Ready for toasting


Toasted Sesame seeds mixed with Chia seeds

Toasted Sesame seeds mixed with Chia seeds

The pot was on the stove to heating up while I mixed my seeds together. So the pot was hot when I started measuring out the honey. I poured my first tablespoon in and it went wild with the boiling. So I had to work fast to get all the honey and the coconut sugar in the pot, while trying to stir at the same time. FYI: have what you need in arms reach, closer if you can. I was like a crazy woman trying to do all that at once with everything I needed in different place around the kitchen.

Boiling, boiling, get that stuff a boiling.

Boiling, boiling, get that stuff a boiling.


5 minutes and a lot of stirring later I poured in my seeds and began mixing, this comes together quick. At first you think that is not going to be enough honey mixture to coat that much seed. It is plenty.
I did not have any wax paper so I used one of my new baking mats. I used another to lay over top. I also don’t have a rolling pin (mainly for the husbands safety) so I used this high tech gadget called a can of soup. Worked fine.
Ready to roll

Ready to roll


High tech rolling technique.

High tech rolling technique.


Okay as soon as I finished rolling I tried to remove the top baking mat. Nope not a good idea some of the candy mixture was coming up with it. I just stopped pulling the mat and mashed it back down over the candy. I popped the whole thing in the freezer for maybe 2 minutes. Took it out while it was still warm enough to cut. This time the top mat came up easily. Not wanting to damage the bottom mat I used a butter knife to ‘cut’ the candy into squares. I did not cut all the way through the candy.
You can see in the upper right where I tried to lift up the top mat

You can see in the upper right where I tried to lift up the top mat


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After letting the candy cool a few minutes I broke the pieces apart. Both mats had sticky stuff on them but I only had to run water over them for a few seconds and they were clean. I think I might be in love with silicone baking mats.

How did the Sesame Chia Seed candy taste? Great. Sweet with a toasted nutty taste. This is going to be my midday snack at work next week. Thanks for joining me on this Pinteresting adventure.
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Baked Fajitas

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Saw this on Pinterest the week I made my DIY taco seasoning. Thankfully I wrote down the recipe because like a few other pins I have tried Pinterest flagged them as spam and now the sites are gone.
I only have a photo of the dish before it went into the oven. It smelled so good when I pulled it from the oven I couldn’t keep the husband away from it before I could snap a picture.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven


It was tasty and so much easier and less time consuming than the regular way I make fajitas. Only thing I will do different next time is marinade the chicken like I do when I have made fajitas in the past. Recipe for marinade is below baked fajita recipe.

Baked Fajitas

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can green chilies
1-2 onions, sliced
1-2 bell peppers, sliced
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp. taco seasoning
½ tsp. lime juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix chicken, onions and peppers in a baking dish
In a small bowl combine oil, lime and taco seasoning.
Drizzle over meat and vegetables.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Warm some tortillas, gather up your toppings (sour cream, guacamole, cheese, etc.) and enjoy!

Marinade for chicken:
¼ c orange juice
¼ c lime juice
¼ c olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of salt and pepper

Mix it up in a small bowl throw in into a baggie with your uncooked chicken. Put into fridge to hang out for and hour to several hours.

I love onions, every so often I get a craving for some cooked onions. This marinade is awesome to use to fry up a pan of onions. Eat those onion by themselves or toss on top a baked potato. Yummy.

I Need a Little Cheese Ball part 2 of a Family Food Saga

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Today I am trying out my Aunt Anita Little’s cheese ball recipe. She has been making this for as long as I can remember. Every family gathering has to have this. No exceptions. She was happy to share her recipe with me.

This recipe makes one decent sized cheese ball:

Anita Little Cheese Ball Ingredients:

1 small box of Velveeta cheese block
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
Crushed pecans or crushed Ritz crackers (enough to roll ball in)

Cube your Velveeta cheese and place in bowl to soften. Lay out cream cheese to soften also. This will take a few hours.
Once softened. Put cream cheese in bowl with cheese. Take a fork and begin mashing the two ingredients together along with the garlic powder. Anita Little (because you can say Anita without the Little) informed me that I could try using a hand mixer but it won’t work to well, the beaters will just get seized up in cheese. She said work those arm muscles, work them long and work them hard. (okay she didn’t say that part, just something like it)
After working up a sweat and your ingredients are now one with each other. Shape your mixture into a ball. Anita Little suggests wearing a pair of non-powdered gloves for this step. Once the ball has taken shape roll it in the pecans or crackers until ball is coated well. Set in fridge to chill.

Serve with crackers.

Great for any gatherings or functions. Or after tasting this cheese ball you may want to just hoard it for yourself. Hoarding it is totally acceptable, I won’t judge.
cheeseball 5

Yes there are many different cheese ball recipes on Pinterest, I could try them but why? This to me is the perfect cheese ball.

Okay now that I have shared the recipe with you I will share my experience of making one.
cheese ball 1
I cubed my Velveeta which turned out to be pretty easy and painless.
cheeseball 2
cheeseball 3
Then the wait for the items to soften began. Tick tock, one hour, tick tock, two hours. FYI: this is not something you can throw together last minute.
With my trusty fork I began mashing everything together. It was a workout you might just want to throw in the towel but don’t after you work it several tough minutes mixing gets easier.
cheeseball 4
Once I had my cheese mixture done I put on a pair of plastic gloves and jumped right in. I saw immediately why Anita Little suggested gloves. Oh what a mess it could have been without them. There was a lot of cheese mixture, instead of 1 huge cheese ball I made 3 smaller ones. The first two I rolled in crushed pecans the third in crushed Ritz crackers. Into the fridge it went to chill out.
cheeseball 6
cheeseball 7

It was great. Too great. Now I’m sitting here typing this with some serious heartburn. It was worth it though. Oh so worth it.

I Know This is Going to Sound Corny…

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Found this recipe for oven roasted corn on the cob on Pinterest. Simple, quick and I had all the ingredients on hand. I must say my corn looked nothing like the corn in the pin but let me tell you, it was the best corn on the cob I have ever had. EVER.

 

You can grill these tasty bad boys or bake them in the oven. I used the oven, our grill has went to the great grill master in the sky. It was a good grill and will be missed by all. Moment of silence please.

So without further ado….Parmesan Corn on the Cob

Parmesan Corn on the Cob

4 ears of corn cut in half to make 8 little corns (I didn’t cut mine in half)

½ c. parmesan cheese

½ c. softened butter

2 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. sea salt

Combine cheese, butter and spices. Mix well. Using hands slather that mix of tastiness all over your corn. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 420 degrees for 30 minutes.

Here is the site the pin took me. Smoky Parmesan Corn on the Cob

This wasn’t pretty but it was tasty. I broiled one piece for pictures. The parmesan mixture looked better that way. It was even better tasting after the broiling.

Just a random thought: You know what I don’t like about corn on the cob? After you eat it you are forever picking it from between your teeth. This little tidbit serves no purpose to this post but I’m okay with that.

The mixture

The mixture

corn smothered with mixture

corn smothered with mixture

Wrapped in foil

Wrapped in foil

Oh so tasty

Oh so tasty