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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How to crack your marbles not lose them

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One pin from Pinterest I have been wanting to try is the cracked marbles. Turns out it’s very simple and FUN! I wanted one to go in my miniature garden to use as a gazing globe.

How to lose crack your marbles.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place marbles in a pan, one with high sides. Those marbles tend to roll around.

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Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately place in a bowl of ice water.

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Here is the fun part: you can hear the water sizzle and the marbles pop. I also did the same to a few glass ‘rocks’ used for decorating. They cracked but not as much as I wanted, maybe they need higher heat or a longer bake time.

I hope to find some solid light colored marbles to try. I think they would make pretty pendants.

Cracked

Cracked

Not much cracking going on

Not much cracking going on

Garden gazing globe

Garden gazing globe

 

 

 

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!

Strawberry Cobbler

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The husband and I went down the road to the strawberry farm this past weekend. We brought home a huge container of strawberries. HUGE! Once home I chopped most to freeze for smoothies. Used some for Strawberry Chia Jam. Recipe for jam will come at a later date. The last thing I made was a fresh Strawberry Cobbler (recipe a friend shared with me). My husband called it a pie but it’s a cobbler. He is still saying it was a pie. Poor misguided soul.
Oh my it was yummy no matter what you call it.

Cobblers. It seems everybody has their favorite recipe. To me the key to a good cobbler is the cake like top. If it’s not good it doesn’t matter how wonderful your filling is. This is a new recipe for me. It is not my favorite but it is a good cobbler. Darn good cobbler. One day I will share my two go to cobblers. They are simple, fool proof and so amazingly tasty.

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler

Fresh strawberries. Enough to fill you pan/pie dish over half full.
1 cup Bisquick
1 cup granulated sugar (I only had half a cup so I did half granulated sugar and half coconut sugar)
½ cup melted butter
1 egg

Chop your strawberries. Put in the pan the amount of strawberries you think is plenty. Now put in some more. These guys will cook down a lot. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of your sugar over the fruit.
Mix your Bisquick, rest of sugar, egg and butter together. You will have a thick batter type concoction. Spoon this over your strawberries.
Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Fresh picked strawberries

Fresh picked strawberries


Sugar mixture

Sugar mixture


batter topping

batter topping


I had a piece with a little bit of whipped cream. The husband had his with vanilla ice cream along with a huge helping of whipped cream. It was good. If I make this again I will either add more melted butter or some water to the batter topping. I think a thinner batter would have mingled more with the strawberries instead of just floating on top.
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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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Fiery Hot Lips: DIY Cinnamon Lip Balm

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Fire balm

I love me some cinnamon. I am still enjoying the cinnamon toothpicks I made. I was gathering supplies to make a small batch of lip balm and was thinking about those cinnamon toothpicks. Suddenly an idea hit me, thankfully not hard, but it did hit me. The idea? Cinnamon lip balm. I read several pins on making lip balm and from them I came up with the recipe down below.

Let me tell you something about cinnamon lip balm…it is not for the faint of heart.

Lip Balm of Fire:

Ingredients:
4 tsp. of beeswax pellets
1 ½ tsp. of Shea butter
2 tsp. sweet almond oil
1 tsp. Argan oil
3-6 drops cinnamon oil
A tiny chunk of lipstick if you want tinted balm
A tiny container for your balm

In a pot add a few inches of water, turn burner on low. Give the water a few minutes to heat up. Using either a glass jar or some other container that can take the heat, place the jar in the warm water. Into your jar add the beeswax, Shea butter, Sweet Almond oil and Argan Oil.
Let everything melt, stirring with a wooden spoon. Once melted add your lipstick chunk if you are tinting. If not remove from heat, add your cinnamon, stir then pour into your storage container.

Beeswax

Beeswax


Wax and oils melted together.

Wax and oils melted together.

This is my first time dealing with beeswax. What I learned from this first time is that the stuff wants to set up FAST. So have your storage container handy so you can pour quickly.

I should have added a bigger chunk of lipstick. I had a bronze color which using just a little made my balm look dirty. I meant to pour just three drops of cinnamon oil but a tad more came out of the bottle. I let my balm set, which didn’t take long. It smelled like cinnamon heaven. I put it on my lips and it burnt like hell. My lips were on FIRE. Grabbing a rag I wiped what I could of the balm off my lips. Still the fire was raging. I made a mad dash to my freezer, grabbed a cube of ice and tried to cool down my burning lips. It took a few minutes but my lips cooled down. On a positive note my lips were nice and soft. Was it from the oils in the balm or did the dry rough skin burn off? I don’t know and I’m not going to try it again. Hell who am I kidding? It’s cinnamon, of course I’m going to try it again.

This was a very Pinteresting and painful adventure. Do you have a favorite lip balm recipe? Please share.

Setting up

Setting up