Friday, August 14, 2009

From My Kitchen

I had to try Brooke's Banana Bread recipe when I saw it on her blog. She boldly states that it's the BEST banana bread recipe you'll EVER find. With that kind of claim, you know I had to test it out. Grandma Smith's Banana BreadIt got Melody's seal of approval. She gobbled it up happily. I couldn't stop eating slice after slice. It's really good, Brooke! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Brooke has been my baking inspiration this Summer. When I saw that she made these cookies, I couldn't wait for my issue of Martha Stewart Living (June 2009) to arrive. I had been getting strawberries from the CSA I joined this Summer and these Strawberry Shortcake Cookies were the perfect recipe to use them in. They really should be eaten the day they are baked because mine turned soggy the next day. I also think I made the mistake of putting in too much strawberries because the moisture lent to the sogginess. Of course, this is really a shortcake recipe and not a cookie recipe. They were delicious and like Brooke, I added a lemon icing drizzle which only enhanced the taste.

With the abundance of strawberries from the CSA, I turned the rest into Strawberry Vanilla Jam. You can even see the little flecks of vanilla seeds in the jam. I sort of just made up the recipe and it was delicious on a slice of toast the next morning. I didn't have any canning jars, so I just kept it in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Now, my current obsession is canning and preserving. While I was at the Jersey Shore in July, I picked up 3 cases of canning jars at Walmart. Last week, I made a batch of Blueberry Jam and canned for the first time! It was so satisfying to hear that pinging sound the lids makes when they begin to cool on the counter. I am planning to make another batch of jam this weekend.
This is a really good reference book for a beginner. It has illustrations for certain steps and a ton of recipes. It's the new 100th Anniversary Edition and I have heard that it's been hard to find for some people. I bought mine at Target, but it's a seasonal item along with the jars. I bought one extra copy to giveaway on the blog.

So, dear readers, please leave a comment if you would like a chance to win this book. The contest ends on August 23, Sunday at Midnight EST. The winner will have one week to respond with their address. If I don't hear from that person, I will draw another name.

34 comments:

Rima said...

So very yummy! All the goods look like they got well-deserved approval from Melody. My mother used to make some really good jam when we were kids. Nothing like homemade jam. PS: Did you get my Rav-email about photography classes?

jenny said...

Everything looks delicious! And that book looks like fun!

Muddling Through said...

Congratulations on your canning! It is very satisfying to see rows of jars and you know exactly what went into them. :) Stockpiling is good!

And that is a good reference book. Please don't enter me in the drawing though. I already have it and I wouldn't want to rob someone else of a great resource!

Erin Joy and Sarah Jane said...

I'm always up for a new cooking challenge! That banana bread is to die for - I'm going to have to over there and raid her kitchen!

Ladybean said...

ARGH... I'm trying to get into a sugar-controlling diet and now I see this. Hee.. You are the 3rd person I know of in NYC in a CSA. And the first I know of to can food. I have been thinking about getting into canning and heard the Ball book is a good resource. I'm just afraid I might go TOO far and can everything in site. heh.

Jennie said...

OOhhhhh, Banana Bread yummy, it's been a few years since I made some.
I have an apple tree in the front garden, so I'm going to try making apple sauce for the first time & more apple cakes to store in the freezer, perfect for dessert =)

Micki said...

Ooh, yum! I made banana bread this week too. :)

Julie said...

Your jam sounds amazing. I'll have to remember that next year if we get a better strawberry season. I dipped my toes into canning a little bit this year with the blueberry syrup which has encouraged me to try more. I'll have to search local stores for a copy of the Ball book as Amanda Cathleen mentioned it too.

annemarie said...

This is something I would love to try - hope I am lucky enough to win!

celia said...

I'm goign to try the banana bread this weekend, I think. The jam looks and sounds delish

Pixiepurls said...

I've always wanted to try canning, but ohh boy that bread and cookies look soooo good!

Maxine said...

I made my first batch of grape jam in the kitchen of my very best friend, Mazie. She's a great teacher. Sure could use this book now that Mazie has moved to Peachtree City, Georgia.

Jackie said...

I made some rasphberry jam this year and it turned out great.
Would love to win the book.
Love your blog and your daughter is adorable.
Thanks for the give away.

nova said...

I have wanted to try canning for a while now, actuall. We went peach picking last week and will probably go again this weekend, I think peach jelly or jam sounds good. I want to try that banana bread recipe, but I would have to modify, I have recently discovered that I am a wee lactose intolerant. It's very sad.

sophie said...

yum, yum, and yum.

CynCyn said...

hmm. i don't really want the book. I want a can of jam. :)

everything looks delish. wonder how that lemon icing might go on the banana bread. mmm.

BabyBeth said...

Holy moly! I was just telling my boyfriend that I wanted to learn how to can after we went and picked more blueberries than we thought we knew what to do with. AND it just so happens that August 23rd is the start of my 25th birthday week and what better way to start than by winning a contest? ;)

rhymeswithspoon said...

Great minds think alike! I've been doing some research and reading on canning lately! I'll have to check out this book.

AND, I was planning on baking some banana bread tonight before I leave town tomorrow. I think I'll have to give this recipe a whirl!

Stephanie said...

oh CSA. I've been debating joining a CSA at some point. Figure maybe it will force some cooking mojo ;) your kitchen experiments sure look delicious! Throw me in the hat for the book - but I'm with CynCyn - I'd rather have a jar of your delicious jam ;)

hetty said...

Everything looks delicious! Melody seems to be enjoying the goodies from your kitchen! What an adorable smile of contentment!

emicat said...

I just tried canning for the first time this year too - I heard that book was pretty good, but was not aware of a new edition out.

Thanks for the opportunity to win a book from your blog!

Julie said...

FYI: Ace Hardware had several copies of the anniversary Ball canning book today as well as loads of canning supplies. It's also available via the website but then you must pay 6.95 shipping, highway robbery!

Jeanne said...

The cookies and jam look amazing! I love strawberries...

No thanks on the book - I can't imagine canning, but can't wait to see what you do! :-)

Sam said...

Ooh that all looks so very delicious! Thanks for the reference on canning - that's something I'd like to try my hand at.

Jelly Wares said...

Those strawberry cookies look delicious... Thanks for the cooking, and eating, tips can't wait to give them a try...

Take Care
Jodie :)

Agnes said...

My husband loves banana bread ... I'll definitely try Brook's recipe since it got little Melody's approval.
Canning? Haven't tried that before ... but it sounds like fun and a really good way to use up all the summer berries and fruits.

caitlyn said...

Ohhh, seeing your baked goods always makes me hungry! The banana bread, cookies, and jam look delicious!

Hannah said...

It's definitely been far too long since I last made banana bread... Sure sounds good right about now!

And man, would I love to learn about canning! Looks like a great resource.

Anonymous said...

I'd LOVE to learn how to can fruits! Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway!

Take care!
Tracy
tracyhong@comcast.net

Alissia Huntzinger said...

canning is amazing! thanks for the giveaway!

Corrie said...

oh yum yum yum...I feel the need to do some baking and jamming now! I love making jams and always thought I had to keep my jars in order to make jam until I found out you can pick them up at the supermarket for a couple of $$$'s! duh!

Corrie:)

Rebekah said...

yummy! Those strawberry cookies look delicious!

I just got into canning last summer and it's a lot of fun. I would also recommend this book for a lot of great savory recipes: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592288243/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

(don't enter me in the book drawing, please...I already have that one :)

joyce said...

ah jam!! my sister-in-law made some for xmas one year and it was so good. she made it not so sweet so it was perfect!

rohanknitter said...

I think I have that same book (non-anniversary edition) and it's really a great reference. Canning is a lot of work but it is really satisfying, like you mentioned!! Your baking looks so yummy, with the cool temps here it puts me in the mood to bake!