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.