Banana Pineapple Jam

This recipe for Banana Pineapple Jam was actually written down twice in this collection. The content of the cards is identical, so I don’t plan to post the other one separately. Note that Certo is fruit pectin, an additive that helps jams and jellies to gel nicely. Be careful when searching for this product because apparently there is a method to trick a drug test using Certo. Who knew?

Banana Pineapple Jam

4 cups (2 pounds) prepared fruit

7 1/2 cups sugar

1 lemon (juice of)

1 bottle Certo

1/2 tsp butter

Mash 5 ripe bananas to pulp & add 1 can (No 2) crushed pineapple. [A No. 2 can is 2 1/2 cups or 20 oz] Measure 4 cups fruit in large saucepan. Add sugar & mix well, and bring to rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Then stir and skim for 5 min til cool & to prevent floating fruit. Ladle into glass & paraffin at once.

  1. lemon prevents browning of bananas
  2. Butter helps foam from forming
  3. This boils over very easily

UPDATE: Site reader Sarah provided us with some important food safety information: This recipe is great if you’re going to keep it in the fridge, but please be aware that it is NOT a safe canning recipe. First of all, the pH won’t be low enough to prevent botulinum toxins from forming, and second paraffin is not a reliable sealant. It would be best to ladle into glass jars, seal with a tight-fitting lid, and keep below 40 degrees in the refrigerator until completely consumed. Thank you!

Apricot Nut Cups

For a sweet treat you might want to try Apricot Nut Cups. Apricots are not quite as sweet as peaches, and combined with nuts they make a nice treat. You will need a mini muffin pan for this one to make the cups. The recipe calls for Solo brand apricot filling. If you aren’t able to find that at your local market, you can make the filling by stewing down fresh apricots. I’ll link to a recipe at the bottom of this post.

Apricot Nut Cups

1 3 oz pkg cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup butter or margarine (butter is always better)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 can Solo Apricot Filling (6 oz)

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Blend cream cheese & butter into flour with a pastry blender. Form 24 1″ balls. Line miniature muffin pan with balls of dough and shape into crusts. For filling combine egg, brown sugar, Solo Apricot Filling (6 oz) and nuts. Spoon into individual crusts & bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool in pan.

 

Apricot Filling from scratch via Wilton

Sweet Cucumber Slices

It’s the first full week of May, did you plant your cucumber seeds?  If you did, in a couple months you should be enjoying fresh cucumbers, and if a bumper crop, you will have excess. You could try pickling with a simple recipe like this one.

Sweet Cucumber Slices

1 cup sugar

1 tsp mustard seed

1 tsp celery seed

3 cups vinegar

1 cup water

tsp whole black pepper

little red pepper (optional)

Cut cucumbers in 1/4 ” slices. Soak in brine of 1/2 cup salt to 1/2 gal water for 6 to 8 hours or over night. Mix mixture and pour over slices boiling hot. Simmer in mixture 5 to 10 minutes. Pack in jars. Pour mixture over put lids on.

Ok, that’s a little confusing – slice cucumbers into 1/4″ slices. Make a brine of 1/2 cup salt & 1/2 gal water. Soak the slices in the brine 6 to 8 hours or over night. Drain the brine. Mix the sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, vinegar, water and pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil and then add the cucumber slices. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Ladle slices into jars, then top up the jars with the remaining hot liquid. Apply lids & preserve by preferred method.

Lasagna

You can never have too many lasagna recipes, in my opinion. They may not always be significantly different, but sometimes you can take ideas and methods from various recipes to combine into your “own” special method. My mother used to put slices of pepperoni into hers on occasion. I loved that. These days, if I make a big pasta dish, it’s one of the “lazy day” lasagna types that uses rigatoni or penne noodles. I hate working with the big lasagna noodles because they always tear. One thing you can do is parboil them rather than fully cook them. They will absorb a little bit more liquid when baking.

What do you like to do with your lasagna to make it your own special recipe?

Lasagna

2 lbs ground beef

1 48 oz jar Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (any brand is ok)

2 lbs ricotta cheese

1/2 lb mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 T parsley flakes

Salt & pepper to taste

1 lb lasagna noodles, cooked

1 c grated parmesan cheese

Brown beef, drain fat. Add Ragu, heat just to boiling. Cut 12 thin slices mozzarella for topping. Shred remainder and mix with ricotta, egg, parsley, salt & pepper. Ladle 1 cup meat sauce into bottom of each (almost 12×8) baking dish. Layer 3 noodles (I think this means side by side, not on top of each other) then about 1 cup cheese mixture & 1 cup meat sauce in each pan. Repeat twice. Sprinkle 1/2 parmesan onto each. Top with mozzarella slices. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes until bubbly. Serves 12.

Favorite Beef Loaf

Just the other day, a friend of mine was lamenting that she couldn’t make meat loaf because she can’t tolerate milk. After shaking my head, because I have never ever made meatloaf with milk, I shared a recipe very similar to this one with her. She happily was able to make her meatloaf and even put one in the freezer. Cooking knowledge for the win! With this particular recipe, it goes without saying to combine all ingredients (I use my Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle), then place in a greased loaf pan. To be really decadent, top with slices of bacon. Enjoy!

Favorite Beef Loaf

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1 cup medium cracker crumbs

2 beaten eggs

1 8 oz can (1 cup) seasoned tomato sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 Tbsp chopped green pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 medium bay leaf crushed

Dash thyme

Dash marjoram

350

About 1 hour