Foodies

(The Best) Mixed Berry Preserves

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Grandma Verna would make mixed berry preserves every summer and Matt (her grandson, my husband) would speak of them fondly and often – they were one of his most favorite things about visiting Grandma Verna and Grandpa Bill’s ranch when he was a boy. Grandma Verna always kept big jars of summer berry jam in the fridge and Matt was crazy about them.

After we were married, I asked Grandma Verna for the recipe and she told me there really was no recipe it was only this: “Clean up a bunch of fresh berries, throw in some sugar and pectin, boil it up in a pot and put it in a jar”.  Boom, simple, done.

About six years ago I started making a version of this, and it’s a family favorite. (I originally wrote about this recipe four years ago, but sadly the pictures went “poof!” so I recreated it for y’all again.) These mixed berry preserves are a simple concoction that yields the very best mixed berry preserves I’ve ever tasted, and validates that age old culinary philosophy, “simple is best!”

I start with Verna’s “recipe” but add some citrus zest, and then can it so we can enjoy it in the coldest winter months. This recipe and assembly are so simple, you can’t mess it up, you can’t!  It’s much lower in sugar so that the fruit really steals the show.

simple mixed berry preserves

 

Ingredients:

6 baskets of strawberries (6 oz. each)

6 baskets of raspberries (4 oz each)

6 baskets of blackberries (4 oz each)

Juice from 2 lemons

Zest from 1 large orange

2 cups sugar

Low or No sugar Pectin

8 wide mouth 16 ounce canning jars + lids

First, start with good fruit. Find it at your local grocery store, or at the farmer’s market but get a bunch of seasonal berries that are perfectly ripe and you’re in business. You can mix in other berries too, whatever you like, go crazy, add blueberries or boysenberries or Logan berries, etc.

mixed berries

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Bunny Ears Mousse for Easter

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Hello friends, I have a treat for you today – an edible one just in time for Easter. My friend Matthew Mead, stylist, author, home decor design expert, and former style editor of Country Home magazine sent me this creative and simple idea to share with you for serving a sweet dessert on Easter Sunday. It’s Bunny Ears Mousse!

bunny ears mousse for easter

Please welcome back Matthew Mead and his recipe for Bunny Ears Mousse.

“I am a huge fan of innovation and a bigger fan of Trader Joe’s. I am always out looking for new ideas that are quick, simple and eye catching to bring to the dining room. This Easter I am making these charming mousse cups inspired by Palmiers Cookies that look just like bunny ears. With a few pantry supplies and some creativity you can create these adorable desserts yourself.

You Will Need: Two packages of mousse mix, select from white chocolate, vanilla, or milk chocolate (we used Dr. Oetker brand) and prepare according to package directions; 2 recipes of whipped cream, prepared (see below); angel hair pasta; mini marshmallows; Palmier cookies from Trader Joe’s*; colored icing (optional); jelly beans and sprinkles for garnish (if desired).

*If there is no Trader Joe’s near you, make your own Palmiers ear shaped cookies with several recipes available online.

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