Saturday, June 20, 2009

Microwave Lemon Curd

A few years ago I discovered "Microwave Lemon Curd". Lemon curd in the grocery store is kind of pricey, and regular lemon curd made on a double boiler is pretty time consuming. This technique makes absolutely delicious lemon curd in just a few minutes. I used it to make "Country Cake with Lemon Curd, Cream and Berries" from the Sisters' Cafe Blog. ( ) Although, I added an extra layer of lemon curd under the whipped cream. It was heavenly, and I have lemon curd left over for biscuits, to stir into Greek Yogurt, to fill cupcakes... the possibilities are endless!

Microwave Lemon Curd

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Whisk all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Whisk well, microwave for a total of 3-4 minutes, whisking well every 30 seconds, until the curd becomes thick. Let cool, and refrigerate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Apricot Jam

Well, after picking 29 pounds of apricots off the tree in my yard I had no choice but to make jam! And, man... is it good! I'm not writing a food column for the newspaper anymore, but I had such an urge to take a picture and share the recipe! A friend of mine had said she'd like me to put recipes on my blog since she misses my column, so maybe I'll do this occasionally.
This recipe calls for Apricot "Almonds", the little almond like seed inside the pit when you crack them open. They DO have a little natural occuring cyanide in them, just like apple seeds, but you'd need to eat pounds of them to do you harm. These "almonds" are what is used to make almond extract actually. Not only do they impart an almond flavor, but supposedly they help set the jam, and they also have a high concentration of vitamin B-17, B-15, and laetrile which some claim can treat cancer (some say that's a quack treatment, what do I know?) Anyway, a couple in your jam jar won't hurt you.
Also, you'll want to scrape the foam off the top of the jam while it cooks. If you put it in a jar or glass and let it settle overnight, there will be apricot syrup that settles in the bottom. Scrape the remaining foam off the syrup, and it is absolutely heavenly on top of pancakes! It's like the reward for the person who did all the work on the jam!
Apricot Jam
4 and 1/2 pounds apricots
1/2 cup water
7 cups sugar

Wash, stone and chop the apricots, retaining 1/3 of the stones. Place fruit into a large pan.Crack the stones and add the kernels to the pan along with the water.Boil until soft.Add sugar and return to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened about 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. Carefully pour into hot, sterilized jars. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to remove any jam. Top with a lid that has been softening in warm water, and screw on the jar ring. Turn jars upside down and cool. When turned upright the lid should be indented or stay indented when you push it down.
Notes: Don't omit the kernels from this recipe. They help the jam to set.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Breakfast after Graduation

Lately people ask a lot if Paige and Madison are twins.

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Madison's 8th grade graduation

Okay, I've gotta brag... Valedictorian (4.0 all 4 semesters including Spanish 2 years, Algebra, Geometry, Advanced English, etc.), a special science award, Presidential Education Award, CJSF award, and going into high school pre-IB, with IB Spanish, Algebra 2, among the courses. She's such a smarty! And gorgeous too!
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