Tag Archive for Jam

Thanks Mama


me and mom

Moms are the best, aren’t they?! Well I have to say that mine is the absolute best! Hopefully someday, I will be the mom that she continues to be. As a single mom, my mom raised two girls, worked an 8-5 job, helped take care of our needs, and always managed to get a good meal on the table. My sister and I were always part of the meal, be it setting the table, cooking part of the meal, or sitting in the kitchen while mom quizzed us on our spelling words. Yep, you read that right. We sat on the kitchen stool (which mom still has in the kitchen today) and studied or read aloud to mom, kicking or screaming we had to do it. Our kitchen has always been an important part of our lives.


Mom taught me many wonderful things in the kitchen, and most of them require patience, which I need more of at times. She taught me the importance of creaming the butter, eggs and sugar together, to read the recipe completely before starting it,(many mistakes were made before I knew this) and most recently how to make and can homemade jam. Mom always comes to the rescue when I have a baking question or crisis. Mom has and will always be one of my greatest teachers, inside and out of the kitchen.


Because we live so far away, we frequently talk on the phone. On one of the last calls, she told me to watch for a package in the mail. WOOO WHOO!!! Any article of mail that does not look, smell, or feel like a bill is much appreciated! A couple of days later the package arrived. My husband let me know the minute I walked in the door that the package was here. He was also quick to tell me that he thought HIS name was on the package and he already opened it…AND he said the rhubarb-raspberry jam was awesome. Right, he thought his name was on it, hmm he knew there was going to be some kind of food in it and he wanted first dibs. Very tricky Mr. but I am not falling for that one.

I looked in the opened box and it was like Christmas! Mom sent two jars of homemade jam, rhubarb-raspberry and pear-raspberry. YUM! And she also sent me some decorating goodies from Wilton, icing bag ties, a decorating bag holder and tip covers!! Just what I have been eying at Michaels everytime I am there. I am excited about my new toys and I can’t wait to use them! Who wants frosted sugar cookies?

moms jam


ties and tips

Thanks Mama, you are the greatest! Love ya!

God Bless You Mrs. Garten

While enjoying our first week of summer vacation, we decided to venture out to the good ol’ public library. Of course I managed to make my way to the cooking section. Completely surrounded by cooking books, I could barely contain myself! :) Immediately I started looking for my favorite food goddess: Ina Garten. Her recipes are to die for! I would give my right arm to be invited to her house in the Hamptons for any meal! (Ok, maybe giving up my arm is a little much, but seriously have you seen her show?!?) I nestled myself in a comfy chair, and was completely hypnotized by her amazing food ideas and pictures. So many recipes to choose from…

Having made homemade strawberry jam with my Mama over spring break, I have been trying to find a unique way to bake with it. I still had a couple jars of it taking up space on the kitchen counter. homemade strawberry jamWhile flipping through the pages of Ina’s cookbook, and trying not to drool, one stood out….Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars. This is a very simple and delicious recipe. They turned out much better than I thought they would. Imagine a ribbon of sweet jam sandwiched between moist peanut butter cookies, topped off with crunchy chopped peanuts. If you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you will ADORE these bars! The only thing I will change for next time is to add a little more jam, as per my husband’s request.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

(Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home)pbjbars

Makes 24 bars

½ pound –unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan

1 ½ cups –sugar

1 teaspoon- pure vanilla extract

2-extra large eggs

2 cups- creamy peanut butter

3 cups- all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan

1 teaspoon-baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons –kosher saltpbjbars2

1 ½ cups jam

2/3 salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 X 2 inch baking pan.

-In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until well combined.

-In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

-Spread two thirds of the dough in the prepared pan, using a knife topbjbar4 spread it evenly. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; the dough will spread when it bakes. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.