Strawberry Vanilla Jam

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 6 1/2 pints

About This Recipe

“This recipe is an adaptation/mash-up of the strawberry jam recipe in the book titled Well Preserved by Mary Anne Dragan and the strawberry vanilla jam recipe in the book titled Put ‘Em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton that also includes my own additions! The butter is optional and will help tame the foaming but don’t use more than 1/2 teaspoon as this may raise the pH too high making your finished product unsafe to can. The lemon juice should be bottled instead of fresh because bottled has a more reliable and consistent pH where as fresh can vary. This makes wonderful gifts that are a bit more special than just regular strawberry jam! I usually get 6 half pint jars and a quarter pint jar out of this recipe.”


    • 8 cups sliced strawberries
    • 6 cups sugar
    • 1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 vanilla beans
    • 1/2 teaspoon butter


  1. Place the strawberries in a large stockpot and crush them slightly with a potato masher to break them up a little and release some of their juice. Simmer the strawberries over medium low heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, seeds scraped from the vanilla beans, (you may also add the vanilla bean pods if desired after you have scraped the seeds from them – just remember to take them out before you start filling your jars!) butter and sugar and stir well until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and boil hard for 20 minutes, stirring frequently (be careful, this has a tendency to spit at you and boiling sugar burns are unpleasant!), until it has reduced and thickened a bit. You may test for gel at this point if deisred.
  4. Remove from heat and stir constantly for 3 minutes to redistribute the fruit evenly through the jam and prevent it from floating to the top of your finished product.
  5. Ladle jam into hot half pint (8 oz.) jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes – adjusting for altitude.

Bobby’s Turkey Burgers

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Show: Grill It! with Bobby Flay

Episode: Burgerlicious

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings


Meyer Lemon-Honey Mustard:


  • 1 1/2 pounds 90-percent lea) freshly ground turkey (not all white meat), chilled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices goat cheese, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns, split and lightly grilled
  • Watercress, for serving


Cook’s Note: If you are unable to find Meyer lemons, mix 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice.

For the Meyer lemon-honey mustard: Whisk together in a small bowl the mustard, honey, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

For the burgers: Preheat the grill to high. Form the meat into four 6-ounce burgers. If you are not going to cook right away, keep the burgers cold in the refrigerator. Sprinkle the burgers on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. During the last minutes of cooking, add 2 slices of cheese to each burger, cover the grill and let the cheese soften slightly, about 1 minute. Put the burgers on the buns, drizzle with some of the Meyer lemon-honey mustard and top with a few sprigs of watercress. Serve with extra mustard on the side.

Blueberry Jam

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 half pints

About This Recipe

“Used to top ice-cream,your favorite scones,toast, etc.! Makes a great gift wrapped with a pretty ribbon!”


    • 2 pints frozen blueberries
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 packet ball 100% fruit pectin
    • 5 1/4 cups sugar


  1. Thaw and drain blueberries.
  2. Crush blueberries one layer at a time.
  3. Combine 3 cups crushed blueberries and lemon juice in a large saucepot.
  4. Stir in Fruit Jell pectin.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  7. Return mixture to a rolling boil.
  8. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Skim foam if necessary.
  11. Preserve It-.
  12. Ladle hot jam into hot “Ball” 8-oz jelly jar to 1/4 inch below rim.
  13. Wipe jar rim clean.
  14. Place lid on jar and tighten band, just until a point of resistance is met.
  15. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
  16. Cool for 12 to 24 hours.
  17. Remove bands.
  18. Lids should be concave in middle.
  19. Yield: About 6 half pints.

Hot Pepper Garlic Jelly

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 36 mins
  • Yield: 6 1/2-7 half pints

About This Recipe

“I have made several different recipes for hot pepper jelly and decided that I had tweaked them all to the point of newness. Here is my interpretation of a good, hot jelly that works well as a glaze on chicken or pork or on top of a brie or over some cream cheese. Heck I have even had it on celery with peanut butter but that’s a whole other story. I use a variety of colored peppers for really pretty jelly, yellow, red green, etc. I think habenaros give the best flavor and heat. My instructions are kind of long but I thought the details of canning might be helpful to someone. Wear rubber gloves whenever handling hot peppers or you’ll be sorry. Makes a great addition to a gift basket. Hope you enjoy it. ”


    • 1 cup hot peppers, chopped ( I use a mixture of whatever’s ready in the garden, habenaros, thai chilis, tabasco, jalapeno)
    • 1 red bell peppers or 1 green bell peppers, chopped
    • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped garlic, to taste
    • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
    • 6 cups sugar
    • 1 -2 packet liquid Certo ( or other liquid pectin)


  1. I begin by putting my jars and rings in a big pot of water on the stove and bring to a low boil.
  2. Leave them boiling slightly till you are ready for them.
  3. Have your jar flats ready on the counter along with a damp rag to wipe the rims of your jars after filling.
  4. Put peppers, green pepper, garlic, vinegar and sugar in a large pot and mix well.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
  6. Boil for 5- 6 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add Certo and stir.
  8. Pour into 1/2 pint jars.
  9. As soon as you fill a jar wipe the rim, put a flat in the ring and twist onto jar and invert jar on cloth towel to seal (heat from jar, ring and jelly should seal it).
  10. Leave them on the counter for a while to finish sealing.
  11. If you notice the peppers settling just give the jar a little shake every once in a while.
  12. After they have cooled and sealed (you will not be able to push down on the flat at all) you can turn them over and tighten the rings again and you’re done!
  13. **NOTE FROM CHEF** One packet of liquid certo will work just fine, the jelly will “looser”. I actually prefer it with one packet myself.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

From our Family to yours, Happy Mother’s Day!! There is nothing more important than a Mother…. Without Mothers, we would cease to exist…. Be thankful that your Mother took on the hardest job in the world and show her that no matter how much she bitches, yells, makes you do chores, etc. that you LOVE her…. ❤

Obama’s family influenced his gay marriage shift, aides say –

By Christi Parsons

May 10, 2012, 3:45 a.m.

WASHINGTON — As he weighed a shift in his public position on gay marriage, perhaps no one had as much influence on President Obama as his wife, Michelle.

“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do,” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts on Wednesday.

Even as Obama’s position was in a state of evolution, White House advisors said, the first lady went out of her way to invite gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual couples to the events she sponsored for military families.

Around the West Wing, there are several gay staffers, and at least one in a committed relationship and raising children. And the Obama daughters have friends with same-sex parents, whom the first family has gotten to know.

“There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents, and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective,” Obama said.

One day a few weeks ago, aides said, the president told his top advisors that he had reached a personal decision. He wanted to weigh in on the gay-marriage discussion.

“He was ready,” said one senior administration official who requested anonymity to discuss the private talk.

The account offered by White House aides Wednesday gives the impression of a carefully planned rollout of the president’s new view. Before then, the subject was one officials were reluctant to discuss.

After Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples being married, the White House was at pains to say the comments were entirely consistent with Obama’s position, and swatted away questions about new policy that might be forthcoming.

Now, following the president’s comments, aides say he wanted to affirm the idea of same-sex marriage before the Democratic National Convention.

It would be a subject of discussion in platform talks and in private conversation, the president told his team, and he wanted to be in front of it. He also felt it was right to tell the country that he had arrived at a new place before the election, said a second senior official.

Advisors tried to game out how that would play in terms of the election: Maybe swing-state voters wouldn’t like it, it would suppress enthusiasm among black volunteers or it would turn off evangelical Latinos otherwise leaning toward Obama.

On the other hand, maybe voters would give him credit for taking a stand. Perhaps young volunteers and donors would be inspired and energized by the move.

There was no way to predict the “crosscurrents,” said the second official.

The White House team was planning to take more time to lay out their plan, but then the vice president went on “Meet the Press” last Sunday. He wasn’t expected to articulate his own view if asked about this but rather to talk about the president’s record and evolving viewpoint.

Because the vice president knew Obama was ready, a senior advisor said, he “leaned in more than he normally would have” when he was asked about the issue.

A day later, Education Secretary Arne Duncan surprised the staff by weighing in with his position in support of same-sex marriage.

The two events combined served to move up the timing, and the West Wing reached out to ABC to give the president a chance to say it himself.

“He always planned to do it sooner rather than later,” the official said. “This just moved up the timing.”

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

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