Peach & Jalapeno Jam

peach jam3

 

Hello world & Happy Fall, Ya’ll! I can finally celebrate Autumn because the weather is slowly breaking here in N.E OH and according to my calendar, tomorrow (Friday) marks the first official day of fall, heck yeah! Who else really enjoys the fall as much as me!? How can you argue sweaters, boots, leaves crunching beneath your feet, crisp air, picking apples and then turning them into a fresh pie, warm days and cool nights, everything fall scented, fall crafts such as pumpkin painting/carving, bonfires, no bugs or sweat running down your body, goodbye to sunburn and busy nights at work! Fall really is the best season.

For those of you that have missed me, I appreciate your patience in waiting for my next blog post, ya’ll are the best! If you are new to following me, ICYMI: Summers for me working as a banquet captain at a Country Club is very busy. I don’t allow myself a lot of free time to work on cooking at home, crafting, photography and anything else that makes this blog what it is. I tend to disappear every so often because this is only a hobby for me and I only have a small window of free time to do what I love. Thank you to those who do continue to read and follow my blog. You can also follow my facebook page if you are on there as well facebook.com/driven2eat

As I was saying, fall is here and August thru September has the best produce available. -If you haven’t stopped at your local farmers market yet, this is the last week to do it before the season ends! I was lucky enough to make it up in time for the last of the peaches hull. I don’t know how the peaches were for everyone else, but the peaches we had here weren’t all the great 😦 I was disappointed in the lack of sweetness and juice that I expect to have from a peach, they were okay.

When I make breakfast at home, I usually almost always have a toasted English muffin with fresh jam. I had been buying Jam from Amish Country the last few years and haven’t made my way up there in a few months, figured it was time to just make my own anyways. With how easy it is to make jam, there’s no excuse whey I don’t make it more often! I took a look around the fridge and noticed that a few Jalapenos I had remaining were beginning to do the pruning effect on the outside, so it was time to do something with those as well. I remembered one thing my Aunt always liked to bring to a family dinner, cream cheese topped with pepper jam to spread on crackers for an appetizer. That’s when the light bulb went on in my head to take my leftover peaches and jalapenos and make a jam! The lack of sugar in these peaches actually made them perfect for this recipe. Sweet meets heats for a great spread. Peach and Jalapeno are a great combination together. This recipe also makes an excellent glaze on pork or fish for a finishing touch on dinner!

peach jam

Mise En Place:

  • 3 Large Peaches, Diced
  • 3 Jalapenos, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • Juice 1/2 Lime
  • 2 Small Mason Jars for storing

peach jam2

Method of Prep:

  • Mix together peaches, jalapenos, sugar and lime juice until sugar well incorporated. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Over high heat, add mix into a pan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow to lightly simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Liquid should reduce by half and coat the back of a spoon when ready.
  • Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into Mason jars and cool to room temperature. Seal shut, refrigerate after opening. *If jam is cooked too long, it may become gelatinous and hard to spread once cooled. Scoop out what you need for spreading. As jam sits on a warm surface it will begin to melt for easier spreading. 

peach jam4

*You may blend the jam at the end if you don’t like the candied chunks of jalapeno that will be left behind. 

Advertisements

Apple Butter

apple-butter

Autumn, the years last loveliest smile. Were already half way through the season but it really hasn’t felt much like fall here in N.E Ohio in the last month with the unusually warmer weather we’ve been having, hey I’m not complaining though!  This week, the temperature finally started to dip back into the lower 60s with heavy clouds and even a little rain fall here and there. The crisp air is comforting as I warm up around a fire pit with a hot hazelnut latte from Starbucks in my hand and watch as the wind throws the leaves onto the ground. The sound of leaves crushing beneath my brown leather boots is a lovely reminder that its okay to let things go and to just breathe and have patience for whats to come in the near future.

I didn’t have much opportunity this fall to work with the seasonal produce. I finally made time to swing by my favorite fruit stand up near my Grandparents home in Port Clinton and grabbed a heavy bag of the best looking Gala apples a girl could pick. The first thing that came to my mind that I haven’t made before in the past was Apple butter. Of course I made apple pie as well, however that recipe is one everyone should already have.

This smooth, puree that spreads better than butter is super easy to make and goes great on pancakes or even a piece of toast. Heck, it’s even good enough to eat it off a spoon like peanut butter! However you choose to enjoy it, this recipe is worth making. If you’re looking for gift ideas to your friends and family for the holidays, which are just around the corner, why not make a large batch and can it up in a fun gift basket with pancake mix and other breakfast essentials; Just a fun idea!

apple-butter-2

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Yield: Makes 4, 8oz Jars

Mise en place:

-8 Gala Apples, peeled, cut in medium chunks, seeds removed

-1 Cup Apple Cider

-1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar, divided

-3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

-1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

Method of Prep:

-Bring apples, cider and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil in a dutch oven over high heat. Cover leaving lid slightly ajar, and boil 20 minutes or until apples are tender and most of the liquid had evaporated; Stir every 5 minutes.

-Process cooked apples and cooking liquid in a blender until smooth. Return mixture to dutch oven. Stir in cinnamon, allspice and remaining 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

-Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened.

-Cool about 45 minutes. Spoon into airtight containers and refrigerate up to 2 months or freeze up to 6 months.

**Mix in 3 Tablespoons of Pumpkin puree to make a pumpkin apple butter!

2016-11-08-19-05-06

Cinnamon Apple Chips

I have been beyond busy, which would indicate my lack of blogging. I just got back from what started out as a wonderful and much needed vacation back home to Ohio to visit family, and see a dear friend of mine get married. This fun time away from work ended terribly due to the hurricane making her move though the east coast and pounding states on that side very hard with heavy wind and rain. Although I was supposed to arrive back to Florida on Monday, my flight got canceled twice, and Delta put me through hell in getting new flights, and delaying others causing me to miss more flights and so on. The last 3 days were quite an adventure for me in fighting for a way back south. I have safely arrived and my family up north is doing fine now that the power is back up and running (after being out for almost 3 days!) and most of the damage from large trees falling down and power lines all over the place is about cleaned up.

With that said, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Unfortunately I am staying in for the holiday. My vacation got extended which isn’t a bad thing, but having to go back to work after being off for a week means it’s early to bed and rise once again. While most folks are gorging themselves in the many chocolate variety packs and sweet candies that are going on sale tomorrow, I am pushing the candy to the side this year. For my Halloween treat, I’ve decided to make apples chips! Its a very simple, yummy, and healthy snack. If your not into dried fruits or haven’t had the opportunity to eat them, this is your time to take the fruit of your choice and dehydrate it in your oven. I absolutely love adding dried fruit into salads, oatmeal, yogurt and granola, or eating them solo. Apples are your best choice right now in terms of seasonal fruit, however, you may choose to do any fruit you like. I also prefer: bananas, mango, pineapple, and kiwi.

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 1.5 – 2 Hours

Ingredients:

-2 Large Apples (I used Gala)

-2 Tablespoons Sugar

-1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

 

Method of Prep:

-Slice apples thin using a sharp knife or mandolin (if you have one)

-Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

-In a large bowl, add sugar and cinnamon to the sliced apples and toss until evenly coated.

-Layer a sheet pan with parchment paper, Spread apple slices onto paper, keeping an even distance in between each.

-Place in the oven and bake for up to 2 hours until dry. The texture should be fragile and lightly crunchy.

-Let cool for 10 minutes after removing from the oven.

Enjoy!