Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler


Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Years back, before the internet became the place to go to get every recipe known to man, as well as some known only to The Mirthful Mermaids of the Planet Playtex (quick! Where’s that from?!), there were lots of options to get recipes via snail mail. Although it wasn’t called snail mail back then… just mail. 😛 One of the options came from various companies hawking recipe cards. They would come in a cute little hard see through plastic case or binders. I was subscribed for a while to one called The Great American Baking Company. It was like Christmas every month as I opened up the new cards and got to look through them to find ones I wanted to make.

The fly in the ointment? Out of a year of doing this, at what I realize now was a ridiculous price (I believe it was like $9.99 a month for about 12 recipe cards), I have now about 5 of those cards that, through various moves, I felt were worth saving. The rest either got thrown out over time, colored on by children over the years or peed on by cats because cats are Satans Spawn.

One that I will always keep is this one. I’ve changed it up a little bit through the years (the vanilla and almond in the fruit are my own idea and I use extra cinnamon in the fruit plus add vanilla to the whipped cream), but not much really in the way of changes at all. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve seen in various places on the web with this person or that claiming credit, but nope… came from a mail order company 😀 I love this one because, in the middle of Winter (or the tail end, like now) I can still have a yummy fruit dessert. This uses canned fruit and couldn’t really be any easier. Plus, I absolutely adore the whipped cream topping. It uses honey and cinnamon instead of the typical sugar and that adds such a unique twist to it. So if you have like 15 minutes to throw this together and an available oven….

You know the drill… 🙂

Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 28 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 15 ounce can apricot halves in syrup, juice drained and combined with the peach juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Topping-
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • Whipped cream topping-
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons honey (depends on how sweet you like it. Start with the lower amount.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in one cup of the combined juices from the fruit, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in the fruits. Pour this all into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish or casserole dish.
  4. For the topping, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt butter and egg. Spoon this over the fruit. It’s a thick mixture, but it will spread as it cooks.
  5. Bake at 400 until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 30 minutes. You may want to either place foil on the rack below or put the baking dish into a larger pan to catch drips. When done, let cool slightly.
  6. For the topping, simply beat together the cream, honey, cinnamon and vanilla and top each serving with a nice big dollop.

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Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Back in the day, when they first came out, I loved McDonalds Yogurt Parfaits. They were a quick fix when I wanted something light, relatively nutritious and still sweet. They were also cheap at a dollar for a good sized serving. Now though, the serving size has shrunk, the price has gone up and they just aren’t as good as they used to be anyway.

So I made my own.

A lot of blogging isn’t even recipes, it’s just helping your readers think outside the food box. This is one of those times. I am giving specifics here on amounts and fruits and the granola I used, etc etc, but unlike this recipe and when you buy these at a store for a bazillion dollars or at McDonalds and wonder if the 16 year old making it sneezed in it, this can be made to YOUR specifications, with the fruits and granola YOU like, the yogurt brand and flavor YOU favor. These just happen to be mine is all.

You know the drill… 🙂

(This makes enough fruit for quite a few parfaits. But that is deliberate. The fruit is wonderful on its own, just mixed with yogurt as is, over ice cream or frozen yogurt, etc. Feel free to halve the quantities if you don’t think you’d use it all within three days or so.)

Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

  • 2 cups vanilla or vanilla honey yogurt (my bottom layer was Oikos vanilla, top layer was vanilla honey from Greek Gods)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 peaches, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • juice and zest of one large lime (about 2 tablespoons each juice and zest)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (and a little extra for drizzling over the top)
  • 1 cup of your favorite granola (I used Trader Joes Pumpkin granola)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, lime juice and zest and the honey. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to get some juices going in the fruit and for the flavors to meld.
  2. Now comes the oh so hard part lol; in 4 purty glasses, layer the yogurt, fruit, granola and top with another dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with some extra honey.
  3. They can be served right away or let them sit in the fridge for a while if you prefer softer granola.
  4. Enjoy!! 🙂

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Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m old! Yep, compared to many bloggers, I’m old. I have six kids, three grown and married and have 7 grandchildren. The bulk of food bloggers are working on their first child, if that.

Why do I mention my old fart status? Jello. That’s why. Back in the stone age, when I was a kid who played with T-Rex bones for fun and dodged falling pterodactyl poop, jello was the dessert of choice. That and canned fruit, though that may have just been my mother who bought that…every…single…payday. Lots of canned fruit. LOTS. I still don’t care for canned fruit. Jello however, I still like. Though I have this bad habit of stockpiling it like there’s going to be a run on jello and then I end up with, no lie, about 50 boxes of jello. And we won’t mention how many boxes of pudding mix that I buy thinking it would be a quick dessert and then never make. And brownie mixes. And…and…never mind. Just suffice it to say that I hope you aren’t wanting to buy gummy candies anywhere anytime soon.

This started out as a creamsicle salad, which, while yummy, isn’t what I wanted. I hate being a conformist. EVERYONE makes it with orange jello. I’m a rebel.

Or something.

I made it with peach jello. And cheesecake flavored pudding mix.

It’s yummy. You need this. This is creamy and peachy and jello-ey (yes, that is now a word) and very refreshing after you’ve spent an hour or so watching your body shrink as you drip sweat over a red hot grill. It’s also so easy that anyone can do it, even my husband.  Ok, maybe I’m stretching the truth there.

Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

  • 2 3 ounce packages cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix (you can sub vanilla or maybe white chocolate if you want to)
  • 1 3 ounce package peach jello
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chopped fresh peaches
  • 16 ounces cool whip
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix and jello. Pour the boiling water over it and stir until smooth and well blended.
  2. Stir in the heavy cream and stir until combined.
  3. Fold in the peaches.
  4. Fold in the cool whip.
  5. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  6. Serve. Eat. Burp. Ok, you don’t have to burp if you don’t want to.

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Show Me The…Pork??


No, you may NOT reach in and snag a blackberry *smacks your hand* Make your own darn it!

I think that it has been established that I like pork. Maybe even love it and want to bear it’s oinky children. Though trying to imagine how said children would sound when laughing rather frightens me considering I tend to snort like a pig when laughing hard (maybe that’s not info I want out there on the web. Hmmmm…). As well as what their nose would look like. I don’t have the smallest schnoz in the world myself so join that with a piggy nose and Lord help the child socially. Plus, that only being able to cool down by rolling in the mud part could cause issues. I can see it now… “Junior, how many times do I have to tell you not to come into the house after you’ve been wallowing?!!!” But…but…*snort snort*… MOMMMMMM… I was hotttttt and…*snort snort*… you said no more 3 hour cold showers!” “No dear, no more cold showers. You’ll need those later when all the women see your nose. Now go get one of your brothers and the axe so I can make dinner”.

Maybe it would better if it were the children of a Llama. I don’t think I’d ever eat llama meat. Food for thought…. or dinner. *Snorts* I crack me up.

I started a pork loin roast marinating a few days ago. Yes, a few days. I like to do a two day marinating time usually and meant to make this last night but it didn’t happen that way. Why? Because I’m a lazy slug. What can I say?

I was worried that the three days would lead to an overly salty piece of meat with the texture of liver. I was pleasantly surprised when that was far from the case. We ended up with a pork roast that my husband ate I think 4 pieces of, I ate two pieces which is rare for me (unless I’m eating mid rare beef in which case just set a side of beef and a knife in front of me). Let’s just say that out of a four pound pork loin there is enough left for a sandwich. Add in the salsa that I made (which my husband actually tried…GASP!!) So yeah… it turned out. 😀 So if you’re a pork fan or like to have fruity relish/salsas with meat, this may be for you.

The marinade is an extreme adaptation of one from all recipes recipe. The salsa is me though as with 99.9% of the things we think we are creating, I am sure there are 500000000 variations online somewhere.

Roast Pork Loin In An Asian/Mex Fusion Marinade

With a Blackberry Peach Salsa

  • 1 3 to 5 pound pork loin
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 small jalapeno, sliced thin
  • SALSA-
  • 1 6 ounce container blackberries
  • 1 large peach, chopped
  • 6 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Leave the lime halves in the marinade. Add the pork roast, turning to coat. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You heard me; 450.
  3. Put roast in a foil lined pan. Again, why make more clean up for yourself if you don’t have to. I want to give a huge kiss to whomever invented foil. On a side note, remember when it was “Tin Foil” not aluminum foil. If you do, that means you too are old like me. Welcome to the club 😀
  4. Cook roast until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees; about 40 minutes. Start checking at 30 and frequently there after. It goes up quickly at that temp. But doing it this high, you get a nice crispy outside and a juicy inside.
  5. While it cooks, make your salsa (can also be done earlier in the day)- mix your salsa ingredients. Taste for seasoning but remember all flavors will get stronger as it sits.
  6. When pork is done, let it rest for about ten minutes before cutting. Drives me nuts when people cut meat the second it comes out of the oven. LET IT REST! The juices go back into it and make it that much juicier and more flavorful.
  7. Slice as thin or as thick as you like and serve with the salsa.


Is It Permissable To Marry A Panini?

And what do I do if my husband protests the union? Can we all live in gooey panini sin together?  How do we put the sandwich on our health insurance? And would said insurance cover bite marks in the panini? Can I be hit with domestic abuse charges for the bite marks? I don’t even want to THINK about the issues surrounding procreation and paternal rights!

I like Paninis aka smooshed up crispy sandwiches. I have posted paninis before. Because I like them.


I like.


Or something.

Shutting up now.

I lied. No shutting up.

I, like most people who didn’t live in whatever city they originated in, hadn’t heard of paninis until fairly recently. Maybe 6, 7 years ago? When I was a kid, crispy sandwiches were old fashioned grilled cheese. Preferably served with tomato soup (though I actually had never heard of that either until I got married the first time at 20). Now though, grilled cheese has given way to paninis, which, if we are to be honest, are really grilled cheese with grill marks and fancy ingredients. Not that I mind. I tend to like fancier ingredients on sandwiches. I grew up in the era of Oscar Mayer bologna, processed cheese food (you hear that Chef Dennis? 😛 ) and because I am a product of the Chicago public school system, ham sandwiches on mushy white bread that has been spread with butter. I am shamefaced as I admit to still having a certain fondness for that last one.

But I love paninis. Mentioning that in case I didn’t make it clear earlier. I especially love them with “fancy” ingredients. The following is one I created tonight when I realized I had some Brie I needed to use (I ALWAYS forget it and find it somewhere in the back of the fridge and have to smack myself). I had also bought some white peaches today and had some thin sliced chicken breast to use. Add in some bacon and a couple of other assorted yummies and it made one hell of a sandwich. So go… make this. Eat.

Sourdough Panini With Caribbean Jerk Chicken,

Brie, Bacon & White Peaches

  • 2 slices sourdough bread (preferably the square loaf)
  • 1 tablespoon peach or apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced uncooked chicken breast (I used Tysons thin cut chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon (more or less as desired) of your favorite brand Caribbean Jerk seasoning (I used McCormicks)
  • 4 to 6 slices crispy bacon (depends on how gluttonous you’re feeling & whether you’re sharing 😛 )
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Brie, rind removed
  • 1/2 of 1 white peach, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the panini press.Over medium high heat, heat a medium (lots of medium here) sized pan on the stove until very hot. Add your chicken slices, doing one at a time. Quickly cook on one side until golden brown then flip over. Sprinkle seasoning on chicken and cook other side until it is brown. It probably won’t be cooked all the way but that’s what you want. It will finish in the sandwich cooking process.
  2. Spread one piece of bread with the preserves. On top of that, layer the brie, chicken, peach slices and bacon.  Slap on (yes, you have to slap it on. Just cause.) the other piece of bread. You can lightly (and I do mean lightly) butter the bread on the outside to increase crispiness if you want but really in panini presses there is usually no need.
  3. Toast…grill…cook…. dry fry… call it what you want the sandwich until it is nice and toasty and golden brown. Cut in half and it will serve two people; one if they are starving to death.

I have NO idea how my camera "messed up" and focused on that bag of cheetos in the background! I plead the fifth!!

Shakin’ Things Up A Bit

If you look back through my blog, you’ll discover that I kinda like drinking. No, not that kind of drinking. Welllll, not often anyway. I’m too old and wimpy and can’t handle booze well. I start giggling like a 16 year old girl out on a hot date with the football team captain. Then I fall asleep. And drool.

But I mean… just…drinking. I am a tea addict and happy about it 🙂 I love pop even though I am aware of how bad it is for me. To my credit, I only consume about 2 cans worth a week usually. I also love milk shakes and any creamy drinks as evidenced by the key lime shake I have posted and the coconut mocha frappuccino wanna be I posted. I also don’t have them often because I’d like to keep my weight UNDER a ton. This is the same reason I don’t eat much of what I make for the blog as much as I’d love to because it’s yummy! If I did, we’d have to reinforce the bed frame. And the house. And quite possibly the earth. I’d tilt it off of its axis or something and we’d all end up on Venus with all of you giving me dirty looks.

But I can not tell a lie (just call me George). The shake that I made tonight? I drank it all. Well, almost. The boys are staying the night at friends across the street & Zach (my 14 year old) came in when I was drinking it & I kindly let him have the dregs from the blender. hey; there was enough left for him! And I was proud that I didn’t just tell him no and hide myself somewhere safe with the blender cuddled to my chest.

I had some raspberries and a peach that I needed to use up and the dessert Peach Melba popped into my head. But that was way more trouble than I felt like going to. I’m lazy; what can I say? I wanted my fruit and ice cream NOW dammit! So I made a shake! Yep. A nice creamy oh so bad for me shake. But wait! It has fruit in it… REAL fruit… not just fruit flavor and chemical dye number 3000. So I can tell myself that it’s good for me right?

This is nice and tart from the fruit (thus why you have to add a touch of powdered sugar or it’s TOO tart) and while I usually prefer really thick shakes, I was quite happy with the fact that this one isn’t so thick. It made it easier to drink quickly 😀

Peach Melba Shake

(Peach Raspberry)

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 medium peach,  chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup milk (soy milk, cream, whatever trips your trigger)
  • 1 cup peach ice cream or peach frozen yogurt (can sub vanilla)
  • splash vanilla extract
  • whipped cream and fruit for garnish
  1. Obviously this is pretty easy. Put it all in the blender and..well… blend 😛 then garnish with whipped cream and more fruit.
  2. This direction is for nothing. I just felt like it looked empty without more directions.
  3. This one too. Ok, that should be enough now. 😀





Memories Are Made Of This

One of my favorite photos of my dad. It is just so HIM

It’s Fathers Day once again. My recipe won’t have anything to do with Fathers Day; my dad would have pretended to gag and turned his nose up saying I was getting too fancy when he saw what I had done to perfectly good peach jam. He would have then scarfed down half a jar on burnt toast (he liked it that way) when no one was around 😀 The man did love his sweets.

I miss my dad. He died in April of ’06. He was ornery, opinionated (you could not be right with my dad even if HE was obviously wrong lol), stubborn, narrow minded, broody and had problems with his temper. He was also funny as hell,  tenderhearted and easily hurt by inattention and feeling he was unloved. He was generous to a fault, loved to cook (he made one hell of a Giardiniera) and loved to eat (his favorite tease for me would be to eat a gazillion pieces of my fried chicken, which he loved and tell me it was ALMOST as good as a Swansons TV dinner.) and was one of my biggest fans. He lived next door to me for the last 8 years of his life and I made 99.9% of his meals. I would cook dinner, plate his up, take it over and he would usually be sitting there watching Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy. He’d ask what we were having tonight, give the requisite “oooo’s and ahhhs”, I would get him what he needed to eat and he would go back to his TV show while I sat next to him and we chatted while he ate if I had time to sit for a while.

I remember long hours of Scrabble where he would teasingly gripe cause it made no sense to him that I always kicked his ass at the game 😛 . We would have Rummy marathons that would last for days. Back when he drank (he stopped later in life because he was on so many medications for various health problems and couldn’t drink with many of them) these game sessions would involve his contagious giggle when something made him happy. He had a giggle like a little boy…except when he started snorting lol. I also remember hours of talking during all of this. I could tell him anything and often did.

When I took him to do his grocery shopping, I learned to not eye anything on the shelf or pick things up or say that something sounded good. If I did, it invariably went into his cart no matter how much I protested. My kids of course loved to go shopping with him for just that reason 😀

I miss his smile. I miss hearing him say “Hey hon. Come in and sit a while” when I’d come over. He would be sitting at his kitchen table working on his sweepstakes entries, candles or incense lit and classical music playing. I miss his overly greasy spaghetti or chili (took me years to get him to drain the grease lol.). I miss how everything he cooked had 300 jalapeno peppers in it. I miss his laugh. I miss our Scrabble games and card games. I miss hearing him cuss when people gave stupid answers on Jeopardy. I miss him saying “you’re gonna mess my hair up, girl!” when I would ruffle his mostly bald head. Most of all, I miss the man who was my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. He wasn’t perfect, but he was mine. Happy Fathers Day Daddy.

Lavender Peach Jam With Vanilla

Adapted from the Peach jam recipe in the book “Blue Ribbon Preserves”

  • 3 lbs peeled and crushed peaches (refer back to my Peach Salsa recipe to learn how to peel them easily)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 7 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 5 large sprigs lavender (don’t chop; leave whole) plus more for adding to the jars if desired
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3 ounce pouch liquid pectin
  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the peaches, lavender and half the sugar. Cover the pan and let sit for about 2 hours, stirring frequently to infuse the Lavender flavor throughout.
  2. Remove the cover. Stir in the remaining sugar, the butter and the extracts.
  3. Over medium low heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
  4. When sugar is completely dissolved, turn heat up to medium high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that can NOT be stirred down), stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam (a ladle works best for this)
  5. Return the pan to the heat and again bring to a full rolling boil. Stir in the contents of the pouch of pectin. Again return to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam.
  6. To prevent the jam from separating, allow it to cool for five minutes, stirring every minute to help distribute the peaches evenly. Ladle the jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space and adding a small sprig of Lavender to the jars if desired. Make sure to wipe the rims well with a clean cloth. Apply the lids and boil for ten minutes in a boiling water bath. The recipe said that this made 8 half pints but I actually got 11 out of it.

This jam is really quite tasty. I was kind of tickled with it. It has a subtle (Almost too subtle; next time I think I’ll use more Lavender) Herby flowery flavor that melds very well with the delicate flavor of the peaches. I can see using this as a glaze for roast poultry with some Herbs De Provence added to intensify the hit of Lavender you get. Also just adding it to a plain old English Muffin is pretty yummy too :-D. If you try it, please let me know what you think of it. 🙂


Can You Do The Salsa?

Can you… Salsa! Heh. I crack me up!!! Again, mainly because I crack up no one else and I’ll be damned if there will total silence when I make my completely inane dumb plays on words but still… I crack me up!!

I can see you all shaking your heads wondering how that was even a play on words in the first place. Well duhhhh mannnn! Cause this is a post about home canning salsa. Geee, so obvious. *Gives you all the L on the forehead gesture and then realizes that only a 100% L person would even USE that gesture and giggles sheepishly* (on a side note, do Sheep giggle? If they do something stupid do they say that they are looking human? These are the things that my mind contemplates.)

Moving on…as usual… many many moons ago I was like many of you. I bought all my jams, jellies, relishes, salsas and other yummy canned goods at the store. The store I say shamefully!!! Can you believe it!? It’s a dark part of my life I try not to look back on. the therapy took years.  Now however, I have seen the light!!! *Finds a soapbox, gets up on it and starts preaching* Yes brother, I have seeeeennnnnnn the light! And the light shines through canning jars!!!! Can we say Amen!? Say amen with me!

I really need more therapy.

As I was saying, but put more simply, over the years I have come to love home canning (as opposed to canning in say the Wal Mart parking lot). You can make so many flavors you can only find via gourmet stores or web sites (like Blueberry Lime Jam or Jalapeno Cranberry Preserves) as well as make the typical store bought flavors of different condiments and jams but do it knowing that they are fresh, there is no law allowed amounts of rat poop in it and it isn’t filled with preservatives (I guess to keep the rat poop fresh). Not to mention, that old saw about how fulfilling and dare I say empowering it is to can foods yourself is actually true. it’s a rather heady feeling to see jars of tasty foods that YOU made, not some hair netted stranger 2000 miles away.

So today I am putting up what will be my first of many (over time) canning recipes. I am NOT however going to get into the whole teaching you how to can part of it. I will give the recipes and add in a link or two to good sites to go to to learn to can. It’s much easier than what one would think. If you can think “keep it clean and think safe” you can can. This post is for homemade Peach Salsa. I love this stuff! My daughter finally had to learn to make it because I was refusing to let her continue swiping what I made 😛 This has a bit of a bite (but you can make it less so) and a wonderful fruity flavor to it. It is great with chips, with meats, with cream cheese, with a spoon eating it straight from the jar….

Here is a good link to learn proper canning techniques. 🙂


Spicy Sweet Peach Salsa

(Canning Recipe)

  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled then chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (can also omit if you want extremely mild salsa or leave in the seeds if you want hot salsa)
  • 5 ripe peaches, peeled then chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling spices (can be found with canning supplies or in the normal spice aisle), tied up in a cheesecloth square (a coffee filter works well too)
  1. Easiest way to peel your tomatoes and peaches is this: boil a large pot of water. Add the fruits (not all at once) to the boiling water and boil for two minutes. Then dump into a bowl of ice water and let sit for a few minutes. The skins should then slip off easily.
  2. Put chopped tomatoes and peaches into a large heavy bottomed pot along with all the other ingredients.
  3. Boil slowly, stirring often, until thickened which should take about two hours. If your maters (yes, I said maters 😛 ) were really juicy it may take longer.
  4. Take out and discard the pickling spices.
  5. Ladle the salsa into half pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Make sure to wipe the rims of the jars thoroughly with a CLEAN hot washrag. Put the clean lids on, making sure to just finger tighten. Don’t over tighten them.
  6. Process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
  7. This makes about 3 and a half pints.
  8. Let cool and then undo all your hard work by popping open a jar and getting out the tostitos 😀
  9. If you have never canned before, please please don’t be scared off thinking it is too much work, too much trouble or too frightening to do. It’s really quite easy and more than worth any work you put into it. I PROMISE you this. If you have any canning questions, please feel free to ask me in a comment here or write me at my gmail address (in my “about me” section)

Doin’ The Salsa


When I was a kid, you didn’t see salsa on the store shelves in Chicago. At least not that I remember in my doddering old age.  There also wasn’t a variety of chips to serve the non-existent salsa with. You had Jays potato chips (yes Jays; not Lays. Jays was/is regional to the Midwest), Doritos in two flavors- Nacho Cheese and Taco (I HATED the Taco ones; still do and wish they had never made a comeback) and bagged popcorn. Yes, yes I AM old. Why do you mention it? I am also old enough to remember when frozen meals were called TV dinners and came in foil trays like this *points down*

I prefer not to think about what the parts that weren’t white meat consisted of. Do Turkeys have lips? These wonderful dinners had school paste masquerading as mashed potatoes and veggies that were so mushy you could feed them to the seniors at the nursing home with no problem.

On the subject of “omg, I’m old and nobody else remembers this”, does ANYBODY other than me remember the pop (soda for those born elsewhere) named “Anna Banana”? I have asked others and no one else seems to remember it.


Moving back to the subject of salsa. Yes, that was the original subject… I just got distracted by shiny things. Imagine that huh? When I was a kid, I had never heard of salsa. I imagine it was available in certain areas of the country but not mine. Then came the taco sauces. Thin uninspired mild stuff with very little flavor. Then we started coming into the time when people were branching out in their food tastes and from what I saw, salsas were one of the first things that became something everyone was eating. You name the flavor, there was/is a salsa with that taste. Want some pineapple salsa, no problem! Habanaro Peach Salsa… get it here!  Turkey Lip/Orange flavored salsa? Yep; we have it! Fine, so I’ve never REALLY seen that one but I bet somewhere, someone tried to make something with turkey lips!

My favorites have always been the fruit flavored salsas. There is something about the sweet taste of the fruit mixed with the bite of peppers and onions that I just love. That’s also why I love chutneys. Same fruit to heat thing going on there.

In Spring and Summer, I tend to make Salsas even more. they are a great way to get some fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. And generally speaking, kids tend to love them too which is always good when it comes to the fruit and veggie idea. So today I kind of cleaned out my fridge of the fruits I needed to use. Add some vegetables, some spice, some sweet and I ended up with a great fruity salsa. It is so good with chips but I can also see it making a fantastic cover for some grilled chicken or fish. I was really pleased with how this turned out so I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 This really needs to be eaten the day it’s made to maintain the fresh taste and texture of the fruits.


  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 10 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno, very finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder (can omit this if you prefer more mild but it adds a nice smokey flavor and aroma)
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Taste for personal preferences. I added a bit more chipotle and a touch more lime but that’s cause I love them both.
  2. Eat.
  3. Comment here telling me how easy and how tasty this was. 😛

Do You Know The Muffin Man?

If not, well, you know me right? I can be “The Muffin Top Woman”.

I like muffins. I like anything that can be made in a muffin pan. In other words, cupcakes, mini pound cakes, muffins, pot pies, Hershey’s chocolate nuggets (WHAT!? If I take some, unwrap them and put them in a muffin tin before eating them, it counts!), Baileys Irish Cream (it falls under the same heading as above), steaks, french fries….

Betcha didn’t know muffin tins were so versatile huh? Stick with me kid… I’ll train you right 😀

I decided to nix the High tea theme for now. I just kept thinking to myself that while baked goods are wonderful any time of the year, a high tea theme that involved turning ones oven on for hours at a time and suffering heat stroke was more suited for cooler weather. Since it is close to 90 here today, that doesn’t really fall under the cooler weather unless you normally live on Mercury. But I will definitely get back to it when Autumn gets here.

In the meantime, here is a very Spring/Summer type of muffin. With fresh Blueberries and fresh Peaches in it, it is a perfect way to enjoy those fruits you bought 10 quarts of because they were on sale. Or is it just me that does that and then wonders what I was thinking? As I look downstairs to the 60 ears of corn I bought yesterday with the ambitious notion of cutting them off the ear and freezing them, I have the feeling that yes, I AM the only doofus wasting nice weather by being inside preparing corn for freezing 😛

This makes a LOT of muffins. I got 24 regular size and 4 large from it. So it’s perfect for potlucks or sharing or freezing.


  • 4 peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 6 ounce container peach yogurt
  • 1/4 cup peach (could sub Apricot) preserves
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 36 regular sized muffin pans (If you don’t have three pans, just do it in batches.) or 24 regular sized and four large ones. Peel and chop your peaches. Easiest way to peel peaches is to put them in a pot of boiling water for a minute or two then dump them into a bowl of ice water. The peel should slip right off then.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the peaches and blueberries and stir just until combined.
  3. Fold in the fruit. Don’t over stir.
  4. Bake at 350 for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops are golden brown and they are firm to the touch in the center.
  5. Cool for a few minutes in the pan on a wire rack then take them out and finish cooling them on the rack.