Thursday, December 9, 2010

christmas cookie exchange 2010

Last night was my 15th annual Christmas Cookie Exchange and it was so much fun! There were so many yummy cookies, fudge and caramel to sample and exchange and wonderful family and friends to share the night with. Can't wait until next year!

This year I made my yummy Orange Cream Cheese Chocolate Chunk cookies...
1 c butter
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 c sugar
2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
12 oz pkg milk chocolate chips

Heat over to 350. Blend butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, orange zest and vanilla on low speed until creamy. Mix together four and salt and add slowly to creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by tsp onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. edges won't brown but they are done. Let cool on cookie sheet for 4 minutes and more to cooling rack. Cool completely and ice with Orange butter cream frosting. Enjoy!!

Renee's Almond Orange Buttercream Icing

1/4 c saltedsweet cream butter, softened
2 c confectioners' sugar
2 tsp orange zest
3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

In a small bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Add enough orange juice to achieve frosting consistency.
Merry Christmas~ Renee


1. All cookies/candies should be homemade.

2. No plain chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy squares or cookie mixes.

3. Please bring 8 dozen total cookies.

4. The theme is "Holiday Cookies"

5. Arrange cookies in 8 1 dozen containers, plates or baskets.

6. Christmas attire is encouraged!

7. RSVP as soon as you can and let me know what type of cookies you are planning on baking - no duplicate recipes allowed

8. If you don't have time to bake, or have burnt your cookies, but still want to attend just go to a real bakery and buy 8 dozen yummy cookies.

Why 8 dozen... so you have more variety and more cookies to take home to enjoy and share

A great site for ideas is…

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

renee's easy christmas mint fudge

The perfect sweet for Christmas!

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (divided)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz) white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon pure peppermint extract
1 tsp gel green food coloring

Line an 8 or 9 inch pan with wax paper. Melt chips with 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread half of the mixture into prepared pan and chill for about 10 minutes.(Hold remaining mixture at room temperature)Melt white candy with remaining sweetened condensed milk in sauce pan over low heat. Add peppermint extract and food coloring. Spread on chilled chocolate layer and then chill for 10 minutes longer or until firm. Spread reserved chocolate mixture on mint layer and then chill for about 2 hours. Peel off waxed paper and cut into squares. Enjoy!

candy cane christmas fudge

a yummy and easy festive Christmas treat!

1-1/2 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup butter, softened, divided
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Line a 9-in. square pan with foil. Grease the foil with 1-1/2 teaspoons butter; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, sour cream and remaining butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage), about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in white chocolate and marshmallow creme until melted. Fold in peppermint candy and extract. Pour into prepared pan. Chill until firm. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Gently peel off foil; cut fudge into 1-in. squares. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

sharee's easy turkey noodle soup with homemade noodles

This is my cousin super easy turkey noodle soup recipe and it is yummy!!

8 cups o water
a bunch o chicken bullion (to Taste)
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, cooked in butter til browned
left over turkey strips
egg noodles

Bring to boil. Make egg noodles by mix eggs & flour till doughy, roll out, use pizza cutter to cut thin strips. Put noodles in boiling water one at a time. Immerse them in water, continue till you have a bunch o noodles. Add a little garlic powder and salt and pepper. Bon Appetite~ Sharee

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

chocolate cream pie

1 2/3 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9 inch baked pie shell

In medium sauce pan mix water, cornstarch and cocoa until smooth. Stir in condenced milk and egg yolks and ook until thick.Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and vanilla. Cool slightly (stirring occasionally) and pour into baked pie shell. Chill for about 1 hour and top with whipped cream and dust with coca. Enjoy!!

lemon cream pie

1-1/4 cups graham crackers crumbs (about 7 whole crackers)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup egg whisked
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2-1/2 cups whipped cream, whipped

In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, butter and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the cornstarch, salt and remaining sugar. Gradually stir in water and buttermilk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg substitute. Return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and peel. Pour into crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, spread whipped cream on top. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

adding a little spice

Spice Market Istanbul, Turkey!!

Discover all of the different uses for your spices. Like how to intensify their flavors, store herbs for optimal freshness and how to double a recipe without over-seasoning.

• Ground spices release their flavor more quickly than whole spices. Ground spices such as ground thyme or ground cumin can be used in recipes with short cooking times or can be added near the end of cooking for longer cooking recipes.

• Whole spices need a longer time to release their flavor. They work well in longer cooking recipes like soups and stews.

• Robust herbs such as sage, thyme and bay leaves stand up well in long cooking while milder herbs like basil, marjoram and parsley can be added at the last minute for best results.

• Rub leafy herbs in the palm of your hand to release the flavor and aroma.

• To double a recipe, increase spices and herbs by one and one-half, TASTE and then add more if necessary. In most recipes one and one-half times the seasoning will be sufficient to provide desired flavor.

• Spices such as fennel seed, cumin seed, sesame seed and white peppercorns may be toasted to intensify their flavors. Simply add the spice to a dry, non-stick, heated skillet and heat until aromatic.

• Whole spices and seeds may be best ground using a small electric coffee grinder or spice mill. A pepper mill or mortar and pestle may also be used.

Allspice... Use with meat, fish, gravy, soup and stew, pickles, spice cakes & cookies pumpkin and squash. The taste of allspice resembles a blend of spices.

Anise... Use in candies, baked goods and pork. Has a licorice-like flavor

Basil... Use in sauces, vegetables, salads, meat, seafood, egg dishes. Leaves are used fresh or dried.

Bay... Leaves Use to season meats, fish, potatoes, sauces, soups & stews. Leaves are usually used whole and removed before serving.

Caraway... Seeds Use on breads, especially rye bread; also in cheeses. Has a flavor similar to dill.

Cardamom... Use in curries, cookies & other pastries, breads, and pickles. Common in Scandinavian and Middle Eastern dishes; has a sweet, lemony flavor.

Cayenne Pepper... Use in meats, soups, sauces, chili, seafood, Mexican & Cajun dishes. Thin, red and yellow, very hot peppers are used whole, or dried and ground.

Celery Seed... Use in salads, pickles and relishes, sauces, soups and stews, and on beef. Seeds are sold as whole or ground; also combined with salt for celery salt.

Chervil... Use in egg & cheese dishes, vegetables, soups and stews, salads, and creamy sauces. Looks similar to parsley; common in French cuisine.

Chili Powder... Use in chili, sauces, curries, Mexican foods. A combination of chili peppers plus other spices, including cumin.

Chives Use... in cheese dishes, eggs, fish, sauces; as a garnish in soups, salads, and vegetable dishes. Long hollow green leaves have a mild onion flavor. Best when used fresh, but also used dried.

Cinnamon... Use in pastries, breads, cakes, cookies, pies, sauces, apples, pumpkin and squash recipes. Cinnamon sticks are sometimes used in beverages. A highly aromatic spice available as cinnamon sticks and as a ground powder.

Cloves... Use in cakes, cookies, and candies, ham, sauces, pickles and relishes. Have a strong, spicy-sweet flavor; used whole or ground. If used whole, they are removed before serving.

Coriander... Use in curry, pickles, breads, cakes, and cookies. Small fragrant seeds are used ground or whole; have a slight lemony flavor. Leaves of the same herb are known as cilantro.

Cumin... Add to curries, meats, cheeses, sausages, seafood, pickles, rice dishes, and chili. Small fragrant seeds; a main ingredient in chili powder.

Curry Powder... Use in rice, lamb, poultry, eggs, and vegetables; used in many Indian recipes. Curry powder is not a single spice, but combination of several spices such as coriander, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek seed, cumin, pepper, cloves, and other spices.

Dill... Used mainly in pickles, but can also be used in breads, soups, meats, and salads. Also known as dill weed, both the leaves and seeds of this flavorful herb are used to season foods.

File' powder... Use to thicken and add flavor to Gumbo and other Creole dishes. Heat has an adverse affect on File, so add it after a pot of food has been removed from the oven or stove. File' powder is made from dried, ground sassafras leaves. It has a root beer like flavor.

Fennel Seed... Use in pickles, pizza and spaghetti sauces, breads, cakes and cookies. A member of the parsley family, grown for its sweet seeds; has a flavor similar to anise.

Garlic... Use in meats, chicken, seafood, stews, sauces, marinades, salad dressings; used in many Italian and Chinese dishes. An herb related to the onion, used fresh or dried; also has many health benefits and medicinal uses. Its bulb is composed of several small cloves.

Ginger... Use in Oriental dishes, meat, poultry, seafood; also in squash and pumpkin recipes, cookies, cakes, and breads. Ginger root is used fresh or dried, whole, ground, or cracked; has a strong spicy-sweet flavor.

Mace... Use in cakes, doughnuts and other baked goods; fish, meat stuffings, and in pickles. Made from the coating of the nutmeg seed; used both whole and ground; has a flavor similar to nutmeg, but with a touch of cinnamon.

Marjoram... Use as a seasoning for lamb, soups, stews, fish, poultry stuffing, sausages, beans and other vegetables; alao in beverages and jellies. Also called sweet marjoram; the leaves are used whole or ground. It has a sweet, minty flavor.

Mint... Use in fruits, desserts, jellies, candies, beverages, and as a garnish. Mint leaves have a distinctive flavor and smell. It's used fresh or dried, whole or chopped.

Mustard... Used as ground mustard in salad dressings, sauces, cheese and egg dishes.

Mustard seeds are commonly used in pickles, relishes, salads, beets, cabbage, and sauerkraut. Mustard is sold as whole seeds or as a finely ground yellow powder. It has a strong, hot flavor.

Nutmeg... Use in breads, cookies, cakes, custard, pies, desserts, vegetables. Used either ground or as a whole seed, nutmeg has a sweet, aromatic flavor.

Oregano... Use in tomato dishes, pizza, spaghetti sauce; in Greek, Italian, and Mexican dishes. Ground oregano is an ingredient in many types of Italian food. It has a flavor and aroma similar to marjoram, but stronger.

Paprika... Use as a garnish for potatoes, potato salad, eggs, deviled eggs, beef, poultry, salads, and salad dressings. A mild red spice, always used ground; used not only for its flavor, but for its red color.

Parsley... Use in soups or salads as a seasoning. Goes well with almost any meat as a garnish. Parsley sprigs are used mainly as a garnish for foods and are often left untouched. It's used fresh or dried as a seasoning.

Black Pepper... Use to strengthen the flavor of meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, vegetables and more. Black Pepper can be purchased as ground or as whole peppercorns. It's best when freshly ground.

Poppy Seeds... Use as a topping for rolls, breads, cookies, butters, and pastas. Poppy seeds have a crunchy, nut-like flavor. It's used as whole seeds; can also be used crushed or ground.

Rosemary... Use to season lamb, beef, veal, poultry, soups and stews, potatoes, and breads such as rosemary focaccia. Small needle-like leaves are used dried or fresh, whole or ground; has a sweet but bold aroma and flavor,

Saffron... Use in rice dishes and other Mediterranean cuisine; used in paella, bouillabaisse, and sometimes in chicken dishes. Saffron is sold as a ground powder; has a yellow color and a slightly bitter taste.

Sage... Use to season sausage, poultry stuffings, veal, pork, meat loaf, stews, and salads. An herb grown for its leaves, used as rubbed or ground; has a slightly lemony taste.

Savory... Use with lamb, beef, poultry, egg dishes, squash, beans and lentils. Leaves are used fresh, or dried as whole leaves; has a flavor similar to thyme.

Sesame Seeds... Use on bread, rolls, bagels, salads, and in stir fry. Sesame seeds are always used as whole oil seeds. Most are used on hamburger buns.

Tarragon... Use to season veal, lamb, beef, poultry, seafood, eggs, salads, dressings, mushrooms, asparagus. Leaves are used fresh or dried, whole or ground; has astrong spicy smell and taste. If using dried tarragon leaves, remove them after cooking, since once dried they will not soften again when cooked.

Thyme... Use in poultry, poultry stuffing, pork, beef, tomatoes, tomato soups and sauces. An herb used both fresh and dried, whole or ground. It has a strong, but pleasant flavor, resembling a blend of cloves and sage.

Turmeric... Use in curries, poultry, relishes, pickles, eggs, rice. A member of the ginger family; an orange-yellow powder with a mild flavor.

Have fun and enjoy adding a little SPICE!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

renee's easy holiday cheeseball

this is an easy and yummy appetizer for any holiday party!!

1 cup finely shredded medium Cheddar cheese
1 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
2 TBL freshly chopped chives
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup finely chopped candied pecans or your favorite nut

Put all ingredients in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute or until well blended. Pour out onto wax paper and shape into a ball. Roll ball in chopped nuts and wrap in wax paper. Chill for at least 1 hour and serve with your favorite veggies and crackers. Enjoy!!

easy peasy stock

Homemade Stock is easier to make than you think and tastes so much better than canned or boxed and will add so much flavor to your favorite recipes!!

1 pound chicken parts with dark and white meat skin intact
1 large sweet onion, quartered
3 stalks celery with leaves
2 clove garlic with skin
1 large carrot, in chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 cups water

Place chicken pieces, onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper, garlic and cloves in large soup pot and add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove chicken and vegetables. Strain stock. Skim fat off the surface if using right away. You can make stock in large batches and freeze it for months. I also save bones and vegetable peelings in the freezer and make large batches all at once. To freeze stock straining the vegetables out and store it in airtight containers for up to 6 months. You can store your stock in glass jars in the fridge. Make sure you have plenty of fat in your stock so it will set on the surface because this is an excellent way of preserving stock. The fat layer will not allow air into the liquid and it forms a seal. The stock will keep for up to 2 months as the seal isn't broken. If you break the seal to use some of the stock you’ll need to reseal it or use all the stock within a couple of days. To reseal, reheat the stock and let it simmer for half an hour or so, allow it to cool then put it back in a clean jar in the fridge. Make sure you have enough fat to make a good thick seal. You can always add some fat to your stock to make sure you have enough for a seal, I like to use butter, or coconut oil. Enjoy using homemade stock in your favorite recipes!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

candy bar cake

If your like me you have tonz of Halloween candy and this is so fun to make! It's great to take to potluck parties too. I change it up depending on my mood and use all kinds of different candy is so yummy and so easy!!

1 box yellow or chocolate cake mix (baked as directed)
1 can Eagle brand condensed milk
1 jar caramel topping
1 container Cool Whip
3 candy bars (Skor and Heath are my favorite) crushed

Bake cake in 13 x 9 baking pan as directed. Take completely cooled cake and poke holes with end of wooden spoon. Pour can of Eagle brand milk and jar of caramel into holes. Top cake with Cool Whip and crushed candy bars. Drizzle caramel over top enjoy!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

renee's halloween chili

Chili is a Halloween tradition at our house, we enjoy it pipping hot before we head out in the cold to trick-or-treat. If we are lucky there is some to warm us up when we get back with our loot..enjoy!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, pressed
one med jalapeno, minced (without seeds)
one pound of ground beef (opt, I used 85% lean)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 bottles quarts size diced tomatoes (or 2 14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes)
1 can (15.5 ounces) mild chili beans in sauce, undrained
1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (7 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 12 oz can of V8 regular or spicy

Toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and fresh onions

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell peppers, jalapeno, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef (opt) cook until brown. Add mixture to crock pot then add tomatoes, V8, beans and corn; mix well. Heat on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Enjoy in a bread bowl with your favorite toppings!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

autumn beef & vegetable stew

Fall means... times to break out the crockpot!! Apple cider and a little bacon give this homemade beef stew great flavor.

1 1/2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 slice bacon, diced
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cups beef broth
1 cup apple cider
6 medium potatoes, diced
1 small bag baby carrots
2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and diced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Cook bacon, beef, and onions a large skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned and bacon is cooked. Put the beef and onions in the slow cooker with the bacon, beef broth, apple cider, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery, bay leaf, rosemary, and pepper. Cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours. Combine flour with cold water to form a smooth mixture. Stir into the beef mixture, turn to HIGH, and continue cooking for 15minutes longer. Serves 4 to 6. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

homemade fruit leather

I just fell in love!
I'd love to make an spiced apple cider, plum or kiwi strawberry for next time!

What flavors do you like??

4 cups of fruit
1/2 c water
lemon juice
2-4 tbs. honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c sugar

I added the honey and felt it needed a little more so I added half of the sugar amount as well and a little cinnamon to taste

Prepare rinsed fruit, if using apples, peaches, plums or nectarines, peel and remove pit. I used strawberries sliced in half. Add 1/2 cup of water to pan and simmer fruit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour fruit mix into blender and puree. Add preferred sweeteners to taste and make sure to add lemon or lime juice to prevent fruit from browning later. Pour pureed fruit onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into oven for 25 minutes. Without opening oven, turn heat off with the oven door shut for 8 hours. Remove baking sheet from oven. Leather is ready when the surface is no longer tacky. Cut 12 even strips, lengthwise. Roll each strip up (with or without paper) and store in air tight container.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

autumn harvest chili

Autumn Harvest Chili Warms the whole family by the fireplace!!!

3 cans beans Black, Pinto, Kidney Beans
3 colors Whole Bell Peppers Cut
2 Whole Red Onions
2 Cans Stewed Tomatoes (No Sugar)
1 Cup Corn
10 Cloves fresh Garlic
MorningStar Farms® Breakfast Patties Organic Soy 6 Patties
MorningStar Farms® Fakin Organic Bacon Strips 6 Strips
1 1/2 t Clove Spice
1 1/2 Chile Powder
Cheyenne pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Cut the peppers & onions in half and then cut thin strips. Grill veggies with olive oil to golden brown in a stewing pot. Add rinsed beans, corn & stewed tomatoes. Cook 45 min. While cooking beans and veggies, brown the chopped breakfast patties and bacon strips in a fry pan.breakfast patties to beans. Add spices and chopped garlic.

Add bacon strips as crispy garnish.
~Serve with Homemade Pan Corn Bread.

homemade blender tomato soup

This is one yummy soup. And surprisingly easy. Once you make this, you'll never be able to go back to canned soups!!

10 Roma Tomatoes
1 White Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 tbs Olive Oil for Grilling Onion and Pepper
8 Garlic Cloves
1 1/2 tbs dried Basil (to tell you the truth, I'm just guessing here cause I just throw it in :)
1 tbs Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Fresh Basil for Garnish
French Bread

Get out your best blender. We use a VitaMix Blender. Wash and cut out stems on tomatoes and put in blender on high. Blend till hot. While tomatoes are blending, cut the onion and pepper in big chunks, put olive oil in frying panand grill onion and pepper on high till golden brown. Add all spices and garlic. Blend for 10 seconds
onion and pepper and blend for 5 sec. We want this to be chunky. Taste to see if you have enough spices. Add more if needed When ready to serve, add fresh basil.
Toast french bread and ENJOY!! Makes 4 servings.

strawberry freezer jam

easy and'll never buy jam again :)

4 c. ripe strawberries
4 c. granulated sugar
1 box Sure-Jell powdered pectin
3/4 c. water

Wash and hull the berries; crush them completely, a few at a time. (Should end up with 2 cups.) In large bowl, mix together the berries and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine pectin and water in saucepan. Bring to boil; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir hot pectin into the fruit bowl; continue stirring. Don't worry if sugar is not completely dissolved. Ladle jam into freezer containers. Put lids on immediately. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours or until set. Refrigerate for a few weeks or freeze for up to a year. Enjoy!!

easy grape jelly

3 cups concord grape juice
5 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup water
1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin

Sterilize and dry jars for jelly, and set side. I like to use my dishwasher. New lids are recommended for best results. Combine grape juice and pectin in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and stir one minute at a rolling boil. Stir in sugar for a few minutes to completely dissolve. Remove from heat. Ladle the hot jelly into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Wipe rims of jars with a clean dry cloth. Cover with a lid and ring to seal. Let stand 24 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate. Jelly may take up to a week to set. Once set, it is ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, once set. If canning for long term storage, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy!!

ginger peach jam

Taste summer all year round!!

5 cups ripe peaches peeled and cubed
1/4 cups crystallized ginger finely chopped
6 cups sugar

Peel and pit peaches then finely chop or grind and pour into sauce pot and add ginger. Measure sugar and set aside. Mix fruit pectin into fruit in sauce pot then place over high heat and stir until mixture comes to a full boil. Immediately add all sugar and stir. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with metal spoon. Ladle quickly into hot jars then fill to 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars for 5 minutes then turn upright. After 1 hour check seals.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

soaking and cooking beans

Beans and legumes are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and a staple of many vegetarian diets. The drawback is that they take a long time to cook, but once you know the techniques, you'll find it's not difficult at all. Most of the time they are just soaking or boiling on their own; your actual "hands on" time is only about 10 minutes.

Washing Beans and Legumes
Before using beans and legumes, rinse them thoroughly under cool water, then sort through them for any stones or other debris. If using lentils, mung beans, or split peas, skip the soaking section and go right to the cooking instructions. If using anything other kind of beans, continue to the next step: soaking.

Soaking Beans and Legumes

All dry beans and legumes except lentils, mung beans, and split peas should be soaked before cooking. Soaking shortens the cooking time and makes the beans more digestible. To soak, cover the washed beans with four times their volume of water (no salt*), then choose one of these soaking techniques.

1)Normal soak: Leave the beans to soak for at least 6-8 hours (larger beans need more time). This is the traditional and healthier method of soaking beans. (If you put them on to soak at night, they'll be waiting for you whenever you're ready the next day.)

2)Quick soak: Bring the beans to a boil for one minute, cover, and let sit for one hour.
The beans are soaked once they are uniformly tender and have doubled or more in size.

After soaking, you have two choices:

1)Drain the soaking water, rinse the beans, and cook with fresh water
2)Cook with the soaking water
The first reduces flatulence, while the second provides more nutrients.

Cooking Beans and Legumes

Whether reusing soaking water or adding fresh, there should be twice as much water as beans. Boil furiously, uncovered, for ten minutes. Skim off any foam that collects at the top, then cover, lower heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Stir in salt (½ tsp per cup of dry beans) and continue cooking until the beans are tender. Stir them every 15 minutes or so, adding a bit more water as needed.

White beans might be done after the first hour, but larger beans like chickpeas need more time. When you think they might be done cooking, cut one bean in half - if the color is consistent, it's done. If there's a lighter patch in the middle, it needs to cook longer.

You do doupke batches and store them too!! I like to freeze them in quarts (about 3-4 cups) you could freeze a can sized portion (1 and 1/2 cups) in a sandwich bag, and then put the smaller bag into a gallon freezer bag, it's so easy and then they are ready to go :)


*1 c dry beans yields 2-2½ c cooked. Unless otherwise stated, the amounts given in my recipes refer to the cooked volume.

*Salt can disrupt the cooking, so don't add it while soaking or during the first hour of cooking.

*Excessive heat can make soaking beans ferment, so when it's hot out, put soaking beans in the fridge.

canning 101

15 steps to canning your beautiful harvest!!

1) Wash canning jars in hot sudsy water; rinse. Cover with boiling water until ready to fill. Jars used in recipes in which food is processed for less than 10 minutes must be sterilized by immersion in boiling water for 10 minutes. Prepare lids and screw bands according to manufacturer's directions.

2) Fill canner with water; start heating. I uses a Back To Basics stove top water bath canner and I love it!!

3) Prepare only as much food as needed to fill the maximum number of jars your canner will hold at one time. Work quickly, keeping work area clean.

4) Place hot jars on cotton towels to prevent slippage while filling.

5) Fill jars, leaving recommended headspace (space between top of food and jar rim) to promote sealing. Add salt to canned vegetables, if desired (use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for pints; 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for quarts)

6) Add boiling liquid to jar, keeping specified headspace.

7) Release trapped air bubbles in jar by gently working a nonmetallic utensil around the jar's sides. Add liquid if needed to maintain headspace.

8) Wipe jar rim with clean, damp cloth (food on the rim prevents a perfect seal).

9) Position prepared lid and screw band, tightening according to manufacturer's instructions.

10) Set each jar into the canner as it is filled; jars should not touch.

11) Cover canner; process as directed.

12) Remove jars; set on towels or rack, leaving at least 1 inch between jars.

13) After jars are completely cooled (12 to 24 hours), press center of each lid. If dip in lid holds, the jar is sealed. If lid pops up and down, jar isn't sealed. Unsealed jars can be refrigerated and used within 2 or 3 days, frozen (allow 1-1/2-inch headspace), or reprocessed within 24 hours. To reprocess, use a clean jar and a new lid; process for the full length of time. Mark label and use any recanned jars first. If the jars have lost liquid but are still sealed, the contents are safe. However, any food that is not covered by liquid will discolor. Use these jars first.

14) Wipe jars and lids to remove any food residue. Remove, wash, and dry screw bands; store for future use. Label jars with contents and date; include a batch number if doing more than one canner load per day. (If one jar spoils, you can easily identify any others from that canner load.) Store jars in a cool (50 to 70 degrees F), dry, dark place. Use within one year.

15) Enjoy the fruits and vegetables of you labor!!

stuffed peppers

This is so good and can be made surprisingly quick!  My 2 year old likes it so much he'll even eat most of the pepper too!!

4 Bell peppers, hollowed out
1 box of spanish rice (we use Near East) and follow the package instructions
1/2- 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 c. grated cheese
1 sm. can of tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 F. One rice is finished cooking and you've browned and drained your beef, mix them together.  Stuff peppers with mixture then sprinkle cheese over the tops of each pepper.  Neatly top with tomato paste and bake for 25 minutes.  Voila!!

tomato sauce

Tis the season for canning your yummy garden tomatoes. Once you make your own sauce, you'll never buy it again!!

10 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Burgundy wine
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and place in ice bath. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove peel and squeeze out seeds. Chop 8 tomatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Chop remaining two tomatoes and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic in oil and butter until onion starts to soften, 5 minutes. Pour in pureed tomatoes. Stir in chopped tomato, basil, Italian seasoning and wine. Place bay leaf and whole celery stalks in pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours. Stir in tomato paste and simmer an additional 2 hours. Discard bay leaf and celery and serve.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

renee's best roast turkey gravy

Homemade turkey gravy is the best and pretty simple , below are the 2 basic ways of making gravy from turkey drippings, the first is to use corn starch, the second one uses flour. Both start with your delicious turkey drippings. Sometimes you may have  more drippings than you need for the amount of gravy you want to make, for each cup of gravy you want to make you need 2 tablespoons of drippings.  The following is to make 2 cups of gravy so you can double it depending on how much gravy you need!!

While your turkey is roasting make your turkey stock for your gravy.

8 cup(s) water
3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
3 large stalks celery, cut into large chunks
2 medium onions, cut into chucks
1 small garlic clove
2 whole bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 steam sage
Giblets and neck from turkey, DO NOT USE THE LIVER
Salt & WHITE Pepper to taste

In 8-quart stockpot or sauce pot, place water, carrots, celery, onions, and bay leaves. Cover until it boils then add giblets, neck, and 1/2 TSP. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Strain stock into large bowl, discarding vegetables, neck and giblets. You can refrigerate stock for up to 3 days or freeze for 3 months!

Making Gravy with Corn Starch

Place 2 TBS of the drippings in the pan. Dissolve 2 TBS of corn starch in the minimum amount of turkey stock needed to make a thin paste roughly 1/4 C. Pour into pan with drippings and use a wire whisk to blend into the drippings. Stir with a wire whisk until the gravy begins to thicken. As it thickens, slowly add 1 3/4 C turkey stock and 1/4 C good quality heavy cream to the pan and 1 TBS white wine. Alternate stirring and adding liquid, maintaining the consistency you want, for about 5 minutes.  you will end up with about 2 cups of gravy. Season with salt, white pepper!! ENJOY!!

Gravy with Flour

Place 2 TBS of the drippings in the pan and stir in 1 to 2 TBS of flour. Stir with a wire whisk until the flour has thickened and the gravy is smooth. Continue to cook slowly to brown the flour, and stir constantly. Slowly add back some of the previously removed drippings. In addition, add 1 3/4 C stock and 1/4 C good quality heavy cream to the gravy and 1 TBS white wine. Season the gravy with salt, white pepper!! ENJOY!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

chocolate sour cream sheet cake

One of my favorite chocolatey quick and easy desserts. Perfect for potluck parties or a dessert to go :)

1 c salted sweet cream butter
1 c water
1/4 c dark cocoa
2 c sugar. sifted
2 c flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs, whisked
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c real sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine butter, water, and cocoa in saucepan over medium heat; heat until butter melts. Add sugar, flour, salt, eggs, soda, sour cream, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into a 15x10x1-inch sheet pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!

1/2 c salted sweet cram butter
1/4 c dark cocoa
1/4 cup and 2 T milk
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and mix well with electric mixer. Spread over the hot sheet cake. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

maple salmon

This is one of my boys favorite dinners. If you love Salmon , you will love this!
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 table spoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

chocolate zucchini cake

I got this yummy recipe from my friend Liz. Talk about a great way to hide veggies.... it is so yummy and moist that your kiddos (or anyone else for that matter) won't even notice the zucchini!!

1 cup butter
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups flour
3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 c cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in zucchini. Pour into a jelly roll pan or a 9 x 13 pan for thicker slices. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Frost with your favorite homemade chocolate frosting. Enjoy!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

perfect whipped cream cheese icing

perfect and creamy!!
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c heavy cream

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract large mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak. Enjoy on your favorite dessert!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

jackson's lemon key lime cake

My son turned 11 yesterday and asked me to make him a key lime pie for his birthday cake. I told him that wasn't exactlly a birthday cake so he said "well, then make me a lemon key lime cake!" I looked at my recipe's and combined 2 to make a really yummy cake and he loved it and I hope you will too!!

Lemon Sour Cream Cake:
2 sticks butter
2 c. sugar
1/2 pt. sour cream
4 eggs, beaten (beat in one at a time)
3 c. sifted flour, sifted 5 times (cake flour optional)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Set to the side 3 cups sifted cake flour and baking soda. Mix eggs, butter, sugar and sour cream until smooth and creamy. Slowly add flour mix, then lemon extract and zest. Grease and flour a 9x13 glass pan and bake for 1 hour. QUICK TIP: Put water in a pan and place it underneath the cake on a rack. This keeps the cake soft.

Key Lime filling:
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c heavy whipping cream (don't whip)
1/2 cup Key Lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1/8 tsp green gel food coloring

In a medium bowl, stir together filling ingredients. It will thicken upon stirring.

Let cake cool completely and with the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes almost to the bottom of the cake every 2 inches. Pour filling over cake and spread evenly over the surface, filling holes (some of the filling will remain on the top of the cake) Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Whipped Cream Icing:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c heavy cream

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract large mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

Frost cake with Whipped Cream Icing and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

renee's bbq sauce

Summer means one thing BBQ and nothing beats a good bbq sauce and I am sure you will LOVE this one!!
4 Tb butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped garlic
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 1/4 t SWEET paprika
2 t dry mustard
1 1/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper (opt)

1/4 t ground clove
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup REAL Coca Cola

1/2 cup water
3/4 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar

In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the butter and, when melted, add the onions and cook until they are very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, ground mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to brown. Add the Coke, water, cider vinegar, and dark brown sugar, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Marinate, baste and enjoy on your favorite meat!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

michelle's bacon souffle

Perfect for Father's Day!!
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
dash of ground red pepper
1 c. milk
2 c. Cheddar cheese, Colby, Havarti, Swiss or Pepper Jack, shredded
(I like to crumble bacon in ours when add the cheese mixture with the egg yolks. Spinach is also very good!)

Allow egg whites and egg yolks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
For cheese sauce, in medium sauce pan melt butter; stir in flour, dry mustard, and red pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add cheese, a little at a time, stirring until melted. In medium bowl beat egg yolks with a fork until combined. Slowly add cheese sauce to egg yolks, stirring constantly*. Cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with electric mixer on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold about 1 c. of the stiffly beaten egg whites into cheese sauce. Gradually pour cheese sauce over remaining stiffly beaten egg whites, folding to combine. Pour into an ungreased 1 1/2 quart souffle dish or into ramekins. Bake 350 F. for about 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes and serve.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

raspberry pecan smoothie

Ok, This is really good, but not my idea!
Thanks Renee!!!
3 cups raspberries
3 1/2 cups ice
2 cups yogurt or milk
1/2 cup pecans
3 tbsp. honey

Get out your best blender and add ice and start blending. Blend in pecans and raspberries. Add yogurt and honey and ENJOY!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

easy pudding pops

what's better than pudding... frozen pudding! This is so easy and everyone will love it on hot summer days!!

2 cups low-fat
1 small box of instant pudding any flavor

Prepare pudding according to package directions. Freeze pudding in pop molds or spoon into small plastic cups and insert popsicle sticks or plastic spoons. Place in freezer until solid. Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

ayden's rootbeer bbq sauce

Ayden loves rootbeer and since we made a coke bbq sauce he wanted to make a rootbeer bbq sauce and boy was it yummy!!

1 (2 liter) bottle root beer
8 ounce can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cold sweet cream salted butter

Reduce the root beer to 1 cup over medium heat in a large saucepan, this takes about one hour. Add the apple cider vinegar, ketchup, Yellow Mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, pineapple, salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer for twenty minutes. Finish the sauce by whisking in the cold butter. Enjoy on your favorite grilled meat!!

ice cream in a bag

Milk can become homemade ice cream in five minutes by using a baggie! This homemade, creamy treat is a summertime delight for kids and adults :)

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 pint-size Ziploc baggie
1 gallon-size Ziploc baggie
ice cubes

Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully. Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes. Wipe off the top of the small bag, open it carefully. Enjoy!

coco baby bum cream

 Better than anything you can buy in the store!!
1 1/2 ounces coco butter
1 1/2 ounces sweet almond oil
2 tablespoons beeswax, grated
1/4 tsp vitamin E
4 drops of Melaleuca oil

Pour the sweet almond oil and coco butter into a small stainless steel pan over low heat. Add slightly less of the grated beeswax than called for and stir until melted.

OK this is a little tricky:

You need to test the consistency of the mixture by putting a small amount on a teaspoon and placing it in the refrigerator. (In the meantime your salve should remain on low heat on the stove top.) After a minute in the frig, the salve will harden to its finished consistency. To check this, it should be firm so that it does not melt when you touch it, but soft enough that you can easily pull some away from the spoon with your finger (like vaseline). If it’s too hard, add more oil, if it’s too soft, add more beeswax. When you’ve reached a good consistency, remove from heat and add the coco butter, Vitamin E and Melaleuca. Give it a good mix until really creamy, then add it to your air tight container and let it cool to room temperature. You can store it for up to 3 months!! Make sure not to double dip ;)

flower child (Calendula) baby bum cream

a great way to ease a red bottom or treat diaper rash!!

1/2 cup sweet almond oil
2-3 drops pure lavender oil
2-3 drops pure Melaleuca oil
1/4cup PURE Calendula Ointment

Mix all the ingredients together well an transfer to an airtight jar or bottle to use for applying to baby bottom. You can store it for up to 3 months in an airtight container but be very careful not to double dip!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

cucumber aloe cooling sunburn pack

 This is a great sunburn remedy. I use it regularly when my family gets to much sun. Use it immediately the same day you get sunburned.

200 mg aspirin, crushed
1 cucumber, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel

Crush aspirin with the back of a spoon until fine and put into a small container that has a lid. Take a small fresh cucumber cut into small pieces and put in a food processor and mash until you get a "paste". Combine cucumber, aspirin and Aloe in container and mix well. Put on lid and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Wash and dry the affected area and apply this cooling pack for 30 minutes, minimum. Use this pack twice a day for a few days or until you feel cooling from your sunburn. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

lemon meringue face mask

This fragrant mask cleans pores and helps prevent and gets rid of black heads.

2 egg whites
1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Combine the lemon juice and egg white in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Apply to your face, avoid getting too close to your eyes. Wait for 10-20 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

avo-carrot mask

This is a rich moisturizing mask for normal skin types.

1/2 ripe avocado
1 carrot
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

The carrot needs to be soft and should be cook until soft and then blended with the ripe avocado and olive oil in a blender. Apply to the face. Leave on for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat dry. Don't leave this mask on for too long, it will color your skin!

cucumber reviving mask

Cucumber revives the skin, you will love this mask!
1/2 cucumber
1 tablespoon yogurt

Puree cucumber and yogurt in a blender, apply to your face evenly. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water or soft wash cloth.

strawberry facial scrub

Use this on normal or combination skin. The strawberry seeds exfloiate old skin while the yogurt sooths.

1/4 cup plain yogurt; chilled
3-4 strawberries; mashed

Stir ingredients together. Apply to freshly cleaned face and gently massage strawberry misxture to exfloiate. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.

Friday, June 4, 2010

coconut lemon body scrub

simply refreshing!!

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sea salt
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
3/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of honey

Mix brown sugar and salt, then add lemon extract, virgin coconut oil and honey, mix well. Store in a airtight container.

"breakfast" body scrub

Breakfast for your skin!!

3/4 cup dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup ground oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup pure honey
3/4 to 1 cup Oil of choice - I like Grape seed or Sweet Almond
1/4 tsp Vanilla Essential Oil

Mix the brown sugar & oatmeal together in a large bowl. Now add the honey. Drizzle the oil over the mix. Mix well. When all your mix is saturated and sinks to the bottom of the bowl and you have oil on top you're done. Add your essential oil and stir gently. Store in airtight eight ounce wide-mouthed jar.

cina-ginger salt scrub

It's summer time that means it's time to scrub away your winter skin!!

1 cup sea salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup almond oil or olive oil

Mix all ingredients together, then gently rub over your damp skin (except your face) to slough off dry skin. Rinse with warm water.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

how to cut a watermelon

Watermelon is one of the most refreshing and 'cool' fruits of the summer season. With approximately 92% water content, this juicy and thirst-quenching fruit is a favorite of all dieticians and health conscious people. Moreover, the fruit is rich in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C and hence, is highly beneficial for health. As summer approaches, we all eye this delicious delicacy of nature. However, to enjoy this great low-calorie sweet treat, the first task would be to crack it open. Though there are sliced watermelons available in the market, buying a whole one would serve as the best option. The latter is fresher and sweeter, when compared to the ones that are available in chunks. Cutting a watermelon can be quite a challenging task, unless you are aware of the best way of doing the same. In the following lines, we have provided information on how to cut a watermelon, easily and safely.
Cutting A Watermelon

Serrated knife

The first step would be to rinse the watermelon with a mild soap. This is necessary, as the dirt outside may come in contact with the watermelon flesh, when it is cut. Using the serrated knife, chop off both the ends of the watermelon.

Now, position the knife at one of the ends and slice it through the center. Make sure that you cut along the dark stripes on the outside of the watermelon. This would help you remove the seeds later, as they would end up on the outside of the pieces of watermelon.

Now, cut each half of the watermelon further into sections. Holding the small section in one hand, slice off the watermelon flesh from the rind.

Once you have sliced off the watermelon flesh, cut the big piece into even smaller sections.

Place each of the small sections into a bowl. Your healthy, refreshing treat is ready to be eaten!

Cutting A Watermelon Into Wedges
Serrated knife

Rinse watermelon with soap, to get rid of harmful foreign materials and pat it dry. Cut the watermelon in two equal halves, lengthwise and then further cut down the halves, lengthwise.

Use fork to remove seeds, if you want to and then slice the pieces horizontally, into equal wedges.

If you want to remove the rind, do so by inserting the knife between rind and flesh, to get it away. Your delicious watermelon is ready to eat.

Cutting A Watermelon Into Cubes

Serrated knife
Chopping Board

Wash the watermelon using mild soap and pat it dry. Now, cut the watermelon from both ends and let it stand on one end on the chopping board, so that it does not shake while you are cutting it. Remove the rind from the watermelon, by slicing it out and further cut it into two halves.

Now, cut one of the half into 3-4 pieces, like sliced bread and lay it on the board, to further chop it into 1-2 inch slices.

Cut the pieces in opposite direction, to slice them into cubes. Repeat the process with the other half as well. Your fruit is ready enjoy!!