With the first official day of Fall behind us, I am more than happy to jump full-force into all things Autumn. I don't know about you, but instinctively I feel ready for a fresh start (that school year schedule will forever be ingrained in us won't it?). I love getting organized, feeling cozy and of course refreshing my wardrobe! Here's to a wonderful weekend.
Remember my strawberry picking post? Well, today I am in the Coach House attempting home-made Freezer Strawberry Jam. I followed the recipe on the Pectin package, doubling it for the amount of berries I had. In total, I would say it took me about 2 hours including the prep of the cans and all of the chopping.
Makes roughly 4-6 250 ml jars
- 1 3/4 cups of strawberries mashed
- 4 cups of white sugar
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- One packet of pectin
- Put mason jars (including the rims and lids) into the dishwasher to wash them. Make sure the jars are dry.
- Thoroughly rinse the strawberries.
- Remove stems and finely chop the strawberries.
- Mash the berries (I used a hand mixer) in one large bowl.
- Put the sugar in a separate bowl.
- Mix the sugar into the crushed berries and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the packet of pectine.
- Stir for 3 minutes.
- Mix in lemon juice.
- Pour jam into jars, leaving room at the top (roughly 1/4 inch).
- Let the jam sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating.
NOTE: This is freezer jam, so you can also freeze it to further set the mixture.
Both of my parents are excellent cooks. Unfortunately, that gene seemed to skipped right on past me. It makes me anxious even thinking about attempting a recipe. I can't "improvise" when Nigela tells me to, and I can't "experiment with spices" like Jamie can. It just doesn't come naturally for me. BUT. A girl's gotta learn some basics. So here is my new series, Chloe in the Kitchen?. With the help of the parental units, I will attempt some simple recipes and share the results. Wish me luck!
The first recipe I am tackling is Creamy Red Pepper Soup (you can find the original recipe here). With this week's fall-like weather, I was craving something warm and comforting. Red Bell Peppers are currently in season here in Ontario, so it was perfect timing. This particular recipe was EASY. Seriously. It only has a handful of ingredients and took about 45/50 minutes total. I strayed from the recipe twice, using half and half cream instead of heavy cream (because that's what was in the fridge), and opting not to strain the soup (as I prefer a thicker consistency). A sour cream dollop and some black pepper completed the dish.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 24 fluid ounces chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place the red bell pepper, onion and garlic in the saucepan and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Pour in the chicken broth, stirring well, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Run the soup through a strainer and return the liquid to the saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the ground black pepper and allow to heat through, about 5 to 10 minutes.