I want to learn to LOVE cooking. I want to learn to LOVE cleaning. I do LOVE my children, but I want to learn to LOVE them better. I want to learn to LOVE sewing and crafting. I want to learn to LOVE being a stay at home MOM!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Home made choke cherry syrup

We have choke cherry bushes in our yard! With A LOT of choke cherries growing on them. Still tons more, even after I made  a small dent in them for this experiment!

Here’s the recipe I followed:


I thought it seemed like a TON of sugar, so I used a tiny bit less than that. But, still almost as much because I was worried that it wouldn’t thicken if I didn’t use enough.

First, we picked the cherries. I paid Aaron $1 to fill a bucket. Plus, the boys went and picked some every time they were bored. There are seriously still soooo many out there!

Then, I washed them, then put them in a pot and barely covered them with water, and set them to boil. Here’s where I made the mistake of leaving it on HIGH boiling, while we went out to pick more cherries.


I came back inside to this (all over the floor too.) and Derek screaming because he had woken up from his nap. Oops. Oh well, he was ok, and the mess cleaned right up.

So, then, I made a make-shift juicer out of pink tulle taped across my big bowl.


It worked like a charm. I only had to empty the juice once or twice out of the bowl and clean off the tulle with water. I got 5 cups of juice out of one bucket of chokecherries. It made 2 small jars and 1 1/2 big jars of syrup.



I canned the smaller jars in my pot as a boiling water bath for 12 minutes or so. The big one sealed on it’s own, and wouldn’t fit in my small pot, so I figured it was alright. The syrup is pretty yummy, especially with whipped cream on top. I liked it on brownies too- made it like chocolate covered cherry flavor.

Not too bad for my first canning experiment. AND, I am excited that I got a pressure canner at a yard sale for $1! It’s only a small one, but just big enough to do six or seven jars. I’ll try green beans this year, and peaches. Maybe with my tomatoes I’ll make spaghetti sauce and can that? Any suggestions and hints would be greatly appreciated!

Home made Granola Bars

I like to make these! They are yummy. They fill your tummy. And they are way cheaper than store bought ones that are filled with nasty preservatives!

Here’s the basic recipe I use:


I’m lazy, I know… but it’s easier than typing it all out right now. Anyway, I start with these basics and add a bunch of stuff.

I add: craisins (more specifically, raspberry craisins because they are cheaper at WinCo.)

mixed nuts

sunflower seeds

flax seed (I accidentally bought the whole seeds the first time. You can get it all ground up and I guess that’s better, but for the granola bars, I think the whole seeds are ok… I still use them anyway.)

wheat germ (sounds nasty, I know, but it’s really healthy for you, and you can’t even taste it at all, all mixed in with everything.)

So, you mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. When I do this, I usually see that I have a lot more than the original recipe calls for, so I double the peanut butter, karo syrup and brown sugar. It just makes really big, a bit more gooey granola bars!


After you push everything down into a greased pan, let it set for a while, then cut it into bars! You can save it in plastic bags, like I do, or just leave it in the pan and cut one when you want it.


They’re pretty easy, quick and delicious! Plus, a healthy snack too!