Huckleberry Whipped Cream Cake

This huckleberry whipped cream cake uses our vanilla bean baby cake mix as a base with a touch of huckleberry flavor and is topped with a tasty huckleberry-flavored whipped cream with huckleberry jam between the layers. About the Huckleberry Whipped Cream Cake Huckleberries are a big deal in Idaho and Montana.  There are folks that spend their weekends in late summer searching for and picking huckleberries. Huckleberry jam and even frozen huckleberries are sold in gift shops and even convenience stores.  They are slow to pick and expensive to buy. A nice couple came into our store wanting a huckleberry …

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Using Clear Jel®

Clear Jel® is the easiest way to make pies, gravies, jams, jellies, and more. It’s the perfect solution to a sauce that needs thickening, and unlike flour and cornstarch, it cools clear rather than giving your recipe a new tint. “Clearjel has become an essential in our kitchen. We use it in place of cornstarch in gravies and sauces. But the real marvel is Instant Clear Jel. You don’t have to cook it!”—Dennis Weaver What is Clear Jel? Clear Jel®, a corn starch derivative, is a commercial thickening product used by bakeries and or frozen food. This product is used …

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Pineapple Peach Freezer Jam

You can make peach freezer jam without cooking the peaches but minimal cooking does release the flavor. In this case, we enhanced the flavor with the addition of crushed pineapple. It really brings out the peach flavor. Ingredients 5 cups diced peaches (or ground apricots) 20 oz crushed pineapple, drained 1/4 cup lemon juice 7 tablespoons Original Clearjel 3 cups granulated sugar Directions Wash and dry the five pint-sized jam jars or plastic containers. Make sure the lids fit tightly. Add lemon juice to fruit. Mix Clearjel with 1/4 cup sugar. Add mixture to peaches and pineapple. Bring ingredients to …

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How to Make Monte Cristo Sandwiches

This is an old French sandwich circa 1910. It became popular in America in the 1930’s and then seem to drop out of sight in the 1960’s. My dad loved Monte Cristo sandwiches. As a child, it seemed that they were popular in diners and other casual recipes. Either way, they were made with meat, usually ham, and a soft cheese, raspberry jam, and mustard or a hot sauce. They are now a type of sandwich, a meat and cheese sandwich cooked like French toast or deep fried. We’ve maintained the sweet layer with either jam or a flavored honey.

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Three Ways to Make Strawberry Freezer Jam

When it’s strawberry time, why not pick up a flat or two and turn them into this easy freezer jam.  You’ll make far better jam than anything you might buy in the store. As of this writing, we have three recipes for strawberry freezer jam on our website.  How do they compare?  What are the differences? Strawberry Freezer Jam: Pectin vs. Clear Jel Two of our strawberry freezer jam recipes are made with pectin and one with Clear Jel.  The Clear Jel recipe comes from Washington State University, Skagit Extension, and used with permission.  There are advantages to Clear Gel, …

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Psychology of Choice

Do your sales go up or down when you offer more products? Amazon thinks they go up.  In their internal studies, they found a 70% correlation between the number of products offered and sales.   If you extend your product lines by 10%, expect sales to climb 7%. But there are researchers that disagree finding that sales can go down, not up, as a customer is offered more products.  That premise is a darling sales psychology right now. So what’s retailer to do? We’ve bought into the Amazon premise and have added new products at every opportunity. Then we read of …

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Fall Picnics | Ideas for Great Fall Picnics

This is my favorite time of year, September and early October.  I love the cooler weather, the crisp bite in the mornings.  I love the mountains in the fall, the medley of bright colors in the forests, the deeper blue sky that seems to go forever, the earthy smells of fallen leaves, and the crunch of dry leaves underfoot.  I love the crystal clear waters of gentle streams after the water has dropped in the fall with their quiet babble as they find their way over smooth stones.  It’s my favorite time for hikes and picnics in the woods. We …

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New England Apple Pie Pastry

We had a lot of fun with this. It’s not really a pie or a pastry but it is scrumptious. It’s made with a rich cream cheese pastry on top and bottom with an apple cinnamon filling tucked in. It’s a little more work than an apple pie but it’s not hard and it is worth the extra time. Check out the unusual topping. It’s easy. It is made by freezing the pastry dough and then shredding it as you would shred cheese. We used an electric shredder attachment for our stand-type mixer and made quick work of the task …

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Hot Turkey Sandwiches with Sweet and Sour Onions

These sandwiches can be made grilled, open-faced, or panini style.  The caramelized onions accent the sandwich as relish might.   The secret ingredient in the sauce is apricot jam. We used sourdough bread and it was perfect but any quality, hearty bread will work.  These sandwiches would also be good with deli roast beef or ham. Ingredients 2 large onions cut into slices and then cut into 1/2-inch pieces 4 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce 1/3 cup apricot jam 2 tablespoon granulated sugar 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/3 cup water 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger …

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Debbie’s Funnel Cake Recipe

With this recipe, you can make funnel cakes like those at the state fair.   You’ll delight the kids and impress your friends.  They’re easy but there are a couple tricks to making them. The concept is simple: Drizzle cake batter into hot oil to cook much like you would donuts—but with a batter that is much wetter.   You will need a funnel or other container for the batter.  It needs to be easy to control so that you can pour a steady, continuous stream of batter into the hot oil.  We’ll give you three alternatives: Funnel.  A large funnel is …

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Banana Pecan Muffin Recipe

This is a great breakfast muffin—sweet and moist and fruity but without a lot of fat. It has a full cup of chopped pecans. Rather than creaming butter and sugar together, you will use the muffin method for mixing. Be sure to use very ripe bananas for full flavor. We enjoyed these muffins with Strawberry Rhubarb Gourmet Jam and they were perfect. Ingredients 1 3/4 cups plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 large eggs 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/3 brown sugar 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2/3 cup sour cream …

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Cheddar Pecan Corn Muffins

When we were putting this together, folks thought this was a really strange combination. When they tried them, they decided that “wonderful” was a more appropriate adjective than “strange”. These were especially good warm with butter and a tart jam. (Cherry jam was our first choice although red currant was very good also.) There’s something about the sweet fruity taste of jam that seems to bring out the best in cornbread crunchiness. Cheddar Pecan Corn Muffins Ingredients 1 cup yellow cornmeal 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon white pepper …

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Chocolate Raspberry Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate and raspberry makes a wonderful combination. In this case, it makes a scrumptious filling to sandwich between two sugar cookies. The filling is simply a ganache made with raspberry jam. This is a very nice recipe to add to your collection. You can make the sugar cookies alone, without the filling. You can make plain sandwich cookies as we have, or dress them up for a special occasion. For Valentine’s Day, cut the cookies into hearts and decorate them with candies or colored sugar. For Christmas, cut them into stars or other shapes. Chocolate Raspberry Sandwich Cookie Recipe This …

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Marionberry Cream Cheese Tarts

  These are delectable little cookies. They are sugar cookies built on a cream cheese base recipe. The almond and powdered sugar will remind you of wedding cookies or almond crescents. Though this is a fancy cookie recipe, the dough goes together simply and quickly. This recipe calls for marionberry jam and the combination of marionberry jam, cream cheese, and almond is delightful but any smooth, spreadable jam or jelly will do. Marionberry Cream Cheese Tarts Recipe Ingredients 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter 1 eight-ounce package of cream cheese 1 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 1/4 cups …

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Florida Baked Chicken

Sweet oranges and lemons topped with a bit of your favorite peach or apricot jam or jelly makes this chicken delightful. This is a very easy dish to make. Ingredients 1 lemon, zest and juice 2 oranges, zest and juice 1/3 to 1/2 cup peach or apricot jam or jelly 1/2 small onion, grated 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon prepared mustard cut up fryer pieces, enough to fill an 8 1/2 x 13-inch pan, about four pounds Directions 1. To make the sauce, combine the zest, juice, jam or jelly, onion, butter, and mustard in a saucepan. Heat and simmer …

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Home Style Meatloaf with Sweet and Sour Onions

The sweet and sour onions make this meatloaf moist and flavorful.  We recommend our lean meatloaf pan so that the fat from the meatloaf can drain away for lean, healthier meatloaf. Ingredients 1 large onion, diced 2 celery stalks, finely diced 1 tablespoon butter 4 slices soft bread, broken into crumbs 1/2 cup milk 2 pounds lean ground beef 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt pinch black pepper Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the onions and celery in the butter until tender.  Set aside. In a large bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the milk. Add the …

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How to Make Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Lingonberry Jam

Dennis Weaver I love Monte Cristo sandwiches.  They are my favorite grilled sandwiches.   But it’s not just the type; I love the combination of ham, cheese, and raspberry jam.  (Traditionally, mustard is added but I usually leave that out.)    But I like lingonberry jam even better.  Usually, I’m pairing lingonberry with turkey but it’s also superb with ham. You can use whatever filling you want.  We’ve even made them with peanut butter and jelly.  But today, we’re using lingonberry jam. Lingonberries are beautiful bright red berries, a cousin to a cranberry, with a unique, intense flavor.  In Scandinavia, they are …

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You-Pick-the-Jam Coconut Coffeecake

We made a marmalade coconut coffeecake with a heritage recipe and loved it.  We changed the recipe and used a different jam and that worked too.  You can use the jam of your choice. Ingredients 6 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional) 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup milk For the topping 1/4 cup melted butter 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut 1 cup jam of your choice 1 tablespoon granulated sugar Directions Preheat the oven to …

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How to Make an Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake in 3 Steps

“We’ve made dozens of these flourless chocolate cakes and served them to our customers in the store plus we’ve used them in classes.  This is the easiest flourless cake in the world.  There are two keys to success: really good cocoa and a springform pan with a tight seal.  We recommend a silicone springform pan.”–Dennis Weaver With only four ingredients and three steps, this is an easy flourless cake.  And it’s scrumptious—perfect to make for your sweetheart.  As with other flourless chocolate cakes, this is dense and chocolaty. A simple dusting of powdered sugar makes this cake elegant. Drizzle it …

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Overnight French Toast with Orange Sauce

This is an unusually good French toast made with thick slices of French bread.  It is an example of making a very different French toast by varying the topping that you serve with your French toast. Ingredients 6 ounces cream cheese 3 tablespoons apricot jam 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon orange zest 6 2-inch thick slices of French bread 4 large eggs 1 cup cold milk 1 teaspoon vanilla butter for frying For the orange sauce: 1 1/3 cups orange juice 1 teaspoon orange zest 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch Directions Generously grease a 9 x 13-inch baking …

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