Wednesday, November 30, 2011

baked alfredo tortellini pasta with grilled chicken and roasted tomatoes

I made that for dinner. I imagined it up in my head at work and I came home and made it.

Then I took a few pictures. They all came out looking like a heap of hot mess.

After that I ate two plates worth even though I was full after the first plate.

Bienvenu à ma vie.

P.S. How was your thanksgiving? Mine was beautiful. Exhibit A, B, and C:

Anyway, here's how I made the stuff I was talking about before:

 Baked Alfredo Tortellini Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes

Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 roma tomato, diced and seeds removed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 1 cup pasta (I prefer penne)
  • 1/2 cup tortellini
  • alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Boil water. Once the water boils, add the pasta. When the pasta has 1 minute until it is done (after about 13 minutes of cooking) add the tortellini for 1 minute. Drain.
  2. Take 1 chicken breast and cut off all the sick parts (you know what I am talking about, veins, white flubber sickness, etc.). Pound the chicken until it is flat-ish. Generously sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. 
  3. Turn the oven on to broil.
  4. Grill the chicken on a grill pan for about 5 minutes over medium heat then flip it over and add the diced tomatoes to the pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  5. Place the pasta in a buttered 8 inch casserole dish. Add the alfredo sauce and mix well until evenly coated. Top with chicken and tomatoes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the top on the pasta and chicken. Broil for 5 minutes until melty and bubbly.
  6. Eat and enjoy. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I've been reading

Two posts in two days. When it rains it pours.

I feel compelled to tell you what I am reading. Why? Because it is not enough for me to force my cooking whims on you, I must force my reading choices on you as well.

I apologize. Kind of.

This was an unexpected and unplanned purchase for me. I was at Barnes and Noble and it was in the "our staff recommends" section. I read the back and decided it was worth a try.

The book is narrated by a hysterical 11-year-old girl names Flavia de Luce. She's a bit sassy, sarcastic, and loves chemistry. Basically she solves a murder.

So if you like funny, witty, murder mysteries (and maybe like the occasional chemistry aside) you'll like this. My mom is a chemist and loves detective novels so I bought it with the intention of if I hate it, at least I can pass it on to her and she'll like it.

Turns out I like it to. In my completely made up scale, I give it a "rent it from the library".


P.S. here's what the author says about Flavia:

Q: Flavia certainly is an interesting character. How did you come up with such a forceful, precocious and entertaining personality?
AB: Flavia walked onto the page of another book I was writing, and simply hijacked the story. I was actually well into this other book–about three or four chapters–and as I introduced a main character, a detective, there was a point where he was required to go to a country house and interview this colonel.
I got him up to the driveway and there was this girl sitting on a camp stool doing something with a notebook and a pencil and he stopped and asked her what she was doing and she said “writing down license number plates“ and he said “well there can’t be many in such a place“ and she said, “well I have yours, don’t I? “ I came to a stop. I had no idea who this girl was and where she came from.
She just materialized. I can’t take any credit for Flavia at all. I’ve never had a character who came that much to life. I’ve had characters that tend to tell you what to do, but Flavia grabbed the controls on page one. She sprung full-blown with all of her attributes–her passion for poison, her father and his history–all in one package. It surprised me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

Happy Halloween!

Oh what...? I'm like a week late. Yeah, I know but I don't really get around to blogging that much these days and I couldn't resist showing off the awesome pumpkins. Guess which one I made.

That's right, I made the spooky ghost/haunted mansion one! Andrew made the cute little guy on the left. He thought it would attract more trick-or-treaters and be kid friendly. Too bad we weren't even here on Halloween so didn't light them or pass out candy.

In keeping with the pumpkin family, I made butternut squash! It's a perfect fall treat! (What? I'm late again and it's already winter? Right.)

And it is a vegetable, healthy, yummy, and best part- incredibly simple to make. ...Once you get the hang of it.

I bought one of these at the store and brought it home super confident that I could do this on my own. I didn't need a recipe to tell me how to make a squash! So I cut it open with my super large knife and stared blankly at the little alien I was looking at.

I brought half of the thing over to Andrew and said, "What do you think I should do with the seed part? Do I cook them with it or throw it them away?" He responds uncharacteristically excited, "YEAH! Just scoop it out and poop them in the garbage!"

...Uhhhh what?

So I gave him a blank stare, and pooped those seeds in the garbage like I was told.


Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
  • One large butternut squash
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the butternut squash open lengthwise. Remove the seeds.
  3. Stab holes in each half of the squash with a fork.
  4. Cover with butter, 1 tbs per side.
  5. Place the squash on a tin foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour the 1/2 cup of water on the sheet- this will keep the squash from drying out while baking.
  6. Cook for one hour or until soft and easily pierced by a fork.
  7. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  8. Eat.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What I've been reading

Right now I am 50 pages away from finishing The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and I can't put it down or think about much else.

I read this book about 6 years ago and loved it then. I decided to read it again to see if it withstood the test of time. It did. It might now go on my list of favorite books.

The story is about an architect, Howard Roark, and how he is a crazy genius/artist and makes masterpiece buildings, the public's crusades against him, and his intense love affair. He has all these set backs because the collective public is blind and will crusade against purity and passion. However, because he never cares about man and the masses and only cares about the integrity of his passions, he is ultimately happy and successful.

He's basically Rand's ideal of humankind embodied and you can't help but rally around him.

It's a great read that I couldn't put down 6 years ago and still can't put down. I highly recommend it. It's about 900 pages and every page is interesting and reads quickly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

I've been stressed.

So stressed.

Work. Big, important, global event happening at the end of October where I play tour-guide to a bunch of Chinese journalists. 20,000 things to do to prepare for said big, fat event.


So, I did the only thing natural one can do when stressed. I made the most delicious sugary, ooey, and comforting thing I could: Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Remember those browned-butter cinnamon rolls I made a long time ago? Throw away that recipe. Those are 10 times harder to make and taste half as good as these babies.

And they really do taste EXACTLY like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. I think the vanilla pudding is what does it. And the frosting is dead on too.

I ate approximately 10 and felt so great. Don't think of it as an unhealthy amount of sugar, think of it as anti-anxiety medication. It worked for me.


Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 2 Tbl. sugar
  • 3 1/2 oz. pkg. vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup margarine −− melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teas. salt
  • 6 cups flour

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 teas. vanilla
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tbl. milk

  1. To make frosting, mix all ingredients until smooth.
  2. In a bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside.

  1. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions.
  2. Add margarine, eggs and salt. Mix well. 
  3. Then add yeast mixture. Blend.
  4. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  5. Punch down dough and let rise again.
  6. Then roll out on floured board to 34 x 21" size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. 
  7. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teas. cinnamon. Sprinkle over top. 
  8. Roll up very tightly. With knife, put a notch every 2". Cut with thread or knife.
  9. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 2" apart. Take hand and lightly press down on each roll.
  10. Cover and let rise until double (I put mine in the fridge overnight).

Bake at 350 15−20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden. DON'T OVER BAKE!!

Frost warm rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I made ratatouille awhile ago to balance out my frequent habit of making a bowl of cookie dough and eating the entire thing. When you have a pile of vegetables for dinner all desert binges seem justified.

The recipe, from A Smitten Kitchen, was suggested to me by my vegetarian sister-in-law. For that and may other reasons, I really like her

It was easy, cheap, delicious, and guess what?! A big. fat. healthy. pile of vegetables!

If and when I make it again, I would double the tomato puree to add a bit more liquid to the dish. I like my rice to have something sticking to it, you know?

Also, I used feta cheese instead of goat cheese because it's what I had on-hand and I'm crazy like that. I would do it again, it was delicious.

The recipes looks like it is complicated but I swear the prep time is 30 minutes max.


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme (I omitted and didn't miss a thing)
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat or feta cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blueberry Crisp

Ok, where the heck did summer go?

I have a very big beef with Utah right now, for multiple reasons. One reason is the hugely anticipated rivalry BYU vs. Utah game yesterday. Don't even get me started on how embarrassing that was. Then there was the fact that summer lasted approximately two months. Winter was a whopping six months long with the final snow falling on May 30th. May 30th! June was coldish but ok, July and August finally brought the heat, and now September is letting in the 60s like it aint no thing.

It should be 80 degrees in September, not 60. I just bought a really cute summery dress from Anthropologie. Guess that's going in the closet for another year.

Annnnnnd I had to go into work on Saturday to meet some very threatening deadlines. That one can't technically be blamed on the state of Utah, but I am adding it to the list anyway.

At least there is blueberry crumble to comfort me. That is precisely what I came home to yesterday after we left the BYU game. Life didn't seem so terrible once I was shoveling blueberry crisp and ice cream in my face. No, not so terrible at all.

The recipe is straight out of the Betty Crocker Cookbook and I wouldn't change a thing. It was delicious and the fruit didn't need any extra sugar at all. Since it is so low sugar and so healthy, I went ahead and ate five servings to get all my fruits for the day. You can too. 

Blueberry Crisp
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Serve with ice cream
  1. Heat oven to 375. Grease bottome and sides of an 8-inch pan.
  2. Spread blueberries in pan. In a medium bowl, combine all remaining ingredients (except the ice cream, of course) until well mixed; sprinkle over berries.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and the blueberries are warm and tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Version of Waldorf Chicken Salad

I am not a salad person. I want to be. I wish I was... Salad people seem so hip sometimes, you know? Like runners. I am always wishing I was a runner or a salad person. But alas, the cool runner, salad, fruit smoothie lifestyle isn't meant for me. 

Lettuce just doesn't do anything for me. Every now and then I try to fool myself into thinking that I'm fit and healthy and a salad person and I bring salads to work for lunch. I try to make a big production of pulling my salad out of the fridge and really play up the assembly process so my coworkers think good things about me like, "Wow, Jocelyn is a salad person. Man I wish I was a salad person like Jocelyn." Then I eat it, feel superior, and become absolutely, desperately starving 3o minutes later. 

I can't handle that.

This salad may just be the exception, however. It's got a lot more going on this lettuce. There's a lot in there that can fill you up and that is what I need! I need to be full. I need it. Plus it's flavorful and yummy.

There's some nice tender chicken left over from this meal, crunchy Fuji apples, and crisp sweet grapes. If I had the money I would have candied almonds and put them in here too, but they are like $8 a jar and I am not that into almonds.

All in all I think this salad is a winner.


My Version of Waldorf Chicken Salad
  • Roasted chicken, sliced (or you can grill a chicken breast and season it with thyme, rosemary, garlic, etc.)
  • Fuji or Pink Lady apples, cubed
  • Red, seedless grapes, sliced in half for optimal forking ease
  • Romaine Lettuce (or other type)
  • Dressing of your choice. I prefer blue cheese or ranch for this meal. It offsets the sweetness of the apples and grapes.
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss, and serve chilled. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Slow Rosted Herb Chicken

I have been cooking a lot lately, but posting very little. I blame the full time job. Do you know that there are some people who blog for a living? Those people must have rich husbands who do more than go to college.

What a life.

I made roast chicken though. I made it because my husband was gone for two. whole. months. doing an internship in San Francisco. When a loved one is gone for an extended period of time and then return home, you make a roast chicken to celebrate. It's just what you do.

Andrew loved it. I got more rave reviews from this meal than all other meals combined. It was so nice.The chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender and had a rich, herby flavor without being overwhelming or overdone.

Making a roasted chicken is simple, easy, delicious, and makes  you feel like you're doing something really fancy like. It's a great feeling.


Slow Roasted Herb Chicken
  •  1 whole chicken
  • 2 TBS chopped sage
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 TBS chopped basil
  • 1 bulb of garlic (4 cloves diced, 6 whole cloves)
  • 2 TBS olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut length wise into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 onion, chunked
  • 2-3 sage leaves, whole
  • 2-3 basil leaves, whole
  • 1 cup white wine
  1. Remove the giblets and neck from the inside of the chicken. Rinse the chicken off under cold water, then use a paper towel to pat dry on the inside and out.
  2. In a bowl, combine: sage, rosemary, basil, diced garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice from one wedge.
  3. Rub this herb mixture under the chicken's skin, leaving 2 TBS to rub on top of the chicken. Squirt some lemon juice on top of the chicken.
  4. Stuff the chicken's cavity with the garlic cloves, lemon wedges, onions, and extra sage and basil leaves.
  5. Let marinate over night.
  6. Put 1 cup of white wine in a glass cake pan or baking tray. Place the chicken in the baking dish and cook at 320º for about 2 hours.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rice Pilaf & Ramblings

I made these buttermilk biscuits the other day. Look delicious? They were disgusting. Literally horrible. This was better:

We'll get to that in a minute.

For the last two months, Andrew has been living and working in San Francisco while I have been living and working in Provo, Utah. He definitely got the cooler life. While he's been away I've been eating cereal for dinner, watching tons of Gilmore Girls reruns, and decorating.

See, we live in this apartment that kind of resembles a jail cell. There's a lot of lovely, stark white cinder block. Everywhere. When we moved in we figured we'd live here for a few months because it was great deal, but then we ended up getting lazy and decided that moving sucks and living somewhere that doesn't have mold issues is overrated.

So, since we decided to stay I decided to decorate on the cheap. Mind you that I am putting my husband through school so a lot of what we do is on the cheap. Now if you hate it and think it's awful, humor me because I am kind of in love with the new decor.

I bought black poster board ($.68) and three sheets of stationary ($1.25), printed out some images from the internet, traced them on to the black paper, snip, snip, snipped away, taped them on the stationary and stuck them in frames I bought at Ikea a while back.

It took me approximately 2ish hours and I was dead pleased by the results. I think I spent the next to hours admiring them.

Now featuring the cinder block. I can't hang pictures on the walls because we get fined for making holes and 3M strips don't work on it. So, I finally decided to do this.

It's not going to be featured on Martha Stewart Living anytime soon, but it makes me happy.

And I got ducks. The yellow one is named Cheryl. The red one is unnamed. Any suggestions?

Now about that rice pilaf... it is good and easy and a great addition to any meal.


Mama's Rice Pilaf
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • nickle size bunch of angel hair spaghetti (uncooked)
  • 1/4 an onion, diced
  • 2 tsp butter
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  1. Break up the angel hair pasta into 1/2 inch sections. Place in a skillet with the butter and brown the noodles over medium-high heat (about 4 minutes). Stir occasionally or burning is eminent. 
  2. Place the browned spaghetti, rice, chicken broth, and raw onions into a rice cooker and let cook. Or if you don't have a rice cooker, place browned spaghetti, rice, chicken broth, and raw onions in a large pot with a lid and bring to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. If rice is too dry when done, add more chicken broth, a tablespoon at a time.
  4. When rice is cooked thoroughly, add in the seasonings in to taste.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blueberry buttermilk syrup

I bought a big thing of blueberries from Costco a few days ago because I've been craving some blueberry pancakes. It took me a few days to get around to making the pancakes but in the mean time I have been chowing down on the blueberries. They are so good!

Something I learned while eating a blueberry is that the insides are not blue. That came as quite a shock to me. I don't think I had ever eaten blueberries plain before so I was unaware of this phenomenon. I took a delicious, crisp bite into it and lo and behold... a little white blueberry belly!

Blueberries. You learn something new every day.

Anyway, tonight I made blueberry pancakes from this buttermilk pancake recipe (because I think there is nothing better than buttermilk pancakes in the world) and mixed a handful of blueberries into the batter. Easy-peasy.

Then I went ahead and made some blueberry buttermilk syrup that I dreamed up and oh. my. gosh.

I really enjoyed it.

I hope you try it and enjoy it to.

Blueberry Buttermilk Syrup*
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, pureed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. In a food processor or blender, throw in two handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries and blend until pureed. 
  2. Melt the stick of butter in a sauce pan. Add the sugar, buttermilk, and blueberry puree.
  3. Bring to a boil and stir constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda**.
  5. Stir to make frothy. You can strain it at this point to get out any pieces of blueberry skin, but I don't. That's where all the fiber and antioxidants live! Plus its yummy.
*Omit the blueberries and you have yourself some delicious Toolson Buttermilk Syrup which is practically divine all by itself. The blueberries though... they just push it right through those pearly gates.
**The baking soda and blueberries causes a chemical reaction that turns the foam green. Don't worry about it, after a few minutes you get a nice deep navy color.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

San Francisco

Andrew and I spent last weekend in San Francisco doing lots of touristy things. We went to Alcatraz and ate lunch on the pier, shopped, and then like the rest of the world, watched HP 7.

Such a satisfying weekend. Here are some photos from the one day I took some.

The Bay Bridge (it was too foggy to see the Golden Gate)
On the ferry to Alcatraz, the city in the background


The Bay Bridge/financial district (where Andrew works)

Coit Tower--where Andrew and I got engaged!

Strawberry Pizza Pie

I made this a looong time ago, but have not been a very consistent blogger lately.  I love this pie, it is my favorite dessert and happens to be what I get on my birthday every year instead of cake.  Birthday cake has never appealed to me... birthday strawberry pizza pie, however, is something I always look forward to.

A few weeks back, I decided to make this for a dinner at a friends house. The only problem was the dinner was on Sunday but I made the pie Saturday morning.  This is a problem because by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I had eaten almost half of it.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I am not sorry.

I ended up having to make a second one Sunday afternoon.  No one ever knew. It was very well received and I was actually asked for the recipe on the spot.  That made me happy.

Here is the recipe for you. My family calls this Strawberry Pizza Pie because sometimes we cook the pie crust on a flat, round pizza pan and with the cream cheese center and the strawberries on top, it looks like a pizza. You can call it what you want, though.


Strawberry Pizza Pie
  • 4 oz Marscapone cheese (it's Italian cream cheese that is incredibly mild and perfect for this. It can be found at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods. If you omit this, use 8 oz cream cheese but reduce the sweetened condensed milk by a little less that half).
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • Half a can sweetened condensed milk
  • One 14 oz container strawberry glaze
  • 1 basket of strawberries, sliced
  • Pie crust, recipe here, previously baked
  1. Blend the Marcapone cheese and cream cheese together using an electric mixer. 
  2. Add in 1/4 jar of the sweetened condensed milk, then add the rest little by little, tasting the mixture after each addition. Too much sweetened condensed milk is a very bad and overpowering thing.
  3. Place the cream cheese mixture into the cooled pie crust.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix half the container of strawberry glaze with the sliced strawberries. 
  5. Place the strawberries on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour (if you can wait) to let the cream cheese mixture set, though it will never be stiff and will always blob on a plate. Looks don't matter, it's all about taste.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Apricot-Pineapple Jelly

I just started this blog post three times and each time I deleted what I wrote because it sounded weird. Cheesy. Too overly jazzed about the weekend coming up and what not.  I'm excited, yes, but jazzed is a little over board.  Just not real, you know what I mean?

Though, I do have a lot to be excited about, you know, for the weekend. I am going to spend it in San Francisco with Andrew so really I am pretty thrilled.

There, was that too jazzy?

Anyway, I made jam. Delicious jam using the apricots from my mom's apricot tree in her backyard.  There are definite perks to living in California and one of them is having yummy fruit trees in your back yard.

Jam is a perfect thing to make in the summer. It just fits. It's one of those things that goes together like apple pie on the fourth of July or bikinis and the beach.  Making fruit jam during the summer just works. It's the right thing to do.

I made jam with apricots because they were easily accessible. I added the pineapple (with a little apprehension) at a friend's request because she said it would be yummy and would also help keep the color nice due to the acidity.  I didn't particularly think that apricots and pineapple would go well together but I didn't want to dismiss my friend's contribution so I went for it.

I am glad I did. It turned out to be fabulous- added a nice jolt of pizazz and unexpected flavor. I knew we were friends for a reason.


Apricot-Pineapple Jelly
  • 5 cups very ripe apricots
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (8 oz)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1 pouch fruit pectin 
  • 12 pack 8oz self-sealing jars
  1. Wash jars in hot water. Bring water in a sauce pan to a simmer and place in lids--make sure to place every other lid face-up and every alternative lid face-down so they don't stick to each other. This sanitizes the lids and also makes it so they seal better.  Once the lids are in, turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water until you are ready for them.
  2. Wash the apricots and remove their pits.  Place them in a food-processor or blender and puree them to desired consistency. (I hate lumps in my jam so I blended  them until they resembled baby food.)  Add in the pineapple and blend together.
  3. Stir sugar, fruit mixture, and butter into a large stock pan. The butter helps reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
  4. IMMEDIATELY pour the hot jam into the jars, one at a time, adding the self-sealing lids soon as each jar is filled.  The steam will help the jar seal.  Screw on the lid.  Do not fill the jar to the brim, fill it to within 1/8 inch of the top.
  5. Let jars sit on the counter top, unperturbed! Do not touch them or they will not seal. You will here a 'pop' as they seal.  After 6 or so hours, check to see if all the jars have sealed by pressing middles of lids with finger. If a lid spring back, or makes a hallow sound, the lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Station 22 Cafe

My blog posts are becoming sporadic.  It turns out that working full-time really puts a damper on my cooking desire.  When I come home I want to veg. I want a quick meal, a bowl of ice cream and a good book.

Also, I want to eat out more.  Eating out more and cooking less go hand in hand.

So, I am not here to give you something to cook, but I am here for all you Provo-ians to tell you where to go for your next lunch date.

Go to Station 22 Cafe on Center Street.

I went there today and it was seriously delicious.  After I'd heard rave reviews about it from three people, I decided to try it out.  The place is cute, very urban kind of feel and the bluesy music was playing made me want to sit inside and eat instead of taking it out which was my original plan.

But what put it over the top was of course, the food. The huge, giant, delicious, meticulously sauced food.

I was very impressed.

I got the 22 Club and here is what the menu says about it: roast turkey, bacon, pickled red onions, avacado, swiss cheese, & spring mix with roasted garlic mayo on a pesto focaccia.

The picture does not do it justice. It was so good that I closed my eyes for the 2nd a 3rd bite so I could savor it more. I know, something is wrong with me when it comes to food. Then I lost control of myself and accidentally drooled. Literally. It was embarrassing, but luckily I was alone and no one saw me.

Prices are moderate to high, but the portions are huge so go and split a side of fries and a sandwich and you'll make it out of there stuffed for only $10.

Here are a few of their other sandwiches and foodstuffs, just to tempt you.

Station 22 Cafe
22 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-3pm