Food

Strawberry Lavender Jam

I’m a true believer that less is more and that is what makes this Strawberry Lavendar Jam to die for. It is a classic strawberry jam with a hint of lavender that brings a delicious twist to an original favourite. Enjoy this recipe, and if you make it, don’t forget to tag us on Facebook or Instagram @stellaevvafter

  • 16 Cups of Strawberries (the riper the better)
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Packet of Certo (follow the directions closely)
  • 1 Tsp of Dried Lavender

In a large pot add the strawberries and sugar together and let it stand on a medium heat for 1.5 hours- You need to make sure the jam on the bottom of the pot isn’t burning so continue to check it!

Sterilize all your jars and make sure the lids are ready to be used by sitting them in hot water. I sterilize my jars by running them ‘sterilize cycle’ on our dishwasher. A great alternative to a dishwasher is to place them on cookie sheets at and bake them at 225 C for 15 minutes.

Once your berries and sugar have simmered for 1.5hrs, add the lemon juice and certo to the pot. Slowly bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, then add the lavender making sure to stir frequently until it is well mixed.

How do you know if it is ready? Test the jam by spooning a 1/2 tsp onto a chilled plate if it is ready it should gel right away or wrinkle when nudged with a spoon. If it doesn’t continue to cook for a few minutes longer and retest.

When your jam is ready, using a big spoon or ladle, portion the hot jam into the jars leaving 1/4 of an inch of headspace. Make sure the rims are clean so that the lids seal tightly. With the lids on tight, process the jars for 10 minutes in boiling water, this will ensure your jars are sealed. If you look closely at the seals, they will have popped out and this means they are sealed. Your jam should be stored year round in a cool dark place or be sure to refridgerate any open jars.

Voila you have some decadent Strawberry Lavender Jam. Let me know how your recipe turns out.

Best Ever Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!

(prep time 8 mins, cook time 20)

This recipe has been handed down from a family friend to my mom 20 years ago and I’m still baking them today! They are my families favorite muffin snack!

Ingredients (this recipe will make 18 small or 12 large muffins)

  • 4 or 5 Ripe Bananas
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/3 Cup of Butter (melted)
  • 3/4 Cup of Chocolate chips OPTIONAL (we prefer semi sweet)
  • 3/4 Cup of Chopped Walnuts or Pecans OPTIONAL

Directions: I use a stand mixer and add all of my wet ingredients including my sugar. I mix on medium for about a minute and than I add my dry ingredients. Last I add my nuts and chocolate chips. I don’t use muffin cups I prefer to spray my muffin tins. Warm the oven up to 375 C and bake for 20 mins.

Homemade Granola

My husband and my kids are ravenous for a tasty granola but, it’s expensive! So, I started browsing for a recipe to substitute the purchase of store bought granola for homemade – did I mention that the commercial brands are usually full of refined sugar too? They are. I needed a granola that was simple to make, full of healthy ingredients and most importantly, tastes delicious! I won’t take full credit for creation because I used a recipe from http://www.pinchofyum.com but, I did take some creative freedoms and changed quite a few ingredients and quantities (honey instead of maple syrup, removed the cocoa, cut the oil in two and halved the sugar, etc.) and so, I have posted the revised version of the recipe below.

(prep time 15 mins, cook time 60 mins)

  • 3 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Coarse Chopped Almonds
  • 1 Cup of Coarse Chopped Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup of Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup of Honey
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tbsp of Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Sea Salt

Dirctions: Preheat the oven to 250 F. Pour all of the wet ingredients into a bowl and whisk. Mix all of the dry ingredients into one bowl and add them to the wet ingredients while stirring. I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to whisk, and than added my dry ingredients while it slowly stirred everything together. I lined two baking sheets with parchment paper and divided the mixture in half spreading it evenly on the pan.

Bake the the granola for 40 mins and then remove it from the oven. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the granola and return it to the oven for 10 mins. This makes the chocolate chips nice and melty. When you remove the granola from the oven, sprinkle the top of with turbanado sugar and sea salt and VOILA! It’s super delicious, includes healthy fats and the refined sugar is minimal!

Tips: You can always try adding different ingredients like hemp hearts or flax seeds and the honey is easily interchangeable with maple syrup for people who prefer that flavour!

Enjoy these delicious little treats and please let me know if you try out the recipe- don’t forget to post a picture on Instagram and tag me @stellaevvafter.

Chicken Noodle Soup for Working Moms (and Cheaters)

I work full time so I don’t always have time for gourmet meals. Many evenings fast is the key essential to our meals, sometimes I have time to “splurge” on meals but these are my tried, true and tested! Oh- and most importantly kid friendly.

(prep time 20 mins, cook time 1 hour)

Ingredients (This recipe will make a large pot aprox. 20 Cups or 5 Quarts)

  • Chicken Stock Powdered or Carton (I like Knorr)
  • Chicken Breast Boneless / Skinless
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Chopped Peppers (Yellow, Red and Green)
  • 4 Large Carrots Chopped (or a small package of shredded carrots)
  • 1 Medium White Cooking Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Parsley
  • 3 Cups of Piscine Pasta (or whatever your favourite is!)
  • OPTIONAL Occasionally I add 2 cups of pre cooked Ravioli Spinach and Ricotta (my hubby loves it)

Directions: Fill the pot with water, keep count how many cups and mix the stock according to the directions – Knorr chicken stock is one rounded tsp for every cup (if you are using pre made stock just start adding your ingredients). Add your chicken to the water with the stock bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Boil your desired pasta separately following the individual directions on the package. Add your veggies to the stock and chicken and let simmer for 1 hour. After 1 hour spoon out the chicken onto a cutting board, chop it up than add it back to the pot, add your cooked pasta and Voila fresh chicken noodle soup!

Tips: Boil your pasta really well before adding it this will keep the pasta from absorbing any stock if you have leftovers.