Jam bars 🍑🍒 Easy & Delicious👍

Apricot jam & almonds

To bake healthy and delicious goodies sometimes can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating. I am not shy to say I don’t enjoy spending hours baking, and waiting for anything to rise for 8hours. But I love trying new recipes, and sharing them with my family, and watching them enjoy my experiments.

Every now and then when I come across a recipe that is delicious and practical, I am beyond happy. In this case fruit bars, that are delicious to pair with tea or coffee, even top them with ice cream, and just perfect to wrap in wax paper as a thoughtful gift for a friend, teacher or the next door neighbor.

This recipe is super easy to prepare, bake, and by changing the fruit layer, you can drastically change the flavor for the next batch. I made these bars to use up my leftover cranberry sauce, and it came out absolutely delicious.

You will need👩🏻‍🍳.

1 cup butter room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt. Zest of an orange ( 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract ) 3 cups all purpose flour 2 1/2 cup cranberry sauce, apricot or cherry jam 1/2 cup almonds, or walnuts

Preheat the oven 375° bake for 40-45 using a 9×13 baking dish. Dough will be soft and buttery, using a rolling pin or your hands lay enough dough to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/4 inch thickness, a layer of jam, and a layer of nuts. Cover with the rest of the dough. Bake until slightly golden.

Layer of apricot jam, and a layer of toasted almonds
Cranberry sauce & walnuts, in squares.

I am planning to bake some with raspberry jam and a layer of shaved semisweet Ghirardelli chocolate. Yummy 👍can’t wait😋

A Great Breakfast 😋 💕

My most favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I enjoy traveling mostly for the fact, that I get the chance to try something new and special from the region. Some what like, the scene in the movie “ My Cousin Vinny” when they ordered grits for the first time with their breakfast.

German pancake

And when I am home, I am always ready to try new recipes, like the German pancake, that actually looks like a giant pastry. Super easy to make, and delicious. The most important fact about making them, is that you pour the batter in one dish and bake it. There is no waiting and pouring individual pancakes for hours. And that is one main reason this pancake is a great breakfast for big family get togethers, and easy to make for special days like Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

You will need:👩🏻‍🍳

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 Tablespoons butter

A 9X13 baking dish. Preheat the oven at 425°, bake for 27-30 minutes.

Please watch the video as I am preparing this beautiful pancake. I hope you enjoy baking this. Please don’t forget to leave comments and subscribe, I look forward to reading them. Don’t forget a dusting of powder sugar and good quality maple syrup.👍😋

Keeping it together 🥰

I can list many things we are not doing this Christmas, but I realize I will be only whining, and not respecting the facts that this has been a historic year. The events of this year has changed many lives, and will change the way we used to entertain for many years to come. Special days like birthdays, anniversaries will be remembered as not so memorable, and our photos will be good evidence of that, but we also know family get togethers during Halloween, thanksgiving and Christmas will never be the same again.

In my Family events that get us together include our grandparents, and close relatives. Their presence is necessary and important to us, and their visits has always left an impression on our children. Every occasion matters, and they are memorable. This Christmas family visits are not possible, and to keep grandma, and grandpa part of our fast growing family (one day they are toddlers, next day they are teenagers) we are staying in touch using everything accessible to all of us.

Sending pictures while trimming the tree, baking, and decorating the yard has kept our family close and involved. Trying to create memories together while not being in the same space. Keeping it together until things are back to normal !! “after all tomorrow is another day”❤️

Thanksgiving Cranberry sauce 😋

Cranberry sauce is delicious, super easy to make, and so good for us. these small red berries loaded with vitamins, add more flavor, and amazing color to our holiday table.

How to cook cranberries👍

Please click on my video link to see step by step directions on how to make a delicious, simple cranberry sauce for your thanksgiving meal.

Candied Orange peels

Candied orange rinds

Great use of all the beautiful and fragrant full orange peels.

This process is easy, and makes your entire house smell so good.

1- you need 4 oranges

2- use a potato peeler to get a thin slice of skin

3- place in a saucepan cover with cold water let it come to a boil

4- repeat 3 times this helps the rinds to taste less bitter

4- drain

5- make a syrup. 1 cup sugar to 2 cups water

6- place the rinds in syrupy sugar until they look translucent

7- place the rinds in a tray cover with sugar move them around

8- to keep them soft and chewy keep in a tight container

Orange rinds in boiling water
Boil 3 times

Shake excess sugar off let them dry

Another delicious way to use Orange peels. drizzled over banana bread😋

 

 

 

 

Feel good scents ☺️

Lemon scent can help with stronger concentration

Natural Scents from flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits can help us to remember a moment in time, and can also help us to change the way we feel and think.

For me every time I peel a cucumber I can’t help, but to think Of summer days when my Mom would prepare a cucumber salad for us to enjoy with our lunch, just like the scent of ginger and molasses, will always remind me of Christmas cookies we bake every year for Santa.

Certain scents can also make us feel anxious, and restless, as some can help us to calm our thought, and help us to slow down and relax. To be aware of our surroundings, and change the way our emotions are altered simply by smelling an orange or relaxing in a bath with few drops of rose water is a wonderful way to claim and secure our happiness. Nature gives us its seasonal scents with the change in temperate and the seasonal vegetation. It is up to us to be aware and use the natural scents that can help with our physical and mental happiness.

Add Rose petals to your bath

For more on scents, and how to use them, please click on our YouTube channel link, and please subscribe, so we are aware that we share the same goal “wanting and loving a healthy happy life style”.

DIY Natural Fall Decorations with Acorns and Pines🍁

This mess free DIY fall center piece is easy, fun and inquires a walk outdoors among the pine and oak trees.

If you ever look for an excuse to enjoy the early fall, take a leisurely walk to collect your supplies to create a very beautiful useful natural center piece. It would be a great reason to spend time outside with your family and get everyone’s creative suggestions to put together several centerpieces for any room in your home.

Supplies: sharpie, metallic paint, brushes, acorn, pine cones, cinnamon broom, essential oils ( citrus, sandalwood, vanilla..)

Collect acorns
Pine cones
sharpie
Metallic paint (gold or silver)

Please watch my video for step by step instructions, and ideas for each center piece.🍁

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Gardening in a shade garden🕶

The first time I realized my new house had a very shady garden I immediately thought a colorless back yard. And no chance of a vegetable garden.

Beautiful mature Camellia plants lined the yard, and a few azaleas bloomed in between. One Japanese maple tree that had grown out of its corner, was overwhelmed by a white dogwood tree, and shaded by a large mulberry tree branches.

When spring came, I started making a list of plants that were colorful, plants with many shades of green, and a list with combination of perennials and annuals.

My list for annuals: Begonias, impatiens, monkey flower, snapdragon, pansy, coral bells, lily of the valley.

My list for perennials: foxgloves, hydrangeas, hostas, ferns, primroses, encore azaleas.

I am sure you agree when I say, a Gardner needs to be patient and thick skinned. No matter how much planning is done you are still in the mercy of nature and drastic changes in weather. Gardening is always a work in progress, and the joy of seeing a perennial popping it’s head out of the soil in early spring is absolutely priceless.

Begonia
Hosta

Azalea

For more pictures please go to:

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Pantry Must Haves🥫

We usually think of our pantry as the place we store what we need for cooking on daily bases. I have come to realize these days, that my pantry should have everything I need to make meals for not just weeks but maybe months.

Believe me I don’t own a large pantry, so no room for a large varieties of food, but I have learned how to make meals that share the same basic ingredients. And with few more from the freezer, voila I have put together a nice meal.

To create a nice meal has always been important to me. I grew up in a household that eating healthy, and eating delicious meals took an entire day to prepare. Chopping vegetables, marinating the meat, making sauces, all were an important component of creating a delicious food, and setting a beautiful table.

So to keep stress out of my life I have grouped my basic pantry items in 4 categories:

1- cooking

2- baking

3- snacking

4- breakfast

Always store Salt, peppers, spices, cooking oils in large quantities since they are used in daily cooking. Canned sauces, and tomatoes, canned vegetables, soups, tuna, pickles, olives, and pastas are another must haves, with long expiration dates that are easy to buy for storing.

Take advantage of end of season sales for baking, canned vegetables, and pastas. And remember you can store most ingredients like butter, cooked pastas, cooked rice, and breads, for few weeks in your freezer.

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