Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Strawberry Cream Cheese Oreo Pie

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

A strawberry in Esther's little hands.

This past week was strawberry week. Of course, it also was dance recital and hubby’s birthday week, but this post is about strawberries. Every year the children and I travel off the mountain to the nearest strawberry patch and pick and pick and pick and pick WAY more berries than anyone should have to deal with in a week. However, because the pickin’ place is an hour away, we can only go once a season and we overdo it. This year was no exception. We came home with 20 gallons of berries – especially ripe ones – so ripe they needed to be frozen or refrigerated that very day.

The children and I rinsed, capped and drop- froze 12 gallons and refrigerated 8. Two shortcakes, a recipe of jam, 24 muffins and three breakfasts of Wheaties and berries later, we realized we needed to freeze the remaining berries in the fridge. With Daniel’s family coming for the recital, I looked around for a yummy dessert recipe and found one in one of my favorite books.

This cookbook, Food That Says Welcome, is authored by Michael W. Smith’s mother, Barbara Smith. It was given to me several years ago by my sister-in-law and I just love it. While I’ve not tried everything in it, most everything I have tried has turned out beautifully. Not only that, but most of the recipes Barbara uses take less than 30 minutes to prepare. No, it’s not the healthiest cookbook, but it’s full of crowd- pleasing, yummy recipes and sometimes that is just what I need… like last week with my last 2 gallons of very ripe berries in my fridge.

I decided to try an easy pie recipe and it was a HUGE hit. I made 6 pies, thinking we’d enjoy them over the next few months. That was Thursday and it’s Sunday evening. 5 are gone. They are that good. So, if you have berries to use up, try Barbara Smith’s

Strawberry Cream Cheese Oreo Pie:
Mix 1 stick of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of sugar. Add 12 ounces of Cool Whip. Mix well. Fold in 4 cups chopped, fresh strawberries. Pour evenly into two Oreo pie crusts. Freeze. Before serving, set out about 40 minutes to thaw a bit.

That’s it! Easy-peasy! Enjoy!

Altogether (three families), we picked 50 gallons!

Apple Recipes

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

5 bushels (in 4 baskets). Total cost - $15. Will make lots of applesauce!

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

I hope so! If this familiar saying is true, the Jobes should be quite healthy this year. It’s been apple week for us and we’ve certainly put up enough apples for all 8 of us to reap health benefits all year!

First round of cooked apples (about a bushel)

The children helping to make our applesauce

Every other year, I try to make about 100 quarts of applesauce. That’s enough to last us about two years. It’s quite a production but the children all help and it’s SO WORTH IT to have homemade applesauce all year. Because I can “clean up” our local

Our Victorio Strainer in action

orchard for $3.00 a bushel, the applesauce is practically free! One bushel of apples yields

75 quarts in two days!

about 15 quarts! Yes, a very reasonable side

dish! The key to making lots of sauce is having a Victorio Strainer. This tool separates the apple waste from the sauce meaning the apples can be cooked in their skins which is where the vitamins are! After cooking the apples, I put them through the strainer and then can the applesauce. Sometimes I sweeten the apples just a little with brown sugar and cinnamon. Often I don’t. It just depends on the sweetness of the sauce. This year’s was good to go without any added sugar!

All my children love apple butter. Last time I did apple butter, we were out of it by Christmas so this year I am making lots!

Apple Butter: 6 qts, unsweetened applesauce, 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar, 1 T lemon juice, 1 jar cinnamon candies, 16 cups sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 t salt, 1 T cinnamon, 1/2 t cloves, 1/2 t allspice.

Combine all ingredients in a big kettle on stove. Bring to a slow boil, being very careful not to burn. Let simmer 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. Will decrease by half. To check for doneness, spoon onto a plate. Water shouldn’t separate from butter. It will look thin, but will thicken as it cools. Before canning, mix with hand mixer to give it a smooth buttery consistency. Fill jars to 1/2″ from rim and place in water bath for 20 minutes.

This is the first year I’ve put up apple pie filling. This recipe came from my friend, Martha

First ever canned apple pie filling! Yum!

Greene, of Marmee Dear’s Home Circle. I credit Martha for teaching me how to make bread with The Breadbasket Cookbook. I remembered seeing her recipe for pies in a magazine. Regretfully, I did not keep it. Last week, I contacted Martha and asked if she’d share her recipe and was so thankful she did! I knew a recipe from her would be one that is tried and true and worthy of my trust! šŸ™‚ Tonight I made my first pie and it did not disappoint. I think next time I open a jar I’ll do and apple crisp!

Apple Pie Filling: Peel and pare apples into a large bowl of water with Fruit-Fresh or a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning of the apples. Mix in a large stock pot: 4 1/2 cups sugar, 1 c cornstarch, 1 T cinnamon (I used more than the original 2 t), 1/2 t nutmeg (I used 1/2 t allspice and 1/2 t cloves and no nutmeg) and 1 t salt. Stir in 9 1/2 cups water. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Stir in 3 T lemon juice. Have clean canning jars prepared and filled with peeled and pared apples. (You’ll need 6-8 lbs of apples. Cram the jars full!) Be sure to drain apples well from the water they were standing in after they were peeled. (I blotted them with paper towels.) Pour thickened filling mixture, while still hot, over apples in jars. Use a spatula to disperse the filling around the apples and remove any air pockets. Clean jar rims and adjust lids and rings. Process in water bath for 20 minutes. Let jars cool, rinse and store in the pantry. To make pie,pour 1 qt. jar of your homemade apple pie filling into an unbaked pie shell. Cover with a top pastry and flute edges. Make slit or vents in top shell and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

My last recipe to share is a delicious apple cake from my real-life friend, Barb, of My Sister’s Kitchen. This cake is moist, yummy and smells heavenly while baking! I’ve made it three times already this month! A big dollop of whipped cream is a must on top!

Fresh Apple Cake: Mix together 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 2 t vanilla, 2 t soda, 1.2 t salt, 2 c flour, 2 t cinnamon, 1 t cloves, 1 t allspice, and 1 cup nuts.

At this point the dough will be very stiff. Add 5 cups diced apples and at this point mix lightly or you will have an applesauce cake! I use my apple corer/peeler/slicer and cut them up small. This saves a lot of time! Bake in a 3 qt. dish at 325 about 50 minutes. This cake burns very easily so it’s important to use a glass baking dish and checkĀ  for doneness with a toothpick.


Esther helps "do apples."

Too much zucchini? Make zucchini bread!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Generally, I like to eat produce in its most simple form… either raw, roasted or cooked with seasonings. However, really overgrown zucchini is not very good. A sweet neighbor gave me two zucchinis this week and they were HUGE! My oldest daughter asked if she could spend the day baking and put that zucchini to good use…. in zucchini bread. She made 20 loaves out of just two zucchinis! Oh my… It is SO good!Ā  This recipe came from my mother-in-law and her sister. I’ve had lots of zucchini bread and must say this is the best!

Zucchini Bread:

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

3 eggs

1 t salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3 t vanilla

3 cups grated zucchini – unpeeled

3 cups whole-wheat flour

1 t baking soda

1/4 t baking powder

3 t cinnamon

Mix sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and zucchini. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Add nuts. Bake in greased and floured pans at 350 degrees. Check with a toothpick after 30 minutes. Makes 1 medium loaf.

This is the unhealthy version which Anna made. Had I made it, I would have substituted 1/2 cup of applesauce for 1/2 cup of the oil. I also would use sucanat in place of the sugar or cut the sugar a little. The whole-wheat flour is delicious in this recipe. It gives it a hearty taste.


For more recipes using fresh produce, see Life As Mom.

Frozen Yogurt Treats – Yummy, Healthy and Cheap!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010


I learned the first week of my marriage nearly 18 years ago that it is ok to be out of milk or bread. However, a freezer void of ice cream “crosses the line.” I have dutifully kept some kind of ice cream available ever since.

So… how does my husband stay so thin? The answer to that is in his portion size. He can literally eat one bite of ice cream and be satisfied. I, on the other hand, can seldom eat one bite of anything. I must either avoid the ice cream altogether or indulge in, most likely, more than the recommended half cup serving size. My children take after me. They love ice cream… and a good portion of it!

Lately, I have been trying some ice cream alternatives. None of us needs the sugar or the fat. While the children don’t have ice cream every day, they have it more often than they need it. Today, I threw together a yogurt treat and the children loved it. Even Daniel admitted that it makes a great ice cream substitute.

Frozen Yogurt Bars:

2 c.Ā  plain yogurt (I used Dannon and used slightly less than thisĀ  – just what I had left in the container.)

2 cups slightly sweetened strawberries (I put these up myself. There is probably about 1 T sugar on the berries)

1 ripe banana

Honey to taste (I didn’t add any).

Put in blender and blend until smooth (about a minute.) Pour into molds. Freeze. This made 12 popsicles.

I am sure any type of yogurt and any type of fruit can be used. I may try vanilla yogurt with mandarin oranges next which was a suggestion my children made. I liked the plain because it has no sugar added. These pops were tangy and delicious and as my family said, “a definite do-over.” Because I picked my berries for $5/gallon and got the yogurt on

Sarah models our popsicle mold.

sale, they were very inexpensive. I’m thrilled that I can enjoy one without limiting myself to “just a bite.” I’m sure we’ll still eat ice cream, but hopefully not as frequently as we have been and who knows… Even Daniel may kick a life long habit!

These popsicles were made in a mold I bought from Marmee’s Kitchen. I have owned many and think this one is the best. You simply pour the yogurt into the molds, cover, and insert sticks. The popsicles look store bought… and taste better and cost much less! Enjoy!

For more great, frugal tips see – Frugal Fridays. For more great recipes see LifeAsMom – Ultimate Recipe Swap.