I made raspberry and strawberry jams for the Bake Sale to help our little gal, Jenni, do Cheer at Rim High this year. Please let me know if you would like a jar and I can mail or deliver it. Each jar is made with organic fruit, organic sugar, and pectin. That's it; you don't get any better than that =]
There is nothing better than fresh crisp chilled strawberries on a summer hot day. YUM! The avocados sold by a farmer in Temecula are so rich in taste that you will never buy from the grocery store again. My hubby just picked up cherries and candy-coated almonds too from our local farmers market at the Lake Arrowhead Village.
I have learned that buying organic whenever possible is well worth it. Organic can be expensive, but if you keep in mind that even if you only buy the most important things as “certified organic” then you are still doing your body a great favor. In this day and age when adolescent boys are growing breasts and girls are beginning menstruation earlier and earlier, we need to all be more careful about what goes in each of our bodies. I truly believe these problems, as well as other health issues, are directly related to the hormones given to the animals that eventually make it to our tables. Therefore, I think it’s most important to buy any dairy products, and eggs, that are certified organic, and free range with no steroids. Animals eat right so you can too! I but from US Wellness Meats for not much more than I pay at Costco for meats. There are many other places that you can find on-line also.
I am recovering from a very painful shoulder surgery and made a point of eating strictly organic fruits and vegetables with a ton of water every day. My physical therapist says she is amazed at how fast I am healing and I am so glad! I hope the rest of the pain and swelling goes pretty soon too =)
Local farmers offer a great variety at Farmers Markets. Just use “Google” for information about Markets closest to your home. You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoid the most contaminated foods in the grocery store. Bottom line is that if you cannot afford to strictly buy organic, then keep in mind the most important list of foods that are considered to contain the highest amounts of pesticides or chemicals:
Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals (64 of them) that are used on crops. Buy organic celery, or choose alternatives like broccoli, radishes, and onions.
Multiple pesticides (as many as 62 of them) are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit.
If you buy strawberries, especially out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that have less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. 59 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.
Like peaches, apples are typically grown with poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Tests have found 42 different pesticides as residue on apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely, so it's best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas, and tangerines.
New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.
With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya, and mango.
7. Bell peppers
Peppers have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed with insecticides. (Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.)
New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetables.
Traditionally, kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus, and broccoli.
Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. In fact, in one survey in recent years, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries. Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.
America's popular spud reappears on the 2010 Dirty Dozen list, after a year hiatus. America's favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage, and earthy mushrooms.
Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape's thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides.
This is my Family's very favorite dessert and so easy to make! You can use anything you want for fruit and layering and it's great fun to mix color combinations. Red/White/Blue is very easy; (blueberries, strawberries, angel food cake and whipped cream). Change it up by using chocolate cake and chocolate pudding with whipping cream. Maybe add some chocolate chips too?
Again, you can add any layers of food that your family loves. That's what so great about creating and altering recipes, adjust to what you like.
My Trifle consists of layers of pound cake cut in to cubes. (You can make it from scratch or Costco has great pound cake or angel food cake can be used also.) Then vanilla pudding on top of the bread so that the fruit does not soak through and make the bread soggy. I like to make my pudding from scratch, but pre-made pudding works just as well.
Next, I used strawberries and blackberries (from my garden, yum!!!), and whipping cream. Keep layering in this order until the bowl is about 3-inches from the top. I used a few grapes to top it off because before I realized it, I used every berry-oops! So make sure you set aside the smallest, and best looking berries before you begin layering.
I usually make a little design with the strawberries and raspberries...Trifle bowls can be purchased just about anywhere, but my very favorite one from Pampered Chef. (Target, Walmart, Kmart are a little less expensive though). The one from Pampered Chef is a little bit heavier glass, and comes with a lid that seals tight in case of leftovers.
Updated 6/1/2015: please avoid the can spray typed whipping cream. I made a dozen smaller sized portions of the trifle for my son's party and within an hour it had melted EVERYWHERE! I only used it on top because I thought it might look prettier - thank goodness I didn't use it in the layers. I can't imagine how it would have melted together with the weight of the fruit and breading.
The small white chalkboard signs are from www.HowJoyfulSupplies.etsy.com
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.