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Garden Greek Salad Recipe

By Rachel Tiemeyer
You can make this simple salad almost any way you like it. The simple dressing highlights the yummy, fresh produce.

It’s not often I get addicted to a salad and can’t stop eating it. But, I did with this Garden Greek Salad. (Oh, and this one, too.) Who doesn’t want to be addicted to veggies?!?

You can make this simple salad almost any way you like it. The simple dressing highlights the yummy, fresh produce.

The simplicity of the dressing highlights the freshness of the produce this time of year and lends some sweetness, as well. So, load up on the Garden Greek Salad and pat yourself on the back when you binge on this dish!

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garden greek salad

Garden Greek Salad Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Greek

Description

This simple and sweet Greek Garden Salad highlights summer’s best produce!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered as needed
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 cucumber (or 1 bell pepper of a different color), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 small ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • a handful of fresh herbs (I prefer basil and parsley)
  • 12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss all ingredients together and serve.
  2. If it sits in the refrigerator for a little bit, the flavors get even better!

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

By Jessica Ellingsworth, Contributing Writer

Summer is arguably the best time for savoring seasonal foods, especially perfectly ripened fresh berries. As a child, the berries our family didn’t eat right away either got frozen for the long winter or made into freezer jam. If you’ve made freezer jam, you probably know what I mean when I say it is the gift that keeps on giving. Nothing on any grocery store shelf will even compare to homemade freezer jam.

I skipped making freezer jam on our move from Missouri to Texas about a year ago, and my children acted like I deprived them of an essential nutrient when our freezer was jam-less all winter. Well, I am back in the saddle this summer and I am sharing jam tips after getting my hands on these gorgeous raspberries this week.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

F.A.Q.s About Freezer Jam

Let’s begin with some basic questions you may have before moving onto the method of making it.

What is freezer jam?

Freezer jam is not cooked, so the flavor is like ripe fruit and the texture is chunky. Plus, no standing over a hot stove in the summer! Expect a softer set than canned jam with a fresh fruit taste.

Do I need canning supplies or to sterilize anything?

Making freezer jam requires no sterilizing or sealing of jars. Just clean your jars with hot, soapy water or run through the dishwasher.

How long does freezer jam last in the freezer and refrigerator?

Jam keeps well in the freezer up to a year or more. Once it’s thawed in the fridge, it will last 4-6 weeks.

What kind of pectin do you recommend?

My favorite pectin is Sure Jell. They offer low sugar or no sugar options, as well as their classic recipe. Ball brand also makes a no-cook pectin that some jam folks prefer.

Any tips on what kinds of berries to use?

I know this seems obvious, but I’ll say it: perfectly ripe fruits make the best jams. Don’t be afraid of combining two of your favorite fruits into one jam. Peach-Raspberry, anyone?!

How long does it take to make freezer jam?

Perhaps my favorite part of homemade freezer jam is you can have a batch of freezer jam done in 30 minutes.

Any other freezer jam bonuses?

Why yes! It is a lovely, heart-felt gift for a teacher, neighbor, or friend. Kids also love helping with the basic measuring, stirring and simplicity of freezer jam. My two-year-old son and I had a wonderful time making this together.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Here are the steps, complete with photographs, for the best jam every time:

1. Wash and measure out the fruit. The pectin comes with a guideline; follow it exactly so the jam will set well. I used 3 pints of raspberries for 7 cups of jam.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

2. Get out a good ole potato masher and crush the berries. Sieve out 1/2 cup pulp to remove some seeds, if you prefer. I skip this and go for full pulp.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!
3. Measure exact amounts (according to the recipe on the pectin) of crushed berries into a bowl.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

4. Add sugar (again, according to the recipe on the pectin) and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Sugar helps set the pectin and preserves the fruit.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

5. Now’s the time to add the pectin according to package directions. If using Sure-Jell, bring the package and 3/4 c. water to a boil for 1 minute. Pour into the fruit and stir for 3 minutes, making sure everything is incorporated. The two year-old stepped in and stirred for me.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

6. Fill jars. Using a basic funnel makes it really easy.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

Now your homemade freezer jam is ready for the freezer or the first piece of warm sourdough toast!

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How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 jars
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Freezing
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is easy to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!


Ingredients

  • Fresh berries (I used raspberries)
  • Sugar
  • Pectin

Instructions

  1. Wash and measure the fruit. The pectin has a guideline; follow it exactly so your jam will set up.
  2. Crush the berries with a potato masher.
  3. Sieve out 1/2 cup pulp to remove some of the seeds. *You can also skip this step and have full pulp.
  4. Measure exact amounts of crushed berries in to a bowl (according to the directions on the pectin).
  5. Add sugar (according to pectin directions) and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  6. Now add pectin according to the package directions. If you use Sure-Jell, bring the package and 3/4 cup water to a boil for one minute.
  7. Pour into the fruit and stir for 3 minutes, making sure everything is fully incorporated.
  8. Fill jars using a basic funnel.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Prepare jam as directions state. Fill in glass, mason jars. Let jam cool completely. Store in freezer for up to one year.

To Prepare:
Thaw jar of jam in refrigerator overnight. Use on toast or in your favorite recipes. Store jam in refrigerator. Use within 7-10 days of opening.

About the Author

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 10.45.46 PMJessica Ellingsworth is the editor and curator of Mayvn.com. Mayvn serves as a lifestyle spot for stylish, yet simple homemaking. Jessica is the wife of a musician/composer, mother to two beautiful daughters and one dashing son. When she isn’t running around with the children, she can be found honing her photography skills in her city of Austin, Texas, experimenting with makeup artistry, and romancing her handsome husband with culinary treats.

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

I can’t wait to share this recipe with you. If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! It’s simply perfect for a summer day, especially when your fridge is overflowing with garden produce to use up.

Here’s a bowl full of veggies my green-thumb friend, Nicole, sent me home with last week. This palette was quite an inspiration. You know cooking is art, don’t you?

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup Recipe: If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

Now, let’s talk lentils for a minute. Did I scare you off with a mention of those? If so, don’t shy away from these small round, lens shaped legumes. I hadn’t tried cooking with them until this recipe, and I tell you, I’m sold! Not only are they full of fiber and protein, but they made this soup hearty and rich-tasting. They really cook down in the broth, adding a buttery creaminess to the texture. The key, I learned, is using lots of seasoning to keep them from tasting bland in this soup.

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup: If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

One more thing to share before we get to the recipe. Would you believe that my kids even tried and ate some of this soup? All three of them–the 2, 4, and 6 year olds. That’s because they helped me pick the produce and chop it for the soup. The push to get kids in the kitchen isn’t just a nice theory. It really works if you’re wanting your children to try new foods and take an interest in where their food comes from.

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup Recipe: If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

My 6-year-old has become an expert chopper, as we’ve worked on his knife skills over the past year. My 4-year-old daughter isn’t too bad either. I usually give them a butter knife and it works fine, although I now trust my older son with a small sharp chopping knife. The 2-year-old picked herbs off the back porch for me and then proceeded to make his own “soup” while we cooked. What great fun in the kitchen (and quite a mess…yes…but worth it)!

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup Recipe: If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

Keep in mind, you can use all kinds of veggies in this recipe. Just toss in what you have on hand in place of the ones I suggest, if you want. Happy summer soup making!

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup: If you’re looking for a low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup….this is it! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

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Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup recipe

Garden Vegetable and Lentil Soup Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Dutch Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A low calorie, nutritionally-dense, and tasty soup that’s simply perfect for a summer day or a cold winter night.


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • fresh thyme, bundle a few sprigs and tie together with kitchen twine or another sprig
  • 23 large carrots or 1 bag of baby carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups green beans, chopped
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • fresh herbs (i.e. parsley, basil, etc), chopped, to taste

Instructions

Note: Try to chop the vegetables about the same size and small enough to fit on a spoon bite.

  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, bay leaf, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Saute until softened. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add lentils and thyme bundle and simmer about 10 minutes less than the lentil package directions call for.
  4. Add vegetables and simmer another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove bay leaf and thyme bundle. Top with freshly chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serving suggestion: Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and serve with a good loaf of crusty bread.


Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Cook soup completely and let cool. Put soup in freezer-safe container or bag. Freezer for up to 3 months.
To Prepare:
Thaw soup in refrigerator overnight. You can also warm it from frozen on the stovetop.
*Note, you may need to add some more water or broth because the vegetables will absorb some of the liquid.