Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

This past weekend, Hocus Pocus was on cable. Twice. So I watched it twice, of course. Thank goodness LSU’s game was a morning game or I would have been a little torn. Growing up in the 90s, Hocus Pocus just screams Halloween to me. I actually remember my parents not letting us watch the movie at first, because it was rated PG. Yes, I know how sheltered this makes me sound, but I understand. I probably would have had nightmares about my life being sucked out by a witch or something.

I love my parents, but as a kid, they were very strict about what my siblings and I could have. For example, when I got my first CD player, “Santa” included a copy of “Jagged Little Pill” with it, and the minute my mom heard “da*n” from the CD, I had to return it and ended up with Spice Girls. No offense to Spice Girls, but I really wanted Alanis Morissette’s CD. Also, when I had braces, most of the kids in class were rule breakers. They ate sticky candy and chewed gum, but I didn’t dare try that in front of my parents. One of the biggest candies I missed was caramel. Caramel is in so many things I love, like Snickers or a good ice cream sundae. So yeah, the braces phase of life REALLY stunk.

Now that I’m an adult, of course I don’t have anyone to tell me no PG movie or gum for you. I don’t necessarily junk up my life, but it’s cool to have that freedom, especially in the kitchen. A few weeks ago, I noticed these caramel bits in the grocery store and immediately thought of throwing them in cookies. Since it’s fall, of course I had to involve pumpkin, and I found this recipe. The original recipe involved butterscotch chips, but I added caramel bits and dried cranberries instead. Fantastic, right? Oh heck yes. :-) You can’t go wrong with these cookies…in fact, the pumpkin oatmeal base makes it too tempting to add all sorts of fun ingredients to them.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Source: adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits (or you could use chocolate chips)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set those aside.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients in a small bowl. (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt) Set the dry mixture to the side while you prepare your wet ingredients
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, mix the butter and sugars for a couple minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix until well-blended. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix until well-blended.
  4. Slowly add in the dry mixture, and mix until just combined. With a spatula or spoon, stir in the oats, dried cranberries and caramel bits (or chocolate chips).
  5. Using a tablespoon sized scoop, scoop the dough and drop each dollop onto your cookie sheets (giving about 2 inches in between). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies appear to be set and are golden along the edges. When they are done, allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a regular cooling rack until they are completely cool!

Blackberry Basil Popsicles


Blackberry Basil Popsicles

A few weeks ago, our basil was absolutely booming. I ended up making a huge batch of pesto, but I also wanted to try something sweet with the basil. I know that strawberry basil is a popular combination, so I figured why not try something with blackberries?

When I was a kid, I remember going to my grandma’s house, and picking a bowl full of these near the ditch by her house. They grew like crazy out there, and as kids, it was the coolest thing to pick your own food and bring it back for everyone to enjoy for dessert. Every time I eat blackberries, I’m always reminded of grandma’s house. :-)

These popsicles are simple to throw together, and they are insanely good. You only need your blender or a food processor, and you’re good to go. I made these in those tiny bathroom cups (I think they’re 3 oz) and stuck a paper straw in there, since I couldn’t find popsicle sticks at the store. I think it makes them look more fun anyway. :-)

Blackberry Basil Popsicles
Source: an original


  • 1.5 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed
  • one heaping handful of fresh basil, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • juice of one lemon


  1. Add the berries, basil, honey and lemon to your food processor or blender and puree the ingredients until well combined. (Optional: strain out the seeds, if you’d like.)
  2. Add the mixture to popsicle molds or 3 oz. cups. If you’re using cups, allow the popsicles to freeze for about 30 minutes before putting the popsicle sticks in, so they stay put.
  3. Freeze for about 8 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Bing Cherry Sorbet

Bing Cherry Sorbet

Back in high school, I worked at a Winn-Dixie as a cashier. I learned a lot of important life lessons while I was a cashier. When hosting a crawfish boil, one must buy at least 2 cases of beer with the vegetables you are about to boil. When one has a baby, a bottle of wine is a necessity when you have a cart full of baby food. Then, there were people who brought new foods to my attention, especially produce. I learned about prices of produce too…bananas were dirt cheap and cherries were ridiculously expensive. I often wondered what was SO special about fresh cherries when you could buy a jar of maraschinos for $2 or something.

Now, don’t judge me. When I was younger, cherries to me were simply the top of a sundae. :-) Sure, I enjoyed plenty of fresh fruits, but cherries weren’t one of those when I was a kid. And I completely understand why…being 1 of 4 kids, I’m sure buying cherries for a family of 6 would be ridiculously expensive.

I didn’t get to try fresh cherries until a few years ago. I happened upon them in the grocery store, and when I saw that they were $2.99/lb., I figured it was definitely time to try these. I bit into one and immediately hurt my tooth. Wait a second…these things have PITS?? (Remember…my experience with cherries were jarred maraschinos. :-P) No worries though…there was no dentist needed after that mistake. I’m glad I tried them, though, because I was completely in love with these little treats. Whenever they’re in season now, I easily go through a bag of these in a couple of days. With the weather being so crazy hot lately though, I wanted to make a frozen dessert with these. I thought about ice cream, but if I made something like Cherry Garcia, my diet would be fairly screwed. There’s no portion control when it comes to Cherry Garcia ice cream, y’all. I just can’t do it, so I don’t even buy it. So, I searched for a sorbet and found this recipe. What I love about sorbets is that they’re very quick. When you want a frozen dessert in a pinch, go for a sorbet! It tastes absolutely refreshing and light, which is really perfect when you have 100 degree heat outside. :-)

Bing Cherry Sorbet
Source: mildly adapted from Cooking Light


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups pitted fresh Bing cherries (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  1. Mix 1 cup of sugar and 2/3 cup of water in a 2-cup measuring glass. Microwave the mixture for 2 minutes, and allow the syrup to completely cool before continuing with the recipe.
  2. Then, add the sugar syrup, cherries, brandy and lime juice to a blender and puree for about 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth. Churn the sorbet in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the sorbet to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze for 4 hours (or overnight), until firm. Enjoy!


Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis

Cream Cheese Pound Cake w/ Strawberry Coulis

Last week, my whole body got confused. For the first time since last fall, I felt the urge to bake something with pumpkin. The reason? I went out of town to San Diego for a work conference. The minute I stepped off the plane, I had to ask someone if this was real. I mean, c’mon. 70 degrees at 1pm? IN JULY??! No way. Down here, we get maybe 2 days like that, and they’re in the middle of October. I’m completely jealous of y’all who call San Diego home. When I came home, I was instantly reminded with the 105 degree heat index that it is definitely still the summer.

I guess I should embrace it, since it’s here for another month or so. When it comes to baking in the summer, I try to make things that aren’t super rich. I like to stick to using fruit and simple flavors, like this pound cake. While pound cake contains an unreal amount of butter, for some reason, it just works really well with fruits. This pound cake is perfectly moist on the inside, but on the outside, the cake bakes up to a nice, sort of crunchy crust (hard to describe, but I swear…it’s great). And the strawberry coulis (pretty much a fancy name for sauce) that accompanies this cake is just perfectly refreshing and light.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis
Source: Smitten Kitchen


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia brand cream cheese, at room temperature (the brand is recommended in SK’s post)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract plus 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the coulis:

  • 2 cups quartered hulled strawberries (about 12 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan very well to prepare it for the cake batter
  2. Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and beat the mixture on high for at least five minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each egg and scraping down the bowl with a spatula regularly. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, as well as the flour and salt. Beat the mixture on low until the mixture is just mixed (be careful not to overbeat).
  3. Add the batter to the bundt pan and tap the pan to ensure that the top is even. Bake the cake for 75 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly.
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then flip the cake out onto a cooling rack, allowing it to completely cool there.
  5. To make the coulis (which can be made one day ahead), combine the coulis ingredients in a blender, and puree the mixture until it is very smooth. Optional: press the mixture through a strainer to remove the seeds. Chill the coulis until cold.

Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet

Strawberry Sherbet

I’m always the gal looking for a deal. It makes me cringe to go shopping and pay full price for something. While you won’t find me on Extreme Couponers, I do tend to stalk the deal sites, like Slick Deals and Fat Wallet. It’s a good day when I find an item at Target for 75% off or 90% off, too. Even for my weight loss rewards, I fully intend on getting the most out of those rewards, like finding that ::99 lbs. lost:: designer handbag on sale.

When it was strawberry season here, there were trucks lined up all along a major highway every weekend selling flats of strawberries. In my opinion they were asking way too much since the season was in its prime, so I tried to talk them down a couple of dollars. (Always after a deal…ha!) I was surprised to see that it worked, but they explained since it was the end of the weekend, they were more than happy to give a deal just to get rid of them. :-)

So, I happily took those strawberries home and made multiple recipes using them. This was the last recipe from that flat (boo…). I usually make a sorbet, but this year, I wanted to give sherbet a try. Like sorbet, this is a great refreshing dessert. Oh, and best of all, this is an extremely simple recipe to throw together!

Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet
Source: Southern Living


  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor, for about 30 seconds until the berry puree looks smooth. If you don’t prefer seeds, pour the puree through a strainer into a large bowl, pressing down the puree to make sure you’re just straining the seeds out.
  2. Add the buttermilk, sugar and extract to the bowl and mix everything (you can just use a spoon or a whisk) until everything is well-mixed. Then, cover the sherbet mixture and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  3. After the mixture has chilled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker (at least 1 1/2 quart capacity) and freeze according to the ice cream maker’s directions. You can enjoy this right out of the ice cream maker (for more of a soft serve consistency) or freeze the sherbet in the freezer for a few hours to enjoy at a scoop-able consistency.

Spinach, Strawberry, Pecan and Feta Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Feta

I started really getting into spinach salads a couple of years ago. I actually prefer to purchase baby spinach at the store vs. lettuce, because I know if I don’t feel like eating a spinach salad, I can cook or bake with it as well to avoid wasting it/letting it go bad. Cooked lettuce isn’t quite so appealing. :-)

A while back, I was invited to Hotel Indigo with a few other local bloggers to sample their restaurant’s menu, and they brought out this salad that had me absolutely smitten. It had spinach, local strawberries, feta cheese and pecans tossed in a strawberry vinaigrette. It was DIVINE. I knew one day I’d have to remake this for when we had company, and I actually made this a while ago. Like…Easter. I took pictures of this salad back in April and completely forgot about it. Oops!

Easter is smack dab in the middle of our strawberry season here, so I knew that this would be the perfect occasion to make this salad. It was ridiculously easy to throw together, and the salad was a hit. It tasted pretty darn close to the salad I enjoyed at the hotel, and I was thrilled about that. In fact, since I made this salad in April, I’ve made this vinaigrette multiple times. It’s just that good, y’all. I haven’t made the salad in quite a while, though, since I’m a strawberry snob and the season is long gone. :( I envy those of you who still have fresh strawberries at your local fruit stands!

Just to note: I realize that the pecans weren’t pictured here. I served them on the side though, since quite a few people in my family aren’t fans of pecans. :-)

Spinach, Strawberry, Pecan and Feta Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Source: salad inspired by King Bar & Bistro, dressing from Rachael Ray

Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 cups baby spinach
  • 1 pint sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. strawberry jam (I used this freezer jam)
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To make the vinaigrette, place the strawberry jam in a large bowl and whisk in the vinegar until everything is well-mixed. Keep whisking the mixture and slowly add in the olive oil. Whisk until the dressing doesn’t look like it’s separating. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the spinach, strawberries, feta cheese and pecans to the bowl and toss the ingredients together until everything is coated with the dressing. Serve immediately, or if you’re serving at a later time, just make the dressing separately and serve it on the side (make some extra dressing, just in case you have some dressing lovers) instead of tossing it with the salad ingredients.


Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

I started calorie counting again a few weeks ago, and I quickly realized that the scrambled egg sandwiches at the cafeteria probably weren’t the healthiest things to start the day off with. Given how much oil they spray on the griddle, and the fact that their eggs look orangey out of the carton, I knew I could do better. My only obstacle was that I don’t have time to cook in the morning.

Yes, I know. I could wake up earlier and that would give me time but honestly, I’m not a morning person. I press snooze 5-6 times every morning. It drives my husband batty, I’m sure. So yeah…I definitely want something that I could grab out of the fridge and eat at work.

I’ve been curious about the baked oatmeal that has gotten popular on the blogs in the past year. My only issue of concern was that I HATE hot standard oatmeal. It’s way too mushy to me. However, in pictures, this recipe looked a little more dry and possibly something I could like. So, I decided to give it a try this weekend. If it worked out, I could scoop out a piece for work every day. At 180 calories a serving (since I omitted nuts), this would be the perfect foundation for breakfast. :-)

The verdict? This baked oatmeal is awesome, y’all. It’s even better the next day, in my opinion, because it dries up a good bit, almost to a cake or bread pudding-like consistency. (I’m not saying it tastes like bread pudding…that would be a lie.) I think for this particular recipe, the cinnamon and bananas really make this dish. :-) If you hate mushy oatmeal like me, but WANT to like oatmeal (really, you do), give this baked oatmeal a try. It comes together super quickly, contains no refined sugar and it’s calorie friendly!

Baked Oatmeal
Source: Skinny Taste


  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave…I used honey)
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray an 8×8 inch ceramic baking dish with baking spray.
  2. Arrange the bananas in one layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Add half of the blueberries on top. Then, sprinkle 1/4 tsp. of the cinnamon and drizzle 1 tbsp. of honey on the fruit. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While the fruit is baking, in a medium sized bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and salt. Stir the dry ingredients together until well-mixed. In another bowl, add the honey, milk, egg and vanilla extract and whisk together until the mixture well-combined.
  4. Take the fruit out of the oven. Pour the dry oat mixture over the fruit and spread it to an even layer. Then, add the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the liquid evenly.
  5. Bake the oatmeal for 30 minutes (uncovered), or until the oats on top are a golden brown color and the oatmeal is set. Let the oatmeal cool for a few minutes before serving. If you are eating leftover baked oatmeal, just heat it in the microwave for about a minute. Add a splash of skim milk if desired.





Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Happy May Day! I can’t believe it’s already May, y’all! Wasn’t it just December? I swear I’m still humming “Let It Snow” around the house…wishful thinking, I guess. Although, I’m currently getting a real kick out of this Justin Timberlake meme, which makes bringing in the month that much more awesome. :-P Hello fellow *NSYNC fans…I know you’re out there laughing and singing along with me!!

Now, let’s talk about this pie, y’all. When it comes to baking, pie is one of those things I just don’t make that much. For some reason, pie always seems like a ton of work. I used to buy crusts in the freezer section, and when I first attempted homemade pie years ago, it just ended up taking a while for it to come together. After all of that work, the crust was a crumbly mess. UGH. I just sort of mentally blocked the idea of making pie, unless there was a pre-made crust involved.

Sometimes I forget that I have a stand mixer that happily does all of the work for me…..

I had a flat of strawberries in the house, and since I promised to bring a dessert for a lunch we were going to, I decided that I had to bring something involving strawberries. I didn’t want to bring the typical shortcake, so I went to Pinterest to help me brain storm. (Don’t you just love Pinterest?!) That’s when I saw this fresh strawberry pie. I clicked on the post, and thought about pie crust. Ugh. Then I saw that the directions involved the stand mixer. Oh heck yes! My pastry cutter can stay in the drawer? SA-WEET!

So, I made this pie. With the sweet, ripe local strawberries and the light, buttery crust, this pie was just a wonderful, refreshing dessert. It wasn’t too heavy, which really allowed the strawberries to shine.  It was a real winner at lunch. I didn’t end up bringing any of this home!

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Source: Annie’s Eats (originally from Williams-Sonoma and Cooks Illustrated)


For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp. very cold water

For the filling:

  • 4 pints (about 3 lbs.) fresh strawberries, gently rinsed and dried, hulled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes (don’t use the regular Sure-Jell)
  • Generous pinch table salt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. To make the crust, add the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix everything together just to blend it. Add the butter pieces and mix together on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are no bigger than peas and the rest of the mixture resembles a coarse sand. Turn the mixer on low and add the cold water. Mix until the dough just comes together.
  2. Mold the dough into a ball, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle. Then transfer the crust to a 9 inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Cover the pie pan with saran wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and adjust an oven shelf to the lower middle slot. Take the pie pan out of the freezer and line the top of the pie crust with foil. Add pie weights on top or balled up foil pieces to prevent the dough from bubbling up and rising. Bake the pie crust for 20-25 minutes, until the dough no longer appears wet. Remove the pie weights/balled up foil and other foil. Then, bake the pie crust for 10-12 minutes more until golden brown. Place the pie pan on a wire rack and allow to cool fully.
  4. To make the filling, weigh out 6 oz. of weird shaped, under-ripe or unattractive berries, halving those that are large. In the end, you should have about 1 1/2 cups of berries. Using a food processor or blender, blend the berries to a puree for about 30 seconds. Measure out the puree; you should have 3/4 cup.
  5. Using a medium sized saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell and salt and whisk the mixture to combine. Stir in the berry puree and cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a full boil and boil for two minutes, ensuring that the bottom and sides of the pan are constantly scraped with a silicone spatula or spoon. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice; allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  6. Look through the remaining berries and weigh out 2 pounds of the most attractive berries. If the berries are very large, halve them. Add the berries to the bowl with the glaze, and fold the mixture gently with a spatula or spoon until the berries are well coated with the mixture. Add the berry mixture on the pie crust, piling the berries into a mound. If you’d like, turn down the berries that are cut side up for a prettier presentation. Chill the pie for about two hours and serve immediately (at the most, within 5 hours of making the pie since berries are extremely moist and will make your pie soggy). Optional: serve with fresh whipped cream.




Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

The first time I ever tried Strawberry Lemonade was at Chilis. I went to dinner once with friends, and in the many times we went there as college students, I never noticed the drink before until the waitress mentioned it. I really thought it would be a disgusting Hi-C drink, but when the waitress bought it out, it contained strawberry puree. I was in love. I’m sure it had 900 calories a glass, but it was just SO good and sweet! Now, I don’t go to Chilis as much anymore, but whenever I end up there, I have to have it! I’m sure some of y’all are judging me for liking something at Chilis, but just give me a little slack here. :-) I think the last time we ate at Chilis was several months ago…it’s definitely not a place we frequent.

A while back, I saw this recipe for homemade strawberry lemonade. I waited until strawberry season came around, bought a bag of lemons, and made a pitcher of the stuff. Let’s just say I had three glasses of this in a row that evening. This stuff is GOOD and super easy to make!

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
Source: My Baking Addiction


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water, divided
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 8-9 small lemons)
  • 4-6 cups cold water (I used 5 cups)


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Make a simple syrup by heating and occasionally stirring the mixture on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to fully cool before doing the other steps.
  2. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup of water.
  3. In a large pitcher, add the strawberry puree, cooled simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir the mixture until everything is well-mixed.
  4. Add 4 cups of cold water and taste. If you feel the lemonade needs more water, add it a cup at a time until the lemonade tastes great to you!
  5. Stir the lemonade really well and serve it over ice.

Note: It lasted about 2 days in the fridge (since I finished the pitcher by then), but it may last longer.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I’m fairly sure I mentioned before that when I was a kid, I had a terrible allergy to strawberries. It was an absolute bummer for years, because there’s nothing like a good strawberry, especially when they’re local strawberries. I ended up purchasing a flat this past weekend, and just couldn’t wait to dig in and make something fun.

I’ve been craving a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I know…I’m totally 6 years old right now.), but I just wasn’t in the mood to make shelf-stable jam. I’ve always been curious about freezer jam, though, since people insist it’s so much better & fresher tasting than the cooked/shelf stable jam. Freezer jam doesn’t require canning supplies, except for freezer safe jars, which they sell near the mason jars. No need to violently boil the cans and hope/pray that the lids “pop” revealing that you canned everything perfectly. You just cook the pectin, add it to your fruit/sugar mixture, let it set up and freeze/enjoy! It’s pretty darn fantastic and it really is much fresher tasting..if you want to make homemade jam easily, this is the way to go. :-)

Strawberry Freezer Jam
Source: Kraft Foods


  • 2 cups crushed strawberries (about 2 pints of ripe strawberries)
  • 4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 box Sure-Jell pectin (in a yellow box)


  1. Wash and rinse 5 (1 cup) freezer safe plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry the containers and lids thoroughly and set on a clean towel.
  2. Hull and crush strawberries really well with a potato masher or two forks, 1 cup at a time. Make sure to measure out 2 cups of crushed berries into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until well-mixed. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally during that time.
  3. In a small sauce pan, mix the water and pectin together with a whisk. Heat the mixture, stirring often, until boiling, Keep stirring and allow the mixture to boil for a full minute. Remove the pan from heat, and add the pectin mixture to the sugar mixture. Constantly stir for 3 or so minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved and everything is well-mixed.
  4. Working quickly, fill all containers with the jam, leaving a 1/2 inch head space. (The great thing about freezer jam containers is there is a line drawn in on the jar to show where to stop pouring.) Wipe the edges of the containers and cover with the lids. Let the jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours to set up, and then place the jars in the freezer or fridge to use.

Note: You can store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.