Strawberry Balsamic Jam with Vanilla & Bourbon

YES. This recipe is one of my new favorites. It started out with a wonderful strawberry picking adventure Saturday morning, and then I set out to make a small batch of strawberry jam. Since it was a low pressure little project, I just started playing around with flavors….and it worked! I woke up this morning {cheated, went to the store and bought more strawberries} and tripled the recipe. For the past 24 hours we’ve put this on cheese and crackers, toast, in yogurt, and made a quick smoothie with it. On top of angel food cake or marinating chicken is going to be my next move.

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Ingredients: Makes three half-pint size jars

– 2 lb strawberries

– 1 1/4 cup sugar

– 2 tbsp lime juice

– 1 tbsp bourbon

– 2 tsp vanilla

– 2 tbsp balsamic {the good, quality kind. not balsamic vinegar! I used pomegranate balsamic from my favorite oil store…could that sentence sound more annoying?}

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1) Sprinkle 1 1/4 cup sugar over the strawberries and toss. Let sit for 10 minutes. Note: this recipe requires more sugar than others because it is pectin-free. I prefer to use real sugar because just a pinch too much pectin and you’ll have something closer to jell-o! edited_low546

2) Mash the strawberry and sugar mixture and let sit for 2 hours. Add vanilla. edited_low548

3) Put lemon juice at the bottom of a medium to large saucepan and heat on medium-high.

4) Add strawberry mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium.

5) After 15 minutes, add bourbon.

*now is a good time to prepare your jars*

5) Cook until the spoon test yields the texture you’re looking for.  My first batch was done in 30 minutes, my second batch cooked for 45 and was still a little runny. So totally depends on the batch you’re making!

6) When its ready, add the balsamic. edited_low549

Made some new recipe cards to give out with the jars of jam!edited_low534

Final product!

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Happy 30th Birthday, Discovery!

Many of you may find it weird that I baked birthday cakepops for a large, inanimate, corporation, but this company has given me so much in the past two years that it felt appropriate.

This year we are celebrating 30 years of Discovery, and we’re doing it big. There are decorations ALL over the building, employees from global offices are coming together to brainstorm for the future of our networks, and there’s this intangible sense of community wafting through the halls.

Enough sap. Here’s how to make some awesome cakepops:


1. Start with a baked cake, completely cooled. edited_517

2. Using a fork, tear the cake up. Avoid the edges, as it will get in the way of your cakeball and cause them to break. (I also avoid the bottom of the cake if it is even the slightest bit overcooked)edited_518

3. Add 1/3 cup frosting of your choice. I usually just use good ole’ duncan hines because it’s easy. There’s a debate that you can also use whole milk but I feel weird about leaving them out at room temp with milk.edited_519

4. Mash up into a ball. It shouldn’t look like a perfect moist ball, otherwise that means you used too much frosting and the sticks won’t stay inserted. The purpose is to have an evenly mixed cake/frosting mixture that will stick together.

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5. Take a chunk and (with clean hands!!!!) squeeze to tightly pack them. Roll into balls in the palm of your hands and set on parchment paper.

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6. Melt chocolate wafers at 50% heat in a mug or bowl.

7. Somehow forgot to take a picture of this, but dip the sticks into the melted chocolate and gently stick them in each cakepop, about 1/2-3/4 of the way in. Refrigerate cakepops for 20 minutes, then take them out and let them come back to room temperature (about 15 min)

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8. Decorate! See video above

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