Carrot Cake Jam ~ YUM!

My husband absolutely positively loves carrot cake.  Just a month ago we found a 4-layer one for less than most stores have a two layer carrot cake for.  Yeah, of course we bought it, and enjoyed every last bite.

When he had a business trip coming up, I took advantage of the extra free time I would have and decided to make homemade carrot cake jam just for him.

I scoured through Pinterest and found several delicious recipes worthy of trying.  However, I modified and took from each and came up with my own version.

The ultimate test came when we had our weekly homemade hot delicious whole wheat bread served with real butter and the newly made carrot cake jam.  My husband really really liked it a lot.  It comes in a close second behind that 4 layer carrot cake we ate a month ago.

Here's my recipe.  Makes approximately 6 half-pint jars.

Carrot Cake Jam

  1. 2 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 4 or 5)
  2. 1 cup peeled and diced Granny Smith apple (1 medium)
  3. 1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice (I use the one packed in its own juice)
  4. 3 tablespoons lemon concentrate
  5. 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (depends on how well you like cinnamon, I used the       1 1/2 teaspoons)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 3 tablespoons powdered pectin for low sugar recipes
  10. 4 cups sugar
  11. 1 tablespoon molasses
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  13. 1/3 cup shredded coconut

  • In a large and deep pan combine grated carrots, diced apple, pineapple with juice, lemon juice and spices.  Bring mixture to boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to medium and cover. Boil gently, stir occasionally for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from head and immediately sprinkle in pectin and whisk briskly until completely dissolved. Return to heat and bring to a boil stirring continuously.  Add sugar and molasses all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook at a full rolling boil and while stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat, skim off any foam, stir in vanilla and coconut.
  • Carefully ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace by adding or removing jam.  Wipe rim clean and center lid (flat) on jar.  Tightly screw band/rim on jar.
  • Place in hot water bath, making sure each jar is completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil, then process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes.  Remove jars, cool on wire racks.


To sterilize jars I wash my jars either by hand or in dishwasher.  Then I get a 10 inch metal cake pan filled half way with water.  I place my jars upside down in the pan and place pan on stove burner.  I turn the heat to medium high so it is lightly boiling.  Be sure to keep an eye on the bottles as sometimes one or more jars will suck up the water into the pan causing all other jars to be in a dry pan.  Do Not let this happen as it will lead to broken jars.  You may want to turn heat down to medium once water starts to boil.

To sterilize my flats/or lids I get another 10 inch metal cake pan and place them rubber side down in the pan with water and keep them at a low boil until I'm ready to place on the jars.

You can substitute the Granny Smith apple for another tart apple of your choice, or with a pear. You can add crystallized ginger instead of powered ginger.  You can add raisins, but they will swell in the jam and be more like grapes than raisins.


House Cleaning (AKA Mold/Mildew Remover)

I mentioned several times before how I live in a very hot humid climate.  It's very coastal with salt, wind and rain on almost a daily basis.  That's just a setup for mold and mildew conditions to take off.

Notice Mold/Mildew between windows
North side of House
I've been quite fortunate that we haven't had much problems with the mold and mildew once I figured out a couple of things.

One is that I had a new construction house, and the painters did not paint the house properly. Meaning, they basically just gave it a primer coat and that was it.  I have hardiplank siding, and my garages are sheet rocked.  However, with not enough paint on these surfaces, this allowed for mold and mildew to grow.  The paint helps seal the siding and sheet rock to prevent the mold and mildew spores from growing.

So I  hired painters to finish the job.  I asked a ton of questions, and they let me know that the house hadn't been properly painted which caused the issues of the mold and mildew.  In order to properly paint, they had to power wash the house and remove all the existing mold and mildew. Unfortunately they used chlorine bleach which left devastating effects on my lawn and plants.  I lost several plants due to this and my lawn looked awful.  That was last year.

This year we've had heavy rains (1/4 to 2 inches of rain) every single week during the summer. Needless to say, the north side of my home took advantage of all that moisture and grew a nice crop of mold and mildew.  I decided I didn't want to lose any more plants or destroy my lawn again so my husband and I took to the house cleaning.
Spraying Vinegar/Dish Soap Solution
Let be back up here.  I let the painters power wash the outside of my house.  To save money, I took care of the mold and mildew in my garage.  I tried several solutions over a course of 4 weeks to find which would work best and have long term benefits.

I tried just spraying with Lysol that was formulated to remove mold and mildew.  I tried just Lysol spray designed to remove 99.9% of all germs.  I tried chlorine bleach and water.  I tried straight bleach.  I tried straight vinegar. And I tried a solution of vinegar, Dawn dish soap and water.  Each area was clearly marked with the solution I tried.  I waited and watched and tracked the improvement of the removal of the mold and mildew.
Hanging out the Window
Scrubbing with Push Broom
after Vinegar/Dish Soap Solution
sat for 10 minutes
Each had some affect.  But by far the most impressive was the white Vinegar, Dawn Dish soap and water solution.  I cleaned the rest of my garage with that, and it was then painted.  There has not been any return of mold or mildew and it's been at least 18 months.

Since this solution is environmentally friendly, we mixed this up, placed it in a garden sprayer and went to work.  Now our house is about 30 plus feet up and we don't have ladders tall enough to reach those heights.  My husband literally  hung out the windows spraying, waiting, brushing and rinsing. We completed the job in just half a day, and our house looks bright and new again.

I set the Dial to 4 tsp. for light mildew
 and 2 TBS for heavy mold/mildew areas
Next time you need to remove mold or mildew, give this solution a try.

  •  Fill garden sprayer 90% full of plain white vinegar
  •  Add a generous squirt of Regular Dawn Dish Soap
  •  Attach to garden hose sprayer (I set the Dial to 4 tsp. for light mildew and 2 TBS for heavy)
  •  Spray solution on nice and heavy
  •  Wait 10 minutes
  •  Scrub with broom/brush gently so as not to remove paint
  •  Rinse with water
  •  May need to repeat on heavily soiled areas
For my garage interior, I mixed up a 32 oz bottle of 3/4 vinegar, 1/4 water and a generous squirt of Dawn Dish soap.  I could have gotten by with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 dish soap, but I didn't want the mold and mildew to return.  I squirted this solution on the walls, let sit for about 5 minutes, then wiped off with a damp rag.

My House looks New Again


Awesome Double Layer Drinking Glasses

Details:  Serafino Glasses from Ozeri are the largest in the Ozeri Artisan Series of award-winning handcrafted drink ware.  They are shatter-resistant.  The double-walled design offers the ultimate insulation to maintain drinks at their ideal temperature-hot or cold.  The unique double wall design suspends drinks within an inner wall for an attention-grabbing optical effect, while the wraparound contour provides a natural aesthetic grip.  Each glass is made to keep your hands cool even with your hottest drinks and free of condensation with your chilled beverages.

Comes in a set of 4 each holding 12 ounces.  Completely dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Includes a 1 Year Warranty; Satisfaction Guaranteed.

My Review: I have this fetish about drinking glasses.  Even my kids know this, as many times they would purchase drinking glasses as gifts for me.  After all, we drink from glasses at least 3 times a day if not more, so why not make them fun.

Living in a very humid climate, everything that has something cold inside condenses quickly and a lot making a very wet mess all over my table or breakfast bar.  From condiment jars, to bottled water, to milk jugs, to just about everything.  Coasters go only so far.

Thanks to Ozeri and their new innovation of the Serafino double layer drinking glasses, I no longer have to deal with the condensation from these particular glasses.  That's Awesome!  They are so pretty and clear, unlike my other drinking glasses that were ruined with our hard water and dishwasher.  These glasses are dishwasher safe, but not recommended.  I hand wash all of my new glassware now.
Condensation on Glass on Right
Not on Serafino Drinking Glass on Left
Not only are these great to keep condensation away, and good looking, they are also microwaveable. The really awesome part about this is that you can heat up your milk for hot chocolate in the microwave add your chocolate mix, and the glass is Never hot to the touch. In fact, it is room temperature, not even warm.  Any other glass I own, first off is not microwaveable, but any mug I place in the microwave is Hot after heating up milk or water etc.

Just Came Out of Microwave
Serafino glassware is made from glass similar to Pyrex.  So although they are more breakable resistant, they are less likely to break than a normal drinking glass.  That translates into, if you have older kids you trust to drink from a "glass" glass, you will absolutely love these.  I wouldn't trust toddlers still learning to hold onto a cup.

Do yourself and your family a favorite, and be sure to order a set of these 12 ounce drinking glasses, along with the 8 ounce ones.  These make awesome Christmas gifts, house warming gifts, or any other reason you choose.  Make your table setting prettier with these great glasses today.

Frosted Look After Being in Freezer
Pros:  Love the No condensation, the fact they are microwaveable and freezer safe.  They look awesome with any place setting, and love the suspended beverage look.  The contour on the glass makes it easy to hold.  They are awesome glasses.

Cons:  None.

My Rating:  A Huge Thumbs Up!!!


Adorable Double-Wall Drinking Glasses Designed to Last a Lifetime

Details: Moderna Artisan Series Double Wall Beverage Glasses by Ozeri, are made with heat and shatter resistant glass.  They are stronger and more durable than common glass.  Each glass features two opposing mouth-blown dimples that allow for a natural and effortless grip.  They have a Patent-pending double wall design that suspends drinks within an inner wall, creating an engaging optical effect.  Designed to keep your hands cool with hot drinks and free of condensation with chilled beverages.  Complete dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe.  Comes in a set of 4, a 1 Year Warranty and Satisfaction Guaranteed.  Designed to last a lifetime.

My Review:   Ozeri has come up with an awesome product the Moderna Artisan Series Double Wall Beverage Glasses.  These are 8 ounce glasses, and come in a set of 4 on sale right now at Amazon for $20.  These are made from borosilicate glass which is a mixture of silica and boron trioxide making them more resistant to thermal shock than any other glass.  Think Pyrex.

It is way past time to update my drinking glasses.  The hard water where I live, plus the fact that most of my glasses are over 35 years old, have really taken a toll these last 3 years.  My dishwasher, no matter which detergent I use, and I've tried them all, plus hand washing, just don't make these very appealing to drink from any more.  Time to dispose of them and get something new.  So I've been looking for awhile, and when Ozeri presented these new awesome glasses, there was no way I wasn't going to try them.  It was love at first sight.

The fact that each of these glasses are hand made, or rather mouth-blown using a glass that Pyrex used to use, I knew these had to be great.  I love the double-walled design with the little dimples that fit fingers perfectly when holding them.  They're adorable.

I was very surprised when I heated up a glass of water for my morning lemon, cayenne and honey drink.  I heated the water for 1 minute in the microwave.  30 seconds longer than I normally do.  The glass felt as if it were room temperature.  I let the glass sit on the counter for 5 minutes, and no condensation whatsoever, and the double-walled glass kept my drink warmer than in a normal mug.  I nearly burned my mouth with the drink, but the glass remained almost cool to the touch.

Next, I placed cold water in my everyday drinking glass, and the Ozeri Moderna Artisan Series Double Wall Beverage Glass.  No condensation after leaving out on counter for 15 minutes.  Next, I placed both glasses in the fridge for about 30 minutes, pulled them out and placed on counter again for about 10 minutes.  Still no condensation on the Ozeri glasses just my glass.  That's impressive.  I live in such a humid climate that every glass, water bottle, etc., gets condensation on it, despite hot or cold beverage inside.

Needless to say these glasses are winners with me.  They may break, but they are less likely to do so than regular glasses.  They are less likely to shatter if they do break.  They are completely resistant to acids (yeah for my lemon drink each morning) and these will never lose their original sheen.  No more ugly glasses.

They are oven and microwave safe, as well as freezer safe.  They can also be placed in the dishwasher, but not recommended.  Use caution when placing ice in the glass or when using stirrers such as metal spoons.

Pros:  These are such fun and awesome glasses.  I love the double-wall design along with the little "dimples" for the fingers.  No matter how hot or cold the beverage, the glasses feel room temperature, so be careful when drinking hot drinks.  Love the fact they will never lose their original sheen.  I have now found my new set of drinking glasses.

Cons: None!

My Rating:  A Huge Thumbs UP!!!