Kim Becker {aka MommyKnows}

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When I was offered the opportunity to shop at Sears using Sears Points I jumped {HIGH} at the opportunity. I have to admit, that as the years have gone by I’ve become less and less of a shopper. What used to be a hobby (yes, at one time I shopped for entertainment), has now become a necessity. With four kids and a grand-baby, there are always needs. My husband needs new jeans, all the kids need underwear and socks. Winter arrived overnight and Georgia needs new outerwear and long johns. My muffin tops are disgraceful and shape-ware is a necessity (I know, I know, you’d have never known if I hadn’t pointed it out! {yah right}). Georgia ruins the knees in every pair of pants I buy her, just keeping one pair of jeans in her closet that looks decent is a chore.

georgia the jeans wrecker

It’s a good thing she’s cute!

I knew that spending those Sears Club Points wouldn’t be difficult. And what a relief to buy some of those ‘needs’ without dipping into the savings account (HA!). Savings, what savings? I immediately went on line to start checking out all of the things I could buy. Of course, I soon wandered away from the ‘needs’ and found myself enjoying scoping-out all my wants, like new boots. There’s a great boot event happening right now!

With a great Sears department store just steps away from my kids schools. I decided to spend my Sears Club Points in store.

Sears Club Points

A bit more information about Sears Club Points Program:

When you receive a Sears Financial™ Mastercard® or Sears Card, you’re automatically enrolled in the Sears Club™ Points Program. That means you can get up to 2% back in rewards every time you shop!

That’s right, every time you buy something for the kids, or for the house…you get points to purchase what you really want to buy.

Some of the Sears Club Benefits…

– You can earn DOUBLE points at Sears everyday†
– 1,000 points = $10 towards anything at Sears*, including travel
– You can also donate them to Sears in your Community

And redeeming your points is super easy as well. You can redeem your points instantly when you shop at sears.ca, in your local Sears store and by phone at 1.800.901.9978. It really is that easy!

*Excludes Sears Gift Cards and services, including delivery, Insurance and Sears Connect.

†(2)X points calculation is based on the standard earning of 1 base point per $1 spent at Sears. Points are awarded on net purchases, excluding Sears Gift Cards, optional financing programs on the Sears Card, and services (e.g. delivery). Points are also awarded on optional financing programs on the Sears FinancialTM MasterCard, Sears FinancialTM VoyageTM MasterCard and on selected insurance products (see searsfinancial.ca). Please see your Sears Club Points Terms and Conditions for more details.

Armed with my Sears Club Points card, I headed for Sears with a list of needs and several wants. I had no trouble finding a ton of great buys. I found shape-wear camis for only $10 and they work as well, if not better than leading $50 brand. Socks and panties for the girls. Cute sleepers for the baby.

I have to tell you, I was super impressed with the kids denim. Good quality, sturdy, trendy, CUTE …

Kids Jeans at Sears.ca

And only $12.97 a pair.

Kids Jeans at Sears.ca

At that price I bought two! Wow, two pairs of decent looking jeans in the closet at one time! I might throw a party. I bought the cutest black leggings with sequins and a puppy screen print tee too.

I wandered over to cosmetics and bought myself a BB cream and a cosmetics/skincare gift-pack for one of the girls for Christmas. I hummed and hawed over a cashmere sweater for Mr. MK, but then when they didn’t have his size in the colour I preferred, I knew it was a sign that I was supposed to head to the SHOE department, and look at boots for ME. I went, I tried, I bought …

I LIKE! You?

I didn’t even make it to home-ware or the kitchen section, maybe next time.

It was a great experience. The staff were super friendly and knowledgeable (Thank you Winnie!). Using the Sears Club Points was just like using a gift card, just one swipe and I was done.

Easy, Fun, Friendly! Thank you Sears Canada.

MK xo

Disclosure – I am participating in the Sears Club Points program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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TJ the world's Best Cat

TJ the World’s Best Cat

in Family, General, Photography

If you would have asked me 15 months ago, I would have told you that I didn’t like cats. I thought they were unfriendly, and a bit too predator like. I was convinced if I were a lot smaller and they were a bigger, they’d be happy to have me for a snack (this may still be true).

Then one summer afternoon, my very brave twelve year old stashed a seven week old kitten in her purse at a rodeo (someone was giving away barn kittens) and a stow-away kitty was born.

With both Mr. MK and I being a bit allergic, and me disliking cats; having one of our own has never been an option. I wouldn’t have even considered it. However, once a cute little fur-ball is hanging out in your house, it just doesn’t seem that bad. Even a cat ‘dis-liker’ like me could appreciate the cuteness of a kitten.

TJ the world’s Best Cat

To make a long story short (it’s not too often I do that). Stow-away Kitty stayed and is named TJ (dumb name, I tried to call him Rupert, but no one went for it). He’s kind, fun, smart and sweet (really, really sweet).

He’s made me a cat-liker. So much so that I sometimes browse Kijiji ads looking for more kittens to adopt, then the booze wears off and I come to my senses (kidding about the booze!).

How about you, are you a cat-liker?

MK xo

2 comments

I’m finding out that there are so many great treats you can bake up using just a regular ‘ole cake mix.

Double Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

A current favorite in MommyKnows ville are these Double Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies, inspired by the wonderful Ms. Paula Deen.

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
1 (8-ounce) dark chocolate bar (smashed into small pieces.
1/2 cup of icing sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add egg and beat for 1 minute. Add vanilla and beat. Add cake mix and beat for 2 minutes. Lastly beat in the crushed up chocolate bar. Cover and put in the freezer for about 10 minutes. You want the dough to be cool enough, so that you can roll it into 1 inch balls. Roll the cookie balls in the icing sugar. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet 5 cm apart and bake 12 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.

Double Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

For another quick and easy cake mix cookie recipe check out my LifeMadeDelicious Blog -> Mom-on-the-Go!

gfcookie

You’ll love these gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Enjoy!

MK xo

5 comments

I want to make it clear right up front that I am NOT a professional hair stylist/colorist. This is the process my daughter and I used to dip dye her brown hair. It worked quite well, you may NOT get the same results. Experiment at your own risk.

I know from using Kool-Aid in other experiments and dying projects that the lighter in color the material you are dying, the better the results. My daughters hair is a medium brown color and she wanted her dip dyed ends to be quite vibrant, so we decided to bleach the ends first.

There were some negotiations on the length of the dyed ends I started with an offer of an one and a half inches, she wanted six. We agreed on two and half to three.

We chose this bleaching kit from the drug store. It was $9.00.

DIY dip dye hair

If you already have blonde hair … SKIP the bleaching step!

As the kid has some long layers and we wanted just the very ends of the longest parts of her hair dyed, we pinned the top layers up and out of the way.

DIY dip dye hair

I then combed out her hair and divided it into manageable sections and secured each section with an elastic. I’m not sure I’d use the elastics a second time, in some cases the dye bled up the hair and we ended up with a tie-dye effect where the elastics were. The elastics were helpful in making sure that the same length of hair was being dyed in each section.

DIY dip dye hair

We applied the bleaching kit from the drug-store following the provided instructions for mixing and timing. We wrapped the ends in foil and used the blow dryer to add a little heat.

DIY dip dye hair

We rinsed and conditioned her hair as recommended, then dried it using a blow dryer.

DIY dip dye hair

Coloring with the Kool-Aid came next. Elizabeth couldn’t decide on a color, so she narrowed it down to two –> red and purple/blue.

DIY dip dye hair

For the Kool-Aid dye we mixed 3 packages of Kool-Aid with one cup of boiling water (from kettle) and 2TB of white vinegar.

We then used various methods to dip her hair into the Kool-Aid dye. The two front pieces, which were to be dyed red, were just dunked into two small containers of dye solution.

DIY dip dye hair

For the back pieces, I attached them all into one ponytail and then attached a baggy full of dye to the end of the ponytail using an elastic. We used the blow dryer to add a little heat.

DIY dip dye hair

Funnily enough, the baggy of purple/blue dye which looked purple when it was first attached turned to blue after about 3 minutes of being on the hair. It seems her hair absorbed only the purple dye and the blue was left in the bag. What we hope to be a vibrant purple turned out to be a very dark (nearly black) purple that isn’t all that noticeable in her hair.

DIY dip dye hair

I would suggest making sure your hair is in the Kool-Aid dye solution at least 30 minutes for good results.

DIY dip dye hair

Rinse the Kool-Aid out using just water. Don’t shampoo the hair, the Kool-Aid needs some time to set. Blow dry and style as usual. If you can, give your hair a day or two before shampooing.

DIY dip dye hair

My girl is thrilled with the results, although you wouldn’t know it from the ‘fake’ smile on her face. Let’s just say that this process takes several hours (really), and we were getting a little sick of each other by the time we were finished.

DIY dip dye hair

Dip dye with caution!

MK xo

12 comments

It’s that time of the year again, back to school. I’ve always dreaded it. I know many of my friends like to joke and sing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”, but I’m not a fan. I enjoy summer, no schedule, later nights and later mornings. Of course to top it off, there are the mountains of supplies and clothing each child needs. The big ticket item on the school supplies list is usually the ‘indoor running shoes’, that most Canadian schools require.

I think it is fairly safe to say, that most Canadian children have to bring a pair of gym/school shoes for indoors only. Most schools require a non-marking sole. For most families it means buying 2 pairs of shoes per child in the fall. One for wearing to and from school and at home, and a second pair, that remains at school. For the past several years I’ve purchased New Balance running shoes for both Sam and Elizabeth. They’re in a sports program at school and require quality athletic shoes for the gym portion and of course they have to be somewhat ‘IN’ as far as fashion. Elizabeth of course, has much more to say on this subject than Sam. My main criteria is affordability, the second is quality and durability. They need to make it through the year without falling apart. I want a shoe that will do the job, but it has to be affordable. New Balance meets that criteria. When I was approached to review the shoes, I was thrilled.

We were lucky enough to receive two pairs of shoes from the 689 kids / youth collection. One pair in Sam’ size and another in Georgia’s.

They’re wonderful. Sam was so thrilled when his shoes arrived, he said, “Thank God for that blog!”

HA!

Georgia’s have pink on them (an absolute necessity). She’s been doing pirouettes around the kitchen on a daily basis. They’re both dying to wear them, but I’m holding out until school starts next week.

new balance shoes

I love that they’re not lace up, but don’t look baby’ish either. She needs to be able to get them on and off quickly. She can’t be wasting even a second of recess time!

Here’s the scoop on the New Balance 689 Collection:

The 689 Kids Collection (KJ689 / KV689) will be available in stores in July. For a third year in a row New Balance have partnered with Mabel’s Labels for an August promotion to offer a free Mabel’s Labels gift pack with purchase at participating retailers, while quantities last.

The 689 collections are available in various colours and mom-approved quality and fit. They are made with a mix of leather and mesh upper package, Abzorb cushioning and a non-marking, rubber cup outsole.

MSRP ranges from $39.95 for infant/pre-school children (sizes 2-5 and 5.5-10) to $54.95 for youth (sizes 7-10.5). They are also available in width sizes.

Follow New Balance on Facebook.

What are you looking for in kids shoes?

MKxo

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On August 15th, Julia Child would have been 100 years old. To honor her, the JC100 was launched, it is a national campaign involving restaurants, chefs, bookstores, and bloggers (that’s me), all celebrating Julia and her legacy.

Jc100 badge - Julia ChildAs a participant, I cooked up some Coquilles St. Jacques À La Provençale and may I just say, it was the best anything I’ve cooked for a good long while! My son, (another seafood fan) agreed, in fact when I lifted the lid of the skillet to give him a whiff. He said, “Oh THANK YOU mom!” and threw his arms around me.

How’s that for appreciation?

It’s not like me to follow a recipe exactly, but keeping in mind that I know nothing about french cooking and Julia Child is a culinary icon. I decided that just this once, I would follow instruction to the ‘tee’. As I mentioned before, the dish was superb – Thank you Julia!

Do yourself a favor, make and enjoy this recipe soon! For more great recipes by Julia Child check out the JC100 on Facebook.

The #JC100: Coquilles St. Jacques À La Provençale OR Scallops Gratinéed with Wine, Garlic and Herbs

Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Ingredients

1/3 cup minced yellow onions
1 Tb butter
1 1/2 Tb minced shallot or green onions
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 lbs washed scallops
Salt and pepper
1 cup sifted flour in a dish
2 Tb butter
1 Tb olive oil
A 10-inch enameled skillet
2/3 cup dry white wine, or 1/2 cup dry white vermouth and 3 Tb water
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 tsp thyme
6 buttered scallop shells, or porcelain or pyrex shells, of 1/3 cup capacity
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 Tb butter cut into 6 pieces

Instructions

1. Cook the onions slowly in butter in a small saucepan for 5 minutes or so, until tender and translucent but not browned. Stir in the shallots or onions, and garlic, and cook slowly for 1 minute more. Set aside.

2. Dry the scallops and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick. Just before cooking, sprinkle with salt and pepper, roll in flour, and shake off excess flour.

3. Sauté the scallops quickly in very hot butter and oil for 2 minutes to brown them lightly.

4. Pour the wine, or the vermouth and water, into the skillet with the scallops. Add the herbs and the cooked onion mixture. Cover the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Then uncover, and if necessary boil down the sauce rapidly for a minute until it is lightly thickened. Correct seasoning, and discard bay leaf.

5. Spoon the scallops and sauce into the shells. Sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to gratiné. Just before serving, run under a moderately hot broiler for 3 to 4 minutes to heat through, and to brown the cheese lightly.

Notes:
This good recipe may be prepared in advance and grantinéed just before serving. The proportions given are sufficient for a first course. Double them for a main course. Serve a chilled rosé, or a dry white such as côtes de Provence.

Enjoy!

MKxo

4 comments

I made the mistake of showing Georgia Pinterest on my iPad. She has a list of projects a mile long for us to do together. It’s a good thing school starts next week.

First up was making our own paint. She loves to paint. The recipe/instructions were so easy how could I say, “no”? I couldn’t!

DIY Easy Paint for the Kids

The original recipe is from Get Your Mess On! (thank you!) and calls for just one cup of water. This is actually for a puffy paint recipe to be used in squirt bottles. I didn’t have squirt bottles and couldn’t find them cheap at the dollar store, so I came up with this slightly altered version (OK, watered-down version), to be used in pots and applied with brushes.

You will need:

1 cup of salt
1 cup of flour
1.5 cups of water
1 tsp oil (makes it shiny)
Food colouring of your choice

Containers for your paint. I bought mine at the dollar store, they were 3 for $1 and have a nice rubber seal on the lid.

Mix salt, flour, water and oil in a medium mixing bowl. Divide into paint pots. Add food colouring and mix well.

This is a great recipe to let the kids make with very little help from mom or dad. Georgia did all the measuring, mixing and colouring. I sat off to the side with a wet cloth and helped her to clear up the odd spill etc.

Georgia using her homemade paint

She is very pleased with the results!

Enjoy!

MKxo

6 comments

A couple of months ago I started making soap. After tons of reading and quite a bit of confusion, I finally figured out the basics and made my first batch of ‘lye soap’, just like Great-Grandma used to make. It turned out great! I then decided to make some shampoo bars.

handmade soap - castile shampoo bars

This is the lye I used. I don’t say ‘lye’ or even NaOH. I bought it at Home Hardware. Thankfully, there was an older (70+) man working at the store that day and he knew just what I needed. It was about $5.

making homemade soap / shampoo bars

FYI: Lye (strong alkaline) is necessary to make soap (process is nearly 3000 years old). However, after the chemical reaction between the fat and the lye (saponification) the lye (strong alkaline)is gone and what you have left is SOAP! Yes!

You WON’T be washing in LYE … I promise!

100% natural soap!

Lye and Water + Fat = Soap

Different types of fats can be used in the soap making process. Lard, Vegetable shortening, Vegetable Oil, Coconut oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba oil, Olive Oil … The list is endless.

After looking at many recipes (use Google), I decided I wanted my shampoo bars to consist of Olive Oil, Coconut Oil (good for dry hair) and Castor Oil (lots of suds)!

I decided for a 2:1:1 ratio for the oils. You can make up any combination you want!

My recipe:

8 oz Olive Oil
4 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Castor Oil

I carefully measured out these ingredients using a scale and put them in a small pot suitable for heating on the stove.

I then figured out how much lye and water to use, by using this soap making calculator. I find it easier to measure out your oils and then calculate exactly how much lye & water to use.

After putting the above amounts into the calculator, it is recommended that I use (based on 6% excess fats – good for shampoo):

2.19 oz lye
4 – 6 oz water

making homemade soap / shampoo bars

Basic Soap-making Instructions:

* While wearing safety goggles and neoprene gloves, combine solid lye and liquid, stir well. Set aside and allow to cool (100° F to 125° F). This is best done outside while you are standing upwind.

making homemade soap / shampoo bars

* Combine oils and heat gently. Once the fats and oils are melted allow the temperature to drop to 100° F to 125° F.

* Combine lye solution and melted oils. Be careful not to splash while combining the mixtures. Stir until the mixture traces. If tracing takes more than 15 minutes, which it often does, stir for the first 15 minutes, then stir for 5 minutes at 15 minute intervals. Tracing looks like a slightly thickened custard, not instant pudding but a cooked custard. It will support a drop, or your stir marks for several seconds. Once tracing occurs…

making homemade soap / shampoo bars

NOTE: I use a stick blender and this recipe reached trace in under 5 minutes.

What is trace?: Trace is when the soap mixture reaches a consistency similar to pudding. When you lift your spoon/blender and dribble the soap on itself, the trail of soap leaves a trace of itself before blending back in. Definition of trace.

making homemade soap / shampoo bars

* Add Essential Oils for scent. In this case I added 1 tsp of Tea tree Oil and 1 tsp of Peppermint oil.

* Pour raw soap into your prepared molds. After a few days the soap can be turned out of the mold. If the soap is very soft, allow it to cure for a few days to firm the outside.

NOTE: I used a clean milk carton (waxed paper type not plastic bottle). 1 litre size in Canada or 32 oz in the USA.

* Cut soap into bars and set the bars out to cure and dry. This will allow the bar to firm and finish saponification. Place the bars on something that will allow them to breathe.

Read this article on Soap Making Safety, BEFORE you get started.

handmade soap - castile shampoo bars

This shampoo turned out wonderful. Luxurious lather and it leaves my hair soft and silky. NO tangles. I smells nice too. In addition we use it as regular body soap too. It’s nice not to have all of those plastic bottles in the shower.

Enjoy!

MK xo

15 comments

** Winner is Comment #3 Brandi Wristen Schattle congratulations Brandi, please email me with your address.**

Nothing says, “Summer!” like a backyard party. Our around here that mean burgers on the BBQ!

homestyle burger & fries

Try this delicious:

VELVEETA® Slices Queso Blanco Burger

Prep Time: 30 min. | Makes: 4 servings.

What You Need

2 Tbsp. KRAFT SANDWICH SHOP Chipotle Flavored Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
1 plum tomato, seeded, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 VELVEETA Slices
4 hamburger buns

Make It

HEAT grill to medium heat.
COMBINE first 4 ingredients.
SHAPE meat into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Grill 7 to 9 min. on each side or until done (160ºF). Top with VELVEETA; grill 1 min. or until melted.
FILL buns with cheeseburgers and mayonnaise mixture.

Serving Suggestion:

For added color and texture, serve with a mixed green salad.

How to Turn Hamburgers:

When cooking ground beef patties, turn them over with a spatula. Do not flatten the patties during the cooking process since that will cause the juices to escape, resulting in dry cooked burgers.

Kraft provided me with this great selection of new products to try out:

backyard

It included:

• KOOL-AID New Unsweetened Peach Mango and Unsweetened Strawberry Kiwi Drink Mixes: Beat that summer heat and keep the kids happy and cool with great summer refreshment for entertaining the whole gang. New Unsweetened Peach Mango and Unsweetened Strawberry Kiwi flavors from KOOL-AID Drink Mixes are a good source of Vitamin C per serving and, most importantly to your little ones, pack the flavorful fun they expect from your best outdoor shindigs! (Peach Mango and Strawberry Kiwi flavors are also available in KOOL-AID Sugar Sweetened Drink Mix and Ready-to-Drink Jammers).

• New COUNTRY TIME Half & Half Lemonade Drink Mix: Who could enjoy the summer’s heat without a taste of COUNTRY TIME refreshment? This season try a delicious new spin on the lemonade classic. Pour out a glass and enjoy each sip of this amazing combination of Half Lemonade and Half Iced Tea, Lemonade Iced Tea Flavored Drink Mix.

• VELVEETA Slices Queso Blanco: Top a burger or your favorite sandwich with the brand new Queso Blanco flavor cheese from VELVEETA Slices for a delicious spin on a barbecue must-have. Heat it up grill-side and enjoy Queso Blanco’s creamy, mild and super melty effect! Look for the new packaging and new pricing now available.

• KRAFT SIZZLING SALADS Southwest Chicken Dinner Kit: Talk about jazzing up a main dish! KRAFT SIZZLING SALADS are cooking sauces and salad dressings, perfectly paired to create a delicious chicken and salad dish your family and friends are sure to love!! Four easy steps, 20 minutes and you’ve answered that “what’s for dinner” question with a bang! Try the Southwest Chicken Dinner Kit with Zesty Fajita cooking sauce for sautéed chicken paired with Barbecue Ranch dressing for salad.

• HONEY MAID Lil’ Squares Honey Grahams: These bite-sized versions of the graham crackers you love are great as a wholesome snack or for wrapping up your party with a creative, s’more-style dessert. Made with 8g of whole grain per serving, no artificial flavors and no high fructose corn syrup – you’ll feel good about letting this snack help fuel your kids’ days!

Rubbermaid Carafe: The Carafe’s design is not only chic, beautiful and stylish, but also provides a comfortable grip for easy pouring. Made with Tritan™ material, the Carafe is durable and resists stains and odors. The leak-proof lid is ideal for shaking or mixing beverages. Graduation marks clearly show the level of beverage in the container, and a dual pouring sprout has a free flowing and ice guard openings. The Carafe is dishwasher safe.

Chill Salad Bowl with Salad Servers

Colorwheel Serving Tray

The very nice folks at Kraft Foods, have a 2nd prize set aside just for one of you!

HOW to ENTER:

Mandatory Entry:
To enter to win your own Canning Kraft Kit leave a comment below.

Optional Additional Entries:

1 extra entry per day if you tweet about this giveaway and include the hashtag #KraftBackyardParty as well as @mommyknows & @KraftFoods.
1 extra entry if you “like” Kraft Foods on Facebook.
1 extra entry if you “like” MommyKnows on Facebook & share, comment, or like something regarding us.
1 extra entry if you “repin” this post on Pinterest.

Rules: If you qualify for additional entries please comment separately telling us which options you have used. One winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen. This contest is open to 18 + USA only. Ends on 07/19/12 @ 11:59PM MST.

Enjoy!

MK xo

Disclosure: Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me and has provided me with a gift of equal value for review. This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by MommyKnows.

2 comments

** Winner is: Meghan Finley! Congratulations Meghan, please email me with your address! **

I started canning last fall for the first time. I’m not sure why, but I had myself convinced it was DIFFICULT, very difficult! As usual I was wrong. It’s actually pretty easy. It’s also very satisfying! It feels so ‘right’ to line up all of those jars of preserves in the pantry. It’s also very cost effective. I made seven 8 oz jars of raspberry jam for under $6. You can’t beat that!

raspberry jam

Needless to say, when the folks at Kraft ask me if I’d like do some canning and a giveaway, I was all in!

In order to prove to you just how easy canning can be, I decided to make a freezer jam. If you never canned before let this be your starting point.

I love raspberries, so regardless of the fact that everyone in my house prefers strawberries, I decided raspberry jam it would be. I bought the raspberries, brought them home, washed them and intended to make the jam immediately. However, like so often happens, life interfered and 3 days later, as the rest of the family is preparing for trip to the mountains. I told Mr. MK, “I’m almost ready. I have a couple of quick things to do: a couple of emails, pack my toiletries and I need to make a quick batch of jam.”

“JAM! You’re making jam, NOW?”

“YES! NOW! It’ll take me 20 minutes … honest!” I was a wee bit sad have to let him know how easy jam is to make. Gone are the days when I can whip up a batch of jam and then read all day, because I know he’ll come home and think I’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day! {sigh}

Here is the recipe I used:

What You Need

3 cups prepared fruit (buy about 6 cups fully ripe red raspberries)
5-1/4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin (in Canada use Certo)

jam6

Make It

RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

CRUSH raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. (Press half of pulp through a sieve to remove seeds, if desired.) Measure exactly 3 cups crushed raspberries into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.

MIX water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min.or until sugar is almost dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

FILL containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

View recipe at Kraft.com for Kraft Kitchen tips.

GIVEAWAY

Would you like to try your hand at canning? Win a JAM OUT with SURE-JELL prize packs to get you started with your canning ideas (Valued at $70)

o Granite-Ware 9PC 21.5 Quart Canner Kit
o Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni 8-1/2-Ounce 4-Piece Canning Jar Set
o Canning Tips and Tricks from SURE-JELL and Kraft Foods

Canning Set

Jars

Mandatory Entry:
To enter to win your own Canning Kraft Kit leave a comment below.

Optional Additional Entries:

1 extra entry per day if you tweet about this giveaway and include the hashtag #YesIJam as well as @mommyknows & @KraftFoods.
1 extra entry if you “like” Kraft Foods on Facebook.
1 extra entry if you “like” MommyKnows on Facebook & share, comment, or like something regarding us.
1 extra entry if you “repin” this post on Pinterest.

Rules: If you qualify for additional entries please comment separately telling us which options you have used. One winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen. This contest is open to 18 + USA only. Ends on 07/17/12 @ 11:59PM MST.

raspberry jam

Enjoy!

MK xo

Disclosure: Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me and has provided me with a gift of equal value for review. This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by MommyKnows.

26 comments