How To’s

Takde te dry ingredients flour salt and sugar and mix it in the mixing bowl
activate the yeaast in hot water.
wonce foamed up dump inot the bowl and mix it up.
Add flour and water until the moistness is just right.
then let it rise until it oublles or triples in size.
Portion into loaves
roll it out
let it rise again until it’s the right amount to be baked.
preheat the oven to 350 with a pan of water.
egg wash on the loafs
golden glossy brpown.
use the special perforated bread pan from william sonoma
lined with parchment paper.
bake for 25 minutes

Homemade Grape Jam (from real grapes grown in our garden)
“My Garden Grapes” by Edward Dusterhoft

Don’t these look yummy! We have about 4 grapevines in our small, back patio area. One is just a rootstock, and then there are three others. We planted them years ago when we first moved into our condo, but today, if you asked me what type they are, I wouldn’t be able tell you. I just know they look beautiful and taste great.

Originally we planted these grapes to hide the ugly garage wall that our patio backs into. Now since they are finally established they are actually producing these beauties. Not producing alot mind you, but enough to make a very small batch of jam. Even the rootstock had grapes on it! There isn’t anything grafted onto it so somehow being in close proximity it cultivated it’s own variety! How cool is that!

So you are probably wondering how we made the jam. Well, it was easy. Be sure to destem the grapes first. Then, using a similar recipe similary used for making cranberries, put the grapes into a pot and heat them until the juice starts to form. Then mashed them with a potato masher to get out as much juice as possible.

Once everything is completely mashed, put the grapes through a fine sieve to separate the juice from the skins and seeds. Put the resulting juice back on the heat, and bring to a high boil. Add sugar to the desired sweetness.

I like tart so we didn’t put in very much sugar. With about two cups of juice, we added added 1/2 cup of sugar and then tasted. Always remember to taste before adding more sugar. You can always add, but you can’t take away. Remember these are flavorable wine grapes. If you use concord grapes or any other kind of table grapes you will need to add a different amount of sugar.

Bring the liquid/sugar mixture to a high boil for 10-20 minutes. Remember, you need to boil it at a high enough temperature to get it to jell; which means it needs to boil above the boiling point of water (212 degrees). You want it to be 225 to 230 degrees so the natural pectin allows the juice to jell.

Pour it into whatever vessal you choose and let cool. If you want to make preserves, follow the standard procedures for canning. Since we didn’t have that many grapes we didn’t feel the need to go this route. We just had enough for a small bowl.

My husband thinks this is really just a fruit compote and the truth is that you can use any fruit that is in season. If the fruit is naturally sweet, you don’t need to add a lot of extra sugar. As for me, this is probably the best grape jam, I’ve ever tasted.

Cost: Essentially FREE as the grapes were already ours!


Homemade Grape Jam


Thick-Cut Sirloin Steaks for $2.89/lb
Most of us like to have a good steak every now and then. What we don’t necessarily want to do is to go out to dinner and pay the $50.00+ tab. Depending on the restaurant, that bill could be double or even triple. In this economy, most of us can’t afford it. However, we can afford to eat a really good, thick-cut, sirloin steak for $2.89/lb.
When shopping for meat, you should be looking at the price per pound, not the overall price. You should also look at how many meals you can get out of the cut of meat. For example, filet mignon at the local grocery store is 15.00 per pound, at the local specialty store it is $22.00 per pound, and at the wholesale store it’s 9.00 per pound. If the meat purchased at the grocery store and the specialty store is only one serving, then that is almost as expensive as going out to dinner. However, if you purchase a larger piece of the filet mignon, you might actually spend as much as an expensive dinner out, but you actually get more servings.

Above, you’ll see a recent purchase we made of a very nice cut of Beef Round Tip. The cost was $2.89/lb and the total weight was 9.06 pounds. You’ll see the total cost was $25.82. For most people, this is alot of money for a piece of meat, but for us, this cut of meat will provide us 18 servings. Yes, that’s right! 18 individual servings!

Here’s how we did it:

Remove the meat from its package, rinse if off and put it on a large cutting board:


Depending on the piece you have, remove the excess fat, tendons and membrane.

Slice the meat to your desired thickness:
We were able to slice 4 thick-cut sirloins from this piece of meat ( 2 – 2lb steaks, 2 – 1 3/4lb steaks).
We still had some left over bits, so we cut them up into smaller pieces:

Then we turned to our KitchenAid Mixer (best kitchen investment we ever made) and added the meat grinder attachment:

Turn on the mixer and feed the meat into the top of the grinder:


From the left over pieces, we were able to make 1 1/2 pounds of sirloin burger meat:

Overall, there was about 4-6 ounces of waste and we ended up with all this meat for 18 meals. What did we spend again…$25.82. This ends up being $1.43 per serving. Now…what restaurant did you want to go to again? I think I’ll stay home and have my husband make me dinner.