Tag Archives: cinnamon

Saturday morning tomato jam

First: I’m very excited to announce that my Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins were featured on Baking is Hot today. Yay!
Second: eggs, cheese, and tomato jam were made for each other.


        It is a beautiful, sunny Saturday in Maine. The breeze is cool. The sun is warm. There is work to be done and fall scenery to enjoy.
        Yesterday I took on a food I have been itching to make all summer: jam. Ever since my mom mentioned an interest in canning and I spotted some intriguing jam recipes online I’ve been thinking about giving it a try. Lee got me a pressure cooker for my birthday, partly so I could use it for canning. That sent both of us into a flurry of research on preserving jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, and whole fruit. This is complicated stuff! Canning is a science not to be taken lightly! That said, it really isn’t that hard once you wrap your brain around the basic do’s and don’ts. I encourage anyone who’s never tried it to consider canning on a stormy day, which it what yesterday was around here.
        Rain and wind kept us inside so I whipped out the tomato jam recipe from Cosmic Cowgirl, got my canning tools in order, and started chopping tomatoes. To tell the truth, Lee’s mom had already blanched and peeled the tomatoes and they were waiting for me in the fridge. They came from her mother’s garden and there was just the right amount for this recipe.
        I was surprised by how simple this jam was to make. I just threw everything in a pot and simmered it till it was “jammy”. Fortunately, my mom gave me little cheesecloth spice bags for my birthday so I had something to contain the herbs. The cinnamon sticks are definitely my favorite ingredient in this recipe. They made the whole house smell fantastic, like cinnamon mixed with a smell it doesn’t normally accompany: cooking tomatoes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the whole cloves the recipe calls for. They would have been yummy but they were nowhere to be found in the pantry!
        This morning’s taste test took place in much sunnier weather than yesterday’s concocting. The sight of three, brilliant, deep red jam-filled jars on the counter this morning beckoned for a relaxed weekend breakfast. I used the last two homemade english muffins, a couple of eggs, some cheddar rice cheese, and a two generous dollops of tomato jam for Lee’s egg sandwiches. I also thawed and baked the second half of the cinnamon rolls I made last month. This time I topped them with a little butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon when they came out of the oven. Yum!
        I leave you with a jam recipe, perhaps to peak your interest in canning just because you want to know what tomato jam tastes like. We will enjoy the 3 half pint jars of this on countless things. When they’re gone I’ll probably make it again with the cloves and more spicy spiciness. While the flavor is fabulous, this jam would be even better with more bite, in my opinion.


Heirloom Tomato Jam
From Cosmic Cowgirl, originally from White on Rice (makes approximately 3 half pints)

2 pounds heirloom or homegrown tomatoes
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or whatever herbs you like)
8 whole cloves
2 sticks good quality cinnamon
4 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp bottled lemon or lime juice

Blanch, peel, and roughly chop the tomatoes.
Place thyme or other spices in cheesecloth of a tea ball infuser (cinnamon sticks can go straight in the pot).
Combine all ingredients, including spice bag, in a medium-sized saucepan and cook at a medium simmer for 30-45 minutes (My jam took about 45 minutes).
Remove spice bag and cinnamon.
Put jam into clean, warm jars, add lids and process in a hot water canner for 15 minutes.
See The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for detailed processing instructions. This seems like a good general guide to canning and has some recipes as well.

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Filed under condiments, egg sandwiches

Apple cinnamon bran muffins



What a fabulous morning for baking. I love getting back from the gym, worn out in a good kind of way, and starting on a baking project. Of course breakfast and a shower come first but after that I’m all over the kitchen!
This morning I went back to what is probably my favorite muffin recipe. It comes from Farmgirl Fare, the first food blog I ever read regularly. I was searching for a bran muffin recipe online a few years back and came across Farmgirl Susan’s Basic Bran Muffin. These beauties are 100% whole grain and use simple, un-messed with ingredients. The basic recipe is easily modified for any fruit or flavor you’re craving and I’ve always enjoyed how the amounts of each ingredient are easy to remember. These muffins have big crusty tops but are moist inside and taste so good you’ll forget how much fiber is in them! I’ve made a blueberry version of these several times, a simple raisin version, and a ginger pear version. Today I decided to give apple cinnamon a try.
Last weekend Lee and I picked about 11 pounds of apples at Biscay Orchards down the road. We’ve been snacking on them all week and I’ve been trying to decide what to bake with them. We picked about half Macintosh and half Cortland. Of course I had to make some muffins and my favorite bran muffin recipe came to mind as a good backdrop for apple and cinnamon. Perhaps later in the week I’ll make something more ambitious. A pie, tart, or cake maybe?
For now, enjoy these perfectly moist, cinnamony goodies crammed full of apples!


It came to my attention, after baking these muffins, that a bunch of bloggers are celebrating fall by posting apple-related recipes today! Just my luck! Here is my contribution to Fall Fest (see A Way to Garden to find out more).

Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins
Adapted from Farmgirl Susan’s Basic Bran Muffin

2 cups wheat bran
1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon, or more, cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup yogurt + applesauce (The original recipe calls for yogurt. I subbed 1/2 cup applesauce for part of the yogurt this time)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sweet molasses or cane syrup (The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup. I cut back so the molasses flavor wouldn’t mask the cinnamon too much and because agave is already really sweet)
1/3 cup honey (I used agave)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2-3 medium-sized apples, depending on how fruity you like your muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine wheat bran, oat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, yogurt, oil, molasses, honey, and vanilla if using.
Chop apples finely. I left the peels on, cut the apples into small pieces, and then pulsed them in the blender a few times.
Fill 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners, silicone cups, or a little oil. This makes 12 really big muffins so the cup will be really full. You could also make more, smaller muffins if you prefer.


Filed under muffins

Cinnamon Rolls, or Hurricane Rolls in honor of Earl

        Is it wrong for the first recipe I post to be something other than a muffin or an egg sandwich? Cinnamon rolls are sister pastries to the muffin so I think they count. I just couldn’t resist making these since I realized I had some leftover mashed potatoes around. That’s not something I usually have in the fridge. These particular cinnamon rolls also sounded relatively healthy to me. They don’t have extravagant amounts of butter in the dough or copious filling. In fact, I think I would give them a little more in the way of filling next time I make them. I might try brown sugar instead of honey for that application. I’ll admit, I may have been a little stingy with the honey and walnuts since I wasn’t really measuring them. Other than that (and substituting soy milk for regular milk because it was al I had) I stuck to the recipe.
        The recipe came from Horn of the Moon Cookbook, a collection of recipes from the Horn of the Moon vegetarian restaurant in Vermont I’ve never been to the restaurant but, based on this cookbook, it sounds like someplace I would enjoy. I got the cookbook from a thrift store in California. There are some intriguing muffin recipes that I’d like to try in it too (like maple almond muffins).


        I have always been intimidated by yeast breads. My attempts at pizza dough never turn out quite right and I’ve never been brave enough to make a full-fledged loaf. After successfully baking yeast-risen muffins from Laurels Kitchen, cinnamon rolls seemed like a good next step. I’m really proud of how the dough turned out. It was easy to work with when forming the rolls and perfectly fluffy when baked. I’m not sure what the potatoes bring to the dough (calls for a little research). I doubled the recipe, which was very easy and made exactly 16 rolls, and froze half for another saturday morning. Like I said before, the only thing I would change is the filling ingredients to either more honey or brown sugar instead of honey. Raisins would be nice as well. The original recipe suggests them in the instructions without including them in the ingredients.
        The verdict from my roll testing committee: Three, including me, said “tasty but could use more sweetness”. One said “just right”. We all got a slow start this morning. Anticipation of Hurricane Earl’s arrival here in Maine kept us up last night. Now it is a bright, sunny day and I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do: bake these!

Cinnamon Rolls
From Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan


        1/4 cup milk (I used plain soy milk)
        1/4 cup mashed peeled potatoes (make sure there are no lumps)
        2 tablespoons butter
        2 tablespoons honey
        1 1/2 teaspoons dry baker’s yeast
        2 tablespoons warm water
        1 egg
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 cup unbleached white flour
        3/4 cup whole wheat flour


        2 tablespoons melted butter
        2 tablespoons honey
        1 teaspoon cinnamon
        1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. When it reaches a boil, turn off heat and add potato, butter, and honey.
Next, combine yeast and warm water in your mixing bowl of choice. Stir to dissolve.
Add the potato mixture to the yeast and water.
Beat in egg and salt.
Add 1/2 cup unbleached white flour, mixing well. Then add the remaining white and wheat flour.
Knead until smooth and elastic.
Cover and leave someplace warm to rise until doubled in size (this takes about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Punch down dough and knead on lightly floured surface. Then let it sit for another 10 minutes.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness in an approximately 9×15 in. rectangle-ish shape.
Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter over the dough.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts.
Roll dough up from the shorter side so you have a short but thick roll.
Cut into 1 inch thick slices (or whatever size gives you 8 rolls) and set 1 inch apart on a baking sheet covered with cooking spray or, as I did, a silicon mat.

Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Brush with remaining tablespoon melted butter and devour.


Filed under other goodies