Aunt Holly’s Homemade Happiness

Blueberry Maple Jam – Canning What You Grow

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The pectin calculator can be found here



4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup maple syrup

5 tablespoons Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin

1 ½ cups of brown sugar

3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Yields 6 half-pint jars


Prepare hot water bath, jars, rings and lids.

Combine blueberries with maple syrup and lemon juice in a non-reactive pot. Mash gently. Gradually stir in Ball® RealFruit™ Pectin.  Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

Add brown sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

Test and check set.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.

Place filled jars in canner, ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.

Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitute. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes.

Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours.


Spelt Flour Strawberry Muffins

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This Saturday Joey & I took our niece, Sara,  strawberry picking.  It was her first time and she had a good time.  It probably also helps she loves strawberries, and Joey…and me of course. We ended up with 30 lbs, and sent about 7 lbs home with Sara.  After deciding to freeze what we couldn’t eat, we made jam and then I was wanting to do some baking with them.

Sara and Joey working hard
Sara and Joey working hard
Beautiful, ripe, berries
Beautiful, ripe, berries


After a bit of thinking I settled on strawberry muffins. I like using whole spelt flour as opposed to something like whole wheat.  The addition of the oat flour and coconut flour give these muffins a nice texture.  I also learned, after my muffins came out looking a little deflated, that my baking powder was almost a year expired!  So check the expiration date on your baking powder.  The best part about these is you can make them vegan with using any non-dairy milk.

What you need:

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, if you don’t have this you could use more oat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can make this in your food processor with oats)
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tsps baking powder
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups milk or non-dairy substitute like soy milk or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups diced strawberries

This recipe yields 24 muffins, filled 2/3 full. You could easily halve it.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl, set aside.  Mix wet ingredients well in separate bowl.  Slowly combine wet to dry, mix until just combined.  Fold in strawberries.  Pour into muffin tins to about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  You will know they are done when they are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly.


Hopefully your baking soda isn’t expired and they done “fall”.  They are still tasty though. These are good alone or with a little butter. Enjoy!

Strawberry Spelt Muffins

Hearty Pantry Throw Together Soup

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I like to use my slow-cooker.  There’s certain things I always keep stocked, like lentils, beans, canned tomatoes…etc. So I was looking through my pantry and came up with this soup.  It is hearty, filling, simple but very tasty!  This is the kind of soup you could add other items to and it would be delicious.  I was going to add some mushrooms but I think I have weekend plans for those, so I held off.


1 28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes (if you can your own use a quart of home canned tomatoes)
1 16 oz can of black beans (you could use pinto or white beans too)
1 & 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 packet of dried onion soup/dip mix
1 tablespoon dried italian spices
5-6 cups of water
1 lb of ground turkey or chicken (this is optional, if you dont have this on hand then just add another cup of lentils)

Here’s things that you could add to the soup.  Mushrooms, more tomatoes, corn, carrots, peas, celery or potatoes.  I decided to keep it simple.  Plus, I HATE cooked carrots.


1. Rinse and drain canned beans.  Toss in slow cooker with canned tomatoes, italian seasoning and lentils.

2. Take soup packet and stir it into 1-2 cups  of water, just to help dissolve it.  Put that in the slow cooker.  Add anything else extra, except the meat. Add about 2-3 cups more water. Then stir everything untill well combined.

3.  If you are going to add the meat start rolling into 1 inch sized meat balls.  Drop them into the slow cooker, trying to spread them out.

4. Add enough water so the slow-cooker is about 3/4 full.

5.  Now heres the hard part…Put the lid on and wait 😉

You want to leave it on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

When ready to eat just give it a big stir & serve it up.  I always like to have a nice hearty piece of whole grain bread with my soup.  You could also sprinkle some grated parmesan or mozz on it.  Yum.