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Pork Kabobs with Tomato Red Chile Jam

Pork kabobs marinated in tomato red chile jam | mjskitchen.com


A few weeks ago you were introduced to my Tomato Red Chile Jam, a sweet, spicy, and savory jam.  There are several ways to use this jam, but one of our favorites is as the marinade for pork kabobs.  If you already have made the jam, the marinade and the kabobs are so easy to prepare and grill.  As kabobs, the pork grills relatively quick and can be ready for the table within 45 minutes from applying the marinade.

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Tomato Red Chile Jam

Tomato jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice @mjskitchen #jam #tomato #red #chile


This Tomato Red Chile Jam has been my favorite sweet and savory jam for several years now.  I was tempted to keep it to myself but it’s just too good not to share.  It’s not a PB&J jam nor a jam for toast. It’s more of  a jam to eat with crackers, pour over baked brie or use as a marinade.  My favorite use is as a marinade for pork…more on that in a future post.

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Quick & Easy Cherry Jam

A quick & easy cherry jam, no pectin, just cherries, sugar and lemon juice | mjkitchen.com


Very seldom do I get a special request to make something, but last week Bobby came home with 2 pounds of fresh cherries and asked “Will you make me a cherry jam?”.  How could I refuse?  The 2 pounds gave us enough cherries for a pint of jam, plus a few to snack on.

The recipe below is one of my quick & easy jams.  It makes one jar of cherry jam that is intended to be refrigerated and eaten, not sealed and stored for the winter.  There are three ingredients – cherries, sugar and lemon juice.  The process requires no large pots of boiling jars and lids, and only about 20 minutes of stirring.  The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries.  The result of about 45 minutes of work? … a pint of cherry heaven!

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Red Chile Strawberry Jam

A quick and easy strawberry jam with red chile flakes and no pectin | mjskitchen.com


If you love sweet and spicy then you’re going to love this Red Chile Strawberry Jam! With every bite you get the luscious sweetness of strawberries soon followed by a burst of spicy chile that continues to tickle the tongue long after the jam has moved on. It’s a great jam for toast, biscuits, crackers and our favorite, a soft double cream brie.  But once you taste it, you’ll probably just grab a spoon and eat it right out of the jar.

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Raspberry Mole Jam

Raspberry Mole' Jam made with spice, red chile and a touch of cocoa. mjskitchen.com


Have you ever had black molé (aka Mole Negro)?  Mole Negro is a dark, rich, spicy sauce that is one of the seven moles of Oaxaca, Mexico. I made it once with great success, but it was a very time consuming and laborious process, so much so that the next time I wanted to make it, I wimped out and bought some from the local Mexican market. My love of mole is what drove me to make this  Raspberry Mole Jam. I wanted a sweet and spicy jam with a little nuttiness, and the richness of a black mole.  For this jam, raspberries are cooked down with a little sugar (less than normal), minced dates, almonds, red chile, chocolate and spice.  You’ll be hooked on the first bite.
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Mixed Berry Jam – Quick and Easy

Mixed Berry Jam - quick & easy, no pectin. mjskitchen.com


When it comes to making jam, the days of torturing my feet with a 12 hour day processing the fruit and making 20 jars of the same jam are over.  Now I make jam one jar at a time and as needed or whenever I have a little excess fruit that needs to use before it becomes compost material.  Because we eat a lot of berries, we almost always have a jar of Mixed Berry Jam in the refrigerator.

This recipe for the perfect jar of Mixed Berry Jam is one I’ve been working on since last spring.  I’ve been looking for the ratio of fruits that yielded the flavor of “mixed berries”.  What I mean by that is one of my earlier batches tasted like blueberry jam with a hint of other berries.  Another batch, with matching amounts of blueberries and raspberries, tasted like raspberry jam.  The recipe I’m sharing with today isn’t dominated by any individual flavor. You’ll be able to taste “hints” of each berry used – a little blueberry, a little raspberry and a little blackberry.  If you don’t have blackberries, you can substitute strawberries with the same mixed berry jam result.  Both versions are delicious!

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Watermelon Rind Candies

Watermelon Rind Preserves or Candies


I’m reposting this recipe as a reminder to save the rinds from this summer’s watermelons and turn them into watermelon rind preserves or these wonderful watermelon rind candies! I made some last week before leaving on vacation because I wanted to take them to the woman that inspired this recipe. The smile on her face told me that I did good. 🙂


In my watermelon post a while back I mentioned that my mother saved the watermelon rind and made watermelon rind preserves.  After we all finished off the watermelon, she would cut away any remaining pink from the rind, peel the rind, then slice it into spears. All of the rind spears were transferred to a big pot and layered with sugar, then left to sit overnight. The next day she cooked them down “until done”.  🙂  After they cooked I helped her pack the spears lengthwise into sterilized mason jars and then seal the jars.  By fall we had enough watermelon rind preserves to last the winter and then some.

Eating her watermelon rind preserves was like eating a crunchy, sweet stick of candy.  It didn’t really have a watermelon flavor, but it had a clean, sweet taste that is very hard to describe.  All I know is those preserves were really, really good, very, very sweet, and hard to stop eating. A couple of years ago I decided to come up with my own way to preserve watermelon rind but in smaller pieces and less sweet, if possible. My efforts paid off!  These little candies turned out exactly like I wanted – small, crispy bites of sweetness with a touch of anise flavor. So good, so addicting!

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Apricot Jam – When One Jar is All You Need

Apricot Jam: a recipe for when you only need a jar or two. @MJsKitchen


If you read my About page you know that I use to have lots and lots of fruit trees.  One was a huge apricot tree that, about every 3 to 4 years, yielded an abundance of the biggest and sweetest apricots.  On the years in between, a late freeze would kill the young fruit.  On those good years, we ate LOTS of apricots right off the tree,  but the rest of the apricots ended up in jam or dried.  When we moved, I had enough apricot jam to last us a few more years and still give away a jar here and there.  Well,  many years have passed and we have been out of apricot jam – until now!

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Quick and Easy Strawberry Jam

Jar of strawberry jam made in less than 30 minutes  mjskitchen.com


My mother jammed, jellied, preserved or pickled everything from peaches to watermelon rinds, cucumbers to okra.  Fortunately, I paid attention and learned.  Along with learning the techniques of canning, I also developed a love for canning and preserving.  I think preserving your own food is something that you really need to enjoy because it can be time consuming and tedious, depending on what you are canning.  Most times you have to be able to enjoy spending the whole day in a hot kitchen, working over a stovetop that has at least one burner going continuously (keeping the jars hot), peeling, squeezing, cooking, stirring, and canning until all of the fruit or vegetables have been processed.  It’s so much fun!  Really!  Of course a NCIS marathon to keep you company doesn’t hurt.

Well – now that I’m older, gone are these all day jamming sessions. Now when I have a few berries that need to be used or are too under-ripe and bland to go in cereal , I just make a single jar of jam. In this house one jar doesn’t last very long, but then it doesn’t take long to make either.

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