I'll have an insulin shot to go, please.

I got LOTS of emails after I posted about the delicious carb-coma inducing bread that I make.

And none of them hate mail, surprisingly.

Seems that all of you like bread as much as me.

I, myself, have serious bread issues. I am incapable of eating bread that comes from the grocery store. I think it tastes nasty, has no real flavor, and the texture reminds me of cardboard.

I mean, if I'm going to give up taste, I might as well just eat healthy foods and toss out the cookie dough.

Bwaaahhhh! As if.

ANYhoo, I posted a few years ago (can't find the post or I'd link) about the beautiful bread machine that had changed my life (and put my local Great Harvest out of business). After making multiple loaves per week for a couple of years, the poor thing died about a month ago. Not wanting to rush out and spend a few hundred bucks the month before Christmas on an appliance of all things, I started to experiment with making my own bread. I tried several recipes and each received two greasy thumbs up from the people around here.

This recipe was settled on as a favorite, and I've been making it ever since. It takes maybe eight minutes of my time, and then sits on the counter and does all the work by itself. Every few days, I make another couple of loaves. It's delicious and I'm in love with it.

And since I know you will be, too, here is the recipe in my favorite form: photo.

May your thighs thank you, as mine have.

Join me in my diabetic heaven, will you?

Channeling my inner June Cleaver

A few weeks ago, I made a bargain with my friend, Maren. I told her that if she would teach me how to make jam, I would teach her how to make homemade chicken noodle soup.

Gabi has posted about the four-generation family recipe for chicken noodle soup here, which I now consider to be a large portion of Hannah's future dowry. I might have married the Husband for this recipe alone, had I known.

It is the same recipe I faithfully use, and it is truly amazing. My favorite part is actually using half an egg shell to measure the milk for the noodles. Something about that just seems so old-fashioned, so earthy.

What? I can be earthy. I can be old fashioned.

Shut up.

ANYway, I urge you to take advantage of the season, head out, and get yourself some strawberries, sugar, pectin, and jars. Because the joy of taking this:

While remembering to do a little bit of this:

And laughing with someone while they do this:

Will ultimately net you a large batch of this:

Pure, red, sugary heaven.

Which, by the way, I have had to ration. The little (and big) people around here seem to think they can have jam on just about everything. It's killing me how fast we're going through this stuff. I feel like I need to stash it safely away from their grubby mitts and growling stomachs.

I decided to hide the rest in the freezer under the vegetables. We all KNOW the children will never look there.

Neither will the Husband.

So, without further rambling on my part, I give you the recipe:

3 cups mashed berries
5 cups sugar (I know, don't even say it, Robyn)
1 cup water
1 box pectin

Wash and stem the berries. Mash by hand (or in a blender if you're lazy like us). Stir sugar into berries and let sit for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, add pectin to water and stir until dissolved. Bring water and pectin to a boil, and boil for one full minute. Add water and pectin to berry mixture; stir until combined. Pour into clean, dry jam jars, leaving a little head room at the top. Cover with lids. Let jam jars sit on your counter for 24 hours, then store in the freezer.

Or until your piggy little munchkins get a hold of some and practically eat it by the spoonfuls.

Also critical to the success of the recipe is having some warm, soft, homemade bread handy. It helps you ensure that your blood sugar will remain in a constant diabetic state for at least a week straight.

Which any good jam really ought to do.

Salsa Chicken Burritos

Lisa has given me permission to share her award-winning recipe. May your taste buds enjoy the party you will be giving them:

Salsa chicken burritos

Put frozen chicken breasts (boneless skinless) in your crockpot. I used 3-4 breasts. Dump in one jar of bottled salsa (Lisa uses Pace Picante medium. I went with the mild due to the wimpiness of the taste buds around here).

Fill the empty jar about halfway with water to rinse it out and add it to the crockpot.

Let it cook on low all day. The chicken falls apart and is so tender and flavorful. Pull it apart with a fork. Serve on warm tortillas with cheese and sour cream (or whatever toppings you want).

My children DEVOURED this and begged for seconds, even though they could see tomatoes, onions, and peppers. (Take that, Jessica Seinfeld!)

That has never before happened in the history of the world.

And that, dear internets, is why she won (that and the absolute simplicity of her no-fail, little effort entry that embodies my cooking skills completely).

**If you want the rest of the recipes, email me. I'm still waiting to hear back from the senders with their permission before I send any more out. I will compile them into one file and happily email you the recipes, rather than post them here. I got a TON. And they were all just awesome.