Raspberry Chocolate Sauce

This year I'm not hosting either of the big holidays - meaning I'll be needing plenty of hostess gifts!

I love to give a homemade gift when possible. This year I wanted to give something canned, seeing as I have just learned this age-old skill, but was hoping for something a bit different than jam. We already have a great jam maker in this family!

Chocolate and Raspberries - YUM!

I scoured the Internet looking for interesting possibilities and when I ran across a recipe for Raspberry Chocolate Sauce on Canning Jars Etc blog, I knew I had found a winner.

This recipe is so easy and really quick. Not to mention, tasty!!!

Add the raspberries, chocolate, lemon juice and pectin to a pot and bring to boil over high heat. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil; boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.

Add the sauce to freshly sterilized jars, apply lids and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Done!

This Raspberry Chocolate Sauce has a strong raspberry flavor and sweet chocolaty finish. We tried it over vanilla ice cream and it was sinful!

A nice hostess gift and a great alternative to jam!

I'll be bringing you several hostess gift ideas in the run up to the holidays. As well as loads of holiday decorating ideas and tips. 

Homemade Applesauce

Some people claim that applesauce is just for kids - I am not a believer in this theory!

You may remember that we came away with loads of apples at the beginning of October. So after a month of apple bread, apple pie, baked apples, apple pancakes, etc we still hadn't managed to finish off our apples... 
It's time for the sauce!

I chopped and cored all the apples, placed them in a large dutch oven with a splash of apple juice and simmered for 20 minutes until they looked a little like this.

Then I ran them through a food mill. If you've never used one, I highly recommend it. A small investment, around $25, and makes life so much easier - no need to peel the apples!

I used 3 varieties of apples so it had great flavor. I debated about adding extra spices, but in the end I only added about a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Pour the warm applesauce into sterilized jars, clean the rim before screwing on the lids, submerge in boiling water for 25 minutes - homemade caned applesauce, good for up to a year!

I know, I make it sound so easy! But it didn't go this well last time, read about my caned tomatoes here.

Ah, I can just imagine a lovely pork roast in the dead of Winter served with my homemade applesauce - yummy!