A few years ago, I hit upon the idea of presenting family and friends with baskets of homemade jam as gifts. With cherries, cinnamon and cloves, this smells and tastes like Christmas! —Marilyn Reineman, Stockton, California
You can spread Diane Widmer's apple butter on thick and still enjoy a breakfast that's thin on calories. She shared the recipe from her home in Blue Island, Illinois. For a smoother texture, use tender varieties such as McIntosh or Cortland apples.
My friend and I had tried a fruity jam with jalapenos at a local vineyard and this is the version I created. At work there was a taste test comparing my different versions of the jam, and this one was voted a favorite. I like this fruity spread on crackers with cream cheese, on hamburgers or even grilled cheese. For extra heat, add the seeds of a few jalapenos to the jam.
April is National Grilled Cheese Month - honoring the gooey greatness of toasted bread and melted cheese. The modern version may have started in the 1920s, when sliced bread and American cheese became available. For a modern version full of comfy farmhouse flavors, use raisin bread with onion jam, prosciutto and cheddar. —Susan Andrichuk, New York, New York
One whiff is all it takes to tell what we grow on our farm—peppermint! Harvesting 300 acres is hard work, by the invigorating scent keeps our taste buds tuned for minty treats. I use fresh mint or mint oil frequently in my cooking and baking. Try this aromatic jelly on lamb or oven-fresh biscuits.—Kandy Clarke, Columbia Falls, Montana
Full of fruity flavor, this delightful jam is a great toast topper. Delores Ward of Decatur, Indiana came up with the recipe when a neighbor gave her an armload of pears. "Everyone really likes it," says Delores.