Easy Peasy Fuss-Free Blueberry Jam

Things are still blooming in my garden. And I'm not usually so lucky when it comes to my produce plantings, so I only planted tomatoes and herbs.

Next year: going to try berries. Strawberries and blueberries.

In the meantime it's store bought for me (including farmer's markets).

So the other day, when Fairway had a sale on blueberries (each dry pint for $1!!!!)I bought 5 (the limit). Even though I already had some fresh blueberries at home.

And then I had to use them.

I made blueberry cake, blueberry muffins and blueberry soup (so refreshing on a summer day!). And a blueberry crisp.

And also blueberry jam.

I like jam, but don't like fussing with sterilizing jars and putting the jars in one of those water-bath things. So I only make an amount that will be used within a couple of weeks and store it in my fridge. For example, for:

Here's the simple recipe:

Fuss-Free Blueberry Jam

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 cup sugar

Place the blueberries, orange juice, orange peel and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and pressing down on the ingredients with a wooden spoon to crush the berries slightly. When the liquid has thickened to jam-like, remove the pan from the heat. Let cool and spoon into a jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups


La La Lunchbox Mozzarella Sandwich Kebabs

I don’t usually pack school lunch. My children are grown ups now, with children of their own. So the only time I have to even think about this is if one of my grandchildren sleeps over and the next day is school and then, because it is not a task I am familiar with, I have to ask a lot of questions.

When I need advice like this I call on an expert:

My daughter Gillian, mother of three, healthy food person and entrepreneur who developed an app for exactly this: lunch.

Her mealplanning app is called lalalunchbox. She blogs about it at The app, which helps parents and children plan and pack healthy lunches together, empowers kids to select a week’s worth of lunches in advance (and then generates a handy grocery list for parents) has been critically reviewed and has become a best seller. You can check it out here.

 And by the way, the app is free for the entire back-to-school season.

I asked Gillian about lunch recently, to do this particular post and my question was timed perfectly because she was just getting her daughter Lila’s camp lunch ready. She and Lila, using the LaLa Lunchbox app, had picked a mozzarella cheese sandwich and grapes. 

Beyond involving kids in meal planning, Gillian believes that children are more likely to be excited about what they eat when those meals are visually appealing. One of her favorite tricks is to cut sandwiches into smaller cubes and skewer them on to lollypop sticks (such as Wilton’s) which you can buy at craft stores. 

You can see the final result in the first photo. The others give you a step by step on how to make this fast, easy, simple, pretty and tasty sandwich for when you need to pack a lunchbox.

La La Lunchbox Mozzarella Sandwich Kebabs

2 slices whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon olive oil, approximately

several slices (about 1/4-inch thick) fresh mozzarella cheese

several fresh, whole basil leaves

skewer sticks

whole red seedless grapes

Place one piece of bread on  cutting board. drizzle the olive oil on top. Place mozzarella slices on top. Layer some basil leaves over the cheese. Place the second slice of bread on top. Cut the sandwich into 9 pieces. Skewer the smaller sandwich pieces on the skewers, alternating with the grapes. Makes one serving