Canning, DIY, Recipes

Turn Up The Heat

IMG_4267My favorite jelly that my grandmother used to make was jalapeno jelly. She would dollop it on top of cream cheese and crackers. To this day, I remember it being her go-to appetizer for family gatherings and our little afternoon treat on hot summer days. I think it was then that my love of the sweet and spicy combo began. I thought I’d share with you the recipe that she used to use. Admittedly, I may have wanted to share it with you just so I could whip up some crackers with cream cheese. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Jalapeno Jelly

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 14 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet of liquid pectin
  • 3-4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  1. Coarse chop bell peppers and 14 jalapenos in a blender, pulse smooth
  2. Pour in a saucepan with the vinegar and bring to a boil for 20 minutes
  3.  Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or fine sieve
  4. Return pepper juice back to the saucepan and combine with salt and sugar
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and stir in pectin
  6. Then add minced jalapenos and ladle the mixture into jars.

 

 

Canning, DIY, Recipes

Things Are Just Peachy

IMG_4183I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July! Here at the homestead, we had a quiet and relaxing day. No farm work, picking out new chickens to add to our flock, feet up, delicious summer mocktails, and, ok, finally at 2 pm I had to do something and made some peach jam!

Texas peaches are here. They are big, juicy, and absolutely perfect. We snacked on them, grilled them (served with ice cream), and still had plenty to whip up some jam. We even fed a few to the chickens! I don’t share jam recipes as often as I should, but here is a great recipe for peach jam!

Peach Jam

  • 4 pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  1. Place chopped peaches into a pot and bring to a boil
  2. Use a potato masher periodicaly to mash peaches into smaller pieces
  3. Stir often so that the peaches do not burn on the bottom of the pot
  4. After 30 minutes or so add the sugar and lemon juice
  5. Return to a boil for about ten minutes or until the jam begins to gel
  6. Remove from heat and transfer the jam to jars

If you do not want to cook the jam for what seems like forever, you can add pectin to speed up the gel process. You can store this jam in the fridge in Tupperware, or use the traditional water bath canning method and store it in the cupboard up to a year. IMG_4261

 

Embroidery, Story

King of the Grill

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Due to 2,000 miles between us and Covid-19, hopping on a plane to see my Dad isn’t quite an option this year. So I’ve started putting together a package to ship to him next week. It will include Zero bars, Texas-style hot sauces, and a new spice rub!

Story of the Spice Rub

Just about two years ago I met my partner who is born and raised in Texas. He certainly knows his way around the grill and smoker. The first time he cooked for me he busted out his smoker and made me some smoked pork. I remember the seasoning was out of this world, smokey, flavorful with a little bit of spice. Over the past two years, we’ve talked about building a homestead and made a laundry list of things we could start making together. This all-purpose spice rub is the first on the list. It’s simple with big flavor because everything is bigger in Texas.

Recommended Pairings

The all-purpose rub can be used for, well, all purposes from chicken to pork to beef. I’ve even used it on portabello mushrooms and it certainly holds up. What I will recommend pairing our Texas Style Spice Rub with is either a pig or cow towel. (Chicken will be coming soon!)

If you’re interested in a spice rub and towel pairing, head on over to the shop and get your order in!

DIY, Food, Recipes

Roasted Red Carrots & Onions

Ok, so my last post was “I’m not doing any resolutions this year” but that doesn’t mean I’m not eating healthy over here! I thought it was time to share a delightful, healthy, and easy recipe for you to try this New Year. I will keep my intro short as I am coming to find, reading a thesis in order to get to a recipe is…. Annoying! 

Roasted Red Carrots & Onions

  • 1 bunch JBG red carrots, cut lengthwise 
  • 1 red onion, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (I use avocado oil, but olive oil works)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (2 to roast, 1 after)
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons JBG parsley, minced
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven at 425ºF
  2. Toss carrots, onions, oil, and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a baking sheet
  3. Place in the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes or until onions began to caramelize, mark sure to toss halfway through 
  4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  5. Garnish with parsley and pomegranate seeds
  6. Enjoy!

Note: I highly recommend using a high-quality balsamic vinegar.  It makes all the difference in the world as far as flavor. 

If you want to try more delicious recipes, go ahead and check out my cookbook

DIY, Food, Recipes

Roasted Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate & Pistachios

A few weeks ago, I snuck up to St. Louis to spend a few days with my mom and her wonderful husband.  It was exactly what the doctor ordered.  While my folks were at work, I spent my mornings reading with the sunrise and coffee and taking walks around Historic Lafayette Park.  During the day, I would catch up on some much-needed adulting I needed to do then saunter off to my mom’s plot at the community garden to collect vegetables for dinner.  One night I whipped up this eggplant dish and accompanying main of stewed tomatoes and rainbow chard… more on that to come.  For now:

Roasted Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate, & PistachiosIMG_2659 2.jpeg

  • 3-4 Japanese eggplant, sliced in half the long way
  • 1 four-ounce packet of goat cheese, crumbled
  • Pomegranate seeds, half a pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup of roasted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil (I skimmed the oil off of an almond butter jar)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Place sliced eggplant facedown on a lightly oiled baking sheet, place in oven and bake until tender.  About 25 minutes
  3. Remove from the oven.  Flip eggplant cut side up and lightly glaze the cut surface with almond oil and squeeze lemon across the eggplant.
  4. Top eggplant with goat cheese, pomegranate, pistachios, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste
  5. For a little extra pizazz, you can, ever so sparingly, drizzle honey on top with a little extra sea salt.

Enjoy!

Fermenting, Recipes

Some Like It Hot

Back in February, I attended the Mother Earth News Conference where I sat in many a talk, workshops, and more.  One of the workshops I sat in on was Kristen Shockey’s of Ferment Works.  In just a short hour, Shockey covered the basics of fermenting and was also able to walk the crowd through making mustard and hot sauce. 

Since then I’ve made several batches of hot sauce and experimented with the different mustards.  In fact, in this house, I can’t make them fast enough and have to make double batches.  I’ve been tweaking them a little bit and adding more hot peppers. Because we like it hot, you know, spicy.

IMG_2086

Fermented Hot Sauce

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 5 habaneros (I actually use 6)
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • Mason jar
  • Blender
  • Gloves for cutting peppers
  • Make sure cutting board, mason jar, and all other equipment is clean
  • Remove stems and seeds from the peppers, and chop
  • Place all peppers and salt in the blender.  Blend until smooth
  • Pour into the mason jar.  Make sure sauce fills the jar at least 3/4 full 
  • Screw the lid on tight and store in a dark cabinet
  • Twice a day, unscrew the lid enough to let the air escape.  This is called burping.  (I literally say, “It’s time to burp the babies”)
  • You can let your hot sauce ferment anywhere from 3-14 days.  I typically ferment mine for two weeks.  

This is great on everything that you would put hot sauce on eggs, tacos, beans, and rice, etc.