Friday, December 21, 2012

Pumpkin Chili

This is our family's favorite chili recipe.  This holiday season is perfect for tying a ribbon around a jar of  pumpkin chili, baking up a pie plate of cornbread and wishing a friend a Merry Christmas.

For those with nightshade allergies, skip the diced tomatoes and ketchup and use 4-1/2 cups of this tomato free ketchup .  Delete the chili powder.  Instead of chili powder you can add cumin to your taste.  I am not a big fan of cumin so I add a little at a time.  Also, because of the sweetness of the tomato free ketchup, add brown sugar one tablespoon at a time.  If you accidentally add too much sugar, you can add cocoa powder to lessen the sweetness.

1 pound ground meat ( beef, turkey, italian hot sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 (28 ounce) can Pomi tomatoes, chopped
1 (16 ounce) kidney beans, drained
1 cup gf ketchup
7 Tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet brown the ground meat and onions.  Drain off any excess grease.
Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well.
Bring to a boil, then let simmer and heat through for at least an hour.
Serve over hot rice or gf cornbread.

Note:  If you think the chili is too thick add 1-2 Tbsp of broth.

Don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand use this recipe:

4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice (or cloves)

Mix thoroughly and place in an air tight jar.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Vanilla Pudding Mix

I found a dairy version of this recipe and made it dairy free because I wanted to add it to a cake mix.  This powdered version is great for adding to your dessert recipes.  You can change up your extracts such as using almond, lemon, pistachio, and pineapple to name a few.  You can also pour the pudding into popsicle molds and make frozen pudding pops!

If you are looking for quality extracts that are gluten free and kosher check out Olive Nation.  I love their extracts.

1 1/4 cup dairy free powdered milk (I used Dari-Free)
1 1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt

Mix all ingredients well and store in a airtight container.  Store in a cool place.

To Make Vanilla Pudding:
In a medium sauce pan add 2 cups of dairy free milk and 1/2 cup of vanilla pudding mix.  Mix together until blended.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Place in 4 individual ramekins.
Place lightly greased plastic wrap atop the pudding and press the wrap against the surface.  (This will lift the skim coat off your pudding before you eat it.)

To make Chocolate Pudding:
Add 2 Tbsp of cocoa and 6 Tbsp of sugar to the mixture above and cook as usual.

To make Butterscotch Pudding:
Use 1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar instead of sugar and add 1/4 -1/2 tsp caramel flavoring.

Note 1:  I have to give a personal opinion here.  I made this powdered mix for me to strictly incorporate into dessert recipes, such as my pistachio cake, and into a dairy free egg nog.  I did make this into pudding and whereas my kids loved it and begged for more, I found the texture to be too jiggly and not really creamy.  I used hemp milk but maybe coconut milk would have given it a creamy texture.  Or maybe if I had used the powered mix and  mixed it with a silken tofu, it would have had a silky creamy texture... for me this pudding didn't work texture wise.

Friday, December 7, 2012

GF Hot Dog Buns

I do love Udi's hot dog buns, but being on a tight wad's budget these days I needed to make my own.    I took a favorite recipe, my tried and true, and made it my go to hot dog/ hamburger bun recipe.

 I used my favorite Italian Roll Recipe from Better Batter and gave it a little twe-a-k!  You have to know that basing this bun off an Italian roll that they are not your firm, lot of bread bun.  They are less bready but very  yummy!

3-1/2 cups Better Batter Flour
2 cups water,warm (105˚F - 110˚F)
1 packet of active dry yeast 
1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place a 1/2 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast.   Let sit for five minutes.
In a medium bowl,  mix flour and salt.
Mixing on low speed, alternate adding flour and water to yeast mixture.
Turn on high and beat for 3 minutes. 
Spray cooking spray in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag.  Cut off the tip of the bag. 
Fill Ziploc bag with dough and pipe the dough into long buns on a parchment lined baking sheet.

(Remember if you cut the hole too big you get these whopper buns, which I cut in half.  With the second batch I made,  I cut a smaller hole and they made a better sized buns.)

Let rise in a warm location for 15 minutes.
Bake at 400˚F for about 20 minutes.   Rotate once during cooking time.
(Better Batter suggests throwing ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven as it cooks.  This is to give a crispy outer crust and a soft inside.  I do this when I have time.)
Let cool completely before cutting.

Note 1:  I buy my yeast in bulk and use 1 Tbsp of yeast in this recipe, however if you buy packets just use 1 packet of active dry yeast.

Note 2:  If you want to make hamburger buns,  grease 1/4 or 1/2 cup measuring cup, scooping dough and placing on a hamburger pan, or on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake as directed

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Spice

I just knew that I had pumpkin pie spice in my cabinet, but when I unscrewed the lid , I found an iota of spice.  Does this ever happen to you?

Here is my recipe, for when you need it right now!

4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice (or cloves)

Mix thoroughly and place in an air tight jar.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zucchini Casserole

This recipe rocks!  I love, love, love this recipe.  This is another hit from AllRecipes that I tweaked to be dairy free.  I also make this dish rice free by using quinoa.  Use the same 1/3 cup quinoa cooked in the 2/3 cup of chicken broth.


1/3 cup uncooked rice
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large zucchini, or 2 small zucchinis, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
2 cups of dairy free cheese, divided


In a small saucepan, combine chicken broth  and rice.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Spray an 8"x8" square pan with cooking spray.
In a skillet heat the oil.  Add zucchini, onion, and garlic.
Saute until the zucchini is tender, about 7-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in seasoning, tomatoes, cooked rice, and 1 cup of dairy free cheese.
Transfer to greased dish.  Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until it is hot all the way through.

If you have a vegetable chopper,  it makes quick work of cutting the zucchini into strips, another quick chop and you have uniform cubes.
I use this model.  It also makes quick work of making french fries:

Halloween Bundt Cake

I saw this recipe at the blog  a On A Whim and A Broomstick and just loved the concept.

This recipe hardly needs explaining with dying cake batter and dying the frosting and viola, impressive cake for the party! 
Here is what I used but be sure to use the products that fit your allergies:


1 gf chocolate cake mix
1 gf white cake mix
1 recipe of white frosting
1 black food coloring
1 violet food coloring
1 orange food coloring
1 - 9 or 12 cup bundt cake pan


Make each of the cake mixes according to directions.  
Divide the white cake mix into two separate bowls.  Add violet coloring to one bowl, and orange food coloring to the other.
Add black food coloring to the chocolate cake mix. 
Spray bundt pan with cooking spray.  Pour chocolate cake mix in the bundt pan first, reserving about a 1/3 or so of batter.
Pour the violet cake mix next.  Do Not swirl, just pour on top.
Pour the orange cake mix next.  Again, don't swirl.
Pour remaining chocolate batter.  


Divide your frosting into three bowls and dye one black, one orange, and one violet.   I microwaved my frosting 10 seconds at a time,  thinning it with dairy free milk a tsp at a time.  Check your consistency.    If you use a milk and powdered sugar based frosting, there will be no need to microwave.  Cybele's frosting is more of a buttercream frosting that contains an oil.

Drizzle the colors on the cake.

Eat Well!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce

There is nothing like wanting to make Chinese food 
to drive you to make your own hoisin sauce. 
 I took two recipes and mashed them together and came up with this tasty hoisin sauce.
Don't be intimidated by the black bean paste in this recipe.  Get out a can of black beans, scoop some into a blender and blend until smooth.  I drained off most of the liquid but kept just a little so that when the beans got a little dry in the blender 
I could add just a little to keep it pureeing.


4 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
(you can use my Soy Free Gluten Free Soy Sauce or 
Coconut Secret Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos )
2 Tbsp black bean paste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Tahini
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
Hot sauce, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, or Chinese Red Pepper, add to taste


Mix all ingredients together and pour in a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Gluten Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Who wouldn't want to achieve frying up a gluten free Krispy Kreme Doughnut in their own kitchen!  They are beyond delicious and light as air.  
 I found the same CopyCat Krispy Kreme copy recipe all over the internet and decided to take that recipe and make allergy free substitutes.

The gluten free version doesn't have as much as the original "light as air-ness", but I do have to say that they are darn good yeast doughnuts!


1 package regular or rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115˚F)
3/4 cup lukewarm dairy free milk (scalded and cooled)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2-1/2 Tbsp palm shortening
2-1/2 cup Better Batter Gluten Free Flour


Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer for 5 minutes.
Add milk, salt, egg, shortening, and sugar.
Beat on medium and add flour slowly.  Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
Turn dough onto floured surface, roll around lightly to coat dough with flour.
Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness with a  floured rolling pin.
Cut with doughnut cutter.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cover and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350˚F.
Slide doughnuts into oil.
Fry for 1 minute on each side.
Remove carefully from oil, don't prick the surface.
Drain on paper towel lined plate until slightly cooled.
Dip in glaze.

1/3 cup melted palm oil
2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4-6 Tbsp hot water

Stir powdered sugar into melted palm oil until smooth.
Stir in vanilla extract.
Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

Savory Kale

I love kale, but my kids run for cover when I prepare it as a side dish.   I finally found a kale dish that half my kids enjoy and the other half tolerate!  Pretty good odds in our house.  Personally, my husband and I love this dish

I made a few substitutions to the sweet and savory kale recipe I found at Allrecipes.


2 Tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1 small onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 Tbsp dijon mustard ( I use my honey dijon mustard)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
5 cups kale, rinsed, stemmed, and torn


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken broth.
Bring to a boil over high heat.   Stir in the kale, cover, and cook 5 minutes until wilted.
Uncover skillet and cook 7-10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Ricotta Bread - Recipe from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes

Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Photos by Colin Erricson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Ricotta cheese is an excellent option for baked good such as this very chocolately quinoa bread, imparting richness while offering high levels of calcium and protein.

Storage Tip
Store the cooled bread, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Alternatively, wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, completely enclosing bread, and freeze for up to 3 months.  Let thaw at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before serving.  

Preheat oven to 350˚f (180˚C)
8 by 4 inch metal loaf pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray


2 cups quinoa flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 cup natural cane sugar or packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese (reduced fat or regular)
1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil, warmed, or vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract (GF, if needed)
1-1/2 cups milk or plain non-dairy milk ( soy, almond, rice, or hemp)
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (GF, if needed)


In a large bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, cheese, oil and almond extract until well blended.  Whisk in milk until blended.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack.  Serve warm or let cool completely.

Makes 14 slices

Replacements for xanthan or guar gum

I just read in my Living Without magazine that if you are one that can't use xanthan or guar gum they suggested three replacements:

  • Equal amounts of agar powder
  • Equal amounts of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour (not potato starch) for each teaspoon of gum replaced
Good to know!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bulgogi Pork with Quinoa Kimichi Slaw - Recipe from 500 Best Quinoa Recipe Cookbook

Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Photos by Colin Erricson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Often called Korean barbecue in North America, bulgogi translates as "fire meat,"a reference to the way the meat is grilled over hot coals or an open fire.  Beef is the typical meat of choice for bulgogi, but in this rendition I use the distinctive marinade - tamari, sesame oil, fruit juice and ginger - on pork because it requires far less marinating time.  A quinoa coleslaw riff on kimchi makes a fantastic and refreshing side dish.

Choose unseasoned rice vinegar over seasoned rice vinegar; the latter has added sugar and salt.

Kimchi Slaw

3 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (GF, if needed)
1 Tbsp Asian chili-garlic sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 -1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Sesame Soy Pork

1 Tbsp natural cane sugar or packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce (GF, if needed)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 Tbsp Asian chili-garlic sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into very thing slices
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Slaw:  In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, tamari, chili-garlic sauce and oil.  Add cabbage, quinoa, carrot and green onions, gently tossing to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pork:  In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, ginger, tamari, apple juice, chili-garlic sauce and oil.
Add pork and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Remove half the pork slices from marinade, shaking off excess.  In a large, deep skillet, cook pork over medium-high heat, stirring, for 2 to 4 minutes or until browned on all sides and just a hint of pink remains inside.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with the remaining pork, discarding marinade.  Return all pork to skillet and cook, stirring, until heated through.
Serve pork with slaw.  Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Peanut Butter and Quinoa Granola from 500 Best Quinoa Recipe Cookbook

Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Photos by Colin Erricson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

I have fond memories of my mother's homemade granola, rich with nuts, honey and toasted oats.  My version ups the flavor and nutrition ante with quinoa, peanut butter and dried cranberries.   Spoon it up with milk, sprinkle it on yogurt or pack a handful in a small plastic bag for a mid-morning boost.

Any unsweetened natural nut or seed butter (such as cashew, almond, sunflower seed or tahini) may be used in place of the peanut butter. 

Preheat oven to 325˚F (160˚C).
Large rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.


2 cups large-flake (old fashioned) rolled oats
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup natural cane sugar or packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup liquid honey or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries


In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, peanuts, salt and cinnamon.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and honey.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter, oil and vanilla until blended.
Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until coated.  Spread mixture in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, stirring twice, until golden brown.  Let cool completely on pan.
Transfer granola to an airtight container and stir in cranberries.  Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 4 cups.

FREE Jules Gluten Free Thanksgiving E-book- Today Only

I can't use Jules flour because it contains corn but I have always heard wonderful reviews of how awesome her flour is.

She has a free Thanksgiving e-book that is chocked full of tips and recipes, free for today!   Her recipes include all the wonderful standards that make Thanksgiving Dinner memorable, such as, traditional and cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, flakey pie crust, and of course how to cook your bird!

Here is a link to her e-book Click here for her e-book!

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to get her free e-book!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury - Cookbook Review

I have to start this post with a confession:  I have been cooking gluten free for years, but have rarely cooked with quinoa.  My experience was a quinoa salad, which was by the way quite good and that was it.   The idea of a whole cookbook dedicated to this grain that is considered the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, the "super food , the mother grain!"  I was stoked!

If the recipes were really good then this cookbook with a whopping 500 recipes would be a gem!

I was ready to cook.  As I flipped through the pages I found that this cook book was truly dedicated to quinoa and there was no rice flours to be found or xanthan or guar gums!  Wow!

I was excited to get into the kitchen and see how these recipes really tasted.    My approach was to cook things that I would use in my everyday life but using this more nutricious grain. 

First on my list was chocolate.  I love chocolate and we are a family of chocoholics.   I made Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This cake was super moist and delicious.  It was perfect that the recipe called for cocoa and chocolate chips.  My kids loved it and so did I.  Because this recipe called for only one egg,  I used a flax egg and made a dairy free buttermilk and the results were tasty.  I cooked it 15 minutes longer than suggested by the recipe but this recipe lent itself to dairyfree and egg free substitutions.  Good stuff!

Second was what I was used to making, a
  Quinoa Tabbouleh

This was an awesome dish!  Let me tell you how awesome.... I got so carried away, that I forgot to take a picture and I scarfed down the whole bowl.   I forgot that I promised my mother a taste and when she asked all I had was an empty bowl to offer her!  I made a second bowl just to take this picture.  I adjusted the cumin to my taste because I don't like to much and I was in heaven!

Third was something everyone makes.  It is as American as the hot dog... 
 Blueberry Muffins

These muffins were beautiful and tender.   I really enjoyed these muffins and they used honey instead of sugar.   The opinion of my kids was different than mine.  My kids wanted a sweeter muffin and suggested I used granulated sugar next time.  Figures!  
Still, a really good muffin.

Next on my list was the 
Chewy  Coconut Quinoa Bars

These bars are among the many granola, and energy bar recipes in the cookbook.  These chewy bars use quinoa flakes and we used our favorite nut butter.  This bar makes a perfect after school snack.  We of course munched them all up on the spot.  I did cook these not as long as prescribed by the recipe, only until it was browned.  Delicious!

Next, was the 
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts,
who can pass up a doughnut?

These doughnuts had the most surprising results in my house.  It was a 50/50 split.  Who could imagine that something that good would only get 50 % grade!  I really liked them, but my husband and several of my kids thought it tasted "off".  My guess is that my kids wanted a second flour in this recipe that toned down the natural nutty flavor of the quinoa flour.

I couldn't leave on that note so I wanted to try my theory about two flours making a difference.   Though I don't think quinoa flour alone is strong like chickpea ( garbanzo bean flour),  it is probably true that some of you would think that it does have a strong enough taste.   I was in luck!  Camilla has an abundance of recipes that call for quinoa flour and oatmeal.  I think that a second "flour" might tone down the "off" taste.

So, next I tried

 Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

These cookies use rolled oats, quinoa flour, and flax meal.    I swapped out raisins for my children's beloved chocolate chip chunks and used granulated sugar instead of the honey and let me tell you, these cookies disappeared!  My family loved these cookies!  The use of oats really added to this cookie.  This one is a keeper.  The use of oatmeal seemed to have done the trick with not too much of that nutty flavor.

Having 500 recipes to choose from, I have to tell you that I have barely scratched the surface of the plethora of recipes this cookbook has to offer.  I still have a lengthy list of recipes that I want to try.  

Highlights of this cookbook:
*has a vegetarian section
*contains recipes for everyday foods using this nutrious grains- 
crackers, breads, dips, desserts, soups, granola, pie crusts 
*creative and foreign dishes for those who want something more exotic

This book has taken my hesitation out of cooking quinoa and I am feeling that I can even begin to experiment with it on my own.  This book makes cooking with this unfamiliar grain, easy.  The recipes were tasty and you are bound to try many recipes that will become your favorites.  

I also adore the fact that if you have multiple allergies that most of these recipes are easily adapted.  I easily replaced her use of up to two eggs with flax eggs with great results.   I also substituted dairy options with my favorite dairy free versions and the recipes were just as scrumptious.  And if you have a sweet tooth like me, then substitute granulated sugar or your other favorite sugar substitutes.    Also, I would recommend trying recipes using each type of quinoa -- 
It is very likely that you will like one more than another, or you make like them all.  I love using quinoa flakes in place of oatmeal in my recipes and you can't taste the difference at all. 

I would definitely recommend buying this book.  It really is a gem!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soy Free Gluten Free Soy Sauce

It is difficult to find a bottle of soy sauce that is soy and gluten free.  There is Coconut Secret Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos  which I do have in my pantry.   It is a good substitute if you are using it for just a few tablespoons but when it is suppose to be a more prominent ingredient in a recipe, it doesn't work for my taste buds.  I stumbled across this recipe at AllRecipes.

Making this soy sauce costs less to make when you are looking at roughly $7.00 for a small 8 oz (1 cup) bottle of Coconut Aminos.  Seven dollars for one cup is a lot if you ask me, or maybe I am just

The one thing that I replaced in this recipe was the beef bouillon granules.  I don't have any on hand because of all the nasty ingredients that are in the most popular brands.  Instead, I use my own homemade broth.  I used 4 ice cubes of homemade broth instead.  Also, if you are allergic to garlic, use a pinch of onion powder instead.


4 Tbsp beef bouillon granules
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dark molasses
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of white or black pepper
pinch of garlic powder
1-1/2 cups of water


In a medium saucepan, place all ingredients and bring to a boil.
Turn down to medium heat and let reduce to about 1 cup of liquid.

Cook's Note:  Place in a jar and into the refrigerator.  Once cooled, spoon off the fat.

Want to know how to make your own broth?  I don't have an official recipe but here is what I do.....I use my largest pot which is 6 quarts.  Now remember one of my kids can't eat beef so I use pork instead to make mine.   Use a less pricey cut of beef, maybe stewed beef meat.  I use pork neck bones.  Place 2 packages of pork neck bones (or stew beef) in the pot.  Add enough water to cover the meat.  Add 2 stalks of celery, 1 large onion, 1 Tbsp Herbes De Provence (I like mine with lavender in the blend), 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, and salt and pepper.  (I chop none of my ingredients.  I add the celery stalks whole and cut the onion into quarters and toss in the cilantro whole.)  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and reduce broth to at least 50%.  Remove the meat after about 1 hour or so and let it continue to reduce.  Let cool some before straining your broth through a sieve or colander.  At a 50% reduction, I get about 8 cups of broth that I pour into ice cube trays and freeze.  I have reduced it further down to a cup and it is pretty concentrated and salty like regular bouillon.   You just don't get as much broth so I usually stick to 50% and salt it according to my tastes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jalapeno Jelly - Corn Free

My garden produced so many jalapenos this year, that I decided to give making jalapeno jelly a try.  I combined a recipe I found at Allrecipes with the Ball Recipe that comes in the pectin box. 

This jelly was fantastic!  I added it to my homemade BBQ sauce and it was delicious!


1 large green pepper
12 jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp shortening
1/1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
4 oz Ball Realfruit Liquid Pectin(1-1/2 pouches of liquid pectin)
6 cup sugar


Combine the green bell pepper and 12 jalapenos in the food processor or blender.  Blend until finely chopped. 

Transfer the peppers to a large saucepan.   Stir in cider vinegar and shortening. Bring to a boil.  Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Stir in sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When mixture comes to a rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down) stir in liquid pectin.  Boil for 4 more minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving headroom.

Seal jars in a hot water bath. Refrigerate jelly after seal is broken.

I couldn't wait to try it, so it isn't quite set up in this picture.
Cook's Note:
Adding 1 Tbsp of shortening helps keep the foam down when it boils.  You can omit it if you would like.

Last time I inquired, the liquid Ball pectin was corn free.  Be sure to check ingredients before using if you are corn free.   Manufacturers change ingredients often.

Uses for Jalapeno Jelly:

* on cheese and crackers

*on fried oysters

* on a savory thumbprint cookie

*a glaze for grilled meats

* brush on grilled shrimp

* a spread for a Monte Crisco sandwich

*add to BBQ sauce

* brush on stone fruit and grill

*add to Italian Salad Dressing

* dipping sauce for fried foods