Food Archive

Thats a little hot!

Posted August 12, 2015 By Ruth

I made my first batch of hot pepper jelly this week.  Right on schedule.  Except the ingredient list was a little different this year.

Normally I weigh out just short of a pound of red ripe Jalapenos, toss in a single red ripe Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper or ripe Habanero (or just do a full pound of Jalapenos, depending on what we have in the garden), and go from there.

This year the hot pepper growth pattern has been screwy.  The Jalapeno plants are half the size they normally are, and though they’re producing nicely they aren’t as loaded as normal.  However the Hot Wax plants are huge and loaded (normally they’re smaller than the Jalapenos and less loaded).

So I was getting ready to make jelly and realized I had 1/2pound of Jalapenos, and 1/2pound of Hot Wax peppers, and a single ripe Habanero pepper.  So I shrugged and made jelly out of that combination.


I will occasionally eat the tiniest little bit of the pure Jalapeno jelly.  But this batch is way out of my league.  Even Husband choked on it when he had his first taste.  Its a little hot!


I also pulled three cantaloupes out of the garden, a couple more Sugar Baby watermelons, the first harvest of Rattail Radishes, three more zucchini, another two colanders full of tomatoes….

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Posted June 19, 2015 By Ruth

Anyone tried this variety?  It caught my eye, because its rated for down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  Apparently you’re supposed to plant it by the end of the summer, it HAS to over-winter in an actual WINTER, and then you harvest in the spring??

I might have to try it.  I’ll have to cover it for the winter regardless, we regularly dip below 10 in the winter, but the concept is tempting!

Well, crap…..

Posted April 19, 2015 By Ruth

A few weeks ago I posted about a random bout of digestive upset I’d experienced.  I actually posted to early, I ended up experiencing random digestive problems for the rest of that week.  Not cool.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem was.  And since then I’ve eaten large quantities of dairy (including the rest of my homemade velveeta) with no problems.  Prior to the incident I’d used duck eggs in a variety of baked goods.  And I’ve eaten duck meat with no problems.

Last weekend I made pancakes for breakfast for me and my husband, and (after performing a float test to be sure the egg was still ok) I used one of the remaining duck eggs I had in the fridge in the pancake mix.

About an hour later I had gas, bloating, general stomach upset, and acid reflux again.  And once again I had random stomach upset for the next couple days.  My husband, who ate from the same batch of pancakes at the same time as I experienced none of it.

I guess that answers that question.  No more duck eggs for me except in larger baked goods like breads or cookies.  Which means that my thoughts of eventually getting Muscovy ducks instead of chickens isn’t going to happen either…..


Posted January 9, 2015 By Ruth

Just because



Recipe HERE.  And if you take care to actually follow the directions to the letter its basically fool proof.

Smoked chicken for lunch meat

Posted January 2, 2015 By Ruth

3 chicken breasts (I didn’t weigh them, but they were pretty average sized)

Brined for 4hrs: 4 cups of water, 1/4cup sea salt, 1/4 turbinado sugar, 1 bay leaf, a heavy sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes

Smoked over hickory chunks.

Supposed to be to 165 internal, which should have taken about 1.5-2hrs, but I had a thermometer malfunction (its an elderly cheap digital and it didn’t like the outdoor temps of upper 20’s), and so they went a bit longer than they should have (closer to 2.5hrs) in order to be on the safe side.  As a result they ended up a bit dryer than ideal.

Still tasty though, and they’ll work very very well for sandwich slices which was the point of the exercise.  They aren’t going to last long though.  I smoked them yesterday and between Husband and I they’re already half gone!

Gonna do turkey breasts next time….

Gonna have to buy a proper smoker and wireless thermometer if we keep on doing this……

Home made peppermint marshmallows are evil

Posted December 23, 2014 By Ruth

and since I’ve already screwed with my chances of not gaining weight for the holidays I’m going to share the recipe 😉

Original basic marshmallow recipe here.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract at the same time you add the vanilla.

For a softer, almost melt in your mouth, marshmallow whip for the lesser amount of time (I barely did 10 minutes for this batch).

For a firmer “holds up better to toasting for s’mores” marshmallow whip for an extended period of time, 15minutes minimum, upwards of 20 reported by commenters on Facebook.

Its surprisingly easy to make these btw.  You’ll need a candy thermometer (or a solid understanding of how to tell the candy stages apart), and you really do want a stand mixer, but you could do it with a powered hand mixer if you wanted, though you’d have to be extra sure of your prep ahead of time and you might need an extra set of hands for the mixing of the sugar syrup and the gelatin.  The only strict part is the pulling them off the stove at the right temp part.  And the only pain in the butt part is the cutting them apart and keeping them from sticking to everything part.  Btw, I never have cornstarch on hand, I always just use extra powdered sugar.

I got 2lbs of marshmallows out of this batch…….

Home made hot pepper powder

Posted December 4, 2014 By Ruth

5 1-gallon Ziplocks of hot peppers (jalapenos, habaneros, and Hungarian Hot Wax) from the garden (rough chopped and frozen) went into the dehydrator on Monday.  

Overnight between Wednesday and Thursday the eye-watering scent from the dehydrator (which is in the garage for a reason) abruptly cut itself down to less than 1/4 of what it had been.  A check of the peppers showed them to be nice and crisp.  

The dehydrated pepper pieces fit into a single gallon ziplock.

A run through the food processor and we have hot pepper powder for seasoning.  And my sinuses are clearer than they’ve been in weeks…..


Its a fairly roughly chopped “powder”, but that was about all my sinuses would take…..

Smoked Turkey Breast and Hot Wings

Posted November 7, 2014 By Ruth

So on a whim I picked up a boneless turkey breast to smoke, and, after poking around a couple places, I picked up some chicken wings to try too.

Turkey breast was brined for 6hrs in an impromptu brine of water, salt, raw sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, powdered mustard, pepper, a bay leaf, and allspice.  Smoked (with hickory) for 2.5hrs, with the smoker running about 200-225.  It weight 1.8lbs raw.  Internal temp was 155 when I pulled it off the smoker, I wrapped it in foil and carryover brought it to 160.

Wings were brined in water, salt, sugar, and garlic.  Smoked for 2hrs 15minutes.  Hot sauce was butter (1stick), 1/4cup of Red Hot, 1/2tsp of garlic, 1/4tsp salt, and one chopped habenaro.  It was brushed on the wings before smoking, and every 45minutes during smoking.

Oh yah, we’ll be doing that again!

Quick and easy rolls

Posted November 6, 2014 By Ruth

I found this recipe here.

Ok, first off, despite the title of that recipe, they’re not 30 minute rolls.  If you actually follow the timing instructions you’re looking at a good 40 minutes from start to finish.  And mine took ALOT longer to bake than hers.  Could be my oven (though thats new and two different thermomters say its heating right), could be my pan (though I’ve now tried this with three different pans).  But give yourself an hour to make these.

Having said that, they’re still a very quick, very easy, dinner or small sandwich roll.  See the above link for the original recipe, below for my version of it

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (yes, TABLESPOONS)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3.5 to 4 cups flour (AP is fine)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Thoroughly butter the inside of your pan (see below).

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes or so, till the mixture is bubbly and foamy.

Mix the oil, 2 cups of flour, the salt, and the egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.  It should be smooth and not overly sticky when its ready to go.

Shape dough into 8-12 balls and place in your pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are just golden brown.


Pans: she recommends a 9×13 pan.  After trying a couple different pans I ended up settling on my cast iron Dutch Oven of all things.  Setting it on top of the stove while the oven is heating (and for the “resting” time) warms it a bit.  To bake in the Dutch Oven, leave the lid on for the resting stage, and the first 5 minutes of the baking time.  After 5 minutes remove the lid, and let them bake till golden.  This produces a fairly high risen roll.  However they still took 30minutes to bake for me no matter WHICH pan I used.


I have to admit that we mostly use them for sandwich rolls, and infact these are the current running favorite for sandwiches in the house.  The fact that they’re very quick and easy to make helps with that.  The olive oil flavor comes through nicely and blends well with the sandwiches, though not so much if you just want a buttered roll.

Smoking (meat)….bleg?

Posted September 30, 2014 By Ruth

Ok, so at my (husband’s) nephew’s birthday party this summer they had a cousin (ok, technically my husband’s sister’s husband’s cousin’s husband) smoke a pork butt for pulled pork as well as do up some chicken in his smoker.

I wasn’t entirely thrilled.  About the only smoked meat I like is bacon, and pretty much the only pork I eat is bacon, so I settled on a small piece of chicken, and planned to eat alot of cake (hardship that that is).

But dang that pulled pork smelled good.  So I ended up going back to grab some, I figured eating a bite or two would fix that problem.  And then I went back a 2nd time and loaded up my plate….

And then I tracked down the (husband’s sister’s husband’s cousin’s husband) cousin who made it and demanded the recipe for his pulled pork.  He was kind enough to email it to me.

So yah, next step was a smoker.  Picked up a seriously cheap electric smoker off craigslist ($40, but it wasn’t exactly a high end unit to begin with), made a couple of the recommended modifications to the unit that made sense to me (like, putting in a proper thermometer instead of the “cool, ideal, hot” one it had).  I figure its easy enough to upgrade to a better unit later if we actually end up using it.

The guy added in a half bag of hickory chunks when we picked it up.  So I should be good for a couple runs of smoking meat before having to find more wood.

When I make our grocery run Thursday or Friday I’m going to pick up the various ingredients I need.  Hopefully this weekend I’ll be giving this a try. 

I know there’s folks out there who smoke meat on a regular basis.  So tell me what I need to know before I go and do this for real…..