Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hot Pepper Jelly

Now that it’s late into the summer, the only thing surviving (thriving, in fact) in the garden is hot peppers.  So what else can you do but make hot sauce and pepper jelly!  We like our pepper jelly hot.  If you prefer a milder version, you can substitute bell peppers or any other mild variety for half of the hot peppers.  This recipe makes four ½-pint jars of jelly.

Pepper jelly on crackers with cream cheese - always a summer favorite!

  • 1 cup of chopped red peppers (hot, whatever kind you grow or have access to – for this recipe we used Habanero, Jalapeno, and Ascent Cayenne peppers from our garden)
  • 1 3-ounce package liquid pectin
  • 1 ¼ cups cider vinegar
  • 3 cups of white sugar (the only kind that sets up right, we’ve found)

  • Sterilize the four jelly jars in hot water and set aside
  • Chop and seed the hot peppers
  • Process in food processor until finely minced
  • Combine peppers, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan
  • Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil over high heat
  • Remove from heat and stir in the pectin
  • Return to heat and bring to a full boil again. Boil and stir constantly for one minute exactly
  • Ladle the jelly into the sterile jars leaving ¼” of headspace
  • Wipe any spilled jelly from lip of jars and put lids on immediately (seal tightly!)
  • Return filled jars to saucepan of water (just to the lids, not submerged) and boil for exactly five minutes
  • Remove jars with tongs and allow to cool
  • Let the jelly set up for approximately 24-hours or more before eating
  • Serve over cream cheese on crackers, or however you like!  Enjoy.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


We recently went to a local Greek restaurant and tried their Lavash as an appetizer.  It was so wonderful that we had to try it at home.  This flatbread is easy to make and ready in less than two hours.  It’s perfect as an appetizer, or for a dinner bread.  A few fresh things from the garden can really spruce it up nicely!   This recipe makes about 8 Lavash.

Hot from the oven.  Yum!  Make plenty, they go fast.


for the dough
  •  1 teaspoons instant yeast
  •  8 ounces (about 1 ½  cups) all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoons salt
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) water
  •  1 ½  tablespoons olive oil
for the toppings
  •  1 cup grated Havarti cheese  
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced  (with some of the green part)
  •  2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  •  2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  •  8 large fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
In a large bowl, use a mixer to stir together the dry ingredients. Combine the water and oil and add it to the mixer. Keep stirring on low setting until the dough comes together, then turn the mixer to medium high and beat for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (it will be quite wet.)

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic and let it rise until it’s doubled, about 1 ½  hours.   Preheat oven oven to 500 degrees and set a pizza stone on a middle rack (if you don’t have a stone, use a heavy baking tray, but a pizza stone works best.)  Tear off a piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball, and put it on a well-floured piece of parchment paper. Keep the rest of the dough covered. Dust the dough and a rolling pin with flour, then roll the dough out until it’s a fairly thin circle.  Using a pair of scissors, trim the parchment paper to a circular shape around the edge of the bread circle (you can fit more on the pizza stone this way.)

Trimming the parchment paper to the edges of the Lavash circles.

Slide the parchment sheet with the dough off the kitchen counter onto the pizza stone.  Bake the bread about 3 minutes, until it “puffs” with a few light brown spots on the bottom (you might poke the puffy areas with a fork to allow to flatten back out.)  Remove it from the oven and allow to cool briefly.  Top the bread circles evenly with the Havarti cheese, green onions, tomatoes, garlic and basil.  Return to the oven and broil for about 1 minute, until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Some fresh garlic and tomatoes from the garden for toppings.