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General Reference/Tutorial

SaltedVanillaBourbonSugar-medium1
General Reference/Tutorial

Salted Vanilla Bourbon Sugar

A couple of weeks ago, when I made this Peanut Butter Cup Fudge, I also made this sugar and sprinkled it on the top to add a little bit of a textural bit to it. As if the fudge wasn’t over the top as it was, eh? Anyway, turns out that this sugar is pretty over the top as well and I have made it a couple of times since then. Great (really great!) in tea, goes well with fruit, on cereal, a last little bit of flavor in yogurt; I even put just a bit on a steak the other day.
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HomemadeNutella-medium1
Breakfast/Brunch, General Reference/Tutorial, Sweet Snacks

Homemade Nutella

World Nutella Day is coming up tomorrow. Yeah, there is such a thing: World Nutella Day. I’m not making it up. And while I guess that someone at the Ferrero Roche company might object to me calling this homemade hazelnut chocolate spread Nutella, it is more or less the same thing, eh? So there you have it: make your own to celebrate the day!
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Sweet+SpicyPickledPeppers-medium1
General Reference/Tutorial

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Peppers

My little patio garden miraculously managed to produce over a pound of peppers: jalapenos, cayenne, cubanelles, Cherry Peppers, Pepperoncini, Hungarian Wax Paprika and 2 very small Scotch Bonnets. While I love chilis, there is a good chance that had I eaten all of these hot (and some sweet) peppers in a short period time, my stomach would not have been so happy with me. So what to do with my pepper bounty? I decided to pickle them. Saves them for a while and very versatile. What to do with pickled peppers: add them to salsa or guacamole, use in vinaigrette. Make cheese quesadillas and sprinkle on a bunch. Add to chili or taco meat. Add as a garnish on fish tacos. Really, the possibilities are endless.

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FigHoneyAndThymeJam-medium1
Appetizers/Starters, General Reference/Tutorial, Savory Snacks, Sweet Snacks

Fig Honey and Thyme Jam

This week, I found myself in possession of a pound and a half of fresh figs. Not sure really how that happened, as figs are expensive and while you can find them a lot of places, certainly less common than say, an apple. Anyway, I absolutely love figs, but there is no chance that I could have eaten all of them (and enjoyed them) in one go, so I decided to make this lovely jam with about 2/3 of the lot. It’s a sweet jam, of course, with notes of honey, thyme and orange, but it pairs really nicely with savory — would go great with pork, and as shown with this cheese (it’s manchego) or even charcuterie. Or mix it into oatmeal or yogurt, or yes, even toast. It’s surprisingly versatile and yummy to boot. Also, it is very easy to make.
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JostaberryJam-medium1
Breakfast/Brunch, General Reference/Tutorial

Easy Jostaberry Jam

What in the world is a jostaberry? Well, I had absolutely no idea wither until I picked them … by accident … thinking that they were large black currants. Oops. They are a hybrid between a black currant, a North American coastal black gooseberry and a regular gooseberry. Of course! I don’t think that this helps anyone much, but is essence, they are a large black currant or a small black gooseberry, about the size of a cultivated blueberry (so not the Maine wild blueberries, but more the high bush kind) that taste a little like a gooseberry and a lot like a black currant. Clear as mud? I thought so.

From a linguistic point of view — me being German and all — it is kind of interesting too: The name Jostaberry was created via combining the German words for blackcurrant and gooseberry, namely Johannisbeere (“Jo”) and Stachelbeere (“Sta”). Following German pronunciation of “J”, it should be pronounced “yostaberry” in English.

But what they really are is a great base for jam. This turned out wonderfully. It’s not too sweet, has the distinct tartness that any currant jam will give you and jelled really nicely as well. It will go great mixed into my morning yogurt.
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