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Delicious 19 cents Don’t Buy Bagels Again Bagels

Delicious 19 cents Don’t Buy Bagels Again Bagels

19.25 oz. bread flour (3 1/2 C.)
1/4 oz. instant dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp.; or 1 envelope active dry)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. hot water (1 1/2 C., 120°–130°F) [340g]
1 1/2 tsp. malt syrup (for the boiling water; alternatively, you can use 1 1/2 tsp. sugar)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water (optional, for toppings)
Toppings: Sesame seed, poppy seed, salt, minced onion/garlic, etc. (Optional)

Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixed, about 5 seconds. With processor running, slowly add the water; process until dough comes together and rides up over the blade, about 30 seconds. Continue processing until dough becomes satiny and elastic, about 30 seconds more. Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. After dough has risen but before you divide and shape it, prepare your water bath: Add the malt syrup to 6 quarts of water over high heat and let it come to a boil as you continue with the following steps. Also: Preheat the oven to 400°F. After dough has doubled in bulk, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and press down with your fingers to expel the gases. Divide dough into 10 equal portions. Ball a portion of dough, then roll it into a “rope” about 7 inches long and about 1 inch thick. (Tip: I like to taper the ends slightly in preparation for the next step.) Wrap the dough around the back of your hand, overlapping the ends in your palm. Place your hand, along with the dough, palm-down on the work surface and roll dough back and forth until ends crimp and seal together. Place dough ring under a span of plastic wrap while you repeat rope-and-loop process with remaining dough portions. Tip: You can brush a little water on the ends to help them stick, but this dough is wet enough that it usually comes together without help. A note on hand size: The recipe calls for wrapping the rope around your palm, but I like a smaller, tighter bagel, so I wrap it around my first three fingers, as shown. If you have a smaller hand, you could probably wrap it around all your fingers. Allow bagels to rise again for 10 minutes. At this point, your malt syrup–water should be boiling. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to carefully add bagels, one at a time, to the water. (Note: no more in the pot than 3 at a time.) Bagels should sink but then rise again after a few seconds. Simmer for 1 minute, flipping bagels at the 30-second mark. Tip: The original recipe calls for this second rising, but I often skip it. I’ve found it makes very little, if any, noticeable difference. Remove bagels from water with skimmer or slotted spoon to a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry. If making plain bagels, move on to placing on baking sheet. For bagel toppings: Place bagels on wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Brush bagel tops with egg-water mixture. Shake on desired toppings. Sesame seed, poppy seed, kosher salt, minced onion, and minced garlic are classic (at least in NYC). The baking sheet will collect excess dry toppings (such as sesame or poppy seeds). Simply pour them back into their containers for reuse. Place bagels on prepared baking sheet. Bake until light brown and shiny, 15 to 20 minutes. Flip, and bake until reverse side is golden-brown and shiny, about 10 minutes more.

DIY Everything Seasoning

DIY Everything Seasoning

1 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds
1 tsp. dehydrated toasted minced onion
1 tsp. dehydrated minced garlic
1 tsp. Dutch blue poppy seeds
1 tsp. charnushka seeds
1 tsp. Maldon sea salt

Optional additions:
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed Aleppo chiles

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy. Serving Suggestions: Sprinkle over bagels and cream cheese, smoked salmon, omelets, homemade breads, biscuits, grilled fish, and more!

Citrus Salt

Citrus Salt

1 T. minced lemon zest
1 T. minced lime zest
1 T. minced orange zest
1/2 C. sea salt, kosher salt or grey salt

Preheat oven to 200F. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients, then spread the mixture on a small rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven to dry for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Pour the mixture in a mini processor and process until finely and evenly ground. Store in a tightly covered jar for up to 2 months.

DIY: Homemade Pectin Stock

DIY: Homemade Pectin Stock

Put 3-4 pounds chopped apples in a non-reactive pan. Add enough water to barely cover apples and bring to a boil. Lower temperature immediately and let simmer until soft, approximately 20-30 minutes. Pour apples and liquid through a fine sieve into a second pot. Without stirring, let this liquid drain overnight. Bring liquid to a boil and cook until it has reduced to half its original volume. Test pectin content (see instructions below) and continue to cook if necessary. Once liquid pectin reaches the desired strength, store it in the fridge or freezer.

Testing the Pectin Level

To determine the amount of pectin in your liquid, put 1 tsp. the liquid on a plate and add 2 tsp. rubbing alcohol to the mix. Swirl the mixture around until clots start to form. It will amaze you, but it will happen: You will know the strength of the pectin by the size of the clots.

You want a fairly large viscous clot to indicate strong pectin. Weak pectin will show up as several small, scattered clumps. If that is the case, bring the liquid back to a boil and reduce further. And toss out the test batch-you don’t want to return that to the pot. Once the pectin reaches the desired strength, refrigerate, freeze, or can it until you make jam. It will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Using Homemade Pectin

As a general guide, 2/3 C. liquid pectin is enough to set 4 C. low-pectin prepared fruit or fruit juice. Here again, you have room for whimsy. If you use strawberries (low in pectin) alone, use the full amount of liquid pectin. If you throw in a few currants (high in pectin) with the strawberries, use less liquid pectin. If you use half currants and half strawberries, you might not need any liquid pectin at all.

In the end, willingness to learn by trial and error and to love whatever the outcome is what will win the day.

Rosemary Salt

Rosemary Salt

3 C. sea salt crystals
1 1/2 C. dried rosemary (cracked rosemary is best)

(If you don’t have cracked rosemary, measure rosemary and put into food processor with steel blade attached. Process about 2 minutes, until rosemary is broken into small bits.) Combine salt and rosemary in food processor and process with steel blade less than one minute, until salt and rosemary are well combined. Don’t process too long. You want this to still have a slightly chunky texture. Suggested uses: Use sparingly, as you would regular salt. Sprinkle on fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocado. An excellent seasoning for eggs, potatoes, butternut squash, or chicken. Delicious on any type of roasted or grilled vegetables.

Beverage Mixes – Easy Gifts

Beverage Mixes – Easy Gifts

Beverage Mixes

cappuccinomixes1Beverage Mixes make wonderful gifts for teachers, family, friends or those last minute gifts for unexpected company. You can package them in Mason jars, jelly jars or any pretty container, including tins, that you have on hand. In the tins be sure to put in a plastic bag first then place in the tin. These are easy, tasty recipes that will bring rave reviews!



~Orange Cappuccino Mix~

1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee
1 tsp. dried orange peel
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Place all items in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high or 30 seconds, stopping blender after 15 seconds to stir until well mixed. Store in tightly covered container. For each serving, place 2 teaspoons mix and 2/3 cup boiling water in mug.
~Spiced Mocha Mix~

1 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons powdered instant coffee
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
In large bowl combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container. For single serving place 3 tablespoons mix in mug and add 3/4 cup boiling water. Makes 2 1/2 cups mix.

~Peach Tea Mix~

1 cup instant tea mix
1 3 ounce box peach-flavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Store in an airtight container. Give with instructions to serve. For one mug use 2 tsp. tea mix with 8 ounces hot water. Makes about 3 1/2 cups tea mix.


~Sugar Free Cherry Tea Mix~

We all know people who are diabetic or simply need to cut down on their sugar intake. This is a great gift, combined with some pumpkin or zucchini bread in a nice basket!

1 package unsweetened cherry-flavored soft drink mix
1 1/4 cups sugar-free instant tea mix (artificially sweetened)
combine items in a small bowl until well blended. Store in an airtight container. To serve, stir 2 teaspoons tea mix into 8 ounces hot or cold water. Makes 1 1/4 cups tea mix.


Instant Cappuccino Mix

1 cup powdered chocolate milk mix
3/4 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container. To serve: Place 1 heaping tablespoon mix in a cup or mug. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir.


Hot Chocolate Mix

1 8 quart box nonfat dry milk
1 6 ounce jar coffee creamer
1 16 ounce dry chocolate milk mix
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Mix all items until well blended. Store in airtight container. To serve add 1/4 cup mix to 2/3 cup hot water. Make 3 quarts. You can also create a gift basket with mini marshmallows, a nice mug, a chocolate coated spoon, and a few peppermint sticks. Place all in a nice wicker basket a6574nd wrap with colored cellophane tied with a bow. Any chocolate fan would love this!
Tips for Wrapping and Giving

Any of the above can be placed in a quart or pint canning jar. Place jar on a large piece of colored cellophane, bring up to the top, gather and tie with raffia. Attach a gift tag with instructions. *The coffees can be part of a gift basket with petite cookies, a pretty coffee mug and a sterling silver spoon, which can be easily found at any antique or thrift store. Place in a nice wicker basket and wrap with cellophane or place in a large gift bag.

Red Robin Seasoning

Red Robin Seasoning


3 T. salt
1 T. instant tomato soup mix (Knorr tomato with basil works great)
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Store in a covered container.

Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

Taco-Seasoning-BLOG-380x4501 Tablespoon Flour
1 Teaspoon Chili powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Minced onion
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Ground oregano

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Instant Pot Pickled Vegetables

Instant Pot Pickled Vegetables

Instant Pot Pickled Vegetables


This is a reminder that just about any vegetable—from cucumbers to beets to cauliflower—can be pickled quickly and used to brighten up otherwise humdrum meals. What you’re doing here is making a super-fast but potent pickling liquid (a strong brine) in the pressure cooker, then pouring it over cleaned and trimmed vegetables that have been packed into glass jars. The pickling happens fast in the intimate quarters of the jars, with a little extra time to cure in the refrigerator. Use this quick-pickling trick throughout the seasons (if opting for beets, steam and peel them first)


2 cups distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

½ cup sugar

2 T. pickling spices, such as whole cloves, allspice berries, black peppercorns, or mustard seeds

2 bay leaves

1½ T. kosher salt

1 or 2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as dill, rosemary, or cilantro, plus more for serving

1½ pounds fresh vegetables, trimmed, such as whole green beans, cauliflower florets, small carrots, or pickling cucumbers, halved lengthwise


Combine 8 cups water with the vinegar, sugar, pickling spices, bay leaves, salt, and herbs in the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Lock on the lid and Pressure Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Release the pressure manually and open the lid. Pack the vegetables into two clean 1-pint canning jars or airtight containers and fill with the brine, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Discard the extra brine (or use it to quickly pickle a sliced red onion). Let the jars cool completely before refrigerating for up to 1 month. Serve cold or at room temperature, adding fresh-chopped herbs, if desired, before serving. Note: For a little heat in your pickle add a jalapeno pepper, sliced in rounds to the pickling liquid before cooking.

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

newsquare2/3 cup fresh lemon juice or fresh orange juice (if you don’t like sour go with orange!)

2/3 cup frozen or fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries are all great.)

1 – 2 T. honey

5 T. gelatin 

Pour juice and berries into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until berries become tender and begin to soften. Add honey and stir until completely incorporated. You will want the fruit to dissolve quite a bit until you have a compote. Puree mixture using an immersion blender or small blender. Let sit, off heat, for 5 – 10 minutes. Whisk in gelatin, one tablespoon at a time. Whisk vigorously until completely incorporated, mixing the gelatin in very gradually to avoid lumps. (If you do get lumps, just run the mixture through your blender again or you can put it back on the heat to help dissolve the gelatin.) Pour into a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 glass dish. Refrigerate until set (30 minutes to an hour). Cut in small squares.

Note: I like to keep these in my fridge (I love cold things!), but they do transport and keep nicely at room temperature.



A simple Greek seasoning, often used on potatoes.

4 tsp. Salt
8 tsp. dried Oregano
1 tsp. fresh cracked Pepper

Mix all together and keep in tight container.

Homemade Ranch Dressing: Dry Mix Recipe

Homemade Ranch Dressing: Dry Mix Recipe

Homemade Ranch Dressing Dry Mix Recipe1/2 C. powdered Buttermilk
3 T. dried Parsley
1 T. dried Dill Weed
½ T. dried Thyme
1 T. Onion Powder
1 T. Salt (celery salt)
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
3/4 tsp. Pepper
Optional: ¼ tsp. Accent (MSG)

Combine in a food processor and blend into a powdery consistency. Store in a container of choice.

To make ranch dressing: Combine 1 T. mix with 1 C. mayonnaise and 1/2 C. milk. Mix with wire whisk. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

To make a ranch dip: Combine 2 T. mix with 1 C. sour cream. Mix with wire whisk. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Homemade Italian Dressing: Dry Mix Recipe

Homemade Italian Dressing: Dry Mix Recipe

Homemade Italian Dressing Dry Mix Recipe

1½ tsp. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
2 T. oregano, ground or leaves
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. granulated sugar
2 T. salt or substitute
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground basil or leaves
¼ tsp. ground thyme or leaves
½ tsp. dried celery leaves or flakes

Mix all ingredients together and store in air-tight container.

To Make Dressing: Mix 2 tbs of this mix with ¼ C. vinegar, 2 tbs water, and ½ to ⅔ C. olive oil or canola oil. Shake before using.

Fuego Spice Mix

Fuego Spice Mix

This fiery spice blend is perfect for seasoning grilled steaks, chops, chicken and fish.  Just rub it on the meat right before cooking.  You can add a pinch to sautéed vegetables, or use it to season homemade tortilla chips, French fries, or popcorn.


¼ C. paprika

2 tsp. Cayenne

2 T. Salt

2 tsp. Ground White Pepper

2 T. ground Black Pepper

2 T. Granulated Garlic

2 T. Chile Powder

2 T. Oregano


Combine all ingredients, mixing well.  Store in air tight container, out of direct light, for up to 6 months.


From Chevy’s Tex Mex Cookbook







Campfire Cocoa Mix

Campfire Cocoa Mix

1 9.6oz. pkg. powdered Dry Milk

1 1/4 C. Chocolate Quick

3/4 C. Non-Dairy Creamer

1/3 C. Powdered Sugar

Dash Salt

Mix all ingredients in re-sealable container or bag.  For each serving mix 3-4 tablespoons dry mix in a mug.  Fill with one cup boiling water.

LTS Cream of Anything Soup Mix

LTS Cream of Anything Soup Mix

LTS Cream of Anything Soup Mix


2 C. non-fat dried milk powder

1 1/2 C. cornstarch

1/2 C. chicken, beef, or veggie bouillon

1/2 C. dried minced onions

2 tsp. dried basil

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 to 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper


Mix together in a large bowl.  Pour into lidded container.  For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup, mix 1/3 C. mix with 1 1/4 C. cold water.  Cook until thickened.  Add additional ingredients as desired. For cream of mushroom, add 1/4 C. chopped fresh, canned or freeze dried mushrooms. For cream of celery, add 1/4 C. of freeze dried celery, etc.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Mix (with Variations)

Homemade Hamburger Helper Mix (with Variations)


Homemade Hamburger Helper Mix


1 1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 T. garlic powder

2 T. dried parsley

1/3 cup instant onion

3 T. onion powder

1 T. salt

1 2/3 cup dry milk

3 1/2 T. beef bouillon

Mix this all up and store in a glass jar or other sealed container.


Use 1/2 cup for each pound of ground meat.


Basic recipe:


1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup of mix (above)

1 to 2 cups noodles (elbow macaroni for example)

1 1/2 to 3 cups water



Brown and drain the ground beef. Stir in the dry mix, then add 2 cups hot water and 2 cups noodles. You can add more or less water and noodles, proportionately, depending on much you need to stretch that pound of beef. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.


Cheeseburger skillet: add 1 cup dehydrated cheese with the dry mix. Or cook as above, then stir in 2 cups grated Cheddar or Colby cheese before serving.


Stroganoff: add a bit of 1/2 tsp of onion powder and 1/2 tsp celery salt with the dry mix. Stir in a 1/2 cup fresh or canned mushrooms. After cooking noodles, stir in 1/4 cup sour cream just before serving.


Chili: Add one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, 1 T. chili powder.


Potato variation: Instead of macaroni, add 2-3 cups very thinly sliced potatoes. Simmer 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Uncover and simmer until liquid has evaporated.

DIY Flavored Extracts

DIY Flavored Extracts

DIY Flavored Extracts

Vanilla Extract (single 4oz bottle)

  • 3 whole vanilla beans
  • Vodka (You can also use bourbon)

Mint Extract (4oz)

  • ½ C. mint leaves
  • Vodka

Orange Extract (4oz)

  • 1 large navel orange
  • Vodka

Lemon Extract (4oz)

  • 1 large lemon
  • Vodka

To make Vanilla Extract:

  1. Cut your vanilla beans in half, then split open each half to expose the vanilla seeds on the inside of the pod.
  2. Place cut vanilla beans inside your glass bottle.
  3. Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  4. Seal tightly and store bottle in a cool, dry place.
  5. Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  6. After 5-6 weeks, you have extract! (If you leave in your vanilla beans, when you start running low, just add more vodka and wait a little.)

To make Mint Extract:

  1. Stuff mint leaves into your glass bottle.
  2. Using a chopstick, skewer, or other poking device, lightly bruise/crush the leaves inside the bottle.
  3. Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  4. Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  5. After 5-6 weeks, you have extract! (I’m not sure if, like vanilla extract, you can just leave the mint leaves inside. Since it’s leafy plant matter which disintegrates more easily, it may be a good idea to take it out. My leaves went from a vibrant green in the beginning to kind of a dull brown by the end so I took them out just to be safe – I poured my mint extract into another container through a sieve and discarded the mint leaves, then poured the filtered extract back into the bottle.)

To make Orange Extract:

  1. Peel thin strips of zest from ½ of your orange.
  2. Place zest into your glass bottle.
  3. Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  4. Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  5. After 5-6 weeks, you have extract! (I think with citrus peels the acid (and alcohol bath), it’s probably safe to leave the peels inside the bottle like a vanilla bean for re-fill purposes. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, take it out!)

To make Lemon Extract:

  1. Peel thin strips of zest from your lemon.
  2. Place zest into your glass bottle.
  3. Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  4. Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  5. After 5-6 weeks, you have extract!
Canning Tomato Paste

Canning Tomato Paste

Canning Tomato Paste


3 gallons quartered Roma or other paste tomatoes

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 bay leaf

½ tsp. kosher salt

6 tsp. bottled lemon juice, divided


In a large pot set over high heat, combine the tomatoes, red bell pepper, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft. Using a potato masher, press the tomatoes down and release their juices while they are cooking. Using a food mill, pass the mixture through to puree. Discard the seeds and skins. Transfer the puree to an uncovered slow cooker set on low.  Cook the tomatoes for 8 hours, stirring hourly. As it thickens and reduces, check more frequently to prevent scorching. Prepare a hot water bath. Place the jars in it to keep warm. Wash the lids and rings in hot, soapy water, and set aside. To each jar, add 3/4 tsp. of lemon juice. Ladle the hot paste into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a nonmetallic utensil to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rims clean and seal with the lids and rings. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars rest in the water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water canner. Set aside to cool for 12 hours. Check the lids for proper seals (see here). Remove the rings, wipe the jars, label and date them, and transfer to a cupboard or pantry. Refrigerate any jars that don’t seal properly, and use within 3 weeks. Properly sealed jars will last in the cupboard for 12 months. Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 3 weeks.

Fresh-Peach-Infused Vinegar

Fresh-Peach-Infused Vinegar

Fresh-Peach-Infused Vinegar

6 pounds peaches (overripe, pitted and roughly chopped)

3 cups white wine vinegar

1/2 cup honey


Bring peaches, vinegar, and honey to a simmer in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Cover, and let cool completely. Working in batches, puree peach mixture in a food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds. Strain through a fine sieve into a large nonreactive bowl. Line sieve with cheesecloth, and place over another large nonreactive bowl. Pour strained peach mixture into sieve. (Do not press solids in sieve.) Cover with plastic wrap and let mixture strain in refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days). Uncover, and remove sieve from bowl. Discard solids. Pour peach vinegar into a resealable nonreactive bottle or jar.

Gourmet Oregon Hazelnut Butter

Gourmet Oregon Hazelnut Butter

Gourmet Oregon Hazelnut Butter

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/3 cup Oregon hazelnuts, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

dash celery salt

dash cayenne pepper


Soften butter or margarine until just workable. Add other ingredients and thoroughly blend together. Serve at room temperature to top fish, chicken or warm vegetables. Will top six salmon steaks generously.

Calendula-Infused Coconut Oil

Calendula-Infused Coconut Oil

Calendula-Infused Coconut Oil

2 C. melted extra-virgin coconut oil (see step 1)

2 C. dried calendula petals

1 pint glass jar with lid, preferably dark in color


If the oil is solid, set the jar in a saucepan with 1 to 2 inches of simmering water. Swirl the jar around from time to time and remove when the oil has melted. This works for glass jars only. If your coconut oil is in a plastic jar, transfer some to a glass jar before melting in simmering water, then measure 2 cups. Pour the petals into the empty jar. Pour melted oil over petals, filling the jar to within one or two inches of the top. Loosely cap, label, and set in a sunny window or other warm spot to steep for 2 weeks or up to 1 month. Gently swirl the jar a couple of times a day. Secure the cap and store in a cool, dark place. To use, bring the oil back to liquid if it is solid, using the method in step 1. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined metal strainer into a glass measuring C. or jug. Gather up the four comers of the cheesecloth, twist, and squeeze the petals to release all the oil. Discard petals and cheesecloth. Pour calendula-infused oil into smaller jars. Cap, label, and store jars in a cool, dark cupboard or refrigerator.

Cherry Tomato & Star Anise Jam

Cherry Tomato & Star Anise Jam

Cherry Tomato & Star Anise Jam

2 C. cherry tomatoes; halved (amount after slicing)

1/2 C. dark plums; chopped (optional)

1/2 C. sugar + 1/2 C. date honey

1 T. lemon juice

2 star anise seeds


Over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Bring it to a boil, constantly stirring for about 10 minutes. When film begins to form spoon it off and discard. After about 10 minutes, let it simmer for about 5 more minutes. You don’t have to stir it but keep an eye to make sure nothing is sticking and burning. Turn off the heat, let it sit for about 10 minutes or so and then transfer to a jar. It stays good for about 2 wks.

Lemongrass Ginger Syrup

Lemongrass Ginger Syrup

Lemongrass Ginger Syrup

Great way to make use / preserve ginger. Use for marinades, to sweeten tea or other beverages, or mix with sparkling water and lemon juice for a homemade ginger ale.

570 grams fresh ginger

3 stalks lemongrass

2 C. water

6 C. granulated sugar


Thoroughly wash the ginger. You don’t need to peel it, but break off any hanging pieces as dirt sometimes gets trapped between nodes. Roughly chop the ginger and lemongrass and add it to a food processor along with the lemongrass and 2 C. of water. Process until the mixture is pureed, scraping down the sides a few times with a spatula. Line a 2 C. liquid measuring C. with multiple layers of cheese cloth, or a single layer of fine-mesh muslin and scoop the ginger mixture onto the cheese cloth; you’ll probably need to do this in batches. Gather up the edges of the cloth and twist the edges towards the bulge of ginger to wring out as much liquid as you can. Discard the pulp and repeat until you’ve squeezed out all the ginger juice. You should now have 4 C. of liquid. If you don’t have 4 C., the ginger you used may have not been fresh, but just add water to make 4 C.. Add the ginger juice to a large pot along with 6 C. of sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat to a full simmer. It has a tendency to boil over, so keep a constant eye on it and lower the temperature if it looks like it’s going to boil over. The impurities that made the juice cloudy will float to the top as foam, so use a fine mesh skimmer or spoon to remove the foam from the syrup and discard. After the foam stops forming and the syrup is clear, your ginger syrup is done. You can pour the hot syrup into sterilized glass bottles, or let it cool and transfer it to a suitable container. Stored in the fridge it will last for 6 months.

Chex Party Mix

Chex Party Mix

1 C. Butter

3 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

2-4 Drops Hot Pepper Sauce

6 C. small Pretzels or Pretzel Sticks

5 C. Cheerios

4 C. Wheat Chex

4 C. Rice or Corn Chex

3 C. Mixed Nuts


On saucepan mix butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and pepper sauce.  Heat and stir until butter is melted.  In large roasting pan mix remaining ingredients.  Drizzle with butter mixture and toss to coat.  Bake in 300F oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Spread on foil to cool.

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper

1 pound ground beef

1 large sweet onion, diced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

8 ounces brown mushrooms, chopped

2 tsp. ketchup

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

4 C. beef or chicken broth

8 ounces elbow macaroni

4 ounces provolone cheese slices, chopped (or 4 ounces shredded)

2 tsp. minced parsley, for garnish



Add the ground beef to a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook until a brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart. Sauté until no longer pink. Add the onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then add macaroni. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 5-7 minutes or until noodles are just barely al dente (do not overcook), stirring once to make sure nothing is sticking. Remove cover, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken before serving. Turn off the heat, add in the provolone cheese and stir until melted and well combined. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve.

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 C. beef broth

1 tsp. yellow mustard

1/2 C. ketchup

1/4 C. tomato paste

1 tsp. pickle juice (optional)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

8 ounces macaroni

1 C. (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated

Scallions, chopped, for serving (optional)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the beef, onions and garlic, breaking apart the meat as you go, until the onions are soft and the meat cooked through. Drain off grease and return pan to heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, pickle juice (if using), salt, and pepper. Add to meat. Bring the meat mixture to a boil, then add macaroni. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cover. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pasta is tender (check it a couple of times during cooking to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to the bottom).  When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Stir until melted, about 1 minute. Top with scallions, if desired, and serve immediately.




10 large lemons

4 C. (946 ml) 100 proof grain vodka

4 C. (946 ml) water

3 3⁄4 C. granulated sugar


Peel the lemons, making sure not to get any of the white pith (reserve the remainder of the lemons

for another use). In a large airtight container, combine the vodka and lemon peel, cover, and let the

flavors infuse for 5 days. In a 3-quart pan, add the water and the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Add the simple syrup to the infused alcohol and then set aside for 2 more days. Strain the mixture

through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean glass bottle and discard the lemon zest. Serve chilled.

Berry Vinegar

Berry Vinegar

Berry Vinegar

This vinegar has a bright taste and a gorgeous color. Decant it into clean recycled bottles of all shapes and sizes for lovely homemade holiday gifts.

2 cups berries

2 cups distilled white vinegar

Puree the berries and vinegar in a blender. Transfer to a quart jar. Let stand 5 to 7 days in a cool, dark place, shaking the jar daily to blend the flavors. Strain through a double thickness of cheesecloth and discard the solids. Return the strained vinegar to the jar or decant into a decorative bottle. Vinegar keeps at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Fabulous Clusters Granola

Fabulous Clusters Granola

Okay, so what exactly makes this granola different? One thing is the addition of oat flour, which helps the grains and nuts stick together into those much-coveted clusters. Another is the use of sugar; as much I like liquid sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, they seem to produce a tougher, chewier granola. Finally, the right kind of oats are essential. For years I only baked with regular rolled (‘old fashioned’) oats because that’s what recipes called for, but as soon as I switched to the smaller, thinner ‘quick oats’, the changes were remarkable—clusters formed, everything baked faster, and the texture became exquisitely light and crunchy. If you can’t find quick oats where you live—and I have lived in a few places where oats come in one variety only—here’s what I would do: pulse rolled oats in a food processor a few times to break them down to about half their original size. It won’t be exactly the same but it will come close.

1 lb. (450g) quick oats
3 C. coarsely chopped raw nuts and/or seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground mace (or nutmeg)
1 C., packed (200g) dark brown sugar
1/2 C. (115g/1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 C. (80ml) water
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Dried fruit, at your discretion

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C. In a food processor, coffee grinder or blender, grind half the oats to a fine powder. In a large bowl, combine the whole oats, ground oats, nuts, seeds and spices. In a microwave-safe bowl (or in a saucepan over medium heat), combine the brown sugar, butter and water and heat just until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Stir the mixture together until smooth, then stir in the salt and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the oats and nuts, stirring well to coat (I usually do this with my hands). It should be uniformly moist – stir in another tsp. or two of water if it isn’t. Let stand for about ten minutes. Spread the mixture out on a large baking sheet, separating it into irregular clumps with your fingers, and allowing space between the clumps for the hot air to circulate. Slide into the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and stir, gently breaking up the mixture into small-to-medium sized clumps. Return to the oven and bake another 15 minutes or so before stirring again. Repeat the bake-and-stir until the mixture is a uniform golden brown and completely dry; this usually takes 1-1 1/2 hours. Cool completely, then stir in any dried fruit you want to use. Store in a covered container at room temperature. Serve with milk or plain yogurt and fresh fruit as desired.

Homemade Curry Powder

Homemade Curry Powder

from Cooking Light, September 2003

3 T. Hungarian Paprika
2 tsp. ground Cumin
2 tsp. ground Fennel Seed
2 tsp. ground Mustard
2 tsp. ground Red Pepper
1 T. ground Coriander
1 T. ground Turmeric
1 tsp. ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground Cloves

Combine all ingredients. Store in a cool dark place for up to 2 months.

Yield: 1/2 cup

Salt Free Taco Seasoning Mix

Salt Free Taco Seasoning Mix

1 T. dehydrated onion
6 tsp. chili powder
5 tsp. paprika
4-1/2 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. onion powder
2-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine ingredients and store in airtight container. To prepare, brown 1 lb beef, add 3 T. seasoning and 1/2 C. water. Simmer until water is absorbed.

Salt Free Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning Mix

Salt Free Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning Mix

1/2 C. Onion Flakes
1/2 C. Parsley Flakes
2 T. Dried Oregano
2 T. Sugar (or equvilent in Splenda)
1 T. Dried Basil
1 T. Dried Thyme
2 tsp. Black Pepper
2 tsp. Garlic Flakes
4 lg. Bay Leaves, crumbled

Place all ingredients in 1 point jar, cover tightly and shake well to mix. Store in a cool dry place for up to 2 months. Use 1/2 C. mix in average pot of spaghetti.

Mild Curry Powder

Mild Curry Powder

3 T. Paprika
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. ground Tumeric
1 tsp. ground Coriander
1/2 tsp. ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground Red Pepper

Combine all ingredients. Yield: 1/3 C.

Seasoning Salt

Seasoning Salt

3 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. Paprika
¼ tsp. Turmeric

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid. Tightly close the lid and shake very well to combine all ingredients.

Savory Italian Seasoning Salt

Savory Italian Seasoning Salt

4 whole Dried Red Chiles
¼ C. dehydrated minced Garlic
½ C. dehydrated minced Onion
¼ C. dried Oregano Leaves
¼ C. dried Parsley Leaves
¼ C. Salt
2 tsp. dried Rosemary

In a blender moving at low speed, drop in red chile peppers, garlic, onion, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and rosemary one by one. Put the lid on the blender, turn the speed to high and blend to get a finely powdered mixture.

Hot ‘N Spicy Seasoning

Hot ‘N Spicy Seasoning

11/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
11/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. basil, dried
11/2 tsp. thyme, dried

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Chili and Spice Seasoning

Chili and Spice Seasoning

1/4 C. paprika
2 T. dried oregano, crushed
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. red (cayenne) pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Mix together all ingredients. Store in airtight container.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

taco-seasoning-recipe6 T. chili powder
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 T. paprika
3 T. cumin
2 T. Kosher salt
2 T. black pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a jar or a container with a lid and shake, shake, shake.