Goodness Gracious, Sweet Jam of Fire

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“Fire” is a bit dramatic. There’s some heat in this chili jam, but it’s nothing wild. Once upon a time, Trader Joe’s had a Hot and Sweet Chili Jam. It was delicious. I purchased it in triplicate when I ran out.

And then.

Trader Joe’s stopped making it.

At first, I was in denial. Perhaps they hadn’t restocked at my store in a while. Then, I thought they’d start making it again if enough people asked about it.

They did not. I waited two years. Then I found the ingredient list on a photo on Amazon for the discontinued jam. Though I had never made jam, I experimented with the ingredients to get something passably close to the original.

Bring 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup dried minced garlic to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often. To this mixture, add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons pectin, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. When the mixture coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat. Ladle into jars. Heat seal if you’re kooky like that, otherwise store in the fridge for up to a month.

Eat with every cheese plate you ever make, with bagels, straight out of the jar, on ice cream. Bring it to all the picnics and game nights.

 

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Clouds of Whipped Cream

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I know, there’s already a post with a recipe for whipped cream. But with the holidays approaching, you need peppermint whipped cream in your wheelhouse for holiday desserts, hot chocolate, and I won’t tell anyone if you add it to your coffee, too.

Chill a bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Using a mixer (chill the mixer paddles for extra credit), whip 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract. Don’t use spearmint (which makes up the regular “mint extract”). If you’re struggling to find peppermint, check the cake decorating sections of your local grocery store or even craft stores. If you still can’t find it, you can buy entirely too much of it on Amazon.

 

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Griessbandnudeln

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Don’t worry, I can’t pronounce that either.

In a bowl, use a mixer to combine 3 cups of semolina flour, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2-3 minutes. Continue mixing at a slightly faster speed until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and a tight dough ball forms.

Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for one hour.

Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Float a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the surface.

Lightly dust a flat surface with semolina flour. Unwrap the dough and divide into four roughly equal portions. Roll one portion to approximately 1/4″ thick. Use a pizza roller or cookie cutter to cut diamonds or shapes out of your dough.

Drop the noodles into the boiling water. Bring up through the olive oil a couple of times, and cook 4-5 minutes or until tender. Drain and serve as desired.

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Chicken Stock

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To a large stock pot add the bones of one chicken, 2 quartered onions, 3 quartered carrots (scrubbed but not peeled), 3 chopped ribs of celery, 1 large leek (quartered with the greens and ends discarded), 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, 4 sprigs fresh parsley, 3 small bay leaves, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 3 cloves peeled garlic and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Cover all this goodness with water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Keep simmering, partially covered, for 8-10 hours. Check in on it often and add water as needed. Pour through a colander and use as you normally use broth.

If you’re in a hurry or don’t want as full a flavor, you can remove the mixture from the heat when it begins to smell and taste like chicken (about three hours). If you do this, I recommend adding another teaspoon of salt.

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Apple Butter

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Kierra, this one’s for you.

Combine 6 large cored, peeled and sliced apples, 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice, 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon, 1.5 teaspoons ground clove, and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. It doesn’t have to be oven safe, just sturdy. Stir together until the sugar coats apples and occasionally over the next few minutes while the sugar melts. Reduce to low heat and cover the pot. Cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. If you have an immersion blender, this is a great time to break it out; blend everything together until it has a consistency you like. You can also stir vigorously if you don’t have a stick blender. If, after hand mixing, the consistency isn’t quite what you’d like, wait until the apple butter cools and mix in a sturdy blender or food processor.

Enjoy!

 

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