Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Pepper Jelly

There are numerous recipes out there for pepper jelly.  I have to give credit for mine to contributor riffraff.  I have made this version several times and will share what I have learned and my tweaks to the recipe.  My main tweak is the use of dry pectin and the addition of more pectin for a more firm set.  I also recommend processing any canned food according to accepted standards.

Yield: 6 to 7 1/2 pint jars

The Recipe:
  • 1 cup hot peppers, chopped ( I use mostly jalapeno with a mix of other hot peppers from my garden, what ever is on hand)
  • 2 cups bell peppers, chopped - use red, yellow, or orange for greater color in the final product
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic - rough chop is fine
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar ( if you change the vinegar make sure it has the same acidic level as white, 5% or more.)
  • 6 cups sugar ( reduce to 5 for a spicier version)
  • 2 packets Liquid Pectin/ 1 box or 1 box of dry pectin
  • 1/2 tsp. butter

Prep jars and lids

Dry Pectin: See package for more detail on use
  • Mix peppers, garlic and vinegar in a large pot
  • Add pectin and butter to mix and bring to a rolling boil (a boil that does not stop when stirred), stirring often
  • Stir in sugar
  • Return to rolling boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly  
  • Remove from heat and skim off any foam with metal spoon
Liquid Pectin: See package for more detail on use
  • Mix peppers, garlic, vinegar and sugar in a large pot- bring to a rolling boil (a boil that does not stop when stirred), stirring often and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in liquid pectin

Pour in 1/2 pint jars, add lid and ring twisting to finger tight
Process jars in hot water bath
As jars are cooling, about an hour or two after removing from caner, shake jars to distribute the peppers before the jelly sets. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Moravian Chicken Pie

One of my favorites, this pie is one my wife introduced me to.  I believe she got it from a church cookbook years ago.  It is very simple and easy to modify.  She is not a fan of pot pie so this works well and we usually server it with mashed potatoes and green beans. 

3 cup shredded chicken (1 rotisserie chicken works well)
1 ¼ cup Chicken Broth plus 1T.
¼ cup AP Flour
1 double pack unbaked pie crust at room temp
Salt and Pepper to taste

In large mixing bowl add the broth, chicken, flour, salt, and pepper.  Stir together until mixed well. Place first pie shell in bottom of 9 inch pie dish and add mixture.  Cover with second crust, crimping edges.  Brush the top crust with reserved tablespoon chicken stock.  Make a few cuts in top crust and place on shallow baking sheet.  Bake at 350 until golden brown, about 40 minutes or freeze for later. If frozen, back about an hour.  Remove and let stand for 5 minutes.  Cut and server with gravy for best flavor.

2 cups cold chicken stock
4T. unsalted butter
4T. AP Flour

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is brown. Whisk in a cup of the cold chicken stock, and then add the rest of the stock along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, always whisking, and then reduce low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Simmer longer if too thin and or add more stock or water to thin.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kentucky Derby day at Cellar 4201

April and I had a great day watching the Derby race sipping great wine at Cellar 4201 winery in East Bend NC.
 Hidden K Stables Rescue & Rehab will be hosting a Derby Party at Cellar 4

With silver goblet and cigar - life is good

Sipping Cellar 4201 Cherokee Red

Backyard Garden is well under way

It has been 4 years in the making.  Each year brings in new plants, richer and better soil, new fencing (the deer are rampant around here), and a larger foot print.

Starting Plants

From squash, tomatoes, cucumbers to peppers and herbs

The Garden

Nothing beats cheap - Buckets for Tomatoes

Raised bed of cedar

I use a combination of drip lines and mister heads
hooked to a timer for watering
Raised bed - two tier PVC

Herb Garden

Local NC pottery Mushrooms along side some oregano, garlic, and fennel 

Garlic budding

20 Days Later

We have had plenty of rain and cooler temps this spring.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Mangos were on sale this past weekend so we bought 5.  Now what to do with them?

I had planned to make smoothies but then tonight I got the idea for a salsa to go with the roasted chicken we had planned.  It turned out great.

1 Mango diced
1 Avocado
1/4 cup diced onion
1/8 cup cucumber
1/8 cup diced red pepper
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional - Cumin for that Mexican flare

Monday, March 18, 2013

Taste of Spring

The other weekend at the farm I couldn't help but get some spring flower photos.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sunday is a good day to recharge and prep for the coming week.  I spent part of this past Sunday tweaking a pizza sauce and dough recipe from Rachel Ray and made some to freeze.



  • 1 can plum tomatoes (28-32 ounces)
  • * 3-4 tablespoons grated onion (grate over food processor or blender to catch juice)
  • 2 small cloves garlic, pasted or finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel or fennel pollen
  • A few leaves of basil, torn
  • A few grinds of sea salt and pepper
  • * 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Makes topping for 6 to 8 pizzas


Blend the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
*I finely chopped my onion instead of grating it.  I will grate it next time or use a blender.
* I also added a splash of red wine vinegar and omitted the sugar since my tomatoes were a little on the sweet side.

Freezer Prep

I use these screw cap freezer containers a lot and to help with head space I placed a folded piece of plastic wrap inside and pressed it against the sauce to better protect it from freezer burn.  As you can see I don't get very creative with labels and since I reuse the containers I like the P-Touch labels so they can be removed after use.

Pizza Crust 

I adapted this quick and easy pizza dough recipe from Rachel Ray as well.  I subbed out 1 cup of the flour with a whole gran grind that I use for breads and the rest with AP flour. I got four baseball size rounds. I wrapped them individually in plastic wrap and froze them together in a single zip lock bag.


  • About 1/4-1/3 cup dry white wine (a 3-count in slow stream)
  • About 3 teaspoons dry active yeast (1 1/2 envelopes for each batch of dough), such as Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
  • 3/4 cup very warm tap water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 round teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 1/2 cups double zero flour (such as Molino Spadoni brand Gran Mugnaio Farina Tipo OO)
Makes 4 12-inch thin crust pizzas


Combine the wine, yeast and water and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the honey, salt and olive oil, a turn and a half of the mixing bowl, to the bowl, then stir in a cup of flour at a time to incorporate – stir to combine as much flour as possible, then turn out onto floured pastry board or marble counter and combine by hand, then knead for 6-7 minutes. Rinse the bowl, then dry and lightly oil it, return the dough to the bowl and cover with clean towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm corner of the kitchen for about 45 minutes.

Cut the dough into four pieces, knead each piece and cover again. Let stand 15 minutes more, or until ready to make the pizzas