Cool Stuff – Sauces & Condiments
“Herbal Sugars”

Since we’re officially in Spring now, herbs are going to take over my life. I love every minute of it. They are growing like wildfire on my deck and on a stump in the front of my house. It thrills me to the core. So I’m going to do everything I can to embrace them. First up: Herbal Sugars. This is a cinch and makes a wonderful gift. And it’s […]

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“Spiced Key Limes in Oil”

Sometimes in the colder months, we need a little spice in life to keep things lively. And sometimes when I cook in these months, I get into a rut and feel like I’m making the same things over and over again. What I love about this recipe is that it is an instant way to add intrigue to any of the dishes in your standard repertoire. Have a favorite chicken […]

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“Homemade Gift Idea: Potted Cheese”

Here I am with another homemade holiday gift idea! On a scale of 1 to 10, how far along are you with your Christmas shopping? I have a little poll on my sidebar that you can take. I’m about 50%… it’s a Christmas miracle really, since I usually am down to the wire. Here is a another fun homemade gift idea that you can make and give away or use […]

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“Homemade Gift Idea: Chinese 5 Spice Blend”

Hi there. I just got back from some Thanksgiving traveling. I drove all the way up through the state of Texas and into Oklahoma for the very first time! The clouds were looming and there was a rain storm and it was thrilling. I’d thought I’d share some of my favorite homemade holiday gift ideas in the next few weeks, since it is easy to become inundated by so many […]

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“Cranberry Relish”

This week I’m doing a series of Thanksgiving recipes before I announce some big news next week. Get ready! I’m going to call this series “Thanksgiving Revisited: How to spice up your Thanksgiving dinner.” It includes a lot of the usual food themes but with a little twist or two. First off, is the wonderful irreplacable cranberry dish. Most people have a nice cranberry sauce. I have to admit, that […]

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“Fig Jam & Other Silliness”

I’ve decided that I might be insane. For example, I drove up to Dallas last night after attending a very important pumpkin carving party where I ate ribs and chicken legs like a cave woman. I couldn’t tell how fast I was going because for some reason the speedometer on my car changed to kilometers so basically I feel like a race car driver at all times now. 125 baby! […]

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“Pickled Peppers”

These are the peppers from my garden this year. You can call me Peter Piper. Thank you. The truth is, that they were planted by my brother’s mischievous friend Francesco. But Francesco dropped off the radar screen sometime in mid-summer when the weeds became unruly and it was time to separate the men from the boys and weed well into the evening. I think I still have a sunburn from […]

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“Pickled Swiss Chard”

On a scale of 1-5, how ambitious were you with your garden this year? I started out extremely ambitious. Like, I’m-the-best-farmer-in-the-world-ambitious. Then I had my ego handed to me on a platter made of corn stalk nubs, meticulously gnawed down by the chipmunks. But there were a few successes. In fact, there were many in the end. It just required a lot of weeding. A lot of weeding. A lot […]

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“Pickled Turnips”

I’m pickling a lot these days. That seems to be the way it goes with summer gardening. You hoe and weed and till and sow and water and worry and then it all comes pouring in at once, faster than you can eat it. When I have this problem, I pickle. Folks, get ready for a lot of pickling posts. It’s a sure path to colorful shelves. And besides, colorful […]

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“Homemade Elderflower Syrup”

The elderflowers are blooming. This is good on many levels. For one, flowers are just a prelude to berries. And berries are just a prelude to jelly. And elderflower jelly is something that my grandmother made as a child with her mother. I’m going to make some and bring it to Grandma Pellegrini. Now that the weather is warmer, Grandma P. can go outdoors. I paid her a visit and […]

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