Red Pepper Jelly

Just about (but not quite) as much as I love desserts and sweets, I love appetizers or “pickies” as our family always refered to them as, something to have around, just to pick at.   If it all wasn’t so bad for me I could seriously live off of pickies and dessert.  I can make a meal out of a few pickies.  Dip’s and spreads, cheese and crackers, cold or warm, they are all wonderful.

Quite a few years ago my friend Lisa (the same Lisa, who makes those amazing butter tarts) brought homemade red pepper jelly to work, for break time.  I’d had red pepper jelly in the past and thought, ‘meh’ not a huge fan.  So, when Lisa brought it to work I really only tried it because it was homemade.  Well….am I glad I did, it was amazing!  I am fairly certain I had way more than my fair share that day.  It was like no other pepper jelly I had ever had, sweet and spicy but neither were overpowering.  It was perfect.  I have tried many more since then (which I enjoy) but none have compared, so you can imagine how happy I was when she recently shared her recipe with me.

Lisa’s Red Pepper Jelly

1/4 cup hot peppers

3 cups red peppers

6 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1 pouch liquid Pectin

Directions:

1. Prepare your jars and lids.  If you have a dishwasher start the dishwasher on the sanitizing cycle.  Try to time it so your jars will be finished when your jelly is finished, all dishwashers are different, you know yours.  If you don’t have a dishwasher you will need to sterilize in boiling water

2. Washer peppers well and dice

3. Dice hot pepper **UPDATE NOTE** PLEASE  wear gloves while chopping the peppers! This batch was fine, I did not wear gloves.  We made 2 other batches the next week.  I guess I did not wash my hands quickly enough and 3 hours later my hands were a burning inferno.  3pm – 10:30, when I finally fell asleep it felt like my hands were on fire, nothing took the pain away.  Wear gloves!!!

4. In a large pot combine, peppers, hot peppers, sugar and vinegar, bring to a boil.  Boil 5 minutes

5. Add Pectin, Boil 5 more minutes

6.  Let stand 5 minutes

7. Remove sterile jars from dishwasher. spoon into jars

8.  Secure lids tightly and allow to cool, upside down

9. Once cool turn jars back over and allow to set over night

My favourite way to have red pepper jelly is to spread it atop, cream cheese on Toppable Crackers

Delicious!!! We were very happy with the results.  So much so that we plan to make another 2 batches next week while the peppers are fresh and cheap.   I can’t believe how easy it was to make.  Mom and I thought we had gotten ourselves into a whole day event.  Total time, including dishwasher, and clean up was maximum 2 hours.

For those that were scared away by the 6 cups of sugar….I know it seems like a lot! (and it is!) but this is not something that you eat a lot of or all the time.  It is nice to put out for company or take to a friends, you wouldn’t sit and eat the whole jar (well I could…but I wouldn’t…)

Thank you Lisa, for such a great recipe!

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Dill Pickle Dip

Dill Pickles, you love them or you hate them, I LOVE them! I love anything dill, dill pickle chips, dill pickle popcorn, dill seasoning on veggies or meats and the list goes on.  When I have a dill pickle they must be  either homemade (Gramma makes a good one) or Bick’s, there is really no comparison in my opinion.  There is a wide variety out there but none measure up to the tangy Bick’s Dill Pickle.  I just hate those ones they send out of a plate of food at most restaurants that smell like bad breath and taste even wrose…really what do you put in a pickle to make it smell like that?? It should smell of dill and garlic, not bad breath or feet.

I came across this recipe for Homemade Dill Pickle Dip. I like dill pickle dip, but my Dad LOVES it!  Most people I know don’t really like dill dips, they don’t know what to dip in it.  I dip most anything it dill dip, pretzels, veggies, crackers, but by far, the best thing to dip in dill pickle dip is Salt and Vinegar chips!! (my mouth just salivated).  I know, I know it sounds weird, but TRY IT!  I think it’s because they are both so tangy the combination is amazing (seriously, my taste buds are going crazy here).  I knew as soon as I saw this recipe I was going to make it for Dad.

Dill Pickle Dip

from veryculinary.com via Pinterest

Ingredients
• 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
• 1 cup finely chopped dill pickles
• 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
• 3 tablespoons pickle juice
• 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• pinch black pepper

Directions

1. Beat softened cream cheese, pickle juice, dill weed, salt and pepper with electric beater until smooth and well combined

2. With a spatula fold in remaining chopped pickles and onions

Dip can be stored, tightly covered in the refrigerator, up to a week (although it will loosen as the days go by.)

Serve with veggies, pretzels, spread on sandwiches or chips (especially Salt and Vinegar)

This dip was very good!  I do think that my dill may have been a little old, as it could have been a little stronger.  I will be making this again with new dill to see if that makes a difference.  Dad loved it!  definitely a hit around here and will be made many more times.

Hummus

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Hummus!  How I love thee…  I used to make hummus all the time, but for some reason it has been probably a few years since I have made a batch.    I have been getting tired of the same old veggie dips so I thought I would whip up something home made.

When I used to make hummus I never put in the Tahini (sesame seed paste)  and it always tasted very good.  This time I thought I would try it….well…it makes all the difference in the world.  It tastes so authentic and has amazing flavour.  This will definitely be a staple for me.

I didnt follow a recipe just put in flavours I like

1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed (keep the liquid to add in later)

1 clove of garlic (it was a big one)

4 tsp tahini

pinch cumin

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor/blender (I used the bullet) and add reserved liquid until desired smoothness.  I like mine a little chunky.

Such a great snack.  The flavour possibilities are endless…