Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

1 ½ lbs. bacon (I used thick cut peppered bacon from North Country Smokehouse)
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
One tart apple, cored, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ c cider vinegar
½ c dark brown sugar
¼ c + maple syrup
½ c bourbon
¼ c coffee
½ t chipotle chile, ground
½ t ancho chiles, ground
½ t salt

Cut the bacon crosswise into matchsticks.  Cook over medium-low heat until much of the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.  You’ll probably need to divide the bacon into two or three parts to effectively cook it.  Remove bacon and drain well.

Drain off most of the grease and reserve for another use.  Add diced onions to the pan and cook until translucent and softened.  Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, then add bacon and stir to combine, then add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil while stirring to remove delicious crusty bits from the pan.

Scrape the pan thoroughly into a crock pot and cook for about 4 hours until thick and syrupy.  Remove and process in a food processor or blender until slightly chunky,

Allow to cool slightly and taste for seasoning adjustments (I added a but more maple syrup).  Transfer to smaller containers.  Use or freeze within a month.


Dilly Sprouts

2 lbs small/medium Brussels sprouts, picked over and trimmed
1/4  t red pepper flakes per jar
1 clove fresh garlic per jar
1 head of fresh dill or 1 T dried dill weed per jar
3 T canning salt + more for blanching
2 1/2 c water
2 1/2 c cider vinegar

Prepare water bath canner.  Heat jars in canner.

Sort sprouts by size. Blanch in boiling salted water (1 T per gal) 2 minutes for small sprouts, 3 minutes for medium sprouts.  (Save larger sprouts for another use).  While blanching water comes to a boil, in a separate pot bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil.

Add garlic clove, dill and ped pepper flakes and pack sprouts into hot jars.  Pour brine over sprouts, releasing air bubbles and pressing gently to fit sprouts into jars.  Process in BWB for 15 minutes.  Allow to mellow for a month and enjoy.

Candied jalapenos


3 lbs jalapenos ( a mix of red & green fruit is beautiful)
2 c cider vinegar
6 c sugar
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t celery seed
1 T granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Pickle Crisp


*Wear gloves.  I suffered recently for 24 hours from burning hands.  Trust me, it is no fun.
Prepare the jars and lids.  Add 1/16 t of Pickle Crisp to each half-pint jar.
Stem the peppers and slice the peppers into thin rounds.
Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, then lower  the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the pepper slices and simmer for 4 minutes.
Transfer the peppers into the jars with a slotted spoon, leaving the syrup in the pot. Allow 1/4 inch of headspace.
Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.  Add syrup to jars to within the allowed headspace.

Add lids and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes for half-pint jars, 15 for pint jars.

Complete directions for safe processing can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia.

I found this recipe at Foodie with Family, and she deserves all the credit, as these babies are delicious!

Lemon parmesan vinaigrette

This dressing is terrific on a salad with lots of arugula, or tossed with arugula then put the arugula on a Sundried Tomato Pesto pizza straight from the oven –just allow the greens to wilt a bit, then devour.

1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1 clove garlic, crushed with the salt
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

1/2 C olive oil
3 T white wine or white balsamic vinegar
1/2 anchovy fillet
1 garlic clove, crushed with the anchovy and a pinch of salt
1 C blue cheese, crumbled with a fork
Whisk together all but the blue cheese;  add at the end, stirring in gently.

Fish Taco Sauce

Up here in Maine we are lucky to have a wide assortment of restaurants serving excellent fried haddock, often in large portions.  We always bring the leftovers home to reheat in the toaster oven for some fish tacos.  I serve them with shredded cabbage and a spicy sauce.

Fish Taco Sauce

Juice of one lime
1/4 c-ish mayo
2-3 t syrup from Candied Jalapenos
2-3 dashes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce or to taste

Stir together, adjusting viscosity by adding mayo or syrup.  Drizzle over tacos and enjoy.

Roasted Sweet Red Peppers

6-8 small sweet red peppers (about 2 lbs)
2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano or thyme
1 teaspoon pickling salt

Roast pepper and garlic until skins are blistered and starting to blacken. Place peppers in a paper bag until cool enough to handle then peel and seed. Slice into strips about 1 inch wide.

Combine wine, vinegars, onion, sugar, oregano in a small stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Peel then mash roasted garlic with salt and add to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Pack peppers into hot jars allowing 1/4 head space. Cover with brine and onion, allowing 1/2 inch of head space. Process 15 minutes for half-pint and pint jars. Makes about 4 half-pints.