Coffee Chili Salsa Oil

YIELDS | 4-5 Cups

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 20 MINS Soaking time

Recipe Image

I tried a version of coffee, chili oil that I loved but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the stores so I decided to create my own. And I must say this is pretty darn close. I mix it into Chili’s and stews and use it as a condiment on my meat and cheese boards. It’s just the right amount of spice to anything that needs some kick!

INGREDIENTS

* 2 dried Ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed, soaked and coarsely chopped
* 1 lb red or chillies
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1/12 Tbsp ground espresso
* 2 small garlic cloves or 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 Tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
* 2 Tbsp peanut oil plus more for drizzling
* 1 Tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
* 2 small shallots, coarsely chopped
 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Put the Ancho chilli in a bowl, cover it with boiling water and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes. Once soaked, roughly slice.

2. Remove the stems and seeds from the red chilies and roughly chop

3. Toasted sesame seeds in the olive oil until slightly golden then add the coffee to the mixture and stir to incorporate cook for one more minute.

4. Put the oil coffee mixture, chillies and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or high speed-blender and process until semi smooth and with a few chunks remaining.

5. Spoon the chili mixture into small sterilized jars and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

NOTES

You can also freeze for up to three-four months or can the jars using a high-pressure water bath to keep in the pantry. Refrigerate after opening.

Store Greens and Lettuce in glass containers for a beautiful display in the fridge or as a Fresh centerpiece.

STORY

Have fresh greens right up front to get creative with instead of letting them wither away in the crisper.⁠ Why not pretty-up your fridge with greens⁠ Display Kale, Swiss chard and other leafy greens in jelly jars on the side door or on a shelf of the refrigerator. I also like to create inexpensive, bright and cheerful centerpieces with greens in pretty vases for a beautiful and Inexpensive display for casual dinner parties or brunch.

Quickly Dry Lettuce and Greens To Store

STORY

I am going to grill these pretty little gems with a bit of basic dressing (olive oil, lemon, crushed garlic and sea salt). In the meantime, here is a quick tip to help make dinner prep easier. Rinse Romaine lettuce leaves and then place on to a long sheet of paper towels and roll them up and store them in the fridge. They continue to dry and are ready to go when I am ready to use them. This saves time and valuable refrigerator space especially if planning dinner for quests.I recycle or reuse the paper towels afterwards.⁠

savory Sweet Tomato Jam

YIELDS | 1.5 Cups or 6-8 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 1 hr 30 MINS

Recipe Image

I love the versatility of this recipe. Smear this spoon-licking jam on warm bread buttered with brie or creamcheese or place a spoonful between a slice of ham and cheese for a savory sweet sandwich. You will want to make a double batch. It is that versatile!

INGREDIENTS

* 2 pounds tomatoes, Roma, plum or a combination, cored and roughly chopped.
* 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
* 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
* Crackers, bread and cream cheese, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add all the ingredients to medium-sized, heavy pot with lid or dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and stir.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to a jammy consistency about 1-1/2-2 hours. Season to taste with additional salt and or red chili flakes.
3. Pour the jam into small glass containers or canning jars, seal the lids and refrigerate until ready to use. Use within 2weeks.
4. Serve chilled tomato jam with warm bread, hearty crackers and with a side of cream cheese, if using and a glass of white wine or a good beer.

NOTES

What Do You Eat with Tomato Jam?
* Spread it on crackers over brie or cream cheese.
* Add it to grilled ham and cheese sandwichs
* Try it with eggs of any kind, scrambled, sunny side up, omelet.
* Makes a great condiment for hotdogs and cheeseburgers
* Marinate chicken and fish with it for a savory and smoky taste

Forcing Blooms on Branches to Bring Indoors

STORY

BRING A LITTLE SPRING INTO YOUR HOME

Springtime blooms cheer up the last, seemingly endless days of winter. Follow these few easy steps to have gorgeous blossoms in no time. These pretty stems make a beautiful dinner party centerpiece and make a lovely hostess gift too.

HOW TO PRUNE BRANCHES

All you need is a pair of clean, sharp pruners (and a spring-flowering tree or shrub!)
Choose a day when the temperature is above freezing. The milder temperatures help ease the transition the plants must make from outdoors to indoors.
Select branches that are not essential to the form of your shrub or tree, in a crowded section, and towards the back of the plant.
Prune a 1 to 2 foot-long length of branch. Choose a branch with lots of buds, preferably with very small buds that are beginning to open. (The flower buds are generally fatter and more rounded than leaf buds.)
Remember proper pruning! Cut branches on the diagonal. Steeply-angled cuts ensure water uptake.
It helps to “bruise” the cut ends: Crush the stem ends with a small hammer; they’ll soak up the water faster.

HOW TO FORCE BRANCHES
Once you’re inside, set the branches in a vase or vessel of room temperature overnight. Cut slits from the cut up the branch for several inches to promote water uptake. (Make sure the vase won’t tip with the heavy branches.)
Keep vase in a bright room away from heaters and direct sun. The brighter the room, the better the quality of bloom.
Recut the ends using a slanting cut the next day.
Change the water every few days so the branches don’t rot from build-up of bacteria forming. Mist flowers.
Flowers should appear in a few weeks. Once blooms appear, display in a warm area and enjoy!
Note: If it does not work the first time you try a plant, cut branches a few weeks later and try again.
Misted flowers and catkins can last for up to a week in a cool, 60 degree room. Branches with leaves may last longer.

BEST TREES AND SHRUBS FOR FORCING INDOORS
Tree or Shrub Time to Bloom
Buckeye 5 weeks
Cherry 4 weeks
Cornelian dogwood 2 weeks
Crab apple 4 weeks
Deutzia 3 weeks
Flowering almond 3 weeks
Flowering dogwood 5 weeks
Flowering quince 4 weeks
Forsythia 1 week
Honeysuckle 3 weeks
Horse chestnut 5 weeks
Lilac 4 weeks
Magnolia 3 weeks
Pussy willow 2 weeks
Red maple 2 weeks
Redbud 2 weeks
Red-twig dogwood 5 weeks
Spicebush 2 weeks
Spirea 4 weeks
Wisteria 3 weeks