Bacon Jam

  • Image3 pounds Bacon
  • 4 whole Large Yellow Onions, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
  • 8 cloves Garlic, Smashed And Peeled
  • 1 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1-½ cup Very Strong Brewed Black Coffee
  • ½ cups Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch strips. Add the bacon to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until the bacon is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings into a heat-proof jar with a tight-fitting lid. (Save the bacon drippings in the refrigerator. That’s too much flavor to trash!)

Place the Dutch oven back over the medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are mostly translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and drop heat again, this time to low.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir the browned bacon into the onions and liquid.

Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking, adding 1/4 cup of water if it seems to be drying out. When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to the work bowl of a food processor that has been fitted with a blade. Fit the lid in place and pulse several times or until the bacon jam is a spreadable consistency. Scrape into a jar (or jars) or a container with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Can be served cold, room temperature or warmed.

Source: http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2012/07/bacon-jam-ooh-mommy/

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Meyer Lemon Curd

ImageIngredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 meyer lemons, juiced (you should get a generous 1/2 cup. Make sure to strain it, to ensure you get all the seeds)
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into chunks
  • zest from the juiced lemons

Instructions

  1. In a small, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the lemon juice and switch to stirring with a wooden spoon, so as not to aerate the curd. Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, adjusting the heat as you go to ensure that it does not boil. Your curd is done when it has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Drop in the butter and stir until melted.
  2. Position a fine mesh sieve over a glass or stainless steel bowl and pour the curd through it, to remove any bits of cooked egg. Whisk in the zest.
  3. Pour the curd (a single batch will make one pint of curd) into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. If you want to process them for shelf stability, process them in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (start the time when the water returns to a boil). According to So Easy to Preserve, it is best to process only in half-pint jars or smaller, as they allow better heat infiltration.
  4. Eat on toast, stirred into plain yogurt or straight from the jar with a spoon.

Easy White Gravy

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp flour

salt

pepper

2 1/2 cups milk

 

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.

Blend in flour, salt, and pepper.

Cook until smooth and bubbly.

Stir in milk.

Heat to boiling on medium heat, stirring constantly.

Stir and boil 1 minute.

Source: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1726,147184-243207,00.html

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • Image1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Use as you typically would a packet of taco seasoning.
  • About 3 Tbsp per 1lb ground beef +- depending on your taste.
  • Multiply the amounts to make this in bulk for future meals.

Source: http://afewshortcuts.com/2011/04/tide-you-over-tuesday-homemade-taco-seasoning/

Homemade Italian Dressing Mix

ImageIngredients
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons oregano, ground or leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt or substitute
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground basil or leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme or leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried celery leaves or flakes
 
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in air-tight container.
ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING:
  1. Mix 2 tbs of this mix with ¼ cup vinegar, 2 tbs water, and ½ to ⅔ cup olive oil or canola oil.
  2. Shake before using.

Source: http://afewshortcuts.com/2012/01/tide-you-over-tuesday-homemade-italian-dressing-mix/

Salad Dressings

Image

When making a vinaigrette, a combination of oil and vinegar or lemon juice, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Keep the oil to vinegar ratio at about 3:1

If you want a smooth consistency in which the oil and vinegar do not separate you must use an emulsifier. Dijon mustard and egg yolks from pastured chickens are my favorite options.

Add lots of flavors like onion, garlic, spices, herbs, and honey.
For simplicity use pint-sized jars for easy dump, shake, and serve salad dressing. 

Garlic-Herb Vinaigrette

1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard

3 garlic cloves, minced
generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried (basil, oregano, chives, and thyme are all nice) scant 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.
2. Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.

3. Serve over your basic green salad with added chopped vegetables. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (no need f or the really expensive stuf f )

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (or oregano)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.

  2. Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.

  3. Serve over a basic green salad or toss with grated carrots, minced red onion, and sunflower seeds. 

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 1/4 cups sour cream (I save money by making my own)

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 teaspoon fresh)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart jar. Stir well with a fork or seal tightly and shake.

  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Taste and additional salt as necessary. This makes for a fairly thick dressing. If a thinner consistency is desired replace part of the sour cream with additional buttermilk.

3. This is delicious over a chopped salad with bacon, hard-boiled egg, and lots of vegetables. 

Source: http://www.simplebites.net/three-homemade-salad-dressing-recipes-better-for-you-better-for-your-wallet

Powdered Sugar Icing/Glaze

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup stick margarine or butter 2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2­4 tablespoons water

Preparation:

Melt margarine in a saucepan. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until smooth and of desired consistency (a thick syrup). Drizzle over cooled cake. (This will glaze one 12­cup bundt cake or a 10­inch angel food cake.)

Source: http://homeparents.about.com/od/cakesanddesserts/r/powdered_icing.htm