Peach & Jalapeno Jam

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Hello world & Happy Fall, Ya’ll! I can finally celebrate Autumn because the weather is slowly breaking here in N.E OH and according to my calendar, tomorrow (Friday) marks the first official day of fall, heck yeah! Who else really enjoys the fall as much as me!? How can you argue sweaters, boots, leaves crunching beneath your feet, crisp air, picking apples and then turning them into a fresh pie, warm days and cool nights, everything fall scented, fall crafts such as pumpkin painting/carving, bonfires, no bugs or sweat running down your body, goodbye to sunburn and busy nights at work! Fall really is the best season.

For those of you that have missed me, I appreciate your patience in waiting for my next blog post, ya’ll are the best! If you are new to following me, ICYMI: Summers for me working as a banquet captain at a Country Club is very busy. I don’t allow myself a lot of free time to work on cooking at home, crafting, photography and anything else that makes this blog what it is. I tend to disappear every so often because this is only a hobby for me and I only have a small window of free time to do what I love. Thank you to those who do continue to read and follow my blog. You can also follow my facebook page if you are on there as well facebook.com/driven2eat

As I was saying, fall is here and August thru September has the best produce available. -If you haven’t stopped at your local farmers market yet, this is the last week to do it before the season ends! I was lucky enough to make it up in time for the last of the peaches hull. I don’t know how the peaches were for everyone else, but the peaches we had here weren’t all the great 😦 I was disappointed in the lack of sweetness and juice that I expect to have from a peach, they were okay.

When I make breakfast at home, I usually almost always have a toasted English muffin with fresh jam. I had been buying Jam from Amish Country the last few years and haven’t made my way up there in a few months, figured it was time to just make my own anyways. With how easy it is to make jam, there’s no excuse whey I don’t make it more often! I took a look around the fridge and noticed that a few Jalapenos I had remaining were beginning to do the pruning effect on the outside, so it was time to do something with those as well. I remembered one thing my Aunt always liked to bring to a family dinner, cream cheese topped with pepper jam to spread on crackers for an appetizer. That’s when the light bulb went on in my head to take my leftover peaches and jalapenos and make a jam! The lack of sugar in these peaches actually made them perfect for this recipe. Sweet meets heats for a great spread. Peach and Jalapeno are a great combination together. This recipe also makes an excellent glaze on pork or fish for a finishing touch on dinner!

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Mise En Place:

  • 3 Large Peaches, Diced
  • 3 Jalapenos, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • Juice 1/2 Lime
  • 2 Small Mason Jars for storing

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Method of Prep:

  • Mix together peaches, jalapenos, sugar and lime juice until sugar well incorporated. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Over high heat, add mix into a pan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow to lightly simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Liquid should reduce by half and coat the back of a spoon when ready.
  • Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into Mason jars and cool to room temperature. Seal shut, refrigerate after opening.Β *If jam is cooked too long, it may become gelatinous and hard to spread once cooled. Scoop out what you need for spreading. As jam sits on a warm surface it will begin to melt for easier spreading.Β 

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*You may blend the jam at the end if you don’t like the candied chunks of jalapeno that will be left behind.Β 

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Chorizo & Quinoa Squash Bowl

I’m really trying hard to get back into adding more posts for ze blog. Ive had a few requests recently and I’m still not sure why I ever veered away from blogging. I guess its a lot harder than it looks to maintain and I just haven’t dedicated any of my free time to cooking, capturing deliciousness, and sharing it.

Here I am, almost 11pm on a Monday night. Today was a cleaning and organizing, slightly mild, lazy day off. It was nice to have an open schedule for doing anything I wanted to do, my ADD really loved that! I did however decide to finally cook something and write about it. Using just a few of my favorite fall ingredients, here it is…the long overdue much anticipated second food post of 2016 (that’s terrible I know) Cheers, enjoy!

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Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Mise en Place:

-1 Acorn Squash, Sliced in half

-2 Cups Apples, peeled, medium diced (About 3 small apples)

-1 Cup Quinoa

-1/2 LB Ground Chorizo Sausage

-1/2 Yellow Onion, small diced

-Salt & Pepper, TT

-Grated Parmesan, Optional Garnish

-Honey, Optional Garnish

Additional Ingredients:

-Canola Oil

-Ground Cinnamon

-Pumpkin Spice

Method of Prep:

-Turn oven to 350 degrees. Split squash in half and remove seeds. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper on each half, a dash of ground cinnamon and a tablespoon of canola oil. Rub along the inside.

-Place on a lined sheet tray and bake for 40 minutes.

-While squash is cooking, in a small pot cook off quinoa per directions on package.

-Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Using a tablespoon of oil, add in diced apples and onions. Season with salt, pepper and a thin coat of pumpkin spice. Cook until apples are soft, set aside.

-In the same pan, cook off chorizo over medium heat until fully cooked. Add in apple mixture and stir until well incorporated, set aside.

-Remove squash from oven. Fill with quinoa and chorizo mixture. Top with grated Parmesan. Toss back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

-Drizzle with 2 tablespoons local honey, mix filling up with squash

Enjoy!

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**Suggested Wine Pairing:

-Semi sweet Riesling.

-Oregon Pinot Noir

Applesauce

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For a good 10 years every September, my fathers side of the family would get together at my Grandparents house in Sandusky, Ohio and go apple picking. This orchard (never did get the name of it, I was too young to care) was run by one man. He always had everything you needed from large buckets to fill with apples, long rods to grab apples high up in the trees and bags to have something to take your apples home with you. This man just recently a couple years back sold his orchard because he just got too old to run it on his own. Sadly my family never goes there anymore I guess because were all older as well and just never make the time to do so.

When we did go apple picking, we would literally come back with 20+ bags filled with apples. I would guess a good 50 pounds. We split all the apples up between the 5 families and everyone still walked off with at least 10 pounds. What is one to do with so many apples? Yep you guessed it bake apple everything!! My favorite recipe out of the apple section would be my Aunts apple crumb pie…but I’ll share that one with you in another post.

I was over my Grandmas last week and she had an abundance of apples she needed to use up so I helped get rid of them by making applesauce. If you love applesauce I highly recommend you buy a bulk amount of apples now while they are in season and on sale and make a large batch of applesauce. You can freeze it in large plastic baggies and pull whenever you are ready to use it. This is great to pack in lunches, or to snack on during the day and makes an excellent side dish with pork!

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Gluten Free/dairy Free/Vegan/Refined Sugar Free

Mise en Place:

-3 to 4 pounds (roughly 10 Ea) Apples, peeled, seeds removed and sliced or diced however you choose. (I prefer to use red apples such as macintosh)

-Zest from 1 Lemon and juice.

-2 Cinnamon Sticks

-1 Cup Brown Sugar

-1/2 Cup Water

-1/2 Teaspoon Salt

 

Method of Prep:

-Place all ingredients in a small sauce pot. stir to combine everything.

-Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until apples are soft.

-Remove cinnamon sticks. Using a masher, mash up apples to desired consistency.

-Taste and adjust sweetness/spice if desired.

-Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator up to 1 week or keep frozen in plastic bags until ready to eat.

Enjoy!

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