Tag Archives: sugar

Peach Poblano Jam

We switched to a different variety of poblanos in the garden this year. Last year’s would have been way too hot for this jam, although if you like a jalapeno jelly, you might like the heat. This year’s poblanos started turning red much quicker and are mild enough that you get a chance to taste the pepper. The result in the jam is that you don’t get any heat at first, but then it starts showing up as an afterthought. We kind of liked that.

If you have hotter poblanos, whether or not you like that effect or not, you might consider using fewer in your jam.

My husband says he would eat the jam on biscuits, but I’m mostly planning to serve it with pork or chicken. I think it could work in a fajita as well. Anything savory where a little sweet would complement.

I looked at a lot of recipes for peach jam to compare the amounts of sugar used. For my 3.5 lbs of peaches, I settled on 3 cups of sugar. I didn’t want to use pectin, and I found a number of recipes that didn’t, but I found their cooking directions to be way off—some said to cook it for as little as 10 minutes!! Mine cooked for about as long as my tomato jam, because I was looking for that moment when the wooden spoon dragged a clear path in the jam.

How I decided on the number of poblanos to use is still a mystery to me. I used 4, cut in a small dice. It was enough that they are well distributed throughout like little red jewels. đź‘Ť

Peach Poblano Jam

  • Servings: about 5 cups
  • Difficulty: time-consuming
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  • 3.5 lbs peaches (peeled and seeded weight); 16 medium peaches
  • 10 oz poblano peppers (seeded weight); 4 peppers
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Blanch peaches for 1-2 minutes and cool in ice water. Peel peaches and remove pits.
  2. You can chop the peaches by hand to your desired size or pulse them in a food processor or both. I did both, giving me enough tiny pieces to make a thick jam base, with some larger pieces for texture.
  3. Mix peaches, diced peppers, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Some recipes let the mixture sit to draw out the fruit’s juices first, some for as long as overnight. I didn’t wait, and that could have affected my cooking time.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer that keeps the mixture bubbling without a lid. On my gas burner, it’s the LOW setting.
  5. Stir occasionally until the mixture stops foaming and begins to thicken. That happened for me after 1 hour. It just clicked over like a switch.
  6. After the jam begins to thicken stir more often to prevent sticking until you can drag a wooden spoon through it and it leaves a trail in the bottom of the pan. That took another hour. It all depends on how juicy your peaches are. Just keep at it and it will thicken. I set up my thermometer, because I was curious. It hovered at about 175Âş until the end.
  7. Spoon into clean jars or containers and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks or freeze. I can’t advise you on canning.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

In this variation on tapioca pudding recipes, I use all coconut milk and do not bother with soaking the tapioca first. Neither do I use a double boiler—not a fan of double boilers.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: requires stirring attention
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If you really must soak your tapioca pearls, do so in the coconut milk for about 30 mins. But why?

  • 2 cans coconut milk, whole fat, shaken well before opening
  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine the coconut milk and tapioca in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir often over a low simmer for 15 minutes, until the tapioca is translucent and tender. If you soaked the tapioca first, it may cook a little more quickly.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Mix about half the hot tapioca mixture into the egg/sugar mixture. Pour the tempered eggs and sugar into the pan and stir to combine with the rest of the tapioca mixture. Cook and stir over a low simmer for another 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and beaten egg whites. You really have to do this quickly because the pudding mixture is hot and will cook your egg whites.
  4. Pour into serving dishes. Eat right away or refrigerate to eat later.

Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread

  • Servings: one 12 inch round
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 425°; this recipe makes enough batter for one 12″ cast iron skillet.

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat coconut milk (shake the can first to distribute the fat)
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 cup thawed frozen corn or drained canned corn or cooked fresh corn
  1. Melt butter in cast iron skillet over medium heat until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and pour off most of the butter into bowl or measuring cup to cool slightly. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the butter in the skillet.
  2. Beat eggs and coconut milk, then slowly pour in reserved browned butter while still beating. I have had luck stirring in the butter after the dry ingredients are mixed in, so if you are worried about the butter cooking your eggs, you can add it later.
  3. Beat in dry ingredients. Your batter will be thick.
  4. Stir in corn.
  5. Pour the batter into the skillet. Bake for about 20 minutes until brown and done in the center.

As you can see, we ate our cornbread with venison chili:


Pecan Sandies

We used to love the popular commercial version of this cookie, but they changed the recipe years ago, like so many other popular foods did, and ruined them. This recipe comes pretty close to what we remember, and it doesn’t use any odd ingredients. It is your basic 1-2-3 ratio cookie, with a few items added to highlight the pecan flavor. They have become one of our favorite cookies.

I roll the dough in balls and press them flat with a glass, but if you want a more perfect round, roll them into logs and slice them before baking.

Pecan Sandies

  • Servings: makes 3 dozen 2 inch cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 350°; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • 4 oz sugar—1 tablespoon dark brown sugar plus enough granulated sugar to make 4 oz.
  • 8 oz butter (2 sticks)—I used salted butter
  • 12 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons milk if dough is too dry to form into balls and press
  1. In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in salt and vanilla.
  2. Slowly incorporate flour until combined. As mentioned in ingredients list, the dough could be too crumbly to roll into balls and press, depending on such factors as temperature and humidity. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until dough holds together well, but is not sticky or too wet. Today I only needed 1 tablespoon.
  3. Mix in nuts until well combined.
  4. Form into small balls about 1 inch in diameter and place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  5. With a flat-bottomed glass or other flat object dipped in flour, flatten each ball of dough to about 1/4-3/8 inch thick. Don’t press them too thin or they will be too crispy.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are beginning to brown. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely.