Old Fashioned Hard Candy

Another successful confection from my candy-making phase is traditional hard candy.  Hard candy is a classic.  It takes few ingredients to make, and it is pretty in a candy dish or a gift jar.  This old recipe is my favorite. 2 c sugar 1 c water 3/4 c light corn syrup Food coloring (red, green,… [Continue Reading]

Perfect Butterscotch Patties


When I was a teenager, a couple friends and I went through a candy-making phase that lasted about 3 months.  Being a big fan of butterscotch, I dug up this recipe from the family archives.  It’s made with stuff found in most people’s kitchens, is pretty foolproof, and sure is good.  I’ve given it for… [Continue Reading]

Microplane Grater


I’m such a big fan of kitchen tools, that the microplane grater was a no brainer for me.  Of course, it makes a couple of my existing tools redundant, but that’s okay.  This tool replaces the traditional box grater for all fine grating.  From grating hard cheeses like Parmesan or Asiago, to zesting citrus, or grating… [Continue Reading]

Sandwich Spread


Several years ago, my Aunt Sylvia gave me a jar of the most interesting sandwich spread.  It was different and really, really tasty.  I asked for the recipe, and was surprised to see green tomatoes as one of the core ingredients.  I’m always on the lookout for ways to use excess produce, and green tomatoes… [Continue Reading]

Welsh Humbug


On a recent trip home, I went on a recon mission to find some of my favorite family recipes that I didn’t already have in my collection.  I went on a candy-making spree sometime in my teen-aged years.  My stepfather brought this recipe to the table in the midst of my hard-candy phase.  I loved… [Continue Reading]

Hot Pepper Jelly


This is not a jelly restricted to a fruit season.  I make this when I find on sale at least two of the three peppers involved. This is actually a recipe from Sure-Jell; it’s been no fail for me. I’ve had recipes that crystalize, and that just makes me cranky. The uses for hot pepper… [Continue Reading]

Sweet refrigerator pickles


I love pickles.  Finding this recipe has made fresh pickles a staple in my house.  The best thing is that I can make one jar at a time using whatever cucumbers happen to be best priced at the time.  I’m partial to small pickling cukes or European cukes, so tend to plan these pickles around… [Continue Reading]

Cajun Spice


Photo by McKay Savage Whenever I’m making a recipe and come across an ingredient that is really a LOT of ingredients, I know the options are few. There’s the costly option, buy some quantity of the combined product for much more than the sum of its parts, or make my own.  Whenever I can, I… [Continue Reading]

Gift Recipes: Cornbread Mix in a Jar

Corn bread

  Flickr Photo Credit: Carol 329 I recommend using a wide mouth, quart-sized canning jar for this recipe.

Gift Recipes: Beer Bread Mix in a Jar

beer bread

  Flickr Photo Credit: Ninja Poodles Looking for a jar gift that isn’t quite as sugary as the regular variety? Try this out.

Gift Recipes: Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars


  Flickr Photo Credit: Tree-Species Looking to add homemade candy to your cooking repertoire?

Gift Recipes: Chocolate Covered Pretzels


  Flickr Photo Credit: Lara 604 A friend with a teen who likes to experiment in the kitchen gave this idea to me. These make a great gift in a large jar or tin and cost nearly nothing to make.

Gift Recipes: Cinnamon-Flavored Rock Candy

rock candy

  Flickr Photo Credit: P. C. Loadletter This one comes from a bake sale segment in the November / December 2000 issue of Quick Cooking Magazine. They are a sister magazine to Taste of Home, which I LOVE.  This candy recipe is short on ingredients and big on style. I’m putting it on my short… [Continue Reading]