Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jalapeño Jelly

I really wanted the picture above to be of my own jalapeño jelly, but it was not to be (wow, I sound melodramatic). I have wanted to make jalapeño jelly for years, but I was never into canning in the past, and it just seemed too difficult. This year, after I canned strawberry rhubarb, strawberry and blackberry jam, I decided to give jalapeño jelly a try. I found a promising recipe that had apples and cranberries in it besides the jalapeños, so I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. The recipe was simple enough. Cut up apples, jalapeños and a bell pepper and cook on the stovetop until softened. Strain the juice, add sugar and boil until you have jelly. Great! I was ready. I did everything correctly except I guess I boiled the jelly too long. So, instead of having jalapeño jelly, I had jalapeño candy. I was disappointed. I am going to try again, but next time I won’t boil the jelly as long (I will also add more jalapeños since the jelly wasn’t spicy enough for me).

We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday night, so I brought home some store bought jalapeño jelly (I decided not to serve the jalapeño candy) and served it with some cream cheese and tortilla chips.
Grilled Haloumi
Here is another quick appetizer. Sandy and Brian served it on one of our camping trips last year, and I just loved it. It is one of the easiest appetizers around. Brian and Sandy grilled the Haloumi on a small charcoal grill. I have grilled the cheese on the barbeque, but I have also used my Panini press to get the great grill marks. Haloumi doesn’t melt it just gets warm and the edges caramelize. We were calling it squeaky cheese because of the noise it makes when you bite into it. Try Haloumi you will like it!

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