Sugar Free Plum Jam

beach-plum-jam-dt I think people balk at making jams because they think they are too hard and too labor intensive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mix together a few ingredients and then simmer away until you like the consistency then dip in a water bath for a few minutes and you’re done. The process may take some time, but your involvement is actually fairly minimal.

And did I mention that your jam will be utterly wonderful?

This relies on natural pectin to do the thickening, so it could not be easier.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 quarts chopped fruit (8 cups)
  • 1-2 cup sugar substitute (I used stevia granular and about 1 c) (based on taste)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. The fruit need not be in small dice, just roughly chopped getting out the pits.
  2. Add all the ingredients but the sugar into a sauce pan.
  3. Bring to a soft boil and continue bubbling for up to two hours (or more if needed) until the mixture has reduced to a thickness you like.
  4. Once it is where you want it, add your sugar and mix in until it melts.
  5. Ladle into sterile jelly jars. Cap as usual and add to a hot water bath and boil softly for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
  6. Check lids for proper sealing and store in a dark cool place until ready to eat.

SERVES: 4 half-pints

NOTES: While Stevia is heat stable, I don’t want to push it when the mixture has to boil for several hours. So I added the sugar at the end. I’m not certain the water bath is essential but better safe than sorry.

SOURCE: Jarspot

Chicken with Green Chile Aioli Sauce

chickenaioli There is, it seems, always a new way to enjoy chicken. And this is surely one of them.

But this sauce a basic aioli, which also has infinite variations, goes with just about everything. It makes a great sandwich spread, goes with pork, beef, fish, seafood, you name it.

Make it a staple in your fridge and you will always have something to brighten up even the most mundane of meals.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole chicken breast, divided into 4 fillets
  • EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c good quality mayonnaise or make your own
  • 1 lg chile (Hatch, Poblano, Anaheim), roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place 1/3 c of EVOO together with 2 minced cloves of garlic, the juice of 1/2 of the lemon and salt and pepper into a plastic bag. Add the chicken and massage to insure all pieces are covered. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. Place the mayo, diced up chile, sliced up garlic clove and juice of 1/2 the lime into a blender. Whirr until smooth and then drizzle EVOO as the machine runs until you have a pourable sauce.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Grill or Saute the chicken until done.
  5. Serve the sauce on the side at the table.

SERVES: Makes 1/2 cup

NOTES: You might want to flavor the chicken with either cilantro or parsley or even fresh oregano. Add this to the marinade. Keeps well in the fridge.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Powdered Sugar*

powdered-sugar It’s bad enough that sugar substitutes like erythritol cost a fortune in comparison to regular sugar, but if you need powdered sugar, they charge you even more.

And that’s just wrong, since it’s simple to make your own.

So do make your own and save yourself a bit of cash.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c sugar substitute
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place in a food processor and whirr away. A bit of whirring and you have fine sugar, continue and it powders up.
  2. Add the cornstarch which will add about 7 carbs to the total recipe if you wish to make a large batch and store.

SERVES: about 1 1/2 c

NOTES: The cornstarch prevents clumping together so if you are going to use all you make at one sitting, omit it and save the carbs. And even if you intend to store some, you can always use a sieve and accomplish the same thing.

SOURCE: Everywhere on the Internet.

Sweetened Condensed Milk*

homemade-condensed-milk Oh this is great. There are wonderful desserts that require sweetened condensed milk, something that carries a very hefty carb count and thus it means that we have to miss out on a lot of those poke cakes and such.

Well, you don’t have to. You can make your own. And it’s not hard and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

So do try this, if you are missing some of your favorite desserts because they call for condensed sweet milk.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup heavy cream (do not use all cream, it will get to thick and clumpy!)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol or anything you prefer
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 15 drops stevia extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine cream, milk and erythritol over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently, until mixture is reduce by half. (No matter how often you stir, thick bits of milk will form on the sides. Leave it there, and try not to disturb it when stirring, or you will get chunky bits in your condensed milk).
  3. Add butter and let melt, then briskly whisk in xanthan gum. Let mixture cool to room temperature and stir in vanilla and stevia extracts.

SERVES: 2 Cups

NOTES: This should keep well in the fridge for quite a good while I believe.

SOURCE: All Day I Dream About Food

Sesame Seed Sauce

sesameseed This is a great little basic sauce to be used in just about any Asian dish that benefits from a dipping. It’s quick to put together and of course lasts well in refrigerator where you can use it for multiple dishes.

Perfect for egg rolls, pot stickers and wontons of all sorts.

Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add the olive oil to a small sauce pan and heat.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients but the sesame seeds and bring to a soft boil for at least three minutes.
  4. The longer you simmer the thicker  it will be.
  5. Pour into a serving dish and add the sesame seeds.

SERVES: About 1/2 cup

NOTES: Will keep for a week or two in the fridge.

SOURCE: Spend with Pennies

Candied Bacon

baconOh sweet Jesus, this is the best of all worlds. When bacon becomes a sweet divine thing to be worshiped as it trips along the tastebuds.

Really, it’s that good.

Seriously.

And it’s so easy to make that there is no excuse not to have it always on hand. It has more uses that you might imagine. I’ve seen it added to pie crust for goodness sakes. What is not to like?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of bacon (thick sliced or regular)
  • brown sugar (about 1/4 to 1/3 c will do)
  • freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Line cook sheets with parchment paper and lay out a single layer of bacon slices across, touching is fine.
  2. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  3. Crack fresh pepper along each slice.
  4. Place a second sheet of parchment over the top and press lightly.
  5. Place in a pre-heated 325° for 30 minutes. (Mine was perfect at 25 minutes so adjust to suit your oven)
  6. Cool on paper toweling, and store in refrig in container. (break up into pieces once cool)

SERVES: 1 lb bacon candy

NOTES: Wonderful accompaniment to deviled eggs. Be inventive!

SOURCE: Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide

Mexican Crema

cremaIt occurred to me that a lot of folks (basically all who don’t live in the Southwest as I am privileged to) have never heard of crema.

Here is it available commercially, but up North you don’t have to sacrifice authenticity in your recipe because it is simple to make.

Basically it’s just sour cream thinned out with  cream.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • pinch of salt.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Stir together and store in the fridge covered.

SERVES: 2 cups

NOTE: as you can see, the ratio is 1:1 so make in any quantity you need. Frankly it’s nicer than sour cream on any of your favorites like tacos because it spreads out more evenly and thus it flavors the dish better.

SOURCE: Everybody