Sun Dried Tomato Butter

one stick salted butter, softened 
1/2 tsp minced garlic   
1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, chopped
pinch of salt & pepper

Add everything to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.

Roasted Garlic

Whole Garlic Bulbs (as many as you want)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400.  Take your garlic bulbs and cut the entire tops of them off.  Place in a baking dish, and drizzle a decent amount of olive oil over each garlic bulb.  

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, 
 and cover baking dish with aluminum foil.  Place in preheated oven, and cook for 1 hour.
Vermont Vinaigrette

6 cloves/tsp chopped garlic
¼ cup mustard
1/8 cup honey
1 ¼ cup salad oil
½ cup apple juice
1 tbsp dill
½ tbsp thyme
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Put all ingredients together in an airtight container (jar with lid) and shake like crazy until well combined.  

Bacon Jam (adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 lbs applewood smoked bacon 
4 onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed with the side of your knife
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
1 tsp Tabasco 

Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces and cook in a large skillet until it's lightly browned and fat is rendered off.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.  Remove all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat from the pan, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add the maple syrup, vinegar, sugar, coffee, dry mustard and Tabasco and bring to a boil while stirring for about 2 minutes.  Add the bacon back to the pan and stir to combine.

Transfer mixture to the bowl of your slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, for about 4-5 hours or until liquid becomes syrupy.  Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse two times or until it's just slightly chopped up.  Cool completely, then refrigerate in an air tight container.  Stays good for about 4 weeks.  I like to warm mine a little in the microwave before using it, that way you can really taste all the yummy flavors going on!   Makes about 5-6 cups, depending on how long you let it cook down.

Horseradish & Dill Dipping Sauce for Beef 

2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
5-7 tsp horseradish
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dill

Stir all ingredients together and let set a couple of hours before using.  Excellent on beef!

Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Olive Oil 
1 cup onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup ketsup
1 tbsp molasses 
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed & diced (can leave the seeds in if you like it REALLY spicy)
1 tsp dry mustard
1tsp chipotle chili pepper powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a small sauce pan with olive oil and heat on medium-low.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Use an immersion blender to puree mixture until smooth, or don't bother if you don't mind it a little chunky. 

Honey Chili Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl by hand or with a mixer until smooth and well combined.  Keep in fridge in airtight container.  I like to bring mine to room temp before serving with rolls.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp cider vinegar  
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients together, except the oil. Add the oil and mix well with whisk, or shake in air tight container.  

Basil Pesto

½ cup pine nuts
8 cloves of garlic
4-5 cups basil, packed
1 tsp salt
½ pepper
1 ¼ cups good olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan

Add nuts and garlic to bowl of food processor, and process about 30 seconds.  Add basil, salt & pepper.  With processor running, slowly add the olive oil until finely pureed. Add Parmesan cheese and puree for another minute.

Basil Mayonnaise (by Ina Garten)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 basil leaves, chopped 
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic, minced

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  This should be enough for 4 sandwiches.

Cranberry Chutney

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup orange juice 
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups or a 12oz bag of cranberries
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1, 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, orange juice and both sugars and bring to a boil, stirring to make sure sugar dissolves.  Add the ginger and reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.  

Add the cranberries, apricots, cider vinegar, cinnamon and cloves and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until thickened.  Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Greek Dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp ketchup 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard (or Dijon is fine)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 tsp minced garlic

Add all ingredients to a mason jar (one that has a lid) or another airtight container with a lid.  Put the lid on and shake until it is well blended.  Store in refrigerator, but take out 15-30 prior to use so it has time to warm up a little.  

Homemade Chicken Stock

Chicken carcass, all edible meat removed (if you plan ahead, save the parts included in the cavity of the chicken)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2-4 carrots (depending on how large they are), unpeeled and cut into thirds
2-3 ribs of celery, with leaves and cut into thirds
1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 head of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 tsp salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns
6 sprigs fresh parsley (or one tbsp of dried parsley)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or one tsp dried thyme)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (or one tsp dried rosemary)
1 large bay leaf

Place chicken carcass (and any other chicken parts that were inside the chicken cavity that you hopefully saved) in large pot and add enough water to cover the chicken by about an inch.  Add all of the remaining ingredients (as mentioned above, you don't need to peel or chop anything).  The vinegar helps to draw out the calcium from the bones, so if you let the pot sit for about an hour at room temp it will draw out even more calcium but it's OK if you skip this step.  In fact, you don't have to add the vinegar at all if you don't want to.

Turn heat on medium-low and bring to a low simmer.  Simmer for as long as possible, 3-24 hours - the longer the better but don't exceed 24 hours as it can become bitter.  I find 3-5 hours to be a good amount of time and it ends up being a nice color.  Let cool, then pour through a strainer. 

BBQ Sauce I

1/2 onion, minced
1/2 cup tomato paste  
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Bourban
1 tbsp molasses
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp red pepper jelly
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Heat 2 tspn olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium-low, then add the onions.  Cook onions for about 5 minutes while stirring.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine.  Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for at least an hour, or until thickened.  

* Note:  As with most sauces, I find it's better on the second day, after it's had time for all the flavors to set together.  However, if you don't have that kind of time it's OK to use right away and it will still be delicious! 

Homemade Ricotta (Ina Garten)

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream 
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Set a colander over a bowl, and line it with 2 layers of dampened cheesecloth.  Add the milk, cream and salt to a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a full boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.  Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, or until it curdles.

Pour into the cheesecloth line colander and allow it to drain into the bowl beneath for about 20-25 minutes.  The longer it drains the thicker the ricotta will be.  Once it's reached your desired thickness, transfer the ricotta to a bowl and discard the cheesecloth and remaining whey/liquid.  Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Makes 1 cup.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup apple cider
2 tsp spicy brown mustard  

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients expect the olive oil.  Slowly drizzle the oil in while whisking vigorously.  This dressing can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks. 

Pink Lemonade Cocktail

1 bottle of Absolut Kurant flavored vodka
Pink lemonade - I like to use Newman's Own brand, or any kind that has the pulp in it
crushed ice

Ok, this is so easy I don't think you can technically call it a recipe!  Just fill your glass with ice, add enough vodka to fill 1/3 of the glass, then add the pink lemonade to the top of the glass.  Mix & ENJOY! 

Sweet & Sour Sauce

1/4 ketchup
3/4 cup chicken broth 
3 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp red pepper jelly
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium-high heat until hot and thickened.  Pour over cooked Chinese chicken (CLICK HERE for recipe).  Enjoy!


Homemade Croutons
8 cups of bread, cubed
¼ cup olive oil  
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley
Preheat oven to 375, and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place the cubed bread in a large bowl and drizzle it with the olive oil.  Toss until all the bread is evenly coated with the olive oil.  Next add all of the remaining ingredients and toss again to make sure all the bread is evenly coated.  Pour the bread onto the cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the croutons are browned and have reached your desired crunchiness.  

Orange Cranberry Butter

1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp grated orange rind
pinch of salt

Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well to combine.  Serves 12.

Sesame Ginger Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce  
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil (can add another tablespoon for more sesame flavor if you prefer)
3/4 cup olive oil

Add all ingredients to a mason jar fitted with an airtight lid (or whatever container you have with a lid).  Shake vigorously until well combined.  Store in the refrigerator. 

Winter Salsa

1/4 cup red onion
1/2 of a small jalapeno, seeds removed (or you can keep them in for more heat)
1 large clove of garlic
1, 14.5 oz can of Diced Tomatoes with green pepper & onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cumin
1 tsp lime juice 
small handful of cilantro

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or chopper.  Pulse to a few times until all the ingredients are chopped to your desired consistency.  If you like somewhat chunky salsa, add only half of the can of tomatoes at first.  After you chop up all the other ingredients, add the second half of the can of tomatoes and pulse once or twice.  Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Sweet & Spicy Bacon

1 lb thick sliced bacon 
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Tabasco sauce 

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place a wire rack on top.  Lay the bacon on the wire rack.  In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and Tabasco sauce.  Spread the sugar mixture evenly on top of each piece of bacon.  Cook in oven for 15 minutes, then turn each slice of bacon over.  Some of the glaze will drip onto the pan, so take a pastry brush and scoop that glaze up and spread it evenly on top of each piece of bacon.  Cook for another 15-20 minutes.  The overall cooking time will depend on how thick the bacon is so watch it closely.  Remove from oven when the fat has rendered down and the bacon is a nice brown color. 

DIY Taco Seasoning

2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin 
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp coriander

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Transfer to an airtight container for later use.  

 Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
2-3 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of salt & pepper 

Add all ingredients, except the olive oil, to a small container with a lid (like a mason jar, but a bowl and a whisk will work also).  Whisk everything together to get the honey incorporated.  Add the olive oil, put the lid on and shake vigorously until it is emulsified.  Store in refrigerator, and it'll keep for about 2 weeks.

Blackberry Vinaigrette

1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries   
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp agave nectar 
1/2 cup olive oil 
Salt & Pepper

In a blender or food processor add the blackberries, vinegar, mustard, garlic and agave.  Blend until smooth, then slowly add the olive oil, blending until smooth again.  Strain mixture through a strainer to remove all the seeds.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a little more agave.  

Blue Cheese Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2-3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley

Add the mayonnaise, sour cream and blue cheese in a medium sized bowl.  Stir to combine, breaking up the larger chunks of blue cheese.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.  Transfer the dressing to a container with a lid and let it set for at least an hour before using.  

Cajun Roasted Hazelnuts

1 cup raw hazelnuts

1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp chili powder
couple pinches salt
couple pinches cumin

Roast hazelnuts in a 350 preheated oven on a cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and pour nuts into a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Note: If you like things spicy add a dash of cayenne pepper also.  Also, he your hazelnuts have skin and you want to remove it just place nuts on a towel after you roast them and rub them with the towel to remove the skins. Then place in a bowl and add your seasonings.


  1. JOY,

    I love the blog. It is awesome the photos are amazing...Keep it up


  2. so many useful recipes in one place, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for visiting & commenting - I hope you will try some and let me know what you think!

  3. Just found your blog....can't wait to try many of your recipes. They all look delicious!!

  4. Thanks for visiting Lois! Hope you'll find something you like on here ☺