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Blueberry Chili Hot Sauce

Remember those blueberries my husband and I picked this summer? Well, he had this brainstorm that they’d make a kickin’ hot sauce.

Ya know what? He was right!

I have to hand it to him…I never would have put blueberries and hot peppers together. It totally impressed me.

This recipe came together very quickly—the color is magnificent and the sauce is hot! And my husband uses it on everything. It’s amazing what a hot sauce lover will put the spicy stuff on—sandwiches, potatoes, veggies, you name it.

Me, I’m a lightweight when it comes to the hot stuff.  I’ve tried this one and it’s good. I just don’t think I’ll be putting in on my veggies.

Isn’t the color magnificent?

Blueberry Hot Sauce

Combine in a small pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer:

1 cup hot chili peppers*, stem and seeds removed and coarsely chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup onions, diced
1 plum tomato, skin removed and diced
8 whole cloves
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt.
4 teaspoons sugar

Once the mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low, cover and continue to simmer until peppers are tender—about 10 minutes.

Take the sauce off the heat and let it cool until it’s at a safe temperature for handling. Pour into a blender and purée.

Pour the sauce into a 2-cup size glass or ceramic bowl and let it sit (with loose paper towel on top) until cool.

The sauce may be used as a thick puree OR strain through a fine sieve or food mill if you prefer it more of a liquid hot sauce.

Keep refrigerated in a sealed jar. Will last up to three months. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

*The heat depends on the heat of the chilies you use. You can always replace some of the chilies with sweet red peppers if you’d like to tone down the heat.

To learn more about the variety and heat of chili peppers visit The Cook’s Thesaurus: Fresh Chile Peppers.



Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s Labor Day Weekend. The official (but not really) end of summer.

A summer filled with memorable moments—some heartbreaking and some heartwarming.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, 5-day power outages, and monumental personal loss for many of my food blogger friends. Foodbloggers uniting in a way that helped bolster my faith in the goodness and charity of people. Many, many 8-second hugs.

There were many moments to cherish. The kid turned 21 and the beach house was filled with his twenty-something friends enjoying the surf, perfect weather and social scene. My husband and I spent time riding bikes, walking the beach, enjoying the sun and shore breezes.

Local travel took me to the Big Summer Potluck in rural Pennsylvania to spend a very cleansing weekend with friends—now more than just Twitter acquaintances—from across the country. I met up with some GF friends in Virginia and reacquainted myself with college buddies another weekend.

Doing all that and submerging myself in my day job consumed most of my waking minutes. So, needless to say, I neglected this blog and didn’t experiment as much as usual with cooking and baking. Some of the dishes I did come up with never made it here. No time for photos and writing up recipes and thinking about what I might write.

Truth be told I needed to focus on some other things so no regrets. But, I did miss the community that having a blog can bring so I hope to return to sharing recipes—and life—with all of you more regularly now that things are calming down.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’m enjoying my third season as a Community Supported Garden member. We get bags of freshly harvested organic vegetables every two weeks. It all comes from a spectacular little farm in western New Jersey.

We’ve been getting lots of beets—they’re a little on the small side. This week while the power was out as a result of Hurricane Irene I roasted the little babies on the grill. Scrubbed, wrapped in parchment, and then in foil they were roasted on the side with no flame with the grill cover closed. It took about as long as it takes in the oven—maybe 45-60 minutes. They were sweet and perfect. Some adorned my salad but I used a few for this recipe and was very pleased with how they turned out.

Now for the recipe…

Set the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the muffin pan with liners. Makes about 12 cupcake-sized muffins.

Make a faux egg (flax gel) by whisking together:

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons warm water

In a large mixing bowl whisk together:

1 cup GF multi-blend flour (I tried out King Arthur’s GF Flour Blend)
1 cup blanched almond flour (Honeyville)
1/2 cups organic coconut or cane sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1½  teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (like Starbucks Via) - optional

In a 2-cup measuring cup whisk together:

½ cup milk (unsweetened almond, hemp or other non-dairy alternative)
¾ cups beet/applesauce puree*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Faux flax egg prepared earlier
1/3 cup grapeseed or other vegetable oil

Pour about half the wet mixture into the mixed dry ingredients and give it a few turns with a spoon or silicone spatula. Add the rest of the liquid and stir until combined.

Add to the batter and mix in:

½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips

Spoon into the paper liners filling them about ¾ full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

*I pureed three smallish roasted beets for this recipe. It did not quite come to ¾ cups of puree so I made up the difference with applesauce. You will probably need 3 or 4 medium sized beets to get ¾ cup of puree.

And, if you want to check out some other beet or muffin recipes try these:


Ruby Red Beet Cupcakes from Melissa at Gluten-Free for Good (GF and CF)

Apple Banana Carrot (ABC) Muffins from Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily (GF)

Hearty Maple Cinnamon Muffins from Alisa at Alisa Cooks (GF, CF, EF, and Vegan)

Pink Breakfast Bowl from Ricki at Diet, Dessert and Dogs (GF, CF, EF, Vegan and Sugar-Free)

Carrot Mini Muffins from Lillian at Lillian’s Test Kitchen (GF and CF)

Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from Alat at Tasty Eats at Home (GF, CF, EF, and Vegan)

Golden Beet, Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad from Tia at Glugle Gluten Free (GF, EF, and CF)

And a recipe that’s not GF yet very interesting and begging for someone to make it GF!:

Asparagus Muffins with Cashew Cream from Cara at Cara’s Cravings (CF, EF, Vegan and Sugar-Free)