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Sweet and Spicy Red Chile Pecans

Red Chile Pecans roasted with a slurry of maple syrup and New Mexico red chile powder #redchile #New Mexico #pecans | mjskitchen.com

 

When you live in a state that is one of the top three pecan producers in the U.S., why buy pecans from anywhere else.  On a yearly basis, Bobby and I go through about 20 pounds or more of New Mexico shelled pecans.  Last week I bought my first 5 pounds of the year from the New Mexico Pecan Company and just couldn’t resist making a couple of batches of these red chile pecans.

We love these pecans!  They’re spicy, but not too much, and just a little sweet.  The spiciness comes from a medium hot Dixon or Chimayo red chile powder and the sweetness from maple syrup, as well as a bit from the chile.  With only five ingredients (one being the pecans), these red chile pecans are SO easy to make, but the problem is, they are addicting.  This makes them disappear as fast as you can make them.  Of course the solution to that problem is to make a double batch and that’s easy to do.

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Chocolate Tamales with Port Infused Cherries

Chocolate tamales with port infused cherries and toasted pecans | mjskitchen.com

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When you think of dessert, does “tamale” come to mind?  Well, if not, maybe I can change that with these chocolate tamales with port infused cherries.  Inside of these little corn husk packages are individually sized chocolate cakes, packed with dried cherries that have been re-hydrated in sweet Ruby Port.  The “cakes” or tamales are made with masa (corn flour), cocoa, and a few other choice ingredients.  Served these tamales warm with a small scoop of vanilla bean gelato and you’ll feel like a kid at a birthday party eating chocolate cake and ice cream.

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Collection of Sweet and Savory Apple Recipes

A scrumptious collection of sweet and savory apple recipes #apples #savory #recipes #sweet @mjskitchen

 

This year’s apple crop is in and it’s so nice to finally bite into a fresh crisp apple again.  Because it is the best time of the year to buy apples and there are so many ways to enjoy them, I put together a Collection of Sweet & Savory Apple Recipes for you.

All of the recipes from MJ’s Kitchen are tried and true dishes that we make at least once during the fall.  Several of them, like the steel cuts, crepes, snack and slaw, we make year round.  The recipes from other websites have all been tried and thoroughly enjoyed, with one exception – the chimichangas.  I keep drooling over them but haven’t made them yet.

I hope you enjoy these sweet and savory apple recipes as much as we do.

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Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste) Deviled Eggs

A spicy deviled egg seasoned with gochujang, Korean chili paste | mjskitchen.com

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These gochujang deviled eggs were greatly influenced by my European chile sister. Last year my chile sister – Sissi from With a Glass – introduced me to aji panca chile.  This year she has introduced me to gochujang, a Korean Chili Paste.  I’d heard of gochujang many times and have seen it used in several recipes, but never sought it out. Upon receiving a generous sized tub of gochujang along with some Korean chili powder, what choice did I have but to start using it.  It is chile afterall. 🙂

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How To Make Honey Butter

How To Make Honey Butter #honey #butter @mjskitchen

Honey… who doesn’t love honey? I’ve always been fascinated by the production of honey and how hard all those little honey bees work. Did you know that the average worker honey bee only produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in a lifetime, and that it takes two million flowers for honey bees to make one pound of honey?!   I guess I should feel guilty about eating so much honey, but since it’s the by-product of an activity of nature that has been occurring for 10 – 20 million years, somebody has to keep all that honey from going to waste.

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Cranberry Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Cranberry Old-Fashioned - An Old Fashioned Cocktail enhanced with a dash of orange bitters and cranberries #cocktail #old-fashioned | mjskitchen.com

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During the holidays we met some friends at a local Irish pub, Two Fools Tavern.  While the rest of the party ordered local brews, I ordered the seasonal Old-Fashioned which, because it was December, was a cranberry flavored old-fashioned. For me it was the perfect cocktail – slightly sweet, use of a good bourbon, and a little fruity.  I liked it so much that I made it a goal to recreate it for the new year. Here’s my version of a Cranberry Old-Fashioned Cocktail.

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Quick & Easy Cherry Jam

A quick & easy cherry jam, no pectin, just cherries, sugar and lemon juice | mjkitchen.com

 

Very seldom do I get a special request to make something, but last week Bobby came home with 2 pounds of fresh cherries and asked “Will you make me a cherry jam?”.  How could I refuse?  The 2 pounds gave us enough cherries for a pint of jam, plus a few to snack on.

The recipe below is one of my quick & easy jams made with fruit and no pectin.  It makes one jar of cherry jam that is intended to be refrigerated and eaten, not sealed and stored for the winter.  There are three ingredients – cherries, sugar and lemon juice.  The process requires no large pots of boiling jars and lids, and only about 20 minutes of stirring.  The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries.  The result of about 45 minutes of work? … a pint of cherry heaven!

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Red Chile Strawberry Jam

A quick and easy chile strawberry jam with red chile flakes and no pectin | mjskitchen.com

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If you love sweet and spicy then you’re going to love this Red Chile Strawberry Jam! With every bite you get the luscious sweetness of strawberries soon followed by a burst of spicy chile that continues to tickle the tongue long after the jam has moved on. It’s a great jam for toast, biscuits, crackers and our favorite, a soft double cream brie.  But once you taste it, you’ll probably just grab a spoon and eat it right out of the jar.

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Conversation With a Cheesemonger

A conversation with Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op

Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger @ La Montanita Co-op | mjskitchen.com

The other day I was perusing the cheese section at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op looking for a particular cheese. When I couldn’t find it I asked Derrick, the cheese clerk for help.  You know what it’s like having a sommelier help you select a wine to go with your meal?  Well, that’s how I felt with Derrick helping me select a cheese.  This guy knows his cheese!  So rather than keep Derrick’s knowledge of cheese to myself, I thought I would share some of it with you.

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