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Cranberry Sauce with a Zing

1 bag fresh Organic Cranberries, washed & drained
Fresh Organic Orange Juice or Ojai Pixie Tangerine Juice- enough to cover the cranberries in a pot
1 c. Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
4 whole cloves
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly

Put the cranberries in the pot, cover with juice, add sugar, cloves & cinnamon stick. Over medium heat, bring to a slow boil- listen for the cranberries to ‘pop’- lower the heat a little, then once you’ve heard lots of cranberries ‘pop’, remove from heat, let cool. Set aside the cooked cloves.

You can add a few tablespoons of Ojai Jalapeño Jelly for some zing~ it tastes wonderful as a garnish with Roasted Turkey.

This cranberry sauce is festive served in a small, hollowed-out pumpkin & garnished with the cinnamon stick.

DON’T forget to save the ‘left over’ liquid for future holiday martinis- it has such a great flavor! I toss the leftover cloves in the mix for added flavor.


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Party like Murphy… Martini


Simple version;

2 T. Ojai Habanero Jelly
2 shots Kettle One Vodka
Garnish with a Bleu Cheese stuffed olive, a cocktail onion or a lemon zest curl~

In your Martini Shaker, shake the Ojai Habanero Jelly with the vodka & ice until the Jelly has dissolved completely.  Then strain off any Pepper bits with a tea strainer.  Garnish.

notes; this recipe can be toned down with a very light, sweet juice, or make it ‘dirty’ by using the juice from the olive jar-

The recipe I prefer involves making fresh cranberry sauce & saving the left over liquid for future martinis.


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Suze’s Camping Meyer Lemon Drop Martini

I went camping in the Santa Ynez Valley with my brother & the Santa Barbara Trail Riders-
On that outing I had my first lemon drop made in a pickle jar, & what a tasty cocktail it was!

You’ll need;
a large jar with a lid- like a pickle jar that cannot smell of pickles!

  • Juice of 12 lemons-(my favorites are Meyers)
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, washed (you can use fresh basil, or lavender instead)
  • 10 shots vodka-
  • Ice cubes
  • Sugar-rimmed martini glasses

Wash the lemons, then roll them a few times on a cutting board or counter top, to activate the oils in the skin- Squeeze the lemon juice into the large jar & then toss in the remains of the lemon, skin & all.
Add sugar, mint, vodka, and lots of ice and shake it until you see the sugar has dissolved.
Be sure to test the cocktail to adjust the ingredients to your liking-
Pour into sugar-rimmed martini glasses, sugar rimmed blue-enamel camping mugs, or whatever you have available
Garnish each with a fresh sprig of mint-

It’s hard to keep enough made- It’s refreshing like lemonade, but WAY more fun to start the
evening with…


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Goodbye to 2010…

My great friend and neighbor had a small dinner party this evening-
I took my baked brie but excluded the onions & sage.  I used sage butter
& garlic.  I cut Indian naan up in strips and served it lightly toasted- on a platter with a small dish of Habanero Jelly.
It was delicious.

Goodbye 2010-

I wish all of you the best of health & happiness in the new year- Happy 2011!


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Savory Egg Salad Sandwich

Savory Egg Salad Sandwich

Do this first step ahead of time:

12 hard boiled eggs –
We get our eggs fresh from the chicken coop, wash them, set in cool water then boil them, shell them, then soak them in dill pickle juice for about one week or more in the refrigerator-

For the sandwich we use 10 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
1/2 c. safflower mayonnaise (or your favorite)
1/4 c. dill pickles, minced
1/4 c. purple onion, minced
1/4 c. celery, minced
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. mustard (Dijon or American)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of paprika (I occasionally use curry or cumin)
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly
12 slices of sourdough or rye bread, lightly toasted (helps keep sandwich from falling apart)

In a large bowl mash the eggs with a fork or a pasty blender.  Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and spices.

Lay out 6 slices of toasted bread.  Slather with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly. Divide the egg salad evenly between the slices.  Add a lettuce leaf, tomato slice &/or avocado if desired.

Eat open-faced or coat other slice of bread with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly and top the sandwich.

I put a decorative toothpick in each half to help hold it together, slice diagonally and eat~

I garnish the plate with a dill pickle and a pepporchini


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Kick Ass Tuna Sandwich

Kick Ass Tuna Sandwich

12 ounce jar of Chucks fresh canned tuna, drained

1/3 c. dill pickles, minced
1/3 c. purple onion, minced
1/2 c. celery, minced
1/2 c. safflower mayonnaise (or your favorite)
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly- enough to coat the bread
salt & pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together

Lightly toast the Sourdough or Rye bread

Slather the bread with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly.
Add a crisp lettuce leaf, thinly sliced tomatoes and/or avocado.

Serve with a Beer Bloody Mary- be sure to have long-stemmed celery to stir~


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Habanero Jelly

Habanero Jelly

I’ve been doing some experiments making Habanero Pepper Jelly-
My first samples were pretty intense…
just ask my friends!

The Habanero Pepper is much hotter than the Jalapeño Pepper- see my page ‘about the heat’.
I’ve found the important balance of sweet, hot & savory to establish a flavorful Habanero Jelly-
The way I’ve made it, it’s no hotter than the Jalapeño Jelly, just a different delicious flavor~

coming soon!

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Hot Crantini…

Hot Crantini

For the holidays I make cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, orange juice, sugar, lemon zest & a cinnamon stick.
I save the sweet juice that I pour off of the cranberries.  I refrigerate the juice & then add it to Jalapeño Infused Vodka or if I don’t have that handy I add a few tablespoons of Ojai Jalapeño Jelly or  my new Habanero Jelly
I shake it with ice in a martini shaker, strain it & serve…  It’s been a hot holiday hit!


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Corquenna’s Salad Dressing

My friend Corkey has recently informed me that she is ‘hooked’ on
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly

She came up with a new way to use it that even I had not tried until tonight.
She’s been going on & on about it, so I had to give it a try.
My daughter turned her nose up at it but LOVED it once she tried a bite- then she ate almost the whole bowl of salad.
I usually use 1 head of Romaine Lettuce for every 2 people & I usually make my dressing but not when I’m exhausted, like tonight.

Corqueena’s Salad Dressing-

About 1/4 c. of salad dressing- “Soy Vay” Toasted Sesame Dressing (from Trader Joes)
Add about 1 T. Ojai Jalapeño Jelly
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Don’t over dress the salad, toss & serve.


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Jalapeño Inspired Halibut

Jalapeño Inspired Halibut

Fresh Halibut Steaks (1 steak per person, bone)
1 or 2 Large Purple Onions- sliced in 1/2″ thick rings
Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly- 1 T. per Halibut Steak
Olive Oil- (preferably ‘il fustino‘ Arbequina Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil)
Dill (fresh or dried)
2 Fresh Lemons- 1 sliced in discs, seeded, 1 cut in wedges
1/2 C. Asiago or Parmesan Cheese- grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 C. Créme Fraiche

Preheat oven to 325º
Place enough foil on a 2″ deep (or larger) baking dish to enclose the finished product (about 10″x10″).  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place the sliced onion on the foil- Use one set of rings for each halibut steak.  Remove about 1″ of the center of each onion.  Put a heaping Tablespoon of Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly in each ring center.  Place the halibut on top of the onion.  Sprinkle the capers, dill, salt & pepper on top of the Halibut.  Place a 1/8″ lemon slice on each halibut steak.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle about 2 T. grated cheese on top.  Bring together sides of the foil & seal into a tent, leaving a small air space on top. Bake until the fish is white throughout- about 20-25 minutes.
Unwrap.  While it’s resting a moment freshen up the look by removing the cooked lemon slice.
Garnish the  Halibut by adding a fresh sprig of dill, a dot of créme fraiche & a squeeze of lemon~
Place a lemon wedge on each plate & serve immediately.

Great with Brown Rice or a White Wine Risotto, fresh vegetable & salad~

Another way to make the Halibut is to leave the onion slices with their centers & simply paint the fish
on both sides with Ojai Organic Jalapeño Fish Basting Sauce (in production-released soon).
Follow the recipe above otherwise.


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Mediterranean Apricot Jalapeño Relish

Some people think that ALL PEPPERS are too spicy.  Many Peppers are too hot, but not these.  Try this & see if you like it…

I love APRICOTS-especially Mediterranean Dried Apricots.  They’re not all dry & hard like most dried apricots~ they’re moist & supple.

The other night I was craving something sweet.  I was rummaging through the pantry only to discover we’d eaten all of the dark chocolate.  That’s when I found the delicious treats.  I diced a handful of Mediterranean Apricots and added them to about 4 ounces of Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly & it was fantastic! Try this with turkey, chicken, pork, PB&J’s, or with cream cheese on crackers.

1/2 c. Mediterranean Apricots, diced
4-6 ounces Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly


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Thanksgiving Treat in a hurry~

Not sure of what to make but want it to compliment your holiday meal in a hurry?
Try this delicious cranberry sauce that takes about 5 minutes to prepare;

Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce

One 9 ounce ‘hooked ‘ size jar of Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly
1 bag fresh cranberries, washed & drained
Approximately 2 cups fresh orange or tangerine juice
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks

Place the cranberries, fresh juice & cinnamon sticks in pan over medium heat.

Stirring, heat only until the cranberries ‘pop‘, then set aside to cool slightly, drain off juice.
Set aside cinnamon sticks for the serving dish.

Add the cranberry mixture to a pretty serving bowl, add the Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly.
Stir, add back cinnamon sticks & serve~


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November Recipe~ Baked Brie

With the holidays coming up & parties to go to, it’s always great to have something everyone loves to eat.  The gathering is in your home or theirs, it’s always entertaining to make something delicious & watch it vanish~

Baked Brie

4 T. salted butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small handful of whole fresh sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 c. dry white wine

One 8-inch-diameter French Brie, packed in wooden box (reserve box)
2 French bread baguettes, sliced
or use your favorite crackers

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add sage and gently move the butter around covering all sage leaves, cook until golden brown and crunchy.  Remove the sage from the butter, set aside.  DON’T EAT ALL THE SAGE RIGHT NOW! although it’s hard not to- it’s SO delicious…
Add the onions to the butter, & sauté until onions are golden, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add the wine, stir until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper. Cool. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap the Brie, reserving bottom of wooden box. Cut away only top rind of cheese, leaving rind on sides and bottom intact. Return Brie to box, rind side down. Place cheese & it’s container on parchment paper & baking sheet. Top the Brie evenly with the onion mixture. Bake until cheese just melts, about 30 minutes. Transfer Brie in box to platter. Surround with baguette slices or crackers and surround with a mote of Ojai Organic Jalapeño Jelly & the buttery sage leaves encompassing the dish.


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Welcome to the Ojai Jalapeño Jelly Blog!

red & green jalapeno peppers

Ojai is a charming little community of just over 8,000 residents.  The Ojai Valley offers amazing restaurants, shops, schools, produce, the Ojai Film Festival, & much more!

I make Ojai Jalapeño Jelly here in Ojai, California.  The glass hexagon-shaped jars of jelly nestle together perfectly for display purposes, in the pantry, or in the refrigerator.

Ojai Jalapeño Jelly should be refrigerated after opening

Depending on the time of year the Peppers have different colors- like Bell Peppers, the Jalapeño Pepper also presents in varying colors from green to red & orange.  Ojai Jalapeño Jelly is scheduled to be on the shelves of The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, as well as il fustino in Santa Barbara.

Available by the case or half case

4 ounceGIFT‘ size                  12/case

6 ouncePRACTICAL‘ size       12 /case

9 ounceHOOKED ‘ size          12/case

Please follow my blog, add your comments & watch my little business grow!



il Fustino

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa