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Small Business Grant FedEx Competition







Thank you for all your votes!! Fingers crossed!

I entered a small business contest on FedEx!
Between now & March 24, 2021 PLEASE go online & vote for Ojai Jelly!
One vote per day, per person- TELL your friends & Ojai Jelly fans!


I started my business on a shoestring in 2010. I had a stroke in 2007, which led to heart surgery, then falling & severely fracturing my sacrum… No fun at all but I’m here & I’m smiling
(most of the time)-  Bottom line: I really needed a job! 
You can read more about me here if you’d like to.
This is me before I had a stroke- it left me unable to walk or talk. I was 48.









Thank GOD I’m fully recovered & perfectly capable now. I’ll be 62 on Saint Patricks Day!

Fast forward to 2021, I sell in every state in this GREAT country of ours, +
in two villages in Baja, Mexico!

The small business FedEx contest limited me to 1000 words INCLUDING spaces-
so I couldn’t elaborate…

I’d LOVE to win the grant!! With your daily votes I might be able to do just that!!

If I win, here’s what I’d like to do:

→Enjoy more shipping with FedEx Ground and possibly expand to FedEx Express
→Print my logo on my shipping boxes so they can advertise my company as they’re en-route
→Have new banners made
→Have large magnet logo signs made to use on my vehicles
→Print more business cards
→Print more recipes for y’all
→Maybe I’ll even have my pepper logo printed on all my “Jelly Roll” tubes
→Possibly have t-shirts, masks, hats, mugs, water bottles printed with my logo!

♥I recycle, repurpose & reuse clean materials in the safe shipping & packing of Ojai Jelly.
I drive the truck, I unload the cases (usually alone), especially during the ongoing pandemic.

Thank you for your time, for your vote & especially for supporting my small business!
My business is one-woman strong! Me!
The possibilities are endless & I don’t shy away from hard work!



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South of the border…





























I tried to call ahead but didn’t get through. Turns out you need to add a “1”
to the number listed on YELP- here’s the correct way to dial from the USA:
011-51-1-612 157-1625
Ok, so my hope was to bake for free & learn lots from the legendary Marcus Spahr,
so I just showed up, apron in tow.
Instead we had lunch, talked & then did business at his digs in the charming,
quaint little town of El Triunfo, Baja CA Sur.
Marcus is a self taught baker & has baked every day for 21 years.
He even built his mesquite wood-fire ovens for his Caffe.
Before Caffe El Triunfo there was Caffe Todos Santos, over on the west coast of Baja.

From start to finish Marcus’ bread fermentation process takes 24 hours to make.
His method develops more complex & mildly acidic flavors, which give his breads
a natural sweetness & nut-like character.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of a meal in his pizzeria or bakery, I highly recommend that you include an afternoon in El Triunfo for your next trip.
It’s really the best of two worlds: authentic Mexican charm & artisan pastries…
& it shouldn’t be missed!
PS while supplies last, FIND Ojai Jelly at Caffe El Triunfo

Open every day!

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Sunshine in a jar

Best Seller: Ojai Habanero Apricot Jam- Sun ripened, California grown apricots + Habanero Peppers. Sweet yet savory. Try it on toast, dipped in coffee. Excellent on waffles or cheesecake. Great in cocktails too.



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Sweet & Sour Fish (chicken or pork)

Ojai Pepper Jelly
Sweet & Sour Fish

Baja CA Sur, Mexico
Sea of Corteo- Woo Hoo!


Dorado on the Sea of Cortez
Ruby’s first Dorado! ¡si!



Use organic, local ingredients whenever possible-
On the Sea of Cortez Dorado & Wahoo are plenty- Tonight’s dinner: “Ruby’s Sweet & Sour Dorado”.
Tip; have everything prepped & ready to go. Don’t have hot oil waiting- it’s a recipe for disaster…
Serves about 6

2 pounds fresh fish (Dorado, Halibut, Sea Bass, Wahoo- any mild white fish, chicken or pork is excellent)
2-3 t. salt
oil for frying (about 2″ deep in a frying pan)

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. cold water

3 T. apple cider vinegar
1/3- 1/2 c. Ojai Habanero Jelly (I prefer the flavor & color)
3-4 fresh squeezed Mexican limes
1 1/2 c. pineapple juice
4 T. cornstarch

1 1/2 – 2 c. fresh, sweet pineapple chunks- cut in bite size pieces
1-2 carrots- cut in circles
1 c. sugar snap peas- tips cut off
1/2 c. sesame seeds- dry roast in frying pan until golden brown & beginning to “pop”

Rinse then pat dry fish. Cut into bite size pieces. Be SURE to remove all bones.
Sprinkle  salt over fish.

Toss fish into medium size plastic bag with
3/4 c. flour.
Shake. Remove excess flour & set aside.

In a big bowl; prepare batter by mixing dry ingredients, then whisk in cold water. Set aside.

In a medium size saucepan prepare sauce over low-medium heat. Add vinegar & Ojai Habanero Jelly, & lime juice.
In a separate small bowl mix; cornstarch & pineapple juice. Drizzle & whisk juice/cornstarch mixture into saucepan with the
Jelly mixture. Stir until thickened  & somewhat translucent. Keep slightly warm until you’re ready to serve.

Dip fish in batter mixture.

Heat oil in deep frying pan, wok or deep fryer (about 375•)
Cook fish about 3 minutes- until golden brown. Drain off excess oil. Set aside in a warming dish until all fish is prepared.

I suggest you serve the sauce on the side & let your guests add sauce to their liking.
Top with sesame seeds.
This dish is excellent served with rice.


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Halibut Habanero

Local Halibut
Santa Barbara Channel Halibut

Easy to make. Mild, white fish. Both Pepper Jellies go very well with this dish. Use either one-
Serves 4-6
Preheat oven to 325º
Cooking time; about 35-40 minutes

4-6 fresh Halibut steaks- boned
about 2 Large Yellow Onions- sliced in 1/2″ thick rings- centers popped out
1 t. – 1 T. of Ojai Habanero Jelly in the center of each onion
1 T. dill- fresh or dried
2-3 Fresh Lemons- 1 sliced in discs & seeded (cook with), 1 or 2 cut in wedges (serve with)
1/2 c. Asiago or Parmesan Cheese- grated
1/2 c. Sharp White Cheddar Cheese- grated
1/4 C. Safflower Mayonnaise
Salt & Pepper to taste
splash of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or caper brine
Garnish: sprig of fresh rosemary & lemon wedges

Place enough foil on a 2″ deep (or larger) baking dish to enclose the finished product
(about 10″x12″).
Drizzle foil with a little olive oil.
Place the sliced onion on the foil- enough to cover the bottom of the dish.
Add a dollop of Ojai Habanero Jelly in each onion center.
Lay the halibut steaks on top of the onion.
Mix the grated cheeses, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dill, & soy (or sauce of choice).
Cover halibut with cheese mixture.
Place a few thin lemon slices on top of cheese mixture.
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 35 minutes.
Unwrap. While it rests a moment, freshen it up by removing the baked lemon slices.
Garnish each individual plate with a fresh sprig of dill or rosemary & a fresh lemon wedge.
Serve immediately.

Delicious with Brown Rice or a White Wine Risotto, fresh vegetable & light green salad~


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Muddled March Madness

Refreshing Cocktail

10 ounces Habanero Infused Tequila (previous recipe in Jelly Blog)
5 oz Fresh Meyer’s Lemon Juice
(I like to roll the whole lemon, juice it then throw in at least part of the remains in the shaker for added zest flavor)
3 ounces Agave Nectar
Muddled Basil; 20 leaves
(fresh mint, or lemon grass are great too)

Shaken till herbs are bruised
 & serve on a stem-

Garnish each glass with:
sugared rim
1 thin lemon zest curl
paper thin slice of Habanero Pepper or Mediterranean Apricot,
depending on your crowd.


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Cowboy Relish aka Cowboy Candy

3 pounds fresh, firm Peppers (assorted colored Bell Peppers, Jalapeño’s Peppers, & Habanero Peppers)
2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 c. sugar
1 t. tumeric
1 1/2 t. celery seed
4 t. fresh garlic, chopped
1 1/2 t. cayenne pepper

Warning: You may want to wear gloves…

Remove all stems.  Wash Peppers with a vegie wash, rinse well and let drain well.
Slice the Peppers into somewhat uniform 1/4 inch pieces, set aside.
In a large pot, bring vinegar, sugar, and all spices to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the Peppers and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Peppers into properly prepared sterilized jars.  Fill up to 1/4″ of the jar rim.  Once all the Pepper bits are removed from the pot and placed in jars, turn up the heat and bring the remaining liquid to a full rolling boil.  Boil hard for 7 minutes.

Use a ladle to pour the sugar syrup into the jars over the Peppers.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp towel, then apply the 2 piece lids.

Save all left over syrup- it is so flavorful in Martini’s, marinate, etc.

I recommend you do a hot water bath to properly and esthetically seal in flavor and out germs.
If you use this right away, you can be more casual about the process by refrigerating the jars of Cowboy Relish.


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Cowboy Relish & Lemon Zest BBQ’d Chicken

1 c. Cowboy Relish (recipe above)
Lemon Zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 c. Rice Wine Vinegar
5 T. Ojai Jalapeño Jelly (or Ojai Habanero Jelly)
2 full Chicken Breasts (4 single breasts)

Place all ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag & let marinate overnight, or as little as 30 minutes.
Seal the container to maintain flavors.
I threw this together very quickly last night at an impromptu BBQ-  It was amazing after only 20 minutes of marinating.  That said, if you have time, put it all together and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain off Peppers & liquid, setting aside for basting later.
BBQ chicken on a medium-high flame, sealing in the flavor & maintaining tender breasts-

I move the chicken around on the grill a bit as I BBQ, making best use of the heat while not over cooking the meal.  I paint the breasts with the marinate often and toward the end of the cooking process, I add the larger bits of Cowboy Relish, so they drizzle their flavor into the chicken, and also for their beautiful color.


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…in the heat of passion

This is my translation of the tantalizing cocktail at “Milk & Honey” in Santa Barbara, where I had my first Habanero-infused cocktail & got instantly hooked!

4 shots of Habanero-Infused “Sauza Plata” Tequila (or your favorite)
1/2 c. Fresh Passion Fruit Puree
4 Fresh Limes, juiced
I piece of thinly sliced fresh ginger
Agave nectar to taste

Run water over glasses, chill in freezer while you make the cocktail.
Place all ingredients except the garnishes in the cocktail shaker.
Shake about 10-12 times to dissolve  the agave nectar & bruise ginger.
Pour into chilled cocktail glassed, garnished with sugared rims & a twist of lime.
Serve up.


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Last week I was in San Francisco for the Fancy Food Show & I had the pleasure of  an amazing evening & a lovely meal with friends at the infamous “Grand Cafe” on 501 Geary Street.

…if someone blindfolded you going in, once through the Grand Entry- you’d open your eyes & feel like you’d arrived in Paris- the sculptures, the cuisine, the ambiance…

My mouth waters just thinking of this tantalizing cocktail-


2 oz Reposado Tequila
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Squeeze Lemon Juice
.5 oz Agave Nectar
Muddled Basil- 3 leaves
Jalapeno- fresh 2 thin slices
Shaken till Bruised
Served on a stem

recipe compliments of
Gregory Nasser
Assistant General Manager
Grand Cafe – Hotel Monaco San Francisco
501 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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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!