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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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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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Jalapeño Glazed Yellow Tail

My friends Georgine and Jenn had a dinner party last night & I was asked to BBQ the fish & the Anaheim Peppers- As I do with many food items, I painted them up with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly, & everything was delicious!

Here’s what I did;

2 fresh Yellow Tail steaks

Marinate fish in a covered bowl with:
5 T. Tres Classique ‘Lemon Splash’ Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 c. 5-Pepper Syrup

Let the fish marinate for a few hours.  Drain off liquid, then BBQ over medium flame, turning often to cook evenly- Don’t dry the fish out.

Paint fish with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly- flip then paint again.
The Jelly will glaze beautifully, & seal in the flavors.

You don’t need tartar sauce with this dish.

I painted the Anaheim Peppers & BBQ’d them also- everything was tasty!



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¡Vegan Sushi with a Savory Ojai Pepper Jelly/Peanut Dipping Sauce!

Last night our “Valley of the Moon” aka ‘Ojai Valley Community Garden’ group met for our first ‘potluck’ dinner.  It was well attended, full of delightful conversation(s), and we had lot’s of tasty foods to try.  We met in the Keith’s Club House- Thank you Keith & Robin -again!

Here’s what I brought, I’m going to call it: Vegan Sushi Rolls-


about 10 Spring Roll Skins (run warm water over them and use right away)
Finely chop &/or grate vegies of your choice-
I chose:
Red Bell Pepper
Fennel Root
Avocado (leave the avocado about 1/2″ size cubed)
Wild or brown rice (wild is visually more appealing)
Black sesame seeds (great fleck of color, tastes amazing & they’re so good for you!)
Splash of rice wine vinegar
Squeeze of fresh lemon (I occasionally add a bit of zest too)

Do not chop, but wash, carefully spin or let air dry
Cilantro (separate by the leaves)
Nasturtium flowers (separate by the flower or the petals- this adds a little spice and lovely color)

FYI: I suggest that you practice a time or two with the slightly temperamental wraps-  ONLY get them wet, ONE AT A TIME- plan on scraping one as you practice.  Don’t lay them together when they’re wet-  I’m convinced this is how the ‘super ball’ was invented…

I recommend that you uniformly cut/chop/grate your vegetables- (carrots: grated, fennel root: chopped fine, etc)
Place all vegies in a bowl, large enough to toss as you would a salad.
Add all but the cilantro and the nasturtium & toss.

Next, run the rice paper under warm tap water until it changes from hard to mailable.  Lay it on a very thin kitchen cloth (no fuzz), and lightly dab off the excess water.  I then very lightly spray olive oil “Pam” on a olive serving tray to assist in forming the rolls-  Lay the rice paper across the olive oil tray & push in the center, forming the cavity to fill with the vegetable mixture.

The first item(s) I place on the rice paper are the nasturtium flower petals, & the cilantro leaf (this is the splash of color you’ll see best when the rolls are completed).
Next add about 3 T. of the vegetable/rice mixture to the rice paper.
Pull up ends of the rice paper, then one side at a time- all the while attempting to create a uniform sushi-looking roll.

Lightly sprinkle black sesame seeds on top of each roll if you’d like a bit more flavor, texture and an Asian flair-
These wraps are translucent & make very pretty finger-food.
Practice a bit and see if you can get them rolled long & lean, like a sushi roll; about 2″ wide by about 7″ long.

Savory Dipping Sauce

Peanut Butter (freshly ground tastes best)
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly or Ojai Habanero Jelly

Mix the peanut butter with the Ojai Pepper Jelly until you like the consistency, as well as the heat factor.
It’s best to serve the sauce with a small serving spoon, so it can be dribbled on the roll.  Often people like to add sauce as they go & we don’t want them double dipping now do we!

Serve on a plain platter, so you can enjoy the natural colors of the ingredients.







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Fresh, local HALIBUT

Fresh Halibut Steaks (1 steak per person, boned)
1 or 2 Large Purple Onions- sliced in 1/2″ thick rings
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly- 1 T. per Halibut Steak
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 Jalapeño Jelly, also serve as a chutney with the meal-

Local Halibut


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Ojai Jalapeño Brioche with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly

Preheat oven to 350.

2 packets active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water
1 ¼ c. buttermilk
¾ c. salted butter (softened)
¼ c. sugar
2 eggs
5-7 Jalapeño Peppers – washed & stemmed- chopped in a mini Cuisinart
(I don’t remove the seeds- only remove them IF you want to control the heat/wear gloves)
5-5 ½ c. ‘self rising’ flour
pinch of salt

Ojai Jalapeño Jelly

Butter -salt free @ room temperature

Grease bread pans & set aside

In a large bowl:

Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water.  Let mixture rest until it’s frothy looking, then add buttermilk, butter, sugar, eggs, & 1 c. flour.  Mix lightly & add the Jalapeños.  Keep adding flour until 5-5 ½ c. are reached.  Knead well.  Place in pans & cover loosely with plastic wrap & a light towel.  Let rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).  Bake @ 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from pans & brush with butter.  Serve brioche fresh from the oven with a side of Ojai Jalapeño Jelly & butter.


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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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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~