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Taste of Ojai

[frame]Taste of Ojai 2014[/frame] This event just keeps getting better!
A big shout-out to Charee Edwards for coordinating the event, & to the Ojai Rotary Club!
As always the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Resort hosted Taste of Ojai -2014.
The Indian-Summer conditions were spectacular, as October often presents in our little Nest-
The music was great & the ever-smooth Alquimia Organic Tequila divine!
People danced, laughed, & enjoyed tasty items from; Surf Brewery, Bliss Frozen Yogurt, Suzanne’s Cuisine, Feast Bistro,
& of course the Jelly Gals were serving up Ojai Habanero Apricot Jam over Cheese Cake!
Mark your calendars for Taste of Ojai 2015- it’s well worth attending!

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Local Artisans Market @William Sonoma

First Saturday
12 noon to 4 pm

Saunter into William Sonoma & Sample our Delightful + Delicious Epicurean Treats! 
Friendly staff + talented Artisans throughout – Did I mention scrumptious treats?


  • have you tried our new Jam?
    heat level 2 



  • OJAI JALAPENO JELLY – heat level 3



  • OJAI HABANERO JELLYheat level 4

Rainbow Pancakes


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Year of the Horse Salad

Katie Upton Local Santa Barbara Artist

A special THANK YOU to local Santa Barbara artist; Katie Upton.
I ♥ her work!

Wine Pairing; Zaca Mesa Winery 2011 Viognier

Toss together;
2 c. organic beets, spiralized, then lightly steamed, or micro’d ‘al dente’
2 c. organic Granny Smith Apples, spiralized or sliced thin
1/2 c. organic kale, or a handful of fresh parsley- chopped
1/2 c. organic celery root, (anise root, or jicama are also delicious)- chopped

(heat & mix over low heat, do not boil)
1/2 c. olive oil
2-3 t. Ojai Jalapeño Jelly

Once it’s cooled, complete by adding;
1/2 c. “White Apple Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 c. White Stilton Mango & Ginger Cheese
squeeze of lemon (♥ Meyers)

At the last moment throw in
a handful of “NutC” Sweet n’ Spicy Walnuts– broken up, irregularly
Toss & serve-


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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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Summertime Carrots

Summertime Carrots

In a saucepan lightly steam;
5 medium size carrots- peeled
Drain well & transfer to a serving bowl

In the same saucepan heat;

2-3 T. Ojai Habanero Jelly
Heat till it sizzles for about 45 seconds
Add 1 T. Molasses
3 T. Lemon Balsamic Vinegar (Robbins Family Farm)

Stir for just a moment & remove from heat.

Pour sauce over carrots,
add 1 finely chopped green onion

Toss & serve-

Delicious warm or cold


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Blood Orange Tequila Sunset Cocktail

Ojai Blood Oranges









What you’ll need;
1 1/2 oz GOOD tequila (per person)
4 oz Tangerine Juice (per person)
1/2 oz blood orange syrup (per person)

The syrup is easy to make. You’ll have extra for the next time you’re craving this cocktail.
It stores well in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Blood Orange Syrup

4 c. fresh squeezed Blood Orange juice
2c. sugar

Combine ingredients in a saucepan, then simmer for about 15 minutes, reducing liquid to half. Set aside & let cool.

The trick to making this beautiful Blood Orange Tequila Sunrise Cocktail is to add the ingredients in a specific order, creating striations of color. First in the glass goes the ice, then the tequila, the tangerine juice, and lastly the blood orange syrup. Slowly drizzle the syrup over the back of a spoon to allow the syrup to make it’s way to the bottom of the glass. Give it a slight stir, and you’re finished-
Garnish with a curl of zest & make a toast!

Serves well with a gaggle of giggling friends, telling stories, creating new ones & watching the Ojai “Pink Moment” “Sunset” disappear together-


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Lime-Orange Cupcakes with White Chocolate & Peppercorn Frosting!?!










makes 14-16 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350•

These cupcakes are unique, delicious & light- This recipe was inspired by the amazing Amalfi white chocolate bar
I recently discovered @ Paradise Pantry in Ventura, CA.

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients then set aside;
1 1/2 c. Swan’s Down Cake Flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt

In a different bowl cream;
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (@ almost room temperature)

To the sugar & butter add;
1 egg yolk (save the egg white)
1/2 c. milk + 1/4 c. sourcream or 3/4 c. buttermilk
about 11 drops of Orange Oil
1-5 ounce jar “E. Waldo Ward & Son” Lime Marmalade- chopped up

In another bowl;
Beat 3 egg whites until light & fluffy, not dry or stiff

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then fold in the egg whites gingerly.

Line & fill your cupcake tins.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Ready when toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then take cupcakes from tins & allow to fully cool on rack before frosting.

My favorite new kitchen tool is a “Batter Pen“- it makes filling cupcake tins fast, clean & easy.
I also recommend using cupcake paper liners that are made of special parchment paper, they don’t allow the cupcakes to stick.

White Chocolate-Lime Zest & Pink Peppercorn Frosting

With an electric mixer, cream;
6 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 c. butter (room temperature)
1 heaping T. sourcream

Then add & mix well;
pinch of salt
about 10 drops “Orange Oil

Mix in;
3/4 c. powdered sugar
6 ounces +/- white chocolate bar- finely grated
1 t. lime zest
3-7 pink peppercorns- ground

frosting onto cupcakes & decorate with a slight dash of lime zest + a pinch of white chocolate & simply a hint
of pink peppercorn-


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Chronic Cellars, Paso Robles

What a fun place to taste GREAT wines- They even have a pool table in the middle of their tasting room!
Chronic Cellars is on the outskirts of Paso Robles, CA. -on the way to Lake Nacimiento
Their general theme; FUN! Zany! & Dia de los Muertos characters throughout- All wine names are a play-on-words My favorite; “Sofa King Bueno

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Asparagus Spears wrapped in Prosciutto, drizzled with Habanero-Balsamic Reduction

This is a delicious appetizer- & the first way I tried prosciutto-

One bunch of organic asparagus spears- ends cut off, washed
About 10 thinly shaved pieces of prosciutto-
Cut each strip into 3 long strips, about 1″ wide

Boil a pot of water then turn off the heat.
Add asparagus & let sit for 2-3 minutes.
Drain & immediately cover with ice to preserve color.
Drain & gently pat dry. Set aside.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat add;
3 T. Ojai Habanero Jelly
1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
handful of craisins

Whisk together & stir until thickened, then remove from heat.

Wrap towel-dried asparagus with strips of prosciutto by twisting the asparagus as you hold the prosciutto.
For easy clean up, lay wrapped asparagus side by side on foil, in a baking dish.
Drizzle with balsamic Habanero reduction.

Broil for 5-7 minutes-

Served warm or @ room temperature-

Savory, sweet, salty wonderfulness- & you get your vegetable too!


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Valentine’s Day Cake

Valentine's Day Cake









preheat oven to 350*

I’ve experimented with this RICH yet surprisingly light cake for many years-
It’s my favorite & regardless of friends & families dietary restrictions
they LOVE it too-

No flour, oil or leavening is added-
Rich coffee flavors runs throughout the cake & frosting-

I’ll admit that sometimes I get distracted because I tend to multitask & occasionally forget to add the egg whites-
so it’s less light & more  brownie-like.
With or without the egg whites, this cake is hands down the most rich, decadent, delicious cake I’ve ever had-
It pairs nicely with freshly churned vanilla ice cream & a hot cuppa

1 packet of Starbucks Italian roast “Via” plus 1/3 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. chocolate chips (1- 11 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips)
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. butter
12 egg yolks (keep egg whites for later)
1 3/4 c. organic walnuts, ground (food processor, ground like coffee grounds)

In a medium size saucepan, over low heat;
Coffee, water & sugar. Mix then add chocolate chips & stir.
Once mixed add vanilla & remove from heat.  Let cool 5-10 minutes.

With an electric mixer;
Cream butter, add egg yolks & mix. Add ground walnuts, then chocolate mixture.

In a separate (metal) mixing bowl;
Beat egg whites until firm but not dry-  Fold whites into the chocolate batter-

Place 3 layers of parchment paper on counter top, draw around the cake pan with a pencil then cut out with scissors- Cut some straight pieces to use for the pan sides. Line pans.

Evenly distribute the batter into cake pans. I add 1 or 2 scoops of cake batter to each cake pan until all three
are evenly filled.

They will look a bit empty- but don’t worry-

Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes (a little less time in a convection oven).


2 c. chocolate chips (1 eleven-ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips)
1 packet of Starbucks Italian roast instant “Via” plus 1/3 c. water
1 c. + 2. T. butter
4 egg yolks
2 c. powdered sugar + a little for dusting the finished cake plate edges.

In a medium size saucepan, over low heat;
Slowly melt the coffee , water & chocolate chips.
Once smooth & blended; remove from heat.
Cool for about 7-10 minutes.

In a separate bowl;
Cream the butter, add egg yolks, then sprinkle in the powdered sugar.
Once smooth & well mixed, add in the chocolate mixture.

note; make sure when adding something hot to eggs that you don’t cook the eggs-
add a little at a time & keep stirring because you don’t want a lumpy cake-