Wine had always been my drink of choice rather than a cocktail. I think because wine is a match for food and I am food obsessed including and beyond jam. But some years ago I strayed from this habit to enjoyment of a gin and tonic.
I couldn’t resist coming up with an October recipe made with Apricot Orange Jam. Orange belongs to the month that includes the holiday Halloween. An Apricot Orange has that required bright orange color. So here is a recipe for a rich, warm muffin. Perfect for the chill of fall and the holiday. The pumpkin seed on the top give the muffin a nice added crunch.
Every year In October, I buy small sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins to save for Thanksgiving pies. For some reason pumpkins disappear from markets and farm stands after Halloween. I am always perplexed by this phenomenon. But who to tell? If anyone knows who is in charge of pumpkins, please let me know so I can lodge a complaint. I have learned to stock up on pumpkins in October and use them through the winter season. I make lots of delicious dishes with these perfect small pumpkins: Pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread (really a cake in a loaf shape), pumpkin cookies, spiced pumpkin soufflé and pumpkin pancakes. Here is my Pumpkin Pancake recipe made tastier by the addition of some of my Apricot Orange Jam.
It is early Fall as I write this and very soon the new crop of apples will be at their peak. In New England, this ripening of the most gorgeous shiny orbs, is celebrated by city folk who, once a year, wander into the orchards to pick apples. A bonus is the extraordinary pleasure of purchasing and drinking the orchard’s own fresh pressed or hardened apple cider.
Fall may be the perfect season for something sweet, hot, and bubbly from the oven, but I like to make this in the summer when the berries and peaches are both in season. Put this dish in the oven when friends or family are over for dinner, and out it comes post-meal, bubbling to add a touch of post dinner drama. I write this as Covid is with us and our gatherings are small or seated at a distance as at our house this past weekend. The fragrant, hot dessert was a hit with all of us celebrating the smallest of pleasures.
I have traveled a lot with food a major, if not the only, focus. I do a little research about what to expect so I am ready for possibly unique dishes. Dumplings in Asia, wonderful fish in Sicily for instance. When I visit friends in the South, I learn to drink copious amounts of iced tea. And I am emphasizing vast amounts, whether in someone’s home or in a restaurant. I know this doesn’t seem to compare with some heartier dishes, but it is still novel to that part of the world. On one visit I had a version of this spiked with bourbon. Either way, the presentation of our version made with jam as a taste booster is beautiful and delicious.
Sometimes in summer it is puzzling to figure out what to have for a lazy lunch or dinner. This could be a good solution. Pair this flatbread with a simple salad and a glass of white wine and you are all set.
Have you discovered skirt steak? A long jagged looking thin cut about 5 inches wide, not nearly as expensive as conventional steak cuts. When grilled, skirt steak has tons of flavor with a juicy middle and tasty, crispy edges. Because this cut is thin, it is a quick cut to grill. If you are looking for something to serve for 4th of July, this is it. I have a rub that was given to me by a Boston chef almost 20 years ago. It never fails - and because the cut is thin, you don’t have to spend time hovering over the grill. When the grill is really hot with red/orange embers, toss on the steak. Each side takes about 5 minutes or less. A note to keep in mind - when my friend gave me the recipe, he did not offer precise measurements - just “a good amount of this” and “less of this”. Below are amounts I came up with - you may want more of less of some of these.
Real summer begins for me when the peaches are ripe and juicy. I guess because I grew up with a couple of peach trees and as a kid the wait for the peaches ripening on the tree seemed to take forever. Then the magic would happen and the peaches were pronounced ripe enough for picking. Jars of jam would follow when the whole tree’s bounty was ripe, but the first peaches were destined for pie. If you live in an area where peaches grow, I suggest searching a farmer’s market in late June for this heralding of summer beginning.
For at least 10 years we have escaped the New England winters with a trip to a favorite beach in Mexico. Our family is deep into work – whatever that is – so not everyone makes it to our beach getaway every time. Once we are there, getting and making good fish tacos is top of our list – that and getting to the beach. I travel with jams – (also olive oil and good knives) so I bring along Red Pepper jelly and use it with the fish tacos I make. Sometimes the fish is battered and sometimes not. Here is a recipe I think is really good with either batter-fried or grilled fish.
As you can imagine, I adore making jam and obsessed with trying new combinations. I like choosing the fruit, chopping, cutting, cooking, and especially tasting and re-tasting.
After all the stirring and tasting, I begin to yearn for greens. A big salad. This is one of my favorite combinations and even includes some spoonfuls of my jam.
Chia pudding spells a party anytime.
A quick breakfast, dessert, or perfect for anytime sweet craving, you will love chia seeds pudding with a dollop of Strawberry Rhubarb, or any of Bonnie's fresh fruit jams. Did you know that chia pudding is a healthy treat? Loaded with Antioxidants with a High in Quality Protein. I like to layer this pudding with fresh berries, and slices of banana. My own party treat to start the day.
From my earliest memories of family gatherings, duck was always the meal that signaled celebration. This is one of my favorite special occasion recipes.
I have always considered crepes the most elegant of dishes, whether as a dessert or as an over the top breakfast dish. For a dessert-type filling almost any flavor of jam will do, but I think strawberry is a perfect fit for Valentine's Day.
I love filling cookies with my jam. These cookies are particularly good for this treatment since the dough is just slightly sweet. The recipe calls for grinding nuts and mixing butter and sugar, filling the kitchen with sublime fragrances.
Do you feel that chill in the air? It can only mean one thing...
September hits and I am in the mood for a comforting PB&J or some variation. Of course, the filling has to be exquisite, not filled with sugar but recalling the memories of summer fruit. Enter: my jam. Black & Blue was a favorite in my own kids' lunchbox, after they had helped pick the berries and load the fruit into a pot earlier in the summer. The nutty part of the equation has expanded with the relatively new nut butters on the market.
Jammy Breakfast Bars are the perfect thing for a hectic grab-and-go morning: full of nutritious and tasty ingredients, and fun for kids to help make, too. Our friends at San Franola Granola (based in San Francisco, naturally) make tasty and healthy granola blends, full of heart-healthy fiber and packed with protein. Along with our zippy Peach Ginger jam, we've added an extra boost of chia seeds (full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids!) and energy-boosting dried dates for a Back to School breakfast bite that won't slow you down.
Last year, we teamed up with Bully Boy Distillers here in Boston, and some of our favorite local drinking establishments to bring you Jam Cocktails (A.K.A. #Jamtails, for the social-media-inclined): beautifully rendered craft cocktails by some of Boston's best 'tenders, featuring the luscious flavors of Bonnie's Jams.
This season, we're recapping some of our favorite jammy creations, and even bringing you a few more to enjoy. Without pectin, our jams are the perfect stand-in for superior quality fruit syrups—minus all that sugar. Our flavors meld beautifully with citrus, aromatics, and bitters. All that's left is waiting patiently for Happy Hour to begin!
To me, salsa has always conjured up sunny skies and beaches. When I was growing up in Southern California the two went together and both were in abundance. My garden and barbeque do not in any way replace a sunny beach but they do provide a pretty nice place to be on an early evening in Summer. My summer salsa is of the fruit variety and is both colorful and a scumptious addition to another summer favorite kebabs quickly grilled over hot coals.
I love a holiday or occasion that gives us permission to eat sticky, delicious food like chicken wings and ribs. The Fourth of July fits that description for me. Here in New England, after a long winter this holiday is one of the first opportunities to take a small grill or a hamper of already prepared foods —like these make-ahead Firecracker Hot Wings— and stake out a spot on a beach or in the park with family or friends and enjoy the feast.
Ah, summer: those long hours of daylight, clear skies, and balmy temperatures put us in the mood for kicking back with friends and family— usually around a table!
In anticipation of these happy seasonal gatherings, we think everyone should have a few go-to tricks to help keep things more fun than frantic. For a fail-safe start to any fête, we turn to the tried-and-true combination of fromage and fruit—dressed up just a little bit for the occasion. Enter: the elevated cheese plate.
Our Grilled Shrimp with Dijon-Apricot Orange Dipping Sauce is the perfect easy but laid-back treat for a cookout in the back yard, on the beach or to share with friends. Featuring a flaming grill, wooden skewers, and our sweet-spicy-tangy sauce, this recipe is practically Dad-proofed! Hand him a beer —maybe Magic Hat's apricot infused "not-quite-pale-ale" , or a summertime Beer Cocktail— and let him know what Father's Day really means.
I have always enjoyed salmon prepared with a souffle-like inside and a crispy outside, so I thought of a recipe with one of my jams that I knew would caramelize— giving the salmon that sought-after texture. I played around with a few versions and came up with this one that has become my favorite go-to salmon recipe.
So for all those naysayers casting aspersions on popular snack foods aimed at kids take a look at these. Actually a delicious tasting confection. Good dough and really good jam transforms this common food into something uncommonly tasty and tasteful.