Friday, March 10, 2023

Garlic Jelly

When I had a small art studio in Michigan, I also had a small gift shop. I sold the inimitable products of Stonewall Kitchen. Their pepper jelly and garlic/onion jam were best sellers. So when I came across this recipe, I jumped on it.

Everyone should make garlic jelly. It's inexpensive. Tasty. Versatile. Ingredients are simple and easy to find. The first time I made it was from sheer curiosity. Now I just often miss it. It's great with pork and lamb. Spread a little on a chicken sandwich. Add a spoonful to pasta ... or mix in with your favorite sauce/gravy. 

You can't beat it with cream cheese on a cracker.

Once, I made it with rosemary--a real knock out. I prefer 1/2 pint jars because I love to give away as gifts, especially around the holidays.

Yield: About 5 cups

  • 1/2 cup fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 5.5 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1, 2-ounce package dry pectin
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter
  • 2 drops food coloring, (red, green, yellow, orange) optional

  1. Combine garlic and vinegar in a 2-qt. saucepan/kettle. Bring to a gentle simmer, not a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat and carefully pour hot liquid into a one-quart canning jar. Cover and let sit for 24-36 hours.
  3. Pour the cooled, flavored vinegar through a wire sieve/strainer, pressing the garlic with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  4. Discard residue left in sieve.
  5. Measure the liquid. You want one cup. If you need don't have enough liquid, add enough vinegar to make one cup. Set aside.
  6. Measure sugar into a bowl.
  7. Combine the garlic/vinegar solution and the 3 cups water in 5-6 quart kettle. Add pectin. Stir well to combine.
  8. Over med/high heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Now add sugar and stir well.
  9. Bring to a rolling boil. Add butter to reduce foam. Boil hard for 2 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from heat. Carefully skim off foam. If using, add food colorings. 
  11. Pour into prepared jelly jars/glasses
  12. Seal according to directions on brand of pectin you used.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Irish Beer Bread with Cheddar, Chives and Onions

It's always fun to make a loaf of Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. But, truth be told,  it doesn't really have much on the taste-side. Beer bread is the next option. A bit more flavor ... still ...

But with a full St. Patty's dinner of corned beef, I want something a bit fancier. Tastier. Robust.

So I put together this recipe and could not be more pleased. It's pretty easy. No yeast involved. Filled with savory flavor. Buttery moist on the inside. Crisp, craggy crust on the outside.

Actually, it's a bit rich.

This would, I think, make wonderful muffins. But don't use liners. You want that crust.

I used an authentic white cheddar imported from England. It was wonderful, especially since it was on sale. If you use a white cheese, the color will disappear into the batter. A yellow cheese will confetti the loaf with "orange specks." It's your call. But they do look nice with the green flecks of chives.

You could also use a Gruyere or soft white Italian, such as Fontina. I think a combo would be nice, including Parmesan. I would avoid a basic Swiss or American ...

Before beginning, first add the dried onions to the beer to hydrate and to increase flavor.

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease/spray/line a 9 x 5 loaf pan

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (385 grams) reserve about one tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces (for the batter)
  • 4 additional tablespoons butter, melted (for basting as it bakes)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced, fresh chives, dusted with reserved tablespoon of flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 12 ounces beer (a light lager preferred)
  • 1 1/4 cups 140 grams shredded Cheddar cheese

In one of your favored, antique ceramic bowls, combine all dry ingredients. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles medium/fine crumbs.

Stir in beer/dried-onion liquid until combined. 

Fold in cheese.

Fold in chives.

Evenly spread batter into loaf pan. Baste with 1/3 butter. Bake for 20 minutes.

Baste again with 1/3 butter mixture, turning pan.

After 20 minutes, baste with remaining butter, turning pan, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. You are looking for a temp. of about 200 F degrees. Since this is a wet batter, I highly suggest taking the temp.

Remove from oven. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan onto wire rack. Let rest for a good 30 minutes before slicing.

This was great spread with English marmalade and served with fried eggs for breakfast. I think a fig jam would be ... jammy!

I have not tried it yet, but would be interesting to bake individual, small loaves, especially if you have an eatery ... Great for St. Patrick's Day gifts.

Here is my recipe traditional Irish Soda Bread:

Similar, is Australia's national bread, Damper:

My best and favorite Irish bread with dried fruits and caraway is here! You will not be disappointed:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Top Soups from Kitchen Bounty and a FREE Give Away!

This is your chance to win FIVE (not one! not two! or three or four ... but FIVE!) incredible, gorgeous, no-longer-fashionable, but oh-so-practical, hand-loomed cotton potholders woven by me ... Mr. Kitchen Bounty himself.  To win is easy. 

Make one of the soups below (or any soup on my site). Send me a photo BUT write a comment about the soup and post it on my site.  Love it? Hate it? I don't care. Did you change ingredients? Let me and other followers know!

Better yet, feel free to send me via e-mail your family-favorite soup! Maybe I will make it and share ...

I will randomly choose two winners whose comments, photos, soup exuberance seem to go together ...  Winners will be announced around St. Patrick's Day, March 2023. Please understand, potholders will be random colors and designs. What you see below are examples/samples.

To comment is easy. Simply click on the "comment" button at the very end of the recipe page you are using. Easy Peasy.

Are you a soup person? I am. I became addicted the first time I came home from school to the smell of my mother's chicken and rice soup. Heaven.

That's the only homemade soup she actually made ... or that I remember.

My father was not much on soup. He said he ate too much from a "can" during The Depression; so, for holidays, our meal starters were always salads. That made me sad. I always dreamed of a large Hollywood tureen of incredible soup elegantly ladled into gorgeous soup bowls and passed down the table. Ironically, when I visited home and brought some of my favorite soups, my father usually raved, especially my seafood-chowder.  Hi, DAD!

Right now, because of food inflation, soups are probably the most economical of meals one can prepare ... for yourself and your family. But one of their star benefits, to me,  is sharing a jar with a friend or neighbor, especially a senior. For seniors, soups are easy to re-heat and to eat. Plus, they are digestible, filled with vitamins--and pose little clean up.

TIPS: Homemade soup stock is always best. Truly, nothing compares. I tend to mix turkey and chicken parts together for a robust stock ... Turkey necks are often available and make for a great stock or added flavor to chicken stock. Never use chicken breast to make stock or broth. It has no fat whatsoever. BUT the bones are wonderful. Save the white meat for something else or cut up later to add to the soup which cooks up in just a few minutes.

When I lived up North, I had access to beautiful ham shanks (and pork cuts such as chops) not to mention real spring flowers like tulips and daffodils that did not die from the heat in two days ...  Here in the South, they are difficult to find for some reason. Sub ham hocks or smoked pork bones. Just yesterday I found a pitiful pack of sliced smoked ham shanks for $3.74. I grabbed them. Better than nothing.

I usually keep on hand several jars/flavors of "Better than Bouillon" to add if I need a stronger soup. I always always have chicken, smoked ham, beef flavors. If I hit the lottery ... mushroom, onion. Why not?

#1: HAM AND HOMINY SOUP   click here for recipe 

This actually began as a stew, but so many friends told me it was really about the wonderful broth that they wanted more. I listened. So I turned it into a soup. Ham shanks are not easy to find. Sometimes, sadly, they are sliced in packages (buy them!)  A ham bone would work, but nothing compares to a fat, chunky ham shank. Vary the "heat" according to your tastes. Like most soups, add what you want. Maybe some greens??? Yes, HOMINY ... It's not so bizarre or out of your comfort zone ... and you can find it in all grocery stores! Who knew!?

#2: EASY HAM AND BEAN SOUP click here for recipe

Like the Ham and Hominy soup, a meaty ham shank gives this soup taste and substance. I used to make a ham stock that I would simmer all day, strain and use as the base. It's not really necessary. Throw a shank or a couple of ham hocks into a pot of water with some sliced veggies, open a can of beans, especially "seasoned butter beans" and you're set to go. If you have never had them, seasoned butter beans have a wonderful "smoky" flavor, perfect for soups such as this.

#3: CABBAGE SOUP  click here for recipe 

Cabbages are usually plentiful, inexpensive and have a very long refrigerator life. Again, this uses ham shanks. Use ham hocks if need be. If I don't have enough ham, sometimes I cut up a smoked sausage or a piece of smoked kielbasa to add.

#4: CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE, LEMON, DILL, RED PEPPER click here for recipe 

I taught in a small Indiana town that once had a diner lovingly owned by a Greek family. This is how they served their soup. I fell in love with it. It was only served on Friday's ... so me, along with fellow teachers, rushed the several blocks. They also made their own homemade rolls! Incredible. For the best chicken soup, use a homemade stock. Nothing compares. Nothing!


It's always fun to use the turkey carcass after a holiday meal. Making your own dumplings or noodles is a game changer. The meatballs are always a surprise ... but in a delicious way.


click here for recipe 

I can not stress the importance of leaving spare ribs alone and just enjoying the meat that is neither barbecued, smoked, or rubbed. This is one of my favorite soups, bones and all! 


click here 

No ham bone needed for this simple delicious soup. But I do recommend using the leeks which are now pretty available at most supermarkets. 

#8: POTATO SOUP WITH LEEKS, MUSHROOMS AND DILL. I love this soup ...  I think you will, too! ... click here

Once you get the hang of making soups, it is so easy ... Throw in this and that ... Stir up some quick bread.  A bit of cheese and good butter ... Say grace and be happy!

To send photographs:

To send recipe comments, click on the comment button at the end of the recipe page you used.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Kitchen Bounty Reaches One Million!

Today, KB reached one million unique viewers. A unique viewer is someone who has clicked on the site for the very first time. Most likely, they will return over and over again, but for now, I have only been counting "unique hits."

I began KB way back in 2008 when I was a member of the writing blog "Open Salon," an adjunct of It was a tightly-knit group of incredible people who were political and creative. It followed a magazine-type format, complete with a cover that changed daily or weekly. Anyone could make cover with an article or photograph they created. It was great fun and very competitive. And, yes, I made cover several times.

People often wrote and talked about food, shared recipes, took great shots of prepared dishes. That's when I began my food-blog journey.

Alas, after the 2008 election, the site fell in disrepair and finally closed. Personally, looking back, especially from what we now know of "social media," I firmly believe it was all a psy-op and, as unique a group as we were, we were studied to death until they had the information they wanted. Remember, this is the time FB is launching. There was no Twitter.

I digress.

Responses to my recipes and columns motivated me to continue. When it went under, I missed it dearly. That's when Kitchen Bounty was born ...

Thanks to all who visit. I especially want to thank those who make the recipes I post and then write back to me, personally.

Now that I am retired, I can spend more time on the website. By the end of 2023, I hope to totally revamp it and to begin videos of the recipes I post once I get a newer kitchen that is more formidable for filming.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for nice giveaways. More on that next week!