Spice Things Up: Mango Hot Sauce

February 2 028 Edited Spice Things Up: Mango Hot Sauce

Now that I’ve got it, what do I do with it? Ever ask yourself that question? I did right after I made this mango hot sauce. Perhaps a better question would be, when mangoes go on sale, why choose mango hot sauce over mango cupcakes? Some things will forever remain a mystery.

On Thursday, we will celebrate all things love-related when Valentine’s Day arrives. Yesterday in beer class, I learned chili peppers are considered aphrodisiacs. So there is one – if not distant – connection.

In addition, today marks the start of the Chinese New Year, and Tuesday is Mardi Gras. It is not often we have the opportunity to celebrate three glorious occasions in just one week. Why celebrate with a toast of champagne when you can celebrate with a splash of hot sauce? Grasping at straws here…

February 2 027 Edited Spice Things Up: Mango Hot Sauce

The write-up that accompanied the original recipe suggested considering this more so as a condiment than as a hot sauce, which I can see as it is not too terribly hot. Suggestions included, “a dipping sauce for raw oysters, or an add-in for meatloaf, beef stew or bread stuffing.” Note, oysters are also considered an aphrodisiac. I’m on to something here.

As for myself, I have been topping off my scrambled eggs with a dash or two. Given that suggestion is less than glamorous, I found a Serious Eats list of 25 Things to Do with Hot Sauce. My favorites from the list included adding hot sauce to punch up the flavor in tartar sauce, mayonnaise or chutney.

I also liked their ideas to add a few splashes into melted butter and then pouring it over popcorn or stirring a bit into a simple syrup to toss over a fruit salad. Going the simple syrup route also brings to mind spicing up a mango – or other – margarita. (An assortment of margarita and other drink recipes are available via my 5 o’clock board on Pinterest.)

February 2 022 Edited Spice Things Up: Mango Hot Sauce

One of the more unusual suggestions was to, “put a few drops into birdseed to keep out squirrels.” What? Am I to believe birds like seeds seasoned with hot sauce? If the squirrels do not like it, why would the birds like it? So confused.

A better suggestion mentioned with the original recipe was to present mango hot sauce as a hostess gift. And in the week ahead, why not give a bottle to your Valentine? I mean, who would want chocolates when hot sauce is an option? Please do not answer. Just leave me to my delusions.

If you like the idea of homemade hot sauce but are not so sure about sweet, sweet mangoes, check out the Etsy How-Tuesday article and video about how to Make Your Own Hot Sauce. Until next time, enjoy!

February 2 032 Edited Spice Things Up: Mango Hot Sauce

Mango Hot Sauce
Recipe type: Condiment
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 large mango, peeled and cubed
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ½ Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. After the mixture simmers, pour it into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Allow the hot sauce to cool to room temperature, then store in a bottle with a tight seal.
  5. Keep refrigerated.
Please note, the turmeric will stain plastic (like the white parts of a food processor) yellow. The yellow color will fade over time, but please keep in mind discoloration happens when working with turmeric. More importantly, please take care when working with hot peppers. The oils that remain on the fingers will burn the eyes, so take care to wash hands very thoroughly – use lemon juice if available – before rubbing tired, bleary eyes.


A Flavor of July: Spicy Tomato Jam

IMG 4258 Edited A Flavor of July: Spicy Tomato Jam

Does not pair well with peanut butter. This is the only negative I can offer in regards to the spicy tomato jam recipe seen in Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin. At first, I was skeptical – tomatoes…in a jam? But as the author pointed out, tomatoes are a fruit, so I tried it. And wow, am I glad I did! Though nearly every blog post I write is about food, I tend not to get overly excited about food. This however, I am overly excited about.

Tomato jam is the perfect, simple recipe to turn to when you need to use up an abundance of tomatoes or want to get rid of those slightly bruised tomatoes that are no longer the prettiest but remain perfectly edible. This tomato jam had quite a bit of heat to it, hence why I changed the recipe name from Tomato Jam with Rosemary and Saffron (in the cookbook) to Spicy Tomato Jam (on the blog). The other reason is saffron threads run about $18 a pop at my local grocery store, so I opted out of that particular option.

IMG 4266 Edited A Flavor of July: Spicy Tomato Jam

I took a lead from the cookbook and ate my tomato jam along with a grilled cheese sandwich. In the winter, one of my favorite comfort meals is a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. In the summer, I still love grilled cheese, but hot soup is typically the last thing I want. Spicy tomato jam is a perfect alternate to get that hot, tomato taste with a plain grilled cheese sandwich.

But what else can tomato jam be used for? Because the jam has a consistency more like that of a very thick salsa than that of a gelatinous jam, it can be easily substituted anywhere you would typically use a dip. Try it with tortilla chips, or dip jalapeño poppers in it. Eat it with meats – pork chops and applesauce becomes pork chops and tomato jam – or use it as a substitute for shrimp cocktail sauce. Scramble tomato jam in with an egg, or add it to pizza or pasta sauce. Top crostini with goat cheese and tomato jam. Get creative, and enjoy!

IMG 4263 Edited A Flavor of July: Spicy Tomato Jam


Spicy Tomato Jam
  • 1½ pounds tomatoes, cored, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Allow the mixture to simmer until thick and syrupy (from thin and watery), at least one hour.
  3. Serve at room temperature.
I allowed my tomato jam to simmer for 90 minutes to get to the thick consistency I desired. The tomato jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.


A Quick Bite: Spicy Nutmeg Carrots

IMG 3330 Edited A Quick Bite: Spicy Nutmeg Carrots

All of the rabbits I’ve seen hopping around lately got me to thinking about carrots. Just kidding – the 10 pound bag of carrots sitting in the refrigerator is what actually got me to thinking about carrots. Or more precisely, what I could do with carrots.

I do not like to eat vegetables. Unless they are grilled (because they caramelize and start to taste sweet), I can really do without them. Given I want to incorporate more food-from-plants into my diet, this dislike of vegetables is a bit of a problem.

In large part, I find raw vegetables just plain boring. Jazzing them up with dressing and dips seem pointless because by the time I factor in the calories and fat they add, I figure I’d be just as well off with a donut.

Carrots 002 300x300 A Quick Bite: Spicy Nutmeg Carrots

10 Pounds

I came across a recipe for spicy nutmeg carrots when I created my McCormick Pin-spiration board. The recipe seemed like a very quick, easy, tasty way to  enjoy a side of vegetables with my dinner. That and it gave me an opportunity to use my mandoline, the novelty of which has not yet worn anywhere near off.

In less than five minutes, I made a side dish that was positively delicious. I steamed my carrots in the microwave, then tossed them in the spicy nutmeg butter sauce. I really liked the heat of the red pepper and how the spice of the nutmeg complimented the natural sweetness of the carrots.

Spicy nutmeg carrots have changed the way I think about vegetables. Just kidding again, but if  you can’t bake carrots in cake, then you may as well serve them as a side of spicy nutmeg carrots! Enjoy!

IMG 3334 Edited A Quick Bite: Spicy Nutmeg Carrots

Spicy Nutmeg Carrots
Recipe type: Side
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper
  1. Cook the carrots as directed on the package.
  2. Melt the two tablespoons of butter, then stir in the nutmeg, garlic salt and red pepper.
  3. Pour the mixture over the carrots and toss to coat.
  4. Serve immediately.
For the red pepper, I used red pepper flakes rather than ground cayenne pepper.