Category Archives: Condiments / Hors d’ oeuvres

Basic Hummus Recipe

Not everybody is a fan of hummus; and that may be because there are a lot of unusual things added to it to give it flavor when it doesn’t really need all that. You can add many different things to hummus to give it flavor, or you can keep it simple like this recipe. Whatever your family likes, you can always start with this basic recipe and get creative later.


1 cup garbanzo beans, cooked until soft

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3 Tbsp water

salt and pepper to taste


Cook the garbanzo beans until soft in enough water to cover them by about 1 inch. Add a couple shakes of salt to the water. It usually takes the beans about 30-45 minutes to get soft.

Drain the beans and put them in a blender with the water and grapeseed oil. Grind until smooth adding more water and oil if necessary to get the consistency of a paste or spread. Add salt and pepper to taste. Hummus is good on our veggie crackers with tomato and avocado.

Variations: Add onions or garlic to the blender while blending the beans. Mix chopped chives in after blending. Add ground chipotle pepper.

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Homemade Mustards

Homemade mustards can be given as specialty gifts and mustards you make yourself are much more flavorful than most store-bought mustards.

Ballpark Mustard:

1 Tbsp powdered mustard

1/2 Tbsp Turmeric

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp vinegar

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp honey

Use enough vinegar/water to mix ingredients together to the consistency you like, sweeten with honey to the taste you like.

Horseradish Mustard:

1/4 cup powdered mustard

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 cup water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine or vinegar

1/2 Tbsp grated horseradish to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This mustard will get hotter as it sits.

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Cajun Clam Dip

Looking for an easy hors d’oeuvre? Everyone loves this clam dip.

Cajun Clam Dip: Makes 4 servings.

8 ounces soft organic cream cheese

4 ounces clams, chopped

1/4 red pepper finely chopped

2 Tbsp green chilies

Cayenne or chipotle seasoning to taste

1 Tsp chopped green onions

Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour before eating to allow flavors to mingle. Will last refrigerated for up to one week.

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Spiced Apple Rings

These are a yummy, easy way to preserve apples that doesn’t take much work. If  you have an apple peeler/corer, it goes much faster and easier, but if you just make up a small batch, they are still worth the little bit of effort. This is one of the very few recipes where you don’t have to peel the apples.

apple-rings8-10 apples, cored and sliced into rings

1 tsp garam marsala

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup cranberry juice (for color) 4-5 whole cloves per jar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan except the apples and heat to boiling. Let cool to room temperature. Using an apple peeler, corer, slicer is easiest, but you can core, peel and slice the apples by hand as well. Once they are sliced, peeled and cored, steam the apples for about 10 minutes just to soften them up a little but so they are not mushy and still hold their shape.

Then stack the apple rings in a wide mouth jar or put in a small bowl and pour the brine over them. Make sure the brine covers all the apples, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of a week before eating. These will last in the frig for up to 3 months.

RAW DIET VERSION: Don’t steam the apples, use them raw. They will be a bit crunchier, but still tasty.

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Witch’s Brooms – Edible

So cute and clever and great for Halloween parties.

witches_cheese_broomsMozzarella cheese

Straight pretzels

Chives or green onion tops


Cut mozzarella into cubes the size you want your broom heads. Put slices in the bottom 3/4 of the cheese cube as shown in photo and push a pretzel stick into the solid top of the cheese cube.

Tie a strand of chive or green onion around broom head base as shown.

For extra fun and flavor, make a mustard or melted cheddar dip to dip these brooms into before eating.

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Refrigerator Pickles

Probably the easiest way to make pickles, but these pickles also have a unique taste that you cannot find in any store-bought pickles.

refrigerator pickles5 cups cucumbers (3 large) thinly sliced

1 medium onion (red onions are good)

1/4 cup salt

3-4 large sprigs fresh parsley

3/4 cup honey

1 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar

fresh ground pepper

Slice the cukes and onion and layer with the diced parsley in a large bowl or jar. Sprinkle with salt and add enough cold water to cover the cukes. Mix the salt around a bit and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

The next day, pour off about 1/2 of the salt brine and save the rest. In a medium saucepan, heat to boiling the honey and vinegar. Cool to room temp and sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper. Pour over cukes and mix with the reserved salt brine. If  you do this in a large jar, it’s much easier because you can simply put a lid on the jar and shake it up to mix everything together and you don’t have to dirty an additional bowl. Cover and let sit in frig at least 1-2 weeks before enjoying. Stir or shake up occasionally. Will last in the frig for about 2-3 months.

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Super Bowl Guacamole with Homemade Chips.

Guacamole: Makes about 3 cups.

Guacamole4 ripe avocados
2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 C. organic sour cream or unsweetened yogurt (optional)
1 organic tomato, diced
3-4 sprigs of fresh cilantro or chives
1 clove garlic
Sprinkle ground chipotle pepper to taste. Will get hotter as it sits.
1/2 tsp sea salt.

In a small bowl, peel, pit and mash avocados with a fork. Squirt the juice from 1-2 lime slices (depending on your taste) on the avocados, add salt, chipotle pepper and yogurt and mix well. Dice tomato and add to guacamole.

Serve with tortilla chips or make your own chips by microwaving a flour tortilla for about 50 seconds on each side until crispy but not too brown. Break into pieces for homemade chips.

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Super Bowl Best-Ever Salsa

This homemade salsa is not just flavorful, it’s full of vitamins.

salsa3-4 ripe tomatoes
14 oz tomato sauce
3-4 sprigs cilantro, basil or parsley 1/4 tsp chipotle
2 cloves garlic
3-4 green onions
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all above ingredients in a blender, making sure to put liquid foods in first, and just pulse until slightly chopped and well mixed together.

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Make Your Own Apple Butter

Apple Butter10 apples such as Granny Smith (cored and sliced – don’t peel, all the flavor and nutrients are in the peel.

1/2 cup honey or to taste (some people find apple butter is sweet enough without much sugar or honey, it depends on the type of apple you are using and your taste, but we find a minimum of 1/2 cup honey is a good place to start for any apple.

1/2 cup apple or cranberry juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Simmer everything in a pot until the apples are soft, most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick and dark brown. Puree the mixture in a blender if necessary. Put in canning jars and process according to the directions for your canner or keep refrigerated and eat within one week.

Variations: Add your own special twist, such as adding cinnamon or ground cloves, another type of fruit such as peaches, or raisins.

Want to follow our recipe club and get updates on new postings, holiday recipes when they get posted and special pages? Follow this online recipe book.

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Edible Flower Recipes

Some flowers are not just pretty to look at, they can be eaten as well, and some of them are not half bad. Below are some of the best edible flower recipes using various flowers. You can interchange any of the blossoms in these recipes, however, not all the other parts , such as leaves, shoots or roots are interchangeable or usable though. See each individual recipe for what parts can be used. Blossoms should be used and eaten within just an hour of picking or they will wilt.

stuffed_nasturtiumStuffed Nasturtium Blossoms:

Nasturtium leaves can be eaten raw in salads. They have a flavorful bite much like radishes. The blossoms are very attractive especially those of the variety called peaches and cream or any of the variegated varieties.

Mix soft goat cheese or cream cheese with herbs like rosemary, thyme, dill or garlic and drop about a 1/2 tsp of the mixture onto a fully-opened nasturtium flower. For an extra surprise, candy the flowers first, with the recipe below.

candied_flowersCandied Flowers

Any edible flower can be used for this recipe. Edible flowers include not just the nasturtium above but violets, daylilies and squash blossoms. The smaller flowers work beautifully for garnishes such as the violets used as this cupcake topping.

Of course, they look best when used with a white or light colored frosting.

Clean and dry your flowers or petals. Use a brush to paint a thin layer of egg white onto each side of the flower petals or blossoms. Gently place them into a shallow bowl of superfine sugar and sprinkle sugar over them to coat. Remove from the bowl, and place them on a piece of waxed paper. Sprinkle some more of the sugar over them. Allow them to dry until stiff, about 8 hours. Store at room temperature in an airtight container until using.

daylily_saladDaylily Salad:

Most parts of the common daylily, Hemerocallis fulva, are edible. WARNING: NOT ALL LILIES ARE EDIBLE. Such as the Easter lily which is poisonous if consumed by people or pets. See our Garden Circkles article for how to use all the parts of this plant.

Clean and wash the blossoms, do not use the green part at the bottom of the blossoms as they tend to be bitter. Pull the petals off and toss them on top of salad greens for a very colorful, unique salad to impress your friends with. Best eaten with a light dressing like grapeseed or olive oil and vinegar. Heavy creamy dressing tend to just bury the taste and beautiful color, which you don’t want to hide.

deep-fried_flowersDeep-fried Flower Blossoms:

Use very fresh blossoms that have just been picked so they hold their shape when being battered and fried. The flower buds, or partially opened flowers work best for this recipe.

Also, a slightly sweet batter brings out their flavor better. Then dip them in a honey-mustard sauce or powdered sugar.


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