A Perfect Pair; Cheese and Sangria Wine Jelly

What goes better with cheese than wine?  I love little cheese plates for snacks and parties. I always like to serve them with fruit spreads to add a little sweetness and contrast. Apricot jam, Pear preserves etc.. but then I heard of wine jelly and thought, yum! I decided to incorporate some fruit and other flavors into mine, much like you would for a sangria. I am not a jelly/jam maker. I don’t have jars and tongs and all that jazz so I made a simple batch and just refrigerated it. Do plan ahead because even though this is easy to make it can take 1-3 days to get to a jelly like consistency.It will loosen at room temp, but re-jells when refrigerated. Serve as a side on a cheese plate, over cream cheese with crackers, or on top of grilled chicken or pork.

Sangria Wine Jelly

2 1/2 c of wine ( I used a Cabernet)

Juice from 1 Orange

Juice from 1 Lime

Juice from 1 Lemon

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of zest from above citrus fruits

1 pkg dry pectin

2 1/2 c sugar

Add all ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and add to an air tight container.  Refrigerate until set 1-3 days.

Served over Cream Cheese

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Bacon Jam: Yes, there is such a thing and it’s delicious

I have a friend who lives in England and I kept seeing her posts on Facebook about something called Bacon Jam. I had never heard of such a thing here in the states. I googled it and saw some jars of it all available in Europe, but not here. But it was bacon so I somehow had to try it.looked for a recipe for it and of course my favorite woman to love and hate but mostly love, Martha Stewart had one on her site. I am never one to follow a recipe verbatim but I have never actually had bacon jam so I didn’t want to start experimenting too much until I actually tasted it. I was envisioning serving it with cheese and crackers or maybe as a topping on pizza so the only thing I did differently was change out the vinegar, as I thought balsamic would go better with those things.

1 1/2 lbs of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces

2 medium yellow onions diced

3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 pure maple syrup

3/4 c strong brewed coffee

Cook bacon pieces in a large pan over med-med high heat until they are slightly browned about 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Reserve one tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan  and discard the rest. Heat onions in garlic in pan over medium heat and cook until translucent about 5-6 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add bacon back to pan and stir.

Add contents of pan to a slow cooker and heat on high with a piece of foil loosely place on the top for about 3 hours or until liquid becomes syrupy.

Place mixture into a food processor and pulse until it becomes jam like.

The possibilities are now endless. Serve with a cheese plate, on pizza, in a quesadilla, we even tried it with peanut butter on a chocolate graham cracker. Will keep up to 4 weeks, in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

with apple slices on crostini

With goat cheese on crackers