Tag Archives: brown sugar

Natalie’s Hot Sauce

I know you’re probably disappointed that this isn’t a cake post.  I’ll get to that Friday! :)  In the mean time, I’ll catch you up on more pepper posts.

Natalie's HOT!! Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

As you saw yesterday, I started out with a whole bunch of these Tabasco peppers.  They are HOT!! and so is this sauce.  As much as I love hot sauce, I figured it was about time that I came up with my own recipe.  Thus, Natalie’s HOT!! Sauce was born.

Tabasco Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

The third bag of mystery peppers turned out to be Brazilian Starfish peppers.  They are so pretty, so I added a few of them to the hot sauce too.

Brazilian Starfish Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

The flesh of these Starfish peppers tastes like a spicy-sweet bell pepper, and is awesome.  The membranes bring the heat, though.  They are HOT!! too.

I diced them up and threw them in a Hugh Jass pot with the Tabasco peppers I had left, along with some tomato paste, canned roasted tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, and onion, and painfully taste-tested my way into hot sauce Heaven.

The Makings of Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Natalie’s HOT!! Sauce (makes a whole lot of hot sauce)


– 3.5 pounds fresh tabasco peppers, washed & de-stemmed
– 5 Brazilian Starfish peppers, washed, de-stemmed, & diced without seeds (could substitute red bell pepper)
– one 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
– two six ounce cans tomato paste
– 7 cloves of garlic, peeled
– 3.5 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
– 1 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1 cup light brown sugar
– 1 Vidalia onion, diced


Place all ingredients in a Hugh Jass pot and cook for an hour or so.  When everything is nice and soft, use an immersion blender to blend everything up.  Fill pre-sanitzed jars with sauce, leaving 1/4″ of headspace.  Can keep the jars in the refrigerator, or you can process in a hot water bath (which is what I did).  The combination of plenty of peppers, tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar should be shelf stable for one year due to the high acidity (I processed these for 15 minutes).  I realize not everyone will make hot sauce in such massive quantities, so feel free to adjust these measurements to your taste and a smaller amount of peppers.  I just added to the amount I had and tasted until it was good to me, and now I’m sharing what I did with you.

Natalie's Hot Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

The day I made this, I took our friend Richard a jar labeled as “Natalie’s HOT!! Sauce.”  We were all over at his house after an engagement party for another friend, and all the boys were dipping chips into it like salsa and yelling “It hurts so good!”

I’d say that’s man-speak for “It’s delicious, and very spicy.”

Natalie's HOT Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

The rest are off to storage to last us the rest of the year!  My father-in-law, Bruce, gave me this old Jello box.  I love it!

Natalie's Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

We can’t wait to try some of my hot sauce on oysters this fall.  Do you have a homemade hot sauce recipe?  What’s your favorite way to use it?


Party Appetizer: Brie Bites

This week Wheat and I had a couple of friends over for dinner and I wanted to put together a quick and easy appetizer for us to snack on. It was just the sweet and savory little bite to tide us over until dinner. They look impressive, but they are crazy easy!

Brie Bites

What you need:

– mini phyllo shells (they come 12 to a box)

– honey

– finely chopped pecans

– light brown sugar

– baby brie wedge

That’s it! To make clean up a cinch and party throwing a breeze, line a baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 350 with plenty of time to spare before your guests arrive. Then place the phyllo cups on it, cut up the brie and put a small piece in each phyllo cup. Then put 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar on top, drizzle generously with honey and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake at 350 for 5 to 7 minutes or until the brie is melted.

I like to keep these mini phyllo cups in the freezer, and I always keep pecans in the freezer, too. And we always have honey on hand, so putting these together is a piece of cake! As far as types of honey, I like tupelo honey, and the honey I used was actually made by bees on my parents’ property! This isn’t the same honey, but this website from Smiley Apiary explains the finer points of tupelo honey pretty well. Wewahitchka, Florida is also where Ulee’s Gold was filmed and is a huge producer of some of the South’s finest honey.

In the South, people can get pretty touchy about which sort of honey is the “best,” and most of us, as we are with so many things, are fiercely proud of whatever variety we grew up eating. And tupelo is obviously the best – Van Morrison agrees. Therefore, I say tupelo… but if you’re from Orlando, use orange blossom. Whatevs. :)

brie bites 2

brie bites 3


Also, can we talk about the difference a camera can make? I’ve read on many food blogs that you don’t necessarily need a DSLR, a point and shoot is fine… Well, I’m calling BS. I’m going Rebel and never going back. These were shot with Wheat’s Canon Rebel Xt (?) – I know it’s a model they no longer make. Anywho, its fab and I’m stealing it until I save up enough for my own. I know the time will come when he will want to take it somewhere and I’ll be stuck with my Nikon Coolpix again and I don’t think I can ever go back. Canon Rebel T3… I’m coming for you!

I would also like to wish a very happy birthday to my brother in law, Parks! We are looking forward to celebrating with you tonight!