Tag Archives: Vidalia onion

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?


Summer Veggie Frittata

I’m going to go ahead and apologize for these pictures.  They aren’t my best work, and it was pitch black out when I took the final pictures due to making this after an evening meeting, but this frittata recipe was too good not to share, which is why I’m sharing it with less than fantastic pictures and two weeks later.

Summer Veggie Frittata & Salad | Oysters & Pearls

When we are out of most things and have no plans for dinner, we usually have a few veggies laying around, especially with our garden this summer, and I always keep plenty of eggs in the fridge.  This is the ultimate kitchen sink meal (everything but the kitchen sink).  Just chop up any veggies you have, add eggs, and you have a delicious frittata.

Homegrown Okra, Squash, & Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls

This particular day, I had a couple of fresh okra, a couple tiny little squashes, and one little bell pepper from the garden.  I chopped them up into small pieces and diced up a Vidalia onion (I try to keep those in the pantry at all times too).  I also had a beautiful Cherokee purple tomato from the garden.  This is the story of how I turned these into a frittata.

Homegrown Bell Pepper, Squash, & Okra | Oysters & Pearls

10 Egg Frittata | Oysters & Pearls

Summer Veggie Frittata


– any kind of veggies you have on hand
– eggs – depends on the size of your skillet – I used 10 for my big skillet!
– 2 or 3 tablespoons cream or milk (optional)
– any sort of cheese
– salt & pepper
-approximately 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  I used my cast iron skillet, but any oven-safe skillet will work fine.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

While it’s heating up, crack eggs into a mixing bowl – first cracking each one into a separate bowl, in case one is bad – and then add cream or milk if using.  Whisk the eggs and milk together, then add chopped veggies, salt and pepper, and cheese.  Stir to mix.

Once the oil is hot, pour the egg mixture into the skillet.  Top with sliced tomatoes, if using them.  Then sprinkle cheese on top (I mixed swiss cheese into the egg mixture, and used parmesan on top).

Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the middle is just barely set.  You can test this by grabbing the handle (with an oven mitt!) and jiggling the skillet.  The center should just barely wiggle.

Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two, then slice it up and serve it!

Summer Veggie Fritatta | Oysters & Pearls

Veggies all mixed in.  No need to pre-cook anything!

Summer Vegetable Frittata | Oysters & Pearls

The tomato was so pretty I almost hated it cover it up with cheese.  Almost.

Summer Veggie Frittata with Cheese | Oysters & Pearls



Homegrown Summer Veggie Fritatta | Oysters & Pearls

Again, I’m so sorry for the pictures.  I swear, it was delicious.

Summer Veggie Fritatta with Salad | Oysters & Pearls

We had our frittata with a delicious side salad that was also chock full of garden tomatoes.

And a ghost cat.

Ghost Cat | Oysters & Pearls

Further proof that it’s really hard to take night-time pictures without a flash.  Ha.  Wallace was too fast for the camera!

I like frittatas because 1) they are fun to say, and 2) they are so easy and versatile.  If you have bacon or sausage to add, that really ups the yum-factor.  You can add anything you want!  That’s what’s so great about this frittata recipe: it never has to be the same.

Summer generally calls for easy meals.  Although in winter, root veggies like potatoes, onions, and swiss chard would be excellent in a frittata, too.

Do you have a go-to quick and easy dinner dish?


Homemade Pizza Sauce

Now that you’ve seen my most recent kitchen fail, I’d like to backtrack and show you my good pizzas and my homemade pizza sauce, which was a definite success.

Our tomato plants have been really productive this summer, despite all the rain, and in addition to canning four quarts of romas, I also used some fresh romas to make a homemade tomato sauce!  I sort of just winged it with what I had, and it turned our really well.

Homemade Pizza Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Pizza Sauce


– 10 to 15 fresh roma tomatoes
– 1 Vidalia onion, minced
– 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 jar tomato paste


Bring a pot of water to boil and drop the tomatoes into the water.  When the skins split, remove the tomatoes and set aside.  Once the tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel the skin off of them.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan, and sauté the onions over medium heat until transparent and soft.  Add the garlic and cook3 or 4 more minutes, being careful not to brown it.  Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the sauce is reduced, stirring often and smashing the tomatoes against the side of the bowl.  Add the can of tomato paste to make it more pizza sauce-y.  Cool, and blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This could totally be spaghetti sauce, too, and you could add ground sausage, meatballs, ground beef, etc. to beef it up (pun intended).

Onion & Garlic to Start Pizza Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Starting the sauce off with onions and garlic.

Tomatoes for Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Add the tomatoes.

Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Simmer and smash.

Homemade Tomato Sauce + Tomato Paste | Oysters & Pearls

Add tomato paste.

Blending Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls


Pizza Crusts with Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Use sauce to top pizzas.  I use a spoon to put the sauce on the dough, then use the back of the spoon to spread it around.

Freshly Shredded Mozzeralla Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

Shred fresh mozzarella and top your pizzas.

Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto, & Pickled Okra Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

I topped my pizza with caramelized onions, spicy pickled okra, and prosciutto.  It was awesome!  I like to do a thin layer of mozzarella, then the toppings, then more mozz. It makes sure everything sticks together!

Caramelized Onion, Fresh Jalapeno, & Pepperoni Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

Wheat’s pizza toppings consisted of fresh jalapeños, caramelized onions, and pepperoni.  It was delicious, too!

Baking Pizza on Pizza Stone in Oven | Oysters & Pearls

Preheat your oven (woops, should have told you that before!) to 400 degrees with the pizza stone preheating along inside.  Transfer your pizzas on parchment paper to the stone, and bake for 20 minutes.

Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Spicy Pickled Okra Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

Yum!  Makes me want pizza right now.  Pizza for breakfast (or any time of day) is totally acceptable in my book.

That redeems me from my sad pizza-calzone-mess, right?