Light Brown Syrup

I hate that so many things are made with high fructose corn syrup. When ever I have a recipe that calls for corn syrup. I make my own syrup. It will not be exact to corn syrup, but is very close and much healthier. When making your own syrup it is helpful to use a candy thermometer.  If you make this recipe as specified below your syrup should look like the jar in the middle. The jar on the left Syrup was made with 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar. The Jar on the right shows Syrup made with Granulated Sugar only. When making the white Syrup make sure you substitute the amount of Brown Sugar used, for Granulated Sugar.


3/4 cup Water

2 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp Cream Of Tartar

1 tsp Vanilla (Optional)

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, stir constantly for 5-7 minutes, or until temperature reaches 220-230 degrees. Don’t cook too long or you will end up with hard candy. This recipe makes approximately 1 pint of Syrup.

The syrup has a short shelf life. It is recommended that you store syrup at in the refrigerator. Like honey when kept for long periods of time, it may start to crystallize. You can heat the jar slightly to make the Syrup pourable.

Pico De Gallo Salsa

pico de gallo

The translation of “Pico De Gallo” refers to Fresh Salsa. All items are inexpensive, especially in the summer when everything is in season. If you make this salsa in the winter time you will want to use Roma tomatoes. For me the easiest method to make salsa is to measure all the ingredients then place in a food processor. If doing by hand you will want to prepare each ingredient as directed.

3-4 diced Tomatillos  (1/4 cup)

4-6 diced Tomatoes

1/2 cup Cilantro finely chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper chopped

1/4 cup Sweet Onion chopped

2-3 Jalapeño Peppers chopped (if you like it hot, use seeds)

1 clove of crushed Garlic

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed Lime Juice 

Salt and Pepper to taste


Tomatillos are a green husk tomato. When preparing them you will remove the husk, they will be sticky and you can rinse them off with water and dice in small pieces. 


To measure cilantro I remove the leaves from the stems and place in a measuring cup, when the measuring cup is full then I chop the cilantro very fine.

 measure Cilantro

After all ingredients have been chopped, mix everything together. For best results refrigerate for a couple of hours to let all the ingredients meld together.

7 Bean Salad

These are some of my favorite beans I like to use. You should use your favorite varieties of beans.

1 can Green Beans

1 can Red Kidney Beans

1 can Pinto Beans

1 can White Beans (Northern, Navy)

1 can Small Red Beans (Azuki, Cranberry)

1 can Black Beans

1 can Wax Beans

1 can Beets (Diced, Shoestring)

1/4 cup Onion (grated)


Drain juice from beans, beets dump in a bowl, add chopped onion. Make Greek Marinade, thoroughly mix together. For best results refrigerate overnight. The longer these veggies marinade, the better. This dish is made to feed a large crowd. You can make a smaller salad by using fewer varieties of beans.