Tag Archives: vinegar

Make your own mustard!!!

17 Apr

Have you made your own mustard? Ever? I hadn’t until now…

It’s super easy. All you really need is time and a blender. Oh, and mustard seeds. I bought mine at The Spice and Tea Exchange store in Boca Raton. I have not seen mustard seeds sold here in Puerto Rico, so out of curiosity I bought an ounce of mixed yellow and brown mustard seeds. Together they measured about ¼ cup.

Here’s how I made it…



1/8 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/8 cup brown mustard seeds
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
  1. Place the mustard seeds and vinegar in a small bowl with a tight lid. Let them soak at room temperature for 2 days.

Grain Mustard Soaking 2


2.  After 2 days, I transferred the seeds and liquid to my Magic Bullet. Add salt and sugar. Puree until a mustard paste is forms but you can still see whole seeds. Transfer to an airtight container and let it rest for 2 days before using.

I rested this for over 2 days in the fridge and the taste is SHARP!!! But I do enjoy very sharp flavors… in my cheese and my mustard. But I was told by a friend that if you leave it out at room temperature for a few days and then refrigerate it, that the taste will be much mellower. The cold from the fridge stops the mellowing process. So that something to think about.

This is the perfect mustard to dress your favorite sandwich or even to roast some potatoes in. It’s sharp, spicy and very easy to make.

Have you made your own mustard?? Tell me all about it…

Natural Safe Ways to Clean your Produce

3 Apr

I’ve mentioned to you already how I like to use a produce cleaner like Fit to clean my fruits and vegetables from the chemicals, pesticides and wax companies throw over produce to make them look particularly pretty for display at the supermarkets. They might look pretty, but those chemicals are definitely no good for our health.

But what do you do if you don’t have Fit or any other commercially available produce wash with you??

There are indeed natural ways to clean your fruits and vegetables… using lemon juice, vinegar or a combination of the two.

Limas 2

Grapes are fruits we enjoy a lot – we love to welcome in the New Year by eating 12 grapes to ask for 12 wishes for the new year. And after 10 days of fasting and cleansing your system, the last thing you want is to intoxicate your body with the pesticides and wax non-organic grapes are coated with.

All you need to do is soak the grapes in water and add the juice of 2-3 lemons or limes to the water the grapes are soaked in. Try for the grapes to be submerged as much as possible in the acidic solution. If not possible, then be vigilant and rotate the grapes so at some point they’re all soaked with the acidulated water. If using vinegar, try 2 tsps per gallon of water. Soak the grapes for only 20 minutes to 30 minutes tops. After that, the grapes start to soak the acidic water and they start to become mealy… not a good thing.

The acidic nature of lemon juice or vinegar dissolves and breaks down the wax covering the grapes… Check out this side by side pic of grapes washed in just water and grapes washed in the lemon water.


Knowing this method, we were able to thoroughly wash grapes we purchased right on the streets of Allahabad. Lemons are very common in India and unfortunately, waxed grapes are too.




After the grapes, or any other fruits you wish to enjoy, are cleaned… just dry them off and store as you would usually do – in the fridge or countertop. Or just go ahead and eat them immediately!!!

Pigeon Peas Escabeche

20 Feb

This is a recipe from my friend Jeanette Quiñones from Sazón Boricua

When she read about my fascination with the gandules Lula made for our recent baby shower, she told me she had a great recipe she always serves as an appetizer for parties and family gatherings. She offered to give it to me and you all… she only needed the pictures.

I am glad to have waited because the pictures are gorgeous!!!! I have not had time to make the recipe myself, but if you do, please feel free to write me a comment so we can all let Jeanette know how we feel about it. OK??


If you like to invite people over to your house and feel you always end up making the “same old, same old” appetizers as always, I invite you to make these pigeon peas in escabeche. It’s an easy and delicious alternative I am sure will please many.

escabeche de gandules 1


2 cans of green pigeon peas, drained (KarmaFree highly recommends organic brands)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 small bay leaves
2 tbs sofrito, optional
1 tsp of black peppercorns
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
½ cup of pimento-stuffed olives
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
½ cup celery, chopped finely


  1. Cook the onion until translucent over about 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sofrito, peppercorns, vinegar, bay leaves and the rest of the olive oil. Take off the heat.
  2. On a separate bowl, add the roasted red pepper, olives, celery and jalapeño. Transfer the cooked sofrito mixture and add the drained pigeon peas to the bowl. Stir well to combine. Finally, add the fresh cilantro and season with salt.
  3. Let the mixture stand and macerate for at least 2 hours before serving them.


You can serve these pigeon peas with mini pita breads, pita chips, salted crackers, home-made tortilla chips or even as a filling for tostones made into small baskets, we call these tostones rellenos. I feel a class is coming up on how to make those… OK???

escabeche de gandules 023-001


Jeanette is the CEO and founder of Sazón Boricua. She started her blog from Puerto Rico on 2008 to share recipes, advice and tips for the home. She collaborates with Qué Rica Vida, has been selected as a Top Bloguera by LATISM 2012 and is also the founder of Red Bloguera de Puerto Rico. You can follow Jeanette on Facebook, on Twitter @sazon_boricua or via her blog Sazón Boricua. Contact her via email mensajes@sazonboricua.com.

Green Banana Escabeche

21 Dec

When I was growing up, I loved to eat these “guineítos” at my mom’s office parties.  I loved the tanginess of the vinegar…  You can eat these with toothpicks as an appetizer or as a side dish with your Arroz con Gandules and Pasteles.



24 green bananas, boiled and cut into slices
½ cup of green bell pepper, chopped
Salt to taste
Drizzle of vegetable or canola oil
2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup vinegar
About 12 black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
3 cups of yellow onions, sliced thin
12 cloves of garlic, sliced
The juice of 1 criollo lemon or lime
Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot filled with salted water and a drizzle of vegetable oil, place green bananas to boil.  They’ll be ready in about 20 minutes.  I show you here a step-by step process to boil the green bananas.
  2. When they’re boiled, peel off the banana skin, allow them to cool off and slice them into 1/2” rounds slices.  Set them aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil, vinegar, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic.  Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the onions have softened, but not browned.  The onions should remain as white as possible.  Let the mixture cool a bit.
  4. In a glass pyrex dish, while the banana slices are still somewhat warm, mix together the green banana slices and the olive oil/onion mixture and green peppers.  Season with salt as needed.  Let the green bananas marinate in the escabeche mixture for at least 2-3 hours.  After the banana pieces have cooled off (at about the 1 hours mark), you can continue the marinating process in the refrigerator.

Serve directly from the fridge or at room temperature.  You can drizzle the juice of one criollo lemon or lime before serving for added zip.

Mustard Vinaigrette

11 Jan

It’s the time of New Year resolutions… another one of mine – eat more salads at home.

I tend to eat big salads when I eat out or a side salad when I feel what I am eating is not that healthy – like a pizza. I try to add more nutrition by accompanying whatever I am having with a salad. But at home, sometimes I get lazy. But I have noticed that when I am hooked to the taste of an awesome dressing, I look forward to eating a salad at home everyday.

This is my new vice – Mustard Vinaigrette. Easy, tasty, and goes well with any greens and vegetables you might fancy in your salad. I did this to accompany my not-so-healthy veggie “chicken” nuggets.

I make this by “eye-balling” the ingredients… so bear with me here on the quantities.



1 tbs Dijon or Grain Mustard
1 tbs Apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Extra-virgin Olive oil
  1. In the same bowl you’ll prepare your salad, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  2. Then, pour olive oil slowly while whisking it in, until you get a nice emulsified dressing mixture.
  3. Taste to adjust any seasonings.
  4.  Add any greens and vegetables you crave on your salad.

I am sure you could use this vinaigrette to season grilled vegetables – like portobello mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc.


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