Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure
Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Creative Spotlight: Yummy Hostess Gifts for Summer

Guest Blogger Gloria Troyer, creator of the terrific food blog, Tempt Every Palate:

Gloria's BBQ sauce dressed up as a great
summer hostess gift. Yum!

Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, we live in an apartment building where we are not allowed to use a gas BBQ.  It is considered a fire hazard if it is stored on a balcony.  However that does not stop me from making my own sauce to BBQ ribs in the oven.   

I usually make a small batch of barbeque sauce and will give it away as a hostess gift. I don’t always use a recipe.  Sometimes I will get a basic sauce cooking and add whatever is on hand.  I might use a fresh hot pepper like a jalapeno finely diced, commercial mustard, ketchup, maple syrup as a sweetener, or add beer to the recipe as part of the liquid. It is fun to experiment and see what works for you. The following recipe will make two pints and is the perfect sauce to complement all types of ribs.

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cups of apple cider
  • ½ cup of cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of whole mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 12 ounce bottles of chili sauce* (I use my own home-made sauce)
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste
Bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan.  Reduce heat and let it simmer until it has thickened and the volume looks to be half of what you started with.  Pour the hot sauce into two pint jars and seal with two sterilized lids. (I put the jars into a  water- bath and process it for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and cool.)

It is a good idea to put a label on the jar and write what is inside and also jot down the date. It looks great like this as a gift.  But I like to take it a step further and decorate my jars.  If I am in a fabric store I always keep an eye open for decorative fabrics with themes that fit in with what I have made. I use cotton fabric and a fruit theme for jam, Christmas patterns for the holidays, and for BBQ sauce, I have fabrics with vegetables and hot peppers on them etc.

To decorate one jar of sauce:

Using pinking shears cut one six-inch square of fabric. Center the fabric on the jar lid.  Slip an elastic band over the fabric, gathering in around the rim. Take a 12 inch piece of ribbon that is ¼ inch wide and tie it around each jar lid. I also like to add a basting brush as part of the gift. Take the ribbon streamers and tie the basting brush tightly to the jar and finish it off by tying the remaining ribbon into a bow.

Gloria Troyer is an award winning freelance writer, broadcaster and author. Her writing career has branched out into many areas. She is keenly interested in the education of elementary students especially when it comes to food and diet. She also writes about health issues. She is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. You can read more about her at or

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I am the creator of the web's premiere Baby Boomer site: Boom This: A Generational Thing!(