Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil

This homemade flavored olive oil is perfect to have on hand in your own pantry, or to give as a hostess or holiday housewarming gift.

This Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil is incredibly easy to make and adds tons of flavor to any dish!

Easing back from the long holiday weekend with the simplest of recipes for you! In fact, much like my Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Spread, this Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil is so simple that I even hesitated to share it with you all. But guys, it’s just as the recipe title says – stupid simple – and will be such a life-changing addition to your pantry that I just couldn’t NOT share it with you all. So here goes!

Flavored olive oils have been gracing grocery and specialty store shelves for quite some time now but, to be honest, do we really know where those “flavors” are coming from? Are your favorite flavored olive oils that you buy at the store done so artificially? Are you absolutely positive that all the flavoring comes from the freshest ingredients? Are you sure you want to drop a few extra bucks on the so-called high end “fancy stuff” when you could just as easily invest in a Costco size jug of extra-virgin olive oil and flavor it on your own for pennies on the dollar?

If you’re anything like me, I’m going to guess you’re in the latter camp, which makes Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil the next best thing to hit your kitchen table this holiday season.

Use this Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil as a dip for your favorite bread, or use it in place of regular olive oil for cooking and dressing salads!

Sure, making your own Shallot Oil requires just two simple ingredients, but the ways in which you can use it are endless. We love whipping up a batch to dip pizza in (ranch dressing, you can take a back seat) and I also used it in place of the regular olive oil I called for in this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs. Basically, you can add a dash of Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil to any ol’ dish that calls for olive oil to really up the flavor game (just make sure the crowd you’re entertaining is down for boatloads of flavor!)

As far as the making of this deliciousness goes, it really couldn’t be easier. Simply slice up some shallots, throw them in a bottle with some olive oil, let it sit for a day or two and, voila, you now know why we dub this tasty concoction “Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil.”

A bottle of Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil is the perfect holiday or housewarming gift!

Grab the recipe below and let me know what great ways you end up using it!

Super Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This homemade flavored olive oil is perfect to have on hand in your own pantry, or to give as a hostess or holiday housewarming gift.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 2 cups
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a glass bottle with a stopper and/or drizzle lid. Let sit for a day or two before using. 

Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam

I’m back and I have the most summery, refreshing recipe to share with you today!

Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam packaged up in cute little Mason jars make the perfect gift!

This Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam is the perfect condiment to stock up on in your refrigerator for these hot months to come, especially if you’ve got a slight phobia of the whole canning process and can’t bring yourself to make true, legit “jam” (oh hi, hello, that’s me!)

Yes, that’s right, even yours truly has a few things on her “yet to conquer in the kitchen” list, and homemade jam is one of them. To be honest, my in-laws are experts in this regard and always keep our pantry loaded with allll the flavors of fresh jam you can imagine – grape, strawberry, blackberry, you name it! So I’ve really had no reason to make my own. Until now, that is.

But first, let’s catch up on our lives for this past week-and-a-half! I so appreciate your patience and understanding as I took a much-needed break from allll work. It was really nice not having to break my back getting content pre-loaded before I left, and being able to (mostly) stay away from my computer and phone during our entire trip which, speaking of, was AMAZING. Much more like the honeymoon we expected and dreamed of – no hurricanes for us to get caught in this time!

I’ll be working on a Travel Diaries recap all about Kauai soon, but in the meantime I want to tell you all about this Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam!

A dish of Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam at the ready is the perfect addition to your breakfast spread!

I’ve had the idea of cantaloupe jam on my content list for a while now. In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t even remember what my original inspiration was. But it’s safe to say that cantaloupe jam isn’t a jam flavor you see every day, and it becomes even more of a treat when it involves no “canning” and fresh vanilla extract and chia seeds. Plus, it’s so delicious!

So here’s the scoop: All you need as far as special equipment is a blender and a couple of resealable glass containers. I used Mason jars (which do not need to be sterilized for this recipe like most jam recipes require) but you can really use any sort of glass Tupperware.

And, aside from the special equipment (which, let’s be real, is not that “special”), this Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam involves only FIVE ingredients!! That’s right, just five. The hardest part about it is going to be waiting overnight for those chia seeds to expand and really set that jam up so it’s the perfect, spreadable consistency.

Once your Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam has set up overnight, the possibilities are endless. Spread it on any baked good, or toast up some bread and slather it with cream cheese before adding a layer of the jam on top. You could also swirl it into some Greek yogurt and top with crunchy granola. Any way you eat it, it’s going to be delicious!

Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam is perfect to spread on a fresh piece of sourdough toast.

The only word of caution I would share about this recipe is, because you do not go through the full-on canning process, there is a time stamp on it. You’ll want to keep the jam in the refrigerator throughout its lifespan, which will basically be just as long any sliced cantaloupe would stay fresh in your refrigerator. So eat up! Don’t cherish it too much because it won’t last forever 😉

Grab the recipe below, and I’ll be back in action on Friday with a brand new drink recipe to share with you all!

Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Cantaloupe Jam is kept in Mason jars but requires no special canning.

Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This tasty jam requires no special canning and comes together in less than 10 minutes. The hardest part is waiting for it to set overnight!

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 30 ounces
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 cups cubed cantaloupe (about 1 medium cantaloupe)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons high-grade maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until well-combined and a smooth yet thick liquid forms. Pour mixture into three or four small Mason jars, seal and refrigerate overnight before enjoying.

Quick-and-Easy Vanilla Chia Cantaloupe Jam | CaliGirlCooking.com

Spicy Homemade Salsa

Hey, hey, hey friends!

Spicy Homemade Salsa | CaliGirlCooking.com

I am so excited for today’s post because I’ve partnered up with some of my favorite event and wedding planning babes, A Savvy Lifestyle, to bring you the most delicious Spicy Homemade Salsa you’ve ever tasted. I’m serious here. If you like spicy, you’re going to LOVE this. You probably won’t even be able to put down the chips. It’s a good thing the recipe makes a huge batch so you just might be willing to share some with your friends for your Cinco de Mayo get-together!

I have to tell you a little story about the Savvy group because they really are a special bunch. When my husband and I first got engaged, one of the first people I told was my good friend Brittany who also happens to be a wedding planner. Now, I used to be an event planner but I am definitely no expert in weddings, so I needed all of the help I could get! Brittany just so happens to work for A Savvy Lifestyle’s parent company, A Savvy Event, so I knew I would be in good hands with her.

Seeing as we wanted her to be able to actually ENJOY our wedding (and not have to work for once!) she quickly connected us with one of her amazing coworkers, Jamie, to be our actual planner leading up to and the day of the event. All spare you all of the lovey-dovey, romantic details of our wedding planning process, but let’s just say it was so special to work so closely with such an amazingly friendly group of talented ladies! So when they asked me to contribute a festive Cinco de Mayo recipe for their lifestyle brand, I jumped at the chance.

Spicy Homemade Salsa | CaliGirlCooking.com

Coincidentally, this recipe is one that my husband has had in his arsenal since his good ol’ Isla Vista college days, so we’re putting our marriage to work to bring you this Spicy Homemade Salsa! We whip up a batch whenever we’re having a barbecue, family get-together or pretty much any other large gathering of people, and it’s always a hit, especially with our spice-lovers!

Seriously though, the spice-level on this recipe (as written) is not for the faint of heart. But there is some great news that goes along with that so as not to totally scare you away:

  1. When I say the salsa is “spicy,” think of it as a slow, gradual buildup. It doesn’t hit you all at once, and it certainly doesn’t burn off all of your taste buds with the first bite. I’d say if you normally buy “medium” salsa at the store, you’ll easily be able to tolerate at least small doses of this recipe as is.
  2. If you’re REALLY averse/sensitive to heat, you can easily just cut down the amount of habaneros used, or even use seeded jalapenos instead. Once you take the seeds out, peppers really just add flavor and hardly any spice at all.

The most recent evolution of this recipe, which you can find here in the A Savvy Lifestyle post, is our addition of some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Seriously, do not skip this step if you can at all help it. The smokiness of the peppers adds such a fantastic flavor to the salsa, it truly makes the dish three-dimensional and out of this world.

Spicy Homemade Salsa | CaliGirlCooking.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE SPICY HOMEMADE SALSA RECIPE!

So what are your plans for Cinco de Mayo? I for one am headed out to Salt Lake City tonight through Sunday for the Everything Food Conference, so no big Cinco celebration for me this year, but I am beyond excited. This will be the first full-on “food blogging” conference that I’ve attended and I’ve already got so many brands and people on my list to meet I just know it’s going to be a blast and go by way too fast. If for any reason you’re headed that way as well, be sure to drop me a line so we can connect!

So since I’ll be too busy mingling with my fellow bloggers and living it up in the SLC, do me a favor and enjoy some Spicy Homemade Salsa for me, will ya? And maybe a margarita or two?

Spicy Homemade Salsa | CaliGirlCooking.com

And be sure to check out A Savvy Lifestyle for the recipe and tons of other great posts about events, wine country and so much more!!

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce

A ridiculously simple recipe for the best hot sauce/dressing/dip you’ll ever taste, this Calabrian chili sauce has only three ingredients!

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

Today I’m all about keeping it quick, simple and super tasty. I’m currently running on just a few hours of sleep after catching the earliest flight possible back from Quebec City yesterday so I could make it to our annual Holiday Boat Parade. Quebec City was AMAZING and I am so excited to tell you all about it and show you all of the pictures. We snowshoed, spa-ed, visited the Christmas markets and froze our little tushies off (hello 14-degree weather!) Stay tuned for another Travel Diaries post soon.

Even though I had the best time, because we only had five days there we were going the entire time, always on the move trying to squeeze everything in. I can’t wait to sleep, sleep and sleep some more so, until then, about all the strength I can muster is to tell you about the deliciousness that is this Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce.

This recipe was inspired by a brunch the hubs and I had at SY Kitchen in Santa Ynez way back in June. We’re somewhat of hot sauce fiends, so naturally we asked for some to go with our eggs. Instead of the classic Tapatio or Tabasco, our waiter brought us a small bowl of a fiery red condiment and informed us that this was the only hot sauce they served there. We took one bite and immediately had to ask what the secret ingredient was. Turns out it was Calabrian chili peppers!

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

I love Calabrian chili peppers because they are so much more than just a spicy pepper. They originated in Italy (no wonder they’re delicious) and have a whole other dimension than your average pepper. Your mouth isn’t just hit with a wave of heat, there’s actually flavor in there that makes you keep wanting to come back for more.

After doing a little bit of research on how I could get my hands on some Calabrian chilies, I found that I could both order them on Amazon and also found them at the fantastic high-end grocery store where we stay when we go up to Napa. Although there are plenty of dried Calabrian chili options, I went for those packed in oil so I wouldn’t have to go through the extra step of rehydrating them before pureeing them into this tasty hot sauce. Of course, if you can only find the dried ones, simply soak them in some warm water for a few hours (or overnight) before using.

The brand of Calabrian chilies packed in oil that I used still had the stems attached, so I simply cut those off when pulling them out of the jar. Aside from the chilies themselves, the only ingredients you’ll need for this easy recipe are some fresh olive oil and peeled, whole garlic cloves. I suppose you could use the oil that the chilies come packed in, but I thought it might make the spice just a bit too intense. If you REALLY don’t mind spicy, then I say go for it!

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

How It’s Done

All you have to do to make this easy Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce come to life is throw the above-mentioned ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and puree until that smooth, spreadable, aromatic paste forms.

Once it’s made, the sauce will last for up to a month in the refrigerator and will turn into your go-to condiment for any breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner that could use that extra-spicy kick.

how to use it

Now you have this delicious hot sauce in your hands and, the question is, how to use it? Some of my favorite uses include mixed into a healthy scramble, swiped on top of avocado toast or used as a dip for a special pizza.

I’m going to keep this short today so I can continue recuperating from my travels, but trust me when I say you’ll be doing yourself a HUGE favor if you make this spicy Italian spread ASAP. Hot sauce lovers unite!

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

A ridiculously simple recipe for the best hot sauce/dressing/dip you'll ever taste, this Calabrian chili sauce has only three ingredients!

Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: condiment, hot sauce, Italian
Servings: 30 servings
Calories: 18 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Calabrian chilies (preferably those packed in oil) Stems removed
  • 3 whole cloves garlic Peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all three ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender. Pulse until a smooth paste forms. Keep in a Tupperware or resealable glass jar for up to one month in the refrigerator. 

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Gimme allll the hot sauce!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Easy Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

An easy, flavored simple syrup that’s the perfect addition to your lattes, mochas and hot chocolate during the holiday season. There’s nothing like the flavors of peppermint and fresh vanilla to get you in a celebratory mood!

This Easy Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is the perfect addition to your favorite latte, mocha or hot chocolate. It's the perfect condiment to have on hand for holiday entertaining!

I am quite the fan of this version of minty goodness and yes, I have been known to order a peppermint latte at Starbucks even in the middle of spring. Don’t judge. There is just something so refreshing and cozy about it. Need a cup of comfort? Peppermint tea coming right up.

But since we are at the height of the holidays right now (oh hey Christmas in less than a week!), and I’m not sure all of you readers are quite as peppermint-crazed as I am to enjoy it throughout the entire year, I figure now is a completely appropriate time to share this recipe for Easy Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup, right? Right.

This Easy Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is the perfect addition to your favorite latte, mocha or hot chocolate. It's the perfect condiment to have on hand for holiday entertaining!

I came up with this idea because, even though I love the flavored syrups all that all of our favorite coffee chains use to flavor their warm drinks, I always have to ask for like HALF of a pump in my orders. They are just too, too sweet and I’m sure they are probably full of so many artificial ingredients that my body us like “WTH?” whenever I down one.

That, and the fact that nowadays I honestly don’t get out to Starbucks or Peet’s that much. I put a big pot of coffee on as soon as I wake up in the morning and the next thing you know I’m off to work with my little Contigo travel mug (love them, BTW) and by the time I’m headed home it is way too late to consume any caffeinated beverages and all I really want to do is go put on my stretchy pants and make dinner.

So, because of my completely unexciting daily routine, I decided I wanted to have my own version of peppermint syrup to add to my standard coffee in the mornings and really make it feel like some of my favorite holiday beverages, hence my Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup was born. The one best thing about this is that I completely control the ingredients, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my body. The other best thing is that I can also control how much I add to my coffee. Some days I may feel like a little extra sweetness, but most of the time it’s just the touch of peppermint that I really enjoy.

And making this is way easier than you might think: mix up a batch of simple syrup and start heating it on the stove; once it starts to bubble just a tiny bit, add the vanilla bean, peppermint extract and candy canes (for  that pretty red color!) Let it simmer for a bit for everything to meld together, and there you have it!

This Easy Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is the perfect addition to your favorite latte, mocha or hot chocolate. It's the perfect condiment to have on hand for holiday entertaining!

I must also say that the delicious Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is good for so much more than coffee. You can add it to hot chocolate too, and maybe even use it in a holiday cocktail of some sort? It’s very versatile and a great addition to anything that you want to add a little holiday flavor to.

I’m keeping it short today because this is such a special time of year and I really want to focus on being “present” with family and friends, but I hope you all have a wonderful last few days leading up to Christmas and I’ll check in one more time before the big day to share an ultra-special cocktail recipe with you! Hugs.

 

 

Easy Peppermint Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

An easy, flavored simple syrup that's the perfect addition to your lattes, mochas and hot chocolate during the holiday season. There's nothing like the flavors of peppermint and fresh vanilla to get you in a celebratory mood!

Course: Dessert, Drinks
Keyword: coffee, drinks, holiday, peppermint, simple syrup, vanilla
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 150 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
  • 2 mini candy canes or 1 large candy cane
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. 

  2. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue to let simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is homogenous and reduced by half. 

  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Hold a fine mesh sieve over a large glass measuring cup and strain liquid through the sieve. 

  4. Once syrup is cool enough to handle, pour from the glass measuring cup into a sealable glass bottle using a small funnel. This syrup can be kept at room temperature for up to three weeks.