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...from cooking pepper jellies in my kitchen to the Grand Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel!

One day, 6 years ago, I literally burned my hands right through my gloves making pepper jellies in mason jars for friends and family with habaneros from my vegetable garden in the heart of Temecula, CA. (Sour cream works to stop the pain, incidentally). Today, June 7, 2019, our little pepper jelly business is being recognized as one of 12 honorees by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Orange County/Inland Empire District at the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom.

Pinching myself as I’m met in the foyer by a poster of my picture and the words:
“Micro Business of the Year 2019”

 

In a Cinderella moment,  I turn to Mr. G and whisper,
"How in the world did we get here?"

Great Support

We are so very grateful for friends and family supporting us from the beginning, and for excellent advisors from the SBDC OCIE District (Read their Press Release here), SCORE San Diego  and support from our local Temecula Chamber of Commerce.  We are especially thankful for our loyal customers and our retailers that carry our pepper jellies; our local vendors for production and marketing; and of course, our CEO. We consider our business a gift from God, and we are stewards of what we've been given, acknowledging where the recognition really belongs. We are grateful for the opportunities and guidance we have received and look forward to what's ahead!

A Plan

MRS.G'S began with a small vision to be a quality local Temecula product, selling at the Temecula Farmers' Market and local retail.  We knew little about the food industry or launching an artisan food product, but with the help of good advisors, we kept moving ahead, saying "yes" to baby steps along the way and our vision grew.  What looked overwhelming in the beginning is now normal and we are excited to take the next steps that we never would have envisioned from the beginning!

Business Milestones and Favorite Moments

What We've Learned (So Far)

Takeaways from the Awards Ceremony

We are humbled and honored to represent our community of Temecula and the artisan food community, which is comprised of some of the most passionate and hard-working people I've ever met.

The stories of the award winners were inspirational and motivating, particularly the mother/daughter team of Techniglove who forged ahead after the death of their husband/father, to fulfill his dream of success; and the CA Small Business Person of the Year, who admitted he had been afraid his business would outgrow his ability to lead it, but then found the resources and support in the organizations represented to get behind him and help him succeed.

We were amazed at the over 550 business owners, legislators and administrators present at the luncheon, representing resources for small businesses in our area.  We left with an appreciation that we are not limited by our individual abilities, but have a rich supply of resources available for our Micro Business of the Year!

Want a flavorful alternative to fig jam?  Mrs. G's sweet and spicy jellies are a perfect complement to your charcuterie board.  Offer your guests all 4 flavors with your favorite artisan cheeses, cured meats and grilled veggies (we love carrots and eggplant), and let them spread, dip and drizzle to their heart's content, mixing and matching their perfect bite.  

Need some suggestions?  Here are our favorite pairings:

Gouda and Peach Habanero

Said to be one of the most nutritious cheeses, Gouda is rich in Vitamins K2, A and D, and is one of the most popular cheeses in the world.  Typically made from cow's milk, some artisan varieties use sheep or goat's milk.  Gouda is a semi-hard cheese, rich in flavor and smooth in texture.  As it ages, it gets firmer and richer in flavor, allowing it to stand up well to the spicier of our jellies – our favorite match is Peach Habanero.

TRY PEACH HABANERO

 

Manchego and Ja-Ha

Mrs. G's favorite cheese, Manchego, is probably Spain's most well-known cheese.  Made from the whole (full-fat) milk of Manchega sheep, it is a hard cheese, its flavor intense with a nutty sweetness; rich in butterfat with a finish of saltiness.   Our most straightforward pepper jelly, Ja-Ha, is our pick for this cheese.  The tartness of the red bell pepper, along with the bite of the jalapeño and habanero peppers contrasts with the dense richness and saltiness of the Manchego.  A perfect bite in our opinion.  

TRY JA-HA

 

Bleu Cheese and Mango Ginger Habanero

All bleus are not the same!  Nearly all blues are produced by the addition of blue mold powder to milk during the cheesemaking process.  Most are pierced so air can work its way inside the cheese, but some develop this interior veining naturally from ambient mold from ripening in caves where spores are able to colonize the cheese. Expect flavors ranging from sweet/salt to black peppery to mouth puckering.  If you want a milder, sweeter blue, look for cheeses with fewer pockets of blue mold and those with softer, creamier textures.  The spiciest of our jellies, Mango Ginger Habanero, with its distinct layers of flavor and heat, is our pick for standing up to this deliciously intense cheese.  Try it!  

TRY MANGO GINGER HABANERO

Aged Cheddar and Jalapeño Garlic Lime

Old World meets New World in this pairing!  Originally, all cheddar cheese was made in England.  Now, it is the most widely purchased and consumed cheese in the world.  It is always made from cow's milk and is a hard cheese that has a slightly crumbly texture if properly cured. As the cheese matures, it generally gets sharper in flavor; and crunchy calcium lactate crystals in the body of the cheese, a typical feature of aged cheddars, only start to appear after long periods of maturation.  We frankly don't know all of the reasons we love the Jalapeño Garlic Lime jelly with aged cheddar cheese.  It is a fusion of cultures (pardon the pun), and it just works.

TRY JALAPENO GARLIC LIME

 


Brie (Double Cream) and Peach Habanero or Mango Ginger Habanero

It's unlikely you have not tasted brie, but very likely you have tasted a bad brie.  Choose wisely!  Brie's distinctive characteristic is a rind made of mold that blooms on the exterior of the ripening cheese. Over time, a cohesive skin, or rind, is formed on the cheese's surface. This edible rind breaks down the fats and proteins of the cheese, causing an increasingly creamy to runny texture over time. There is a considerable spectrum of flavor and intensity among bries, however they should generally be creamy in color and texture; buttery and with a hint of mushroom in taste. All of the jellies pair nicely with brie, but we prefer the fruity habaneros:  Peach Habanero and Mango Ginger Habanero.  Baked Brie with the Peach Habanero is our absolute favorite!

If you are in Temecula, our retail partner Grazing Theory in Vail Headquarters will help you pair their delicious cheeses with our pepper jelly on a "lavish charcuterie" board or just a few selections for an afternoon picnic in Temecula Wine Country.  See the links below for all of our retail partners in your area who will be happy to help you pair their artisan cheeses with Mrs. G's Jellies.  Be sure to tell us your favorites!

Find our pepper jellies:

What do these recipes have in common? They all can be drastically (and deliciously!) changed with just one ingredient…hot pepper jelly. There are literally hundreds of recipes you can add hot pepper jelly to, but we've just added a few below. Take a look at this list of easy, traditional, and gourmet recipes that can all use different flavors of hot pepper jelly. If you've got an idea for a recipe that would be perfect with some hot pepper jelly, comment below and we'll give it a try and add it to this list!

  1. Crock Pot Beef Barbacoa Tacos

    Add instant flavor to your crock pot beef barbacoa tacos. The only thing you have to decide is whether to add a simple jalapeno-habanero flavor, or something that’s sweet on heat, like peach habanero jelly.

    View Full Recipe

  2. Salmon

    One of our favorites, salmon with mango habanero glaze!

    View Full Recipe

  3. Baked Brie with Jalapeno Garlic Lime Pepper Jelly

    Baked brie, almonds, and a hot pepper jelly is a sure crowd favorite to bring as a side dish to any social event. While it looks and tastes elegant, it's incredibly easy to make!

    View Full Recipe



  4. Smoky Spicy Skewers

    If you're a grilling master this is definitely a recipe you'll want to try. With the perfect combination of your favorite spices you can add hot pepper jellies to nearly any grilling rub/marinade for either a a subtle added flavor or a big POW!

    View Full Recipe

  5. Scones

    Sweet and spicy scones? YES! My goodness, if you've never tried the joy that is a hot pepper jelly scone, drop what you're doing and whip up a batch. They're not only delicious, they are incredibly easy to make.

    View Full Recipe

  6. Tuna Sandwich

    Next to a PB&J, is there anything easier to make than a tuna sandwich? Take your favorite recipe and either add a few tiny dollops (depending on how spicy you like) to your tuna mix or simply spread the hot pepper jelly on the bread slices before adding the tuna. This will definitely add a kick to your traditional melt!

    hot pepper jelly on tuna sandwich

  7. Glazed Brussels Sprouts

    Everyone has their favorite way to eat brussels sprouts. Top them off with some jalapeno jelly glaze though, and they'll be your new favorite side dish.

    View Full Recipe

  8. Spiced Nuts

    Adding hot pepper jelly to spiced nuts give them a little surprise kick, perfect for any occasion or a simply a midday snack.

    View Full Recipe

  9. Cheese and crackers

    We mentioned a fancier baked brie with almonds earlier, but you can make a delicious cheese and crackers snack even easier than that. Just select your favorite cheese with your favorite crackers and top them off with a bit of hot pepper jelly.

  10. Vinaigrette Dressing

    Give your salad a little extra flavor or marinade grilled meats. Just by adding hot pepper jelly, you'll completely enhance your traditional vinaigrette!

  11. Spicy Garlic Shrimp Skewers

    Perfect for the Summer grilling season. Succulent, tender shrimp glazed with our spicy-sweet Jalapeno Garlic Lime pepper jelly – you’ll think you’re in the Caribbean! Get the hot pepper jelly recipe.

    View Full Recipe

And there you have it! There are many, many more simple and gourmet recipes that can be enhanced with hot pepper jelly. What of your favorite dishes do you think would be great to try with a hot pepper jelly? Tell us in the comments and we'll add them to this list!

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