Candied Jalapeños

Behold the most unique, most delicious, sweet and spicy condiment you can make in under two hours. Warning - your friends and family will literally eat these up!

Have you ever noticed how food just looks and tastes better outside? 

Case in point - while you can heat up a hot dog in the microwave, it's just the saddest dinner ever. Or, you can take that same hot dog and roast it on a stick (or a fancy extendable hot dog holder) over a fire, and it becomes something special.

I love cooking dinner outside. I love the act of starting a fire to cook like people did before ovens and microwaves existed. I love  the way food tastes after being roasted on an open flame. I just really love the connection to the food I'm cooking for the people I love.

I want to share my favorite meal that we eat when we go camping because while it starts off basic, the addition of one ingredient makes this meal outstanding.

We've been camping a lot since we bought an RV earlier this year, and I've learned that the most satisfying meals are the easiest to assemble and clean up. For example, while I love a good fish fry, I don't want to mess with batter and cooking oil and dirty dishes in the woods. I want a hot meal that comes together in minutes and when I'm done, the only clean up I want to do is to throw the paper plates and napkins in the fire.

When it comes to camping, hot dogs are just about the easiest thing to prepare so I always plan one meal around meat on a stick (which can mean hot dogs, brats, or our favorite, chicken sausages).

Regardless of what you choose, the thing that really takes this meal to the next level is candied jalapeños.

Candied jalapeños, also called cowboy candy, are sweet and spicy, and completely addictive. They're delicious on all types of sandwiches, or served over cream cheese and crackers.

You can find the recipe for candied jalapeños here, and it comes from Rebecca, author of Foodie with Families. I've been making and canning this recipe for years and every year, I find that I need to make more because we always run out.

If you're a gardener and you've never grown jalapeños, you have to give it a try. I grow jalapenos every year and it's always amazing how quickly they produce peppers and how many peppers I can harvest from a single plant. Today is June 29th and I already have at least 20 peppers I need to harvest off the plants in our front yard.

The last thing I want to mention about this recipe is that if you're not comfortable or if you don't have the tools to can, you can also make these candied jalapeños and keep them in the refrigerator for up to three months. But with just a little more work, you can can your candied jalapeños now and give them out as gifts throughout the year.