Smoked Balsamic Honey BBQ Sauce

I have this deep fascination with making ingredients from scratch.

What’s the big mystery? Things didn’t start off in bottles on grocery store shelves. Someone, a long time ago, used to make these ingredients for their families. So, why can’t I? My first foray into making condiments is a BBQ Sauce recipe. Admittedly, I used store bought organic ketchup and organic mustard in the recipe. But, it’s a start, right? After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will my condiment collection be.

Another catalyst for my foray into condiment creation is the book Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss.


Half of my friends already think I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to my commitment to organic, local, and sustainable foods. After reading Michael Moss’s book, however, I’m about to become even more extreme. I don’t want to buy anything that comes in a box or package ever again, unless it comes from a reputable company who’s beliefs align with my own. I highly recommend everyone read this book. Consider yourself warned, though. It will change the way you see food forever.

On that note… I made BBQ Sauce!!! GF Guy was home for a few days so I pulled out all the stops and made one of his favorite dishes, Pulled Pork! I used my old stand-by recipe, but this time made my own BBQ Sauce. Next time, I will make my own ketchup and mustard first. 😉

Smoked Balsamic Honey BBQ Sauce

generously adapted from this recipe on Simply Scratch

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)



  • 1 cup Organic Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Organic Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Organic Honey
  • 1 Tblsp Organic Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tblsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke


  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Reduce heat to low and allow to reduce for 20 minutes.
  3. Cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

GF Guy is home for the week! I am such a lucky girl!

He’s making an awkward face in this picture, but, in his defense, I did make him pose for a picture whilst trying to board the airplane.

Monday night, I asked him to run by the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients to make Pumpkin Chili. He arrived back home, an hour later (grocery shopping isn’t exactly his “thing”) slightly the worse for the wear, but with a few sacks of necessities and the requested ingredients. I began to assemble the chili only to realize that the taco seasoning mix he purchased, while gluten-free, was not dairy-free. Hmmmm…… quandary…….

Not one to be defeated by a prepackaged product, I began tossing a little of this and a little of that into a bowl. Why not try to make my own taco seasoning. I didn’t bother looking up any recipes, maybe I should have, maybe not. I just went for it. The chili was a little more “red” in color than normal, and tasted slightly different, but was still delicious.

What is your go-to taco seasoning mix? What suggestions do you have that could improve my first attempt?


Homemade Taco Seasoning

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan)

image source


  • 3 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 tsp Hot Paprika
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well combined.