Here are some of the bands catching my ear lately:

The new Arcade Fire album — here’s the first single:

The National playing a few songs off their new album, Trouble Will Find Me (which is amazing, by the way):

A live Chvrches performance from KEXP:

And finally, the new Vampire Weekend. Here’s a single off Modern Vampires of the City, called Step:

I was introduced to Wintersleep earlier this year when they opened for Frightened Rabbit in Toronto. Both the Mrs. and I instantly fell in love and have been listening non-stop since… here’s a complete concert from 2010.

So good.

I have been on a quest to make a homemade hot sauce similar to Cholula. Sure it’s easy and fairly cheap to buy it at the store, but what fun is that? And homemade stuff inherently tastes better simply because it’s yours.

I don’t plan on going all food blogger on you, but I do want to share this recipe with you since I like it so much.

Ingredients

6 dried Arbol peppers, stems removed
1 cup apple cider vinegar, plus a small amount more.
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder or cayenne powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1. Bring the apple cider vinegar to a boil in a small sauce pot. Blanch the peppers for around 10 minutes or so…
  2. Add the vinegar and peppers to a blender,
  3. Add remaining ingredients to blender. I also added maybe a 1/4 cup of additional vinegar to the blender, since some evaporates during blanching.
  4. Blend mixture until peppers and spices are well blended and resemble a hot sauce.
  5. Taste test and add flavoring as needed. (I didn’t…)

Note that this isn’t like store bought hot sauce, it may separate over time (just shake to mix it up again) and it definitely tastes better as it “ages” in the fridge over the next few days. I usually can’t wait that long though!

Enjoy! And feel free to send me a note if you make changes/improvements to this recipe. I’d love to try your ideas.