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Are you a honey-mustard lover?

This is one of my best friends.
This is one of my best friends.Personal Photo

If you are, my latest issue of Cuisine at Home magazine, which is a publication that comes to you advertising-free by the way, has a recipe for you. It is a Tomato Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce, which couldn't be more on target for Tucson, where barbecuing is going strong.

Down here we have had a mild winter, which I am almost ashamed to say, and the grills have been out and in use for weeks now. As I ride my bike around the blocks of my neighborhood walking dogs, I pass areas where I can smell steak grilling and I slow down to enjoy it.

At my age it would be a disaster to be ditched on my bike by an overexcited dog, so I have a beautiful adult tricycle, which you can see above. It has a big basket between the rear wheels--a familiar feature--and it is the only way that I can ride slowly enough to vary my speed for the dogs I walk. One is a Labrador Retriever and the other is my little Basset mix, so when the big boy trots, my hound has to run to keep up. This involves paying more attention to the dogs than to riding the trike, so I have to have a safe vehicle.

When we smell barbecuing steak, everybody stops and turns their faces to the aroma, I can tell you. But really, there is nothing like a sweet red barbecue sauce on meat to give you the real mouth-watering outdoor cooking ambiance. And if you love honey-mustard sauces and salad dressings, give this recipe a try and get out in your Southern Arizona back yard--or at least use your toaster oven.

TOMATO HONEY-MUSTARD BARBECUE SAUCE

From Cuisine at Home

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cooked diced organic onion
2 teaspoons organic canola or safflower oil
1 Tablespoon minced fresh organic garlic
1 cup diced fresh organic tomatoes (seeded)
1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup prepared organic Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Sweat the onions over medium heat in a saucepan until they are translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and let it cook down about 1 minute longer.

Add the tomatoes and cook until they are softened, about 5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and let the mixture sit on a slow boil until it is reduced by half. Add the mustard, honey and Cayenne and bring it back to a boil. Keep it at a boil for about 5 minutes, or until it has thickened.

I prefer to put an immersion blender into the sauce before adding the mustard, honey and Cayenne, and bring the sauce to a smooth consistency before finishing it. I don't think you can buy a better sauce in the store, and the small quantity of the recipe means that you don't have to fuss with storage and things. Just make it the day before, and use it up for your dinner.

For more info: this is a good time to mention a product that I noticed at Sprouts in Tucson. It is called Bee Free Honey, and it is made from apples and sugar. If for some reason you don't want to use normal honey, I suppose you could use it instead. I bought a bottle and it is very tasty; I used it on Mintz's Blintzes, which are a dairy-free cheese-style blintz. But if you put it into the recipe above, it would impart a delicious apple overtone to the barbecue sauce, and that could be amazing. So try Bee Free Honey and see what you can do with it.