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Getting the young ones adjusted to heat


Business Member
My son had no choice. His first solid food was New Mexico enchiladas, made the way my grandma made them. With hot Hatch chile powder.
Paprika powder is already a favorite, so I'll take your advice in switching it to cayenne Grass Snake.
See above - I would go with something like a mild Hatch (order from The Chile Shop in Santa Fe) then move up to hot Hatch. 2000-ish for the mild, vs. 50k typical for cayenne, so ease them in some. (Plus it's very tasty!)

When we met, my enchiladas were at my wife's top end. Now I make some decently spicy Vindaloo or Drunken Noodles and she's ok with that. Not Thai hot (that's my job) but definitely has come a long way.
Perhaps the key is sweet heat at first.
Growing up in Panama, it was not hard to find sweet hot candy's at the outdoor Mercado's.
All the kids I knew loved it's sweet spicy flavors.

It was a real treat to me going with my dad to the many Oyster bars, eating hot peppers & sneaking cerveza when I could.
I make spicy candies if you want to try that. Or some "hot" chocolate :)
I love all the ideas! Both kids have to cook every now and then with us. Especially the 12 year old loves doing so. She's very fond of baking bread for example.

I will try out a lot of what's mentioned here. Maybe start out with a taco night next. And I'll add in some spicy sweets. Never thought about that.

The idea of letting her grow her own pepper is wonderful as well. I'll let her go through my seed bank and see if there's anything to her liking.

Before I know it, she'll be eating bhut jolokia as a snack. :)

Thanks guys, really appreciate the creativity.


Extreme Member
I agree with the "sweet" angle. We've got friends that think vanilla ice cream is too spicy. We make two things that even heat virgins love - Spicy Peanut Brittle and Habanero Gold Jelly. Lots of folks take the jar of jelly and dump it over a cream cheese log - serve with crackers. All we hear is "Wow! that's hot, but boy that's good!", or "I don't like spicy. Say, you still have any of that brittle left?".

Both are pretty easy to make and I think the kids would enjoy them.


Business Member
Oh yea! Cinnamon toothpicks! We made those at home!

Along with egg nog with raw eggs, ice cream, popcorn not out of a microwave...

Ok thats enough to date myself...or I could add in the rotary telephone with a party line.


Extreme Member
@Tinkerbelle099, @Ratatouille, @Nulle, et al

Here's the Habanero Gold recipe. This is a LINK to where I got the recipe originally, back in 2007 I think. There's actually two versions, the original small batch which only makes like 3 jars, and then a scaled up larger batch.

The original recipe for Habanero Gold was printed in the Bernardin cookbook, found HERE. This one has the metric equivalents for those who use such things.

It's really a good jelly. Give it a try.

Now off to find the peanut brittle recipe. She makes that, so I'll see if she remembers how it's made, lol.


Extreme Member
....Now off to find the peanut brittle recipe. She makes that, so I'll see if she remembers how it's made, lol.

@Tinkerbelle099, @Ratatouille, @Nulle, et al

Found it.



1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry-roasted or shelled raw peanuts (unsalted)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tsp cayenne (more to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (freshly ground if possible)

Cooktop: Prep: 5 min., Cook: 10 min., Stand: 5 min.

Cook first 3 ingredients in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly,
until mixture starts to boil.

Boil without stirring 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 310°.

Add peanuts, and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or to 280°. (Mixture should be golden brown.)

Remove from heat, and stir in butter and remaining ingredients.

Pour mixture onto a metal surface or into a shallow pan. Allow to stand 5 minutes or until

Break into pieces.

Pecan Brittle: Substitute 1 cup chopped pecans for peanuts.

December 2016

Batch 1: recipe as listed, 1/2 tsp Maule's Red Hot pepper powder and 1/2 tsp
Chile Bonita Grande plus 1/4 tsp Turkish Cayenne

Batch 2: Just 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 tsp Maule's Red
Hot pepper powder and 1/2 tsp Chile Bonita Grande only

Grass Snake

Extreme Member


Business Member
:rofl: @ ^^^

The Kid was about 2-3 YO, sitting ON the kitchen counter, dipping chips into the Hot salsa and eating away. The next day....his poor patootie!!! crying with a sore bum....we had to sit him in the tub with cool water.....

true story...
I think I can help here! When I was little I had to rub off the spice from mild chicken wings from the store because they were too spicy. Coming from an Asian family, the built in tolerance seems to have skipped me.

Places I like spice:
  • americanized thai dipping sauce which is really plum sauce with some chili flakes put in. Amazing on wings, nuggets, etc
  • mild hot sauce with avocado mashed in a bowl - the avo really takes a lot of the sting out, better yet if you're making it a meal look in to doing it as a "bowl" meal that are all the rage over here. Poké bowls started it all but also really good as rice, marinaded chicken, soy beans, corn etc all mixed together.
  • chili salt popcorn
  • pasta sauce
  • salsa
  • Mexican tortilla soup (check out the very toned down version on smittenkitchen's blog, you can adjust taste for all family members and spice levels)
  • Thai green curry
  • Butter Chicken as a gateway - butter chicken isn't supposed to be spicy. To non spicy people, the amount of aromas can make it seem spicy. Get used to that, all the flavours, then you want to explore other indian flavours... it's a rabbit hole!
I'm not great with spice still but I will sit at the table crying and snotty because something tastes so good. Hope this helps!


Business Member
Not sure if the salsa recipe is mine. I posted a couple recipes I did with grade school kids, a black bean and a pico de gallo.

Great news to see the kiddo getting involved.