Hot Punch / Apple Cider

punch-cider-recipe

12 oz. frozen orange juice (with the water)

2 cups apple juice

3/4 cups sugar (delete this if watching calories)

fresh nutmeg

2 cinnamon sticks

Combine all ingredients.

*Add more water if needed

Let simmer in a crock pot.

 

recipe

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Eggnog

Image by Billy McDermott

Image by Billy McDermott

Step 1

10 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 cup brandy

1 cup rum

2 quarts milk

1 pint half & half

Image By Bill Stilwell

Image By Bill Stilwell

Beat egg yolks till thick and bright yellow.

 

Gradually fold in sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time

Add brandy and rum

Chill (overnight) *Watch video below about letting it sit longer

Add  milk and half and half

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Step 2

10 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

1 pint whipped cream

 

Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, gradually adding sugar

gently fold in whipped cream then everything from Step 1.

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Serve with freshly grated nutmeg.

 

 

 

 

Image by Yasmina Haryono

Image by Yasmina Haryono

 

Resources – Salmonella Concerns

How to Use Science to Make Safe Eggnog With Raw EggsWIRED magazine

“Eggnog… is a velvety mix of egg proteins surrounded by sugar molecules, diluted by milk and booze to a perfect thickness for drinking. It’s a dessert-flavored milkshake for grown-ups.”

“Modern egg-handling processes in the US mean that eggs get cleaned pretty quick after they come out of the chickens and then sped to markets. The health risk with food isn’t pathogens specifically; it’s pathogens plus time. That is, do they have the right conditions to breed to disease-causing levels? This is why refrigeration works; food bugs don’t like the cold. So buy fresh eggs, keep them in the fridge, give them a quick rinse before use, and then get cracking.”  – Adam Rogers

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Eggnog – Popular Science

Cooking the Egg Base – FoodSafety.gov

 Cooked Eggnog recipe with special garnish

Kamara’s Dirty Chai Coffee

Kamara’s Dirty Chai Coffeedirty_chai_coffee

1 tsp. ghee
1 tsp. coconut oil
add enough hot coffee / espresso to melt the oils
add Spices | 1 or two shakes or 1/8 tsp:
cardamom
cinnamon
powdered ginger

To Taste:

add half and half and / or chocolate silk

 

Kamara

 

 

Very Berry Cordial

Verry Cordial1 tblsp. dried rose hips – crushed
10 oz. bag frozen blackberries – thawed
1 tblsp. dried gogi berries – crushed
4 tblsp. dried currants
6 oz. fresh raspberries
3 oz. fresh blueberries
1 large double sized basket of fresh strawberries
10 oz. fresh cherries

Wash fresh fruit.

Place all ingredients into a 1-gallon glass jar.

Cover fruit with brandy.

Let sit, in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month. (For this batch, I let the concoction sit for 2 months.)

Check it periodically and add more brandy as needed to keep the fruit submerged.

After the waiting period, pour the contents of the jar through a cheesecloth that is several layers thick. (I fold the cloth two or three times and secure it over a large measuring cup with a rubber-band. The goal is to strain out all of the solids.)

Carefully and gently squeeze the fruit within the cloth to get as much of the liquid out as possible.

Once you have the liquid strained, measure how much you have.  Divide that number in half. This is how much sweetener you will add…give or take.

I had a little over 8 cups of decanted liquid.

I added 5 cups of honey – but could have added one more cup if I wanted it just a little bit sweeter.  Taste test for sweetness levels.

The final step is to add 40 drops of food-grade lemon essential oil. Taste test for desired result.

 

Cordials made with fresh fruit should last for up to a year. The high alcohol content acts as a preserver.

Enjoy and Toast to your good health and happy taste buds!

 

A Missed Onesalzburg-708762_640

We happened upon the shop in Salzburg toward the end of the day.

“Look!” We said, seeing the silly crow figures in the window. It was the same artist who had several pieces hanging in the apartment where we were staying.

We entered and chatted with Michael Ferner for a while. After telling us a few background stories about his art, the conversation led to his newest project – partnering with a local brewer to create a drink that features one of his fanciful crows on the label.

We bought several tiny sample bottles and a few small pieces of his work.

Back at our apartment, we cracked open one of the bottles to sample it. It was like drinking a bite of pie! It burst with sweet, fruity flavors and was highlighted by hints of lemon.

The train that we had to catch the following day was scheduled to leave early – before the shops would open. Thinking fast, my travel partner jogged several blocks back to Michael’s shop to buy a much larger bottle of the special drink.

I regretted not doing the same. Especially later, when I found out how much overseas shipping charges were going to be!

Fortunately, I was able to turn to one of my favorite food preparation staples. The Herbal Kitchen, Kami McBride

By following Kami’s basic cordial preparation instructions and using the fruits that I thought would work, I was able to get very close to that delicious flavor that I remembered.

**The amount of honey and the addition of lemon essential oil at the end makes all the difference.

Best of all, there is still enough time to make another batch before Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Cider & Butternut Squash Pairings

(hard) ci·der – ˈsīdər/ – noun
an alcoholic drink made from fermented crushed fruit, typically apples.
It’s bubbly, fruity, refreshing and it just seems to go with fall and all the foods that we love to eat during the season. A hard apple cider is an alternative to wine or beer that wonderfully compliments your food and adds a bit of zip to any meal.
WiseGeek.com says that, “A hard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from apples, pears and occasionally quinces. It is extremely popular throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, and has gained many fans in the United States and Europe as well. Hard cider, called simply cider in Europe, is not to be confused with the non-alcoholic juice drinks made in America that are sold as apple or pear cider.
Here are two butternut squash meals paired with hard apple ciders.

As with every solid and liquid that we pair together, your own taste is all the matters.

*The hard ciders featured in this article are my personal favorites. They tend to be light and not overly sweet. 

pairing2

Butternut Squash Salad:

Butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 degrees until done.

Blood Orange and Tangerine Hard Cider

Blood Orange and Tangerine flavored Hard Apple Cider

Lettuce
warm squash cubes
yellow raisins
nuts  or seeds (sunflower, peanuts, pistachios or pumpkin seeds)
dried cranberries
fresh pair chopped
shredded cheese
serve with a Champaign dressing

sausage stuffing2

Sausage Cranberry Stuffing with Butternut Squash

Spinach (fresh or frozen &

Lisa's favorite brand Stella Artois

Lisa’s favorite brand Stella Artois

drained)
Spicy Sausage cut up
Breadcrumbs (keep this amount small – you can toast a couple slices of bread and crumble in)
Yellow raisins
Apple cut up
Dried cranberries

Cook in a covered pot with hard apple cider – about 1/2 – 2/3 cup. Only cook long enough for bread to ‘mostly’ soak up the liquid. Salt to taste.

Sautee in butter – onion, celery & carrots – add thyme, sage & garlic

Combine all in an oven safe bowl, cover and put in 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Serve over mashed butternut squash or fill the empty cavity of a small (cooked) butternut squash.

More Hard Cider Information & Resources:

Cider Tasting & Food Pairing from Sonoma County’s Tilted Shed

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Hard Cider by Jonathan M. Katz

Wikipedia – Cider’s Around the World

Check out cider columnist, .

” target=”_blank”>CHRIS LEHAULT’s blog articles
Cider Pairing with
Cheese
Fish
Pizza

Cider Pairing Pinterest Board by www.albemarleciderworks.com

Angry Orchard Hard Cider Pairings
Recipe: Angry Orchard Gingerbread Cookies with Cider Frosting

Home Made Cider in Asturias, Spain (English subtitles)

Spanish Cider Pouring – this technique adds effervescence

Detoxing, Recharging and Cleaning Out the Pipes

Stefan Krause, Germany

I’ve watched many friends doing detoxes and cleanses but was never brave enough to try one myself.  What is a detox? It is like flushing out  slow-running pipes in your plumbing system….except this one is in your body. Over time, our soft tissues and circulatory system accumulates things that we wish it wouldn’t; chemicals from cleaning products, preservatives from processed foods, heavy metals from environmental pollution and the list goes on…

On a scale from one to ten, I figured that my daily eating habits rated about a 7.5. There was room for improvement. A system-wide preventative-maintenance program seemed like a good idea at this point, because I’d clicked over another zero on the odometer of life. Finally, I was curious to find out if I had the willpower and resolve necessary to be really good with everything that I put in my mouth.

I signed up for an 11 Day Clean Eating Program with Zywies (Z ī -wees) Health Coach, Mafer Frantz. In the beginning, I was worried that I might fail. I love my morning coffee and enjoy satisfying a desire for something sweet after lunch.

IMG_6987-lrwebAccording to Mafer, “detoxing at least 4 times a year supports a healthy body for a lifetime.” Her program promises that you won’t go hungry, you will eat whole, seasonal foods and you will have more energy and feel great. Her promises are true.

The regime begins with drinking lots of water! First thing in the morning, a splash of apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper is added to it. For the remainder of the day you are drinking water with unsweetened fruit juice concentrates. The next step is the elimination of some of the things that we all know are not good for us – sugar, caffeine, bread, cheese and certain meats. Going along with every step, Mafer provides educational articles to read about what happens inside our bodies as a result of  eating the foods we habitually consume.

Alternatives and substitutions are where things start to get interesting and where my failure-worry was replaced with curiosity and enthusiasm for all of the new things to eat, snack on and prepare.

At the conclusion of the program, I did feel more energized. I haven’t resumed my prior coffee habit and I have adopted new, healthier, practices that will be incorporated into my (and my families) everyday life. I have also learned, once again, that I don’t have to be afraid of change.

Since this blog follows the ebb and flow of Shared Tastes, you will be seeing my own take on preparing and eating superfoods, more seasonal whole foods and more vegetarian dishes. Many of these are directly inspired by Mafer Frantz’s 11 Day Clean Eating Program.

 

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certificateLISAREDFERN

 

Thai Iced Tea – Organic

Made without orange dye and all organic ingredients – this sweet treat is sure to please.

thai iced tea

 

3 Earl Grey tea bags steeped  with water in a tea pot.

Let cool to room temperature.

 

 

To make it by the glass.

Pour desired amount of Organic Maple Syrup into bottom of glass.

Add 1 drop food-grade Wild Orange Essential Oil**

Add 1/8 tsp. (or less) organic Vanilla extract.

Fill glass about half full with the cooled tea.

Stir.

Add ice cubes.

Fill remainder of the glass with your choice of  milk or nondairy alternative.

*coconut milk or half & half would be especially good!

* almond coconut milk was used for this recipe.

 

YUM!!!

 

 

 

** I have a specific brand of food-grade essential oils that use in my recipes.  DO NOT consume any random brand of essential oil as many of them contain toxic filler ingredients. If you’d like to know more about that brand that I use, you can contact me via e-mail.

Apple (or other fruit) Cider Vinegar

I LOVE it when I can work in my kitchen preparing one thing…and have numerous other things going on at the same time. This one utilizes scraps from ‘other things going on.’

apples

Apples or other tart fruit scraps

1 cup honey per gallon of water

Open glass or crock container

Towels or cloth for covering

Time…

Chop apples into chunks (or use scraps from pie making)

Add honey – stir to mix well

Put a glass plate on top with a weight to make sure all fruit is submergedapples in bowl

Cover with towels (the towels are to keep out fruit flies *see fruit fly trap below) or use a rubber band to tightly tie down a cloth around the opening of the container.

Place in dark spot on counter or in pantry for a month or more…taste occasionally till it’s reached the desired strength
Note: a white ‘fermenting’ scum will appear on the top [this is normal]…scoop it off if you wish…or scoot it aside for taste testing

Strain out fruit

Put liquid in a glass jar with a lid

The 'floaties' are a good thing....it's what turns the fruit liquid into vinegar. Bacteria, air, and sugar create a vinegar 'mother.'

The ‘floaties’ are a good thing….it’s what turns the fruit liquid into vinegar. Bacteria, air, and sugar create a vinegar ‘mother.’

Let it sit another 6 weeks – Voila! It’s Vinegar!jar

Lisa’s Notes:

Like many cooks before me, I have to test my results before sharing a recipe.gift bottles

I experimented with different sugars; concluding that I like honey the best. I tried different sitting times; deducing that a stronger taste will result from a longer sit – but also that the type of fruit used, air temperature, and the time of year that you make it will also have an effect. Which boils it down to – the taste will tell you when it’s done.

Fruit Fly Trap – In an open dish on your counter, place vinegar, liquid dish soap and a piece of fruit that sticks up over the liquid

Additional Resources: 

From The White House Cookbook 1887  – Digitized – Michigan State University Library

“Apple Vinegar (economical and good)
Have an earthen jar ready for use. Into this put your apple peelings and cores if good. Cover generously with water. Cover the jar tight, and let stand in cool place. Every day parings may be added, putting on more water each time. When cold tea is left, pour into this jar and also add molasses to the proportion of a cup to a gallon of water. In the course of two or three weeks you will have an excellent vinegar made of nothing. When ready to use, strain through cheese cloth and stand away. This has been tried with good results, and with a little thought economical housekeepers can make enough in one summer to last all winter. ”

Apple Vinegar from Peels and Cores – Mother Earth News

How to Make Homemade Vinegar – Mother Earth News

Creating Homemade Fruit Vinegars – Mother Earth News

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar

http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/vinegar-history.html

Stuffed Sweet Potaotes

This is a family (especially kid) pleaser! A yummy comfort food for a cold, rainy night.

IMG_1434

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Hollow out potato – leaving enough inside the ‘shell’ to support the structure.

In a pan, saute

2-4 tbslp. olive oil
with 2-3 cloves garlic – chopped
and 2 large carrots – julienned

once carrot are softened
add 2 small zucchini – julienned
3 green onions –  chopped fine
3-4 medium sized tomatillos – chopped fine (if you like a tart flavor…add more!)
remove from heat once zucchini has softened

*may also add meat for protein – in this recipe, I added chopped ham

line the bottom of the potato with shredded Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
fill with sauted vegetables then top with more cheese

Medicinal Honey

Medicinal honey is powdered herbs combined with honey.

One can eat it by the teaspoonful or mix a teaspoon of herbal honey with a cup of warm water to make a tea.
double boiler
First – use a double boiler to gradually heat the honey so that it is easier to work with. Use a low to medium heat to make sure that you don’t boil it. When the honey has reached a thin consistency, add the herbs. Let it return to room temperature. The honey / herbal mixture will last up to a year. (It does not need to be refrigerated).

Full Tummy Relief Honey
1/2 tsp. ground cloves (antioxidant, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties)
1 tsp. powdered ginger (digestive aid)
2 tblsp. powdered citrus peel (A compound found in the peels of citrus fruit has the potential to lower cholesterol)
1 tblsp dandelion root (liver and gastrointestinal health)
1/2 tsp. powdered star anise (antifungal and antibacterial – it has been used to relieve coughs – relieves gas and colic)
1 cup honey (anti-bacterial – used to treat coughs & allergies and topically on wounds)

dry powdered ingredientsCirculation Honey
1 tsp. powdered juniper berry (cleanse the kidneys urinary tract)
1 tsp. powdered ginger (digestive aid)
1 tblsp. powdered turmeric (liver detoxifier, anti-inflammatory, wound healing & possible aid in certain types of cancer healing)
1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom (good smelling breath, heart an insulin health)
2 cups honey (anti-bacterial – used to treat coughs & allergies and topically on wounds)
According to Wikipedia:

Scientists have revealed that honey has powerful anti-bacterial properties on at least sixty species of bacteria, and unlike antibiotics, which are often useless against certain types of bacteria, honey is non-toxic and has strong effects.[6]

The composition of honey includes sugars such as glucose and fructose and also minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. Depending on the quality of the nectar and pollen, the vitamins contained in honey are B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3.[12]

When honey is used topically, as, for example, a wound dressing, hydrogen peroxide is produced by dilution of the honey with body fluids. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic.

Honey is widely used in cough medicines and to treat allergies.