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Jazz Up Your Water

24 May

by Green Gourmet L

Photo from coloribus.com

I was browsing around Old Town this past weekend, and I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything. I’ve got some summer trips coming up (not to mention a big move to Texas), so I’ve tightened the purse strings. Let’s be honest, the purse strings are super glued together. But I had to make an exception when I came upon this special little guy:

Photo from tesseire.com

This is a French fruit syrup, which is made from 50% fruit juice. It has no chemicals, preservatives, or dyes. No artificial sweeteners.

You can do a bunch of things with this:

  • Sweeten up your favorite hot tea
  • Drizzle over fresh fruit (like the rose or violette flavors)
  • Pour over ice cream or sorbet
  • Add a zing to your homemade salad dressing
  • Mix it into yogurt
  • Make peach flavored ice to put into iced tea
  • Reinvent your favorite cocktail (mint julep anyone?)
  • Make your own soda by adding a splash to your sparkling water

We made our own Orangina using 1 part orange syrup to 9 parts water. So good!  They have a variety of flavors -orange, strawberry, lemon, lime, mint, anise, pineapple, almond, violette, even pamplemousse (my favorite French word). You can see what you remember from your highschool French class on their website. Or, if you’re like me, you can hop on over to Amazon and order your favorite flavor. If you live in DC, head to Old Town Alexandria and check out La Cuisine  to buy Teisseire and other great foodie finds! Enjoy this awesome product and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

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Holiday Cocktails II, Green Gourmets Style

15 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

Happy Holidays everyone! Time for family and parties and presents. And LIQUOR! Sometimes you need a little something to get you through that office party. Or that neighborhood holiday cookie swap. Or just because you said so. The Green Gourmets agree and we are stirring up some delicious holiday cocktails: Puerto Rican Eggnog (Coquito) and Pomegranate Sparklers.

Puerto Rican Eggnog (Coquito)

OK eggnog is gross. Thick. Egg-y. Who decided to mix raw eggs with liquor? I’ve tried many different versions and I never liked it…until now! Many, many years ago, when I was in grad school, a Puerto Rican friend of mine shared a recipe for Coquito. It’s made with cream of coconut, rum, and lots of cinnamon. It will put you in a festive mood without turning your stomach. Trust me, you’ll never go back to your old eggnog again!

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten (if raw eggs worry you, you can use egg substitute)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Chill at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Serve in small glasses or mugs.

Pomegranate Sparklers

This light cocktail is the perfect drink for those watching their waistlines this holiday season (or anytime). It has just a bit of pomegranate juice for a festive color and flavor.

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 oz vodka (I like to use orange flavored vodka)
  • 2 oz soda
  • splash of Pomegranate juice
  • squeeze of lemon or lime

Fill your glass with ice, mix all ingredients together and enjoy! Happy sipping and don’t forget to tell them you read it on Green Gourmets!

Holiday Party Cocktails, Green Gourmets Style

14 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

Are you in the holiday spirit yet?  How about a holiday cocktail to get you in the mood to celebrate?

There are two things, among many others, that my dear friend A and I have in common; we both love sparkling wines (at any time, for any occasion) and we share an irrational fondness for Bon Appetit magazine (food nerd alert!).  So when we needed some inspiration for what to serve at her holiday party this past weekend we turned to the December Bon Appetit.  One thing that immediately stood out was the recipe for Cranberry Champagne Cocktails.  As usual we changed the recipe a little so I have the original for you and my tweaked version.  A and I also thought  a warm beverage option would be very festive so we went with hot apple cider and spiced rum.  This was an “add your own rum” situation so that made it friendly for those not wanting to imbibe.  I hope you enjoy these recipes.  What are your favorite holiday cocktail recipes?

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

(original recipe from the December 2010 Bon Appetit)

Makes 8 drinks.

8 tablespoons of Cointreau, chilled

12 teaspoons frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed

1 750 ml bottle of Champagne, chilled

8 fresh or frozen cranberries

Place 1 tablespoon Cointreau and 1.5 teaspoons cranberry juice concentrate in each of the 8 Champagne flutes. Top with champagne. Drop 1 cranberry into each cocktail and serve.

Green Gourmet Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

We found the Cointreau a little strong so we lightened up a little on that. We also could not find cranberry juice concentrate and wanted to use some real cranberry juice instead.  We used Cava and a couple other dry sparkling wines instead of Champagne in this recipe.  Real Champagne would be nice, but a perfectly delicious, and far more affordable, sparkling wine will do.

For each drink:

Put 2 teaspoons of Cointreau into your champagne flute, add 3 teaspoons of cranberry juice, top with sparkling wine and a fresh cranberry.

Hot Apple Cider with Spiced Rum

1 gallon apple cider

1 organic orange

12-15 whole cloves

spiced rum

Pierce the orange with the cloves in the pattern of your choosing.  Put the whole orange in your crockpot with the cider.  Turn your crockpot on high and once the cider is piping hot, turn it down to warm.  Place your spiced rum next to the crockpot so that your guests can add their own spirits, or not.

Fall Flavors

5 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

This was the first morning that it really felt like fall in DC! We woke up early and started the morning with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Whenever this comes out, I realize that cooler weather is on the way. It makes me think of apple picking, pumpkin carving, sweater and scarves, and boots on the outside of jeans. After spending $5 on a medium size Pumpkin Spice Latte at (guess where?) I realized that there has to be a better way to make this at home. So after some trial and error, I think I came up with a good substitute. This serves 2 (because, hey, it’s not fair for only one person to enjoy this)!

A note on coconut milk:

Since I’ve realized that I’m lactose sensitive, I decided to try coconut milk instead of soy milk (or real milk) on my last trip to the grocery store.  It is high in saturated fat (a 1 cup serving size has 5g), but don’t forget that this is the good kinda fat. It is mostly made up of short- and medium-chain fatty acids that are used as energy and not stored as body fat like long-chain fatty acids found in dairy milk. Coconut is also rich in lauric acid, which helps strengthen the immune system. And it’s full of vitamins and minerals (calcium being a biggie). Just make sure you are buying 100% pure coconut milk. (PS. This brand also makes delicious ice creams!)

A note on pumpkin:

We all know, by now, that we should all eat more pumpkin (not just in pumpkin pie). But why? Some of the healing properties of pumpkin are:

  • Protection against heart disease
  • Digestive aid
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Used for insomnia
  • Helpful for treating burns
  • Anti-aging
  • Used for respiratory conditions liks asthma

Alright, aren’t you ready to enjoy your latte knowing all the health benefits?

Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

2 TB canned pumpkin

2 TB brown sugar or agave nectar

1 TB vanilla extract

1/2 tp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup strong coffee

Directions:

Heat coconut milk, pumpkin, and sugar over medium heat until just under boiling. Whisk well to incorporate the pumpkin. Off the heat, add vanilla and spices. At this point, you can choose to place in a blender to get frothy. Add strong coffee and pour into mugs. Enjoy the first days of fall and don’t forget you read it on Green Gourmets!