Archive for the ‘Beverages’ Category

Caramel Apple Cider - Meatballs&MilkshakesNothing says fall like apple cider. I love curling up with a book in my favorite chair with a hot, steamy mug apple cider spiked with homemade caramel and cinnamon. It also makes a great warm drink for holiday parties.

Caramel Apple Cider

1 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon caramel sauce

1 cinnamon stick

Warm the cider with the cinnamon stick to steep. Add the caramel sauce and stir.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the sugar in a saucepan with the water until it starts to turn light brown. Carefully pour in the cream, it will bubble a lot. Add the vanilla and carefully stir. Allow to cool a little before pouring off into a container. It will last for a couple weeks in the fridge.

Caramel Apple Cider - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Sangria is one of my favorite things to make in the summer. You can make up a big pitcher and it’s just a party in a glass. For some reason, it transports me to the beach or a picnic or a cookout– maybe it’s the fun colors. You can make infinite varieties and I love using rose and sparkling wine as well.

White Wine Sangria

1 bottle of your favorite white wine (you don’t need to spend a lot on the bottle, but make sure you would drink it on it’s own)

1/2 cup brandy (or your favorite fruity alcohol such as framboise or peach brandy)

1/4 cup sugar

6 strawberries, sliced

1/2 mango, diced

1 lime, sliced and cut in half

6 mint leaves

Combine the brandy, sugar, and half the fruit in the bottom of a pitcher and lightly muddle it together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the wine and the rest of the fruit. Stir to combine and adjust the flavors depending on how dry or fruity your wine is. You can store it like this in the fridge for a day or two, if you wish. To serve, add the mint leaves and pour over ice.

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From time to time, we have Manhattans while hanging around the apartment. We never buy Maraschino cherries though, so they’re never quite right to me. This past Christmas, I was thinking about what I could make and give away. I usually do something chocolate or even cookies, but this year I wanted to do something different. I thought, why not try making my own maraschino cherries? Of course, I didn’t look for maraschino liquor, but brandy works just as well. And for those that like different bitters, you can use whatever spices you like in your bitters in the cherries to personalize them.

Brandied Cherries

1 pound cherries

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 cup brandy

Heat the water and sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Add the spices and turn off the heat. Add the brandy and the cherries and stir to combine. Put into clean canning jars and they are ready within 2 weeks!

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This time of year, I’m really missing fruit. I’m tired of eating apples and citrus is great, but I want some berries. My only option is frozen fruit, but I don’t like thawed frozen fruit unless I blend it up into a smoothie. This one was a great one because it had the right amount of fresh fruit and frozen, the right balance between sweet and tart, and a delicious silky texture from the soy and almond milk. Add some rum, and you could feel like you’re right on the beach. Plus, the beautiful, bright color is lovely on a gray day.

Winter Fruits Smoothie

1 apple, chopped into pieces

1 cup grapes

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup soy milk

1/2 cup almond milk

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend. You can add more liquid as necessary, if you’re blender gets stuck.

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Affogato is one of my favorite desserts when it’s done well, but because of the espresso I only let myself have it when I don’t need to go to bed early. My favorite mornings are when I run out of milk and get to use a little vanilla ice cream in my coffee. And that’s how this milkshake came about. It’s obviously only as good as the ice cream you use, but I find even with lower fat ice cream….you’re still eating ice cream and it’s yummy.

Affogato Milkshake

2 scoops vanilla ice cream or gelato

1/4 cup milk

2 ounces Kahlua

2 ounces espresso

Combine all ingredients into a glass and stir with a spoon until everything is combined and smooth.

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I read about a drink they make at ABC Kitchen, and I had to try it. The version I made was similar to one off another blog, so it’s not exactly as they make it at ABC Kitchen, but it’s really tasty.

Basil Lime Daiquiri


For simple syrup:

1 bunch basil

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

5 limes, juiced

Steep the basil in the boiling water for 10 minutes and reduce water, then remove basil leaves. Dissolve sugar in basil water and cool. Add lime juice. Mix 1 part simple syrup with 1 part rum and shake in cocktail shaker over ice.

In the second batch, we muddled some basil leaves in the shaker before adding the other ingredients and it had a little more basil flavor and it was definitely more green….

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Spring means Iced Tea

While I’m not big into fixing cocktails, a delicious pitcher of iced tea on a warm spring day is a favorite. There’s not much of a recipe for this one, I just brew a couple tea bags (I used mint tea) and squeeze 2 lemons and 2 limes into it. I sweeten it with a mixture of honey and agave to taste. Pour it over a big glass of ice, and you can garnish with a mint sprig or slice of lime. Perfectly refreshing on a beautiful, sunny Easter!

Mint Iced Tea

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