Category Archives: Recipes

Spiced Hot Cocoa

By Lynne Webb

Spiced Hot Cocoa

Preparation:

Whisk all the dry ingredients together with the water. Once the cocoa is thoroughly blended, heat to desired drinking temperature either in the microwave or on top of the stove.

Note: You can always use 3/4 cup of milk in place of the water and dry milk if you plan to drink the cocoa right away.

Makes 1 serving

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve hot cocoa with a candy cane swizzle stick
  • Float some marshmallows or whipped cream and grate some dark chocolate over top
  • Reduce the sugar to 1-1/2 teaspoons and add a shot of your favorite liqueur ~ Kahlua, Amaretto, Frangelico, etc.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little surprise heat

candy-cane-hot-cocoa

For more great fall ideas visit mygourmetconnection.com!

 

Chai-Spiced Popcorn Bars

Check out this tasty recipe by Christine Gallary!
Makes 20 pieces

For the chai spice:
3/4 teaspoon Organic ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly Organic ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Organic ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon Organic ground ginger
Large pinch Organic ground cloves
Large pinch freshly Organic ground black pepper

For the popcorn bars:
– Cooking spray or butter, for greasing the baking dish
– 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
– 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
– 1 (10-ounce) bag mini marshmallows
– 12 cups popped popcorn

For the chai spice: Combine all the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture for sprinkling on the top; reserve the rest for mixing into the popcorn bars.

For the popcorn bars: Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, making sure there is extra paper hanging off of 2 sides. Coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray or butter; set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Stir in the spice mixture and salt and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the marshmallows and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the popcorn. Stir with a rubber spatula until the popcorn is completely coated in the marshmallow mixture. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and use hands dampened with water to press it into the corners of the pan and into an even layer. Sift the reserved 1/2 teaspoon chai spices over the surface of the bars and let cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Grasp the parchment and lift the bars out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board. Cut into 20 pieces.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: These bars are best eaten the same day they are made, as they soften up quickly. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

popcorn-bars

For more tasty fall recipes by Christine Gallary visit her food blog at http://www.thekitchn.com/

Spice up your Cabinets!

A well stocked spice cabinet is the first step in creating delicious meals regardless of season!  Here are some of the spices we recommend to always keep on hand!

Bay Leaves

These aromatic, woodsy-tasting leaves are sold dried.  Rich with color, add bay leaves to soups, stews and marinades! Be sure to remove the leaves before serving!

Black Peppercorns

Slightly pungent, these add flavor to almost any dish! Always use whole peppercorns over the pre-ground versions.  It will be well worth the effort!

Cayenne Pepper

Made from a small, spicy red pepper, this is the foundation of many bottled hot sauces and spice rubs!  Try it on Chili!

 Cinnamon Powder

Warm and aromatic, this spice has a bittersweet flavor! Use it for baking, as well as adding earthiness and body to stews, chili and curry!

Clove Powder

This herb is a staple in holiday baking.  Rich and sweet it makes fantastic gingersnaps! A little goes a long way!

 

Curry Powder

A staple of Indian food, our curry powder contains over 10 different spices!

 

 Ginger Powder

Ground ginger has a more intense and astringent taste than fresh ginger.  This is a wonderful herb for baking as well!

Whole Nutmeg

A delicate and warm spice frequently used in baking can also be used in savory foods.  Adds flavor to squash, spinach and Béchamel sauce!

Dried Oregano

This wonderful and tasty herb is a member of the mint family! Often used in Mediterranean, South American and Cajun cooking.

 

Paprika Powder

This is a powder made from sweet peppers and can be available sweet or hot.  With it’s smooth red color, Hungarian Paprika is the highest quality, but we also carry domestic and Spanish varieties.  Can be used to season meat, seafood and vegetables.  It is also the traditional garnish for deviled eggs!

Rosemary Leaf

With a delicious aroma of Lemon and Pine, this herb is often used in Mediterranean dishes.  Also a delicious addition to Red Potatoes!

 Thyme Leaf

This delicate herb is incredibly fragrant.  Adds a subtle but delicious taste to meats, poultry and vegetables.  Very popular in Mediterranean, Creole and Cajun cuisines!

 

Spices generally have a shelf life of 12-18 months.  We recommend you purchase in small quantities so that you always have fresh spices on hand!

Star Anise – ‘Tis the Season!

Although this is a beautiful spice, it is one that many people are afraid to use.  Pretty to look at but what the heck do we do with it? Well here are some ideas!

What does Star Anise Taste like?

Star Anise has an almost perfect name with its classic star shape and the aroma of star anise is similar to anise seed and fennel but a bit more pungent. The taste is a bit sweet with licorice undertones and it provides a warm and mild numbing effect in the mouth.  Star Anise is often used in Oriental dishes with amazing results!

Star Anise Recipe

Star Anise pairs deliciously with apples!  We love this recipe by Nigel Slater:

Poached apples with ginger and anise

Nigel Slater’s Poached Apples with Ginger and Anise!

* Dessert apples 3 small to medium in size
* Juice of half a lemon
*Unfiltered apple juice  400ml
* Golden caster sugar 2  tablespoons tbsp.
* Star anise 2 whole pieces
* Preserved ginger 40g
* Syrup from the ginger jar 4 tbsp

Directions: Peel the apples, halve them and remove their cores. Toss gently in the lemon juice.

Pour the apple juice into a pan (large enough to accommodate the apples later) then add the caster sugar, star anise, the ginger sliced into coins, and ginger syrup. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat so the liquid simmers gently.

Lower the fruit into the simmering syrup and leave partially covered with a lid until they are tender. They are ready when a skewer will glide effortlessly through their flesh, which should take around 15-20 minutes.

Lift the fruit from the syrup with a draining spoon and place on a serving dish or in smaller individual dishes. Turn up the heat and bring the syrup to the boil.

Serve warm, three halves of fruit per person, in little dishes or glasses with some of the apple- and spice‑scented syrup spooned over.

(Photo by Jonathan Lovekin)

Star Anise Crafts

Star Anise is so versatile you can also use it at home to spice up the holiday scents and cheer! Here are delicious ideas!

Anise Napkin RingsStar Anise Napkin Rings

This is taken from the Martha Stewart November 1998 issue!

To Make it: Thread a piece of suede cord (or ribbon) under the stiff stem of the spice pod. If there is no stem, place a small dab of hot glue on the back of the spice pod, then press it into the cord or ribbon. Roll your linen napkins, position the star anise in front, then tie the cord in the back to secure it.

Star Anise Wreaths

Star Anise wreaths are easy to make! Simply use a foam wreath (any size) and glue star anise pods all around the wreath! They look beautiful, rustic and smell fantastic! For a little extra spice, add cinnamon sticks!

 

Holiday-teaStar Anise Tea?

You can even add one little star to a cup of tea or brew it by itself (beware it has a very strong flavor)!

It can be helpful to relieve several ailments like bronchial cough, indigestion, and the lower abdominal pain associated with PMS! (Be sure to

Go ahead – Order some Star Anise today!!

star_anise

 

Our Fall Cider!

One of the tastiest things of the Fall is delicious Apple Cider!  I wanted to share with you my favorite Apple Cider Recipe that I create every fall!  This is done in a slow cooker so you can get it started in the morning and enjoy cider all day long! For those that prefer a virgin version of it, simply leave out the Rum and Vodka!

Raven’s Fall Cider

3-4 Tablespoons Mulling Spices (to taste)
3 Medium Cinnamon Sticks
1 Small Apple
2-3 Teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (to taste)
1 Cup Spiced Rum
1/2 Cup Caramel Apple Vodka (Optional)
1 Gallon Store bought Apple Cider
Cheesecloth or Muslin Bag

  1. Add your mulling spices to either a muslin bag or a create a cheesecloth Sachet.
  2. Toss, sachet, cinnamon sticks, apple (whole), pumpkin pie spice into a large slow cooker.
  3. Fill the slow cooker with Cider and cover.
  4. Cook on High for 2 hours, or until apple starts to soften.
  5. Switch slow cooker to low and add Rum and Vodka.
  6. Simmer for another hour on low
  7. Enjoy hot! As you drink it you can always add more cider to the mix to replenish without needing to add more spices.

If you have any cider left over, strain and put it in sealed container in the fridge.  It will keep for approximately one week.  To enjoy pour and microwave for 30 seconds!

 

mulled-cider

Soothing After-sun Spray Recipe!

During the summer, the best thing we can do to stay healthy is watch our sun exposure.  Always wear good sunscreen! But even when we take precautions, we can end up with a little sun burn! This soothing spray can help take the bite out of a nasty sunburn! And the best thing is you can make it at home, yourself!

Recipe:

4 oz Organic Witch Hazel Extract
2 oz Calendula Oil
2 oz Aloe Vera Oil
10 drops Lavender EO
10 Drops Peppermint EO
8oz Spray Bottle!

Blend well and spray! The spray may feel a little sticky at first, but it will get better once it dries and should be very soothing! Enjoy!

Sun-care

 

Homemade Flea Powder for your Pets!

Summer is coming and this is the worst time of year for fleas! Flea treatments are full of chemicals and can be very expensive! Here is our recipe for a powder you can make yourself and have your best friend be healthy and flea-free!

Ingredients:

1 cup Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
1/2 cup Neem Powder
1/2 cup Yarrow Powder
20 Drops Eucalyptus EO (Leave out for cats)

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together well
  2. Put in a shaker top container (You can make one by drilling holes in a mason jar container)
  3. Apply from head to tail – make sure your pet is NOT WET!  Brush your pets in the opposite direction to make sure that the powder gets deep into the fur.
  4. Avoid eyes and nose – rub powder into belly and other areas that have no fur.  Try to get the powder in as much of the skin as possible without getting it close to mucus tissue.  Avoid any wound areas!
  5. The area at the base of the tail is where fleas love to stay – make sure you get lots of powder into that area!
  6. Use about once a month to avoid an infestation.  If you give your pet a bath you will need to re-apply.
  7. If you have an infestation apply every other day until the fleas are gone.  Make sure you apply the powder to your floors and furniture as well where they like to lay the eggs.

This powder works well, but if you have an infestation, be aware that it will not work overnight.  You must keep at it – sometimes for 4-6 weeks to be rid of it completely.  You must be diligent!

homemade-flea-powder-fb

Recipe inspired by : http://www.primallyinspired.com/

Easy Honey Mustard!

So easy to make at home and without all of the artificial preservatives, a treat that is truly better for you and your family!

Ingredients

6 TBSP Organic Yellow Mustard Seeds
2 TBSP Organic Brown Mustard Seeds
2/3 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup of Local Honey
1.5 TSP Fine Sea Salt

Combine mustard Seeds, 1/3 cup of water and vinegar in a bowl and stir well to completely submerge the seeds.  Cover and allow to soak at room temperature for 3 days.  Swirl the bowl around a little each day and you can see the transformation! After 3 days, pour the mixture into a blender (or food processor), add honey and salt and blend until smooth.  Store in a sealed Jar and refrigerate.  Be sure to use either a glass or plastic lid to keep the vinegar from corroding metal and ruining your product.

Feeling adventurous? Try this:

Add 1 TSP to 1 TBSP of aromatic seeds during the soaking process!

Add dried herbs and powdered spices just before blending to kick your flavor up a notch!

mason-jar-homemade-mustard-1024x680

Sage Tea Cooler!

A delicious brew for a hot summer day!!

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Organic Dried Sage Leaf
2 Tablespoons Organic Dried Red Clover Blossoms
2 Tablespoons Organic Dried Spearmint Leaf
1 Tablespoon Organic Dandelion Root

Directions

Mix all of the herbs together and put into a large infuser or wrap in cheesecloth.  Add 1/2 gallon of cool water and let steep in the sun for a few hours.  Chill in the fridge or serve over ice.  Add a wedge or two of lemon before serving and enjoy!

Sageteacooling

Recipe taken from our partners at the Mountain Rose Blog!