Thirsty Thursday July 19th

This month we will concentrate a bit on mint and blueberriess. Blueberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Mint is always in good supply and somewhat invasive. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are still in a drought.  Very soon your gardens will be overflowing with cucumbers and we want to make sure you don’t have to throw any away.

I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup again this made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.

Grandma’s Mint Iced Tea
In a large container:
Add 7 regular tea bags and approx.. 24 mint leaves
Pour in a quart of boiling water and steep for 4-5 minutes
Remove mint and tea bags and set aside
Pour tea into a gallon container
Add ½ cup of sugar
4-5 packets of stevia
A few ice cubes
Stir until sugar dissolves
Steep mint and tea bags a second time for 4-5 minutes
Drain contents into a gallon container
Add 1 6oz can of frozen lemonade and stir
Squeeze any tea from mint and tea bags into container

Yield: 1 gal (if shy, just top off with some water)

Continue reading “Thirsty Thursday July 19th”

September_17 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails

Here are the recipes for our September Thirsty Thursday cocktails:

Pumpkin and Apple Cider Fizz
Author: Brandon Matzek
Serves: 1
Ingredients
1 1/2 oz. pumpkin puree (canned or homemade*)
1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
2 oz. apple cider
1 1/2 oz. ginger beer

Instructions
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add pumpkin puree, vanilla vodka and apple cider. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
Strain into a glass filled with ice and top off with ginger beer.
Notes
*To make your own pumpkin puree: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut a pie pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and strands. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30 – 40 minutes. The texture of the pumpkin flesh should be soft when pierced with a fork. Let cool a bit. Scoop flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth.

Fall Harvest Sangria
For the Spicy Apple Cider…
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup honey
1 inch slice fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or allspice
For the Sangria…
2 cups spicy apple cider
1 bottle of sauvignon blanc (or pinot grigio, chardonnay, or your favorite dry white)
1/2 cup ginger brandy or bourbon
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Honeycrisp apples, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2 pears, chopped
1 cup club soda
Instructions
For the Spicy Apple Cider…
Combine ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain.
For the Sangria…
Mix ingredients together in a large pitcher. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving, but at least overnight to steep for best results. Add club soda just before serving, so you don’t lose the fizz!
-by Erica Continue reading “September_17 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails”

July_2017 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails

I LOVE the summer heat and a cool refreshing cocktail.  What says cool more than a cucumber?  Certainly not the back side of your pillow!  Yes, cucumber is the theme this month along with crisp soda water, lemonade and my favorite; lemongrass.  Here are the recipes for Thirsty Thursday :

Siam Sip
2 shots Hendrick’s Gin
1 Large handful of ice cubes, plus more for each glass
8-10 large leaves of Thai basil cut into chiffonade, plus two stems for garnish
12-14 slices of English/Persian cucumbers (8 for shaker)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can San Pellegrino orange soda
Add a handful of ice, gin, basil chiffonade, 8 slices of cucumber, and lemon juice to a shaker. Shake vigorously.
Add a few cubes of ice to two glasses. Pour half of the San Pellegrino into each glass, and top with half the icy strained goodness from the shaker. Garnish with a sprig of thai basil and a few slices of cucumber. Admire, then stir, sip, and be cooled! Continue reading “July_2017 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails”

BASIL- the world’s most popular herb

What to and how to-

 

Basil likes it hot, so wait to plant it until the daytime temperatures are above 70 degrees and night temperatures STAY above 50.  Any chill will cause the leaves to blacken and curl

 

Basil needs rich organic well drained soil, and basil loves the sun.   To harvest, take off whole stems by pinching just above any pair of leaves further down the plant.   Another key tip is to pinch off any flowers-  this helps promote more growth.

Basil is best used fresh, but any extra that you have can be set inside a vase with water for a week or so.  You can also preserve through freezing in ice cubes.

Use Basil to:

  1.  BUST STRESS:  Add some basil leaves to your bath along with Epsom salt to help you relax.
  2. SOOTHE YOUR STOMACH: For digestion, steep three or four basil leaves in a cup of boiling water.  Drink in between meals throughout the day.
  3. ENHANCE BUTTER:  Place 1/4 cup finely chopped basil, 1 clove of chopped garlic and 1 stick of salted butter in a bowl.  Stir until combined.  Place on wax paper, roll into a cylinder and refrigerate.
  4. KICK UP YOUR COCKTAIL:  Make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and a handful of basil leaves in a pot and bring to a boil.  Stir until sugar dissolves, pull from heat and let cool.  Strain, refrigerate syrup for up to a week/10 days.    You could also muddle basil to release the oils then add your favorite mixers…
  5. BATTLE AGAINST BITES:  Rub a drop of basil oil or leaf on a bug bite to get rid of the itch.