Fire Cider

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Great for what ails you, I mean really, what malady could survive a mixture of garlic, jalapeno peppers, horseradish, onions, ginger, cinnamon, star anise honey, and vinegar. 


All you need to do is peel the garlic and cut the ginger, onion, and peppers into chunks, no need to peel the ginger. 


After cutting off a 1 1/2-ounce chunk of horseradish, I chunked up the rest of the root, vacuum-sealed it, and put it into the freezer. 
Someday I'll figure out what to do with the rest of the $10.00 piece of root. 
At the time I was so happy to find fresh horseradish I didn't even look at the price per lb. I sure noticed it when I went to check out and it rang up at $10.00 YIKES!!! LOL, this will probably last me a lifetime. 


Now, unlike me, I know you are better about reading a recipe all the way through first, and you'll know that all the ingredients except the honey are packed into the jar with the vinegar and that the honey isn't added until the "brewing" time is up. 


Then you top it all off with the vinegar seal the jar then store it at room temperature away from direct sunlight,

When I feel a cold or whatever coming on, I put a shot glass next to the bottle of cider and take a few shots of it throughout the day, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time. If it's too strong for your tastes it can be diluted in a glass of water. 

Don't do what I did and wait too long to make your next batch, it has to "brew" for at least a month first. 

Fire Cider

3 ounces diced ginger root

3 ounces yellow onion

1 1/2 ounces garlic cloves

1 1/2 ounce diced horseradish

1 1/2 ounces jalapeños

3 star anise pods

1 cinnamon stick

2 cups raw apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup honey

  1. Layer the ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish and jalapeño into a quart-sized jar with the star anise and cinnamon stick. Cover with apple cider vinegar, adding additional vinegar to cover the contents of the jar as necessary.
  2. Seal the jar, and store it away from direct sunlight at least 1 month and up to 6 weeks. Shake daily.
  3. Strain the vinegar, discarding the solids. Next, stir in the honey until fully dissolved. Store at room temperature up to 6 months and in the fridge up to 18 months.


And that's that!

Blackberry Liqueur (Crème De Mûre)

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Nice and refreshing on a hot summer day


I ran across a recipe for a drink called a Bramble. One of the ingredients it calls for is creme de mure, which I discovered is a blackberry liqueur. 
I didn't have any on hand but I thought it would be fun to make some, so here's what I did. 

Taking the advice of an inebriated, ruminant-hoofed herbivore, I chose the following recipe and started macerating blackberries in a bottle of medium-bodied red wine.

Some recipes called for vodka, but I already had a bottle of Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, and according to the label, and I quote, "Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a California wine that has flavors of blackberry, toasted hazelnut, and cinnamon," it sounded good to me. 

After the blackberries were macerated for 48 hours in the wine, they were strained and simmered with sugar until the sugar dissolved.

The saucepan was removed from the heat and some gin was added. 


I need to get a pretty liqueur decanter, the juice jug just isn't doing it for me. 


The Bramble recipe calls for simple syrup, I didn't add any because the liqueur was a little too sweet for my taste. Next time I make it I'll cut back on the sugar a bit. 

I'm not sure if I even want to try making it with vodka, I really enjoyed it made with wine. 

Blackberry Liqueur 

5 cups (700g) blackberries, washed and de-stemmed

1 bottle of red wine, medium bodied (standard 750ml size bottle)

1.5 cups (300g) sugar

1/2 cup (120ml) vodka or gin

Put the blackberries in a large glass or ceramic bowl and pour over the red wine. Use a potato masher to mash the berries and release the berries.

Cover with a clean towel and leave to macerate for 48 hours in a cool place* - give the berries a little mash every now and then if you remember!

Strain through a wire mesh sieve to remove the berries, then strain again through cheese cloth to ensure all seeds etc are out.

Pour into a large saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer on a medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 8 minutes.Remove from heat and stir in the vodka or gin, and then leave to cool completely.

Pour into clean, preferably sterilised, bottles.

Store in cool, dark place. It can be enjoyed immediately, but will keep almost indefinitely if in sterilised bottles - if not, then about a year.

Source: A tipsy giraffe 


And that's that!

Thai Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

What a great find sweetened condensed coconut milk.
If you are lactose/casein intolerant like me, we can now enjoy some of the treats we've had to avoid for so long. 

One thing I'm now able to enjoy is a nice refreshing iced Thai coffee.

 The ingredients are coffee, of course, coconut milk and sweetened condensed coconut milk. 




This was a great find for me, and it's sweetened with cane sugar, not high fructose syrup.




Just mix 1/4 each of the condensed milk and coconut milk in the bottom of the glass and mix well.




Fill the glass with ice.




Add strong brewed hot coffee.




Insert straw and blow bubbles to mix. 

And that's that 


Dried Lime-Omani Tea

This tea is surprisingly light and has a rich flavor. It has a little different edge to it than regular tea. 



It's great hot or cold. 


I snagged this recipe from The Splendid Table radio program blog



You'll need 2 dried limes and 4 cups of water. 




With a mortar and pestle smash the two limes. They can also be smashed in a plastic bag with a meat cleaver or a rolling pin. 

Add the smashed limes to 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. 

Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. 




Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Place over a bowl, and strain the tea. 

Add sugar to the tea. I prefer agave syrup. This is added to taste. 

Dried limes can be found at most any Middle Eastern Grocery store or on line. I highly recommend you get some, they are great in stews and other dishes. 

Here's the recipe I snagged. 

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Dried Lime-Omani Tea


2 dried limes

4 cups water  sugar to taste

1. Break the limes into several pieces (you can use a mortar and pestle or put them in a sandwich bag and smack with a hammer.)

Combine the water and lime pieces in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter.

Discard the solids. Add the sugar to the tea and stir until dissolved.

Drink hot or cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

And that's that


Watermelon in rose-lime syrup

I was just cruising around some food blogs <read putting off chores> when I ran across a couple of recipes for watermelon in rose-lime syrup.I found one at Travelers Lunch box who found it at Richa's blog As Dear As Salt .Travelers lunch box tweaked it for her taste, she didn't use the black salt. So I got busy and made some. Here's what I did.

The ingredients.


I decided I wanted to use the black salt the recipe called for. All I had was Hawaiian black salt, I don't know how different it is from the kala namak but it worked for me.

The black salt is coarse so I ground some up in a mortar so it would dissolve in the syrup better.


It turned into a gray ashy looking powder. When it was all ground up it made me think of fireplace ashes.


Make a basic simple syrup *
2 cups of sugar to
1 cup of water
then add
lime juice to taste
splash of rose water

 kala namak (black salt)
1 watermelon

* put the 2 cups of sugar and water in a saucepan and heat up over med heat until the sugar is completely dissolved stirring occasionally.

Basically here's what you do.
Dice up the watermelon into cubes in a bowl and add the rose-lime syrup about 6 tablespoons for one small seedless melon or to your taste, I added considerably more.
Add lots of ice, about a cup to a pound of melon and chill for several hours for the flavors to mingle, stirring occasionally.

Iced watermelon


Dished up and delicious. I drizzle the syrup on other fruits also.



Jal Jeera

Saveur Magazine featured an article on the street drink vendors in Mambai, India.The article included a recipe for Jal Jeera Cumin-laced tamarind and mint cooler. Jal Jeera in Hindi means cumin water.

From the article.
"Jal jeera, an exquisite tamarind drink spiked with lime and sugar, is infused with cumin and mint and seasoned with warming spices."


Tamarind pulp with some of the ingredients


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Jal Jeera Cumin-Laced Tamarind and Mint Cooler


1/4 lb tamarind pulp
5 cups hot water
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 tablespoon cumin seed; toasted
1 teaspoon black salt
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/8 teaspoon garam masala
10 large fresh mint leaves

Put tamarind pulp and the hot water into a bowl; let soak for 30 minutes,periodically mashing the tamarind with your fingers and freeing as much as the pulp as possible from the fiber and seeds.
Working in batches, pour mixture into a strainer over a bowl. Press down on mixture until nothing but seeds and fiber are left in strainer. Discard solids.

To strained liquid, add sugar, toasted cumin seeds, black salt, lime juice, red chile powder, garam masala and 10 large fresh mint leaves; stir to combine.

Puree in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher and chill.
Serve over crushed ice.
Contributor: Saveur March 2007
Yield: 1 quart
** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.77 **