Hot Mulled Cider

Ring in your New Year with a steaming mug of cider! Adult and kid friendly versions available!

hot-mulled-cider

Hot Mulled Cider

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

½ gallon freshly pressed apple cider

3 sticks cinnamon, plus more sticks for garnish

1 medium orange, unpeeled, sliced thinly

2 whole cloves

½ vanilla bean, seeds and pod: slice down the length of the pod, spread open, and scrape out the flesh by pressing with a butter knife

1 tablespoon honey, preferably orange blossom

⅓ cup brandy, optional

 

In a large saucepan or small pot over low heat, add all of the ingredients, and mix together. Stir occasionally until very warm. Serve in mugs with slices of orange.

Notes:

  • If the mulled cider will be sitting for an exceptionally long time, remove the cloves when the flavor is to your liking.
  • If you are a big fan of spice, combine 3 star anise and 1 inch of peeled, roughly chopped fresh ginger and put them into a tea strainer or mesh bag to steep along with the other ingredients. Much like steeping tea, remove the tea strainer or mesh bag of ginger and star anise when the desired flavor is achieved.
Advertisements

Tis the Season: Coconut Pumpkin Pie – Drought Friendly

The holidays are upon us and with it comes delicious feasts and treats. Super Sous and I developed this easy, no-bake, drought friendly (aka -no dairy/vegan) Coconut Pumpkin Pie recipe to make your Thanksgiving and other special holiday meals a win. But, wait… why wait til the holidays?! You can prepare and enjoy this right now!

Crust Pumpkin Pie

Making the Crust for the Pie

Crust in Pie Pan Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust Ready for Chilling

Half Pumpkin Pie

Up Close and Personal with the Pie

Overhead Pumpkin Pie

Overhead Shot of Pie

Slice Pumpkin Pie

Cut Yourself A Slice

 

Coconut Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Snap Crust and Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Yields: 1 9½-inch deep dish pumpkin pie

 

Pie Crust:

1 (10-ounce) bag ginger snap cookies (preferably Mi-Del brand)

¼ cup coconut oil

4½ ounces pitted Medjool dates (7 large medjool dates)

Add the ginger snaps, coconut oil and pitted dates to a food processor. Process until very well combined, approximately 1 minute.

Empty the contents into a 9½-inch deep dish pie pan.

Using a flat instrument (I use the top of a non-stick spray can) press the ginger snap mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom and also up the sides of the pie pan, using your thumb as a guide at the top of the pie pan as you press the mixture up the side of the dish.

Transfer into the refrigerator and chill for at least 45 minutes.

 

Pie Filling:

¼ cup water

1½ teaspoons agar agar powder

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (not low-fat)

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 (5.4-ounce) can coconut cream

½ cup dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

Stir to combine the water and agar agar powder in a medium (3½ quart) saucepan. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, coconut cream, dark brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring often with a spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the sauce pan to prevent burning.

Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil, immediately remove from heat and set aside to cool for one hour, stirring occasionally. After one hour stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the cooled pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie shell and return to the refrigerator.

Chill for at least three hours until firm.

Slice, and serve with a few candied pumpkin seeds.

 

Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds:

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ tablespoon grapeseed oil

¾ cup toasted and salted pumpkin seeds

1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

 

Mix together the cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute, then add the oil and swirl the pan to evenly distribute.

Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to fully coat.

Cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to heat evenly.

Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring every 5 seconds.

Pour in the pure maple syrup and stir to coat. Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Keep an eye on the seeds, and if they begin to smoke, turn down the heat a touch and stir more often.

Remove from the heat and transfer the seeds to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Spread out the seeds, using 2 forks and allow to cool completely. They will candy (harden) as they cool.

Super Mom’s Banana Bread aka the Easiest Banana Bread-Now with Dates

When I first met Super Sous, she raved about her Mom’s banana bread recipe which, on special occasions during her childhood, her Mom would whip up. Super Sous’ mom, admittedly, is not especially fond of cooking, but she will dust off her gloves to make a mean banana bread from time to time. We recently asked her for the family recipe which she sent along (Thank you, Adele!) and when we baked it off, still stands the test of time. However, with a few modifications (enter a food processor) and a little flavor boost (hello pumpkin pie spice, hello dates), we made Super Sous’ Mom’s recipe, dare I say, extra delicious and definitely easier to prepare (who doesn’t love that?!). I think Mom herself would agree and my guess is that next time she feels like banana bread, she’ll give this version a try.

P.S. You can watch me make this recipe on YouTube!

Super Moms Banana Bread 1

 

Super Moms Banana Bread 2

Super Mom’s Banana Bread

aka the Easiest Banana Bread-Now with Dates

Yield: 1 9×5 Loaf

 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more more dusting

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup pitted deglet noor dates, approximately 10 dates

2 whole eggs

3 very ripe medium bananas, broken into large chunks

 

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides a 9×5 bread loaf pan with butter and lightly dust with flour.

Place flour, oats, salt, baking soda, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and dates in a food processor. Process until dates are broken down and mixture is fairly even. (There will still be some very small pieces of dates-which is fine.)

Add butter, eggs and bananas and process until mixture is fully combined.

Transfer to greased loaf pan and shake pan so batter spreads evenly throughout pan.

Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of the loaf; if it comes out clean, it’s ready. If it needs more time, cover top with foil and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool before removing bread from loaf pan.

Book Signing Events Friday through Sunday!

Christmas is only 4 days away (unless the world ends today, in which case, it’s been a wonderful life and please can I have one more Latte) and if you, like me, need to do some last minute shopping and live in the DC area, you have 3 (yes, three!) opportunities to get your signed (personalized) copies of my seasonal cookbook (and one of the Washington Post’s top cookbook picks for 2012) Great Food Starts Fresh this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Details:

Register Promo Handout

Big Weekend – Great Food Starts Fresh Offer!

1 more day until Hanukkah and less than 3 weeks until Christmas. Wow!

We’ve all had our Lattes by now, so I think it’s a good time for me to remind you about my Great Food Starts Fresh offer that’s going on this weekend!

Purchase your book on Saturday, December 8 through Sunday, December 9 and you will be entered into a drawing for that book to be signed / personalized by yours truly – made out to whomever you wish for this holiday season. Bonus? I’ll be selecting TWO winners.

All the details can be found right HERE and, of course, you can head on over to my WEBSITE to grab your copy of Great Food Starts Fresh.

(P.S. Did you hear it made it into the Washington Post’s Top Cookbooks for 2012 List? YA!)

gfsfwashpost2012

 

Special Great Food Starts Fresh Offer THIS Weekend Only!

Delicious food and Latte lovers ~

I wanted you to be the first to know about a very special Great Food Starts Fresh offer going on this coming weekend.

Before we get to the ins and outs, let’s first review the delicious holiday facts:

  • Christmas is in 22 days and if you count Christmas eve as the start of it all, then we’re talking THREE weeks!
  • Hanukkah is only 5 days away.
  • A cookbook makes a perfect gift since it is good for enjoying fresh seasonal food year round. (The gift that keeps on giving, if you will.)
  • Great Food Starts Fresh has been a hit in the kitchen whether cooking for yourself, a group of friends, or for the whole family.

Okay, now that we have the basics, here are the details:

When you buy a cookbook this weekend, Saturday December 8th through Sunday, December 9th, you will be entered into a drawing to get the copy of the book you purchased personalized – signed to whomever you wish. I’ll be selecting not one but TWO lucky winners! And, like my last giveaway, with every book your purchase, your name will be entered into the drawing. (Buy 2 books and your name will be put in twice.)

Simple, right?

And to get you in the mood, I think a bit of dessert is in order, don’t you?

Molten Chocolate Cake