Archive for the ‘Drink’ Category

A few recipes to remember

January 6, 2016

I’ll try to properly post something at some point, but saving these so I don’t forget them..

Gingerbread cake:
So so much messier than she made it, but so so tasty. And I had leftover candied cranberries, so made these for New Years:

Cranberry Moscow Mule:


Antipasto Mushrooms:
Simple, tasty, easy. A keeper!


Homemade Blueberry Vanilla Soda

July 28, 2013

blueberrysodaI love the Sodastream I got for my birthday.  Satisfying my cravings for sparkling water, I can magically turn still water from the tap into some bubbly goodness any time I want.  What I don’t like are the syrups that came with the product.  They’re overly sweet for my tastes and just don’t fit the bill as far as I’m concerned.

The good news is that nature allows for a world of fresh & tasty ingredients that make interesting soda concoctions.  My first attempt at one of these homemade sodas was this homemade blueberry vanilla soda, which I made for a recent barbecue with friends.  To be honest, I suspect you could use any combination of fruit combined with sugar & lemon juice for similar results.  In place of vanilla, you could add maple syrup, honey, or leave it out entirely.

Blueberry Vanilla Soda

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
9 tablespoons lemon juice
Splash of vanilla paste (or extract)

1. Combine all ingredients into a small pot and mix.

2. Heat over medium heat for at least 20 minutes, or until the mixture foams and blueberries collapse.

3. Cool the mixture.  As soon as it’s at a good temperature to stick in the fridge, do it.

4. Once cool, add syrup to sparkling water.  If you don’t have a Sodastream, you could use Perrier, club soda or any other sparkling water you may happen to have on hand.  Add as little or as much as you’d like… I happen to like a lightly flavoured soda, but you may prefer yours on the sweeter side.

A note: Make sure you don’t overdo it on your cooking or sitting time.  I tried to make a variation of this recipe with black currants but made the mistake of leaving it on the stove for too long.  The result was more of a jam than a syrup.

Beer Me: Atwater Brewery’s Vanilla Java Porter

July 8, 2012

ImageTurns out, some American beer doesn’t suck.  On our last few visits to the U.S. we’ve managed to discover some great beers outside of the Budweiser/Coor’s Light/Old Milwaukee drudge. In the same way that Molson Canadian isn’t representative of all Canadian beers, there are some great microbreweries responsible for some delicious and refreshing brews.

On our most recent visit to Fort Wayne, we tried a Vanilla Porter, which was fantastic. This wasn’t it – but was something else we found on the drive home at a Kroger in Michigan. Brewed in Detroit, Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter begins with a hit of vanilla and finishes with a more subtle coffee taste. Definitely more of a beer I’d associate with the winter or fall months, but refreshing none-the-less.

Aspects of it reminded me of Mill Street’s Coffee Porter, but the hint of vanilla makes it well worth picking up when south of the border.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

October 7, 2011

I recently discovered Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. I realize I’m a bit late to the game on this one – it’s been around for awhile and gets hyped every year. I never really got it before – it didn’t sound so appealing, really – but about a month ago I decided to give one a try. I was pretty instantly hooked, and proceeded to buy at least one a week. $20 or so into my addiction, I stumbled upon a few recipes for a homemade pumpkin spice latte. Brilliant!

I followed this recipe, and it turned out great! Very simple to make… basically a simple syrup with lots of added spices and a bit of pumpkin thrown in for good measure. You do have to strain it – but that’s a simple step, so don’t let it deter you. And really, you could skip it all together and just end up with extra goopy spice stuff at the bottom of each latte… not such a bad thing. I have an espresso machine (that I hadn’t pulled out in well over a year), but according to the original site you can make it with just strong coffee as well. And I will say that this syrup can make a pumpkin spice latte as good (or better?) than what would cost $5 at a Starbucks. I’d recommend this to anyone who shares my addiction!

As an added bonus – this syrup can be used for other things too. Last night I mixed it 1:1 with some dark rum, filled up the glass with some boiling water, and added some whipped cream on top… Instant awesome hot spiced rum! So perfect for a fall evening.