Hot chocolate is a staple around here, but we sometimes get tired of the usual cocoa mix (cocoa + icing sugar) swirled into warmed milk. Since we’re all fans of peanut butter and chocolate, years ago I tried swirling a spoonful of creamy peanut butter into hot chocolate, and it was a hit. Rich and delicious, it’s enough of an energy boost to take with you in a Thermos to the ski hill, skating, or when you come inside after some snow shovelling or snowman-building.
Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is a gin-based liqueur with an herbal flavour. It’s particularly popular in England, where it’s typically served in pitchers with lemonade (or, if you’re feeling less traditional, ginger ale) and chunks of fruit and cucumber. It’s a cool and refreshing drink that remains ubiquitous in the U.K. during the summer and also has a growing number of fans in Canada.
With blueberries so abundant in mid-summer in Canada, a jug of boozy punch that utilizes BC blueberries seemed to be in order. Blueberries work will with the herbal and citrus flavours in the Pimm’s and it’s always nice to have a fruity snack right inside your cocktail! Read More
Summertime is beverage season, and while I’m not against the occasional slurpee, there’s too much in the way of Kool-Aid, pop and other sugary drinks that are so heavily consumed throughout the hot summer months. My standby is homemade lemonade, jazzed up with fresh herbs, ginger or sliced cucumber. Lemons are classic, of course – but limes and even grapefruit can be added to the mix to shake things up a bit, so to speak.
To make your own lemonade concentrate, bring equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan. (I usually do a cup of each.) Stir to dissolve the sugar, and if you want to add flavour, grate in some fresh ginger, toss in a few stalks of chopped rhubarb, or a handful of mint, rosemary or thyme, and strain before serving.
Your lemonade concentrate will keep up to a couple weeks in the fridge; to make a pitcher or glass of lemonade, add water or sparkling water to taste, and a handful of ice. (This concentrate also works well with lime juice, and makes a fine mojito or addition to a gin & tonic.)
‘Tis the season to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate – we like to mix up a big batch of our own, rather than rely on packaged instant hot chocolate, to stir into warmed milk throughout the winter. It’s also an easy thing for kids to measure and stir together – no chopping or heat required – to package up and give to their friends, relatives, even teachers and coaches to say thanks during the festive season. All you need is some good cocoa, powdered sugar (which will dissolve more easily than regular sugar) and a handful of mini marshmallows. Set the kids up with some markers to make labels, and your holiday gift giving is halfway done!
A warm welcome after skating, skiing, skateboarding or shoveling the sidewalk
- 6 whole cloves 6
- 2 3-inch (7.5 cm) cinnamon sticks 2
- 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar 125 mL
- 6 cups red cranberry cocktail 1.5 L
- 3 cups orange juice 750 mL
- 1 cup dark rum (optional) 250 mL
- 1⁄4 cup orange liqueur (optional) 60 mL
- In a 31⁄2- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine cloves, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, cranberry cocktail and orange juice. Cover and cook on Low for about 4 hours, until steaming hot. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out and discard cloves and cinnamon. If desired, stir in rum and orange liqueur. Set the slow cooker to Keep Warm. Serves 8.
Marvelous after skiing, after football games, after tobogganing – after virtually anything!
- 1/4 cup (2 oz.) dark rum
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- squirt of lemon juice
- cinnamon (a stick is best)
- boiling water
- dab of butter
- Combine rum, maple syrup, lemon juice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Top off with boiling water and butter. Makes one steaming mug.
They call our language the mother tongue because father seldom gets a chance to use it.