Showing posts with label beverage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beverage. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

J@H - Homemade Cherry Cola

Sorry to have been so sporadic posting here recently, I have been crazy busy with lots of things happening in my non-internet life. Many changes have occurred over the past four weeks and I'm hoping they mean that I will have more time for cooking, blogging and life!

The big news? I quit my job,! Then I took off two and a half weeks before I started a new job! I'll miss the people at my old job, the international travel and the unique business model. What I won't miss? The 2 hour and 15 minute commute.  Each way.  

In addition to my new job, I also got myself a car! I haven't owned a car in almost six years. Since I lived in Connecticut, I got around on my own two feet or via public transportation. Trains, trams, buses, I've learned the tri-state area system pretty well over the past five years. Need to know how to get anywhere via NJ Transit? I can get you there. Now I just need to learn how to drive in New Jersey. Trust me, it's a whole different game from driving anywhere else!

With these changes, I've added so much more time to my life. I finally have the time to finish my Junk at Home Challenge! I decided to get going on it right away and try my hand at cherry cola.  

I've made a few recipes from the Homemade Soda cookbook by Andrew Schloss, but I've always shied away from making this recipe. It requires a lot of ingredients. Most of the ingredients are pretty common, but I had quite the grocery list and had to visit a specialty grocer to pick up dried bitter orange peel.

The recipe itself comes together very quickly. Once the cherry cola concentrate is finished, you just have to let it cool and you can be enjoying floats in no time! This cherry cola definitely tastes like cherry cola, but it doesn't taste like something that you would buy in the store. The flavors are much more complex and pair really well with vanilla ice cream!

Let's see if I can finish my 2015 challenge by the end of 2016!

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Mallomars
Two Year Ago: Rigatoni with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Arugula
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Four Years Ago: Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli with Basil Cream Sauce
Five Years Ago: Pumpkin Pie Mallomars
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Crisps

Monday, May 30, 2016

Raspberry-Lemon Soda Floats

With the unofficial start of summer here, it's time to celebrate all things ice cream! All this week we will be enjoying ice cream-based recipes to help keep you cool all summer.

Today we start with a classic summertime recipe - the ice cream float. I remember drinking many floats during my summer vacations. I think they consisted of cherry Crush poured over vanilla Perry's Ice Cream. For ice cream week 2016, I decided to amp up my ice cream float with a homemade soda and a new Perry's flavor.

The ice cream featured in my raspberry-lemon soda floats is called Lemon Chillo. It's a lemon ice cream with cookie swirls. If you don't have access to Perry's Ice Cream (i.e. you live outside of the WNY area) you can go ahead and use a lemon ice cream or sorbet.

The raspberry soda comes together really quickly too. The only ingredients you need are raspberries and sugar! I carbonated my soda with a siphon, but you can use bottled, plain seltzer water if you haven't bought a siphon yet!

What are you waiting for? Stop making boring ice cream floats. Mix up your flavors and toss chocolate ice cream into cream soda. Pour coconut seltzer over pineapple ice cream. Don't limit yourself to just plain vanilla! (And let me know what unique flavor combinations you come up with!)

Disclaimer - As a member of Perry's Ice Cream Inside Scoopers team, I received the new summer ice cream flavors to test out. I've been enjoying Perry's Ice Cream since I was a kid and I'm so happy to be able to support a locally owned and produced (and delicious) product. Other than free ice cream, I have not received any compensation for this post. All opinions are my own and I totally ate all of the ice cream they sent me. All by myself.

One Year Ago: French Toast Ice Cream Crepes
Two Years Ago: Quiche with Sweet Peppers & Sausage
Three Years ago: Funfetti Mallomars
Four Years Ago: Tarragon Chicken & Pesto Potatoes
Five Years Ago: French Baguettes

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cranberry-Pomegranate Soda

Happy festive foods week! Today is brought to you by the Cranberry!  

There are so many traditional holiday beverages - mulled wine, peppermint hot chocolate, whatever a hot toddy is - but today I thought we might need something cool, bright and refreshing. I also like carbonating things with my siphon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pear-Raspberry Soda

I'm not quite sure if I still have legs right now.  I mean, I see them and they did carry me home from the gym last night, but they don't really seem to be attached to my body.  I blame Crossfit.

Yep, that's right, I joined the Crossfit cult.  Although I'm not really sure if I'm ready to drink the Kool-aid.  I spent four years participating in and teaching BodyPump  - a totally different type of weight lifting class.  BodyPump is all about repetition until you reach muscle failure.  Crossfit is an Olympic style lifting class that seems to try and make your legs fall off with excessive rowing.

So much rowing!  My poor shins are tired!

There are a few reasons I decided to give Crossfit a try...

1. I have been doing BodyPump for five years and was looking for something a little different.
2. Many of my friends have been going to Crossfit and RAVE about, constantly.
3. The Crossfit gym is literally a block away from my apartment and they have 8pm classes.

Sold.  I'm signed up to go twice a week and I'm ready to burn!  First, I had to spend two weeks taking a Fundamentals class - learning the bar moves so I won't hurt myself during class.  I've been to three classes in the past week and I'm enjoying it, though my legs are wishing we'd cut it with the rowing.

You're wondering what an average Crossfit workout looks like?  Here's what we did yesterday...

Strength work
Bench Press - warm-up & 2x5reps at max weight, 3rd set - go until muscle failure

Conditioning Work
225 jump ropes (or 75 double-unders... which I haven't mastered yet)
50 Ball squats (you first do a squat, then you toss a heavy ball in the air)
25 Knees to elbows (hanging from a pull-up bar, you lift your knees as high as you can!)
Row 1500 meters (So much rowing)

I came home and ate a whole bunch of Girl Scout cookies.  Yum.

I'll keep you posted with the workouts and whether I see myself getting stronger and leaner.  Leaner probably won't happen if I continue finishing my workouts with a row of Peanut Butter patties...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chobani Protein Drink

There is a whole secret world happening behind the scenes (or shelves) of the grocery store.  From Frozen Pizza to Bleach and even delicious bacon, there is an army of people who work to get the products you love on the shelf of your local grocery store - even more work to get you to buy them!

Boyfriends job title is "Food Broker."  In his role as food broker, he plays the middle man between the manufacturers of products and the grocery store buyers. From planning Sunday ads, to fighting for eye level placement on the shelf, it is his job to make sure the brands he represents get into your shopping cart.

I'm sure you also realize we live in a highly digitized world.  Manufacturers, grocery stores and brokers alike use the massive piles of data available to them to help sell to us, the consumer.  Here are some fun facts about how we spend our precious dollars at the grocery store.  I was surprised at quite a few of them!

- The average monthly budget for groceries is $311
- 37% of U.S. Shoppers use technology for grocery shopping
- Half of shoppers decide what to have for dinner the same day

Do you make a shopping list before going to the store, here's how the average U.S. shopper writes it:
- 45% write the product type
- 6% write the Brand name of the product
- 1% write the Brand name and specific type
- 29% write a combination of the above
- 19% don't typically write a shopping list

When you go to the grocery store, do you go alone?
- 46% Shop alone
- 32% Shop with their Spouse/Partner
-10% Kids under 5
- 8% Kids 6-12
- 6% Kids 13-17
- 5% Adult children
- 3% Other relatives
- 2% Friends
- 1% Roommate
- 1% Someone else

Next time you go to the grocery store and stand in front of that shelf of yogurt, you will have a new found understanding of all the work involved to get it there!

Help show your support of BF's job campaign by tweeting Chobani:

Let @pitchCHObani sell me @Chobani yogurt so @WildeKitchen keeps posting delicious Chobani inspired recipes #InterviewOverYogurt

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Almond Milk

I can't believe that we're winding down the year of Why Bother challenges!  I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was making blueberry-oatmeal bagels.  That it wasn't that long ago that I was kneading my own fondant.  Weren't we just talking about making Greek yogurt?

The year really has gone fast and I've really liked knowing what I was blogging about until the end of the year!  We only have five more WB posts after today and I'm looking forward to all of them.  After weeks of difficult challenges (that's right coconut milk, I'm looking at you!) and busy days at work, I was happy to get to a simple and straightforward challenge. 

Almond milk, so much easier than you would think.  Listen up, there are three steps.

Step 1 - Soak almonds in water overnight in the fridge.

Step 2 - Working in batches, puree almonds with the water.

Step 3 - Strain the puree.

This was such an easy challenge, I set the almonds to soak before I left for work in the morning.  Once I got off the train last night I removed the soaked almonds from the fridge and pureed the almonds in the water.  Straining even took no time at all.  I had 8 cups of almond milk with so little effort!

Store in a screw top container and it will keep in the fridge for a week
 There is only one problem.  I really don't like the taste of almonds!  I don't plan on letting this healthy drink go to waste, don't worry.  This almond milk is destined for slow cooker oatmeal.  It's even better than storebought because you don't have any added sugars, perservatives or salts. 

Since I'm planning on adding my almond milk to oatmeal, I didn't strain it through a fine sieve.  If you want to make almond milk for drinking, I would suggest straining it through medium cheesecloth.  I did pour myself a glass of almond milk to test it out and found it to be a bit gritty.

 Give almond milk a try, it's so much easier than coconut milk.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Homemade Sodas Part 2

Today is the first full day of Fall!  I'm so ready for it.  I just bought some fabulous, black ankle boots.  Boyfriend hates them.  I've starting to search the stores for sweaters and picked up a few pairs of tights.  We have even been sleeping with the windows open.  And I've dyed my hair brown.

How are you preparing for Fall?  Bringing those sweaters out of storage?  Heading to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte?  Baking apples and cinnamon into everything?

Whatever you are doing on this, this first day of fall, I'm here to bring you the second installment of homemade sodas!  This particular flavor would have been more suited for spring and fresh strawberries.  Strawberry cream soda!

To make yourself a strawberry cream soda, you don't need any fancy equipment.  No soda siphon or CO2 cartridges necessary for this recipe.  All you need is a pint of strawberries, vanilla extract, milk and your liquid sweetener of choice.

After blending all of the ingredients together, I wanted to just sit and drink the strawberry puree.  Look how pretty it looks!  So creamy and fragrant. 

Once mixed with seltzer water, this was a mild and sweet beverage.  I would suggest adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream and curling up in your fuzzy slippers.  Happy Fall Everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Homemade Sodas

Sometimes serendipity strikes in your favor. Last weekend was one of those weeks.

Boyfriend loves to go to the flea market. Mostly he goes looking for toys. Old toys, new toys. Toys that remind him of his childhood. Toys that his dad sent to Goodwill before he was done playing with them. G.I. Joes, Batman figures, robotic toys from the 1980's, video game systems that are long past their prime. It's all on his radar. It's rare that I find something that I want while perusing the aisles of junk, until last Saturday.

We headed to the Meadowlands flea market bright and early Saturday morning. (You have to go early, otherwise all the good junk is gone.). Wandering through the sea of pre-owned merchandise, I spotted something that looked familiar. Stainless steel with a black cap, I first thought it was a whipped cream canister, until I got closer.

Wouldn't you know, it was a brand new soda siphon. The very one that I held back from buying because of its $70 price tag. When I asked how much the vendor wanted, he said "$10!" Color me happy, sold! What was so great about this find? Homemade sodas was on the list for the Why Bother challenge this week! Serendipity.

After a quick trip to the store to locate some CO2 cartridges, I was ready to carbonate everything! My friends told me to stop short of carbonating my milk. I was apt to agree.

I switched to drinking seltzer a few months ago and have never been much of a cola drinker, so I wanted to make something not too sweet and special for my homemade sodas. I settled on two flavorful options - a Raspberry-lime rickey and a strawberry cream soda.

I decided to carbonate the Rickey with the soda siphon and make the cream soda with seltzer water. You can make your own sodas without use of a siphon, just go out and buy some seltzer water and you'll be making your own homemade drinks in no time too!

The best thing about making your own sodas is that you control the sugar. Store bought sodas contain a ridiculous amount of sugar per serving (a 12-ounce can of soda typically has 10 and a 1/2 teaspoons of sugar). If you want a fun and fancy flavor, you're going to be paying at least $2.00 per beverage. Making your own at home, you save calories and money. Happy waistline and wallet!

Stop by here on Saturday (sorry, Sunday!  Saturday got away from me!) for the Strawberry cream soda!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Caribbean Dreams

It's the unofficial start of summer here in the United States!  Memorial day weekend marks the beginning of weekends at the beach, late nights over the fire pit and long bike rides in the sun.  To celebrate summer, boyfriend and I threw a dinner party for our friends with the warm weather in mind.  While the northeast won't be greeted with tropical weather this weekend, we soon will be basking in heat and humidity.

Traditionally, boyfriend and I head to the Caribbean right around the time we get sick of winter.  This means that come February, we are packing up our suitcases with bathing suits and sunscreen, getting ready to escape the snow and clouds.  Whether it be a trip on a cruise, sailing from island to island, or a week at a beach side resort, wiling away the hours lazing on the beach.  It doesn't matter where we go, as long as it's warm!

We never wind up just sitting and relaxing of course.  If you know us, you know that boyfriend and I cannot sit still for very long.  On our trips to the islands, you might find us snorkeling, hiking, rappelling, zip-lining or canyoning.  Our day-long adventures lead us to be extremely hungry come the end of the day!  The best way to finish your day in the islands is eating at a beach side hut, enjoying food prepared by locals.

Along our travels throughout the Caribbean, I have picked up a number of local cookbooks.  Since we only travel south once a year, I wanted to be able to remember that vacation feeling while at home.  It was from these cookbooks that we planned out Caribbean dreams dinner party for our friends.

In order to unofficially start summer here in New Jersey, we enjoyed a dinner from the islands!  The food took us island hopping from Key West to St Thomas.  Drinks and desserts brought us from St Kitts to Grenada.  We journeyed all over the Caribbean sea in a single evening!  Throughout the week, you can take the same trip we took and today we begin with drinks.

While I was still a Postdoc, boyfriend and I took a week long trip to St Kitts.  While the island is an excellent place for hiking, snorkeling and monkey sighting, it is also home to Ting.  During our week on St Kitts, we probably drank a few dozen bottles of Ting.  A sparkling, tangy grapefruit soda, Ting is bottled on St Kitts (originating on the island of Jamaica!) and is a favorite local drink.  If you're looking to enjoy your vacation a little more, pour in some rum, for Ting with a sting!

Stop by all week for the rest of our Caribbean dreams dinner and take a trip of your own!

Drinks - Ting & Ting with a sting - St Kitts

Appetizer - Coconut Shrimp with mango-lime yogurt - Key West

Main - Paradise Fowl - St Thomas, USVI

Sides - Hot Lulu - Cayman Islands
         - Island Salad - Dominica

Dessert - Traditional Chocolate Cake - Grenada (I'm not going to share this recipe quite yet, because to be honest, it wasn't that good.  Straight from the cookbook, this cake came out bitter and oily.  Totally not blog-worthy!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Culinary Journey Through Europe - Apfelschorle

I'm so excited to be a part of the Foodbuzz 24x24 this month!  My little dinner party last night was meant to be a culinary journey through Europe, tracing the path of my most recent trip to the continent.  In the fall of 2010, boyfriend and I spent almost two weeks travelling by plane, train, taxi, boat, furnicular, gondola and bus.  Along they way we ate and ate.  We had some of the most wonderful food through our journey and I picked up several souvenirs along the way.  Cookbooks.

Our trip through Europe began in London, England and continued through France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands.  It was a long and crazy trip, but I came home, exhausted, with cookbooks in several languages.  The recipes within their pages would allow boyfriend and I to relive our trip.  It was with these recipes that I introduced my family to Europe.

Let's take a walk through Europe!
With these foreign cookbooks, I was able to bring a multi-cultural dinner to my family back home. Originally I had planned on holding this dinner party in our new apartment with new friends from our new town. There was a small hiccup in the plan when I realized that I had to head home, to Buffalo, for the weekend. My dinner party guests would change from friends, to family.

Dinner started off with an English salad.  Our main course was an Italian ravioli with mushroom sauce.  The Dutch gave us poffertjes, tiny cheese pancakes, packed with major flavor.  Our drinks were of German descent (surprise, they are non-alcoholic). And of course, dessert was handled by the French pastry master, Gerard Mulot.

I was a little concerned that the flavors from five different countries wouldn't play well together.  Luckily, that wasn't a problem at all.  In fact each recipe had a few ingredients from another recipe.  Each person had their own favorite item from the menu.  Personally, I loved the poffertjes.  My mom loved the pasta dish, with its rich mushroom flavor.  My brother wanted to eat the entire chocolate tart, while his girlfriend went back for seconds of salad.  Dad?  He's a big chocolate fan too.

I think my family enjoyed their culinary trip to Europe.  If you can't take a European vacation this month, be sure to treat yourself to one (or more) of these recipes.  Today you'll find a quick recipe for our German beverage, followed by the remaining four recipes throughout the week.

Come with me on a trip through Europe and enjoy some tasty meals along the way!

Apple-Spritzer (Apfelschorle)

Germany many be known for Oktoberfest and beer, but my family isn't really the beer-drinking kind.  After some recipe searching, I found the apple-spritzer.  A popular German soft drink, combining a splash of apple juice with sparkling water.  Each person was given a glass and allowed them to mix their desired amount of juice with water.  I went heavy on the sparkling water to keep the flavor light.

Natural apple juice
lemon sparkling water (you can use plain)

Combine apple juice and sparkling water in your desired ratio.  Prost!

Additional Recipes (links will be active on the listed dates!)

England: Wagamama Salad (1/30/2012)

France: Milk Chocolate Tart (1/31/2012)

Italy: Ravioli with mushroom sauce (2/1/2012)

The Netherlands: Poffertjes (2/2/2012)
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