Rosemary and Gin Fizz

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This time last year: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (2013)

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I made a good friend recently- a new friend, one of those people that everyone is drawn to.

She laughs a lot, and I am so very lucky to have her around.

This new friend of mine is gentle and sweet in many ways- however she is also strong.
Thus, this sweet and salty lady is the one responsible for this drink.

The first time we went out in downtown Decatur together, I ordered my standard- something with whiskey, or orange bitters, mint, or lemon. Scratch that. I don’t really have a “standard,” just a lot of flavors I like.

However, one of the things I loved about this new friend of mine, is that she did have a regular drink. This sweet, giggly lady stepped up to the bar and ordered a gin and tonic like she’d been doing it for 80 years. Go ahead girl.

Thus, when I started looking for fun holiday drinks that could make for a festive holiday happy hour or a bubbly new years toast, I knew I had to include a gin special.

This is for my new friend. Cheers to all of yours!

XO Sarah

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Ingredients:
  • 3 one-inch sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 1 small lemon (+ a few slices for garnish!}
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 3 oz. Ginger ale
Directions:
  1. In a small glass, muddle the rosemary, juice from 1/2 a lemon, and honey.
  2. Fill the glass with ice, and then add the gin and ginger ale. Taste the drink, and decide whether or not you would like to add additional lemon juice. (I like the citrus tang, but take warning- it can be strong!)
  3. Stir the drink, and add a sprig of rosemary and a lemon slice for garnish.
  4. Sip and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:
  • Adapted from: Cooke + Kate
  • Make sure you don’t miss the four other drinks posted this week, for this “6 holiday drinks that aren’t eggnog” special!

Ice Box Bran Muffins

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Ice Box Bran Muffins are considered a classic in my family.  It is not unusual for my mom to make them for both Christmas and Thanksgiving, and more than once I have received a care package while at school with a bag of ice box bran muffins. (Do I have the best mom or What?!)

These little muffins got their name because the batter is able to keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks! Doubt me? Try making them yourself! The yield is enormous, but part of the reason is because the muffin batter keeps for so long.  Making a large amount allows you to dirty your dishes only once while creating the batter, yet you still reap the reward of fresh-baked muffins over and over again in the following days.

Sound too good to be true? Try drizzling a little honey on one of these warm Ice Box Bran Muffins, then you’ll know too good to be true.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups 100% bran cereal
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour* (you are welcome to try wheat here or half and half as you please!)
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups 40% Bran Flakes (I used raisin bran cereal)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the 100% bran with the two cups of water in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream together the applesauce, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk in a large bowl, using a hand mixer, until thoroughly blended.
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and the soaked bran cereal.
  5. Fold in the four cups of 40% bran flakes.
  6. Gently mix the wet and the dry ingredients together until completely combined. This usually takes two bowls due to the sheer amount of volume, and means distributing both liquid and dry ingredients to the opposite bowls.
  7. Once the batter has been completely mixed, pour into muffin tins lined with paper and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Refrigerate the remaining batter in a Tupperware for up to 4 weeks!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Some common adaptations to this recipe involve adding nuts or raisins to the batter. Feel free to get creative with it as you please.
  • This is an enormous recipe. You may want to consider halving the recipe, however my family often makes a full batch and will have fresh muffins for several weeks with the remaining batter! It keeps very well in the refrigerator.
  • Try serving these warm with honey!
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious muffin recipes!
  • Serve these muffis with some of my warm Spiced Apple Cider!

Baked Grapefruit

Hello world! Happy Friday! It has been a while since I have posted a simple fruit recipe, so I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to eat grapefruit with you today.  I grew up in Florida, and have vivid memories of having grapefruit with my meals, dusting the tops with a little bit of white sugar, just as my parents did.  In the winter however, my mom would often chose to bake our grapefruit for a warm sweet treat. Her tradition was a simple brown sugar sprinkle on top of each grapefruit half, however after perusing so many recipe websites and books, I have seen several adaptations to this southern classic!

In this recipe I spiced up my family’s tradition by adding honey and cinnamon.  Another technique you can try is drizzling agave, maple syrup, or vanilla on top, or even adding a sprinkle of cardamom, or a cherry in the center! Whatever method you chose to use- this recipe is the perfect way to jazz up your dinner, or fulfill the role of an excellent and healthy dessert!

Bon appétit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Grapefruits
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey*
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a small baking pan (a loaf pan or 8 x 8 inch pan) with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the grapefruit in half. Using a paring knife, cut along the inside of the rind, gently separating the fruit from the outside skin.
  3. Use your paring knife to separate each triangle segment of fruit from one another- this can be tedious if you’re doing many at one time, but makes the eating process much more enjoyable!
  4. Drizzle each grapefruit half with a teaspoon of honey.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the grapefruits with 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar – you may not need a full Tablespoon, or you may wish for more! However, 1 Tablespoon is a good starting place.
  6. Lightly sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the honey and brown sugar.
  7. Place the grapefruit halves in the aluminum foil-lined pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until warm all the way through and the brown sugar is slightly caramelized.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • If you are vegan and abstain from honey, simply replace the honey with agave! Although agave does not have the same thickness that honey does, so you may want to use slightly less- it will run more.
  • Looking for more healthy fruit recipes? Check out my chocolate-covered banana bites and Graham Cracker Crumb Fruit dip!