Basic Apple Cider Recipe

mulledcider

Happy Halloween everyone! I’ve had a blast celebrating it this year. First I attended a friend’s spooky Halloween party where I was dressed up as Inside Out’s Joy. I had never had so much fun creating a look.

Then last night I went to a 80s High School Reunion Murder Mystery Party. Is it bad that my outfit came mostly from my closet? I didn’t need to buy anything! I went for the big 80s hair and neon pink makeup. I felt a little sad when I washed it all off later that night. Long live the beautifully terrible 80s.

For the past few years on Halloween I’ve made mulled apple cider. And every year, I search the Internet for a recipe. I have no idea why I don’t write it down. It’s always the same. I stand looking into the Crockpot wondering what I put in there with the apple juice. I usually have cinnamon and oranges standing by, waiting patiently to be plunked into the juice.

This year, I decided to spice it up a bit more (pun intended.) I decided to search, once again, through the Internet for a mulled cider recipe including other spices, and here’s what I’ve learned: they’re all different. There are HUNDREDS are ways to make mulled apple cider. And I think it’s wonderful, even if it means I can’t find just the right basic recipe.

So I’m adding my own recipe to the mix of other wonderful cider recipes people are probably searching. I’m calling my “basic” because I decided to buy the spices listed on the back of a complete mulling spice package (I already had half of the spices at home.) If you’re one of the many searching for a basic recipe that mixes fresh and ground spices, well, I’m your girl!

Enjoy.

Basic Mulled Cider Recipe

1 64 fl oz apple juice or cider

2 cinnamon sticks

3 orange slices

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

pinch of black pepper

4 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp allspice

1 star anise

pinch ground cardamom

  1. Pour apple juice or cider into Crockpot and add spices. Stir and cover with lid. Serve when hot.
  2. Keep leftover juice or cider in it’s original container. Will keep in the fridge overnight and probably for at least a day after.

Daily Discovery: Let’s get “retro rad” with Emily Ellyn

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great Halloween. In my earlier post about Halloween, I shared a recipe by my friend and Food Network’s Next Food Network Star Top 10 finalist, Emily Ellyn’s recipe for spiced applesauce. I wanted to share some of her Halloween-inspired recipes, along with showing you pictures of her “retro rad” food and fashion 2013 calendar, which is now available to pre-order. Check it out, and enjoy:) There are only 250 copies, so if you want one then you better hurry.

In case you missed her competing last season, Emily is the “Home Economics teacher you always wanted.” She “takes the retro, remixes it and makes it rad,” as she says in her bio.

My boyfriend and I were huge fans from the get-go because Emily was chosen by our absolute favorite foodie, Alton Brown (and if he ever reads this, I hope you don’t mind being called a “foodie.” If so, I do apologize.) We thought she was the most interesting, fun, and creative. One of the most memorable parts of her being on the show was her ham hat she created for a challenge taking place during Fashion Week.

Click on the images to find out more and to preorder.

And now… the recipes!

Recipes (she made these for her appearance on Fox35 this morning):

Drinks and Appetizers:

Retro Rad Pumpkin Cheese Ball:

Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 broccoli stalk
Red and green apple wedges, to serve
Crackers, to serve
Grapes, to serve

Directions:
1. Mix with hand mixer until blended the cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill 4 hours or until mixture is firm enough to be shaped.

2. Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin. Smooth entire outer surface with a frosting spatula or table knife. Make vertical grooves in ball, if desired, using fingertips.

3. Cut florets from broccoli stalk, and reserve for another use. Cut stalk to resemble a pumpkin stem, and press into top of cheese ball. Serve cheese ball with apple wedges.

Note: To make ahead, wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap without stalk, and store in refrigerator up to 2 days. Attach stalk before serving. Also, if tome does not permit decorate a store bought Cheese ball with a broccoli stem!

Devil-ish Eggs:

Ingredients:
5 cups hot water
1 (0.3-ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
12 large unpeeled hard-cooked eggs, with shells cracked
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 green onions, finely minced
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dry ground mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Green food coloring, as needed
24 halved pimento stuffed olive for eyeball garnish

Instructions:
1. Stir together water, red food coloring, and vinegar in large bowl; add eggs, and let stand 1 hour. Remove and drain on paper towels. Peel eggs to reveal pattern on whites.

2. Peel the hard boiled eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop the yolks out into a medium bowl and reserve the whites until needed.

3. With the back of a fork, mash the yolks until smooth.

4. Add mayo, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Mix well. Color to a green consistency. Top will a halved pimento stuffed olive.

Again, I hope you all enjoy the recipes and take a moment to check out what retro-radness Emily is cookin’ up on her website, http://www.emilyellyn.com/, and even order her calendar!

And though the recipes are Halloween-inspired, I think both recipes could be used throughout the entire fall/winter season too! I don’t know about you, but we have a cheeseball on Thanksgiving (and pumpkins are so gorgeous for the entire season), and deviled eggs usually make an appearance at the Christmas party. Maybe then they’ll be called… Angel-ish eggs? 😉

And thanks to Emily for letting me share your recipes!

Happy Halloween (again)!

~Ashley

Happy Halloween: A Collection of Cute Things.

Hi everyone! Are you dressing up today?
Here’s a collection of some of my favorite and adorable Halloween-related things from around the Internet:

Recipes:

Homemade Crispy Twix Bars from Oh She Glows.

Pumpkin Cheese Balls from Betty Crocker via Pinterest.

Homemade Mounds Bars from Chocolate Covered Katie

Spiced Applesauce recipe from Emily Ellyn.

Pumpkin Designs:

Lace Pumpkin.

Pugs in Costumes:

Happy Halloween! I plan on watching a few Halloween-related movies: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Casper,” and of course, “Hocus Pocus.” Stay safe and have a great day!

~Ashley

Poetry Challenge: 9 and10

#9

Pumpkin

Stepping out onto my front porch
the trees are swaying, leaves are falling
I can feel the change in the air
the arrival of fall
Father comes home with the pumpkin
and we carve

School is unnerving
I cannot stay here
I wish to be out in the forest in your backyard
carving our own pumpkins
and thinking of costumes
and tricks to plan instead of treats

I fold the white piece of paper and pass it to you
the teacher sends me to the principal’s office
she doesn’t understand
that the air is changing
our youth is waiting
for us to go outside and play.

#10 June and Arthur

Our love was full of youth
and I want to grow old with you– I imagine
watching the children dance and sing and grow
and leave home and make their own lives and
watch how our own hair turns gray
and we acculumate all the things that
make our lives complete
but really, it isn’t the things at all
it isn’t in the songs, or the journals
I keep under my bed
one day, when we look back on those days
we will remember
that we were meant to be
a part of it.