Showing posts with label mint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mint. Show all posts

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lemon Mint Rosé Cocktail

A dry rosé wine fortified with vodka and some muddled mint, lemon and sugar makes a beautiful cocktail, extending the drinkability of rosé into the autumn months for rosé summer-only purists. 

Pink wine snob reversal
Until I started dating my future husband, I knew very little about wine. I don’t remember either of my parents drinking wine, except for a phase when my mom would buy Cold Duck – a sort of sweet pink sparkling wine made by mixing red wine with bubbly - or Mateus, a Portuguese labeled rosé that, even as a child, I understood was less than stellar in the wine category, the fancy bottle notwithstanding. As I reached an age where I could order wine in a bar, I always went for a crisp dry white, with the theory that a cheap white was usually more palatable than a cheap red, and wine-by-the-glass back then was invariably of the cheap variety. When we moved to Paris, I was shocked to find that the good-wine obsessed French drank pink wine during the hot summer months! And that it could be dry and not sweet. I became a fan of the pink.

As the summer days are waning and the autumn is coming on, unused bottles of summer rosé can be transformed into cocktails, extending their welcome refreshment into the next season.

Several fresh mint leaves
1 lemon wedge
1 oz or 30ml vodka
1/2 cup or 120ml rosé
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sugar (or more, depending on your taste for sweet drinks)

Optional garnish: sprig of mint

Place mint, lemon and sugar in a glass and muddle well.

Add several cubes of ice to your glass and then pour in the vodka.

Add the rosé and stir. Garnish with sprig of mint, if desired.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Baking with candy is an easy way to turn a sweet favorite into a delightful muffin and socially acceptable breakfast food. Try this recipe using Twix, Snickers, Milky Ways, Almond Joys or whatever chocolate candy is your own personal favorite.

It doesn’t happen very often but I am happy to say that I have not only my husband but both daughters under one roof this weekend. I know that these occasions will get more and more rare as they get older so I am cherishing this time. My motto has always been life before blog, so I'm posting my Monday Muffin later than usual today since a late family breakfast out at the iconic Houston restaurant House of Pies seemed way more important this morning. I chose to use one of my younger daughter’s favorite sweets, York peppermint patties, to make a chocolate muffin I hope she likes as much as the actual candy, which is a pretty tall order.

We are all still full from breakfast so I’ll have to report back on this later, but I’m pleased with how they came out. If you are a fan of chocolate mint anything, you are going to like them too.

8 peppermint patties or 125g, chilled
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup or just over 26g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil

For decoration: 6 peppermint patties, chilled and cut in half.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by lining with muffin papers and then spraying the top with non-stick spray to keep the melted peppermint patties from sticking.

Chop up the first eight peppermint patties into small chunks.

Combine your flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add the chopped patties into the dry ingredients and stir to separate them so they are coated and are not sticking to each other.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when it’s still quite dry looking.

Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups. Top each with one half of a peppermint patty.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. You can try the toothpick test but remember that you will probably hit a piece of peppermint patty in the muffin which might make you think it’s not cooked yet.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lemon Mint Juice

When I arrived to live in Egypt eight months ago, it was cold!  Much colder than I expected.  The heater in our house didn’t work properly and I baked just to keep the oven on to warm the kitchen.  I drank a lot of tea and coffee to warm myself from the inside and I wore my new Marks & Spencer cardigan every single day, with fuzzy slippers inside and shoes with socks when I went outside.  It was quite the fashion statement.  As the year wore on, winter gradually disappeared and summer took its place.  Our evenings are still pleasant but during the daytime, a refreshing drink hits all the right spots.  If it’s summer in your part of the world right now, you will enjoy Egypt’s traditional drink made with lemon and fresh mint.  It’s one of my favorite things and is so easy to make. 

Ingredients for two refreshing glasses
1 large lemon
Handful of fresh mint (or more if you prefer)

1/4 cup or 60ml simple syrup 
Ice for blending and serving

Pick the leaves off of your bunch of mint and rinse well in a salad spinner.  Spin to dry.  Put your mint in a blender.

Peel the lemon and use a sharp knife to cut it into chunks, making sure to leave behind the white parts that separate the pegs of lemon.  Add the lemon chunks to the blender.

Add in your simple syrup and another 1/4 cup or 60ml of water. 

Put in a few cubes of ice.  Blend until completely liquid. 

Serve over more ice.