• 30Nov

    This is a favorite beverage you’ll find steaming in our kitchen throughout the holiday season. The original recipe is from my mom-in-law and called for frozen orange juice and lemonade. We prefer the freshly-squeezed, pulpy version.

    Packed with Vitamin C, this wassail is the perfect antidote to those holiday sniffles and sore throats.



    2 tsp ground cinnamon

    2 tsp whole cloves

    2 tsp whole allspice

    1 tsp ground nutmeg

    1/2 gallon apple cider

    8 oranges, juiced

    2 lemons, juiced

    1/2 cup Fruit Sweet or honey (depending on natural sweetness of oranges)


    1. Tie spices in cheesecloth (I had no cheesecloth so used a triple layer of gauze). Instead of buying expensive jars of spices that will set in your cupboard a long time, consider buying small amounts of spices in bulk. I ended up using mulling spices from the Whole Foods bulk department and added some ground cinnamon and whole cloves to the mix.



    2. Juice oranges and lemons.



    3. Combine apple cider, citrus juices and spice bag in a crockpot or heavy pot on the stove.

    4. Stir in sweetener to taste, float some orange slices on top, and heat until simmering. DO NOT BOIL. Remove bag of spices, which can be frozen and re-used a couple times.


  • 15Jan

    Confession: One of my weaknesses is Chai tea, but I’ve yet to find a powdered Chai tea mix that isn’t too sweet or too expensive. Until now.

    My friend and co-worker, Kattaryna, made this mix as a gift. Turns out, it’s perfect for the office where a hot water spigot on the coffee maker is the only option if you want a Chai.

    You can tone it down a bit by cutting back on the white pepper (I eliminated the white pepper altogether). And of course you can always use less sugar.

    Here’s the recipe in its original form. Kattaryna says, “Put 2-3 Tbsp in your favorite mug. Add hot water. Drink. Smile.”


    2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2 1/2 tsp cardamom
    1 tsp white pepper
    1 tsp ginger
    1 tsp allspice
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    3 1/2 cups powdered milk
    1 1/2 cups instant tea
    1 1/2 cups sugar


    1. Grind spices* in food processor until well mixed (this step is important to avoid “sludge” in the bottom of your teacup).

    2. Add remaining ingredients and blend well.

    3. Store in airtight container.

    * If your spice cabinet is a little low, you can purchase small amounts of spices from the bulk section at Whole Foods – just pennies each.

  • 10Sep

    Ever get a watermelon that isn’t quite as tasty as most? You don’t want to toss it, but it sets in your fridge for days because no one’s that interested in eating a so-so melon.

    I stumbled onto the perfect solution: blend it into apple juice and call it a cooler.


    2 cups apple juice
    1 cup watermelon chunks


    1. Toss juice and fruit into a blender and blend until smooth.

    2. Drink up.