When it's completely frigid outside, nothing is more inviting to guests than entering a heated home filled with the scent of mulled wine. Possibly easier to pull together than any punch, mulled wine consists of apple cider, spices, red wine, orange peel and juice, and . . . this particular recipe calls for a secret ingredient.
When my parents first moved to Amsterdam, my mother gushed about two things: the surplus of colorful bunches of tulips and the fresh mint tea, as standard in cafes as coffee. "They actually steep a large bunch of fresh mint, stems and all, in a cup of hot water," she told me over the phone. So simple, yet it sounded so novel. In America, cafes and restaurants usually serve prepackaged mint tea bags, stuffed with the dried, powdered herb that basically tastes like dust, but in Amsterdam, most grocers and restaurants are stocked with the cooling herb year round; the demand is that high.
When you do see fresh mint available in the produce section, be sure to snatch it. Fresh mint tea is so fragrant and comforting, prepare to develop a new addiction. In terms of flavor and quality, there's no comparing fresh mint tea to dried tea bags. Dried mint tea tends to become bitter when overbrewed, but there's no fear of overbrewing fresh mint. If anything, the more the fresh mint brews, the more essential minty oils release into the cup. Keep reading for the recipe.
During Winter, nothing epitomizes warmth more than a steaming cup of rich hot chocolate. This holiday, why not package that feeling for your loved ones by making a thoughtful homemade version of the stuff?
Unlike store-bought mix, which often tastes chalky and watered down, this edible gift is velvety in texture and pure chocolatey in flavor. This year, I'm making a large batch and distributing individually decorated packages of mix to members of my extended family. Keep reading to make your own version of this luscious-tasting hot chocolate mix.
It's National Hot Tea Month, and it's no wonder the brewed beverage is in January's spotlight. Not only is it perfect for warming cold hands during Winter days, but many New Year's resolution-makers are swapping their cup of joe for a cup of tea to cut out caffeine or partake in a cleanse. From oolong to herbal, picking a type of leaf and flavor is almost as fun as taking the first sip — my favorite is Mighty Leaf's vanilla bean black tea! But before boiling your water, be sure to check out these tips for brewing the perfect cup. To get started, I've handpicked some brew tools, teapots, and teacups for all you tea enthusiasts, so shop them below. And share your favorite type of tea in the comments below!
Source: Flickr User Marco Arment
Hot cocoa is a classic kid-favorite and the go-to when families want a comforting drink, but there are many other beverages that will warm up lil ones throughout the season. Whether your kids are clamoring for something creamy or a spiced concoction, check out five of these alternatives to the basic hot chocolate!
A couple of years ago, I hosted a fondue party for Valentine's Day. I thought it would be fun to dip marshmallows into chocolate fondue and, always one to pay special attention to little details, I wanted heart-shaped, pale pink marshmallows. Since pink heart marshmallows are not sold, I decided to try making them. Now, I'm addicted to homemade marshmallows!
The method is surprisingly easy, but you do need an electric mixer. They're basically a combination of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. This mixture is whipped until tripled in volume, resulting in a light fluffy mess of marshmallow cream. It's so pillowy and delicious, it's hard not to lick the bowl. Start a day ahead: the finished marshmallows need a night to set. To get the tried and trusted recipe I use, read more
Tomorrow, Jan.17, is National Hot Buttered Rum day. To celebrate, I'm heading over to my friend H. Joseph Ehrmann's bar, Elixir, in San Francisco's Mission district. They're having a little party, and hot buttered rums are the highlight. If you don't live in SF, no worries: H has shared his recipe with us, so you can make it in the comforts of your cozy kitchen! While some variations call for a batter, this recipe is less traditional. It combines hot water with butter, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks. The final concoction is extra-rich in spice with a creamy texture and soothing taste. According to H, it's best enjoyed "in a chilled room, around 40 degrees Fahrenheit."
Sounds like it would be the perfect cocktail after a day of skiing or traveling, so to get the recipe, read more