Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub

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I discovery a shrub at a farmers market in Madison Wisconsin, a lady was selling kombucha and this syrup called a shrub.

The fascination still continues as I read about the history and google recipes online. As most things usually go once you discover something then you start to notice it..  My friend Karla and I did some research and made a few shrubs at home. There are a lot of techniques for making shrubs we use the cold process.

The shrub is a fruit, sugar and vinegar syrup that can be mixed with soda, booze or both. A shrub is both tart and sweet; the acidic trace enhances the fruit and smooths out the sweetness of the sugar.  In colonial America shrub syrup was a method to preserve fruit before we had refrigeration. And a thirst quencher on hot days.

As I mentioned there are several methods to making a shrub, I use the simple cold process.

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       Recipe

Ingredients are all equal parts

1cup fruit diced up into pieces

1 cup sugar

1 cup vinegar {cider, champagne or balsamic}

Place fruit in bowl. Cover with sugar and stir.

Cover and store in refrigerator until juice exudes from fruit and starts to combine with sugar to form syrup. This may need a couple of days. Don’t worry how long the fruit sits in the frig it will not harm the syrup.

Strain syrup from fruit. I use a cheese cloth and squish lightly on the fruit to express any remaining juice. Add any remaining sugar into syrup.

Add vinegar and stir to combine.

Pour into clean bottle. Store in refrigerator.

Check to see if all the sugar has dissolved.

I’ve read that you can keep the shrub in the frig for up to a year.

         Cocktail Mixture

2 parts spirit {gin,vodka,rum ect}

½ part shrub

2 dashes of bitters {lemon,orange ect.}

other options are to add:

1 part flavored liqueur

combine ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker poor over ice in glass and add a splash of sparkly water.

images styled with Karla Spies

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Melting Ice Cream

Ice Cream season is right around the corner. You might say it never goes out of season. But the hot sun is coming and soon melting ice cream will be running down fingers and arms. Some people like their ice cream hard you break your plastic spoon. Some people like it soft and scoopable. Others need a straw for their ice cream soup. I like to watch it melt.

MeltingShake

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Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bar

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I had to share this salted Caramel chocolate chip bar with you.  It is so sick, we were making them in the studio and I could not stop snacking on them till I felt sick. But it is worth it. This bar is a chocolate cookie salty sweet gooey goodness.  And easy to make with the quick Caramel microwave instructions.

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this recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker

photo stylist Barb Standal

mmmmmm enjoy

 

Maple Pecan Pie

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recipe from Wild Country Maple Syrup     http://www.wildcountrymaple.com

Recently I had the opportunity to do some photography with Wild Country Maple Syrup  working on their new web site which required all kinds of photography. Shooting on site at their maple tree farm and maple syrup facilities in Lutsen MN was a lot of fun.  The beautiful rustic log cabin buildings set in the north woods off of lake superior is inspirational.  The maple syrup is the finest quality.

http://www.wildcountrymaple.com

 

 

 

Boost your immunity with Apple Cider Vinegar

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There are a lot of claims for apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon a day will keep the colds away. Last winter I got on the cider band wagon and I did stay pretty healthy. I found this recipe on health& fit point.

“Whenever people have problems with some infection, they immediately turn to pharmaceutical products to get rid of it as soon as possible. Remember that infections in the body should not be always treated with antibiotics. So, why don’t you look for a natural solution instead? We have the right recipe for you. Besides from being very effective, it is very healthy. Its preparation couldn’t be simpler and revitalizes you body, giving it back its proper function. You know that strong immune system means healthy body. Therefore, this remedy will boost your immune system and you can forget about infections and bacteria.”

It sounds like a good idea to me, so I  decided to take it up a notch this season by infusing my cider, not sure how it’s going to taste but all the ingredients look to be healthy.
Heres to a healthy, happy winter season.

Red Hot Cinnamon Infused Whiskey

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If you like fireball this is even better.  I found this recipe published by Matt Allyn and have made it a few times. This is a nice fall whiskey for sipping round the fire pit while the leaves turn colors.

I have made the mistake of letting it infuse for too long and the cinnamon will over power the flavor.  I suggest trying a sip after four days and check the flavor until you find it just right. Another treat we enjoy is a hot apple cider with some cinnamon whiskey.

enjoy

Gazpacho

gazpacho_2_MG_2274My favorite thing about Gazpacho soup is you can really put whatever vegetables you want and blend it up.  A trip to the garden or farmers market and pick up the ingredients. I use this recipe as a rough guide for my chopping and blending.  I always add a jalopeno or some hot pepper into the blend. And usually whatever tomato juice, V8 or bloody mary mix I have in the refrigerator.  Of course the garnish is also fun, be as creative as you want.  Best served cold.

 

Cranberry Infused Gin

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I have not always been a gin fan, but since we toured a local distillery called Du Nord and learned the process I’ve taken an interest. There are several ways to make gin but in my layman interpretation it’s a infusion or as they call it compounding botanicals with the spirits. Sounds like stuff I like to do.  For christmas I received this pretty pink bottle of cranberry gin.  It was delicious and an instant favorite. The recipe is so simple and easy to make. It is now on a sip and repeat cycle at my home.

Instructions

  1. Sterilise your bottles by washing them in hot soapy water, rinsing and then placing in an oven on a low heat until completely dry.
  2. Allow to cool
  3. Add the Craisons and cover with the gin.
  4. Seal the bottle and leave to infuse. Shake the bottle up like once a day or so. Place the bottle in a dark cool location.
  5. After just a few days you will see the gin go from being perfectly clear to pink and then bright red!
  6. Let infuse for 14 days.
  7. Serve chilled on ice with sparkling water and a wedge of lime.
  8. enjoy

Rooster Feather recipe’s

BBQ_Saucehero2 BeerJelly_ BlueberryPoundCakefinal chocjamcupcakehero2 Ketchup_ 2 PinappleChutneyPiecesI worked on shooting the recipes for these amazing products called Rooster Feather.

http://www.roosterfeather.com

My friend in river falls makes these awesome jams, BBQ sauces, ketchup ect. We worked as a group to pull together the sets and styling. So much fun to work and sample these products. Once you try this BBQ sauce you will be looking at an empty bottle and trying to get more. You can follow him on Facebook and check out the web site to get more recipes.

food styling: Kati Standal

Here is the recipe fro the Asian BBQ sauce-

BAKED OR GRILLED SALMON

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs dried dill
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 lbs salmon filet (about 1″ thick)

PREPARATION

Put water, salt, sugar, dill and soy sauce in a large bowl, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour salt mixture into large zip-loc bag. Add ice and salmon; seal. Put in the fridge for 2 hours. Flop the bag a couple times.

Oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Take salmon out of the brine and put skin side down on baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes. Brush the Rooster Sauce on salmon flesh side for about the last 2-5 minutes. The filet will be done when fat starts to bubble out. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Grill: Get a full chimney of charcoal going. I you have a gas grill follow oven directions above. Cover half of the grill with aluminum foil. When the coals are ready, bank coals on one side of the grill. Place the grill rack with the aluminum foil on the opposite side of the grill for indirect grilling.  Take salmon out of the brine and put skin side down on aluminum foil side of the grill. Check after about 15 minutes. Depending on the heat of your grill this could take between 17 to 20 minutes. Brush the Rooster Sauce on salmon flesh side for about the last 2-5 minutes. The filet will be done when fat starts to bubble out. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.