Ginger Lemonade

Wow, getting featured on WordPress Freshly Pressed this past weekend was awesome. Thanks to WordPress and all the fun people who found my humble recipe blog. I hope you found something useful here (and didn’t mind all my snarky comments.)

So, ginger lemonade makes one mean mixed drink as well as a great twist on regular old lemonade. I didn’t mean to turn it into my rainy Saturday night drink, but it seemed so perfectly matched for vodka and frozen blackberries in my favorite mason jar drinking mug. I was right.

This lemonade is ridiculously simple. The ginger is as strong as you want it to be. The technique is to steep the honey and ginger in boiling water for around 30 minutes, but this time is up to you depending on the depth of ginger you want. The resulting simple syrup is infused nicely with ginger and honey; lemon juice and water to taste round it all out. The original recipe uses mint leaves too. I would totally get behind that in the future.

What else can I steep in a honey simple syrup to make some great homemade summer drinks? Rosemary lemonade? Is that crazy? I might just try it.

p.s. frozen raspberries make good ice cubes

Ginger Lemonade
From Epicurious

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

1/3 cup peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup honey
2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
about 2 cups cold water

Directions:

1. In a large heat proof bowl add the chopped ginger and honey. Add the boiling water. Let this simple syrup steep for around 30 minutes.

2. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain the simple syrup to a large pitcher. Add the lemon juice. Begin adding the water to taste.

3. Serve with ice cubes.

Flourless Tahini and Honey Cookies

I call these halva cookies.

Never heard of halva? Me too, until college. But I swear every bodega and convenience store in New York City sells halva bars. Halva is sweet, slightly salty, and made of sesame tahini. Addiction doesn’t begin to describe how much I like halva.

This cookie is an ode to sesame halva, perfect for satisfying a craving. Also perfect for being insanely easy to bake.

See, lately I’ve been lacking motivation to cook. I spend time browsing recipes, noting the ones I want to try someday, but I don’t get to them, ever. Instead, I end up eating guacamole for dinner (more than once, true story). But flourless cookies–I’m thinking of the never fail flourless peanut butter cookie– are so easy. Why not swap in tahini instead of peanut butter and add some honey in replace of some of the sugar?

Bingo!

These are cookies for the halva lover: chewy, sweet but not overwhelmingly so, and reminiscent of those sesame halva candy bars. Rolled in sesame seeds and more sugar to make it perfect.

Flourless Tahini and Honey Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup of sesame tahini that has been refridgerated. This will be too soft if you use just bought tahini!
1/4 cup of clover honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar
sesame seeds & sugar for rolling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line with parchment paper or grease a cookie sheet. I cooked these in two batches.

2. Mix sesame tahini, honey, egg. and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in sugar.

3. Roll walnut size balls of dough. Roll them in sesame seeds and sugar.

4. Press down each cookie with a fork on the cookie sheet.

5. Cook for at most 10 minutes. These will be very fragile at first. Let them sit for a few minutes, then cool on a wire rack. They will be chewy and soft, almost melting in your mouth,

Pickled Red Onions

Oh yes,  pickled red onions are awesome. I pile them on sandwiches, burgers, tacos and salads. I even eat them straight out of  the jar. My best use of them yet was when I layered them in a warm pita stuffed with ras el hanout spiced turkey burgers, shredded carrots, spinach and tahini. Perfection!

These thin strips of red onions are slightly sweet, slightly sour and slightly spicy. The best of all worlds in one vibrantly colored red and purple onion. And pickled onions are an easy edible experiment too. I started out with a recipe from Simply Recipes and everything just came together from there. I swapped out some of the vinegar for lime juice, changed the spicing to my liking, and stuck them in a washed out peanut butter jar to finish pickling. After a day the onions were bright and soft. Onto all my meals they went!

Pickled Red Onions
Adapted from Simply Recipes

Servings vary

Ingredients:
1 large red onion
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
5 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Peel and slice the red onion. Make the slices as thin as possible.

2. Blanch the onions for 2 minutes before pickling. To do so, heat some water until boiling in a saucepan and then add the onions and let them boil for 2 minutes. Quickly drain and submerge the onions in cold water to stop any further cooking. Set aside.

3. Mix vinegar, lime juice, honey and spice in a jar with a lid.

4. Add the onions and mix. Let sit in the fridge for at least 5 hours, with overnight being the best option. Enjoy!

A Simple Carrot Slaw with Lemon, Honey and Parsley

I spent Saturday in Portland, Maine with Brian.  It was a spur of the moment trip. Brian and I have vowed to travel every corner of New England while living in Boston, and Portland was high on the list of desintations.

While there we happened upon Rabelais Books, a bookstore dedicated solely to food and wine. I was in heaven amongst the plethora of cookbooks. Plus, there was the cutest scraggly dog putzing around gleefully beneath my feet. Cookbooks and animals is a hard to resist combination. 

It was a food and drink heavy weekend to say the least; there were the burgers, sweet potato fries, blueberry root beer (amazing!) and coffee drinks in Portland, as well as the throw-your-fridge-onto-a-bagel  sandwich we ate for lunch today. It was a weekend of good food, as all weekends should be.

Late in the afternoon today I was craving something simple and fresh. A carrot slaw is my go to recipe when I’m feeling deprived of vegetables.

Brian remembers eating this carrot slaw as a kid; he was the one that actually introduced me to the recipe. It is just a simple mix of carrots, lemon juice and a sweetener of choice. You can take it anywhere from there. I throw in parsley because I’m a sucker for its taste and look. I love honey too, so much so that I can eat it right out of the jar. I’ve done this carrot salad with radishes, orange slices and cilantro for a stronger Moroccan influence before. I love all versions of carrot slaw. Even cumin with less sweetener makes a great one.

But the old stand by of sweet and lemony is always on my mind. Such a simple combination of fresh ingredients creates a really delicious salad. I made a huge batch so I could eat it for a few days.

Words of wisdom: this slaw is really a create-by-taste kind of thing. I’ve estimated a recipe below, but I highly advise just tasting and adjusting to your own liking.  No slaw is the same as any other slaw!

A Simple Carrot Slaw with Lemon, Honey & Parsley
A Made by Frances Original

Serves 3-6, depending on size of portion

Ingredients:
5 or 6 large carrots, peeled, and shredded
The juice of one lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1/4 cup of parsley leaves, roughly cut
a pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Mix shredded carrots with lemon juice, sugar, honey, canola oil and parsley leaves. Refrigerate to let the flavors comingle for at least a half hour. Serve cold.