Nothing says weekend to me more than a delicious cocktail. Hello, Friday… Is it happy hour yet? Being it’s going to be a marvelous 3 day weekend, I plan on starting the weekend-ing a bit early with these awesome honey lime margaritas. This tart and […]
It’s gloomy and threatening to rain. I guess that could be a metaphor for what I’ve felt like the past few days too. This past weekend, I unfortunately discovered I still can’t really tolerate having milk without suffering afterwards for multiple days. I tempted fate by having real dairy milk in a few things which I hadn’t tried doing yet since I’ve been feeling a million times better than say, a year ago (see my story here). I’ve been feeling super great for the last 4 months – nearly “normal” – which for me means only slight ringing in my ears and no dizziness to speak of. I’ve successfully added cheeses and now fermented dairy like yogurts, dairy kefir and some sour cream back into my life but hadn’t tried milk or cream yet. That turned out to be a bad idea (abort! abort!). I’d been so hopeful! On the upside, it has led me to this awesome coconut eggnog. Eggnog has always been a favorite of mine this time of year so I just can’t do the holidays without it.
Coconut eggnog is completely dairy-free and made from full fat coconut milk. I tried using some almond milk mixed in but didn’t like the consistency – somewhat curdled, too thin and a little too nutty for my tastes. I also tried making it with coconut milk from a carton – the kind you’d find in the dairy case – but it curdled EVERY time. So, my word to the wise, use full fat canned coconut milk and it’ll turn out AMAZING. I actually tried a few different recipe iterations and came back to a version that is nearly identical to my dairy free vanilla ice cream. After all, an eggnog is basically just an un-churned ice cream custard. It’s creamy comfort in cup for a cool not-quite-winter day.
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2-3 ounces spiced rum
- 2 egg whites, beaten until soft peaks form
- Combine yolks, syrup, coconut milk, salt and nutmeg in a small saucepan.
- Cook on medium heat whisking constantly until custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil or you'll end up scrambling the eggs.
- Once thickened, stir in vanilla and rum.
- Beat egg whites and gradually temper the custard into the whites.
- Whisk to be sure all is combined and it's ready to serve warm or cold.
- Nog will keep in fridge up to a week in a covered container - a mason jar works well. If the mixture separates, just give it a good shake!
- Sprinkle with nutmeg to serve.
Tonight we kick off the Halloween weekend festivities with a little pumpkin carving which is always a riot with three kids. Tomorrow is what I’m really excited about… we’re hosting my brother and sister and their families for a costume party and trick or treating […]
Moving to our acreage earlier this spring has been nothing but a blessing. Last month, we were blessed with beautiful big plump concord grapes compliments of the three vines out back. So, when life gives you grapes, and I mean 6 total buckets of them, you get […]
Adventures in landscaping part 1: discover that the former owners used a tarp-like building wrap under the mulch instead of proper landscape fabric. You know, this may seem like a resourceful, brilliant idea but I assure you, it is not. Building wrap (Tyvek style) is not meant to be permeable so instead of letting water sufficiently drain from the mulch it sits there and it molds, and it holds any soil that blows onto the mulch on top of it which means weeds grow there anyway. Kinda defeats the purpose of a landscape fabric don’t ya think? I personally prefer to use just mulch alone and no landscape fabric at all. It allows for sufficient drainage, allows any windblown soil to sift down below the mulch layer and lets my plants naturally spread as they are meant to. After about four hours of raking mulch back, pulling up the building wrap and raking the mulch back into place, I decided a mid-afternoon beverage was well deserved. Hello, summer mules!
This summer mule is a simple version of a traditional Moscow mule. I’ve used gin instead of vodka but you can use vodka (or even whiskey) if you wish. Lime, mint, cucumber and ginger beer or ginger ale round out the flavors for a refreshing summery drink. Ginger ale makes it a bit lighter so go for the ginger beer for a more authentic summer mule.
- 2 ounces gin or vodka
- ½ ounce elderflower liquor
- 4 ounces ginger beer (or ginger ale for a lighter version)
- juice of ½ lime
- 2 mint leaves
- 2 slices cucumber
- Fill a mug or other glass about half to ¾ full of ice.
- Add cucumber and mint leaves and muddle lightly with a spoon.
- Add the gin, liquor, lime juice and ginger beer and stir.
- Cheers to summer!
Yiy, what a week. I’m certainly glad last week has passed and we’re on to greener pastures. Halloween was fun though. We took the kids to my mom and dad in-law’s neighborhood to do some hardcore trick-or-treating. The kids filled their buckets to overwhelmingly full […]
Many people aren’t familiar with water kefir (or kefir soda). It’s not something you can typically find in a grocery store but its relative, traditional kefir made with milk, can often be found in larger supermarkets. Kefir is a probiotic beverage consisting of an incredibly healthy blend of beneficial yeast and bacteria. Both water kefir and traditional milk kefir have far more probiotic strains than yogurt or other cultured products like buttermilk. Water kefir is incredibly easy and fast to make. I also make traditional milk or coconut milk kefir which is equal in it’s health benefits and also easy to make.
For water kefir, you start with a sugar water and add water kefir grains. Water kefir grains are not actually grains they just have a grainy appearance and look a lot like little blobs of gelatin.
You can use kefir grains over and over and if properly cared for, they will last indefinitely. They also grow so if you have a friend who makes kefir, you can most likely get some from them. If you don’t have anyone who wants your extra kefir grains once they’ve multiplied, you can either add them to smoothies for a probiotic boost or compost them. Good for you, and also great for your garden 🙂
I usually make a half gallon at a time but you can make a full gallon, or a quart. Whatever you choose. Start with the amount of water you need and if it’s tap water, boil it to get the chlorine out of it as that will kill your kefir grains. Once boiled, add sugar and dissolve. This can be any type of sugar – white, brown, sucanat, coconut sugar, turbinado…. they will all result in a different taste so see what you like! My favorite is turbinado raw sugar. Then let your sugar water cool to less than 100 degrees. Too hot and it will kill your kefir grains.
Place sugar water and kefir grains in a mason jar and cover with a tea towel or coffee filter. Let this sit at room temperature for 48 hours and then strain the kefir grains out. Either place the grains directly into the next batch of kefir or you can place in a quart of sugar water and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks before making another batch. Alternately, if you’re going to take a longer break, you can freeze the grains for up to 6 months or leave them on the counter to dehydrate 3-5 days. Dehydrated, they will keep in a zip top bag in the fridge for 6 months to a year. You will need to rehydrate them in sugar water before making your next batch.
You can drink it at this point but I prefer it get a little more fizzy and add a little flavoring to it. I use a large glass measuring cup to pour my water kefir into flip top grolsh bottles. I found these bottles at a local home brewing supply store but you can find them here as well. Once you add the flavoring, seal the bottle and let it sit at room temperature for another 12-24 hours to get satisfyingly fizzy. Place in fridge until ready to drink or serve over ice.
Here are a few flavoring ideas (add the flavoring to each bottle first, then fill with water kefir):
- add 1/2 cup fruit juice of any kind
- add 15 raisins or diced dates or prunes
- mix with a little herbal tea and add grape or cherry juice
- add a tablespoon pureed berries like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry or blueberry. Note these made with fresh berries get pretty fizzy and can fizz out of the bottle (like a shaken soda pop) if left to ferment too long. I usually don’t leave these on the counter but rather put them directly in the fridge as they get fizzy enough.
- add diced dried fruits like cranberries or apricots
- add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and it’ll have a taste similar to cream soda
- add a tablespoon of pureed ginger with a teaspoon of lime juice
- add 1/4 cup lemon (or lime) juice to a full half gallon batch and add 1/4 cup honey for a probiotic lemonade (or limeade)
- 1 quart water - you can also use fruit juice, or coconut water
- ¼ cup sugar (any kind except honey or maple syrup)
- 2-3 tablespoons water kefir grains
- Boil water and mix in sugar.
- Let sugar water cool to room temperature.
- Place sugar water and kefir grains in a quart mason jar (or other glass vessel) and cover loosely with a tea towel or coffee filter. Secure with jar ring or a rubber band.
- Let this mixture sit at room temperature 48 hours to culture.
- Strain out kefir grains with a non-metal strainer and reserve for next batch.
- Pour finished kefir into glass bottles (or smaller mason jars) and add flavorings if desired.
- Close bottles tightly and let kefir sit at room temperature another 12-24 hours to get fizzy.
- Place in fridge until ready to drink!
•add 15 raisins or diced dates or prunes
•mix with a little herbal tea and add grape or cherry juice
•add a tablespoon pureed berries like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry or blueberry. Note these made with fresh berries get pretty fizzy and can fizz out of the bottle (like a shaken soda pop) if left to ferment too long. I usually don't leave these on the counter but rather put them directly in the fridge as they get fizzy enough.
•add diced dried fruits like cranberries or apricots
•add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and it'll have a taste similar to cream soda
•add a tablespoon of pureed ginger with a teaspoon of lime juice
•add ¼ cup lemon (or lime) juice to a full half gallon batch and add ¼ cup honey for a probiotic lemonade (or limeade)