Caramel Apple Cider: A Fall Favorite

What you need
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
• 4 tbsp butter
• 1/2 tsp salt
• scrapings of 3 vanilla beans
• lots of Macintosh apples!
• cloves
• ginger, peeled and grated
• nutmeg
• cinnamon sticks
• cheesecloth
• a good blender
• a big pot
• a saucepan
• an airtight jar

What you do
Mix brown sugar, cream, butter, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly but gently until your caramel sauce gets thicker, 5-8 minutes. Turn off heat, cool slightly and pour sauce into an airtight jar. Refrigerate until cold. Wash apples thoroughly then core them. Purée your apples until you get a fine pulp. Strain and squeeze pulp over a pot using cheesecloth until your pot is filled with apple juice. Heat your juice over medium-low heat. Add cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks then stir well. Once you get a rolling boil, lower heat, cover, and allow juice to cook and marinate in the spices for as long as you’d like. Your house will smell amazing now. When you’re almost ready to turn off heat, add caramel sauce and mix well. Once caramel is dissolved into the cider, you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

How do you make apple cider?

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Thai Coconut Soup

What you need
• Homemade Chicken Broth
• Coconut Cream
• Lime Leaves
• Fresh Lime Juice
• Firm Tofu, cubed
• Galangal, peeled and top chopped off
• Daikon Radish, peeled and sliced
• Cilantro
• Green Onions, chopped
• Dried Chili Peppers
• Fish Sauce
• Mushrooms, sliced
• Hot Chili Oil

What you do
Put all ingredients except for mushrooms and tofu in a crock pot and set to low. Slow-cook for 4-8 hours, stirring every now and then. Add mushrooms and tofu about an hour prior to serving.

I serve this soup with pad thai, jasmine tea, and coconut water straight out of the coconut!

Do you have a favorite Thai recipe? Share it here!

When Life Hands You Lemons

Lemons are a versatile staple in my home. The following is a list of ways I use them.

• In food and beverage recipes
• Squeezed in hair to create highlights
• As a cleanser for skin, nails, and scalp
• To lighten dark spots and blemishes
• To detoxify the body
• To disinfect countertops
• As a nail strengthener

How do you use lemons?

Chinese Takeout? Not here!

Egg Drop Soup

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Chicken Broth
  • Grated Ginger
  • Scallions, finely chopped
  • Cornstarch
  • Eggs
  • Himalayan or Sea Salt

Directions:

  • Pour most, but not all, of the broth in a pot.
  • Add ginger, scallions, and salt then bring to rolling boil.
  • In a separate bowl, combine and mix remaining broth and cornstarch until well incorporated.
  • In another separate bowl, whisk eggs together using a fork.
  • Slowly pour egg mixture – a little at a time, then stir – through the fork.
  • Gradually mix in your cornstarch-broth combo until you get your desired consistency.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • Red Cabbage, thinly shredded
  • Green Cabbage, thinly shredded
  • Carrots, chopped into thin sticks
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Lettuce, thinly shredded
  • Boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into thin slices or shredded
  • Dried rice noodles, fried in oil until they puff up and are cooked thoroughly
  • Brown sugar
  • Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Vegetable, Peanut, or Canola Oil
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sesame Seeds, toasted

Directions:

  • Prepare dressing at least 2 hours prior to making salad.
  • To make dressing, simmer brown sugar, tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable, peanut, or canola oil, and rice vinegar until all ingredients are well incorporated. Let cool before storing in bottle and placing in fridge.
  • Lightly toss cabbages, lettuce, carrots, scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds, and chicken in a bowl.
  • Pour dressing on salad and lightly toss.
  • Add fried rice noodles and serve.

Chrysanthemum Tea

  • Pour hot water over a chrysanthemum tea flower. Let steep before serving.

 

Do you have a favorite Chinese restaurant? Have you tried making your favorite Chinese dishes in the comforts of your own home and for more than half the cost? Share your recipes here.

 

 

 

Movie Night Munchies

I love movies! Because I’m on a budget, I rent free movies from the local library, make gourmet popcorn and fancy drinks, and invite fellow movie buffs to my place for a magical (and affordable) night of movie watching.

Tonight’s Movie Night Menu:

Popcorn With A Kick
Popcorn kernels
Olive oil
Himalayan salt
Nutritional yeast
Dried thyme
Dried dill
Chives, finely chopped
Cayenne pepper

Turn stove on to medium-high heat. Place a large pot on the burner. Put a little bit of oil in the pot, add a kernel and cover. Once the kernel has popped, add 1 cup of kernels to the pot and cover. Shake pot back and forth while cooking the kernels. (You don’t have to do this constantly but enough so that the popcorn doesn’t burn.) Once your kernels are popped (3-5 minutes), turn off the burner and remove the pot from heat. Pour popcorn into a serving bowl and add olive oil and salt then mix well. Next, add cayenne pepper, chives, dill, nutritional yeast, and thyme. Mix again then serve.

Basil Lime Mocktail
Sparkling water
Fresh lime juice
Stevia or xylitol
Fresh basil, chopped

Combine all ingredients together in a pitcher. Mix well then serve over ice.

Tonight’s Movie:
Groove

What snacks do you like to eat at the movies? What movies are you watching this weekend?

Non-Dairy Milk Recipe

Nut, rice, hemp, and coconut milk is easy and fun to make. It is much cheaper to make non-dairy milk than to buy pre-made milk from the store. This is how I make milk at home:

Ingredients
-Raw nuts, brown rice, hemp seeds, or unsweetened shredded coconut
-Filtered water

Directions
Blend the ingredients together in a blender for about 3 minutes. Then strain the milk into a pitcher using cheesecloth. That’s it! (For sweetened milk, I add pitted dates. For vanilla milk, I add scrapings from the inside of a vanilla bean. For chocolate milk, I add raw cacao powder.)

Do you make your own milk? How do you do it?

Smoothie Time

I make smoothies most days- they’re my fast food. This is what I made this morning:

Ingredients
A handful of blueberries
1 banana
A handful of kale
A handful of raw cashews
Filtered water
1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions
Blend to desired consistency.

I don’t buy or use protein powder because raw nuts are packed with protein. I don’t buy frozen produce because fresh produce is cheaper and better for me. I don’t use my homemade nut milks in smoothies because I’m already adding nuts and water, which is basically how I make nut milk (minus the straining).

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?