bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mimi's Ginger Beer

I saw this in the weekend Parade magazine awhile back, and I thought it sounded quite interesting - so I had to try it. It took me a while to remember to buy some more fresh ginger, but I finally got a chance to make some this week. I wasn't really sure what to expect, because I've never had ginger beer, but I figured it couldn't be bad with all these ingredients.

Mimi's Ginger Beer
from Parade magazine

  • ¼ lb fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • ½ cup honey
  • 5 -8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • Grated zest of a lime or lemon
  • Ice, citrus fruit juice and/or dark rum, for serving, optional
  1. Put ginger in a food processor, adding just enough cold water to puree it. Scrape pureed ginger into a large, heatproof glass or ceramic bowl or pitcher and add boiling water, honey, cloves, cinnamon stick, zest and juice. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and keep mixture in a warm place for about 4 hours, stir occasionally as mixture cools and skim foam off the surface occasionally if necessary.
  2. Stir in 1 quart cold water and taste for sweetness, adding more honey or lemon or lime juice as needed. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain ginger beer and pour it into ceramic or glass bottles. Cap tightly and store in the refrigerator. 
  3. Serve as soon as it is chilled, or wait 2-3 days for it to ferment and start to fizz slightly. Dilute with ice, more cold water, citrus juice—or, for an extra jolt, dark rum. Chill, covered, for up to 1 week.

Since I've never had ginger beer, I'm not sure if this tastes like that or not, but it is a very refreshing drink - all citrusy with that kick of ginger, and I've been enjoying it.  I usually just put it over ice and add a little water to dilute it slightly.  I haven't noticed any fermenting or fizzing, even though it's been several days since I've made it.

I've  been reading through some other articles and recipes (on Epicurious and Food.com to name a couple), and several of them call for yeast to encourage the fermentation, so I might try one of these next time. Or leave it out for a few days to start it.  I am enjoying it enough that I definitely want to try this again.  I'd love to hear any tips you have if you've ever made it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Homemade Pancake Syrup

I used to buy pancake syrup all the time - usually the large 2 pack of Mrs. Butterworth's from Sam's club.  When the kids were at home, we went through quite a bit of that.  I made a lot of waffles.  Nowadays I'm (usually) avoiding buying anything that contains high fructose corn syrup, so I've started making my own syrup.  Seriously, it's really easy, and it tastes just as good.  It's probably cheaper, too.

It's really just sugar and water with some maple flavoring, so I'm not claiming it's actually healthy, but there is definitely no high fructose corn syrup.  I'm sure some real maple syrup would be better - but this is good if you don't have any of that.

Homemade Pancake Syrup
recipe from the back of the maple flavoring

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. maple flavoring
  1. Bring water to boil
  2. Stir in sugars; cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved
  3. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring.  Serve warm.  Or cold.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

It's even better if you find one of these cute syrup dispensers to put your syrup in.  We picked one up recently, and I love it.

My mom always used to make our syrup when I was growing up. I never thought to ask her about her recipe.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Peach BBQ Pulled Chicken

This is one of the recipes I almost made for the Secret Recipe Club a couple months ago.  There are always so many recipes to choose from, and it's practically impossible to choose just one.  And, of course, there's nothing that says I can't make them all, right?  I ended up making these yummy Frozen Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter and Banana Bites for the SRC Reveal, but I had to go back and make this Peach BBQ Pulled Chicken, too.

This BBQ sauce is sweetened with canned peaches instead of sugar, so it's even quite healthy.  It's definitely tasty!

Peach BBQ Pulled Chicken
adapted from Not Enough Cinnamon

for BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 28-oz. can peaches in juice (NOT syrup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 T spicy mustard
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
for Chicken:
  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth 
  • water to cover
  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients (including juice from the peaches) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour. Transfer sauce to a blender or a food processor and pulse until the sauce reaches a very smooth consistency. Return to pot and set aside.
  2. While the sauce is cooking, place chicken breast in another pot.  Add chicken broth and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is very tender and no longer pink inside. Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board and shred it using two forks (use one fork to hold the chicken steady and the other one to tear it apart).  Save cooking broth for another use.
  3. Add shredded chicken to the prepared sauce and mix well to coat. Serve on buns.

Note: You can use all broth or all water to cook the chicken if you want. I just had 1 cup of broth and only needed half of it for the sauce so I figured I'd use it for the chicken, too.

We added some sweet bread & butter pickles and shredded cabbage for a bit of tangyness and crunch, and it was perfect.  I will definitely be making this again.  The chicken also freezes well.  Just pull it out, thaw, and heat, for a quick and simple meal.

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