Homemade Angostura Sugar Cubes & The Champagne Cocktail

Homemade Angostura Sugar Cubes

Hey guys! I hope everyone that celebrated Christmas this week had a fantastic one. This was the first year that I did not spend Christmas eve and day at my parents’ home. (I had to push the trip back to this weekend due to some scheduling issues.) It was a little strange, but we managed to have a fine little holiday here, complete with beef Wellington and hot buttered rum. And that time not spent traveling meant I could do a little New Year’s Eve planning on Thursday!

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Spicy Gingerbread Cookies with Citrus Glaze

Gingerbread cookies are a funny thing. There are many different ways to make them, and likely almost as many differing opinions on what sort of gingerbread is truly THE best. Sweet. Spicy. Chewy. Snappy. Glazed. Iced. Plain. It goes on. For me, it’s a lot like pizza (hear me out) — in the sense that even gingerbread that isn’t that great is still totally edible. If it’s made of spices and sugar and butter, I will eat it.

So this is why, for a few years, I followed a somewhat ho-hum gingerbread recipe. It was fine and tasty and all, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Then, nearly two years ago, Deb posted this recipe. At the time, I didn’t know that what I wanted from gingerbread was more spice, less sweet. But when I saw the title “Spicy Gingerbread Cookies” and gazed at those dark cookies, laden with spices and molasses and dark brown sugar, I was pretty sure I’d found a new go-to recipe. One that wouldn’t be take-it-or-leave-it.

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Homemade Sriracha

homemade sriracha

Note: This post contains an updated recipe after numerous trials and some obsessive tweaking, as well as a note about the updates at the end of the intro, before the recipe itself.

If I had to sum this post up in two words, those words would be “F#@% YES.”

Sorry, that’s a bit of an aggressive way to start off a post! But seriously, can you blame me? I have been obsessing over making this stuff for nearly eight months, ever since Joshua Bousel detailed his experiments with homemade Sriracha on Serious Eats. I planned my entire garden around it, sacrificing what would have been a variety of peppers to grow only jalapeños. And then I waited, and waited, and WAITED for those darn peppers to turn from green to red. Being an impatient person, I also spent my Saturday mornings elbow-deep in Half Pint Farm’s hot pepper bin at the market, collecting every last red jalapeño I could find. It was on one of these days that Spencer of HPF suggested that red serranos might also work well, so I started buying up those too. (A great suggestion, it turns out, as a little more research led me to the fact that serranos were once the pepper from which Sriracha was made, until the company deemed them too difficult to harvest [or perhaps too costly] and switched to red jalapeños.)

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Homemade Nutella

I am kind of freaking out at the moment. In a good way. Freaking out because I have a ton of posts lined up, and I want to show them all to you NOW. I sat at my computer this morning, downing coffee and staring at all of my unpublished image folders, contemplating which one to choose. Should I sneak some syrup from one of the three shrubs that are steeping in my pantry at the moment, and photograph it before the season has passed for its star fruit? Or should I snap some pictures of the recently bottled homemade version of everyone’s favorite spicy sauce? They were all so tempting, but this nutella won out in the end. And that’s because there’s a follow-up post. One that involves nutella contained within something. And pumpkin. And maybe also the words “doughnut” and “muffin.” OH YES. Pumpkin fever is upon us, and I’m ready to embrace the madness. So please, join me — let’s loosen our belts, hide our scales, and ready…set…TREATS!

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Maple Cream

Hi, I’m maple cream. A.K.A. maple butter. A.K.A. spreadable maple sugar crack. A.K.A. the cause of at least one of Carey’s high school cavities.

Oh hello, maple cream. I’ve missed you!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with this substance, maple cream is simply maple syrup that is heated, cooled, then stirred until the consistency changes from a syrup to a thick cream. It’s awesome on toast, in frosting, off your fingers . . . in short: it rules. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get down to business!

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