Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spiced Hot Grape Punch - Grow Your Own #11

Winter is just around the corner here and I have been fixing this hot punch for friends and family in our small group that meets once a week. It is a non-alcoholic beverage, the aroma fills the air, and you can enjoy it slowly, as it is served hot. In the Summer, you can serve it cold.

This is my entry for Grow Your Own event and you can participate too! This event is about homegrown products, so if you have a garden why not celebrate the bounty of the season with a unique dish prepared with foods that you grow?

My spiced hot grape punch is made with fresh ginger from my mom and dad's garden.

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
Rind of 2 oranges
Rind of 1 lime
2 oz (50 to 60 g) sliced fresh ginger
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
4 cups (1 liter) unsweetened red grape juice

1) In a large sauce pan over medium combine sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.

2) Add honey, sliced ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves, lime and orange rinds. Simmer 4 minutes. Remove rinds.

3) Add 1 cup water and simmer 5 minutes. Then add the chopped apples, the grape juice and bring to a boil again for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brazil and Japan - 100-year friendship

A friendship that started 100 years ago when the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the port of Santos aboard the steamship Kasato Maru on June 18, 1908. Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito is visiting the country to take part in the celebrations. An anniversary that certainly deserves to be celebrated in a special way.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gruyere Gougères - Savory Cheese Puffs

Gougères are savory puffs or cheese balls (Pâte à choux) made with gruyere or any kind of cheese that melts and stretches... These are easy, fast and great starters for parties. That's why I am submitting this recipe for the Monthly Mingle event that Mansi at Food and Fun is hosting this month with Appetizers & Hors'Doeuvres. It is an event that Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey? started.

1 cup water
1/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
3/4 cup grated gruyere
4 tablespoons chopped onion
Italian seasoning to taste (or any kind of dried herbs - parsley, oregano, thyme, etc.)

1) Preheat the oven to 425
ºF (220 ºC). Grease or line two cookie sheets (no need to grease if using non-stick sheets).

Place the water and butter into a saucepan and bring to a boil. On low heat add the salt and flour at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball.

3) Remove from heat.
Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl and let cool for a bit. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is creamy. Add the cheese, the onion and the seasonings.

Drop the balls of the mixture onto a greased or lined cookie sheet using a small cookie scoop or one tablespoon, 2 inches apart.
  • You can also pipe the mixture, but I prefer the cookie scoop.

5) Bake at 425ºF
(220 ºC) for 15 to 20 minutes until puffs are golden brown. Serve them hot, plain or with any kind of filling, I had some eggplant antipasto and it was a great combination!

Recipe from the kitchen of: Luna