Case of the Winter Blahs?

Case of the Winter Blahs?

Did you ever read The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster? (If not, you should, it’s truly excellent.) In it, Juster describes a place called “The Doldrums,” where our little hero Milo gets briefly stuck; it’s colorless and bleak and populated by people called the “Lethargarians' who don’t do anything and you’re not allowed to think or laugh, and the intention is that everyone’s bored and miserable all the time. Now is it just us, or does that sound an awful lot like the month of February?
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Holiday Cocktail: Maple Butter Kiss

Tastes like the holidays in a martini glass!
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Pumpkin Spice Chai Latté Recipe


    • Author:
    • Prep Time: 5 mins
    • Cook Time: 5 mins
    • Total Time: 10 minutes
    • Yield: 1 drink
    • Category: Drinks

    Pumpkin spice chai latte made with natural ingredients: pumpkin puree, almond milk, maple syrup and spices. This creamy yet skinny latte clocks in at only 90 calories (without the totally optional coconut cream). Amounts listed below yield one latte so multiple up as necessary. If you want to save some time, I think you could use about ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed below. I think you could also make a big batch of this, store it in the refrigerator and rewarm individual drinks on the stove (whisk well to recombine).

    Ingredients

    Latte

    • 1 tea bag of spiced chai (or decaf spiced chai rooibos)
    • ½ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice*
    • 2 tablespoons real pumpkin purée
    • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup or honey
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
    • Dash nutmeg
    • Dash cloves
    • Tiny dash salt
    • ½ teaspoon arrowroot starch or cornstarch (optional, makes the latte super creamy)
    • Optional garnishes: 1 cinnamon stick or star of anise, coconut whipped cream

    Optional coconut whipped cream

    • 1 can (14 ounces) full fat coconut milk, chilled at least 10 hours (the coconut milk MUST be full fat and MUST be refrigerated for at least 10 hours. Put a mixing bowl in the freezer to chill while you’re at it.)
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
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    Chili-Glazed Pork Ribs

    As we near the end of August, the realization hit us that we don't have many summer nights -  many chances to BBQ - left!  So we'll be hitting the grill as often as we can over the next month or so, and this Chili-Glazed Pork Rib recipes will be perfect to fill the belly as the nights around the fire get chillier.

    Chili-Glazed Pork Ribs

  • Total: 4 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Level: Easy
  • Ingredients

     

  • Directions

  • Make shallow cuts between the ribs on the bone side with a sharp knife, piercing just the membrane.

    Mix 1 tablespoon salt, the brown sugar, garlic, thyme, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the ribs. Place the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan, loosely cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Meanwhile, combine the cider, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Cover and set aside.

    Preheat a grill to low heat on one side. Cook the ribs bone-side down on the cooler side of the grill, covered, until tender, about 2 hours 30 minutes. (If using a charcoal grill, add more charcoal as needed to maintain the temperature.) Continue to cook, uncovering every 10 minutes to baste with the sauce, until the ribs are glazed, about 40 more minutes. Remove from the grill and cut into pieces.

  • Recipe courtesy: Food Network
  • Join us as we say goodbye to summer!
  •  

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    Red, White, and Blueberry Truffle

  • Total: 8 hr 45 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Level: Easy

  • Ingredients

    Directions

    Trim and quarter the strawberries and set aside. Combine the blueberries, blackberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup water, lemon zest, juice and salt in a medium saucepot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down and the sauce thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. 

    Place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup cream, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. In a second large bowl, whip the remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-quarter of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until lightened, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. 

    To assemble the trifle, rip or cut the angel food cake into 2-inch pieces. Place half the cake pieces in the bottom of a 12-to-14-cup trifle dish or large bowl. Top with about half the blueberry sauce, half the cream and half the quartered strawberries. Repeat the layers with the remaining cake, berry sauce, cream and strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or overnight. Before serving either dust with confectioners' sugar or heat the apple jelly in the microwave for 25 seconds to loosen, and then brush over the strawberries.

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    Mother's Day Brunch: Recipes

    This Sunday is all about one special lady: MOM. Make the day full of pampering and R&R for her (You know she more than deserves it).

    The best way to get the day started: Let her sleep in, serve her coffee in bed, then prepare this incredible brunch (maybe serve it in bed, too!).

    Ham & Cheese Crepes

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    • 4 Simple Crepes
    • 8 slices black forest ham
    • 4 large eggs
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • Chopped fresh chives

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 crepes on a rimmed baking sheet. Place 2 slices ham on each crepe. Crack 1 egg into center of each; fold edges toward center. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg white is set and yolk is still runny, 12 minutes. Top with chives.

     

    Pistachio-Apricot Granola

    Yields 5 cups

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

    • 1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    • 1/3 cup honey

    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

    • 1 cup dried apricots, diced medium

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats and pistachios. In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, cardamom, and salt over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts, about 2 minutes. (Or, place ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes; stir until combined.) Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until oats are lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack, 20 minutes, then stir in apricots.

     

    Riesling Sangria with Lychees

    Serves 10

    Ingredients

    • 1 orange
    • 1 cup raspberries, halved
    • 1 Asian pear—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup dry sake
    • 1/2 cup bourbon
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup triple sec
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • One 20-ounce can lychees in syrup—lychees halved, syrup reserved
    • Two 750-milliliter bottles slightly off-dry Riesling, chilled
    • Ice

    Directions

    Using a knife, peel the orange, removing the bitter white pith. Working over a pitcher, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranes and discard the membranes.

    Add the raspberries, pear, sake, bourbon, lemon juice, triple sec, sugar and lychees with their syrup. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    Stir in the Riesling and serve the sangria in ice-filled wineglasses.

    Recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart & Food & Wine.

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    80,000 Bars of Goat Milk Soap!

    We just sold our 80,000th bar of goat milk soap! To our loyal customers and goat-milk-soap-lovers, thank you!

    Next to our barn balm, our goat milk soap bars are our best selling product.

    And we're not surprised: Each of our handcrafted, individually-wrapped bars are triple-milled, meaning that they are ultra-smooth and long-lasting. Made with real goat's milk and organic shea butter, our creamy soaps really lather up for an extra-nourishing shower or bath. 

    Choose your favorite scent, now available in basin ($8), tub ($10), and combo ($18) sizes.

     

     

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    Tortilla Soup

    From south of the border comes this spicy and hearty soup ladled over crisp tortilla strips and grated cheddar. The soup is chunky with chicken and avocado, but it's the tortillas that give it a slight thickness and a special flavor. Serves 4.

    Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 8 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 large cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
    • 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 28-ounce can)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 cup lightly-packed cilantro leaves plus 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
    • 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
    • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 1/4 pound cheddar, grated
    • Lime wedges, for serving

    How to make this recipe

      1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add half the tortilla strips and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips.

    1. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion, garlic, and spices; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves, if using, and one-third of the tortilla strips. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.

    2. In a blender, puree the soup in batches; pour it back into the pot. Add the chicken, bring the soup back to a simmer, and simmer until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Stir in the avocado.

    3. To serve, put the remaining tortilla strips in bowls, top with the cheese, and pour in the soup. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using, and serve with the lime wedges.

    Suggested Pairing

    A Rioja Reserva, with its complex combination of spicy, earthy, and fruity flavors, will echo the taste of the soup beautifully.

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    [Recipe] Pumpkin Spice Waffles

    Pumpkin Spice..and everything nice!  Everyone (okay, almost everyone) loves PSL season.  We're taking it up a notch with this Pumpkin Spice Waffle Recipe (YUM).

    Pumpkin Spice Waffles

    Serves: 8 5-in waffles

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 15 ounces pure pumpkin puree
    • 2 eggs (separated)
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice Extract*
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

    Directions

    1. Preheat waffle iron according to directions.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk the coconut oil (in liquid form), both kinds of sugar, pumpkin puree, egg yolks, and milk together until smooth.
    3. Add the pumpkin pie spice extract and vanilla extract and stir.
    4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
    5. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, just until combined.
    6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until they are white and fluffy with soft peaks.
    7. Carefully and gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
    8. Scoop about 3/4 cup of batter onto the waffle iron and cook (batter will be thick). My KitchenAid Waffle Baker timer was set for 3 minutes.
    9. Top with butter, syrup, whipped cream, and/or cinnamon if desired.
    Notes:
    *If you can not find Pumpkin Pie Spice Extract, you can use the following substitution
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
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    Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub Recipe

    It's September - officially Pumpkin Spice season! If you love it like we do, you - and your skin - will love this nourishing DIY Pumpkin Sugar Scrub from The Idea Room. (Also - great for the upcoming holidays, both as a hostess gift and to help you relax amidst the bustle.)

    Supply List

    Ingredients
    • 2 cups Brown Sugar
    • 1/2 cup White Sugar (or Raw Sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
    • 1/3 cup Almond Oil or Coconut Oil (add more if needed)

    Instructions

    1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the sugars and spices.
    2. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
    3. Slowly pour in the Oil and stir until well blended.
    4. You may add more if your scrub is too dry.
    5. You don’t want it to be runny, just a nice damp texture.
    6. Cover in a tight container.
    7. Store in the refrigerator up to 8 weeks.

    No time to make your own? Shop our Sugar & Shea Ranch Rub >>

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    Al Fresco Dining: Recipes

    Nothing says summer like dining outdoors. And here on the ranch, we like to do it as often as possible. Sometimes simple (just take the plated food out and go), sometimes more festive (hung lights, decked out table, set bar) - either way, it makes summer meals with friends and family so much more memorable.

    The following recipes are from Food Network, and are a perfect way to kick off your summer nights.

    Grilled Vegetables

    Total Time:
    40 min

    Yield:
    6 servings


    Ingredients

    3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
    3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    12 cremini mushrooms
    1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
    12 green onions, roots cut off
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

    Directions

    Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.

    Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

    Steak Florentine

    Total Time:
    1 hr 25 min
    Yield:
    6 servings


    Ingredients

    2 large garlic cloves, halved
    3 T-bone steaks (each about 1 1/2 pounds, and 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 lemon, halved
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    Grilled Vegetables, recipe follows

    Directions

    Rub the garlic cloves over the meat and the bone of the steaks. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator and allow seasoning to permeate the meat, for about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling, allowing the meat to come to room temperature.

    Place a grill pan over high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for rare, 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. The key to getting those great grill marks is to place the steak down and not move them. After you flip them, do not shift the steaks.

    Allow the steaks to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, otherwise all the juices will be run all over your cutting board. Run your knife along the bone and carve the meat off the bone. Slice the meat into 1-inch slices. Transfer the slices to a platter. Squeeze the lemon over the steaks. Drizzle with the oil and serve immediately with Grilled Vegetables.

    Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese

    Total Time:
    35 min
    Yield:
    6 servings

    Ingredients

    Olive oil
    3 firm but ripe peaches, pitted, quartered
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons brandy
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup dry white wine


    Directions

    Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Lightly brush the grill pan or rack with oil. Place the peaches on the grill pan and do not move the peaches, otherwise you will not have those great grill marks. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes per side to get those grill marks. Grill the peaches until the grill marks are formed, slightly softened and heated through, about 5 to 6 minutes total.

    Meanwhile, stir the sugar, brandy, and lemon juice in a medium bowl to blend. Set the brandy mixture aside.

    As the peaches are ready, remove them from the grill and place them in a shallow baking dish. Top them with the brandy mixture, and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes and allow to marinate, tossing occasionally.

    Meanwhile, stir the mascarpone and vanilla in a small bowl to blend.

    Divide the grilled peach mixture equally among 6 coupe dishes. Pour the wine over the peaches. Dollop the mascarpone mixture atop the peaches, and serve.


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