Cheryl’s Cuisine: March 2018

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Life can be full of simple pleasures.  One of these such pleasures is a steaming hot drink on a cold night.  Even though it’s March and days may be in the 50’s, evenings are still cold.  So here are some great ideas to enjoy while sitting back and reading, watching your favorite shows, or just “chilling out.”   

My husband doesn’t care for a hot drink at night, so I usually refrigerate the leftover quantities and reheat the next evening—one of my simple pleasures…

Brazilian Chocolate:

cocoa1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups milk
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Blend cocoa with sugar.  Gradually stir in the water and milk.   Heat to boiling point. Add orange rind and almond extract.  

If you’d like, beat with rotary beater until frothy. Makes 1 quart.  

NOTE: Some like this chilled then beaten. Your choice. Enjoy!

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Hot Vegetable Punch:

2-10 1/2 oz. cans condensed beef consomme’
2 cans water
5 cups tomato juice or V-8
6-8 stalks celery, chopped
2 small onions, diced small
1 small bay leaf
7-8 whole black peppercorns
Few carrot slices
Sprinkling of fresh parsley
Juice of 1/4 lemon

Simmer condensed consomme’, an equal amount of water and tomato juice with celery, onions, bay leaf, peppercorns, carrot slices and parsley.  When vegetables are thoroughly cooked, add lemon juice. Makes 8 servings.

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Russian Tea:

cinnamon1 quart water
4 tea bags
1 stick cinnamon
1 Tbsp.  whole cloves

Boil these ingredients for four minutes.  Strain into the following mixture:

2 quarts water
1-6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
1-6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
1-16 oz. can pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups sugar

Stir all together and reheat.  Makes 25 servings.

NOTE: I’ve even frozen much of this mixture for later use.  

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Yummy Apple Cider:

Slow-Cooker-Apple-Cider-SQUARE6 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
3-3″ cinnamon sticks, broken
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
2 quarts apple cider
1 cup orange juice
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup apple brandy

Tie cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick and orange rind in a cheesecloth bag.  Combine spice bag and cider in large saucepan. Bring mixture to full boil; reduce heat to medium and cook 35 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 4 cups.  Discard spice bag, stir in orange juice and remaining ingredients. Simmer over medium heat just until heated through. Yields 8 cups.

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Chocolate Delight:

3/4  cup cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups strong coffee
1 cup Kirsch or brandy
Whipped cream

Blend cocoa with sugar.  Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling point.  Remove from heat and add coffee and Kirsch or brandy.  Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream. Makes 8 cups.

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atomic-hot-chocolateRich Hot Chocolate:

7 1/2 cups milk
10 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream

Bring milk to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.  Pour half of hot milk into blender. Add half of chocolate, 2 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Cover, blend on low speed until chocolate melts and mixture is foamy.

Pour into mugs. Repeat with remaining hot milk, chocolate, sugar and vanilla.  Garnish each mug with whipped cream and serve. Makes 8 servings.

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Lights Out:

2 cups hot espresso coffee
1/4 cup coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
2 Tbsp. Southern Comfort
Sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream
Grated semisweet chocolate

Combine espresso, coffee liqueur and Southern Comfort in medium bowl.  Flavor mixture with sugar to taste. Divide among 4 cups. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.  Makes 4 servings.

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