Witches’ Kitchen #2

I’m still desperately looking for the recipe I used to make Saffron Liqueur. I know I also used vodka, and my detective skills tell me that in the old pictures it looks as if there’s rock sugar and also a stick of cinnamon in there. After the holidays I’ll do a test run using 1L vodka, 50g brown rock sugar, a cinnamon stick and 2T saffron, and you can watch my experiment step by step. I’ll post pics and everything. Here’s the old ones, BTW, in case you’ll want to try your own detective skills:

By popular demand: Witches’ Kitchen #1

So I dug out some old pics for you to accompany the recipes.
Today we’re making Ginger Liqueur. This is the easiest recipe I know, and it tastes amazing. I try to adapt most liqueur recipes to vodka, since I believe it results in a milder taste compared to liqueur made with Korn (German rye liquor).

You’ll need:
a generous piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly cubed
1L vodka (I always use the cheapest brand I can get, and it still comes out really awesome)
1 cinnamon stick
a couple of whole cardamom pods
a twig of rosemary
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
50g brown rock sugar

Put everything in a bottle or jar that seals well (a big mason jar will do) and leave this in a warm spot. I recommend windowsills without too much direct sunlight. After 3 to 4 weeks, your liqueur is ready. Strain into bottles and enjoy. You can keep this in a cupboard at room temperature, but I’m not sure for how long, since all my liqueurs – no matter whether they were given away or kept in my own cupboard – have always been, um, gone in a matter of a couple of weeks max.
In the pictures below you can watch the liquid change colour as time passes (which is really beautiful to watch). The ginger liqueur is on the right.

My favourite Beans & Rice

Hey, I dug out a picture for you! This is my favourite Beans and Rice recipe, and it goes like this:
I usually start off by cooking some brown rice (which I love for its nutty flavour). It takes about 40 minutes to cook, so if you take your time chopping vegetables, it will be ready along with everything else.
In the meantime I chop a medium-sized to large yellow onion and a clove of garlic, which I then sauté in some olive oil (add the garlic after a couple minutes; it doesn’t take as long). Then I add a cubed orange bell pepper (orange ones are my favourites; anyway, I love orange food) and sauté everything a bit more. Then I cover everything with veggie broth and add some herbs and spices: salt (of course), a teaspoon of thyme and oregano each, some black pepper, some cayenne pepper to taste, and a dash of tabasco sauce and one of liquid smoke. When I’m in the mood, I’ll also add one pickled chili pepper, chopped to tiny bits (I don’t like them when they’re not chopped really small).
I bring this to a boil and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, then add a drained can of kidney beans (because I’m too lazy to soak and cook dried beans – also when I decide to make beans and rice, I don’t want to wait until the next day) and turn up the heat again until it’s back to a simmer. As soon as the beans are starting to get mushy and disintegrate, it’s time to check the spices one last time, then serve the beans with the brown rice. Yum!

In your face, Starbucks!

Today I woke up and thought, hey, what I’d really like to have for breakfast is one of those things they have at Starbucks, only a lot better, and vegan. So I made myself some porridge with soymilk, using a spoonful of my grandma’s homemade berry preserves as a sweetener, added a cubed apple, and stirred in an almost equal amount of this very creamy soy vanilla yogurt once it had cooled down. The result is far from pretty but absolutely delicious. Next time I’ll take the time and shred the apple first, though. I bet that will make it even better. (Pic of my own version to follow!)

[Edit in November: It might not be pretty, but it’s yummy!]

2011 Anti-Hangover Stew

Greetings from the depths of a sea of paperwork (and cold remedies)! Although I still can’t take any new pictures and post them, I thought I’d make up for their absence and mine by sharing a recipe I came up with on the first of January (quite unsurprisingly). It’s my 2011 Anti-Hangover Stew, and it does quite a good job at that. (You may thank me the day after Halloween or the next upcoming birthday party.)

1 can (400g / 14 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, diced
2x 1 empty tomato can, filled with water
2 heaped teaspoons broth powder
soya chunks (or soy curls, or TVP), rehydrated
1 wooden spoon-ful red curry paste (I had an astonishingly mild variety that was rather more sweet than hot – so please feel free to reduce the curry paste and substitute the rest with sweet red pepper flakes)
sichuan pepper, a pinch or two, ground (best spice in the world!)

Sauté the onion in a big pot, using a tiny amount of olive oil, then add everything else, cover and let simmer for about half an hour.
Add a cup of frozen edamame, cover again.
Ten minutes later, add about a pound of your favourite frozen veggies, preferably Asian style mixed vegetables (or whatever else you can find in your freezer).
Let simmer for about 15 minutes more while you’re waiting for that aspirin to kick in (or whatever).
And that’s it. (Pic to follow ASAP!)

Improvised Leek & Pumpkin Soup and a giveaway winner

I had some leeks in my freezer compartment, so I sautéed them in some olive oil and added about 2 cups of veggie broth and another cup of pureed pumpkin and assorted spices (mainly pepper and ginger, if I remember correctly), and that was it. I really hope I can upload some more pictures soon, since there is still a lack of sweets this MoFo.

Oh, and about that book. I assigned an equal batch of numbers to each interested commenter and then rolled a D20, and here’s the result: It will go to bittofraw! Hope you’ll like it.

My favourite Baked Apples

This is SusanV’s basic recipe. I usually make them in the oven, though. When I’m feeling decadent, I add custard and maple syrup.

Also, there are two things this blog needs right now:

  1. Me to find my proper camera (since my mobile is dying on me, and I can’t access my pics anymore).
  2. More sweets! I’m constantly telling myself, “Next weekend I’ll have time to bake!” Let’s hope it turns out to be true this time. I have plans. ;)