DIY: Marilla's Cherry Cordial: The Final Product

Yikes! I'm having trouble blogging all the great projects and ideas in my head. I suppose it comes with this busy time of year. How are all your holiday plans coming along? My husband and I are enjoying the minor lull before the storm, you could say. Yet, the week is flying by as our to-do list shrinks and grows as we remember more things that need checking off!

 

Picnik collage

Do you all remember my DIY Cherry Cordial post from a few months back? Well I'm happy to say that we met our goal of packaging and preparing them this week for Christmas gifts. It's actually a very rewarding feeling to have handcrafted the cordial, labels and packaging. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of work. Kenny and I were up really late last night...him filtering the cordial and me creating labels and packaging. We are pretty happy with the turn out. Some of the cordial tastes better than others, but all of them taste good. That's the goal right?

 

Label
The name "Marilla's Cherry Cordial" came by way of my favorite childhood book, Anne of Green Gables. There's a great chapter where Anne accidentally gets her friend Diana drunk (they are only 12, mind you) on a famous Current Wine, thinking it was Marilla's (non-alcoholic) Cherry Cordial.

Since it was a joint effort, Ken and I named a few of the cordials after that book chapter, and a few "Kenny's Kitchen Sink"...a more potent concoction of Ken's currently residing in his liquor cabinet for special occasions (which I'm assuming will be his guy movie night).

 

Final

There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic cherry cordials...alcoholic versions are also referred to as cherry bounce or cherry liqueur. It's great for sipping chilled with a dessert, cooking with, or using in hot drinks (especially hot chocolate). 

 

End
Again, for a step by step guide to our cordial recipe see HERE. Another great resource we discovered for other cordial/liqueur recipes is this book: Making Liqueurs For Gifts. It's a lightweight pamphlet great for keeping in a cupboard and full of ideas...including bottle sizes and packaging instructions.

Happy Wednesday! -Jenni

Mint Week: Fun, Fast & Simple Snacks

Recipemint

 

Today we are going to explore mint as a flavor as well as a color. To be completely honest, I enjoy cooking...but it's not a passion of mine. I've had some health issues in recent years surrounding food allergies & intolerances that often leave me sick in bed. So, in a way...food and myself have become enemies. That being said, it's been an exciting journey to learn some quick and healthy snacks to keep me on the up and up...and full of life. It's a learning process that takes work, but finding my way around the kitchen has been very rewarding.

In regards to mint, I decided to include some quick "snacky" type items rather than cooking a 4 course minty meal (which I considered). So, without further ado...here are some fast, stomach friendly recipes celebrating our favorite flavor, MINT!

 

Ginger water
Ingredients:

Filtered Water (however much desired)

Fresh Mint Leaves

Fresh Ginger

 

Directions: Cut 4-5 1/4 inch thick "cubes" of fresh ginger. Cut 5-6 fresh mint leaves. Put both these items in a mortar and pestle and grind until crushed. Put this "paste" in a large pitcher of water and let steep 1 hour. The longer it steeps, the stronger the ginger taste will be. You can then strain the water, or leave the paste in. This fully depends on your preference.

*This is a fantastic way to settle a queasy or sick tummy...and it tastes great! For a yummy touch, add a pinch of stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetner with zero calories. I URGE you to replace your nutri-sweet, sweet n' low and other unhealthy sweetners with this natural, health friendly substitute. You won't be sorry!

 

 

Chickpea

Ingredients:

(I nabbed this one from Martha Stewart)

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

4 small garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 to 4 warmed pitas, crackers, or tortilla chips (for serving with)

 

Directions: Heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 15 minutes. Add chickpea mixture, mint, parsley, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor, season with pepper, and puree. With machine running, add remaining 1/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream, mixing until emulsified. Transfer to a serving bowl, and drizzle with oil.

*You can serve this with anything really (chips, pita bread, pretzels). I chose to serve it with gluten-free rice crackers. Rice crackers tend to be lower calorie and easy on ALL stomachs, whether you have an allergy or not!

 

 

 

Mintdish
Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 red pepper

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

3/4 cup feta crumbled cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions: Add two cups of water to a small pot. Bring to boil. Add 1 cup of quinoa. Reduce heat and let simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Set aside. Cut red pepper into strips. Add red pepper strips, along with 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Cook until peppers are soft. While peppers are cooking, finely chop the mint and basil. Set aside. Once red peppers are cooked, add them to the quinoa. Pour the excess olive oil from the pan into the quinoa as well. Add the basil, mint, feta and pine nuts. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*To give it a little "zip" add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. Cayenne is very healing to the body and good for overall health and digestion.

 

 

 

Mint chips

 

Ingredients: 

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons of water

1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract

3 drops of green food coloring

2 cups of whipping cream, whipped

1 cup of mini-semi sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:(Time Involved: 10 minutes active...) In a large bowl, combine milk, water, extract and food coloring together. Slowly fold in the whipped whipping cream and mini chocolate chips. Line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with foil. Pour the completed ice cream mixture into the pan. The chocolate chips will settle on the bottom. Cover the whole top of pan with foil and place in freezer. Let ice cream freeze for at least 6 hours.

*If you are lactose intolerant, have a sugar sensitivity or just desire better health...try a coconut version of this recipe from Thrive Cookbook. There is a fantastic idea for this same ice cream treat, but with half the calories. Young Coconut is very good for vitality and energy. It's ambitious, but worth it...Download Thrive Mint Chip Ice Cream Recipe.

 

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If you try any of these recipes, let me know how they turn out! We ate them all for dinner tonight and it was lovely. You can never have too much mint! Thank You so much for supporting Jarfly Mint Week. I know it's really pushed me to grow as a blogger, knowing that you were dropping by with the expectation of fresh mint ideas. It means so much to me. I can't believe it's almost over...crazy! Stop by tomorrow as I'll be sharing some new artwork and card designs...as well as showcasing some great art from NW designers. Enjoy your Saturday...