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One thing I'll add here, read you juicer's instructions before diving in. What works in mine might not
work in your model.Click hereto read juicers information
Almond Milk: Soak 1 cup / 5 oz almonds overnight, covered, in filtered water. Drain. Add three cups
water, and ladle into juicer. This produces a full-bodied almond milk. If you like it a bit thinner, go
with 4 cups water. The flavor really sings when you season it with a touch of salt and sugar. Just go
with your taste buds, until it tastes good to you. Makes about 3 1/2 cups. Also, be sure to keep the
meaty by-product of making the almond milk, just scrape it out of the juicer. Salt it a bit, and it's a
great homemade almond butter.
Oat Milk: Soak 1 cup / 3 oz rolled oats (not instant) overnight, covered, in filtered water. Drain, add 3
cups water, and ladle into juicer. Makes about 4 cups. Note to self to try a version with toasted oats. I
could imagine experimenting with it as and ingredient in custards, puddings, french toast, and the
Pistachio Milk: Soak 1 cup pistachios / 5 oz overnight, covered, in filtered water. Drain, combine with
3 cups water, and ladle into juicer. This was my favorite non-fruit juice by a stretch. Really nice. I kept
trying to combine it with little accents like orange blossom water, or citrus zest, but in the end I liked
it best straight. Makes about 3 1/2 - 4 cups. And like the almond milk be sure to keep the meaty by-
product of making the pistachio milk, just scrape it out of the juicer. Salt it a bit, and it's a great
Sesame Milk: Had high hopes for this one but it really didn't work. The unhulled seeds never broke
down in the juicer.
Fennel Juice: Trim the root end, but use all the rest of it. 1 large bulb = ~1 cup juice.
Celery: Lob off the root end and use the rest. And I didn't bother restringing. 1 medium bunch = 1 1/2
- 2 cups juice. I'm enjoying using the celery juice as a component in all things brothy. The fennel juice
as well, but to a lesser extent.
Cucumber: Juice it all. And leave the skin on, it lends a nice color. 1 large (8 oz) cucumber yields
about 1 cup of juice. Not really the season for cucumber juice at the moment, but I juiced it anyway.
Cilantro:1 big bunch, leaves and stems = 1/3 cup juice. I threw a couple serranos (deveined and
deseeded) into the juicer here as well for a spicy version. You just know it's going to be good swirled
into yogurt or cremefraiche and spooned into a bowl of roasted tomato soup!
Dill: 1 large bunch (stems and fronds) yields about 3 tablespoons juice. Equal parts dill juice + olive oil
and a pinch of salt has been great over greens, savory pancakes, and eggs this week. I imagine like
the other intense herb juices, it would be welcome as a vinaigrette component, drizzled over gratins,
and tarts as well.
Ginger: 8 ounces unreeled yields about 3/4 cup ginger juice. Freezes quite well. I've been using in
teas, broths, citrus juice (grapefruit-ginger is my favorite), dipping sauces, etc.
Grapefruit: 1 large = 1 cup juice. I could live on this during the winter.
Pomegranate: I'm not sure I'd recommend using a juicer here. Mine definitely wasn't happy. That
said, the resulting juice is electric - straight-up incredible. Juice the seeds only, but review your
juicer's guidelines before an attempt. 1 large pomegranate = ~ 1 cup of seeds = 1/3 cup fresh juice.
Carrots: 1 lb = 1 cup juice. You know, it's just occurring to me as I'm typing this to try a carrot soup
with pure juiced carrot. Use it to make the silkiest carrot soup ever.
If you're a juicer, here's my plea to let me know what you use yours most for. Or is it the sort of thing
that just collects dust in everyone's pantry for most of the year?
A few combinations I tried:
Pistachio Milk: 1/2 cup pistachio milk, 3/4 teaspoon honey or sugar, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, tiny pinch
of ground clove. But like I said up above, this is really good straight.
Spicy Carrot: 1/4 cup carrot juice + 1/4 cup almond milk + 1/16 teaspoon cayenne + 1/2 teaspoon
ginger juice + 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt + 2 tablespoons celery juice.
Pomegranate Almond: 1/4 cup pomegranate juice + 1/4 cup almond juice + 2 drop rose water + pinch
of salt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice + sweeten to taste.
Cucumber Celery: 1/4 cup cucumber + 1/4 cup celery + 1/16 cayenne + pinch of salt.
Yuzu Maple Leaf Cocktail Recipe
This is a drink to close out the year with - simple, strong, made for winter. It's a maple leaf cocktail
(typically made with fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, and bourbon) with a few tweaks. I've been
making them with whatever lemony-winter citrus is around. After starting with standard Eureka
lemons, I branched out to Meyer lemons, and then onto yuzu, a varietal of Japanese citrus. Recently,
I've been blending - the yuzu is intense, fat with seeds, on the dry side, while Meyers are more floral,
with a softer flavor, positively gushing with juice.
I add salt to this drink. I mean, the absolute smallest amount of fine grain sea salt. Barely a whisper. It
works nicely to balance things out, snap flavors into focus - sweet, sour, salt, bourbon base. Not sure
how people are going to feel about that, but there you have it, a little secret. If you want to be more
exacting than I am, grind your salt powder-fine with a mortar and pestle before proceeding. It'll
incorporate more quickly into the liquids.
I hope you like this as much as I do. In general, I like the combination of lemon and maple syrup. And
not just in cocktails. But, I need something to edge out the sweet depths of pure maple. Lemon, or
other lemony-citrus, tends to do the job. In fact, if drinks aren't your thing, I bet you could skip the
bourbon altogether here and work this into a nice dressing with the zest, some herbs, and olive oil?
A couple tips (I'll also include below): You can find yuzu at some winter farmers markets. They're also
available at many Japanese grocery stores in the produce section, and they keep reasonably well
refrigerated. Also, if you don't have a cocktail shaker, don't let that deter you. I don't have one, and I
use a jar in it's place - use the lid to hold the ice back (you can also use a strainer). xoxo -h
Yuzu Maple Leaf Cocktail
It goes without saying, but cocktails should be mixed to your liking. Feel free to make tweaks the
same way you would with any other culinary creation. You might like these a touch more tart than I
do, or a hint less sweet. Go for it. If you can't find yuzu or Meyer lemons, absolutely have a go with
regular market lemons.
As I mention up above, you can find yuzu at some winter farmers' markets. They're also available at
many Japanese grocery stores in the produce section, and keep nicely, wrapped and refrigerated.
Also, if you don't have a cocktail shaker, don't let that deter you. I just use a jar in it's place, using the
lid to hold the ice back (you can also use a strainer).
2 ounces / 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Michter's)
3/4 ounce / 1 1/2 tablespoon good maple syrup
1/2 ounce / 1 tablespoon well-strained, fresh yuzu juice
1/2 ounce / 1 tablespoon well-strained, fresh Meyer lemon juice
extra small pinch of fine grain sea salt
Chill a few small cocktail or cordial glasses in the freezer. I typically use ones that are larger than shot
glasses, but not quite by double.
Combine the bourbon, maple syrup, citrus juices, and salt in a cocktail shaker or jar (with lid). Fill with
ice, cover, and shake vigorously - well enough that that maple syrup gets well incorporated. It's
heavier than the other liquids and likes to hug the bottom of the shaker, you also want to give the
salt time to dissolve.
Strain into the chilled glasses and serve immediately.
Makes 2-3 small drinks, or one larger cocktail.
Rhubarb & Rosewater Syrup Recipe
This, my friends, is how you want to use that rhubarb you've been seeing at the market lately. It's a
syrup, sure, but I'd venture to guess it's a syrup unlike any you've tasted. It has a lot going on,
tartness from the rhubarb, tang from fresh lime juice, a backdrop of sweetness that's anything but
shy, and the wildcard finish - rosewater. The resulting syrup is strong, and lovely, and a kiss of it is
just what a bowl of yogurt, or glass of soda water needs.
And it really couldn't be simpler to make. Chop a few stalks of rhubarb, toss with sugar, then let it sit
around until everything settles into a cold, sweet stew. Fire up your burner, and simmer until the
rhubarb breaks down, then strain out the solids. You're left with a vibrant rose-hued liquid. When
you cook this down with a bit of fresh lime juice you end up with a fragrant, beautiful gem of a syrup.
A finishing splash of rosewater is the final surprise - the je ne sais quoi factor.
As I mention up above, I use this syrup in simple spritzers, and as a way to add a bit of flair to plain
yogurt. I imagine it would be amazing over cornmeal waffles or pancakes, or in place of a drizzle of
honey over certain cheeses - good, soft goat cheese comes to mind. It's just one of those simple,
homemade things that is nice to have on hand. And come to think of it, it'd be a nice lip gloss flavor
as well ;)
Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup
HS: I use lime here, I think it really adds something, a needed edge. That said, lemon is quite nice as
4 large / 500 g / 1 pound rhubarb stalks, chopped
2 cups / 400 g granulated sugar
2 cups / 475 ml water
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
scant 2 teaspoons rosewater, or to taste
rose petals, optional
Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan. Stir well, and leave for 45
minutes or so (unheated), stirring now and then.
Add the water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb starts to break down. Carefully
strain into a bowl through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Transfer to a clean saucepan, stir in the lime
juice, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer over medium heat for another 15 minutes or until the syrup
has reduced quite a bit and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Stir in the rosewater a bit at a time, until it is to your liking. Rose water can be quite an assertive
flavor, so be judicious to start. It keeps, refrigerated, for a week or so.
Serve over yogurt, in soda water, or drizzled over waffles.
Makes one medium jar of syrup.
Prep time: 45 min - Cook time: 30 min
Blood Orange Gin Sparkler Recipe
For a good part of the year I have rosemary floating about the kitchen. It's typically crowded in a
wide-mouth jar, standing stick-straight, quietly waiting to be called upon. Sometimes it sits on the
windowsill here, other times it migrates to the island, or, on rare occasions, the dinner table. I tend
to buy a bunch, then work my way through it little by little (you've likely seen it in the background of
photos on previous posts). Said another way - rosemary is often in my line of sight, and I'm always
looking for ways to use it. This cocktail caught my attention a couple weeks back, and I've been
making my own citrus-spiked riff on it in the days since.
So...my initial idea was that I'd do a winter citrus version using freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice,
gin, and tonic water or sparkling water. I thought the evergreen notes in the gin would blend nicely
with the tart pucker of grapefruit, and I'd take the edge off with a hint of rosemary syrup.
I walked into a box of beautiful Moro blood oranges at the store, and here we are. The blood orange
juice worked beautifully, it added a lovely burst of color, and generally lent itself agreeably to what
ended up being a long, bright, winter-time quencher. One that goes down a bit too easily, in fact. As I
mention down below, if blood oranges are hard for you to come by, this drink is great with navel
oranges as well. I mean it when I say, I hope you like this one as much as I do.
I kept thinking the gin / citrus combo would make for a striking DIY cocktail set-up at a holiday party,
or New Year's brunch /gathering. Particularly if you offered a selection of juice mixers. I'm imagining
small glass pitchers of blood orange juice, pink grapefruit juice, orange juice, oroblanco grapefruit
juice, and or sweet lime juice? It would be a beautiful spectrum. Let me know if you give it a go.
I'm signing off for the weekend. There was a massive fire near my house today, dozens of people lost
their homes and everything they had. Luckily no one lost their life. I've never seen anything like it.
The fire fighters mounted an impressive and brave campaign to save the entire block - the winds
were bad today. And apparently there was a construction crew who dialed 911, then alerted and
helped evacuate residents.
My heart goes out to my neighbors.
Blood Orange Gin Sparkler
You can keep the rosemary simple syrup in the refrigerator for a week or so. You can do this ahead of
time. Also, if blood oranges are hard for you to come by - navel oranges are also delicious.
2 cups / 480 ml water
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g sugar
4 tablespoons (~2 sprigs-worth) fresh rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)
tonic water (or sparkling water)
Combine the water, sugar, rosemary, and bay in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a
simmer for 3-5 minutes, or long enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from
the heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a jar to cool completely.
In the meantime, juice and strain your oranges, you'll need 3 tablespoons / 1.5 ounces of juice for
To make each drink you're going to combine equal parts gin, juice, and tonic water with a bit of syrup
and ice. So, its 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz gin, 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed blood orange
juice, and 1-2 teaspoons of the rosemary syrup in each tall glass (I used kolsch glasses here). Stir to
combine, fill each glass 2/3 full with ice and top off with 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz tonic water. Stir
again and you're set.
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 10 min
Lemon Anise Slush Recipe
I tend to go heavy on the lemon zest around here. Those of you who have been visiting for a while
have likely noticed. Most of the time I use the corresponding lemon juice in ice water, sparkling
water, or salad dressing.Nothing too exciting. But a number of you have asked if I do anything
interesting with the stockpile of lemons they rightly assume I accumulate. So I thought I'd share this
lemon anise slush recipe with you. Adapted from a recipe in an old issue (2004?) of Gourmet
magazine, I make it on the nicest summer days here in San Francisco.
The thing that makes this special is the hint of unexpected anise flavor which pairs nicely with
refreshing lemon. It's one variable I keep constant here. That said, there are a number of ways to
approach this quencher. The original recipe calls for either water, or vodka (if you're not messing
around) as the base. I tend to make this as a mid-day treat and find that water works great. Yogurt is
an alternative if you're up for something creamier and more substantial. Or(!) a pilsner in place of the
water takes its cue from a shandy, which I love. My sister makes me limoncello from her lemon tree
(Heather, I'm running dangerously low!), and a small splash of that to finish things off here is lemon-
kissed heaven. Optional, but if you happen to have some on hand, give it a try.
This is the sort of thing I make over and over, and tweak and make notes as I go. I have one more
idea related to the anise seeds that I haven't had a chance to explore yet. I think I want to try to let
the seeds sit in the 3/4 cup / 180ml vodka ahead of time (hours? overnight? couple days?). I think the
seeds are alcohol-soluble, and might infuse the vodka nicely. Then proceed with the recipe as
written. Don't fault me if I'm off the mark here :)...but let me know if you give it a try.
Lemon Anise Slush
I like to crush the anise seeds a bit with my mortar and pestle before adding them to the blender,
with the idea that it makes it easier for the blender to break down the seeds a bit. But I'm not
actually sure it helps, and think of it more of an optional step than anything.
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/3 cup sugar or honey, plus more to taste
3/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1 cup water or yogurt (vodka or pilsner for adult version)
ice cubes, to fill blender
2 tablespoons limoncello, optional but excellent!
Blend juice, sugar or honey, and seeds in a blender until the seeds break up quite a bit, at least thirty
seconds. Longer if needed.
Add the water (or vodka, yogurt, pils), and enough ice to fill the blender. Blend until smooth. I
sometimes need to add more water, to thin things out a bit and keep the blender going - do so a bit
at a time. Depending on your blender, you might also need to stop on occasion to scrape the sides of
the blender to get an even slush. Adjust for sweetness and lemon juice as you go. Serve immediately.
Prep time: 5 min
Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice Recipe
I wanted to let you know that a few of us are going to focus on cooking from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea:
The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery over the next two months. I've always liked the idea of cooking
from one book for an extended time period, and we've been doing that lately. We did - Moro East
last, and The Essential New York Times Cookbook before that. The more the merrier, we'd love to
have you join us. To kick things off I decided to start with this beauty - a lovely yellow, citrus-centric
Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice.
It's still citrus season here in San Francisco, and this is a great way to use up a couple ruby red
grapefruits. I don't really do the smoothie thing much these days, but I do love a good fruit juice
blend. If you're looking for a jolt something bright, invigorating, spicy and citrusy - this is just the
thing. It's a pick-me-up minus the caffeine. You steep grated ginger in a bit of sugared water, and
then strain it into a lime & grapefruit juice blend. I like to sip it out of a tiny cordial glass with a big ice
cube or mix it with sparkling water as an afternoon refresher. It has a good amount of kick, and you
can feel it going down - in a good way.
I suspect there will be plenty of other recipes to discover in this cookbook. So please, feel free to join
us. I think this is going to be a fun one to cook from. As I mention on the site, cafe classics are well-
represented - scones, smoothies, multiple granolas, soups, salads, and sandwiches. But one of the
things I appreciate about this book is the inclusion of recipes that feature natural sweeteners, and
slightly off-beat whole grains and flours (quinoa / millet). The book includes many vegetarian recipes,
quite a number of vegan recipes, gluten-free recipes, etc. Clearly this is a thoughtful compilation of
recipes meant to be crowd-pleasers.
Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice
This juice is quite strong - but invigorating! You can make it more/less sweet, to your tastes. And you
can mix it with more/less water sparkling water, also to taste. You can also double the recipe if you
need to use up more citrus. The juice freezes well in baggies or ice cube trays. I typically use ruby red
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled then grated
1 cup / 240 ml water
very scant 1/2 cup / 95 ml fresh lime juice - 2 juicy limes
1 1/3 cups / 310 ml fresh grapefruit juice - 2 juicy grapefruits
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir together the sugar, ginger, and water. Simmer for 5
minutes, transfer to a glass bowl or cup, and place in the freezer for a few minutes to cool.
Strain the ginger into a pitcher along with the lime and grapefruit juices. You can either strain the
citrus juices or leave them pulpy, just be sure to catch any seeds before they go in. Stir and taste, if
you want a bit more sugar, go for it, but I find this plenty sweet. Serve straight in a tiny chilled glass
with ice. Or use a splash to freshen up a glass of sparkling water.
Makes about 2 cups / 1 pint.
Adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min
Chile Blackberry Syrup Recipe
For those of you with summer blackberries on hand, you must mustmust try this recipe. It doesn't
lake long, and you are left with enough sweet & spicy, chile-infused blackberry syrup to keep your
taste buds tingling right into August. I clipped the recipe out of an issue of Gourmet Magazine years
ago. Actually, here we go, it was September 2007. I switched up the chiles, made a few other tweaks,
and have been using the syrup to spritz up sparkling water all week. It's also great swirled into
yogurt, oatmeal, and crème fraîche. Other good ideas: use it to slather on buttered toast, drizzle over
goat cheese, and I imagine it'd be a flashy, unexpected offering at any pancake, crepe, or waffle
Gourmet highlighted their original version of the syrup alongside a bourbon-based cocktail (Briar
Patch recipe here), and a version of a Desert Sunrise (can't find a version of it online). If you think of
it as a homemade spicy grenadine, I suspect you can imagine all sorts of cocktail applications. But
don't limit it to cocktails, quite frankly, it seems like its uses are boundless. I keep thinking about
working it into a cheesecake. You know how Humboldt Fog goat cheese has a thin layer of vegetable
ash running through it? What if, using that as inspiration, you had a thin vein of the chile blackberry
syrup run through the cream cheese filling - where you'd only see it after slicing into the cake? So the
flash is a bit understated and unexpected. Or you could use it in a simple vinaigrette, or as part of a
fruit salad. On the savory front, I'm tempted to make a chile blackberry yogurt, and use it to top
some lentil soup.
Anyhow, I'm sure there are a thousand things you could think of here. Let me know if you try
anything particular interesting, or find a pairing that works particularly well.
I hope those of you in the U.S. enjoy the long summer weekend and get plenty of sunshine, spritzy
drinks, and sparklers.
Chile Blackberry Syrup Recipe
The original recipe calls for 4 dried pasillachiles (1 oz). I had guajillochiles on hand and substituted
those. Either way, the resulting syrup is going to pack a good amount of punch. Actually, its more like
a slow-motion punch, where - for minutes - the heat smolders and lingers as it moves through your
body. I suspect two or two-and-a-half chiles will yield a mild syrup, for those of you weary of too
much heat. The syrup keeps covered, and chilled for a few weeks.
4 dried guajillo peppers (1 oz - see head notes)
1 cup / 6 oz / 170g dark Muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
1 cup / 7 oz / 200 g organic sugar
1 1/2 cups / 355 ml water
1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
3/4 cups / 3.5 oz blackberries
Trim the stems from the dried chiles. Tear chiles into pieces and drop (along with seeds) into a
medium saucepan. Stir in the sugars, water, and lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil over
medium heat. Boil, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced to 2 cups / 475 ml, roughly 20 - 30
In the meantime, puree the blackberries. I used a hand blender in a small bowl, but a standard
blender is also an option. Force the berries through a fine-mesh strainer, and discard any seeds. Set
the berry puree aside.
Once the chile mixture has reduced, remove from heat, and (carefully) puree it with a hand blender
until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a heat-proof bowl. Press on the remaining solids in the
strainer to squeeze out any syrup, and discard the remaining solids.
Whisk the berries into the chile syrup and set aside to cool. Place in a jar, or smaller jars, and
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 30 min
Blackberry Limeade Recipe
I was waiting for the perfect day to give this blackberry limeade recipe a try. Time and again, bundled
in blankets on fog shrouded San Francisco afternoons, I'd whine to Wayne that we should move
somewhere with a proper summer. Visions of my hand wrapped around a frosty glass of a jeweled-
toned refresher like this occupied a disproportionate amount of my daydreams. No more. With
temperatures roaring well past 90 degrees in San Francisco on Friday, I got my perfect summer day -
and with a bit of help from Martha Hall Foose (executive chef of the Viking Cooking School), I took
full advantage. The recipe is from her eloquently written new cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet
Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook.
Cookbooks writers and enthusiasts listen up - Martha is a master of the head note. Hers are some of
the most alluring, informative, and transporting lead-ins to recipes I've read. This one precedes the
recipe for Cantaloupe Daiquiris...
The hottest I have ever been in my life was at 5:45 P.M., on August 29, 1998, on the no. 923 St.
Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans. I had been working down in the French Quarter as a pastry
chef for Susan Spicer's Bayona. Some days the unique commute felt like the scene in a movie. After
rattling down the boulevards, and immediately upon entering our uptown digs, I stripped down and
stood in the shower with only cold water running. I could almost hear the sizzle on contact. I really
felt as if I had been braised.
The courtyards of New Orleans offer a haven from the heat. Shaded and mossy, planted with sweet-
smelling Confederate Jasmine, they're like Mrs. Venable's arboretum in Suddenly Last Summer. She
had her trusty secretary deliver a daiquiri every day at five. The musky sweetness of the melon,
married to the brightness of the basil and mint, suspended in an icy slurry, will cool an afternoon
down to the slow simmer of twilight.
I'd be willing to bet you'd like to try that recipe as well. And that's how it goes with this book - the
author skillfully unveiling glimpses of her life (and love) of the South through a lovely collection of
I know many of you come to my site for inspiration on the natural foods/veg-friendly fronts, so just
be aware that this isn't really that kind of book. This is Southern cookbook with all the deep-fried,
shortening-packed delicacies you can imagine. Lots of meat, plenty of seafood-based recipes. That
being said, there are many great ideas that are easily adaptable. For example, there's a black-eyed
pea cake that (minus the bacon) looks like a fresh twist on a veggie burger, a frozen cucumber salad
that sounds fascinating, and multiple rice salads that could easily be done with any number of whole
grains (or whole grain rice). Plenty to be inspired by.
One of the things I loved about the blackberry limeade recipe was Martha's use of raw sugar - it lends
deep, complex level of sweetness that you just don't get with white sugar. It bridges the blackberries,
lime, and cardamom wonderfully.
Blackberry Limeade Recipe
Martha's recipe calls for ginger ale as the mixer (delicious!). I don't drink much soda of any sort - it's
just too sweet for me, so I did a second batch with sparkling water as the mixer- great for those of
you avoiding soft drinks. For some it might make sense to keep the components separate (instead of
combining everything in one pitcher - making it easy to mix each drink to order. This way each person
can control their own level of flavor/sweetness. Martha also includes a side bar of helpful notes
related to this recipe - berries can be pulsed briefly in a food processor and strained. Be careful not
to crush the seeds, as this adds a dirty taste to the blackberries. You can freeze blackberries in ice
cubes for a nice accessory to the drink. The sugar syrup can be transferred to a metal mixing bowl set
in a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly. For a wonderful frozen cocktail, puree ice and a jigger of gin
with the blackberry-lime mixture in a blender.
4 cups fresh blackberries, or unsweetened frozen blackberries, thawed, plus extra for garnish
1 cup turbinado sugar, natural cane sugar, or grated palm sugar
1 kaffir lime leaf, crushed, or 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 green cardamom pod, lightly crushed
1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 8 -12 limes)
Thin lime slices, for garnish
2 cups ginger ale (hs note: or sparkling water)
Lay a doubled piece of cheesecloth on a nonporous work area. (As the berries will stain a wide array
of cutting surfaces and clothes, this may be best done outside or over newspaper and wearing an
apron or smock.) Place the blackberries on top of the cheesecloth and gather into a bundle like a
hobo sack. Hold the sack of berries over a glass, stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic bowl. Twist the top
of the sack to squeeze the juice from the berries into the receptacle. (This will yield about 1 cup very
strong, tart, dark juice.) Refrigerate the juice until needed; discard the purple mash.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 cup water, the lime leaf, and the cardamom pod. bring to a
boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced to a thin syrup. Remove
the lime leaf and cardamom. Allow the sugar syrup to cool and then chill it.
In a 1-quart pitcher, combine the blackberry juice, sugar syrup, and lime juice. Stir to combine and
then refrigerate until cold.
To serve, stir the ginger ale (or water) into the pitcher, fill glasses with ice, and pour in the blackberry
limeade. Garnish with slices of lime.
Lemon Verbena Drop Recipe
In the past I've had (a few) friends who tended to treat cocktails more like fashion accessories than
beverages. They always opted for the drink that best matched their handbag or shade of lipstick.
Bless them though, because they always looked cute. Or cute for a while. There is a place up the
street that serves saketinis in a pretty range of sunset colors - reds, pinks, oranges. They serve them
in ultra-wide, shallow martini glasses. Turn one way, and the drink in your glass slides right out the
other side. It's a given, anytime we go there someone will end up either wearing their own drink, or
wearing someone else's.
I got out of the habit of ordering fancy drinks at bars - but making fancy drinks at home is still fun.
And today's recipe certainly qualifies as a fancy drink.
I was at the Eatwell Farm stand on Saturday chatting with Lisa and Kyle when the breeze shifted
direction, the whole stand filled up with the smell of lemon verbena. Have you smelled it? It is
wonderful. There was a huge pile stacked in the corner begging for someone to put it to good use.
Lisa started telling me about an amazing lemon verbena drop cocktail that was included in the
Eatwell newsletter the previous week. I was sold, couldn't wait to try it, and asked her to send the
recipe to me. I jumped on the subway with a big bunch of the verbena. It was hard to resist
squeezing my bag every couple of minutes, sending puffs of strong citrus-scented air into the subway
car all along the N-Judah line.
Lisa sent the recipe to me, and I got to work. As the jar of vodka was infusing it reminded me of a
miniature kelp forest with the long, green strands of verbena suspended throughout. Very beautiful.
When it is finished infusing, use it to make the delicious lemon verbena cocktails. But first, pour it
through a strainer to remove all the leaves (save a few for garnish). Keep the vodka in a dark place or
in your freezer.
A few other ways to use lemon verbena:
- Use it to infuse or finish soups.
- Use it to infuse homemade sorbets.
- Chop up some leaves and toss them into salads.
- Finely chop the leaves and add them to baked goods like scones or drop a handful of leaves into a
sack of sugar for an infused base ingredient.
Jamaica Flower Iced Tea Recipe
When I'm in need of a refreshing stunner of a drink on a hot afternoon, I turn to this Jamaica Flower
Iced Tea recipe. It became one of my favorite things to drink on hot afternoons throughout my
recent trip to Mexico.
One of the first things you notice as you start browsing local markets in places like Merida or Mexico
City is that many of the stalls are punctuated with big, baskets overflowing with the dried maroon
petals of the Jamaica flower (also known as hibiscus). If nothing else on this trip, I learned how to
properly pronounce Jamaica - in reference to the flower, not the country. It is ha-MIKE-uh in Spanish.
If store clerks are looking at you funny in the states when you ask for it, try asking for dried hibiscus.
You can usually find it near the loose teas, or nestled in with bulk herbs and spices in natural food
stores. I usually get mine at Rainbow Foods in San Francisco. For those of you who have more limited
options in your communities you can always mail order it here or here.
Dried Jamaica flowers create one of the most beautiful and delicious infusions you can imagine. In
restaurants, people can't help but crane their necks as trays filled with icy tall glasses of Agua de
Jamaica make their way towards lucky recipients. In the case of the Jamaica flower, the flavor is as
engaging as the visual. Well-chilled and served over ice, the jewel-like ruby red juice brims with the
tangy sweetness of the dried petals and sugar - add a kiss of lime and you have the perfect late
Making this iced tea is easy, easy, easy. It is a must for your next BBQ or pool party - people are
always delighted when they get to try anything made with jamaica flowers. Once you find a source
for dried petals you are halfway there. Creating the actual tea doesn't take more than ten minutes of
active cooking time, after that you are just waiting for the tea to cool.
I am sold on the taste alone, but it is also believed (in many cultures) that jamaica/hibiscus packs a
bounty of healthful properties. It is rich in vitamin C, and has been widely used as an herbal method
of controlling high blood pressure, tempering fevers, alleviating digestive problems, as well as
improving circulatory disorders. So enjoy it on this front as well.
Other ideas: use the petals to infuse granitas, sherbets and sorbets. I've also used the petals to flavor
margaritas. Popsicles! I also want to try making it into a jelly at some point.
Jamaica Flower Iced Tea Recipe
(Agua de Jamaica)
4 cups water
1/2 cup dried jamaica flowers
1/2 cup sugar (I used natural cane sugar this time around)
Another 3 cups of cold water
More sugar to taste
1 lime, thinly sliced
If you prefer, you can sweeten with any natural sweetener of your choice including honey in place of
First off, pick out a pot that won't stain. Hibiscus has the potential to stain just about anything it
comes in contact with including your countertop, cookware, wooden spoons, favorite jeans, etc. So
keep this in mind.
Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove water from heat and add the dried flowers and sugar.
Place a lid over the pot and steep for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice along the way to break down
the sugar granules.
Pour the infusion through a strainer into a pitcher or jug (this is usually where something gets
stained). You are going to want to add about 3 more cups of cold water to the pitcher. Taste and
adjust based on your personal preference. You can add a bit more sugar if you think you need it, or
more water if you feel like the jamaica is too overpowering. This is usually just about right for my
taste. I don't like the sugar to overpower the refreshing natural tartness of the jamaica flower.
Cool completely and serve with plenty of ice in glasses garnished with a slice of lime.
Mini Buttermilk Berry Milkshakes Recipe
This buttermilk milkshake recipe was inspired by a recent trip to Napa. My friend Pam regularly
invites me on fun excursions that find me heading north from the city, across the Golden Gate, and
north-east towards wine country. I won't go into too much detail about the amazing Oaxacan feast
she hosted (with partner Carl) at their home/winery on a perfect day late last summer - because you
will just be flat-out jealous, but I will tell you that the homemade black bean tapenade seasoned with
Mexican avocado leaves (grown in Napa) being served, was one of the best bean recipes to ever pass
my lips. A real treat.
Pam invited me to lunch with a couple of her amazing friends a couple weeks back at the Wine
Garden in Yountville. It used to be a classic diner and has recently gone through a complete overhaul
and remodel. Julie Nord, the new owner, treated us (8 total) to a delicious tasting menu. I was
thrilled that they didn't even flinch when it was revealed that I was the lone vegetarian at the table -
it is one thing to go to a restaurant and order a vegetarian entree, it is a whole other thing to expect
a vegetarian tasting menu. Anyways, they couldn't have been more accommodating. Here is a
sampling of the delicious dishes I got to try:
-a contemporary Waldorf salad - a pretty mix of greens, nuts, apples, and a slightly sweet dressing.
-Macaroni Gratin - a grown-up version of the classic, served in the cutest teeny-tiny copper pot
-Sugar Pie Pumpkin Tortelloni - tastes as good as it sounds
-String Beans with Almonds and Crispy Shallots - buttery, bright green, and perfectly cooked
-Caramelized Brussels Sprouts - best brussels sprouts I've ever had - golden, browned, crunchy where
they were in contact with the pan. Yum.
-house made celery root chips
-Black Forest Cake of some sort with cocoa nibs around the edges
-and to top it all off - as if the great company, and good food weren't enough - they sent out the
grand finale. The Ode to the old Diner.
We were each served a tiny buttermilk milkshake served in a small soda fountain glass. There were
two flavors to choose from: vanilla with a huckleberry swirl or vanilla with an apple-cinnamon swirl.
After taking a sip I was convinced that a better milkshake was not possible. The buttermilk added a
bit of tang to the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream. I had the huckleberry flavor, and the way the
tartness of the berries, the sweetness of the cream, and the tang of the buttermilk came together
was delicious. Delicious but rich. A sip or two (or three) is really all you need to feel satisfied - drink a
whole glass and it will put you right over the edge.
So of course I got home and wanted to make buttermilk shakes for everyone. We actually picked up a
chrome milkshake maker at a yard sale last spring, and so, as of this afternoon, we were in business. I
sent an email to Julie after our lunch, I was hoping she would ask the chef for the recipe for me - but I
bounced the email (maybe a typo or something), and decided to give my own concoction a shot. I
think I actually came pretty close.
You don't need a milkshake machine to make these. You can use an immersion blender, or just let
your ice-cream soften up on the counter for a bit before stirring in the buttermilk. I think shot-glass
sized glasses (or a tad bigger) make the perfect serving size for these (see pic). And from start to
finish they only take about 5 minutes to make. A tasty, no-fuss dessert.
On a side note, another dear friend of mine (from my publishing days) who writes restaurant reviews
in the Napa area wrote a nice review of the Wine Garden for the North Bay Bohemian a while back,
check it out for a more non-veg take on the restaurant.
Mini Buttermilk Berry Milkshake Recipe
3 big scoops of top shelf vanilla ice cream
A cup or so of berries
A splash of Creme de Cassis
Let me start off this recipe by saying that you can make the swirl out of just about anything. We
always have berries in the freezer because Wayne loves to make smoothies every morning. Just use
what ever you've got around.
Let your vanilla ice cream soften up a bit before scooping three XL scoops into a big sized glass or
cup. Mix in the buttermilk using a milkshake machine, an immersion blender, or by hand. I like my
milkshakes extra thick, so I don't like to over mix them or thin them out with too much liquid. If your
milkshake gets too thin, just add another scoop or two of ice cream.
Make the berry puree:
Puree berries with an immersion or regular blender. Incorporate a small splash of creme de cassis.
Spoon or pour a bit of the vanilla milkshake into each serving glass, add a bit of the berry puree,
more of the milkshake, more puree, and so on. Give the milkshakes a bit of a swirl with a spoon and
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