Thomas & Jeremiah

If your home on a winter evening and are looking for a drink then  this is one cocktail you do not want to miss out on. Here’s more in detail about it.

Ingredients needed

You will need 2 oz of white rum. I prefer to use Wray & Nephew for my coctails but you can use some of the other popular brands as well like 10 Cane etc.

1/5 oz of fresh lime squeeze

10 oz of hot apple cider

brown sugar as per your taste

Procedure

Mix together the lime, rum and sugar in either a shaker or a glass. Once mixed slowly add in the apple cider and give a nice stir. To finish of you can use a cinnamon stick or even some fine nutmeg

 

Homemade Muesli

Anyone who knows me (or has been reading my blog) knows that, because of my GI issues, I’m obsessed about what ingredients go into my food. I tend to avoid processed and packaged foods because I must ensure nothing that will cause me abdominal pain/distress passes through my lips. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this museli in my recipe stash while looking for holiday cookie recipes. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of making my own cereal sooner. I adapted this recipe from a one a high school friend shared with me many years ago. Her mom made it and I always thought it was delicious.

I love it because, in addition to being delectable, it’s easy to make and you get control the ratio of ingredients. Love walnuts? Add a cup instead of ¾ c. Not sold on raisins? Decrease the amount to 1/3 c . Add or change up the spices. Add coconut, mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries. I could go on and on. Think of this recipe as more like a guideline; it’s open to interpretation. The result will be a healthy, homemade cereal of all your favorite things.

I love almonds and walnuts; I tend to add a lot of them so I can get more of the healthy fat my body needs. I wanted to add coconut, but I didn’t this time because Mr. Surly doesn’t like coconut. But next time I’m going to make a batch with coconut. I haven’t decided whether I want to add it to the oats and toast it, or add it at the end with the dates and raisins.

This would be a fantastic, healthy addition to your holiday goodie boxes to balance out all the sugary treats. I promise the recipients will thank you and beg for the recipe.

Homemade Muesli
Printer-friendly version

6 c rolled oats (I always use Bob’s Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats, they are divine)
2 c quick oats (I use McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, the quick cooking rolled oats)
¾ c sliced or chopped almonds
¾ c chopped walnuts
1 Tbl ground flaxseed meal
¼ c honey or agave (or combination of both)
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
¾ c raisins (I use golden)
¾ c chopped dates

Mix oats, almonds, walnuts and ground flaxseed in a bowl.

Whisk together honey, vanilla, and spices. Drizzle over oats and nuts and mix gently to combine. Spread on one (or more) baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Place in 250 F oven, and toast for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Remove from oven, add dates and raisins.

Allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

Enjoy by adding milk and eating it as cereal, sprinkle it on top of yogurt, or use it as a topping for a fruit crumble, whatever your tastebuds desire.

Oatmeal Crusted Chicken

I am constantly thinking of new ways to prepare chicken. Since raw meat makes me squeamish, I like coatings on chicken when preparing to hide the sight of the raw meat.

I like the idea of an oatmeal coating. I am trying to eat low gluten to help my stomach bloat and I bought rolled oats from Trader Joe’s that claim to be gluten free. Oats are naturally gluten free, but oats are often processed near wheat, and the tiniest bit of wheat will contaminate the oats and be a disaster for anyone with celiac disease.

These oats from TJs claim to be processed in a wheat-free environment. Even if there was a bit of wheat, it wouldn’t affect me since I do not have celiac disease. But for those of you with celiac or a gluten intolerance, these oats might be for you. I know that Bob’s Red Mill also makes gluten free oats.

Anyway, back to the chicken. Regular readers know how much I like the sweet and spicy combo. The cayenne and honey give this chicken that sweet and spiciness that I love. I wanted to eat my entire chicken breast, but my bloated stomach and gastroparesis prevented me. The topping is so good; I wanted to eat it by the spoonful.

Oatmeal Crusted Chicken
Printer-friendly recipe

2 chicken breasts
1 Tbl coconut oil, melted (any oil; grapeseed oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc)
1 Tbl canola oil (again any oil)
Pinch garlic powder
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ancho chile powder
½ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp cumin
1 c quick cook oats (rolled oats or combo of both)
Drizzle honey (about 1 Tbl per breast)
Canola spray (or oil oil)
Basil for garnish, opt

Preheat oven to 375 F

Add all ingredients, except oats, to a shallow baking dish. Mix to combine (I used a fork), then stir in oats until coated.

Add in chicken breasts, and roll in oat mixture, patting to coat each breast. (you can do this with your hands, but since I can’t touch raw meat, I used the back of a spoon. Drizzle honey over each breast, spray with a bit of canola oil.

Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until each breast is done, flipping halfway through.

Peppermint Twist

On the eleventh day of Christmas my bartender made for me, a Peppermint Twist so yummy…

I got this recipe from my sister; I’m not exactly sure where she got it. This turned out to be exceptionally good. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peppermint.

Peppermint Twist
Printer-friendly recipe
Makes 1 large or small 2 cocktails

3 oz crème de cacao (dark)
2 oz cream
2 oz peppermint schnapps
Crushed peppermint candies

Put peppermint candies in Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces; put on plate.
Line glass rims with crème de cacao, press into crushed peppermint candies. Shake ingredients with ice; strain into glass(es).

Note: the original recipe calls for the drink to be served in two vignette Port wine glasses. Our bartender suggests either pouring the entire drink into a highball glass or into two rocks glasses or 2 martini glasses.

Vesper Martini

On the seventh day of Christmas my bartender made for me, an (almost) authentic James Bond martini….

Both Mr.Surly and I are big James Bond fans. So when it came to Day 7, I immediately thought of agent 007. We have a bar book we bought that contains the authentic drink of James Bond, with directions straight from Ian Flemming’s Casino Royale.

The drink’s name is derived from Vesper Lynd, the double agent James falls in love with. Russian vodka is used to symbolize Vesper’s ties to the Russians. The orange twist is used to compliment the Lillet Blanc, which is made from oranges and a combination of french wines and is a substitute for vermouth. Our bar book said to garnish with an orange to compliment the Lillet blanc, even though Bond asked for a thin slice of lemon peel. (Click here to watch the scene from Casino Royale where Bond (Daniel Craig) orders the drink).

Bond prefers his martini served in a champagne coupe** but not having those, we opted for a martini glass. I love the look of the champagne coupes, I must add some to my stemware collection.

Mr.Surly claimed this drink; I had a sip and it was really, really good. But also very, very potent, so one drink and you’d be feelin’ real good.

We didn’t have Gordon’s dry gin, but we used Bombay Sapphire which is a dry London Gin, so at least it’s British, which I feel is appropriate.

For vermouth we used Martini and Rossi dry vermouth.

Vesper Martini
the (almost) authentic James Bond drink
Printer-friendly recipe
makes 1 martini

2 oz gin (Gordon’s to be authentic)
¼ oz vodka (Russian vodka to be authentic)
1/3 oz dry vermouth (Lillet Blanc to be authentic)

Shake with ice, strain into martini glass or, to be authentic, a champagne coupe. Garnish with a twist of orange (lemon to be authentic).

UPDATE: We have made this cocktail a lot since this post and I have modified the recipe as below (basically, I just took it straight out of the Casino Royale book by Ian Flemming. Below is the recipe I use for 1 drink.

Vesper Martini
3 oz Gordon’s Dry Gin
1 oz Smirnoff Vodka
1/4 oz Lillet

Put all ingredients in ice-filled cocktail and shake well. Strain into champagne coupe.

**Note** Mr.Surly was able to find Lillet blanc (which is a french after dinner wine) and bought some Gordon’s gin. My goodness what a difference it made to this drink. It’s so smooth you don’t even taste any alcohol. To keep it on the dry side, use just a splash of Lillet. To make it a bit sweeter add 2 splashes of Lillet. Ever since he brought these home he has had one as his cocktail ever evening.

**Update 2: I finally got my champagne coupes. See them here.

Source: Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide by Mittie Hellmich

Phoenix Rising

One the fourth day of Christmas my bartender made for me a phenomenal Phoenix Rising Cocktail…

This drink calls for using Angostura bitters. Not being a bartender, I had no idea what bitters were. According to Angostura’s website, bitters are “a unique blend of natural herbs and spices which is used to flavor a wide variety of food and drinks.”

We debated using it, not sure how easy it would be to find, but we found it at the liquor store for only $7. It was in the same aisle as grenadine, right above the vermouth. It’s a little bigger than a mini sized liquor bottle. There were about 4 different kinds of bitters. It was also in the wine/beer section of the grocery store. You only use a dash of it, so we had plenty left over. On the website they have recipes for food that call for a dash of the bitters; I’m curious about what it would taste like in food.

I really liked this drink, as you can see by the lower volume; it was kinda tropical tasting. I kept sipping it while my mother-in-law set up the props and it looks like I sipped a bit too much–oops.

Phoenix Rising
Printer-friendly recipe
Serves 1

2 oz vodka
1 oz pineapple juice
2 oz ginger ale
Dash of bitters
Lemon oil from 2 large lemon peel strips

Shake ingredients with lemon peels. Pour into ice filled rocks glass.

Need other drinks that use bitters? Try these:
Blarney Stone
Champagne Cocktails
Death in the Gulf Stream Cocktail
Paddy Wagon
Sufferin’ Bastard

Crème Brulée Martini

On the third day of Christmas, my bartender made for me, a classic crème brulée martini…

I know there seems to be a martini theme going on with my cocktails, but I promise there are some drinks served in punch cups and rocks glasses. In fact, I think tomorrow is my first non-martini.

I found this drink too sweet for my liking, but my MIL(mother-in-law) and SIL(sister-in-law) loved it. I was never a big fan of Frangelico because I don’t like the taste of hazelnuts.

I don’t think any of the men got to try this drink because my MIL and SIL kept taking turns sipping it down. It didn’t last long.

We did a rim of festive green holiday sugar, but a cinnamon sugar combo rim would also be delicious.

Crème Brulée Martini
Printer friendly version
serves 1

2 ½ oz Smirnoff vanilla vodka
1 ½ oz butterscotch liqueur
1 ½ oz Frangelico liqueur
1 ½ oz Caramel Bailey’s
Cinnamon, for garnish

Shake ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass. Add a dash of cinnamon if desired.

Note: A cinnamon sugared rim can be substituted instead of the dash of cinnamon.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake

I should call this cake death by chocolate it’s so rich. The first time I had this recipe was 2 years ago, when I was gluten free. It was love at first bite. I like that this flourless cake doesn’t have a lot of butter in it. A lot of flourless chocolate cake recipes call for 2 sticks of butter–no thank you, my stomach would be in knots for days.

This recipe is perfect. The cake is so dense,moist, and delicious. It’s wonderful served with whipped cream and raspberries. A note about the cake; it rises when it bakes and falls when it cools, resulting in a crackled top. But don’t worry, the cake will be gone before anyone notices a cracked top.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake
Printer-friendly version
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate or (1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips)
1 Tbl instant espresso powder
1 Tbl vanilla (I used TJ’s bourbon vanilla)
6 large eggs, separated into whites and yolks
½ cup sugar
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 275 degrees; with rack in center. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Place butter and chocolate in a large bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted; cool slightly. Stir in vanilla and espresso powder Whisk in yolks.

In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar; beat until stiff and glossy. Whisk 1/4 of whites into chocolate mixture; gently fold mixture into remaining whites.

Pour into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until cake pulls away from sides of pan and is just set in center, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar or whipped cream.

source: slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

The 12 Cocktails of Christmas

I have been waiting to post about this for weeks. But, since it relates to Christmas (and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet), I forced myself to wait until November to share this with all of you. That way, if you want to participate, you have a month to come up with some drinks.

I came up with the idea of doing a 12 cocktails of Christmas, where each day, Dec 1-12, I’d feature a new holiday cocktail. I’ve been brainstorming different flavor combonations and drinks, along with the help of my sister-in-law (an NYC bartender). So many people do 12 treats or desserts of Christmas that I thought it would be fun and different to feature cocktails instead.

I’m extending an open invitation to any blogger who wants to join in. You drinks can be virgin, spiked, old posts, new posts; there really are no rules except it has to be a beverage. You can join me in posting every day or once, twice, as many times as you want, I’m pretty easy going.

If you’re interested, leave a comment or email me (surlykitchen@gmail_dot_com). That way I can remind you as the time comes closer to December 1st. I’m setting up a code for the picture above, which will serve as a button in your blog’s side bar, if you want to add it.

I’m actually really excited about this because it involves no cooking! I’m still adjusting to my new doses of medications, and have no energy and no desire to cook. But I promise as soon as I feel better I will post all kinds of deliciousness.