• img-1
  • img-2
  • img-4
  • img-3

Spiced Holiday Gin Fizz Cocktail

spiced-holiday-gin-fizz

Nothing kicks the holiday season off better than a homemade craft cocktail to serve your guests or sip on as you decorate the house and listen to Christmas music. I love creating from scratch mixers for cocktails rather than purchasing store bought mixers. It gives so much more control over the quality of ingredients and is a fun way to experiment and put your signature twist on the drinks your guests will imbibe in.

For this holiday inspired gin fizz cocktail, I created a syrup using Demerara sugar with a deep molasses flavor. The syrup is simmered with fresh whole cloves, ginger, and cinnamon to add a spicy background along with sweetness to the cocktail. I used Hendricks gin because of its bright herbal flavor, but you can use your favorite brand or even whiskey would be amazing paired with this spicy syrup. The cranberry and rosemary garnishes are the icing on this holiday cocktail and give a super festive look.

Spiced Holiday Gin Fizz

Spiced Holiday Gin Fizz

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 2 oz spiced syrup
  • Club soda
  • Sprig of rosemary
  • Fresh cranberries
  • FOR SPICED SYRUP
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Demerara sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients for spiced syrup in a saucepan over medium/low heat. Bring to a simmer. Stir and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes uncovered.
  2. Strain syrup over a small bowl. Pour syrup into a mason jar and refrigerate 2 hours.
  3. To a cocktail glass, add ice or 1 large ice cube, gin, and spiced syrup. Stir. Top with club soda water and garnish with rosemary and cranberries.
http://freshandfit.org/spiced-holiday-gin-fizz-cocktail/

 

 

Rich and Creamy Herbed Hummus

herbed-hummus

If you have never made homemade hummus, today is the day to start. There is something so deliciously creamy about freshly made hummus that is not comparable to the store bought stuff. Through trial and error I have found that tahini paste is an essential ingredient to making a smooth, luscious hummus and adding that amazing sesame flavor. Mix in a few fresh herbs like garlic, rosemary, thyme and basil for aroma and added flavor. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens the hummus up a bit and adds a nice tanginess.

I have made hummus with an immersion blender and standard food processor and find that both work well to achieve the creaminess. Make sure to take your time blending until it is super creamy. Then go to town dipping away. I love to toast up pita in the oven and slice into triangles for dipping alone with fresh vegetables.

This naturally vegan herbed hummus is a crowd pleaser and makes a large batch perfect for entertaining this holiday season!

Rich and Creamy Herbed Hummus

10 minutes

10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Rich and Creamy Herbed Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2-14 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 large basil leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  • Optional dippers: sliced cucumber, toasted pita, baby carrots, celery

Instructions

  1. Combine chickpeas, lemon juice tahini and herbs/seasonings in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly.
  2. Pour in olive oil and blend on low speed until smooth and creamy, 3-4 minutes.
http://freshandfit.org/rich-creamy-herbed-hummus/

Chipotle Chicken Corn Chowder

chipotle-chicken-chowder

Nothing soothes on a crisp fall day quite like a bowl of rich and creamy soup. This spicy chipotle chicken corn chowder is one that delivers everything you would want in a soup–a rich broth dancing with chipotle flavor, hearty potato, corn and shredded chicken all coming together for a soup that eats like a meal.

I recommend adding the chipotle in a little at a time to adjust the spiciness to your liking. Chipotle peppers can quickly go from spicy to blazing inferno in a matter of an extra tablespoon.

Top your bowl with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Chipotle Chicken Corn Chowder

Chipotle Chicken Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 2-6 ounce chicken breasts
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet white onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup chipotle in adobo sauce, sauce only.
  • 1-4 ounce can hatched green chiles
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, lime wedges, tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Begin by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Allow pan to get nice and hot. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. Place chicken breast on pan and cook 6-7 minutes each side. Place on a cutting board and finely chop chicken. Set aside.
  3. In a Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add green pepper, onion, potato, garlic, oregano, cumin and sea salt. Place lid on and cook until onion begin to soften about 10 minutes.
  4. Add hatched green chiles, chipotle sauce and flour. Stir to combine. Pour in chicken stock and whole milk. Stir regularly until flour is dissolved.
  5. Allow chowder to come to a boil. Reduce heat and add chicken and corn. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes.
  6. Serve with lime wedges, cilantro and tortilla chips.
http://freshandfit.org/chipotle-chicken-corn-chowder/

 

 

 

 

 

 

PlanetBox Eco-Friendly Lunch Box

planet-box-1

PlanetBox is a line of stainless steel eco-friendly lunch boxes. They have thought of it all when it comes to functional and convenient ways to store your lunch on the go. PlanetBox offers three different sizes of lunch boxes, making it easy to customize lunch for adults and kids alike.

The lovely folks at Planet box invited me to test out one of their eco-friendly lunch boxes. I received the “Launch” style box and found it to be ideal for packing everything I wanted for lunch. The box has three different sized compartments and a handy storage cup for condiments. planet-box-2

The Launch box had plenty of space– making it perfect for storing a midday snack of sesame cashews along with my caprese salad and 2 oatmeal cookies for dessert. What I love about this company is that I also received a super adorable canvas sunflower printed carrying case for my PlanetBox. See, I told you they’ve thought of it all!

The PlanetBox is excellent for keeping cold foods like sandwiches and salads chilled for longer. Simply pack your box and store it in the refrigerator overnight.

For more information on PlanetBox, check out their website PlanetBox.com.

planet-box-3