Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mulled "Cider"

7 servings/serving size: 1 cup

I served a version of this "cider" tonight to my writing group, and everyone wanted the recipe. Here's a version I used in Snack Attack.

I’ve always loved the taste of hot mulled cider, but the amount of sugar in apple cider is off the charts. So I devised this hot winter drink that tastes a lot like mulled cider–but without that high sugar content. It’s easy to double this recipe if you want to serve a large pot of this flavorful hot punch.

6 cups hot decaffeinated or caffeinated tea
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup Splenda, or to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes to allow the spices to permeate the liquid. Ladle into mugs. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator 2 or 3 days. Rewarm in the microwave.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Wintry Willow Oaks

We’re having our first snowfall in the Baltimore-DC area. Large wet flakes slanting down and making the world beautiful. Here are some pictures of the willow oaks in back of my house. Let’s hope the driving’s okay tomorrow when we have to go out.