Glogg, Mulled Wine

No Christmas party without Gløgg!
This boozy hot drink has lots of memories attached. Skating on the ice rink around Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen in my mid twenties, without a care in the world – not even the fact that alcohol and ice skating probably isn’t the best mix! And walking around a snowcovered, and to-the-brim fairylight lit Tivoli with my husband, the year we spent Christmas in Denmark.
Add a Nordic touch to your Christmas with this traditional Danish Gløgg. Mine has snaps in it, as it did in Tivoli, and I’ve added some cool garnish too! Merry Christmas!

GLØGG – MULLED WINE
makes 1 litre, serves 6

1 bottle of good quality red wine (I like Central Otago Pinot Noir)
1/3 cup snaps/akvavit
1 cup port wine
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
3 whole all spice
2 star anise
orange peel of 1 orange
275g sugar
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup sliced almonds

Place the port wine in a bowl with the raisins and leave to soak for 24 hours. Pass the port wine and raisins through a sieve, and set the raisins aside. Place the port with water, orange juice, spices, orange peel and sugar in a pot and simmer on low heat for 30 min. The Gløgg mix can be made ahead of time, and kept to use at a later time.

Pass the Gløgg mix through a sieve and remove (and discard) the spices. Add the wine to the Gløgg mix and heat over a gentle heat, do not boil (as this will burn off the alcohol). Add the soaked raisins and sprinkle with almonds. Serve hot, decorated with a cinnamon stick and dried orange slice!

Enjoy this hot drink with respect. The alcohol can hit hard, especially in cold weather!

DRIED ORANGE SLICES

Preheat oven to 120° C. Slice 2-3 oranges thinly and place on baking paper on a baking tray. Heat for about 1 hour or until completely dry.

Vanilla Cocktails for New Year

The Cocktail Cabinet/ Vanilla Table The Cocktail Cabinet/ The Vanilla Table

A very last minute blogpost with a couple of ideas for New Year cocktails. These are brought to you by Vanilla Table author Natasha MacAller and will work well for New Years eve where ever you are or at any cocktail party really. Cocktails are all the rage at the moment, so easy to make, and sure to impress! Cheers and Happy New Year! (Drink responsibly)

The Vanilla Lemon Drop
Serves 1
Inspired by a Taste of Vanilla Lemonade, this perfect celebration cocktail, combining two fragrant tastes and only takes mere seconds to mix and enjoy!

Vodka 60ml/ 2 shots/ 2  fl oz
Lemon juice, Fresh, Strained  30ml/1 shot/1 fl oz
Vanilla syrup (I used Heilala) 2 tsp/10ml
Vanilla bean sliver for garnish

Pour liquid ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a sliver of vanilla bean.

*1 shot equals  30 ml/1 fl oz

The South Pacific Star
Fragrant with Passion fruit and Proseco, this south pacific summer party cocktail was served at “Cuisines of the Sun” in Hawaii for 350 guests! This updated version Serves about 12.

42 Below Passion Fruit vodka 235 ml/8fl oz/8 shots
Heilala Vanilla Syrup 175 ml/6 fl oz/6 shots
Proseco or NZ Sparkling wine (I used a blush style) 1 bottle/750ml/3/4 fl qt.
Passion Fruit Fresh, pulp and seeds about 12/235ml/8fl oz
Vanilla bitters 2 dashes (optional)
Orchids to float and garnish

Pour together vodka, vanilla syrup (and bitters if using) then Proseco in a large jug. Layer ice cubes in bottom of a large punch bowl (3 liters). Drizzle over ice a third of passionfruit pulp and seeds. Add another layer of ice and more passionfruit. Repeat once more. Slowly pour the liquid in the center of the punch bowl, garnish with orchids and serve immediately.

1 shot equals 30 ml/1 fl oz

Recipes © Natasha MacAller. Thanks to The Studio of Tableware for letting us borrow the trifle bowl, used as punch bowl. All other props photographers or food stylists own.

Christmas with House and Garden

NZ House & Garden Magazine issue 232, Casual Christmas NZ House & Garden Magazine issue 232, Casual Christmas

Heading off to the beach or the bach for a casual Christmas dinner, or straight after Christmas day? Here’s a few fabulous and quick entertaining ideas from a shoot I did with Claudia Kozub (Style Etc & Indie Home Collective) and Bernadette Hogg for NZ House & Garden’s Christmas issue 2013. Easy to do with leftover ham, these recipes are sure to impress.

Fruity Tea Punch

2 cups strong tea
11/2 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
1⁄4 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 cups pineapple juice, chilled
2 cups orange juice, chilled
slices of orange, lemon, ginger and fresh mint sprigs for garnish
1.25 litres ginger ale, chilled

Place tea and sugar in a large saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, to dissolve sugar. Add lemon and lime juices, bring to the boil then remove from heat to cool.
Place some of the cooled liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. Put remaining punch base into fridge to chill thoroughly (or freeze if making ahead).
When ready to serve, place punch base, punch ice cubes, pineapple and orange juices, slices of orange, lemon, lime and fresh ginger into a punch bowl or serving container. Add chilled ginger ale and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Makes about 2.5 litres

The base of this refreshing beverage can be made up to a week in advance and frozen. Thaw it on the morning it is needed – although it doesn’t need to thaw completely as it can be used slightly slushy. Add the ginger ale and garnish just before serving.

Roasted Pear and Glazed Ham Platter

Place tea and sugar in a large saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, to dissolve sugar. Add lemon and lime juices, bring to the boil then remove from heat to cool.
Place some of the cooled liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. Put remaining punch base into fridge to chill thoroughly (or freeze if making ahead).
When ready to serve, place punch base, punch ice cubes, pineapple and orange juices, slices of orange, lemon, lime and fresh ginger into a punch bowl or serving container. Add chilled ginger ale and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Makes about 2.5 litres

This dish gets the ham cooking out of the way nice and early, as it can be glazed and cooked several days beforehand. Slice it on the morning required, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until half an hour before serving. The pears, onions and cherries can be roasted the day before needed.

5 firm but ripe pears, skin on, cored and quartered
3 red onions, outer skin removed, each cut into 8 wedges
2 smallish cinnamon sticks
1 thumb ginger, peeled and finely sliced
3 whole star anise
2 tablespoons each: maple syrup, sweet chilli sauce, olive oil, rice wine vinegar juice of 1 lemon
200g fresh cherries
1 1⁄2kg cooked glazed ham, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking dish with baking paper.
Place pear quarters and red onion wedges in a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except cherries and ham. Toss to coat pears well.
Tip pear and onion mixture into prepared dish and arrange in a single layer. Bake about 60 minutes, turning pears and onion every 15 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, scatter cherries over. Remove pan from oven when pears are tender and golden. Cool to room temperature. If making ahead, store covered in the fridge and remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving.
To serve, arrange pears, onion and cherries decoratively on a platter with sliced ham. Serves 6-8

Vanilla Blogtails

The Cocktail Cabinet

In October I shared some of the photos I shot for Natasha MacAller’s Vanilla Table. With Christmas just around the corner and the sun beaming down, Natasha decided to share a new vanilla drink recipe suitable for a casual kiwi Christmas by the beach or at the bach. This delicious Bourbon Vanilla Milkshake works both as a dessert and as a cocktail, and is a real treat on a hot day! Natasha has a couple more Vanilla cocktails she’d like to share. These are suitable for a New Years party, so make sure to check back then! Thank you to Flotsam & Jetsam for letting us borrow the vintage Agee Jars.

Running out of ideas on what to get someone for Christmas? Why not Natasha’s fabulous book Vanilla Table for more inspiration on how to use vanilla in untraditional ways.

Recipe © by Natasha MacAller

Bourbon Vanilla Milkshake with Caramel and Cherries
Serves 4

Natasha explains: “ I have often been asked: “Why is Vanilla called Bourbon Vanilla? Is there bourbon in it?” The most widely available Vanilla in the world is often referred to as Bourbon or Madagascar Vanilla, the Bourbon refers to “ Ile Bourbon” a French ruled island in the Indian Ocean where The Vanilla Orchid was first pollinated, not by bees but, by the hand of a thoughtful and clever slave-boy: Edmond Albius. Without his discovery, the modern business of the vanilla trade might not have happened.
This easy moreish summer cocktail blends bourbon vanilla bean ice cream with aged Kentucky bourbon to make the ultimate adult milkshake!”

Bourbon (such as Makers Mark) 30 mls/1 fl oz/1 shot
Amaretto Liqueur 30 mls/1 fl oz/1 shot
Dried Cherries 30g/1 oz/ ¼  cup, rehydrated
Caramel Sauce, for drizzling
Vanilla bean Ice Cream or Gelato, 8 large scoops/400g
Whole milk 160 ml/5 fl oz/2/3 fl cup
Ice cubes 1-2 cups/50-100g

Chill 4  300 ml canning jars in the freezer. Combine Bourbon, Amaretto and cherries in a small jug and set aside. Spoon the ice cream and milk in a blender, add strained cherries (reserving a few for the top) and the liquid. Blitz on high and add ice cubes as needed to thicken. Drizzle caramel sauce down insides of frozen jars then pour the milkshake in center of jars. Sprinkle reserved cherries on top and serve with straws before it melts!

When life gives you lemons

When Life Gives You Lemons When Life Gives You LemonsWhen Life Gives You Lemons When Life Gives You LemonsWhen Life Gives You Lemons When Life Gives You Lemons

… make lemonade! Last summer, I planted a small lemon tree in a pot on the deck of the studio. What a joy to watch these little golden gems ripen. Now that winter is gone, and we’re waiting for spring and summer to kick in properly, I’ll put my feet up with this little vodka lemonade drink.

½ cup of sugar

½ cup of water

12 lemons – makes 1 cup of lemon juice

lemon rind from 1 lemon

vodka

antipodes sparkling water (or your preferred brand)

Squeeze the juice from the 12 lemons into a cup, should measure about 1 cup. In a saucepan, stir ½ cup of sugar into ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool. Once cold, mix the syrup with the lemon juice, and voila you have lemonade from scratch! I find it quite strong tasting, so I dilute my syrup with water till it tastes to my liking, and store in the fridge in a clean glass bottle.

For a refreshing and festive looking vodka lemonade drink, frost the rim of the glasses: Mix sugar and lemon rind in a bowl. Dip the rim of the glass in 2-3mm deep water, and then dip in the sugar/ lemon mix and twist. Cool in the freezer for half an hour for a longer lasting effect. Then pour your preferred amount of vodka into the glass, double with lemonade, fill with ice and top with antipodes lovely sparkling water. Enjoy – and drink responsibly!