Warm and Cozy with Mulling Spices

Ahh. The warm scent of cloves, allspice and cinnamon. Cooking with these spices fills up a room with a lovely, comforting aroma that always reminds me of the holidays. There’s no better time to brew up some hot mulled cider!

To make mulled cider or mulled wine, you can use any blend of spices you like, but typically, mulling spices include cloves, allspice, cinnamon and orange peel. Frieda’s mulling spices made it easy for you and pack all of the spices into a 3-ounce bag, ready to go.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Mulled Cider

The ratio of spice to juice is about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of spice to a half-gallon of juice. I didn’t have cheesecloth handy to make a spice sachet, so I just put the loose spices right into the pot with the juice.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Mulled Cider

I heated the cider in my slow cooker for 2 hours on low. The house smelled fabulous!

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Mulled Cider

I just strained the juice to serve. I also strained the remaining cider and refrigerated it for later enjoyment.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Mulled Cider

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Mulled Cider

Yum! If I had cinnamon sticks handy, they would have been perfect in these glasses with a wedge of orange or lemon. The perfect warming winter drink! (If you are feeling more naughty than nice, you can always add a splash of brandy to your mulled cider for a little extra warmth…)

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Mulled Cider

Cheers!

– Hazel

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Sweet & Spicy: 10 Ways to Use Crystallized Ginger

You’ve probably passed by this item thousands of times in your supermarket’s produce department or baking aisle. Crystallized ginger – dried slices of natural ginger root, cured and coated in sugar. It sure sounds nice, but what do you use it for? Here we have 10 great ideas for putting this sweet, spicy and comforting ingredient to work in your kitchen:

1. Chop and add to batter for cookies, such as ginger snaps, or quick breads like gingerbread, orange bread or banana bread.

2. Chop and add to at pan with butter, fresh lemon juice and sliced green onions in a saucepan. Heat until melted and spoon over hot rice and serve with chicken or fish.

3. Finely chop and use as a finishing touch on apple pie a la mode or a whipped cream-topped brownie.

4. Chop and combine with nuts, brown sugar and spices for a baked apple or pear filling.

5. Roughly chop and add to a stir-fry for a sweet and spicy bite.

6. Dip pieces in melted chocolate. Let cool and serve as a special after dinner treat.

7. Roughly chop and add to water and sugar mixture to make ginger-infused simple syrup. Strain before adding to drinks, such as iced tea.

8. Finely chop and sprinkle into fruit salad for a spicy, zesty flavor lift.

9. Finely chop and add to a homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest.

10. Just snack on this sweet treat right out of the package. Crystallized ginger is especially helpful for calming the stomach while traveling.

Can’t have enough? Here are some more simple recipes:

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Gourmet Cheese Platter with Honeycomb

Gourmet Cheese Platter with Honeycomb

INGREDIENTS

Platter or wood cutting board for presentation
Selection of your favorite cheeses
Selection of fresh or dried fruits, such as grapes, dried figs, dates, etc.
Cured sliced meats, such as salami and prosciutto
Assorted nuts, such as roasted almonds or cashews
1/4 to 1/2 Frieda’s 12-ounce Honeycomb

STEPS

Start by placing cheese in different corners of board, then fill in gaps with fruit, cured meats, and nuts. Pick ingredients that are in season and look delicious. Place larger items directly on board and smaller items into small serving bowls on top of board. Add chunk of honeycomb in center of the platter to finish off presentation.

Source: Frieda’s Inc.

Roasted Hatch Chiles

Roasted Hatch Chiles

How to Roast Hatch Chiles

First, put on a pair of plastic gloves. Hatch chiles can be spicy! Don’t touch your mouth or eyes after handling them!

Next, wash the chiles and pat dry. Roast chiles whole or slit lengthwise to remove seeds. Then use one of these roasting methods:

1. On the grill or over gas stove: Place peppers directly on the grill/stove flames until the skin blisters and becomes slightly charred on all sides.

2. In the oven: Place chiles on a baking sheet in the oven on high-heat broiler setting—about 5 inches from the broiler element—until the skin blisters and becomes slightly charred on all sides.

Once the skin is evenly charred, place hot roasted chiles in a paper or plastic bag, or a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a towel. Let the chiles “sweat” for 15 minutes. The steam will help loosen the skin.

Peel off the skin and use the chiles in your recipe.

Serving Ideas

Keep the chiles whole and stuff with cheese for chile rellenos, or chop for salsas, sauces, chili, tamales, stews, breads, dips, even cobblers! Also great for infusing with vodka or tequila.

How to Freeze

Hatch chile aficionados recommend freezing whole roasted Hatch chiles (with or without seeds, depending on heat preference) with skins on. When ready to use, defrost and skins should peel off easily.

For more information on Hatch chiles, visit Friedas.com/HatchFever