Drink Sangria

sangria
Sangria is a refreshing drink that as the name suggests is really, really red. The name is from the Spanish word for blood. It can be made from wine, chopped fruit, sweetener, and a touch of brandy.

While traditionally it has been made with brandy, there are also variations which include Seltzer, Sprite or 7 up. The fruit used does not have to be orange it can also be lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple juice, grape, kiwi, or mango.

This drink is popular in Spain and Portugal but is also served in the Americas in Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina.

To make Sangria you will need 1 bottle red wine, 1/4 cup brandy, 1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 orange, thinly sliced, 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, 1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges, and 1 bottle sparkling water, chilled.

To prepare combine everything except the sparkling water and in a large plastic container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely for about 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water.

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Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti

cinnamon_hazelnut_biscotti
Nothing says Italy like biscotti. These long, oval, crunchy, flavoured biscuits can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee, tea, or on their own. Biscotti, also known as cantuccini are twice baked biscuits that originated in the Italian city of Prato.

To make the cinnamon hazelnut biscotti take 3/4 cup butter, 1 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup hazelnuts.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F and grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy and beat in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in flour cinnamon, baking powder, and salt and mix it into the egg mixture. Add the hazelnuts.

Next shape the dough into logs and place on the baking sheet and flatten to about a ½ inch. Bake for 30 minutes until the edges are brown and the centre is firm. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, slice into long ovals. Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

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Zabaglione with berries, simple and delicious

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Zabaglione (read here other news), this Italian dessert which sometimes doubles as a beverage, has been making waves in the United States for over 40 years.

As a dessert it is sometimes served in restaurants. It is also popular in France, Dalmatia, and in the South American countries of Argentina and Uruguay where it is known as sambayon.

To make this simple treat you will need 1 quart sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon sugar, 5 egg yolks, 1 egg white, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon Marsala wine, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, salt, and biscotti.

To prepare, toss 1 quart sliced with 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and allow to macerate for 10 minutes.

Place egg yolks, egg white, 3 tablespoons sugar, wine, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Be careful not to let the saucepan touch the bowl with water.

Whisk vigorously over medium to medium-high heat until thick and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately pour over the berries and serve with biscotti

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Tiramisu, tasty coffee cake

tiramisu
Tiramisu… (read here other news) aah…what a guilty pleasure. This coffee and brandy flavoured cake has been winning hearts for generations.

To make, you need 6 large egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup whole milk, 4 8-ounce mascarpone cheese,1 1/2 cups espresso, at room temperature, 1/2 cup brandy, 30 to 32 crispItalian ladyfingers, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and bittersweet chocolate.

First line an 8-inch-square baking dish with plastic wrap. Leave a 3-inch overhang on all sides and fill a large bowl with ice water.

To make the custard whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water until the sugar dissolves. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is light and foamy.

Remove the bowl from the saucepanand set in the bowl of ice water. Whish until the custard is cool for a minute. Place the mascarpone in a large bowl and fold in the custard with a rubber spatula until almost combined; whisk until just smooth.

Combine espresso and brandy and singly dip the ladyfingers until soaked but not soggy. Arrange 2 rows of about 5 biscuits each in the baking dish and spread 1/3 of the mascarpone custard over the ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer while arranging in the opposite direction. Top with another 1/3 of custard. Repeat and dust with cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Invert a plate on top of the tiramisu. Flip the tiramisu with the plate. Remove baking dish and plastic wrap. Invert a serving plate on top and flip again so cocoa-side id up. Shave curls of on top. 

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Ravioli, magnific italian food

ravioli
To make the pasta use 6 cups all-purpose flour, 6 eggs, 3/4 cup water, and 2 teaspoons olive oil.

For the sauce use 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup tomato puree, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup tomato paste, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons minced basil, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 tablespoon minced oregano, 1 garlic clove, minced, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

For the filling use 1 carton of ricotta cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 2 teaspoons minced basil, 1 teaspoon minced parsley, 1 teaspoon minced oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Place flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add beaten eggs, water and oil. Stir to form a ball. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

In a pot combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. In a bowl, combine the filling ingredients and refrigerate until ready for use.

Divide pasta dough into fourths, place teaspoonfuls of filling 1 inch apart over half of pasta sheet. Brush around filling with water, ffold sheet and press down to seal. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel.

Boil salted water and add ravioli. Simmer and cook until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain. Cover with sauce and serve.

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Vegetarian Pizza, a way to eat healthy

vegetarian_pizza

The great thing about a good pizza is that you can choose your own toppings. If you’re not a fan of meat then you can also pile on the vegetables. The basic pizza dough 2 x 7g sachets dry yeast, 2 teaspoons caster sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 5 cups plain flour, and 1/2 cup olive oil.

To make the dough combine the yeast, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups warm water in a bowl. Cover and let it stand for 20 minutes or until the mixture is foamy. Then add flour and oil in a bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre and add yeast mixture. Knead onto a lightly-floured surface.

When the dough has risen, use fist to flatten and knead until smooth. Divide into quarters; roll to form four, 30cm round pizza bases and place on greased baking trays.

For the toppings use 1 small onion, finely chopped, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1 small zucchini, grated, 200g of diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon shredded basil, 1/2 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced, 1/2 medium green capsicum, thinly sliced, 4 (120g) bocconcini cheese, sliced, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

In a saucepan heat oil and add onion, garlic and zucchini. Stir until onion has softened then add tomatoes. Bring to the boil; reduce heat until sauce has thickened. Add basil. Then spread pizza base with tomato mixture and add capsicum, bocconcini and mozzarella. Bake until cheese has melted and base is crisp.

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Pina Colada, cool pineapple beverage

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Drinking a Pina Colada is like drinking in the taste of the Caribbean. The rum-based cocktailalmost goes hand-in-hand with a walk on the beach in the region and has actually been the official drink of Puerto Rico since 1978.

There is even a National Pina Colada Day celebrated on July 10th.The name Pina Colada means strained pineapple and refers to the fact that freshly squeezed pineapples are usually used in the drinks’ preparation.

The Puerto Rican style of Pina Colada includes using cream of coconut which is made fromcoconut juicesugaremulsifiercellulosethickenerscitric acid, and salt. The drink is served using with blended or shaken with ice and garnished with pineapple wedges ormaraschino cherries.

The recipe calls for 3 ounces of coconut cream, 6 ounces of pineapple juice, and 1½ ounces ofwhite rum. The mixture is then put in a blender or shaker with crushed ice. Blend or shake very well until smooth. Add garnish.

The drink can also be made using dark rum, amaretto – Amaretto Colada; coconut rum –Staten Island Ferry; blended with a strawberry daquiri- Lava Flow, or a Virgin Pina Coladawithout rum altogether.

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