Pears Poached in Agua de Jamaica

It’s pear season, and also almost time for Halloween. I’ve been thinking of poaching pears in agua de jamaica for a while, and I based my poaching liquid off my favorite recipe for the drink in Adrianna’s The Year of Cozy. Sadly, my local market was out of oranges (which Adrianna uses in her recipe), so I used grapefruit. Grapefruit turned out to be a fantastic choice for the poaching liquid, as its acidity compliments that of the hibiscus. I actually ended up drinking the leftover straining liquid with water and it was great… Anyways, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

Serves two + 1 drink

  • 1/2 C Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 2 T + 2 t Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Water
  • 1/2 C Ruby Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 Peeled Pears
  • Ice Cream to Serve

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients except the pears and ice cream. Bring them to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Put the peeled pears in and simmer for 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
  3. Let the pears cool in the liquid (at this point I ran to 7-Eleven for ice cream).
  4. You can drink the liquid after straining (I did this after adding water) or boil it down into a syrup for serving.
  5. Serve the poached pears with ice cream and enjoy!
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Borage Lemonade

I really do love eating flowers. So when I saw a dried packet of unknown flowers in the spices section of the supermarket I bought it first and asked questions later. When I got home, most of the recipes I found online for borage required fresh flowers/plant parts, so they were out. However I also found that its supposed to taste like cucumber. My copy of The Lemonade Cookbook (my favorite source of salads) has cucumber lemonade, so I checked what they paired it with- mint. So I made a borage-mint simple syrup and mixed it with lemon juice and water.

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Ingredients

Serves 6

For Borage-Mint Simple Syrup

1/2 C Water

1/2 C Sugar

3 T Dried Borage Flowers

1 T Dried Mint

For the Rest of the Lemonade

3 C Water

1/2 C Lemon Juice

Instructions

  1. Mix together all of the simple syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Let simmer for 5 minutes until sugar is all dissolved. Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then strain out the flowers and mint.
  2. Mix it with the rest of the lemonade ingredients and enjoy.

Red Currant Lemonade

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I love gutting food blogs. I read the whole blog from the very beginning to the end as quick as possible while filing interesting stuff into categories that I will later use to plan meals. I have 8 general categories of food bookmarks and even more subcategories. When reading earlier entries of Reiko’s Culinary Tribune I couldn’t always find the recipes. All her stuff looked so cool, so for the Red Currant Citrusade I made my own recipe.

Serves 15 People

Ingredients

For the Currant Sugar-Water

  • 1/2 C Frozen Red Currants
  • 1 C of Sugar
  • 1 C Water

For the Rest of the Lemonade

  • 6 C Water
  • 1 C Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C of Rose Water

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients of the currant sugar-water in a saucepan and heat on the stove until the currants are cooked through.
  2. Mash and put the currants through a strainer. Discard the currant skins but keep all the liquid and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Mix the water, lemon juice, rose water and currant sugar-water in a pitcher.
  4. Enjoy!

Horchata

Sometimes in life, one is told that the person they are making something for wants a small yield of something fantastic to prevent gluttony. Sometimes one has half cans of evaporated milk and condensed milk left over from making a half portion of flan, sometimes one is requested to make a half portion of horchata. My favorite go-to horchata has usually been a variation of this one, which makes much too many for another person’s simple craving. Hence the recipe below.

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Yields 6 Cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C Uncooked White Rice
  • 2 C Water
  • 1/3 C Almond Milk
  • 3/4 C Condensed Milk
  • ½ A Stick of Mexican Cinnamon
  • 1 t Almond Extract
  • 4 C Water

Instructions

  1. Soak the rice and cinnamon in the 2 C of water 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the rice and cinnamon and place in a blender. Place all the other ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Strain the contents of the blender twice and then put in the fridge to chill.
  4. Enjoy!

Elderflower/Honeysuckle Syrup

This is my great aunt’s recipe that she makes from the plants she grows in her garden in Switzerland. It is super delicious and I love cooking with elderflower syrup! Since I can’t get elderflowers where I live right now, I made a honeysuckle syrup which was also very good!

Ingredients

  • 15 Stemless Elderflowers or 30 Honeysuckle Flower Heads
  • 6 1/3 C/15 dL Boiling Water
  • 2 ib + 3.264 oz/1 kg Sugar
  • 4 oz/113 g Citric Acid
  • 1 Sliced Lemon

Instructions

  1. Shake flowers to dislodge potential insects.
  2. Place in a jar with the lemon, hot water, sugar and citric acid.
  3. Let stand for two days and stir twice a day.
  4. Sieve until clear.
  5. Boil in a sauce pan and remove froth.
  6. Cool and serve in club soda or in whatever you like.