Archives for posts with tag: Liqueur

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Fleurbain Truffles

3/4 c old fashioned oats (pulverized in a food processor)

3/4 c macadamia and cashew nut-butter (or a nut-butter of your choice)

1/4 c cocoa

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp amaretto

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c chopped dried cherries

1/4 mini chocolate chips

Mix together and form into truffles.  Store in the fridge.

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Damiana Joy+Love Liqueur

I brought this to a winter party a few years ago.  People found this drink both intriguing and fun.  Damiana is quite aromatic due to volatile oils.  The flavour of damiana can be subdued or enhanced with other foods associated with joy and warmth; cardamom, almond, vanilla, cherry, cinnamon and chocolate.  In terms of medicinal properties, one of my favourite summaries is from Rosemary Gladstar.  In her Family Herbal she states, “…it is completely restorative; it restores exhausted nerves, exhausted dreams and exhausted spirit.”  Though there is a folk history of use as an aphrodisiac, herbalists generally qualify this herb as a mild anti-depressant, particularly useful in what David Winston calls a stagnant depression.  The volatile oils act as carminatives that aid in digestion.

1/2 c damiana tincture

1/2 c amaretto

1/4 c chocolate sauce (I made my own from unsweetened chocolate, water, maple syrup, sugar and vanilla)

rosewater and vanilla to taste

Pour together and store in the fridge.  Could it be any easier?  Enjoy a small shot when desired.

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Cheers!

These photos were taken during the LAB Series which runs on Thursdays between 3-6pm. Next week, February 21st, Tammy Schmidt will continue in a similar vein demonstrating herbs used to lighten our spirits in the dark of winter.  We hope you are able to join us!

Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine West, Unit 917, Montreal.

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rosebud

marmelade, the social cat

Hello!

I hosted a party last night, and I would love to share it with you. We enjoyed a relaxing evening with friends on the weekend before the holidays. And, what else brings friends and the winter holidays together like building a real gingerbread house?

Before the party I fashioned a house-shaped structure wrapped with tinfoil. Just then Natasha arrived, and she placed my homemade gingerbread onto the structure with icing. Strangely enough, we used a butter-cream icing. This is unconventional, but I had no egg whites to make royal icing. None of the guests noticed, so I think this was o.k.

bourboned almon-tinis with cranberry 'ice-buds'

Here are the initial stages of the gingerbread house.  Supplies required: various candies of your choosing, old cards, icing, scissors, glue gun, markers, and another friend to make delicious fancy drinks.

No doubt, there was imagination and creativity involved in the initial stages. As more people arrived bearing their additional decorations for the house, however, the project really took off!

gingerbread, artistry... action!

Plenty of detail was added, and then subtracted. A wise suggestion early in the proceedings was to not do any ‘landscaping’ with icing until the final decisions for the house were made.

Et l’oeuvre finale!

Jelly beans really added colour and character to everything. Also, there was no reason to not include little liqueur candies. Some of what you see here includes a candy cane stream whose brandy bean bridge is lined with red jelly bean lamp-posts.  Nearby are carolling cowboys for good company! In the foreground are liqueur candies topped with Natasha’s choco-almo date balls. They reminded everyone of grannies with flapper-style hats!

note Santa on top the house amongst fluffy coconut balls. chocolate-covered raisins and vanilla jelly beans were brought together to make a welcoming entry. a late addition not seen in this photo are julie's chocolaty pears.

party planning committee members: Tammy Schmidt, host; Natasha Henderson, official photographer; Marmelade, Iggy, Billi and Rosebud, members at large.

party cat

billi is always finding new places to take a nap

Iggy stayed at home because he's shy.

This is a photo of raspberries macerating in cognac to make a liqueur.

The recipe for this can be found here!

Raspberries

Raspberries!

One day a guy tried to sell me a supplement made from the red colour that is naturally occurring in raspberries.  At the time, I laughed and laughed. Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits, why would I start taking them in a capsules and miss out on the full experience of tasting them?

Many people take supplements of particular parts of plants.  Research has helped state the benefits of these plant constituents in a precise manner and people can supplement with high doses of these constituents.  And in the case of raspberries, research tells us that the colour in raspberries are anthocyanin pigments.  Found in blue-red fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, grapes, hawthorn, cherries, and raspberries, anthocyanin pigments are one of the 5 families of flavonoids.  Flavonoids function as plant pigments in colourful fruits and flowers and they are abundant in plants.  They are known for anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-carcinogenic and antiviral properties.  Anthocyanidins are also important anti-inflammatories that aid in wound healing by reinforcing the natural cross link of collagen that forms the matrix of connective tissue.  And as I type this, I wish I was enjoying these little blue-red bundles of beneficial constituents.

In some cases, it makes sense to supplement the diet with therapeutic doses of particular plant constituents.  For the most part, I prefer to get these beneficial plant constituents from the plants themselves.  I enjoy eating and drinking; it is as simple as that.  I also see a spiritual aspect to it all.

Water is a universal solvent.  We get this because most of us at some point have witnessed someone making tea and coffee.  Alcohol is a fine preservative and solvent.  Sugar is another fine preservative.  What do you get when you put the three together and add a few botanicals?  A stable liquid that can taste good and it can even be good for you.

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Delice de Sureau Image by TheDeliciousLife

If you enter the liquor store you will see many bottles that were originally tonics.  In fact, many of our modern sodas were once used as tonics.  These fermented beverages were important because they were stable drinks that people could rely upon.  Not only in terms of safety, but also as a product that would strengthen and sustain.  The people making drinks knew the benefits of the botanicals they were using and made drinks to nourish others.  These days though, I feel that beverages are often a mere shell of what they once were.  We don’t know what is in the bottle, it is often much too sweet and it is sweetened with highly controversial sweeteners such as GMO high-fructose corn syrup.  It might be coloured with a dye that is not nutritional in any way (there go my anthocyanins!)  The flavours are to mimic tastes in particular ways.  It may be generally regarded as safe, but it has nothing to do with nutrition!  It is the experience, the flavour sensation that is important.  It is assumed that you are not looking to these drinks for any benefit other than pleasure.   From this herbalist’s perspective, there is room for growth in our understanding of what we are ingesting.  Rather than being pleased by a flavour that imitates something good, I would rather look for foods and drinks that taste good, because they are good for me.  (And, this is not to be confused with the trend in functional foods.  Good food is functional, pointe finale.)

I don’t want a world where all the pleasures of eating and drinking are gone.  I am not going to start a drab way of living that involves taking supplements as a means of sustenance.  At the same time, it can be tricky as I shop for food and drink because I so often fall for something that looks good, but has little benefit to me, other than a taste experience!

So, this is how I do it: I make things I might want to enjoy in the months ahead.  These are two simple examples.  There are many ways to keep the fun in functional.

Raspberry Liqueur

Making a stable liqueur is easy.  Use quality ingredients that are clean and mould free.  Use clean vessels.  Ensure that at least 25% of the volume weight is either sugar or pure alcohol or a combination of the two.

Ingredients

300 grams raspberries (fresh or frozen)

200 grams sugar

700 ml vodka, cognac or brandy

And for a little more inspiration: add some other flavourings: vanilla bean, organic orange peel (avoiding the white pith) and honey.

Pour the above ingredients into a mason jar.  Agitate a little bit daily and let it sit for two weeks in a dark corner of your countertop.  Using a cheese cloth and a sieve, strain the raspberries from the liquid.  Decant the liquid into a nice (clean) bottle with a good (and clean) stopper.  Use your creativity to make a charming label with the name of your product, ingredients and date that it was made.  Serve as you wish, perhaps with sparkling water and a twist of lemon.

*after you are finished with the fruit, you can add it to a trifle pudding or you can bake it in a cake.

**Don’t use honey, unless you include a large amount of alcohol.  Honey and water will ferment turning your product into mead.  This is not a bad thing, but it does require a little more knowledge and care.

Raspberry Vodka

200 g raspberries

800 ml vodka (40%)

This is the exact same method as the above recipe.  Pour the above ingredients into a mason jar.  Agitate a little bit daily and let it sit for two weeks in a dark corner of your countertop.  Using a cheese cloth and a sieve, strain the raspberries from the liquid.  Decant the liquid into a nice (clean) bottle with a good (and clean) stopper.  Use your creativity to make a charming label with the name of your product, ingredients and date that it was made.

Studies prove that consuming excessive amounts of sugar and alcohol is detrimental to the body.  Moderation is key in fully enjoying the benefits of these beverages.

By: Tammy Schmidt, Montreal


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