Month: December 2018

Rompope – Eggnog

Rompope is popular Latin American drink that is consumed during the Christmas season. This milky cocktail is very similar to eggnog and has many different variations; the original was called rompon and originated in Spain. Rompope is very popular in Mexico, especially in Puebla, where the Mexican version of this drink was created. The Mexican version is sometimes made with almonds and other nuts.

In some parts of Central America it is also known as rompopo. In Venezuela, it is known as ponche crema. In Peru, they call it caspiroleta and make it with pisco. The Puerto Rican version is called coquito and is made with coconut milk. In Chile, it is made with coffee and known as cola de mono or monkey’s tail. In Brazil, it is called licor de ovos or egg liqueur. Rompope is also known as ponche de leche or simply ponche in some countries.

Rompope

Yield: About 2 1/2 liters

Rompope is popular Latin American drink that is made with milk, sugar, vanilla, orange peel, egg yolks, condensed milk, cream and aguardiente or rum.

Ingredients

  • 2 liters milk, about 8 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 orange peel
  • 8-12 egg yolks, adjust based on the level of thickness and richness that your prefer
  • 2 cups cream or half and half
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • Aguardiente to taste – I use about 1 cup per each liter of rompope for a lighter version and 2 cups for the mega-strong version

Garnishes:

  • Condensed milk and sugar for decorating glass rims and ground cinnamon to sprinkle

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk with the sugar, vanilla and orange peel in a pot and bring to a boil, cook on low for about 30 minutes, stir occasionally to prevent it from boiling over.
  2. Blend the egg yolks with the condensed milk until well mixed. You can also use a whisk and mix them in a bowl until creamy. Add the cream at the end and blend gently to keep it from getting too thick, or use a whisk to mix in the cream or half and half.
  3. Add a cup of the milk into the egg yolk mix and stir it well, then slowly add the egg yolk mix to the milk and stir well. Cook over low medium heat, stirring consistently, until the mix starts to thicken, and do not let it boil.
  4. Cool down completely and then stir in the aguardiente. If you want it less thick add additional milk, cream or half and half.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served warm or cold based on your preference.
  6. Decorate glass rims with condensed milk and sugar. You can also sprinkle some ground cinnamon over the drinks when serving.

 

 

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Three Amazing Festive Hams

Always a crowd pleaser, gammon makes an excellent flavour vessel for all kinds of ingredients. Here three glorious recipes to get your teeth into.

CRANBERRY & ORANGE

Add 500g Cranberry Sauce (with chunks)

8 tbsp Maple Syrup and 2 tsps English Mustard Powder to a bowl and mix well. Divide this into two, brush half the mixture onto an unsmoked 2kg gammon joint that has been pre- boiled and roast for 25 minutes at 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Base regularly and reduce the rest of the glaze in a pan for 10 minutes for a wonderful sticky accompaniment. Once the meat has cooled, sprinkle over a little orange zest.

MAPLE & MISO

Simmer 2.2kg of gammon in onion, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and water for 1 hour 45 minutes. Reserve 175ml of the cooking liquid and add this to a saucepan with 1tbsp miso paste and 2 tbsps maple syrup. Boil until sauce has thickened and reduced down. Brush this over the cooled, prepared gammon and cook with another 45 minutes at 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5, basting multiple times.

HONEY & MUSTARD

Boil and score the gammon weighing 2kg, pushing cloves evenly into areas of fat to provide plenty of flavour. Stir together 4 tbsps runny honey and 4 tbsps English mustard in a bowl. Brush half of this all over the meat and roast for 35 minutes at a temperature of 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. And futher coatings of glaze every 10 minutes to ensure a even finish.

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Look Well-Rested (Even when you’re not)

Don’t let your eyes age you! Try out these quick fixes and long term- solutions.

I sleep great, so why do I look so tired?

Logging a full night isn’t always the answer. The skin around your eyes is less dense and has fewer oil glands, so dont skimp on eye cream, which plumps the area. This will help prevent you from looking creepy and stop the underlying blood vessels from reading as dark circles.

HELP FOR DARK CIRCLES, WHY THEY HAPPEN while it’s easy to blame long days for those telltale circle, they show up for other reasons – hollow areas around the eyes, thin skin, excess pigment, allergies and even genetics. People of Indian, Asian, or Latin decent can be more susceptible to them.

FAST FIX here’s a bright idea: in lieu of (or layered cover) dab a bit of highlighter on top of under eye circles the subtle pigments reflect light, downplaying dark shadows. Use a champagne shade for light skin and a golden hue for dark skin; L’oreal Paris Infallible Longwear Highlighter Shaping Sticks come in both.

SKINCARE SOLUTION smooth on a eye treatment with peptides and either niacinamide or vitamin C, like Olay Eyes Brighting Eye Cream peptides thicken skin over time, while vitamin C and niacinamide are antioxidants that help brighten.

HELP FOR PUFFINESS, WHY IT HAPPENS salt, alcohol, or a good cry can cause swollen eyes, but other triggers include allergies, the thinning of the skin that comes with age, and dry skin around the eyes that makes them more vulnerable to irritation. The under eye are is naturally prone to retaining water, si it doesn’t take much to make it puffy.

FAST FIX “Deflate” bags in minutes with special under eye masks you press onto clean skin beneath the eye. Most contain a cooling element that immediately constricts blood vessels, and many also tighten the skin for a couple of hours. Store them in your fridge so they’ll go on chilly, and stay upright while wearing them to encourage fluid drainage. No7 Instant Results Revitalizing Hydrogel Eye Masks.

SKINCARE SOLUTION just as a cup of coffee perks you up, a caffeine-rich eye gel like Philosophy Purity Made Simple Hydra-Bounce Eye Gel refreshes puffy eyes at any time of day. The ingredient is anti-inflammatory, so it helps constrict blood vessels and flush out fluids that have pooled around the eyes. Bonus trick: at night, prop up your pillow a bit, which reduces fluid buildup around the eyes while you sleep.

HELP FOR Crow’s feet

WHY THEY HAPPEN In many ways, eye crinkles are the badge of living a happy, active life. They’re caused by repetitive motions like smiling and laughing as well as exposure to sun and other environmental factors.

FAST FIX Tap a dot of makeup primer on the area to fill in the lines so your concealer or foundation goes on smoothly and evenly. Even without makeup over it, primer creates a blurring effect that makes crow feet less obviousE.L.F Hydrating Under Eye Primer,

SKINCARE SOLUTION A formula that boosts skin’s collagen is the ticket to less-lined eyes over time. Every evening, glide on an over-the-counter eye cream with retinol, like GarnierSkinActive Ulta-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream which is gentler on the delicate area than a prescription retinoid. And before you go outside, put on UVA- and UVB- filtering sunglasses.

WHY FACE LOTION DOESN’T WORK FOR EYES Face moisturizers often contain fragrance, which can aggravate the skin. Pluse thick cream can cause thin under eye skin to retain moisture and look swollen.

THE RIGHT WAY TO APPLY Use your finger to gently press your eye cream up along the browbone, down to the outer corner, and over on the under eye area.

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Eat for your Eyes

Its citrus season, and there’s good news for fans: loading up on oranges may preserve your eyesight. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating at least one orange a day was associated with a 60% lower risk of macular degeneration. Researchers suspect phytonutrients called flavanoids may offer protection – plus, “Oranges contain vitamin C, which helps regenerate cells and supports blood vessels in the eyes that deliver nutrients they need to stay healthy.

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Bath Bombs

Banish aches and colds with bath bombs infused with ginger, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

There’s nothing like a hot bath when you’re feeling run down or under the weather. These bath bombs are designed to heal achy flus and sniffly colds with ginger powder to increase circulation, while rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils open the respiratory passage and sooth sore muscles.

I have a passion for holistic living and I’m a super-avid DIYer.

Bath Bombs

Makes 4

Dry Ingredients:

8 oz. Baking soda

4 oz. Cornstarch

4 oz. Citric acid

4 oz. Sea salt

1 tsp. Ground ginger

Wet ingredients:

4 tsp. Witch Hazel distilled

4 tsp. Avocado oil

40 drops eucalyptus essential oil

40 drops rosemary essential oil

6 drops liquid food coloring of your choice

Equipment:

1 digital scale

1 large glass bowl

1 glass measuring cup

1 whisk

1 pair of disposable gloves

4 bath bomb molds

1 roll parchment or waxed paper

1. To a large glass bowl add all dry ingredients, measuring with a digital scale as needed. Whisk throughly.

2. To a glass measuring cup, add all wet ingredients; whisk to combine.

3. Add all wet ingredients to dry, pouring slowly. Use gloved hands to mix together throughly.

4. Fill each half of bath bomb molds completely.

5. Press each half together tightly. Carefully remove one half of the mold and gently place on parchment or waxed paper. Remove the remaining mold half and leave to dry overnight.

6. Once completely dry, store bath bombs in a airtight container until ready to use.

Tip: you can also use silicone muffin trays as molds.

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Chocolate and Mandarin Orange Scones

Makes 16

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 cup dried mandarin oranges, chopped

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

3 large eggs, divided

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

Garnish: fresh orange zest curls

  • Preheat oven 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in dried oranges and chocolate chips.
  • In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; add eggs and yogurt, gently stirring to combine.
  • Turn out dough on lightly floured surface, and gently knead until a smooth dough forms. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 3/4 inch thickness. Using a 2 1/4-inch fluted round cutter, cut 16 scones from dough. Place scones on a prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until wooden pick inserted comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with orange zest curls, if desired. Serve warm.

Reccomend Condiments

  • Devonshire cream
  • Orange-Cranberry Marmalade

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Teatime Etiquette Skills

Many people look at etiquette as a list of rules. This attitude presumes failure and puts undue pressure on the diner. Success is more likely when we think of etiquette as a set of skills that can be used in myriad situations while allowing the diner the ability to relax and enjoy the company of fellow guests.

Here is a list of tools you can use to ensure good manners in most teatime scenarios.

1. Entering a room. Enter the room with confidence while being aware of all that is around you. Leave negative feelings, such as feeling rushed or too busy, at the door. Pay attention to the well being of your fellow guests. When in a foreign setting, use your peripheral vision to see how other diners are behaving and take your cues from their comportment.

2. Being seated. In formal settings, pull the chair towards you and enter from the right. Place large purses underneath your chair or small purses in your chair and not on the table. Nothing, including cellphones should be placed on the table. You can prepare ahead for success by not bringing any of those items into the dining room. When you leave the table, exit from the right as well.

3. Napkins. Place your napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated. If you leave the table during the tea meal, place the napkin on your chair and not on the table. The napkin goes back on the table when the meal is finished.

4. Drink your tea like a expert. Add milk or sugar to your teacup after tasting the tea. Most specialty teas can be enjoyed without any additions. Milk is not added to green tea, oolong tea, or fruit infusions which contain citric acid. After using your teaspoon, place it at the top of the saucer, not the table.

5. Finger foods. Small finger foods maybe eaten without utensils. If the portion will require more than three bites, use you knife and fork to cut into small portions. Pace your meal and try not to finish before the host.

6. Be a good neighbor. Be aware of the level of noise generated by many guests. Large groups often dominate the room with their excited chatter or laughter. That exuberance is fine in a private setting, but it can be annoying to fellow diners in a public setting.

Etiquette training has given me the confidence I’ve needed to enjoy tea comfortably in settings around the world. I never enter a new dining situation without my well-honed set of etiquette tools. My advice to you is dont leave home without them!

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