All posts tagged ginger

Need something to warm you up during this artic blast?

Published January 21, 2014 by jenmatteson

We had a long awaited drink tasting party at our house in December, with a Secret Santa theme.  We’d already had a holiday drink theme a few years ago, so we wanted to keep it holiday-ish, but also not do the same theme we’ve had in the past.  What we did was draw names out of a hat to decide who had who as a Secret Santa.  Each couple or person was assigned a secret ingredient from their Secret Santa, which was required to be in their drink.  We definitely had some interesting ingredients – wasabi, lychee fruit, Chinese five spice (what we assigned :P), and then we had some main stream ingredients, such as ginger and oranges, which is what we were assigned.

Though we had a pretty common ingredient, we still wanted to make something somewhat creative, so we made a spiced cider with brandy.  I wasn’t really sure that I liked brandy before this experiment, but it goes perfectly with this cider recipe.  Nate and I have made it on Sunday to drink with the early football game!

It’s mostly a combination of spices you’ll already have in your collection, plus cider, oranges and brandy.  Pretty simple, right?  Oh, and it tastes so good, especially if you are nursing a cold!

Spiced Cider with Brandy

Orange You Glad this Cider has Brandy In It?

(Sorry, we couldn’t come up with a better name, and I wanted to use my secret ingredient in the title – lame, I know)

Source: Adapted from Unknown Source (Nate found it and was never able to find it again :()
Servings: 8-10


12 cups apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
1 orange, cut into rounds
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
1 oz fresh peeled ginger
1 1/2 cups brandy


1. In a deep saucepan, mix all ingredients except brandy.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain cider into mugs and serve with a dash of brandy, if desired.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

Published October 23, 2013 by jenmatteson

Whipped sweet potatoes, take two.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

This recipe is just a small tweak from yesterday’s basic whipped sweet potato.  The coconut cream keeps these potatoes rich and creamy, while the ginger adds a fresh pop!  I’m definitely a traditionalist when it comes to my Thanksgiving table, but sometimes I like to explore a little outside the box.  This would certainly be a fun way to surprise your family this season, but if they’re like mine and are suspicious of anything new or different, just make them any ol’ day of the week this fall.  These are so quick to whip up, and a great source of antioxidants and beta-carotene, why wouldn’t you?  Oh, and if you’re wondering what to do with all that leftover coconut cream, use this helpful tip!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10 to 12


6 lbs sweet potatoes (about 6 large)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened or melted
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream
1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated peeled ginger
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
unsweetened finely shredded coconut, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until tender.  Let cool slightly.

2. Peel and roughly chop sweet potato, then transfer to food processor.  Add butter, coconut cream and ginger.  Puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and garnish with shredded coconut.

Gingered Green Beans

Published November 21, 2012 by jenmatteson

Green beans alone with a little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper are great, but this is a wonderful way to dress them up a little.  You can certainly adjust the spice if you don’t like the heat.

These were on the menu for our friend’s Thanksgiving this past Saturday, and I put Kim in charge of them.  She did a wonderful job!  We ran out of crushed red pepper, so we added some red pepper flakes in addition.  The beans were cooked perfectly, with a little bite, but the ginger really set these green beans apart.   I don’t know if I’ll make them again without the ginger!

Gingered Green Beans

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 5


1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Kosher salt


1. Fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook beans until crisp tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain beans and add to ice water to cool.  Drain and pat dry.

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and cook over moderate high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the ground ginger and crushed red pepper, then add the beans.  Season with salt and cook until garlic becomes brown the beans are tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve warm.

Keeping Your Fresh Herbs Fresh

Published May 5, 2012 by jenmatteson

Don’t you hate when you need 1/4 cup of cilantro, and you buy a whole bunch, with good intentions of using the rest of it for another recipe, but it just ends up going bad?  Or a whole package of fresh thyme, but you use 1 tablespoon, and the rest begins to grow fur and you can’t quite remember what you bought that for in the first place?  Its reasons like this that we end up using dried herbs, which, let’s face it, just aren’t as good as their fresh counterparts.

Well, fret no more.  I have a fantastic way to preserve  your herbs for two weeks or even longer.  This works well for parsley, cilantro, basil, and many other herbs.

Keep Your Fresh Herbs Fresh


1. When you get them home from the grocery store, immediately take herbs out of their plastic bag and dry them with a paper towel (I really hate those misters at the store – they are no good for any produce!).

2. Using kitchen sheers, snip the bottom of the herbs.

3. Fill a jar or glass partially with water, and submurge stem ends of herbs in water.  Loosely cover your herbs with a plastic bag.  If you wish, you can secure your plastic bag with a rubber binder. Cilantro does well in the refrigerator, but parsley and basil can bet left at room temperature.

4. Change water frequently.  Every couple of days to keep herbs fresher longer.  Enjoy fresh herbs on hand when you need them!

Keeping Fresh Ginger

Ginger isn’t an herb, but I thought this would be a good place to add this little nugget.  I use ginger in a lot of recipes, but I hate buying a whole big ginger root because you use so little at a time, so inevitably, it goes bad before you get a chance to use it all.  Well, you can keep your fresh ginger root in the freezer.  The best part is, you can easily grate frozen ginger with a microplane right out of the freezer, no thawing required!

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