Friday, January 10, 2014

feel good friday: cups of warmth

I don't know if you got hit with the polar vortex this week, but I sure did. The university I work for even shut down for two days. I worked from home, but it was a very cold home for sure. I could have used some cups of warmth those days. Here are some great recipes to try out...


- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin
- 1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
- Salt, to taste
- 5 1/2cups water, divided
- Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.
2. Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.
4. Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.


- 2 cups skim milk
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 4 ounces Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

1. Combine all ingredients except the rum in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate chips are melted. Remove from heat and stir in the rum.
2. Divide between four glasses or mugs. Top with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, and crushed gingerbread cookies, if desired.

This version below is what my mom makes and loves:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 bottle (750ml) semi-sweet red wine
- 1/2 orange, sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
- dash nutmeg
1. In medium pot, boil water. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients.
2. Heat mulled wine for about 1/2 hour, making sure it does not boil. Stir occasionally. Strain wine into mugs or wine glasses.


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