Tag Archives: Nutmeg

Big-Batch Cocktail Recipe: Spiced Eggnog

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

Be sure to shake or stir well before serving. You can see how the milk and light cream separate.

Be sure to shake or stir well before serving. You can see how the milk and light cream separate.

I will have to admit, I’m not an eggnog lover.  Yet, I know there are many of you out there so I wanted to make sure to find a great-tasting recipe that was flavorful and easy to make ahead of time.

This eggnog recipe requires a little more time than the Hot Buttered Rum Apple Cider recipe, but, it’s just as delicious. It not only makes a great holiday party cocktail but add it to a mason jar with a bow and you have a great hostess gift for any eggnog fan.

Note:  If you’re in a pinch, buy some ready-made eggnog and add a teaspoon or two of your favorite spices and a cup of rum in your pitcher and you’re set!

Spiced Eggnog Cocktail*

Serves: 12-20
 
Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time (4-24 hours)
 
Ingredients
4 cups 2% milk
5-7 whole cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks (save the egg whites for your breakfast omelet)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups light rum
4 cups light cream or half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 
The nutmeg adds beautiful speckles to the cocktail. If you're in a pinch, buy some ready-made eggnog and add a few pinches of your favorite spices and a cup of rum in your pitcher and you're set!

The nutmeg adds beautiful speckles to the cocktail.

Directions

Step 1: Combine milk, cloves, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and cinnamon in pot and very slowly heat to a boil, stirring at all times. (Start the burner on low for about 5 minutes and then gradually bring to a medium or medium-high heat.) When mixture boils, remove from heat.
 
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until fluffy. Then, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the eggs, stirring constantly and making sure not to cook the eggs.  Pour mixture back into large pot and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick.  Don’t let the mixture boil!
 
Step 3: Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, removing cloves. Let cool for about 1 hour.
 
Step 4: Add rum, cream, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and nutmeg to the milk and egg mixture and refrigerate overnight or for about 4-6 hours before serving.
 
*Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com
 
 
 

Big-Batch Cocktail Recipe: Hot Buttered Rum Apple Cider

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

The hustle of the holidays are well upon us. Whether your scrambling to get some last minute shopping or baking in, or preparing for a holiday party this weekend, I hope you find time each day to take just a few minutes to stop and enjoy the beauty of the season. The lights, sounds, smells and excitement of children are such wonderful little blessings that help us remember it’s not the gifts or glamor, but the moments that make this season so special.

This make-ahead recipe is ready in minutes and makes your house smell so delicious!

This make-ahead recipe is ready in minutes and makes your house smell so delicious!

One of my favorite memories growing up was the annual Christmas caroling party my parents hosted in our tiny farmhouse. I, along with my siblings, would help my mom decorate the house and prepare all the food. Looking back, I’m in awe of how she did it: four kids, working on the farm full-time and still managing to turn our house into a magical masterpiece at Christmas! What I learned was her awesome ability to plan, organize and create simple, great-tasting foods…and throw one heck of a party!

So, in the effort to help with your holiday celebrating, I wanted to share some seasonal favorite recipes  that are easy to make and just as delicious to enjoy. (Check our recipes section for additional recipes.) Most of them you can make ahead of time so, hopefully, (yeah, right!) you can avoid the last-minute rush of making cocktails or setting out the appetizers and actually have a few minutes to compose yourself before the razzle dazzle begins. Enjoy!

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Cider*

NOTE: This cocktail is best enjoyed while strolling through the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, wrapping presents in the wee hours of the night or simply snuggling up on the couch and watching your favorite Christmas movie.

Serves: 8-16
 
Time Required: 10 minutes plus time for spiced butter to firm in refrigerator. Then, 5-10 minutes to warm apple cider and melt butter in cider.
 
Just a few simple ingredients make this big-batch cocktail recipe so simple and perfect for holiday gatherings.

Just a few simple ingredients make this big-batch cocktail recipe so simple and perfect for holiday gatherings.

Ingredients

For Spiced Butter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
 
For Cocktail
64 ounces (half gallon) of apple cider
Spiced Butter
Cinnamon Sticks
Rum or Apple Brandy
 
Directions
Step 1: Make spiced butter. Combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl using a fork.  
 
Step 2: Use a plastic scraper or spatula to form butter mixture into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
 
Spiced butter has been chilled and then cut into chunks and added to simmering apple cider.

Spiced butter has been chilled and then cut into chunks and added to simmering apple cider.

Step 3: Place apple cider in large pot and heat on the stove until it simmers.  Reduce heat to low.

 
Step 4: Remove spiced butter from refrigerator and plastic wrap. Cut into small chunks and add to hot apple cider.  Stir until butter is melted. Optional: Transfer to a crock pot for buffet service.
 
Step 5: To serve, add hot cider to a mug with a cinnamon stick and a shot of rum or apple brandy, if desired.
 
*Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef on Yummly.com
 

Kerala India

By Fred Alejo, VP of Sales & Sustainability

I traveled to India a few months ago to share High Quality Organic’s (HQO) knowledge of organic farming and meet some of our suppliers.

India is a beautiful place with expansive farmland in remote and very peaceful places.

India is a beautiful place with expansive farmland in remote and very peaceful places.

The first week was spent with the Ker International Herbal Fair where the Ministry of Forestry in India sponsored HQO to attend and help their over three million farmers with sustainable wild collection practices.  Unlike in the United States – and most developed countries – many of the crops in India are grown in the wild and harvested by village people.  However, most of these collectors have never received formal training on sustainable harvest practices.  The result has been approximately 30% of the plants on the verge of extinction.  With our global network and agriculture knowledge, we were able to share some simple practices that can easily help preserve and allow the wild crops to thrive in India.

The second part of my visit was meeting a world-class supplier; one of our number one suppliers. They grow birds eye chili pepper, turmeric, Arabica and robosta coffee in Karala. Below are some pictures from my tours of the nutmeg and pepper plantations.

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I also had the opportunity to view the turmeric crop. It looks amazing!

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My last day in India was spent traveling to Minora, a place very similar to the Sonoma Valley of California. There I visited several tea gardens varying in age from one to 180 years old.  There they pick their tea using the parameters, 2 leaves and a bud.

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This was my first time in India and it was eye opening.  I not only learned to invest in more moisture-wicking shirts, I also developed an amazing respect for the knowledge our Indian farmers have.  Despite India emerging as a nation, their knowledge of agriculture is, in a lot of ways, extremely developed.  For example, they call plants by their botanical name and could tell you more about them than almost any Wikipedia page could.

Our growers in India have been partners with HQO since the beginning.  This trip reaffirmed why we work with them: their passion for preserving the land and providing the best quality products possible.  It’s clear they will be valued partners for generations to come.

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Fred Alejo has been with High Quality Organics since February 2011 and leads the  rapidly growing organic ingredient company in sales and sustainable initiatives.  Prior work experience includes Rembrandt Foods, Dole Fresh Vegetables and the United States Army.  Fred is the proud father of three children and spends his time outside work coaching football, skiing and training for triathlons.