Tag Archives: organic teas

Sugared Rosemary Champaign Cocktail

By: Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

Happy New Year!

For most people, New Year’s Eve isn’t complete without a festive cocktail in hand. Here’s one that’s really easy to make. The sugared rosemary gives it an extra festive touch that, if you’re like me, will make you smile. Remember, drink responsibly!

2013_12_31_Sugared Rosemary Cocktail Up CloseSugared Rosemary Champaign Cocktail

4-6 Champagne Flutes
1 Bottle of Your Favorite Champagne
A dash of pomegranate or cranberry juice
A bunch of fresh rosemary, just the tips or small stems
A glass of water
A cup or two of white sugar on a plate
 
Step 1: Cut the tips of the rosemary sprigs OR remove the small branches of the large rosemary sprigs so you have enough small rosemary “buds” for all your champagne glasses. 
 
2013_12_31_Sugared Rosemary on PlateStep 2: Dip rosemary sprigs in water and then coat with sugar.
 
Step 3: Place sugar coated rosemary on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Until rosemary is firm.)
 
Step 4: Fill champagne glasses half to three-quarters full of champagne, adding a splash of juice, if desired.
 
Step 5: Garnish with a small sprig of sugared rosemary
 
Step 7: Surround yourself with friends, say “cheers” and enjoy!

Sage Gin Cocktail

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

This cocktail is light, crisp and refreshing. A great accompaniament to a festive holiday dinner. Make the simple syrup in advance and you can assemble the drink within minutes.  Enjoy!

Sage Gin Cocktail*

Sage Gin Cocktail CoverIngredients
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce sage simple syrup
1/2 ounce lime juice
sparkling water or club soda
fresh sage leaves for garnish
 
Sage Simple Syrup
1 cup honey
1 cup water
8-10 fresh sage leaves, rolled and finely chopped 
 
Directions
Step 1: Make Sage Simple Syrup – Combine honey, water and chopped sage leaves in a small sauce pan and heat on medium high.  Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and the honey is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit for several hours or overnight. Strain sage leaves from simple syrup and store in refrigerator.
 
Step 2: Make Cocktail: Add gin, sage simple syrup, lime juice to a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into large glass. Top with sparkling water or club soda and a fresh sage leaf.
 
*Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is.
 
 
 
 

DIY Hot Cocoa Mix

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

This is a super simple dry mix that’s perfect for last-minute gifts.  I particularly love it for office or teacher gifting. Just add it to a pretty container or a small mason jar with a bow and you have at least 6-12 gifts ready to go at a moments notice!

DIY Hot Cocoa Mix*

DIY Hot Cocoa MixIngredients
1 cup hot chocolate mix
1 cup powdered  milk
2/3 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 
Directions
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
 
Step 2: To make – add 2 tablespoons mix to 8 ounces hot water. Garnish with whip cream or marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.
 
Recipe adapted from Yummly.com
 
 
 

All About Sage

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

When I ask you what herb reminds you of Thanksgiving, most of you will probably say sage.  This perennial herb, native to the Mediterranean, is indeed quite popular at Thanksgiving. Often added to a stuffing or roasted turkey recipe, sage has a wonderful, slightly sweet and citrusy smell.  Some say it smells camphorous, cleansing or purifying and it can linger for some time – good if you enjoy the smell, not so good if you don’t!

The botanical name for sage is ‘Salvia’ which, in Lattin, means “to heal” or “to save.” The reason sage was named this way is because it’s essential oils contain antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. (Sage is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E and K  – important antioxidants for health and wellness.)

Sage has been used for centuries not only in cooking but for medicinal purposes for many things including healing the common cold or flu and soothing insect bites.  The Native Americans believe it wards off evil spirits and the Arabs believe it helps with immortality. At one time, the Chinese regarded sage so highly they would trade up to four pounds or sacks of tea (camelia sinensis) for one pound or sack of sage leaves to make tea. (While sage tea isn’t commonly found in most grocery stores, you can find it online.)

The sage plant is quite easy to grow, will weather over the winter and is fairly drought tolerant. So, it’s a great herb to try if you’re new to (or not so good at) gardening.  It’s leaves are soft and blue-greyish in color and the plant can have delicate purple or blue flowers, depending on the variety.

Sage is an extremely versatile herb to use in the kitchen. Here are just a few delicious ways to play with it in your everyday cooking:

Steep in hot water for tea
Infuse in water with blackberries
– Added to ice cubes (fresh only)
Eggs
Flavoring for white bean dishes
Infuse with salt
Rub on poultry, pork or lamb
– Incorporate into sausage
Savory flavor to bread or rolls
Simple syrup for cocktails
Savory flavor for homemade crackers
– Soups and stews
– Vegetables or potatoes

Chef Dawn’s Super Simple Compound Butters

By Chef Dawn Wykoff

Click on the picture to watch our short video on super simple compound butters. Recipes are below.

Click on the picture to watch our short video on super simple compound butters. Recipes are below.

Compound butters – or flavored butters – are an wonderful way to infuse flavor into everyday cooking.  The options or limitless and the butters can be made in less than 5 minutes.  Here are some of my favorite combinations for Thanksgiving.

Asiago Pesto Compound Butter

Use plastic wrap or wax paper to form a log before refrigerating.

Use plastic wrap or wax paper to form a log before refrigerating.

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1 tablespoon of pesto
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of tobacco (optional)
2 tablespoons shredded Asiago cheese
 
Instructions: Mash butter in a medium bowl with fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Place onto a large piece of plastic wrap, roll into a log and tightly wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Use on bread, pasta, flatbread, pizza and more.

Sweet Vanilla Compound Butter

Compound butter log ready for refrigeration.

Compound butter log ready for refrigeration.

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon seas salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or apple pie spice
 
Instructions: Mash butter in a medium bowl with fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Place onto a large piece of plastic wrap, roll into a log and tightly wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Use on sweet potatoes, french toast, pancakes, muffins, toast, and more.

Blue Cheese & Walnut Compound Butter

Compound butters are an easy, make-ahead way to add flavor to your Thanksgiving Day meal.

Compound butters are an easy, make-ahead way to add flavor to your Thanksgiving Day meal.

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 
Instructions: Mash butter in a medium bowl with fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Place onto a large piece of plastic wrap, roll into a log and tightly wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Use on bread, crackers, mashed potatoes, red meat and more.
 

Have you made compound butter before? If so, share your favorite combinations!

Chef Dawn’s Super Simple Flavored Whipped Creams

By Chef Dawn Wykoff

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can sometimes make you want to pull out your hair!  Not to worry. There are many simple tricks you can pull out of your sleeve to make your holidays special and less stressful.

These flavored whipped creams are a standard go-to for me. The ingredients are so simple and it takes about 5-10 minutes to “whip” them up.  The result is a super flavorful whipped cream that is sure to impress your guests.

Caramel Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Caramel Ice Cream Topping

Caramel Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Caramel Ice Cream Topping

Pineapple Lemon Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Pineapple Chutney + 1/4 Jar Lemon Curd

Pineapple Lemon Flavored Whipped Cream = 1 Cup Cream + 1/2 Jar Pineapple Ice Cream Topping + 1/4 Jar Lemon Curd

Simply whip cream in a very cold bowl with cold beaters until soft peaks appear.  Gently fold in your flavorings. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

Simply whip cream in a very cold bowl with cold beaters until soft peaks appear. Gently fold in your flavorings. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

Serving suggestions:

Pumpkin Pie Topping: The caramel flavored whipped cream is OUTSTANDING on anything pumpkin or apple.

Cookie Dunking Dip: Make the kids table extra fun with a little cookie tray of gingersnap, pumpkin or other fall-flavored cookies and let them dunk their cookies into a small bowl of the caramel flavored whipped cream.  According to our “little testers” the results were two thumbs up!

Fruit Salad: Make a double batch of the pineapple lemon whipped cream and throw together a last-minute fruit salad.

Have more serving suggestions or flavor combinations? Tell us about them. We’d love to hear from you!

Super Simple (and Healthy) Butternut Squash Soup

By: Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing

Butternut Squash Soup

As soon as the weather starts getting cold, my mind goes to food.  I immediately start to mentally tally all the fall comfort classics I want to start making (and freezing) for the upcoming winter months.  Inevitably, one of the first items on my list is this Butternut Squash Soup.  I originally came across the recipe in a Prevention Magazine several years ago. However, for the life of me, I can’t find the original recipe online. (Good thing I wrote it out on a recipe card!)  Oh, and this recipe can easily be vegan by swapping out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.  Enjoy!

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup*

Seven simple ingredients make this a recipe you can make quickly. Tip: Looking for frozen butternut squash in your freezer section to save even more time!

Seven simple ingredients make this a recipe you can make quickly. Tip: Looking for frozen butternut squash in your freezer section to save even more time!

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Leeks, Trimmed of Greens and White Parts Chopped and Cleaned
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
3 Pounds Butternut Squash, Peeled, Seeded and Cubed
4 Large Carrots, Grated
6 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
 
Step 1: Coat large stock pot with olive oil over medium heat.  Add cleaned and chopped leeks, sautéing until soft and translucent, about 6-7 minutes.
 
Step 2: Add cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
 
Step 3: Add cubed squash, grated carrot and broth and bring to a boil.
 
Step 4: Bring to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes or until squash is tender. 
 
Step 5: Puree the soup in small batches in your food processor or use an immersion blender.
 
*Recipe adapted from Prevention Magazine.
 

2013_4_12 AngieCincoMonterreyAngela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics, puts her 11 years of food and agriculture marketing and public relations experience to work leading HQO’s marketing efforts. Raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and obtaining at degree in animal science and international agribusiness from Cornell University, Angela is thrilled to be able to put her passions and expertise to work in her career.  When she’s not working, you can find her on the ski slopes, hiking trails, running, biking, cooking or traveling with her three-year-old son and husband.