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Autumn is Here and Back to the Stove We Go

September 29, 2009

mulled_wine2Isn’t it always interesting at how the weather affects us in how much cooking we actually do? When autumn comes around, wihch happens to be my very most favorite season of the year, I start cooking up a storm. I know I am not alone in this habit, nor would I want to be.

It is with the cooler weather, the warmth of the stove brings us back into the kitchen, the thought of thick stews simmering in a slow oven, trying out that recipe you saw in a recent magazine to making hot tea at night to calm one down from the hetic pace of the day since it seems shorter in daylight hours.

You are not dreaming, the daylight hours are shorter come starting in October, and it is especially noticeable in New York. The smell in the air, the crisper fresh air allows me to open my windows when I can to get the last of the fresh air to breeze through my home.

I notice, like so many of you, the changes in my diet and in what dishes I prepare seeking out more soups, hearty meals to warm my soul and this brings me to one of my more favorite drinks to enjoy with friends and family when entertaining this fall: mulled wine.

Now some of you might ask, what the heck is mulled wine? Well, it’s simply warmed up red wine mixed with several spices and in my recipe, with apple cider. Here’s the skinny in making this quick easy warm drink to have a glass while you sit by your first of the year fire in the living room.

Ingredients:

  • red wine – preferred a merlot or cabernet 2 cups
  • 2-3 cups apple cider (not juice)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • cinnamon sticks – one per mug for serving
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 slices of fresh navel oranges – cut in half
  • Equipment: Soup or stock pot

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into stock pot, and let come to a simmer, then continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes stirring occassionaly.
  2. Serve up with warmed mugs or hearty glasses that have handles.
  3. Add fresh cinnamon stick into mug/glass/add fresh slice of orange if you wish.
  4. Sit by a warm fire, or snuggle on a couch watching your favorite CSI t.v. show. Enjoy!

The smell of this concotion simmering in a pot on top of your stove is sure to make all your visitors feel more than welcome into your home.

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