alcohol

It’s fruitcake-making time!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2019 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cake | 0 comments

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Yes, the subject line is serious, because YES, fruitcake can be delicious–especially if you make it yourself and control the whole process! Follow my Mini Fruitcake Loaves recipe and you’ll see what I mean. Bake these babies now and you’ll have plenty of time to ripen them (that means brushing them down with a simple sugar mix once a week to soak in flavor) in time for holiday festivities.

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Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

Posted by on Aug 21, 2019 in alcohol, apples, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, pie | 0 comments

A trusty cast iron skillet bakes up a beautiful apple pie in this delicious recipe.

Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

This pie is also special because it includes a drizzle of ginger liqueur. I posted a recipe a few weeks ago on how to make a cheap, sublime version at home in under a week.

Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

The ginger liqueur does add some lovely nuance to this pie, too–the complexity and freshness come across in a different way than, say, using some lemon juice on the sliced apples as I sometimes do to prevent them from browning.

Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

The whole process of this recipe is pretty neat, too. The biggest dose of sweetness is actually at the bottom of the pie, as butter and brown sugar are baked into the bottom crust!

Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

I had to make this recipe three times to finally figure out the right balance of ingredients and how best to bake it. The second try was the most disastrous, as I ended up with the dreaded soggy bottom.

soggy bottom

Do be sure to follow the advice to use a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven. It’ll catch the overflow from the skillet and save you from suffering a soggy bottom.

Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

 

Click here for my Homemade Ginger Liqueur Recipe

 

Bready or Not Original: Iron-Skillet Apple Pie with Ginger Liqueur

Use a large iron skillet to bake up a delicious apple pie! Ginger liqueur adds complex flavor and elevates this beyond the average pie.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: alcohol, apple, pie
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

Skillet base:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter half cube
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed

Pie:

  • 2 prepared rounds of piecrust dough bought or made
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 5 Granny Smith and/or Honeycrisp apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup ginger liqueur

For top:

  • 1 egg slightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees with a large rimmed cookie sheet in the oven. [THIS IS IMPORTANT. The skillet will likely overflow as it bakes and the hot cookie sheet will also reduce the likelihood of a soggy pie bottom.] Add butter to skillet and place in oven until butter is melted. Remove skillet; stir in brown sugar, then return to oven until sugar starts bubbling, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a small bowl combine the white sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Set aside.
  • Roll out one of the pie crusts, if not already done. Carefully lay crust inside hot skillet so that bottom and sides are covered. Pour apple slices inside. Drizzle liqueur over the apples, followed by the dry ingredients.
  • Roll out second pie crust. Lay atop the mounded pie. Wary of the hot pan, tuck the crusts together as much as possible. Cut several slits in the top of the pie.
  • Brush egg wash over the top crust. Set pie on top of hot cookie sheet in oven.
  • Bake until pie is golden brown and apples are tender when jabbed with a fork, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting. Store covered with foil, at room temperature or in fridge.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Bready or Not Original: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

Posted by on Jul 31, 2019 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not | 2 comments

Make ginger liqueur at home in a matter of days, and save a lot of money over buying the store stuff!

Bready or Not: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

I’m frugal. I wanted to try an apple pie recipe that called for ginger liqueur, so I priced it. Um, no way was I paying for a $40 bottle when I needed just a smidge.

Therefore, I utilized the powers of the internet to find a way to make my own ginger liqueur. I ended up combining a couple recipes, and to great result. I used Kirkland brand vodka, from Costco, which made this even more of a bargain.

Bready or Not: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

The result of the infusion is sublime. Citrus hits the palate first, followed by the ginger, leaving the mouth tasting fruity, zesty, and refreshed.

Use this ginger liqueur in baking (that apple pie recipe will be up in a few weeks!), drink it straight, or mix it into cocktails. It’ll be delicious no matter how you drink it, and–thanks to the vodka–it will keep indefinitely.

Bready or Not: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

 

Bready or Not Original: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

Make your own ginger liqueur and save a lot of money! Using store brand vodka from a place like Costco makes this an even better bargain. Use clean jars and lids, but you needn't sanitize as rigorously as when making homemade jams or jellies. Vodka itself is a sanitizing agent.
Course: Drinks
Keyword: alcohol
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces ginger root peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean halved
  • 16 fluid ounces vodka
  • orange zested

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large jar or bottle with a good lid. Shake to mix. Let steep for 2 days, shaking the jar a few times a day.
  • Strain out the solids using a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Rebottle it and let it sit a day or two more to mellow before using it.
  • Store sealed. Drink straight, use in mixed drinks, or in recipes. Should keep indefinitely.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Posted by on Sep 26, 2018 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Welcome to MACADAMIA NUT MONTH! Why is this Macadamia Nut Month? Because next month on the 23rd, the final book in my Blood of Earth trilogy comes out! Macadamia nuts are a big product of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a major setting in Roar of Sky. Plus, macadamia nuts are awesome.

If you love these nuts, get ready to bliss out. This month includes recipes for:
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Lemony Macadamia Nut Bars
Mini Fruit Cake Loaves to make now for the holidays (macadamia nuts optional) (today)

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Fruitcake is one of the most maligned holiday foods out there, but people do love it. My dad sure does. I wanted to make him a fruitcake that proved how awesome they could be.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

The recipe you see today is one I’ve been experimenting with for a few years now. One problem that I had with a lot of existing recipes is that they make a ton of fruitcakes. Therefore, I wanted to find the right recipe to cut in half for easier fridge storage and eventual transportation to California.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

I used a highly-rated King Arthur Flour recipe and tweaked it a ton. I printed out guides of fruitcake-making advice and incorporated that information, too.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

My dad doesn’t like fruitcakes that are heavy on nuts. Therefore, I place more emphasis on the fruit. Customize the kinds of fruits and nuts to your preference. I often use a combination of pre-made “fruitcake mixes” from the grocery store along with dried golden raisins, chopped apricots and dates, etc. Whatever I have in my cupboard or can grab on sale.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

The same with the nuts. If you hate walnuts, don’t use walnuts. Include just one nut or use a wide variety, just make sure they are chopped up. You don’t want huge pieces.

The use of cocoa powder seems odd, but it’s there to add color. That’s a holdover from the original King Arthur Flour recipe. I was afraid that it would add a chocolate flavor, but it doesn’t at all. There are so many other complex flavors going on, it doesn’t stand out.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

The liquid to macerate the fruit can be alcohol or standard fruit juice. My preference is to get some help from good old Captain Morgan. In the simple syrup, you can also omit the rum, if you so choose.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

If you have any questions about this fruitcake recipe, feel free to comment on this page or reach out via social media. Just don’t wait too long–if you want these loaves ready for the holidays, you’ll need to bake them soon!

 

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

I advise using disposable mini loaf pans for this recipe. Measurements for these pans vary widely; this recipe was tested with pans that measured 7" x 2.5" width, 1.8" high, and the batter filled three pans. If you’re making these loaves as a holiday gift, plan to bake at least 6 weeks before the gift-giving date. The loaves will need to be basted with a simple sugar glaze each week for those 6 weeks in order to "ripen" the fruitcakes. After the glazing is done, the loaves can be removed from their pans to be frozen indefinitely, or well-wrapped and stored in a cool, dark location for months.
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: holiday, macadamia nuts, quick bread
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

Fruit:

  • 1 lb + 4 ounces fruit 20 ounces total, dried and/or candied, including fruitcake mixes, raisins, chopped dates, cherries, apricots, crystallized ginger, etc
  • 6 Tablespoons rum or brandy, apple juice, or cranberry juice

Batter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa optional, for color
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or water
  • 1 cup nuts chopped, one kind or a variety: almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc

Simple Syrup Glaze:

  • 1 cup white sugar or caster; or for deeper flavor, turbinado
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon rum optional

Instructions

Prepare the fruit:

  • Combine the fruit with the liquid of choice in a non-reactive bowl; cover and let rest overnight, at minimum.

Prepare simple syrup:

  • Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the liquor, if using. Cool completely. Keep stored in jar in fridge to brush the loaves over the coming weeks.

Make loaves:

  • Preheat oven at 300-degrees. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together, followed by the salt, spices, and baking powder.
  • Beat in the eggs, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa.
  • Add the flour mixture and the corn syrup to the butter mix. Scrape bowl well, then add the juice, the fruit with its liquid, and the nuts.
  • Apply nonstick spray to the mini loaf pans; pan measurements vary, but this recipe should use 3 to 4 pans. Spoon batter into the pans, filling them about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for about 1 hour to an 15 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. If desired, poke the cakes throughout with a skewer to allow more liquid to seep in. Brush tops with simple syrup for the first time.
  • Allow loaves to completely cool, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge or in a cool, dark location.

After baking:

  • Once a week for the next six weeks, unwrap loaves to brush with more simple syrup (making more in needed).
  • After 6 weeks of ripening, the cakes can be eaten, stored in fridge longer, or frozen.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Bready or Not Guest: Stacey Berg with Homemade Beer

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in alcohol, Blog, Bready or Not, guest recipe | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest: Stacey Berg with Homemade Beer

I’m happy to welcome author Stacey Berg to Bready or Not! Her novel Dissension was released by Harper Voyager Impulse in March. She’s here today to share a beer recipe that directly connects to her book.

Fermentate for the Future

My novel Dissension is set in a world where the Church exploits genetic technology to lead the remnants of humanity as they struggle for survival in the last inhabited city. The population is beginning to recover, and although life still isn’t easy, people make do and even flourish.  And while their food remains quite simple, they’re human, so they do have beer. It’s known in the book as “fermentate.” I enjoy home-brewing, so naturally when Beth invited me to do a Bready or Not guest post, the first thing I thought of was a beer recipe. After all, beer is liquid bread!

Here’s my recipe for “Future Fermentate” (an India Pale Ale, because they keep well in the heat.)

Equipment you’ll need:Beer bottle

A big pot

Two 6 gallon buckets (food grade, please!) with a hole in the lids..

a rubber stopper that fits in the hole, with a hole drilled in the stopper

airlock

siphon with an attachable bottling cane

thermometer

bottle capper

sanitizer

 

You can get fancy with a hydrometer to check your specific gravity, but I never bother. Eventually you’ll need some bottles and caps too. Fortunately those are easy to come by—just drink some beer.

 

Your local home brewing store will be happy to put a kit together for you, and they’re easy to find online too. A decent one will set you back $50-$100, but it will last forever.

 

Ingredients :

If you tell your home brewing store you’re making an IPA they’ll know what to give you.

 

7 lb light malt extract

2 lbs two-row pale malt

1/2 lb cara-pils malt

1/2 lb medium crystal malt

(Get these crushed together and put in a steeping bag at the shop)

 

1-1/2 cup brown sugar

1 package Burton water salts (optional)

 

1 oz Bullion or Target hops

1 oz Northern Brewer or Wye Challenger hops

1 oz Kent Golding hops, divided in half

 

Ale yeast (I like the liquid kind best)

 

Brewing Day: the process is pretty straightforward but takes a couple of hours. It goes better if you drink some beer while you’re doing it.

  1. Heat 1 gallon of water until steaming (about 155-170 F). Put in the bag of crushed grains and steep 20 min off heat.
  1. While your grains are steeping, sanitize your bucket and other equipment according to the instructions on the iodophor.
  1. Rinse the steeped grain bag with another 1 gallon of water, remove the bag from the liquid, add 1 c. brown sugar and the water salts if you’re using them, and bring the liquid to a boil.
  1. Turn off the heat and add the malt extract. Stir until all the extract is dissolved in the water, then bring back to a boil for 10 minutes.Making beer_sm
  1. Add 1 oz Bullion or Target hops, and boil 40 minutes.
  1. Add 1 oz Northern Brewer or Wye Challenger hops and boil 10 more minutes.
  1. Turn off heat and add 1/2 oz Kent Golding hops.
  1. Let the liquid (this is called “wort” at this stage) cool until it’s under 100 F (hotter will kill the yeast). You can set it in an icebath in your sink to make this step faster.
  1. Pour the wort into the sanitized plastic bucket and add cold tap water to make a total volume of 5 gallons.
  1. Add the yeast and give a good swirl to mix it in.
  1. Attach the sanitized lid with the stopper in the hole and insert the sanitized airlock into the stopper. Fill the airlock halfway (I use vodka but water is fine).
  1. Put the bucket somewhere it can sit out of the way for a week, ideally at not-too-warm room temp. Spare-room bathtubs work great. You should see the airlock start to bubble by 12-24 hours as the yeast goes to work and the beer starts fermenting.
  1. The bubbling should stop in less than a week. You have a choice here: either go straight to bottling, or preferably, use a sanitized siphon to “rack” the beer into a second sanitized 5 gallon container. Leave the gunky stuff in the bottom of the first bucket. Add 1/2 oz Kent Golding hops into the second container (if you aren’t using a seconday container, throw these hops in after step 10 instead).(If you didn’t read the recipe ahead and it’s too late, don’t worry. Drink some beer). You might or might not see more bubbling in the airlock for a few days. You can leave the beer in the second container for a few weeks.

 

To bottle your beer:

  1. Sanitize the siphon and two cases of bottles.
  2. Dissolve 1/2 cup brown sugar into a cup of boiling water.
  3. Siphon the beer into a sanitized 5 gallon container
  4. Add the dissolved brown sugar and stir well.
  5. Connect the sanitized bottling cane to the siphon and start bottling. Leave an inch or two of headspace in each bottle.
  6. Cap the bottles.
  7. Let the beer age for at least a week at room temp (3-4 weeks is better).
  8. Refrigerate, and enjoy!

 

 

dissension

 

For four hundred years, the Church has led the remnants of humanity as they struggle for survival in the last inhabited city. Echo Hunter 367 is exactly what the Church created her to be: loyal, obedient, lethal. A clone who shouldn’t care about anything but her duty. Who shouldn’t be able to.

When rebellious citizens challenge the Church’s authority, it is Echo’s duty to hunt them down before civil war can tumble the city back into the dark. But Echo hides a deadly secret: doubt. And when Echo’s mission leads her to Lia, a rebel leader who has a secret of her own, Echo is forced to face that doubt. For Lia holds the key to the city’s survival, and Echo must choose between the woman she loves and the purpose she was born to fulfill.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Harper Collins


 

Stacey Berg

About Stacey:

Stacey Berg is a medical researcher who writes speculative fiction. Her work as a physician-scientist provides the inspiration for many of her stories. She lives with her wife in Houston and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. When she’s not writing, she practices kung fu and runs half marathons. She is represented by Mary C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron & Associates. You can visit her at www.staceyberg.com.

 

 

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