Have you ever been struck by inspiration? A moment of genius that left you wanting to gloat to everyone in your path? It could be the simplest of ideas, but you still can’t help but think to yourself, “MY GOD I AM BRILLIANT!” That’s pretty much how I felt whenever I made this drink. The funny thing is that it wouldn’t surprise me if people had been doing this forever and I just never knew. It’s so much more rewarding to arrive at a solution on your own though, isn’t it? But seriously, I was so excited about this that you would think I had discovered antibiotics or something. Want a hot apple cider? Want a cozy, spicy chai? WHY NOT BOTH?
Oh and by the way, I decided I’m going to start drawing monsters into my pictures. In case you were wondering what the heck that ↑ was all about. Whenever I first started this blog and set the zombie eared bunny as my logo, a few people suggested I incorporate more of my monster doodles into the posts. At the time I felt like I didn’t want to add another layer of work to the already intimidating task of managing a food blog for the first time. The concept faded with time and eventually I forgot about it altogether, until my friend Chris suggested that I put a small comic strip into each of my blog posts. While I don’t have a talent for writing clever stories in the span of three frames, I thought that going back to the idea of putting a monster into each post might be fun after all. It seemed even more fun to have them interacting with the food in some way. I did a couple of test images (I have another post coming in a couple of days) and it ended up being really enjoyable to do. Being able to fuse two of my hobbies in a playful manner is pretty exciting for me, so I hope people are into it!
As for this drink – it’s just a simple way to heat up a single mug of warm, spiced apple cider when you feel like cozying up on a chilly night. Stir in a spoonful of caramel and top with whipped cream for level 2 comfort. Forgo the whipped cream and add a touch of rum for level 4 comfort, because rum skips right on past level 3.
Hot Chai Apple Cider
An easy way to prepare a single serving of spiced apple cider on a chilly night.
- 8oz apple cider
- 1 chai tea bag (you may want to use decaf if you’re making this later in the evening)
- Small slice of orange or lemon peel, optional
- Caramel, optional
- Whipped cream, optional
- Put cider into microwave safe mug (my mug actually holds 2 cups of fluid so I doubled the recipe) and heat on high for about 3 minutes or until piping hot.
- Add teabag to mug, add citrus peel if you’re using it, cover, and allow to steep for as long as you prefer. I left mine for 5 minutes because I wanted to incorporate as much spice flavor as possible.
- If desired stir in caramel or rum, and topped with whipped cream.
- Calorie count is for 1 cup of cider with tea. Does not include caramel or whipped cream.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
I feel like I’m a bit overdue for a “healthy” post, especially since I consider healthy eating to be an important part of my life. Don’t get me wrong… I still love a raunchy slice of floppy, foldable cheese pizza or a piece of decadent chocolate mousse cake, but I try to consume those things in moderation by limiting them to the weekends. On weeknights I put more effort into restricting my calories and minding my intake of fat, carbs, protein, fiber, etc. I suppose one thing that is funny about this post is that this slaw was made as part of a labor day meal which consisted of spicy vegetarian sausages stuffed into hoagie rolls with tomato sauce and melted cheese and a side of cheddar dill mashed potatoes. Aaaand I didn’t even eat the slaw. Is it ok for me to admit that? I actually don’t like cole slaw at all, but that doesn’t stop me from making it for the people that do. I relied on my boyfriend and best friend to tell me whether or not this was a worthy Gouda Monster recipe and they both agreed it was a winner. Jah even whipped up another batch for himself one night and enjoyed it just as much the second time.
I used Veganaise when preparing this but you could certainly use any mayo that you prefer. Opting for a light mayonnaise will drop the calories to around 80 per serving. Of course you can always adjust the amount of heat by cutting back on the hot sauce. The creaminess of the mayo along with the sweetness of the carrots and apples cuts through some of the harshness of the spice, but people have vastly different tolerance levels for that sort of thing. If you’re concerned about it I would recommend adding the hot sauce little by little as it is always easy to add more, but once it’s in there you can’t take it out. Another substitution that would probably work fine is the use of cabbage in place of the baby bok choy. I opted for bok choy mostly because of its small size. We don’t use a lot of cabbage around here and I knew there would be a lot leftover that goes to waste. With the baby bok choy I was able to cut up almost the entire thing for the slaw and not worry about having anything leftover to wilt away in the fridge. Whatever you decide to do you’ll only be out about 10 minutes of your time for this super easy side.
Sweet 'n' Spicy Slaw
A crisp slaw of carrots, green apple, and boy choy with a little bit of kick.
- 1 granny smith apple, cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 baby bok choy, julienned (I only used about 3/4 of it, leaving out the greenest part of the leaves so they wouldn’t get soggy)
- Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon English mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons Veganaise (or other mayo of choice)
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing (everything but the veggies and apple) until creamy and smooth.
- Fold the carrots, bok choy, and granny smith apple into the dressing until well coated.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/