Friday Finds

Of all the beautiful, fresh produce August has to offer, today I chose juicy blackberries. And would you just look at these recipes! Not your average coffee cake or crumble for sure (I absolutely adore those, mind you). Thumbs up for the lovely ladies who came up with the clever pairings of such delightful flavors!

Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail by Dani of The Adventure Bite:

blackberry lavender champagne cocktail

Lavender Earl Grey Ice Cream Floats by Sarah of Snixy Kitchen:

lavender earl gray blackberry ice cream floats

Blackberry-Thyme Jam and Whipped Goat Cheese Filled Donuts by Lauren of For The Love Of Lasagna:

blackberry thime jam goat cheese donuts

Blackberry Soufflé via Waitrose:

blackberry souffle

Blackberry Sage Sorbet by Nguyet of Taming of the Spoon:

blackberry sage sorbet

Happy Weekend!

Fruzsi

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Friday Finds

Late February days; and now, at last, might you have thought that winter’s woe was past; so fair the sky was and so soft the air.

William Morris

Today seeking shades of blue.

Grape hyacinth in blue (via Vibeke Design):

grape hyacinths and cherry blossom

Motivation in blue:

pema chodron quote

Paris in blue (photo by Joachim Robert via Flickr):

twilight Paris

Duvet in blue (via Pottery Barn):

Pottery Barn bed

Beverage in blue (Blueberry Mint Fizz by MKR via Waiting on Martha):

blueberry mint fizz

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Friday Finds

Winter is the time for comfort, good food, for warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire: it is a time for home.

Edith Sitwell

Lonely tree (‘Planinsko polje XXVIX’ photo by Gorazd Kranjc):

lonely tree in snow

Make this the year:

danielle doby quote

Frozen lake (photo by Marja K.):

frozen boat

Fox in the snow (photo via imgfave):

snowy fox

Fig, Vanilla Bean + Gin Cocktail (by Sarah of The Homemade Haus):

fig vanilla gin cocktail

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Homemade Mint Syrup

mint leaves

After quite a few rainy days we are finally getting some sunshine here. How’s your herb garden doing? Asking because if you want to preserve some of your mint, now’s the time to do it. I found that mine is healthiest and lushest around this period. After overblowing in June, it’s growth slows down and shoots become tougher.

Academic literature (a.k.a. google) too advises to harvest before the plant blooms, although it’s never mentioned why. If anyone knows, enlighten me please! It is also said that harvesting herbs is best in the morning just as the dew evaporates to get the highest essential oil content.

There are several ways to conserve herbs and today I’m going to show you how to make mint infused syrup to step up your beverage game.

Simple syrup is nothing more than a solution of sugar in water, a commonly used ingredient in many drinks and thus an indispensable part of your arsenal as a cocktailian. Referred to as one-to-one, it’s made of 1 part sugar and 1 part water. So easy, I just can’t believe people are buying it premade.

To make, combine sugar and water in a pan, set heat to medium and stir occasionally until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil than remove from heat. Add a handful of chopped mint, cover (essential oils are volatile) and allow to cool. Strain through a sieve, bottle up and refrigerate. For a more flavorful syrup, consider using raw brown sugar, it maintains more of a molasses character.

A stronger version, known as rich syrup is the same thing with a larger proportion of sugar. Some bartenders make it with 1.5 parts sugar to 1 part water, while others go up to a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. The choice is yours.

Syrups have a decent shelf life when prepared and stored properly, that is, made with boiling water and stored in a sterile container in the refrigerator. That, needless to say, doesn’t mean interminable — syrup can get moldy, so make quantities you’re likely to use within a reasonable time frame. As a rule of thumb 1:1 hot-process simple syrup should last 2 months, while 2:1 simple syrup should last 6 months. Always check for mold and you’d be ok.

Use it for making all kinds of refreshing summer drinks, and be sure to try drizzling over chocolate ice-cream.

Enjoy!

Fruzsi

Image: fresh green paper mint leaves in greenhouse via freepik