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Erin Gleeson

Spiced Pomegranate-Apple Cider

On a recent trip to Granada, Spain, I bought these adorable Moroccan tea glasses, sold all over Granada because of its Moorish history. I drink a lot of tea during the day while working from my cabin in the woods, but I thought I’d mix it up and make some hot cider instead. (Feels very holiday!)

Since the word Granada means pomegranate in Spanish, I was inspired to add fresh pomegranates to the cider. Starting with this BHG cider recipe, I simmered apple juice, pomegranate juice and spices, then garnished each cup with fresh pomegranate seeds and an apple slice decorated with cloves. I think this would be a fun after-dinner drink on Thanksgiving Day to cozy up by the fire with (plus, it can be spiked with bourbon for the adults!).

Cheers…And Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Spiced Apple-Pomegranate Cider

Adapted from BHG’s Recipe, serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of apple cider or apple juice

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or packed brown sugar

  • Peel from 1 organic orange, cut into strips

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 12 whole cloves, plus more for garnish

  • Thinly sliced apple and seeds from 1 pomegranate for garnish

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine apple cider/juice, pomegranate juice, and maple syrup or brown sugar.

2. To make a spice bag, cut a double thickness of cheesecloth into a 12-inch square. Place the orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves in center of cloth. Bring the corners of cloth together and tie closed with clean kitchen string. Add spice bag to the cider pot.

3. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove spice bag and discard.

4. To serve, ladle cider into mugs. Drop 1 T fresh pomegranate seeds into each glass. To make the garnish, slice an apple into ¼ inch thick circles. Then cut each circle into quarters and push whole cloves into the apple slice (see photo above). Make a little slit in each apple slice to hang it over the side of the glass.

 

Photos and Illustrations by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a blog and soon-to-be cookbook full of simple recipe and entertaining ideas inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Apple Cider Punch Martini

I’m always on the lookout for unique ideas for cocktails Throw in a seasonal twist and that instantly makes it a winner in my book. As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches and get-togethers with family and friends abound, it’s always helpful to have a deliciously fresh cocktail idea in your back pocket when you hear you the doorbell ring.

Today I’m pulling inspiration from BHG’s recipe for Apple Cider Punch. Being a fan of the always classy martini, I’m upping the ante a smidge and turning this punch into a martini.


With an apple cider base, this martini is perfect for the fall. The touch of citrus gives it a flavor that is bright and fresh.

My favorite addition to this drink, however, is the splash of sparkling wine or champagne to finish it off. The bubbles dress this drink up for any fall holiday celebration.

To keep things simple, I garnished this martini with a few slices of fresh apple. I love the way the bubbles gather around the slices. It’s a clear sign that you are in for a treat. Now, let me tell you how to mix one of these up.

Here’s what you’ll need for one martini:
3 ounces apple cider
2 ounces orange juice
1 ounce vodka
Lemon wedge
1 ounce sparkling white wine or champagne
Fresh apple, sliced

In a shaker filled with ice, add apple cider, orange juice, vodka, and the juice from one lemon wedge. Shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass, leaving room at the top for a splash of sparkling white wine. Float an apple slice or two in the martini as a garnish.

And that’s it, friends. A delicious martini with all the flavors of fall and a little bubbly to boot! It certainly will be a star at your next party.

Happy Mixing!
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm


Naomi Robinson

Apple Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

It’s high time I got around to making some pull apart bread. Although, I should mention not only have I never tried it, but I’ve never even made it. So this Apple Spice Pull Apart Bread was a perfect start.

And apparently, it was also as up to snuff as any from-scratch pull apart, according to those around me who aren’t new to it. I think everyone’s favorite part is that it takes only 10 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to bake. That being the case, I did two runs with this recipe, since I like my baked goods heavily spiced.

 

If you do as well, double the cinnamon, add ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of all spice—that’s it, a very small tweak for my personal preference. Next time, I’m going to try this with some pears and cardamom—as you can see, this recipe is really easy to make your own.

Click here to get started.


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Jelly Toast

Emily Caruso is the food photographer, writer and cook behind the blog Jelly Toast. She has a passion for beautiful photography and creating simple, but delicious food for her family, often inspired by recipes that have been in her family for generations. When she’s not tinkering in the kitchen or hunkered down behind her camera, Emily can be found photo prop shopping, reading a great new book or spending time with her husband and two children – usually with a cup of coffee nearby.

 

Hi Everyone! I’m so excited to be guest posting on BHG’s Delish Dish! I have been an avid reader of Better Homes and Gardens for years and love their endless selection of scrumptious, seasonal recipes.

Fall is my favorite time of year! Every October, my family throws a huge Halloween bash, complete with spooky treats for everyone to enjoy. I came across two mouth watering apple recipes here on BHG, Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples and a classic Basic Caramel Apples and I decided to combine the two recipes into one. After adding a spooky, cobweb twist they are ready for any Halloween party.

The first thing I wanted to do was turn these full sized Basic Caramel Apples into bite sized treats. While I adore caramel apples, sometimes they can be difficult for little children to bite into, so creating a mini version was a great way to make these easy for kids to enjoy. Plus, I love any excuse to turn something mini! The process was easier than I had imagined, but there were a few tricks that I learned along the way.

I used my melon baller to scoop round bite sized pieces out of one large apple and I was able to get about 12 bites from each apple. I soaked the apple bites in a bit of lemon juice and water to prevent them from browning. An important step was to dry the bites as much as possible with a paper towel before dipping them in the melted caramel.

I simply followed the Basic Caramel Apple recipe to melt the caramel candies. To dip the apple bites in caramel, I simply rolled each bite in the bowl of melted caramel, skin side down, then placed the coated bites on some lightly buttered parchment paper. Placing them in the refrigerator helped firm the caramel up quickly. I found that the caramel stuck best to the skin of the apple and in some cases the caramel wanted to slip off the flesh of the apple. The beauty of this recipe is that the chocolate coating covered any imperfections in the caramel layer. I love that in a recipe!  After the caramel was set, I inserted a stick into each bite and coated each apple bite completely in melted dark chocolate, following the steps from the Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples Recipe. I then placed them back into the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.

For the white chocolate ‘cobweb’ drizzles, I melted some white chocolate chips with a touch of coconut oil (you could use shortening instead as described here in these chocolate drizzle instructions) and placed it into a small squeeze bottle. Using the squeeze bottle to drizzle the chocolate made this step much easier! A few more minutes in the fridge and these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples were ready to serve!

These treats can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To jazz up these little caramel apple bites, I also made some very easy washi tape flags using washi tape and bamboo skewers.

Washi tape flags are very simple to make. I took bamboo skewers (you could also use skinny wooden popsicle sticks) that you can find in the regular grocery store and removed the sharp points with a pair of wire cutters. You could also use a sturdy pair of scissors if you don’t have a pair of wire cutters.

I chose some Halloween inspired washi tape and wrapped a 2 – 3 inch piece of washi tape around the end of each bamboo skewer to create a tab.  After a quick snip to remove a small triangular piece of tape from the end of the tab, these flags were done! They add a fun and festive touch to any treat.

Everyone in my family loved these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples! While there were a few steps to creating these spooky treats, each step was simple and the end results were delicious!