I thought I might begin each month with a theme this year....well, of course, this may be a whim and next month we would just resort back to the usual unstructured format...but for this month at least we will attempt some structure.
January is about keeping warm. As you can see, I have changed my lay out to a frosty blue, because January tends to be a bit cool in these parts. It is also our rainy season here in the Seattle zone, so it is only appropriate that I share with you all the great techniques I have learned for staying warm and dry.
My favorite way to warm up is with a hot drink. I present to you- above -a photo of my favorite mug...my "Menehune Mug". I picked this up at a little roadside stand while venturing along the road to Hana on the island of Maui. It serves as a constant reminder of that peaceful excursion- the tropical farms, fresh lemonade and banana bread, beautiful pacific ocean views...ahhhh warm thoughts...Hawaiian sun...toes in sand...palm trees swaying.....
As far as warming drinks go, Coffee is great with creamer, so is tea (with honey and a splash of milk)...Warm milk is good if you can't sleep, and also a great cure for menstrual cramps (with lots of cinnamon). Naturally, a good cocoa is always a pleasure (extra whip cream or marshmallows, please). However my favorite hot drink is a little hot buttered rum invented by Kathy Casey of Dish D'lish. The secret is a little almond paste in the batter. Serve it to your closest girlfriends- it is sure to be a hit. Or just sit back with your favorite mug and think warm thoughts.
Kathy Casey's Hot Buttery Almond Rum
Into your favorite mug, add:
3T Almond Butter Batter (recipe follows)
1oz (2T) dark or spiced rum
5oz (1/2c + 2T) boiling water
Almond Butter Batter
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter
6 oz Almond paste
1-1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1-3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 pint high quality vanilla ie cream, softened
1T vanilla extract
1-1/2 t each: almond extract, ground cinnamon & ground nutmeg
Mix together butter, almond paste and sugars until fluffy and fully combined. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for a month. Makes about 24 drinks.