December 3, 2011

Holiday Cheer - Apple Cider

In my holiday story A COWBOY'S DREAM, Leah hosts a yearly Christmas Eve party for her friends.  Marcus decides to crash it, in an effort to make up for a disastrous first date. The smell of Hot Apple Cider fills the apartment as the party goes on and Marcus hopes he doesn't strikeout again.

Here are two recipes for Apple Cider

Hot Apple Cider


6 cups apple cider
½ cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
1 orange peel, cut into strips
1 lemon peel, cut into strips


Pour cider and syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan. Place cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange and lemon peels in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold sides of cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie up with kitchen string.  Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.  Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until it is very hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and discard the spice bundle. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with cinnamon stick if desired.

Mulled Cider


1 quart apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1/8 tsp ground ginger
½ cup rum or brandy, optional


Pour cider into a large sauce pan. Place cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger in the middle of a washed cheesecloth square.  Drop bundle to the apple cider. Heat until hot, but do not boil.  Add ½ cup rum or brandy, if desired. Remove spice bundle.  Serve warm.

Author Leah Smith has fantasized about her neighbor, Houston’s pro baseball player Marcus Slade, for years, but thinks it’s unlikely she’d catch the cowboy’s interest since her IQ is bigger than her bra size. Having already been hurt by a man who wanted size over substance, she’s not in a hurry to play in that ball field again. When an unexpected opportunity gets Marcus inside his favorite author’s apartment, he’s not about to let a second chance at love pass him by. Their attraction is quick and electric and has him instantly thinking about something more long-term. But when a woman from his past intrudes, his hopes of a cozy Christmas with Leah are buried beneath her cold shoulder. Risking a strikeout, Marcus has one chance left...go for the grand slam of his life and crash Leah's annual Christmas Eve party in hopes of convincing her she’s this Cowboy’s Dream.

If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away.  -Unknown

Win a prize - leave a comment with your email to be entered in the drawing. This week's prize is Kohl's Cares Good Housekeeping "A Very Merry Christmas" Cookbook. It "features hearty dishes, mouthwatering cookies and traditional table centerpieces the entire family will enjoy." I'll draw a winner for it next Wednesday, Dec. 7th.


Callie said...

Recipes sound great. I love spiced up apple cider.


marybelle said...

Cider recipes are always welcome. I might just wait for cooler weather first.