Drink Recipe Roundup:
Chai Honey Old Fashioned
1 spice bag
Chai tea, loose leaf—about 3 tablespoons per cup
2 teaspoons honey
Orange bitters or regular Angostura bitters
Club soda (optional)
For chai bourbon infusion:
Pour some bourbon in a jug or jar, fill the spice bag with chai tea, and dunk it in. (If the tea comes in a tea bag, just use that instead.) If you’re using quite a lot of booze make sure to add more tea. Mind you, you don’t have to use the whole bottle of bourbon, just use as much as needed. (You’ll need 2 ounces per cocktail.) Let it steep for about two hours. Don’t let it soak for too long (say, a day or so) or it’ll taste too strongly of chai.
Once you’re happy with the taste of the infusion, discard the spice bag and get ready to shake.
For one cocktail:
In a shaker with ice, pour 2 ounces of chai infused bourbon, 2 teaspoons of honey, a piece of orange rind, 3 dashes of bitters, and shake it all up. (Shake it well to release the orange scent and to dissolve the honey.)
Pour over an old fashioned glass with ice. Top with a bit of club soda. (You can skip this step if you like it strong.) Garnish with a star anise and a piece of orange rind.
Winter Bourbon Smash
From Minimalist Baker
2 tablespoons preserves or jam of choice (we went with raspberry)
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon triple sec
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
A splash of club soda
Add ice, the preserves, bourbon, triple sec, and orange juice to a shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Pour into serving glass with a few ice cubes and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with orange slices and enjoy. Repeat for more drinks.
Dorm recipe of the week:
From Smitten Kitchen
For a more versatile version of gingerbread cookies that requires less effort—and no cookie cutters—bake these gingerbread biscotti for a lightly sweet dessert or the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee.
2 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring hands
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups toasted, chopped nuts or white or dark chocolate chunks (optional, I kept mine plain)
1 large egg white
Cinnamon sugar (optional)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350°F. Line one large or two small baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, spices, pepper, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white and brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients along with any optional additions (nuts or chocolate) to dry mixture and stir to combine.
Divide the dough in half. Using floured hands, transfer the first half to the prepared baking sheet(s) and form it into a slightly flattened log about 11 inches long by 2 ½ inches, going down one side of a baking sheet intended for two logs, or the center of a baking sheet intended for one log. Repeat with the second half of dough. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until a little foamy and loose. Brush over top and sides of each log.
Bake the logs until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer tray to the cooling rack; let cool about 25 minutes, until lukewarm. Gently transfer each log to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch wide slices. If using cinnamon sugar, stir the two together and dip both cut sides in the mixture.
Arrange slices, cut side down, on baking sheet(s). Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, until golden underneath. Turn each biscotti over and bake for a final six to eight minutes, until lightly bronzed all over. Let cool on rack.
Netflix Pick of the Week
“Love Actually” (2003)
Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, get yourself in the winter holiday spirit by watching “Love Actually” to make up for the lack of snow outside. This British romantic comedy is worth watching, if only for the star-studded cast list full of big name talent that doesn’t disappoint. Notable roles include Colin Firth as an awkward aspiring novelist, Alan Rickman as an advertising agency director with questionable morals, Hugh Grant as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Martin Freeman as a stunt double for simulated sex scenes. The plotlines of these characters, as well as several others, are interwoven over the course of the film. All center on love in some form or another, be it finding love in France or losing love while listening to Joni Mitchell. Though “Love Actually” has its corny moments, there are many moments so earnest and goofy that they will manage to sway even the hardest-hearted viewer.