Blogger CLUE: Homemade Gingerale

blogger CLUE

Come August most people (although I’m not one of them) are ready for fall to arrive and bring cooler weather. To help cope with the late summer sun Blogger Clue is on a mission to bring you recipes to “Beat the Heat!”

This month I was assigned the blog Taking on Magazines written by Christiane aka “The Mom Chef.” I absolutely love the concept behind her blog! Like most of us, we make a recipe and mentally (or if we’re on top of it, physically) make a note as to what we liked and didn’t like in case we made the recipe again. (I have post-it notes in my cookbooks with our reviews and comments.) Christiane took this idea and created a beautiful blog from it. She cooks recipes from magazines, displays the recipe as is, gives a detail on the process, then gives her opinions on what she’d do differently the next time, and finally indicates “the verdict.” Brilliant! Definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of that?!” moments.

Given our task to “beat the heat” I limited myself to searching through beverages and salads, although she does have a wonderful selection for ice creams too! (There are a fair amount of sweets being handled in my kitchen right now so I stayed away.) The Grapefruit-Mint Salad sounded like a contender as did the Citrus Dressing and while the Arnold Palmer Slushie was definitely tempting, I couldn’t get my mind off of her Homemade Gingerale!

I noticed as I unloaded my groceries that I accidentally bought orange flavored seltzer water. I decided to run with it and use a little fresh squeezed orange juice in the syrup! Honestly, I couldn’t tell; the gingerale syrup is spot on.

Christiane noted that the original ratio of syrup to setzer was too syrupy for her taste and I thought I’d agree. I found the perfect formula (at least for me) to be 3 tbsp of syrup to 1 1/2 C of seltzer.

Also, I probably broke about fifty parenting rules (please read this as if I were Hermione about to make Polyjuice Potion) and let my 1 year old try a sip. To say he liked it was an understatement!

Homemade Gingerale

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-5″ piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 2 C sugar
  • juice 1 lime
  • juice 1 orange
  • seltzer water

Steps:

  1. Place ginger and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the ginger is finely ground.
  2. Place ginger sugar in a saucepan with 2 C water. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer 30-40 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool 20 minutes. Strain and place in a jar. Syrup can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  3. To serve: Put 3 tbsp of syrup in a large glass with ice and 1 1/2 C seltzer.

*This recipe is adapted from Christiane at http://www.takingonmagazines.com/homemade-ginger-ale-from-all-you-magazine/*

Homemade Gingerale for Blogger CLUE from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

In the world of sweets, cupcakes have been the dominating dessert for quite some time now. And one of the popular trends is to turn a favorite beverage into a cupcake flavor. There are countless margarita cupcakes, Guinness cupcakes, and cupcakes using soda.

Kate and I decided to take our favorite mocktail and turn it into a cupcake. It’s such a fun cupcake and would be adorable to use in February for Valentine’s Day, for a summer party, or any little girl’s birthday.

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 C plus 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C cherry 7-up, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • red food coloring (optional)

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maraschino cherry juice

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tray with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, 1 1/2 C flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
  4. Add one third of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add half of the cherry 7-up. Repeat until dry ingredients and soda are used (ending with the dry).
  5. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
  6. In a small bowl, mix 3/4 C of the cake batter with the remaining 1 tbsp flour, maraschino cherry juice, and food coloring.
  7. Distribute the red cake batter between 12 cupcakes. Top with remaining batter – do not mix.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  9. Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and pinch of salt. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, the lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice. Frost cupcakes.
  10. Garnish with maraschino cherries and a a straw!

*This recipe is adapted from Shanon at http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2011/06/26/shirley-temple-cupcakes/*

Shirley Temple Cupcakes