Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

We built this gingerbread draft house from plans provided by HouMinn Practice on Hometta.

It came out quite a bit more irregular than the model provided, but then we're pretty irregular people so it's understandable.

HouMinn's istructions included everything from eggnog breaks to candy tasting, which was extremely helpful.

Here's wishing Happy Christmas, and if you don't celebrate Christmas, a Wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Champagne Glögg

This glögg, untypically, is served cold.

1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine (dry or semi-dry)

1 cup apple or grape juice

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp grated orange zest

1-inch chunk of fresh ginger

1 bay leaf

3 cardamom seed pods

1 star anise

Heat juice, sugar and spices. Let steep for an hour or two. Strain. Let cool. Pour a half bar measure of spiced juice in the bottom of champagne glasses, fill with champagne or sparkling wine. (You can adjust juice ratio to taste.) Garnish with a little bit of gold sprinkle or a seasonal flower.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Non-alcoholic Blueberry Glögg

1 quart blueberry juice

3 cinnamon sticks

1 chunk of fresh ginger

dash of vanilla essence

2 cardamom pods

1/2 cup of blackcurrant juice concentrate

1 cup water

Heat juices, water and spices, let steep for an hour or so. Strain. Reheat whenever you want to serve glögg. Garnish with dried blueberries.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rum Glögg

1 bottle of white wine
1/2 cup rum
a chunk of fresh ginger
1 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks

raisins and almonds

Gently heat wine and spices, let sit for an hour or two. Strain. Re-heat, add rum, serve garnished with raisins and almonds.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reindeer Meat on Myrtle Street

Reindeer meat is now available in the Bi-Rite in the Mission in San Francisco. Here at the Myrtle Street Review headquarters, reindeer stew is definitely going on the Christmas menu! Here's how to make authentic Finnish reindeer stew, or Poronkäristys. You can also read an article about it here.

800 gr sliced reindeer (poronkäristysliha)
50 gr butter
3 dl beer*
2 small onions
1 ½ tsp salt
3 tbs flour
½ tsp ground black or white pepper

*Instead of beer, you can use cream or water to prepare the Sautéed Reindeer Sauce.
Brown the sliced reindeer meat and chopped onions in butter, preferably in a cast iron casserole pot. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add the flour, stir. Add the beer and stir again.
Place the lid on top of the pot and allow to simmer at a low heat for approximately one hour.
Serve the Sautéed Reindeer Sauce hot together with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, pickled beetroots and pickled cucumbers.
(From Finnguide.)

Blonde Glögg with Extra Spices

1 quart cider
1 cinnamon stick
1 chunk fresh ginger
1 star anise
4 whole cloves
2 cardamom seed pods
1 big chunk clementine peel
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 quart white wine
vodka to taste

Heat juice and spices, let steep for a half an hour. Strain. Reheat, add wine and booze, serve garnished with raisins and chopped almonds.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Apricot Glögg

1 quart apple juice
4-5 whole cloves
a small chunk of fresh ginger
5-6 cardamom seed pods
1 cinnamon stick

apricot liqueur
dried apricots
toasted almond flakes

Heat the juice and spices, let simmer for 10 minutes. You can let the spices and juice sit until you need them.

Strain spices from juice, heat. Pour into serving glasses and add liqueur to taste. Garnish with sliced dried apricots and almond flakes.

If you can't find apricot liqueur, here is how to make your own.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blonde Glögg with Cognac

1 large chunk candied ginger
3 cinnamon sticks
8 cardamom seed pods
5-6 whole cloves
1 cup cognac
1 quart apple juice or grape juice
brown sugar

Put the spices and the cognac in a glass jar with a tight lid, and let sit for at least two days. Heat the juice, pour into serving glasses, and add as much spiced cognac and sugar as you like.

Garnish with gold leaf.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Syrup-based White Wine Glögg

1 bottle white wine
1 lemon

1 cup pale syrup
12 cardamom seed pods
2 star anis pods
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves

Blend syrup ingredients and bring to a boil. Keep on medium heat for 5 minutes, keep mixing. Cool the syrup and let sit up to several hours, to infuse the flavors.

Heat white wine gently. Put a tablespoon of the syrup in each glass, fill with heated white wine. Garnish with a lemon slice. Serve.

Holiday Sangria

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup water
1 bottle red wine
(3 tbsp orange liqueur)
lemon slices
orange slices
3 whole cloves
1 piece of cinnamon bark

Heat the sugar, orange juice and water. Add spices and fruit slices, steep on low heat for 10 minutes. And wine (and liqueur, if you're using it.) Strain. Serve garnished with fresh fruit slices.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Calvados Apple Glögg

  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1 tbsp whole cardamom seed pods
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup calvados
  • 1 apple
Slice the apple, place slices in glögg glasses. Put everything except the calvados in a pot, heat. Strain. Add calvados, serve. Sprinkle a few cardamom seed pods in the glasses.

Traditional Glögg

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cup blackcurrant juice
  • a bottle of red wine
  • (1/2-1 cup vodka)
Gently boil the water, sugar and spices for 10-15 minutes. Strain. Add blackcurrant juice and wine. Heat the glögg again, without boiling. Add vodka, if you want to serve a strong glögg. Pour into serving glasses with, a teaspoon of raisins and chopped almonds each on the bottom.

Myrtle Street Review Declares Holiday Season open!

We will help you celebrate with a different glögg recipe each day!

Apple-white wine glögg

1 cup apple juice

half a cup sugar

ten whole cloves

one bay leaf

piece of fresh ginger

1 tbsp grated lemon peel

a bottle of white wine.

Heat. Strain. Enjoy. Serve with and apple slice and cinnamon stick in the glass.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Finnish Independence Day!

December 6th my native Finland celebrates Independence Day. The President hosts a ball and then we argue about who had the best dress. This year we also pay special attention to our war veterans, this being the 70th anniversary of our Winter War.

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