Fire Cider Recipes

It's A Medicinal Tonic. It's A Cocktail Mixer. It's Both…and More!

It’s That Time of Year Again

There has been a nasty cold going around the Berkshires, and one by one it has taken us out. First Dan, then Sean, Amy, and Dana. I blame Dan’s kids for being cute but efficient plague carriers. Anyway, we’ve been hitting the amped up virgin Fire Cider hot toddys pretty hard over the last week- and I’m happy to say we’ve been feeling much better!

Ingredients:

-1 -2 Tablespoons of Fire Cider
-Juice of 1/4 – 1/2 lemon
-1 T honey, raw, local honey is best.
-A healthy dose of ginger (We use 1T frozen ginger juice. A 1/2 tsp ginger powder or 1T diced fresh ginger works too)
-Hot water or tea to fill your favorite mug

Warming and soothing.

Warming and soothing.

Our full arsenal of anti-ick fighting home remedies includes Osha tincture, Echinacea tincture, oil of oregano (rub it on the bottom of your feet or get capsules), raw honey, Fire Cider, ginger juice, lemons, neti pot and of course, some Berkshire Bourbon for when you finally start to feel better!

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This Sunday is the last SoWa Market in Boston for the season so make sure to stop by and see Sean for your free Fire Cider sample!  He’ll also be handing out samples on Friday, 10/24 at Foster’s Supermarket in Greenfield, MA, 3-6 pm  and on Saturday, 10/25 at the Fruit Center Marketplace in Hingham, MA 11 am-4 pm

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Cheers!

 

 

You Need This: Bee’s Wrap

I am always looking for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  At home and at work, I know how important it is to shop responsibly.  When it comes to the kitchen and our home environment in general, there are a lot of ways to save money and reduce our impact on the earth.  Fact: I have not bought or used plastic wrap in YEARS!  Same with paper towels and plastic bags.  Yes, you can live without those throw away products.  And yes, there are alternatives that are healthier for you and for the environment all while saving you money, check it out:

Let’s say you pay $2.49 for a 100 foot roll of SaranWrap.  So if you use 8 rolls a year, that costs you $19.92.  You will use all the plastic wrap, a few feet at a time, slowly throwing away the entire roll.  Yes, you just paid for garbage that will now spend decades not rotting in a landfill. Same goes for those sandwich bags, zip lock bags, paper towels, you get the idea.  It’s all garbage, it’s all going to end up in a landfill polluting the earth that we rely on for food, clean water, clean air, you know, life as we know it.

Bee's Wrap - www.beeswrap.com

Bee’s Wrap – http://www.beeswrap.com

Now consider a 3 pack of Bee’s Wrap for $18 which will last for a full year and when it’s done keeping your groceries fresh, you can compost it and it will become part of next years garden.  Or use it as a fire starter in your wood stove.  It’s a little less money and zero waste. Bee’s Wrap is made from organic cotton infused with bee’s wax, jojoba oil and tree resin.  Plus you get to feel really good about yourself by supporting a sustainable, earth friendly business instead of a mega corporation that produces trash.  Everyone wins!

Paper towels and paper napkins are an even easier fix, instead of buying and throwing away toxic bleached paper products that are stripping our land of oxygen producing plants, you can buy some washable kitchen towels and napkins and turn your clothes that are too far gone into rags for messier projects.  And when you absolutely need to you can use bamboo towels that can be washed and reused as well.  Bambooee is the brand that I recommend.  On their site they state this: Trees are being cut down at an unsustainable rate and 3,000 tons of paper towel waste are produced per day. (According to the US Environmental Protection Agency).

Here are my rules for shopping: is this healthy for me, is it made by a company that is in alignment with my values, is it earth friendly ie is the product and it’s packaging biodegradable, recyclable or reusable?  If the answers are all yes, then buy it!  There are 313.9 million people in this country, if we each do a little, it will add up to a lot more resources for us all to enjoy for many generations to come.  So make the switch, save money and our planet, how’s that for multitasking?!

 

 

Fire Cider At Expo East and The Big E

September is our busiest month of the year and this year was no exception.  We spent 8 days at the Big E in Springfield MA and during that time we gave out over 25 gallons in samples alone, holy wow, that’s a new record! Twenty five gallons translates to about 17,500 Fire Cider samples – in home compostable sample cups of course!  We are so thankful to everyone who came out and gave our strange tonic a try.

Sheri and Dan taking their daily shots of Fire Cider at the Big E.

Sheri and Dan taking their daily shots of Fire Cider at the Big E.

While the Big E was going on, four of us went to Baltimore Maryland for Natural Products Expo East, second only to Expo West which we will be attending in March.   We were lucky to have Daniel Esko, formerly of the Berkshire Coop Market join Team Fire Cider on September 2nd.   Daniel, Brain, Dana and I drove 6 hours to Baltimore, in two cars packed to the gills with Fire Cider for the Expo.

Arriving at Expo East in the Baltimore Convention Center.

Arriving at Expo East in the Baltimore Convention Center.

We had an awesome time at the Expo- we met a whole bunch of our retail partners, whom we have known for years via email and phone.  It was so nice to finally meet them in person!  We also connected with a lot of people who were excited to try Fire Cider for the first time as well as some super fans who went home with free bottles, t-shirts and shot glasses.

Having fun at the Expo! Daniel, Brian and Dana with the backdrop I made.

Having fun at the Expo! Daniel, Brian and Dana with the backdrop I made.

Fire Cider was nomininated for the NEXT award given out by New Hope Media who runs Expo East and Expo West, what an honor!

Fire Cider was nominated for the NEXT award given out by New Hope Media who runs Expo East and Expo West, what an honor!

It was certainly not all work for the three days we were at the Expo in Baltimore.  Mom’s Organic Market, one of our retail partner’s held a party at Alewife, a local bar with 40 beers on tap, at the end of the first day of the Expo.  We had a blast, thanks guys!

The Mom's Organic Market party was the place to unwind after the first day!

The Mom’s Organic Market party was the place to unwind after the first day!

And we got a recommendation to try out a Butcher Shop and Restaurant called Parts and Labor that sources local and humanely raised, free range animals which they butcher and cook on site, using the whole animal.  This place was so similar to Fore Street in Portland Maine it’s almost as if the idea of nose to tail local butchers working closely with near by farms is catching on!

This Wendell Berry quote really captures the whole knowing your food and your farmer idea.

This Wendell Berry quote on the menu really captures the whole knowing your food and your farmer idea.

And on that note we ate about half the menu, our dinner ended with a recommendation from our server Issac who we will all remember forever for his insights:

Best ham ever, it was truly a divine experience.

Best ham ever, it was truly a divine experience.

Thanks Baltimore, it was fun, it was exciting and we are already planning for Expo West in L.A. this coming March 2015!

Sheri had more than a TON of shipping to do after the Expo, 4 pallets plus the cart, all in one day!

Sheri had more than a TON of shipping to do after the Expo, 4 pallets plus the cart, all in one day!

 

Fall Favorite: Cauliflower 3 Ways

Now that Fall is officially here I’ve been getting into some new recipes for one of the seasons most versatile vegetables: cauliflower and her cousin, romanesco.  Part of the Cruciferous family, one cup of cauliflower has more than 73% of your daily vitamin c!  Cauliflower can also help you to detox, it’s got anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent source of dietary fiber.  As you’ll see from the wide variety of recipes I’ve gathered here, cauliflower is super versatile and full of as much flavor as nutrition.  Happy Autumn eating!

From LowCarbSlowCarb.com

From LowCarbSlowCarb.com

My first recipe suggestion is to make rice out of cauliflower, a low carbohydrate, high fiber, nutrient packed alternative to a grain side dish.  I’ve eaten this rice as a side with baked chicken, in lettuce wraps with shredded pork, basically it can be substituted anywhere you’d usually use rice.  How cool is that?  Check out this super simple recipe on www.lowcarbslowcarb.com under, you guessed it, Cauliflower Rice!

cauliflower-steak-au-poivre

Cauliflower Steak au Poivre by Jacky Hackett

Next up, Cauliflower Steaks.  This recipe was sent to me by a friend who I have shared many a steak tartare and pork chop with so I knew it had to be delicious.  I was a bit skeptical but he assured me this was no wimpy vegan alternative, it’s filling, awesome plant food thank you very much!  The recipe I like best comes from www.jaxhouse.com, aka Jacky Hackett, a food enthusiast mom blogger.  You can find her simple and easy recipe under ‘Cauliflower Steak au Poivre.  The trick is using your cast iron skillet in a very hot oven and the results are wickedly good.

Photo from TheIronYou.com

Photo from TheIronYou.com

This last recipe is sure to convert you to the power of what you used to think of as a bland white vegetable: The Cauliflower Grilled Cheese.  Yes, it’s gluten free, it’s a full serving of veggies and it’s got a gooey cheese center.  This recipe can be found on www.TheIronYou.com a blog run by a guy named Mike who thinks we could all eat better and exercise more for a more awesome us, I think he’s onto something!  Search for ‘Cauliflower Grilled Cheese’ and you’ll find a recipe for what will become one of your fall favorites, no matter what your relationship is to gluten.  Pair this with a hot bowl of tomato soup and call it lunch.

Be sure to check out the other recipes and ideas these bloggers have to offer!

Pallet Garden and Hops Update

Our little pallet garden has been growing strong, we’ve picked a bunch of cilantro and made a few salads with all the greens.  The radishes never make it into the house, got to have something to eat while I’m picking food for a meal!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Meanwhile, our garden in Richmond has turned into a Comfrey field.  And while Comfery is an amazing medicinal plant, it can not be eaten and it choked out all the rest of our plants!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we'll grow vegetables?!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we’ll grow vegetables?!

We covered the whole garden up and will see if we can get a fresh start next spring.  What our garden at Green Means Farm lacked in vegetables this year, it made up for in hops, four different varieties, although the Cascades are doing the best by far!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Dana dried them out and has already brewed a 5 gallon batch with some of what we picked.   The brew should be ready by Friday, and we’ll certainly enjoy it after our first day at the Big E!  Dana, Sean, Brian and I hope to see you there, we’ll be on the Rhode Island side of the Massachusetts building all weekend!

Nurse Moon’s Quick Fire Pickles

Pretty pickles made with Fire Cider!

Pretty pickles made with Fire Cider!

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Helen, yes, she’s a nurse and she knows what’s good for us- whole, organic foods!  This quick pickle recipe is an excellent way to preserve all those cucumbers that have taken over your garden.  Raw cucumbers are a cooling summer food.  When combined with some hot pepper, garlic, ginger and vinegar these pickle become a perfect fall condiment or snack.  Enjoy!

Fire Cider Pickles:

  • 2 or 3 cucumbers sliced into thin rounds
  • half an onion sliced into half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a thumbnail of ginger, peeled

For the Brine:

  • Few pinches of kosher salt
  • Crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Fire Cider
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Boiling the pickles

Boiling the pickles

 

Method:

1. Put the cucumber, onion slices, ginger and garlic into a clean quart canning jar.

2. Add the remaining brine ingredients to a pot an boil on the stove top for 5 minutes.

3. Pour the hot liquid mixture over the  cucumbers and onions in the jar and close lid.  Let it set for 5-10 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid back into the pot and boil another 10 minutes. Pour over the cucumbers and onions in the jar again and set for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
5. Now, bring water to a boil in the pot (enough water to cover the jar at least half way when submerged)  and set the jar, with the lid on and the cucumbers in the brine, in the boiling water.
6. Then turn off heat and let the jar (and hot water) cool.  Once it’s cool, refrigerate and enjoy!

Recycled and Biodegradeable: No More Plastic!

Plush recycled paper wrapping and biodegradable food starch packing pillows- be the change you want to see in the world- one shipment at a time!

Plush recycled paper wrapping and biodegradable food starch packing pillows – be the change you want to see in the world- one shipment at a time!

We are celebrating another small step in the right direction: our new packing materials just arrived!  Every Fire Cider order will now be wrapped in recycled, recyclable and reusable cushioned brown paper.  Goodbye plastic bubble wrap.  We are still using compostable food starch packing peanuts, which you can easily compost at home.  Only now, the peanuts are wrapped in a biodegradable pillow so they are contained and easy to re-use or toss into the compost.  Don’t you wish every business used earth friendly packaging?  It’s never too soon to start or to at least start bugging your local haunts to make the switch!

Coming later this fall: 100% post consumer custom Fire Cider boxes and paper tape.  Yeah,  paper tape instead of plastic, it’s stronger and recyclable, how cool is that? In about a month everything from our Fire Cider bottles to our promotional material to all of our shipping material will be recycled, recyclable, re-usable and/or home compostable.  Oh yeah!  Love your Mother Earth and have a happy Labor Day weekend!

 

Zucchini and Basil Sautee

Originally posted on The Candida Diaries:

Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces.

Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces.

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy all the zucchini that’s super fresh right now.  And it’s really easy, just some time and a few ingredients and you’ve got a healthy delicious side dish or meal to go picnicking with!

Ingredients:

Zucchini

Onion

Butter and/or Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Basil

Shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

Method:

Chop up some onion, I usually use about a 1 to 4 ratio of onion to zucchini.

Add the chopped onion, a few pinches of salt (go easy on the salt if you plan to add cheese to the finished dish, which I highly recommend!) and a healthy dose of butter and olive oil to a heavy bottom pan, the wider the pan the better.   You’ll start with a lot of fat in the pan to cook the onions and then when…

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Sean Callaghan Joins Team Fire Cider!

Dana and Sean with our other new addition!

Dana and Sean with our other new addition!

We are getting ready for our biggest fall yet and so we have hired our first full-time employee, welcome to team Fire Cider Mr. Callaghan!   Sean’s actually been helping us out, officially and unofficially, for years.  Sean and Benny ‘Fingers’ Kohn wrote and recorded a rock n roll theme song for Fire Cider in 2012.  Sean has helped us in the kitchen making Fire Cider, and has personally hand washed many, many pounds of horseradish roots.  Sean is now offering in store Fire Cider tastings and attends the SoWa Farmer’s Market in Boston every Sunday.

Ready to rock at the SoWa Market in Boston.  Nice T-shirt!

Ready to rock at the SoWa Market in Boston. Nice T-shirt!

Now that he’s officially, finally, part of Team Fire Cider, you’ll see Sean all over New England offering free samples of Fire Cider at festivals, shops and cafes.  Sean will be working closely with our retail partners too.  Want to see Fire Cider for sale somewhere?  Feel the need for an in store demo aka free samples?  Sean can be emailed directly at, you guessed it: Sean@FireCider.com

The Big E is held in Springfield MA every year.  Sean, Dana, Brian, Sheri and I will be there, next to the Massachusetts building on the weekends, Friday September 12 through Sunday the 14th, the weekend of the 20th and 21st and Friday the 26th to Sunday the 28th.  Last year we gave out about 15,500 samples of Fire Cider (in biodegradable cups!) over the course of the event.   Let’s see if we can’t beat that record this year!

Sean and Dana having a laugh in the warehouse.

Sean and Dana having a laugh in the warehouse.  DIY Halloween costume!

Homemade Mayo is Wicked Easy

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Mark Bittman’s recipes?  They are easy, accessible, reliable and, of course, delicious!  Here’s one that Dana and I have been making up weekly because mayo goes with everything.  Seriously, my friend eats banana mayonnaise sandwiches!

Mayonnaise by Mark Bittman from ‘How To Cook Everything’

This is the easiest, quickest way I have found to make mayonnaise at home. Making it yourself means it’s made from organic high quality ingredients and costs a lot less than the stuff at the store, win win.  

I have a Bamix wand blender made in Switzerland, it’s the ultimate wand blender and unlike most other versions, it will last forever because it’s all one piece. On models where the stem detaches, eventually the connection point wears down and then you need a whole new one. No good. You can also use a blender or a food processor to make this mayonnaise. Or use a whisk, but remember, when whisking by hand you must add the oil only a teaspoon at a time and whip it in between. It’s a bit of a work out!

Ingredients for 1 Cup:

  • 1 whole egg at room temperature
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard or organic Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice OR 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, sunflower seed oil, grape-seed oil or a combination, or more if needed, at room temperature
  • Pinch or two of unrefined sea salt, to taste

Method:

  1. In food processor or blender combine the egg, cayenne, mustard, lemon juice, salt and ¼ cup of the oil. Blend for about 30 seconds.
  2. Then, with the processor or blender running, add the oil in a slow, thin stream. After you have added about ½ the oil, the mixture should start to thicken. You can add up to 1 ½ cups of oil, to the desired consistency.
  3. That’s it! Taste and adjust seasonings: more salt or lemon. Place in a glass jar with tight fitting lid. It will firm up even more in the fridge and will last about 2 weeks.
  4. If you’d like to, you can add 1 tablespoon of whey (which you can easily strain out of your whole milk yogurt) in the first step, before adding oil. In this case, let the finished mayo sit at room temperature for 7 hours and then place in the fridge. It will last several months this way and contains beneficial bacteria.

Variations…

Fire Cider:  Use Fire Cider in place of the lemon juice- 1 tablespoon Fire Cider plus 1 Tablespoon of water

Garlic : Add 1-2 crushed cloves garlic to the egg yolk mixture. Be sure to use fresh garlic cloves, not jarred paste or jarred cloves, which can have an acrid taste.  This one is great with the Fire Cider version.

Cilantro Cucumber: Replace lemon juice with lime juice. After the mayo has thickened, add 3/4 cup cilantro leaves and 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber. Puree in blender until smooth.

Herbs: When the mayonnaise has thickened, add 1/2 cup fresh parsley and 1/4 cup single or mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, mint, or chives. Puree in blender until smooth.

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