Fire Cider Recipes

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

Archive for the tag “spicy”

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!

 

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!

 

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!

Fire Cider Photo and Video Contest

Show us your best Fire Cider face!   Or your Fire Cider tattoo (no, seriously, we heard this was a real thing!), your friends trying Fire Cider for the first time, the funniest, weirdest, coolest way you use Fire Cider.  Get creative and you could win one of four $25 gift certificates to your favorite Fire Cider retail shop.  Sound like fun?  Here’s how to enter the contest:

Send us one photo OR one 60 second or shorter video along with your favorite place to buy Fire Cider.  We’ll let our Facebook fans pick two photo winners and two video winners and each will receive a $25 gift certificate to the shop of your choice.

Amy and Dana say: Beware The Underdose!

Amy and Dana say: Beware The Underdose!

Email your photo or video with the subject line “Fire Cider Contest” to Amy@FireCider.com by Monday July 14th at midnight est.  We will post your photos and videos on our Facebook and Twitter during and after the contest.  Brian, Dana, Sheri and Amy will narrow down the entries to our top favorite picks and let people vote on our Facebook page starting on Tuesday July 15th.

Our daily doses, down the hatch!

Our daily doses, down the hatch!

Like us on Facebook if you haven’t already!  The four winners will be emailed directly with how to redeem their gift certificates.  You can send in as many submissions as you like, one per email please.  Here’s Amy and Dana’s Fire Cider faces, show us yours!!

Hurts so good!

Hurts so good!

Curry Fire Cider Marinade

This past Father’s Day weekend I did what all good children do: grilled with my dad!  It was really fun, especially since I was trying out a new marinade that Chef and Butcher James Burden recommended to me.   I went to Berkshire Organics in Dalton to stock up on everything we needed for dinner.  I picked up fresh, organic veggies: eggplant really soaks up marinade so it’s great for grilling, plus onions, zucchini and some red and orange bell peppers.

Red Apple Butchers, at Berkshire Organics, had 30 day, dry aged steaks, so I had to try a few of those.  And I also bought about 2 and 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs with the skin on.  Here’s the marinade recipe plus a bonus curry mix from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything, which is as useful as it sounds.   Last week I wrote to Mr. Bittman about Fire Cider and his assistant wrote me back saying she had tried it the last time she was in the Berkshires and would be happy to share a sample bottle with her boss.  How cool is that?!

Marinade for 2-3 pounds of Chicken 

Yes, of course you can use this marinade on tofu, fish or veggies.  For fish and veggies, about 20 minutes in the marinade will do.  For meat, like the chicken, make the marinade the day before and let the meat marinate overnight.  I made double this recipe, one half for the chicken and one half for the veggies.

Ingredients:

a generous 1/4 cup Fire Cider

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons salt

1 big tablespoon fragrant curry powder blend (see photo below for the recipe! Yes, you can use store bought as well.)

a pinch of asafoetida

a pinch of chipolte pepper

1 teaspoon garam masala

 

Method:

First, make up the fragrant curry powder blend, this will make enough for this recipe plus plenty left over for all your curry spice needs, it’s awesome on pop corn!

Mark Bittman's curry blend.

Mark Bittman’s curry blend.

Get the spices together and toast the spices in a dry skillet.

Whole spices ready to toast!

Whole spices ready to toast!

Mmm, toasty and very fragrent!

Mmm, toasty and very fragrant!

Use a small spice grinder to turn toasted spices into powder and then add

Use a small spice grinder to turn toasted spices into powder and then add powdered ginger and turmeric.  Homemade curry powder!

Once you’ve made the curry blend,  combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Yes, that's a gallon of Fire Cider. Beware the underdose!

Yes, that’s a gallon of Fire Cider. Beware the underdose!

Pour all the marinade over the chicken and marinate over night in a sealed bag or sealed container.

The next day, when you are ready to cook, remove the chicken, discard any leftover marinade and grill the chicken til it’s done!

For veggies: chop bite sized pieces of onion, bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant, make up more marinade and marinate for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat each piece.  Slide onto skewers and grill with the chicken.

Grill ready chicken, veggies and steak.

Grill ready chicken, veggies and steak.

The 30 day dry aged steaks were perfect as is so I let them sit out at room temp for about an hour, lightly salted them and then grilled them for a few minutes on each side for perfectly rare, melt in your mouth awesomeness.

Happy grilling, all summer long!

Happy grilling, all summer long!

New Equipment, Thanks to The CDC!

Have I mentioned lately how amazing it is to be working in partnership with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation– say that 5 times, fast!   They offer guidance to anyone interested in starting a business and they have provided us with a space to produce Fire Cider and continue to grow our small business.  The CDC is currently under construction to expand their cold and dry storage as well as their commercial kitchen.   We are stoked to have more space to make more batches of Fire Cider.

Last year the CDC’s loan program, headed by Alan Singer, made it possible for us to upgrade all of our equipment to food grade stainless steel.   We were super happy to say goodbye to all of our plastic barrels.  We found them homes as rain barrels!

Stainless steel steeping tank, stainless steep pump parts, only the best for your Fire Cider!

Stainless steel steeping tank, stainless steep pump parts, only the best for your Fire Cider!

Less than a year later, we approached Alan with another loan request, this time for two pieces of kitchen equipment that would save us many long hours in the kitchen, taking a lot of stress and physical labor out of making Fire Cider.  The result?  An awesome scrubbing tunnel that has turned a 10-12 person hour job into a 30 minute exercise.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It used to take 2 people working non stop scrubbing organic horseradish for hours on end just to prep that one ingredient for 2-3 batches of Fire Cider.  Now, we can achive even better results in just 30 minutes, and that includs set up, clean up and break down!   Here’s a fun video of Dana and Brian trying out the scrubbing tunnel for the first time.  It’s a bit loud, so turn the volume down!

Here are the before and after photos, can you tell we are super impressed with our investment?!

Organic horseradish, covered in not so delicious organic dirt!

Organic horseradish, covered in not so delicious organic dirt!

So fresh and so clean and ready to be turned into Fire Cider.

So fresh and so clean and ready to be turned into Fire Cider.

With our second loan we were also able to purchase a chopper for the lemons and oranges.  Processing hundreds of pounds of citrus by hand is just asking for carpal tunnel, not to mention an injury waiting to happen.  This chopper, with it’s graphic warnings, is definitely scarier than the chef’s knives we’ve been using, and will save our hands and arms, as long as we keep them away from the blades!

All thumbs ups, not to worry, we have cut resistant gloves to protect our hands while cleaning the machine.

All thumbs ups, not to worry, we have cut resistant gloves to protect our hands while cleaning the machine.

And here’s our new chopper in action, making batches Fire Cider just got a lot easier, which means that the three of us can safely continue making you Fire Cider for many years to come.   Yup, this video is loud too, what can I say, I’m working on my videographer skills!

We are super thankful to the CDC and their staff for supporting the growth of our small business, we truly couldn’t do this without them!  If you are thinking about starting a business, the CDC has you covered from the very beginning.

Fire Cider, Co-op Grocery Stores and the Dr. Oz Show!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to share my favorite home remedy, Fire Cider, with Dr. Oz, two of the sharks from the show ‘Shark Tank’ as well as the Oz studio audience!   Fire Cider isn’t just the best home remedy I know of, it’s also a great big gateway to using food as medicine.  Why?  I think a big part of what makes Fire Cider so awesome is that it’s accessible: all the ingredients can be found in any grocery store, they are all easily recognizable by most people and they combine to make one powerful tonic with immediate results!  Good foods combine to make better, more medicinally potent foods.  And maybe you’ll start with Fire Cider and branch out into other plant-based remedies, start using more organic, whole foods in your diet or discover the power of co-cooperatively owned and operated grocery stores.  True story: a customer told me she started shopping at her local co-op because they were the only store around that carries Fire Cider.  Now she shops there all the time.  And that’s exactly what I mean when I say Fire Cider can be a catalyst for change.

A big part of what inspires Brian, Dana and I is how Fire Cider works on a personal, local and national level.  I think it’s pretty to clear to most of us that our food system is broken and totally unsustainable.  And it seems to me that healing our food system and turning it into something that’s health building, good for mother earth and sustainable into the future is up to us as individuals and is the responsibility of all of us who work in the natural foods industry.  Since we started our business of getting Fire Cider to as many people as possible we have been working closely with locally owned retail stores and specifically with NCGA Co-Ops aka community owned grocery stores.  When you shop at a co-op your money stays in your local community, it supports the store so that it can offer low prices for high quality food that directly meets the needs of the community the store serves.  Your food dollars go towards supporting local agriculture, high quality foods and well-paying jobs for your friends and neighbors.

When you shop at a conventional chain grocery store, most of the money you spend goes to the corporate headquarters.   The majority of these chain grocers offer conventional food and ‘food products’ most of which contains one or all of the following: herbicides, pesticides, hormone disruptors, genetically modified organisms, refined sugars and carbohydrates.  No one would choose to put that kind of poison into their body and a co-op grocery offers a whole community the power to choose.  Owned and operated on a local level,  a co-op grocery store puts food choices directly into the hands of its community.   We are proud of the mutually supportive relationships we have formed over the past 3 years with retail shops and co-ops all over the country.  By working together we can all help each other succeed.  Everything is connected: what you buy and where you shop are powerful ways to make your voice heard! When you look at things in this way, Fire Cider is so much more than a product we sell, it’s a ripple effect that can positively effect our local community, our amazing customers and business owners across the county who are committed to making important changes in our food system.

I love handing out samples of Fire Cider, we’ve handed out over a quarter of a million samples in the past 3 years, and it’s amazing to watch the paradigm shift that happens when someone tries Fire Cider for the first time.  These simple, everyday foods, have a potent and immediate positive effect, food becomes medicine for the first time and a whole new door of possibility opens!  It happened for me years ago and I’m so happy to be able to share my passion with anyone and everyone willing to give Fire Cider a try.  And that’s the long version of why I jumped at the chance to go on national television and tell all of Dr. Oz’s viewers why Fire Cider is my go-to, all time favorite remedy.  Fire Cider has a long history, stretching back as far as ancient Greece and we are proud to be bringing our version of this old-time combination of cider vinegar and honey to folks who have never heard of it or even thought of their food as their best health care.  Brian, Dana and I are committed to spreading the word about food as medicine and contributing all that we can to making our food system healthy and wholesome for all.  Here’s a short clip from the show, the link to the full show is below!

Watch the full clip here on the Dr. Oz website!

 

Fire Cider May 2014 Event Schedule

sowa opening day 2014

Our official SoWa market representative, Sean, will be sampling and selling Fire Cider at the SoWa Sunday Market in Boston every Sunday this month from 10 am to 4 pm – May 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th!  Oh, and he’ll be there for the rest of the season too, though October!  Sean- you can even email him- sean@firecider.com- will take special orders for bulk, t-shirts and more, stop by anytime for a free shot of your favorite fiery health tonic!

Brian getting ready for another great Sunday at New Amsterdam Market!

Getting ready for another great Saturday at New Amsterdam Market!

Amy and Dana will be at the first New Amsterdam Market of the season on May 31st, Saturday from 10-5pm!  We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

Blue Russ Health Coach sharing the love!

Blue Russ Health Coach sharing the love!

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Jafakin’ Jerk Sauce

Recipe by Noel Prophet

Last summer Dana and I went to a pot luck beer and food pairing: everyone brought a dish and a beer that went with it.  Dana made a summer saison that was a bit citrus-y  and it went well with the berries n biscuits I brought for dessert.  However, I thought the best dish was the jerk chicken that Noel and Kristen brought along with some very appropriate Red Stripe.  Just recently Noel sent me his jerk sauce recipe which I was pretty darn excited to see if I could replicate.  As per his suggestion, the recipe can be modified to suit, the one that follows is enough to marinate 3 pounds of chicken/meat/tofu with enough leftover to serve as a side sauce for greens.   I only made a few changes to Noel’s recipe and the end result was deliciously hot and there were no leftovers!

Bright ingredients makes for a spicy brown sauce.

Bright ingredients makes for a spicy brown sauce.

Suggested Ingredients:

  • Up to 6 scotch bonnet peppers or whatever hot peppers you like – I used the one Habanero that was ready in our garden and then some of the chili peppers that Pete and Jennifer from Woven Roots Farm gave us at the Harvest Festival.
  • 2 Tablespoons each: dried thyme, ground allspice, Fire Cider, salt and black pepper
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (fresh or powdered), to taste.
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup or less olive oil
  • 1/2 cup or less tamari
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon, or more, to taste.

Method:

Chop up everything and then put all in the blender.   Or, put all ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar and use a wand blender to puree, same difference.  The marinade is done, ready to eat now on cooked greens or…

Poke holes in your chicken (or tofu!) before you jerk it so it will hold the flavor better.

Marinate overnight.

When you are ready you can bake, grill, roast, etc your jerked chicken.  This would also work well with tempeh or tofu or other meat.

Here’s what I did with the chicken I let marinate in the fridge, well covered, for over 12 hours:

Pre-heat the oven to 365.  Spread the chicken breast (I had about 2 pounds) and the jerk sauce I used to marinate it, in a wide glass baking dish.  I covered the dish with aluminum foil (or a glass lid if you have one) and baked it for about 45-50 minutes, until the thermometer read 142 and when I sliced into it, it was juicy and cooked through!

Dana made coconut brown basmati rice to go with the baked jerk chicken.  I made a huge side of broccoli rabe dressed in olive oil and salt, which we ate with the remaining jerk sauce.

All covered in Jafakin' Jerk Sauce!

All covered in Jafakin’ Jerk Sauce!

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