Thursday, February 21, 2013

Recipes!! Ginger Ale and Jen's Famous Raspberry Jello

As promised, here are the two recipes from Leah's birthday:

Let's talk about ginger ale.  

Some ginger ale soda you buy is gross.  Just gross.  It's sharp and bitter and horrid.

But not this ginger ale.

This ginger ale is delicious!  It's one of my favorite drinks and especially refreshing in the summer.

Or the middle of February.

It does require real ginger, which could be scary, but it's not.

As you can see, I pick the ginger that is long and skinny.  I don't like the knobs, because you pay for ginger by the pound, and I think the knobs are hard to deal with and I don't want to pay for them.  I usually get about half of a pound for this.

First, you want to peel your ginger.  It's super easy to peel it with a spoon.

I'm normally holding it with my left hand, but I was using the aforementioned left had to take the picture.  Please...hold it with your left hand.

After you peel it, cut it into thirds or quarters.

You can see that ginger has a "grain" to it kind of like wood does.  You'll want to cut with the grain.

I always cut it in half with the grain so that I can lay it flat and easily slice it.

Slice the ginger until you have 1 cup.

Your 2 year old might want to eat raw ginger.  You can let her, but it is a little spicy, so she might spit it out.

I don't have pictures of the next part, because...well, just because I didn't think to, I guess!

Put 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar into a medium pan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until dissolved.  You've actually just made simple syrup here!

Add 1 cup of sliced ginger.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

After it is done simmering, remove from heat.  Let cool slightly.  Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a clean jar or bowl or random storage container. 

Your 2 year old can eat the sugared ginger if she wants to.  Mine loves it!

Refrigerate until cold.

When you're ready to serve it, put some ice in a cup.  Fill the cup about a quarter full of syrup.

Fill the rest of the cup with seltzer water and stir.  I use seltzer water (mine is $0.64 at Walmart) instead of club soda.  I feel like club soda has an odd flavor to it, but seltzer water doesn't. 

Squeeze a wedge of lime into the cup.  Do NOT skip the totally makes this drink!

Enjoy the taste of sweet ginger candy, with the tiniest kick at the end, in your glass.  It's totally worth conquering any fear you may have of fresh ginger.

And did I mention that you shouldn't skip the lime?  Because you shouldn't.

The recipe for this ginger ale was one of the first things I ever pinned.  Doesn't that make you feel sentimental?  Awww...

Now onto the jello that people-who-don't-like-jello actually like!

I got this recipe from the cookbook that our old MOPS group made like 5 years ago.  

I like to call this Jen's Famous Raspberry Jello.  I think I'm the only one who calls it that, but you should call it that, too.  Jen should be famous for this jello.

All you need is...

2 small packages (or 1 large package) of raspberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 cup applesauce
8 oz (or so) frozen raspberries

Stir together the jello and boiling water until the jello is dissolved (about 2 minutes).  I stir it into the bowl I intend to serve from so I don't dirty another dish.  Add applesauce and stir well.  Fold in the raspberries.  I usually just dump some in from the bag until it looks good and then give it a quick stir.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or least until it's firm.

Now, if you're Famous Jen, you can top it with Cool Whip.  I haven't done that because I don't usually think of it, but you can!  

I'm not posting a picture of the finished jello because I'm a horrible food photographer and jello is reeeeeally hard to photograph and have it look appetizing.  But, believe me when I tell you that you should make it :) ...even without a picture to convince you!

I'm off to do baths and fold some laundry!  Whee!

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