The true charm of the holiday season is in the homespun and personal. Homemade food in particular has an unmatched charm and joyfulness to it. Each of these delicious and simple recipes are multi-functional; both the fragrant mulling spices and sweet sugar cookies (coming soon) can be given as unique gifts, while a traditional Hanukkah staple, potato latkes, can also make for a filling festive brunch or serve as a hearty party canapé if made smaller.

Mulling Spices
Makes about 2 ½ cups (enough for several recipes)

•   4 whole seeds of nutmeg
•   ½ cup cardamom pods
•   ½ cup cinnamon sticks
•   ¼ cup fresh orange peel
•   ¼ cup fresh ginger
•   ¼ cup whole cloves
•  ¼ cup fresh lemon peel (if giving as a gift, substitute with dried lemon and orange peel)
•   Star anise, whole pods (optional)

1. Peel the orange and lemon, then set aside. 
2. Put the nutmeg and cardamom pods in a thick plastic bag. Break them apart with a mallet or heavy rolling pin. You can also process in a food processor or spice grinder, but don’t grind too finely. 
3. Put nutmeg and cardamom pieces in a bowl and add the cinnamon chips, ginger root, orange and lemon peel, allspice berries, and cloves.

Mulled Wine
•   1 bottle red wine
•   Fresh orange or pineapple juice (as desired)
•   ½ cup mulling spices

1. Slice the peeled oranges and juice them. 
2. Pour red wine and fruit juice in a large saucepan. 
3. Toss in the mulling spices.
4. Heat slowly over medium heat until steaming, but don’t allow to boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. 
5. Strain the mulled wine through a sieve to remove the spices.   
6. Serve with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick for garnish. 

Mulled Apple Juice 
•   1L fresh apple juice
•   ½ cup of mulling spices 
•   ¼ cup maple syrup (optional)

1. Add apple juice to large pan. 
2. Add maple syrup (if desired for extra sweetness) then stir well. 
3. Add the mulling spices and gently warm on medium heat for 20 minutes or so until hot.
4. Remove from heat, strain, and pour into thick glasses or mugs. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish.

This post originally appeared on beijingkids and comes courtesy of:

Siemens Beijing Direct Brand Shop
Daily 9am-6pm. Shop 102, Gemini Grove, 63 Xinyuan Jie, Chaoyang District
WeChat: se_direct_brand_shop


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog