Honey Mojito

Summer screams mojitos, doesn’t it?!? We happen to have mint growing like crazy on our patio, and we happily turn it into mojitos every summer. This recipe calls for a simple syrup – but we tried a honey simply syrup instead. Not that honey is particularly better for you then regular white sugar (once it’s in the body, all sugar is processed the same). But, it is a less refined sweetener and therefore, takes more work for you body to break it down. And, any extra honey simple syrup you have can be lovely swirled in greek yogurt or mixed in a green smoothie!

Honey Simple Syrup – 4 parts honey to one part water, simmer and stir.

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 oz Honey Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the simple syrup, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more simple syrup if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedges


Andrew’s Hot Cocoa




Many nights, after the kids are tucked away in bed, you’ll hear this conversation in our home:

Me: Let us sit (collapse) on the couch and watch (Downton Abby/30 Rock/ThatNetflixMovie)! And (added smile and knowing look) won’t you pretty please make your special hot cocoa that I love so much?

Husband: But of course my love.

(isn’t he great?)

Cooks Illustrated Hot Cocoa

Serves 4 in small mugs

Why This Recipe Works
Our ideal hot cocoa recipe would give us serious chocolate flavor and a rich, satisfying consistency. We found that 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder sweetened with 1 tablespoon of sugar added enough chocolate flavor to our hot cocoa recipe without being overpowering. Many recipes recommend mixing cocoa powder and sugar with a little water before adding the milk, and we found this to be worthwhile. Water has the effect of releasing the cocoa powder’s fruit, chocolate, and coffee flavor nuances. We also discovered that heating the mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and water for two minutes before adding milk further deepens the flavor.

If you want to increase or decrease this recipe for hot cocoa, the key ratio to remember is one and one-half tablespoons of cocoa and one heaping tablespoon of sugar per cup of liquid. If you have whole milk on hand rather than low-fat, go ahead and use it, omitting the half-and-half.


6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, measured by dip-and-sweep

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch table salt

1cup water

3 cups low-fat milk (1 or 2 percent)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup half-and-half


1. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, whisk together cocoa, sugar, salt, and water over low heat until smooth. Simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes, making sure whisk gets into the edges of pan.

2. Add milk, increase heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally with whisk, until steam rises from surface and tiny bubbles form around edge, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not boil.

3. Add vanilla and half-and-half. For foamy cocoa, beat hot cocoa with hand mixer or transfer to blender and blend until foamy. Divide between four mugs, top with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired, and serve immediately.

Thai Iced Tea with Ron and Pleo

My brother Ron, and his wife Pleo, stopped by to say hi before they
moved back to Bangkok!

And, they brought with them delicious Thai Iced Tea – including the
video they produced on how to make the same at home!

Check it out: http://www.cookingthaifood.com/Thai_Iced_Tea

Plus my brother is a photography genius and he showed me how to take a
better “food” picture. 🙂 Hence the nice looking shot of the iced
tea … I’m learning …