An Aching Sweet Tooth

With a side of a champagne headache!  Yesterday, I hosted a group of girl friends at my home for caramel apple making and as promised, an excuse to drink champagne.  Even though this is our second annual I'd say we were no more successful than last year with the caramel actually sticking to the apples.  I thought that I'd possible resolved this situation by purchasing my apples at the farmers market.  A lot of caramel research pointed to the wax that's on apples at grocery stores.  It didn't appear to help so if any of you have any tips or recipes  - please share!  I tried this one from Food Network and I was not impressed.  As it cooled it became gritty.  Gross! When we started planning this party last month it was cold and pouring down rain so of course our first thought was warm, fall-like beverages.  As the party drew closer and I saw the 10 day forecast was predicting low 80s across the board I sadly had to let the warm drinks go... Wifey Simone picked out some excellent alternatives to go with our champagne including a cranberry apple cider, apricot mojitos and a spiced apple tea.  The recipe was so delicious I had her email me the link so I could share:

Spiced Fruit Tea

  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 5 bags orange-flavored spiced herb tea
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 46 ounce can unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • Kumquat slices (optional)
  • Orange slices, mint sprigs, lime slices, and/or fresh pineapple chunks (optional)
Preparation1. Pour boiling water into a very large bowl. Add the tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in sugar and cinnamon until sugar is dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and lime juice. Remove 3 cups of the mixture. Cover and chill the remaining mixture for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

2. Pour the 3 cups tea mixture into two clean ice cube trays, adding kumquat slices, if desired. Cover and freeze until firm.

3. To serve, divide prepared ice cubes among glasses. Add chilled tea mixture. If desired, garnish with fruit and/or mint. Makes 8 to 10 (about 8-ounce) servings.

She opted to keep things simple using only apples, limes and pineapples in her tea infusion.  We poured our into chilled glasses of champagne.
 

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