Orange Honey Glühwein

As November becomes December, a wonderful thing starts to happen in Munich. Little stalls adorned with branches of pine and probably a few deer antlers start to pop up in squares, fields, and courtyards all over the city and really, the country. Selling everything from Christmas kitsch to handmade treasures, lebkuchen, and stollen, these stalls always seem to be buzzing with people enjoying the season and getting a bit of Christmas shopping done.

After wandering about in the freezing cold for a bit, folks naturally make their way to the most important stand at the market—the ever-present Glühwein stall. Nothing warms your hands, tummy, and heart like a nice long chat with friends over a piping cup of this hot mulled wine which, as Casey says, is the nectar of the gods. Though there are some variations like Nürnburg’s famous blueberry version or the white wine version, the standard is the red with a slight orange taste thanks to the fresh squeezed OJ and mulled peel.

Moving to Germany made me a much better Southern cook, so it stands to reason that the move back to the States will motivate me to learn the German treats we are going to miss so dearly. When brainstorming ideas for our family Christmas party, the thought of sharing this tasty part of German culture with my family gave me the kick in the tush I needed to make it. It’s not even hard, y’all.

Orange Honey Glühwein from Kiwi and Peach

Orange Honey Glühwein

serves 8

juice from 3 oranges {1 1/2 cups}
1 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
20 cloves
1 bottle {750 mL} of a slightly dry red wine, room temperature

Let’s get started by juicing your oranges. Wash them thoroughly. Roll the oranges on the counter to start breaking the membranes inside there. Then cut them in half and squeeze all of the juice into a bowl.

Heat a pot on medium heat. Pour the orange juice through a sieve into the pot and add the honey. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to low.

While that’s coming to a boil, go back to your orange peels. Take two of the halves and scrape the insides out. Stick the cloves through the peel. {This just makes it easier to fish them out later.}

Add the clove studded orange peel and cinnamon sticks to the pot and let it simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. {Some folks add star anise too, but I cannot abide that licorice flavor so clearly, I don’t. Up to you, just throwing it out there.}

Once it’s looking like a syrup, add your wine. Keep it on low and simmer until its steaming. You don’t want to boil it because then you’ll start losing alcohol content, and obviously, we want the alcohol content. Remove the the orange peel and the cinnamon sticks. Once it’s steaming, serve it up as is or, depending on the occasion, add a shot of rum.

Orange Honey Glühwein from Kiwi and Peach
Orange Honey Glühwein from Kiwi and Peach
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Spanish Chicken

We leave for our two week Tour of Italy tomorrow!

Weirdly, this week has flown by {usually the week before vacation drags, yea?}, but it’s probably just because I’ve had so many last minute things to get done. My to do list is two pages single-spaced! I can’t wait to get on the road and just relax!

Even though we will be away, we don’t want you to worry. We would never just abandon you for two whole weeks! The Kiwi and I have made sure that you will still have some great content in our absence. We’ll have new songs for your kitchen playlist, some great links from around the web, and loads of great recipes like this one which according to the Kiwi is the “best thing in the history of the world, ever.”

Kiwi+Peach: Spanish Chicken

Spanish Chicken

{adapted for two from Life is Great}

The Chicken
2 bone in chicken thighs and legs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
zest from 1 orange

The Sides
1 sweet potato
1 red onion
1/2 of a large chorizo sausage {about 4 ounces/125 grams}

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Then wash the chicken and pat dry. Make sure it is really dry because we want the skin to crisp up! Put the chicken in the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper, and the orange zest then rub everything into the chicken really well. Pop it in the oven for a total of 60 minutes.

After you’ve put the chicken in to cook, peel and chop your sweet potato into 1 inch sized bits. At the 45 minute mark, take the chicken out and add the sweet potatoes to the pan then return to the oven.

Next, peel and chop your chorizo into 1 inch sized chunks. Go ahead and slice your onion into thick slices as well. At the 30 minute mark, take the chicken and potatoes out of the oven and add the chorizo and the onions then return it to the oven.

At the 15 minute mark, remove the pan again and using a basting brush, spread some of that yummy chorizo juice on the chicken and then return to the oven for the last 15.

When it’s finished plate it up and enjoy!

Orange Chorizo Man Salad

A rule of thumb in nutrition is the more colorful your plate the larger variety of nutrients you’re getting from your food. Following that logic, this salad is the king of nutritional variety. With lots of dark leafy greens, bright red peppers, black olives, and juicy chunks of orange, its as full of nutrients as it is taste, and the chorizo adds that savoriness {and protein} that many salads lack. I lovingly call this the man salad because its salad that even your carnivore can get on board with. In fact, this was actually in the Kiwi’s rotation long before he met me. What good taste he has.

Orange Chorizo Man Salad

{adapted for two from the Company’s Coming 30 Minute Meals cookbook}

The Protein
1/2 of a large chorizo sausage {about 4 ounces/125 grams}
5 or 6 walnuts {or pecans}

The Goodies
8-10 leaves of romain lettuce
1 orange
1/2 of a small red onion
1/2 of a roasted red pepper
2 Tbsp olives

The Dressing
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
dash of salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C. Shell your walnuts and pop them in the oven to toast for about 5 minutes.

While they are toasting start heating a pan on medium heat. Peel the casing off of your chorizo and slice it into 1/2 inch chunks. Toss it in the pan and cook for about 15 minutes or until the outside has crisped up. When it is finished cooking, transfer the chorizo to a paper towel and blot the grease off.

While the chorizo is cooking you can prepare the rest of the goodies for the salad and make your dressing.

Tear up your lettuce and put it in a large salad bowl. {For crispier lettuce, wash your lettuce the night before. Pat the leaves dry on paper towels and then layer them between the now damp paper towels. Put it back in the fridge over night in the crisper drawer.} Peel the orange and cut each wedge into thirds. Thinly slice the red onion and roasted red peppers. Rinse your olives. Then toss them all into the salad bowl with the lettuce. When the chorizo and walnuts are finished toss them in as well.

For the dressing, break out the food processor.  Toss in all of the ingredients and process until the garlic is in tiny pieces and its well mixed. {If you don’t have a food processor, mince your garlic and then you can just throw all the ingredients in a jar.  Pop the lid on and give it a shake.}

Pour the dressing in the salad bowl and toss the salad well. Serve it up and enjoy your colorful man salad.