Monday, September 09, 2013

The Upside of Cold

Did you feel how cold it was this past weekend?! And this morning?? I think it's official. We can say goodbye. Goodbye to the heat, goodbye to cute strappy sandals, goodbye to bathing suits and shorts and goodbye to summer. We can also say goodbye to mosquito bites and sunburns!

Like most of you, I am a little upset that summer is over but I'm also really happy. One of the reasons why I am happy is because I want this year to pass by very quickly because well.. you know! Only 362 days left until I walk down the aisle!

Although not many of you can relate to my first reason, I think a lot of you can relate to my second reason why I'm at peace with summer ending.
 
I like to hide under my clothes.
 
Let me explain!  I had a cold this weekend (another sign that summer is at a close). Well I still have a cold. My ears are plugged, I have a red nose, paler than usual skin (that I put great effort to hide with bronzer), I have a headache, a sore throat and I sound like I have been a chain smoker for the past 30 years. I also sound a bit like Phoebe when she is "rocking it" at Central Perk. (see video below)


What's wonderful is that, when I went outside, I hid under a jacket, a scarf and big sunglasses. I still felt like crap but I looked fabulous pretty decent! In the summer, you don't have the luxury to hide under your clothes like that. I am well aware that disguise has to come off when you get to work but hey! I liked seeing myself morph from I-have-a-cold-Tania to fabulously-decent-Tania.   

See you next year, summer. It has been wonderful. I bid you farewell and hope that I am not a bridezilla next time I see you.

In honor of this beautiful, autumn-like weather (although I think it's not too cold outside now), here is Chef Michael Smith's Mulled Apple Cider recipe. I made it around this time last year and looking forward to making it again!

Michael Smith's Mulled Apple Cider

Ingredients

- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 2 liters (8 cups) fresh cider
- 1 orange
- 24 cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 branches of rosemary
- 8 star anise pods (or 2 teaspoons ground star anise)
- 1 bottle of Chardonnay or Apple wine

Directions Place the sugar and water in a medium sized sauce, large enough to hold the cider and wine. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil and continue simmering as it forms syrup and the water boils away. Do not stir or shake the pot. When the syrup begins to brown gently swirl the pot until the caramel is a deep golden brown. Working quickly and carefully, add the cider to "shock" the caramel and prevent it from burning. It will splatter, so be careful! Bring the entire mixture to a simmer. Spike the orange with the cloves and add to the cider. Add the remaining ingredients and continue simmering for about 30 minutes until the cider reduces by about a third. Add the wine, bring the mixture back to the simmer and serve immediately in a festive mug. Garnish each serving with a rosemary sprig.

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