Tag Archives: milk

Hygge Hot Cocoa

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Makes: 1 Mug | Total Time: 5 Minutes

hyg·ge

/ˈh(y)o͞oɡə/

(noun)

A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture): “Why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life?”

Wisconsin Winter Beauty In Manitowoc County 2020

Hygge is a lifestyle that I have embraced as far back as I can remember, and that was way (waaaaaaay) before it became a ‘thing’ here in America.

I grew up in a house filled with hygge; both my parents were fond of cozy fireplaces, kerosine lanterns (even if the power wasn’t out), incense, potpourri, warm quilts and the perfect hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with milk was a favorite, especially after a day spent outside playing in the snow. (And yes, I’ve had frostbite – twice!)

I guess you can say that hygge is in my blood. I am of Danish descent (half of me is, anyway, the other half is German). My father’s ancestors came from Copenhagen – one was, in fact, a head chef for the king in the early part of the 20th century.

I guess you can see where I get the culinary gene from!

Back to the hygge thing…

We have been living in our new (old) place in the country for 4 months now, so the only season we have experienced here so far is winter. I must admit that winter is a very pretty time of year, you just gotta look for the beauty!

Birds In Wisconsin Wonderland

With that said, the high here tomorrow won’t get above zero (without the wind chill). To get an idea of the kind of winds we get around here (thank you, Lake Michigan), check out the snow blowing wildly off the trees in the video I had so much fun making for you – (Pssst! All of you southerners can live vicariously through it!)

Doing any kind of work outside when the temps drop this far down can be dangerous, so you gotta move real fast – it is the only way to keep a body’s temperature up. (Those drifts in the driveway need to be cleared every few hours when we have 40 mph gusts, you know.)

When I am out there in that blustery tundra, I can’t help but notice the colors of the sky, trees, and snow. White has many shades, as does gray. At the risk of getting hypothermia, I still do stop for a moment or two to take it all in. Being outside is part of the hygge – because it makes the inside seem so much warmer!

The best part about these long, cold Wisconsin winters? Coming in out of the cold and having a mug of Hygge Hot Cocoa. You can make your own hot chocolate recipe at home. (Why drive to the store to buy hot cocoa when the roads are covered with ice?) In fact, you probably already have the ingredients for homemade hot chocolate in your pantry. Make your hot chocolate from scratch with my Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix recipe – it’s easy and only takes 5 minutes. Then all you have to do is add hot milk (or water), brandy, the warm brightness of orange and the soothing floral of lavender. 

Now that you’ve made the perfect hot chocolate, you can go on to create your own hygge experience; warm blankets, scented candles, rich colors, incense, taxidermy… 

However you hygge, you’ll be glad to have this Hygge Hot Cocoa recipe in your arsenal.


Hygge Hot Cocoa

Total Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-5 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot milk, hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • whipped cream, for topping (optional)
  • chai tea latte mix, for garnish (optional)

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.

2. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.

Make Hot Chocolate From Scratch

3. Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

4. Bring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!

How To Hygge

Hot Cocoa Ideas
Hygge Hot Cocoa With Essential Oils

Hygge Hot Cocoa

Need some hot cocoa ideas? Here is the perfect hot chocolate recipe that I guarantee you've never had before!
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1 Mug

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 tbsp hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot milk hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • whipped cream for topping, optional
  • chai tea latte mix for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

  • Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.
  • dd 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.
  • Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.
  • ring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!
Keyword creamy hot cocoa, hot chocolate, hot chocolate and, hot chocolate recipe at home, hot chocolate with, make hot chocolate from scratch, perfect hot chocolate, the perfect hot chocolate
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Germanicana (German-American Potato Salad)

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Serves: 6 |  Total Time: 1 Hour

German potato salad?

American potato salad?

Can’t decide?

This recipe incorporates both in one fantastic potato salad dish! You’ll get the creaminess of American potato salad along with the tangy bite of German potato salad, plus it can be served warm, cold, or room temperature.

When cooking the potatoes in this recipe, resist the temptation to add water. New red potatoes have enough of their own natural water… and if you have the patience to simmer them low and slow, they will cook in their own juices to produce the creamiest, most flavorful potatoes. 

The only caveat is that you will need a good pot with a tight-fitting lid to keep all that steam from escaping.

Every time I make this for a party or get-together, it becomes a new favorite for someone.

Will you be next?


Germanicana

(German-American Potato Salad)

Total Time: 1 Hour

Prep: 15 Minutes / Cook: 45 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs. new red potatoes, skins on and halved (larger pieces quartered)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt butter and olive oil in a dutch oven with a fitted lid over medium heat. Add potatoes, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring only once in a while (not too much or you’ll loose that precious moisture), until the potatoes are soft all the way through and very slightly browned on the edges. Do not add water! The potatoes will cook in their own juices, maximizing flavor and creaminess. (If browning happens too early, reduce heat to prevent burning and uneven cooking.) Once cooked through (check with a fork), drain the potatoes. Discard the oil and transfer potatoes to a large bowl.

Red Potato Salad

2. In a smaller bowl, vigorously whisk together the milk and lemon juice until the milk thickens slightly and resembles buttermilk. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salts, and pepper and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

3. Once the potatoes have cooled down a bit, gently stir in the the garlic, celery, scallions, and bacon bits with a large wooden spoon. Pour mayonnaise mixture over potatoes and fold it in carefully until the potatoes are coated, be careful not to mash the potatoes. They may break apart a little, and that is ok. Large chunks are good, however! 

4. Serve the potato salad chilled or at room temperature with Wisconsin bratwurst, sweet and sour bread and butter pickles, and a cold beer.

Germanicana German American Potato Salad
Best Potato Salad
German American Fusion Potato Salad

Germanicana (German-American Potato Salad)

This recipe incorporates both German potato salad and American potato salad in one fantastic potato salad dish! You’ll get the creaminess of American potato salad along with the tangy bite of German potato salad, plus it can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 470 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds new red potatoes skins on and halved (larger pieces quartered)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1/4 pound bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter and olive oil in a dutch oven with a fitted lid over medium heat. Add potatoes, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring only once in a while (not too much or you'll loose that precious moisture), until the potatoes are soft all the way through and very slightly browned on the edges. Do not add water! The potatoes will cook in their own juices, maximizing flavor and creaminess. (If browning happens too early, reduce heat to prevent burning and uneven cooking.) Once cooked through (check with a fork), drain the potatoes. Discard the oil and transfer potatoes to a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl, vigorously whisk together the milk and lemon juice until the milk thickens slightly and resembles buttermilk. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salts, and pepper and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  • Once the potatoes have cooled down a bit, gently stir in the the garlic, celery, scallions, and bacon bits with a large wooden spoon. Pour mayonnaise mixture over potatoes and fold it in carefully until the potatoes are coated, be careful not to mash the potatoes. They may break apart a little, and that is ok. Large chunks are good, however! 
  • Serve the potato salad chilled or at room temperature with Wisconsin bratwurst, sweet and sour bread and butter pickles, and a cold beer.
Keyword american potato salad, best potato salad recipe, german potato salad, germanicana, potato salad
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Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

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Serves: 8 | Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

This is the best rice pudding recipe for summertime, especially if you are looking for summer pudding ideas that aren’t too heavy.

A twist on old fashioned rice pudding, this lavender lemon dessert is cooked over the stove – low and slow for maximum creaminess. You can have this summer rice pudding with tea (think garden tea party), but my favorite accompaniment to have with it is a glass of good chardonnay with big, bold fruit flavor – one that isn’t too dry. 

Don’t be intimidated by the candied lemon peel. The method I use with this recipe is so easy, and the process can be done while the pudding is cooking. (The rice and the candied lemon peel will finish cooking right about the same time.)

Don’t you just love when that happens?

If you are serving this summer dessert at a dinner party, multiply the recipe and chill the pudding in a pan. Top the whole shebang with the Herbes De Provence and candied lemon peel, put your best silver serving spoon alongside it, and ta da!

You are now ready to impress your guests with this one-of-a-kind, gourmet dessert. 


Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Prep: 5 Minutes / Cook: 40 Minutes / Chill: 1 Hour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • peel of 2 lemons
    • Use a vegetable peeler to take off large strips of the lemon peel, topmost yellow part only. Strips should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, 2 inches long and paper thin.
  • 3/4 cup medium grain rice (not instant)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespoons silver rum
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • Herbes de Provence, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and lemon peel. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook for a minute while stirring to prevent the milk from scorching, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the rice.

2. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the lemon peels. Rinse the peels under cold water, then transfer them to a small saucepan. Add about a 1/2 to 1 cup of water, just enough to cover the peels. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the water is mostly evaporated.

3. While the lemon peels are being candied, stir the vanilla and rum into the rice mixture. Return the saucepan to the stove and bring the rice to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Stir just enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a film from forming on top of the milk.

Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

4. When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.

5. Remove the saucepan with the lemon peels from the heat as soon as they begin to dry out. This will prevent the sugar from burning. They will be very sticky. Carefully transfer them to a sheet of parchment paper. When slightly cooled, use your fingers to spread them out so that they don’t stick together. Allow them to curl a bit, or you can help curl them into pretty spirals and such. 

6. Add the lavender essential oil and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to the rice and stir well to combine. Allow to cool, then refrigerate the pudding prior to serving. 

7. When the pudding has had time to chill, serve it in small dessert dishes garnished with a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence and a couple pieces of the candied lemon peel. 

Summer Rice Pudding

Summer Dessert Idea
Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

This is the best rice pudding recipe for summertime, especially if you are looking for summer pudding ideas that aren’t too heavy. Perfect for tea parties!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Chill 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Gourmet
Servings 8 people
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • peel of 2 lemons (see note below)
  • ¾ cup medium grain rice (not instant)
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespons silver rum
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • Herbes de Provence for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk and lemon peel. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook for a minute while stirring to prevent the milk from scorching, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the rice.
  • Use a slotted spoon to fish out the lemon peels. Rinse the peels under cold water, then transfer them to a small saucepan. Add about a 1/2 to 1 cup of water, just enough to cover the peels. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the water is mostly evaporated.
  • While the lemon peels are being candied, stir the vanilla and rum into the rice mixture. Return the saucepan to the stove and bring the rice to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Stir just enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a film from forming on top of the milk.
  • When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Remove the saucepan with the lemon peels from the heat as soon as they begin to dry out. This will prevent the sugar from burning. They will be very sticky. Carefully transfer them to a sheet of parchment paper. When slightly cooled, use your fingers to spread them out so that they don't stick together. Allow them to curl a bit, or you can help curl them into pretty spirals and such. 
  • Add the lavender essential oil and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to the rice and stir well to combine. Allow to cool, then refrigerate the pudding prior to serving. 
  • When the pudding has had time to chill, serve it in small dessert dishes garnished with a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence and a couple pieces of the candied lemon peel. 

Notes

Use a vegetable peeler to take off large strips of the lemon peel, topmost yellow part only. Strips should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, 2 inches long and paper thin.
Keyword cook with essential oils, lavender lemon desserts, rice pudding recipe for tea parties, summer dessert recipes, summer rice pudding
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30 Minute Amazing Cod Dinner

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Serves: 2 | Total Time: 25 Minutes

The idea for this 30-minute fried cod recipe came from the local VFW hall in the city where we used to live. I am not kidding when I say that their fish fries are better than those at any high-end supper club! For what they lack in atmosphere, they make up for in their fish fries.

People drive for miles in biting cold conditions to eat there.

Can you blame them?

What could be better than an assortment of succulent fish deep-fried in a light, crunchy batter on a frigid Friday night in Wisconsin? My husband and I usually eat at the bar, and never a dull moment is to be had. I am convinced that the friendliest people on earth eat fish at the bars of Wisconsin’s VFW halls!

For my recipe, I narrowed it down to cod – because cod is easy to get and its pretty forgiving when you prepare it. The rice flour along with the ginger beer come together to give the batter a mild sweetness that is light, flaky, and anything but heavy. You want the juicy meat of the fish to star; the batter is only a supporting role.

Don’t worry too much if the batter doesn’t seem to stick to the fish. It doesn’t take much to give the meat a crunchy brown crust. This meal goes well with my homemade Dilly-Horse Tarter Sauce… because I made it specifically for this dish! (Regular tarter sauce will work, too!) 

I’ll have a brandy old fashioned sweet – with olives, please!


30 Minute Amazing Cod Dinner

Total Time: 25 Minutes

Prep: 15 Minutes / Cook: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons homemade lemon-pepper seasoning
  • vegetable oil, about 2 cups
  • 1 lb. cod filet
  • whole milk, about 1-2 cups
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. To prepare the batter for the cod, you will need to start with two medium-sized bowls. In the first bowl, season the all-purpose flour with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornflakes, lemon-pepper seasoning, and breadcrumbs.

2. Pour the vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. It should come to about 1/4 inch deep. Begin to heat the oil over medium-high. It will rise to temperature as you finish preparing the cod.

3. Slice the cod into eight 1-inch pieces.

4. Place the cod pieces in a third, clean bowl. Pour enough milk over them to cover them and then toss them with your fingers. I go so far as to lightly massage the milk into the pieces for a little extra infusion of richness.

5. Combine the ginger beer and fish sauce. Pour half of the mixture into the bowl with the rice flour mixture and vigorously stir with a fork for about a minute. (I don’t use a whisk for this part because the batter does thicken up rather quickly. Using a fork eliminates the batter from getting stuck inside the whisk.) Add the remaining ginger beer mixture to the batter and continue to stir until combined and slightly foamy.

Best Breading For Fried Fish

6. Drain the milk off the cod pieces, discard milk. Add the cod to the seasoned all-purpose flour and toss to coat. Transfer the cod all at once to the ginger beer batter. Mix with your hands, patting the batter down into the pieces of cod until each piece is evenly coated. 

7. By this point your oil should be hot enough to fry the fish. Test it by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil, if it sizzles rapidly, you are ready to go!

8. Add the cod, one piece at a time, to the hot oil. Place them in a single layer with some space between each piece. (If you have to work in batches, do! Crowding the pan will only cause your cod to cook unevenly.) After about 90 seconds, flip each piece and allow to brown on the other side for another 90 seconds.

9. Turn the heat to medium and allow the fish to fry for another 4 – 6 minutes (the length of time will depend on how frozen your fish was when you started). You’ll know they are done when the outside is brown and crispy and the inside is flaky and moist.

10. Remove the fish to a cooling rack placed over paper towels to allow any excess grease to drain off.

11. Serve steaming hot with buttered wild rice, blanched greens, and ramekins of homemade tarter sauce.


30 Minute Fried Cod Dinner Idea
Best Fried Fish Recipe

30 Minute Amazing Cod Dinner

Brown and crunchy on the outside, light and flaky on the inside. Slightly sweet, intensely good. Make this easy cod dinner in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup crushed cornflakes
  • ¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cod filet
  • whole milk, about 1-2 cups
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the batter for the cod, you will need to start with two medium-sized bowls. In the first bowl, season the all-purpose flour with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornflakes, lemon-pepper seasoning, and breadcrumbs
  • Pour the vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. It should come to about 1/4 inch deep. Begin to heat the oil over medium-high. It will rise to temperature as you finish preparing the cod.
  • Slice the cod into eight 1-inch pieces.
  • Place the cod pieces in a third, clean bowl. Pour enough milk over them to cover them and then toss them with your fingers. I go so far as to lightly massage the milk into the pieces for a little extra infusion of richness.
  • Combine the ginger beer and fish sauce. Pour half of the mixture into the bowl with the rice flour mixture and vigorously stir with a fork for about a minute. (I don't use a whisk for this part because the batter does thicken up rather quickly. Using a fork eliminates the batter from getting stuck inside the whisk.) Add the remaining ginger beer mixture to the batter and continue to stir until combined and slightly foamy.
  • Drain the milk off the cod pieces, discard milk. Add the cod to the seasoned all-purpose flour and toss to coat. Transfer the cod all at once to the ginger beer batter. Mix with your hands, patting the batter down into the pieces of cod until each piece is evenly coated. 
  • By this point your oil should be hot enough to fry the fish. Test it by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil, if it sizzles rapidly, you are ready to go!
  • Add the cod, one piece at a time, to the hot oil. Place them in a single layer with some space between each piece. (If you have to work in batches, do! Crowding the pan will only cause your cod to cook unevenly.) After about 90 seconds, flip each piece and allow to brown on the other side for another 90 seconds.
  • Turn the heat to medium and allow the fish to fry for another 4 – 6 minutes (the length of time will depend on how frozen your fish was when you started). You'll know they are done when the outside is brown and crispy and the inside is flaky and moist.
  • Remove the fish to a cooling rack placed over paper towels to allow any excess grease to drain off.
  • Serve steaming hot with buttered wild rice, blanched greens, and ramekins of homemade tartar sauce.

Notes

Helpful Tip:
I use cod that is still slightly frozen. I find it’s easier to get a nice, clean cut on it, plus this keeps the meat moist when it’s frying in the hot oil. (If you have a solid filet, take it out of the freezer about 3 hours before you begin. Smaller pieces won’t require as much time.)
Keyword 30 minute meals, best batter for fried fish, best fried fish, easy cod dinner, fast easy dinners, fish fry recipes
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