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31 Dec

The holidays are such a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends keeping up old traditions or making new ones. As you might suspect most of my family traditions revolve around food or a special drink of some sort. For us the holiday gatherings start in November with a few Thanksgiving dinners and then onwards into December with holiday parties, Christmas & Christmas Eve dinners and then comes to an end with Epiphany dinner on January 6th.

Glüwhein 1

This holiday season I decided to try my hand at mulled wine since last year at this time my family and I were lucky enough to be traveling in Germany and Austria. My sister and I traveled together before we met up with our parents in Munich and stayed with a good friend of mine and her husband in Ingolstadt (45 minutes outside of Munich) where we got to experience the German Christmas Markets for the first time. They were so wonderful! Filled with beautiful decorations, huge Christmas tress, unique gifts, awesome German food and mulled wine: Glühwein! This was my first encounter with Glühwein and I loved it! To me it was Christmas in a mug…red wine, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, oranges. YUM 🙂 Every Christmas Market had its own version of Glühwein and it was fun to try them all as we visited Ingolstadt, Munich and Salzburg. To me, Glühwein became the drink of the season.

Glühwein 2

The recipe below takes me back to the Christmas markets and beautiful snowy landscape with each sip. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Makes about 3 liters and serves 10 – 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 4 hours & 10 minutes


  • 1 box of red wine or the equivalent to about 3 liters (I used Black Box Merlot which worked great. I would stick to a Merlot, Syrah or Spanish Garnacha – advice thanks to Amusée)
  • 3 – 4 four fresh oranges
  • 1 tbls allspice (NOT ground)
  • 1 tbls cloves
  • 1 tbls cassia buds (cinnamon buds) or four cinnamon sticks
  • 1 – 2 tbls sugar (the worse the wine the more sugar you will have to add)


Pour wine into a slow cooker or very large heavy bottomed stock pot. Start to warm the wine. DO NOT BOIL. Add the slices of one orange and the freshly squeezed juice of two. Place the allspice, cloves and cassis buds or cinnamon sticks in a cheese cloth and tie into a small bag. Drop that into the wine. Let the wine warm for at least 2-4 hours before serving so the flavors come together.

Before serving take the cheese cloth with the spices out, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. If necessary add juice from the last orange as well.

Serve warm in fun holiday mugs.



Grilled Tilapia Fish Tacos with Lime & Cilantro Sour Cream

14 Jul

It’s been a bit balmy around here for the last few weeks and hot weather makes it easy to crave something light and refreshing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On this particularly warm night Mike and I decided to relax with a few pomegranate margaritas and grilled fish tacos. I chose tilapia because that is what looked freshest at the market but any firm white fish will do. I am always trying to eat more fish and this is a perfect way to accomplish that.


Shake up a margarita, get the grill going and enjoy the weather!


Grilled Tilapia Fish Taco

Serves: 2

Timing: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 pound tilapia
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 lime, juice & zest
  • 1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 to 4 tortillas


  • Lime & Cilantro Sour Cream (recipe below)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro
Lime & Cilantro Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 lime. juice and zest (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Whisk together the canola oil, lime juice and zest, coarsely chopped jalapeño and cilantro. Marinate fish in this for 15 to 20 minutes.

While the fish is marinating slice the avocado, chop the tomatoes and combine the sour cream, lime juice, lime zest and chopped cilantro leaves together. Let the sour cream sit and the flavors marry while the fish is grilling.

Place the fish in a grill basket or directly on the grill. Grill for about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds to a minute and remove from the heat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes and then flake the fish with a fork. Option to reduce/cook the extra marinade and drizzle on flaked fish before serving – I highly recommend this!

Place the tortillas on the grill for 20 seconds, flipping once. Divide the flaked fish among the tortillas and garnish with the preferred garnishes.

Pomegranate Margaritas

Serves: 2

Timing: 5 minutes


  • Ice
  • 3 oz. tequilla (blanco, 100% agave)
  • 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 6 oz limeade
  • 1/2 oz Pama liquor


Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake and pour over ice. Garnish with lime wedge if desired.