Guest Post - Curious

Well hello there, Heart Full of Daisies fans!  I’m AL.  I’ve been a not-so-secret admirer of Heart Full for quite some time now, so I was super excited when Kate invited me to guest-post for her while she enjoys a brief break from her computer-life (sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?).  I started blogging relatively recently over at Curious. I write about a hodgepodge of my life-loves:  fashion, teaching, travels, music and, of course, food!  I first met Kate…hmmm…at outdoor ed in 6th grade?  Kate and I went to middle and high school together in the sea of cornfields known as central Illinois.  I can assure you that she was just as lovably adorable in the 7th grade. :)

Today, I’m going to teach you how to make something very easy and VERY Christmassy:  Mulled Wine.

I’ve wanted to try this forever.  I helped my aunt Mary decorate her lovely house for Christmas today, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! You need:  A bottle of dry red wine (I used zinfandel), 4 cups of apple cider, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, honey, and an orange.
1.  Pour the apple cider and the bottle of wine into a large pot:
2.  Add the spices:  3-4 cloves, 2-3 star anise, 2-4 cinnamon sticks.  The star anise is very strong, so use less if you’re not sure how much you like it.  It has a licorice-like flavor.
3.  Zest the orange and add the zest into the mix.  Zest the whole thing – the more, the better!  
Then, juice the orange into the pot:
4.  If you have a sweet-tooth, add about a quarter cup of honey.  If you like things a little more tart, add a little less.  I added about a quarter cup, but next time I’m going with less.
5.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Then, let it simmer (lid off) for about 10 minutes.  Voilá!  You have just mulled wine.  Pour up a nice, warm, spicy mug of it.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a curl of orange skin. 
 Drink it with somebody lovely.

Yum.  Enjoy!  Happy, Happy Holidays.

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