I am a food photographer and stylist, recipe developer, and educator, providing professional services for brands and insightful education for hobbyists and aspiring food photographers alike.
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Nothing says holiday like the smells and tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. My recipe for mulling spices has all these delicious rich warm spices and makes a thoughtful hostess or holiday gift. Use the spice packets to make hot apple cider or spiced mulled red wine. I have even been known to put a packet in a pot of simmering water to make the house smell good!
The quality of your mulling spice packets will be directly impacted by the quality of the spices you begin with. It’s so important to invest in good ingredients. I order many of mine from the Internet. I usually make a big batch in mid-November to have on hand to give as gifts to friends, family, your kids’ teachers, the hairstylist or a last-minute hostess gift. If stored in a cool dark spot, they will keep a long time much like tea.
I start mulling spice day by gathering all of the ingredients along with packaging so I can spend a couple of hours in the kitchen mixing and assembling. A little holiday music makes it even more festive.
To package these as gifts, I like to add two bundles to a box or glass jar along with one cinnamon stick for each bundle. I then tie a holiday ribbon around the box and add a tag with the recipe for hot spiced apple cider or mulled spiced wine.
Looking for a great DIY food gift to give this holiday season? Try Mulling Spice. This blend of warm spices spreads holiday cheer when used to Mull Wine and Apple Cider. Nothing says happy holidays more than a warm mug of Hot or Spiked Apple Cider aka Wassail.
You can save the vanilla beans to infuse into sugar or honey.
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I like to serve hot apple cider with a bottle of Knob CreekFireball or Jack Daniels green apple whiskey so my guests have the option of drinking a virgin mug or adding a little kick as they wish.
Star Anise is such a beautiful addition to the mulling spice packets. Star anise is a small star-shaped fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree. It has an aniseed or licorice flavor similar to anise or fennel, although it is not related to either. It is rich in bioactive compounds – flavonoids and polyphenols. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. As a tea, it is often used to cure respiratory infections, nausea, constipation and other digestive maladies.
In cooking, star anise can be used whole (as in the mulling spice recipe) or as a powder. It is most prevalent in Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern foods. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes. As a caution, a little of this spice goes a long way so use a light hand when adding it to your favorite foods. Try it in everything from soups and stews to baked goods and desserts.
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I am a food photographer, educator, and recipe developer, sharing my passion for bringing flavor to life through stunning visuals.
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