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homemade rhubarb gin – a delicious cocktail!

DIY rhubarb gin

Gin is not a favorite liquor of mine and not because I had a bad experience when I was younger.  I never liked how it smelled or tasted.  However, all that changed last year when we were at the farmers’ market.  Steinhart Distillery had a table set up displaying their vodka and gin.  I was asked if I wanted to try their gin.  My facial expression gave me away.  The man behind the table started to talk about the botanicals in their gin and that peaked my interest.  On the first sniff, juniper berries grabbed my nose followed by a slight hint of pine and a small sip of the gin hadn’t been at all what I had remembered.  Continue Reading →

rhubarb cake – so easy your kids can make it

rhubarb cake

My mother in law, Aida, is visiting from England and has been with us for the past 12 days. It’s been a whirlwind visit with us trying to fit in every day with something to see, do or eat. At 92 you’d think we would be home more than usual but not with Aida. She’s game to go anywhere…well, most places that is.  I enjoy cooking for her and getting her to try some of my new recipes but this visit feels as though we’ve been eating out more than we have been in.  Last Monday we took Aida to Peggy’s Cove.  It’s one of the ‘if you haven’t been there, you haven’t visited Nova Scotia’ list of attractions.  Continue Reading →

roasted rhubarb and custard

roasted rhubarb by The Culinary ChaseLocal rhubarb in the grocery stores and farmers’ markets usually signals spring has arrived but the exceptionally cold and lingering winter forced our spring plants to show up much later.  Last weekend I picked up my first local batch of rhubarb from the farmers’ market.  It always makes me think of the ginormous rhubarb plant my mom had in her garden.  As a kid, I remember trying to hide under its massive leaves – most probably playing hide and seek from my siblings. Continue Reading →

Rhubarb Cordial

rhubarb cordial by The Culinary ChaseCordials are fruit-based concentrated drinks that are diluted with water before being consumed.  Homemade versions are easy to make and don’t have any additives like the commercial brands do.  Lemon, lime, orange, raspberry and elderflower are some of the popular ones.  Rhubarb cordial is my favorite.  If you’re lucky enough to have a rhubarb patch in your backyard or access to one, you’ll have it all throughout summer.  Rhubarb cordial has a gorgeous pink color and looks fab in drinks.  Try a splash of it in the bottom of a champagne flute topped with champagne or prosecco or mixed with tonic water, vodka and ice.   Serve this at your next soirée.

By the way, I have some exciting news to share with you. A few weeks ago I was contacted by AOL’s Kitchen Daily Network inviting me to join their contributor network and today it was made official.  I am stoked to announce I am now part of the Kitchen Daily Canada family!  Raise a glass of rhubarb cordial and view all the cool food team contributors here.  Cheers!

rhubarb stalks10 stalks rhubarb, roughly chopped
3 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups sugar
peel of 1 lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler
2 or 3 star anise (optional)

rhubarbIn a saucepan, place rhubarb, water, star anise and lemon peel.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until rhubarb becomes very soft and falling apart. Skim off any foam. Remove from heat, strain and discard the pulp. Pour rhubarb juice back into saucepan and add sugar and lemon juice. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and cool. Keep refrigerated. Serve 1 part cordial with 3 parts still or sparkling water and plenty of ice.

rhubarb cordialThe Culinary Chase’s Note: This will keep up to a week in the fridge but you can add citric acid (a natural preserver) to extend the shelf life of the cordial.  A lovely drink to stay cool during the heat of the summer.  Enjoy!