Spiced Whiskey Sour

Spiced Whiskey Sour

This Spiced Whiskey Sour uses a variety of spices to add great depth of flavor to the more traditional whiskey sour. The nutmeg is sweet, the cinnamon is spicy, and the cayenne adds heat to the drink; all together they make for a well-rounded medley of spices that complement this tart whiskey concoction.


2 shots of Revel Stoke Spiced Canadian Whiskey

2 shots club soda

1 shot lemon juice

1 tbsp honey (local honey from a small supplier is best, we love the honey sold by Indian Creek Nature Center, if you visit the center on a Saturday afternoon you can watch the beekeeper harvest the honey.)

1 pinch (1/16th tsp) powdered cinnamon

1 smidgen (1/32nd tsp) powdered nutmeg

1/2 smidgen (1/64th tsp) powdered cayenne pepper

Cinnamon stick and maraschino cherry for garnish


In a glass or beaker mix the whiskey, club soda, lemon juice, and honey. Making sure to stir well so that the honey dissolves, it is important to do this without any ice, otherwise the honey will get too cold and harden. Once the honey is dissolved, stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. Now fill an Old Fashioned glass 3/4ths full with ice. Pour the drink mixture slowly over the ice. Garnish with cinnamon stick and maraschino cherry, serve immediately.

Yields enough for two Old Fashioned glasses.

Because this Spiced Whiskey Sour uses honey instead of homemade simple syrup no electrical appliances (like the stove top) are needed to create it, making this the perfect drink for when the electricity goes out.

Even a Tiny Hippo can make this drink in the dark, it’s that easy and oh so good

Spicy Apple Chutney

Spicy Apple Chutney

This is a delicious spicy apple chutney that I created upon my return from the United Kingdom when I discovered that chutney is not easy to find in the Midwest. I soon realized that if I wanted a ploughman’s platter or sandwich which I had come to love so much I would have to make the chutney myself. For this chutney, I have included some Indian flavors that the British are so found of and which I adore.

Spicy apple chutney stores nicely for several weeks in a glass jar

Gather the ingredients before you start the cooking process

Spicy Apple Chutney


2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup yellow onion, minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger powder

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (quality is important here), plus 3 tablespoons to be added at the end

1/3 cup cranberries or raisins


1. Toss the apples with the lemon juice to add extra tartness and keep the apples from turning brown.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, warm the 2 teaspoons of oil then add the onion, cumin, salt, mustard seed, turmeric, ginger, red chile flakes, and cinnamon. Sauté until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.

This is what the onions should look like after about 7 minutes, note that they are not browned. We are just looking for the onions to become slightly tender and the spice profile to develop.

3. Stir in the apples, brown sugar, and vinegar, raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes.

This is how the chutney will look while you are simmering it

4. Add the cranberries or raisins and 2-3 extra tablespoons of apple cider vinegar: simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick, this will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Completed chutney with cranberries added

5. Spoon into a glass jar or other storage container and allow to cool until no longer steaming. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: 2 cups

This Spicy Apple Chutney is great on a ploughman’s sandwich which is made with a hearty bread (we like oatmeal bread), an aged cheese, butter, lettuce, and a tangy chutney.

This ploughman’s sandwich will make you feel like you are back in the United Kingdom

We hope that you enjoy our take on a spicy and tangy chutney and that it makes your ploughman’s sandwich remind you of your journeys in the United Kingdom.

Avoiding Post-Vacation Blues

Avoiding Post-Vacation Blues: Advice from a Purple Hippo

When returning from an amazing vacation  there is always the fear that post-vacation blues will hit the newly returned traveler. To avoid this gloomy mood, I will be posting several tips that are sure to brighten your mood and keep you excited about your vacation, even after it has concluded.

One of the best ways to extend your vacation experience is to bring back customs that you learned while on your travels. For a tiny hippo, such as myself, discovering new flavors are a big part of traveling. When I return from a vacation I try to bring home some new flavor ideas to recreate in my own humble kitchen. Once I have mastered the new food techniques at home I like to share them at a special occasion with friends and family. The perfect occasion for trying new foods is, of course, the picnic!

Here is my homemade ploughman’s sandwich with a lovely picnic spread

While traveling in the United Kingdom I fell in love with the ploughman’s platter, and more specifically with ploughman’s sandwiches. These scrumptious sandwiches are made with a hearty bread, an aged cheese, butter (all sandwiches in the UK seem to have butter on them), and spicy and tangy chutney. The chutney is key to this sandwich, without it you just have a plain cheese sandwich.

Recreating foods that you enjoyed during your vacation and then making a bit of an event out of them, such as a picnic, is a great way to bring your trip home with you. This post-travel tip allows you to bring your vacation home with you while avoiding corny souvenirs that have no personal connection to you.

Follow the link to my spicy apple chutney to spread onto your own ploughman’s sandwiches and stay tuned for homemade scones with fresh clotted cream.

Click here to see more of my Travel Tips.

Summer Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

With all the great produce that summer has to offer there is nothing better than a delicious salad full of crunchy veggies and sweet berries topped with an amazing blueberry vinaigrette.

Summer Salad:

1 English cucumber, sliced

1 red bell pepper, quartered and then sliced

1/2 pint blueberries

12 ounces strawberries, quartered

1 bunch of radishes, sliced thinly (use a mandolin or V slicer)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 package of baby spring greens

Once you have cut all the produce just through all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

The different colored radishes used here all taste like regular ones, but they are so much cuter

The best part of this salad is the amazing blueberry vinaigrette. We discovered this recipe after we came back from our local you-pick blueberry farm and realized we needed something to do with six pounds of blueberries. A Veggie Venture blog recipe came to our rescue. We have changed the recipe a tiny bit, for the original just click here: Blueberry Vinaigrette Recipe.

Blueberry Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup fresh blueberries (freshly picked is best)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon minced onion

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons blueberry juice (POM blueberry juice is good)

In your blender, mix the blueberries, garlic, onion, red wine vinegar, and juice together. Once the mixture has been liquified drizzle in the olive oil, whip in blender until combined. That’s it, the best dressing you will ever make, seriously. A word of warning, the vinaigrette will turn into a jello like mass if you don’t use it right away, if this happens just add more juice and spin it up in the blender, or eat it with a spoon while your husband is distracted.

Blueberry vinaigrette drizzled over a crisp summer salad

Drizzle the vinaigrette onto the summer salad and enjoy! This salad pairs perfectly with our Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings.

The perfect summer meal

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

This is one of the best recipes for chicken wings that you will ever use. We like to grill the chicken instead of frying because it gives the wings a great crunch without having to deal with frying.



1 package of pre-cut chicken wings, which is 12 pieces with the tips already discarded, or you can get a package of six whole wings that you cut at the joints and discard the tips.

Season with salt and pepper.


½ stick butter or margarine

7 tablespoons of brown sugar

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon onion flakes

½ teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

½ teaspoon cayenne powder

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

½ teaspoon chipotle seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon powdered ginger



Season the wings with salt and pepper while the grill is preheating on high.

Once the grill is hot, place your wings on the grate. Cook until the wings are a nicely charred and crispy.

Chicken just off the grill.

Take the wings off the grill and cover with tinfoil.

Now it is time to construct the sauce (it is best to wait until the wings are done to do this because this way you will not over heat the sauce, overheating turns the sauce into caramel).

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. As soon as the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted remove from heat and pour over the wings, toss to coat.

These wings are excellent with Summer Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette