Monday, May 28, 2012

Peppermint Toads

Peppermint and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. Clearly Ron Weasley agrees:

"He had awoken to find the dormitory deserted, dressed, and gone down the spiral staircase to a common room that was completely empty except for Ron, who was eating a Peppermint Toad and massaging his stomach, and Hermione, who had spread her homework over three tables" (Prisoner of Azkaban 213).

Peppermint Toads are so simple to make, and have such a fun payoff, I will probably be making them nonstop from now on. The only candy that's easier is probably just plain old Chocolate Frogs!

You Will Need:
Melting chocolate (Chocolate chips will yield a very gloopy result). If you haven't tried using Wilton's yet, now is the time!)
Peppermint extract
Toad-shaped mold

1. Melt your chocolate according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
2. Add 1 tsp of peppermint extract and mix thoroughly.

3. Pour the minty chocolate into the toad molds and let them set until firm.

4. Place the hardened toads in the freezer for a minute or two, and then pop them out!

5. Enjoy!!

What did I tell you? So easy! So delicious! So much fun! Enjoy! ...though I recommend that you don't eat as many as Ron did!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Red Currant Rum

Somehow it does not surprise me that our moody, green pinstripe-wearing Minister of Magic is not a teetotaler:

"'So you'll be the red currant rum, Minister'" (Prisoner of Azkaban 202).

If you would like to make some currant-infused rum, I definitely recommend it. There's an excellent recipe at La Petite Gourmande. That recipe, however, takes several months to make. So today we'll make a quick and dirty version!

You Will Need:
Red currants (everyone promises me that red currants are just smaller versions of raisins, so that's what I'll use)

1. Pour the amount of rum you require into an appropriately-sized receptacle.
2. Drop in your currants/raisins. I used a small handful (maybe 6 or 7?) for 1 shot.

3. Let the rum and currants "steep" for several hours. The longer it sits, the more currant-y the flavor will be. 

4. Your currants/raisins will probably have soaked up a lot of the rum and look rather swollen. Use a spoon (or whatever) to press out the excess rum and remove the fruits. 
5. Pour your rum into a shot glass if you'll be enjoying it neat, or add it to your favorite cocktail (which is what I would recommend, because let's be honest, this is still just straight rum with a drop of grape juice in it!). 
6. Enjoy!

It's true, we did successfully infuse rum with raisins. But I really do recommend making some the old fashioned way, like in the recipe recommended above, because I bet it's delicious! Bottom's up!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cherry Syrup and Soda

Still at the Three Broomsticks, we have reached the endearing order of Professor Flitwick:

"'A cherry syrup and soda with ice and umbrella--' 'Mmm!' said Professor Flitwick, smacking his lips" (Prisoner of Azkaban 202).

Could Flitwick be any sweeter? Soda water is not my favorite thing by any stretch of the imagination, but Flitwick's order should be pretty easy to prepare!

You Will Need:
Soda Water
Jar of Maraschino Cherries

1. Add several ice cubes to the bottom of your glass
2. Pour a generous amount of the syrup from the maraschino cherries over the ice.

3. Fill the glass with tonic water

4. Add a couple cherries and an umbrella (or at least something fancy, if you have no umbrellas!)

As long as you're generous with the cherry syrup, this is quite tasty. Though I think I prefer an old fashioned Shirley Temple. But like I said before, soda water isn't really my thing. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mulled Mead

For the first two books, I did pretty well at attempting to keep the holiday foods close to the holiday season. But it was inevitable that we'd catch up to wintertime in the Wizarding World before too long. And so today, we reach a decidedly wintertime beverage:

"'Four pints of mulled mead--' 'Ta, Rosmerta,' said Hagrid" (Prisoner of Azkaban 202).

Since the main ingredient in mulled mead is obviously, well, mead, you may have trouble making today's recipe until the holidays roll around again. I however, got lucky, and found a bottle of mead at a local specialty foods store, where they had a few bottles leftover from Christmas. Lucky me!

There are dozens of mulling recipes out there. I went with a pretty simple one, which I modified from a recipe I found at Their recipe includes Grand Marnier (which, if I could afford it, I would add to everything, because it's delicious) and Goldschlager (which, if I could afford it, I would drink all the time, because I think it's so silly). My modified recipe sticks to good old fashioned mead (which is technically wine made from honey, by the by) for my alcohol content!

You Will Need (I halved this recipe):
1 bottle of mead
1 orange, quartered
3 inches of cinnamon sticks
7 whole cloves
7 whole allspice (I used a dash of ground allspice, because that's what I had)
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

2. Heat and bring to a simmer, but do not boil.
3. Let it warm with the lid on for 10-20 minutes. 
4. Strain out the cloves and things when you serve. Serve warm.

Mmmmm, this is quite tasty. I imagine it would be the perfect thing after a long trek in the snow. Though unless you're half-giant, I don't think I recommend drinking four pints of it, like Hagrid. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Harry's first trip inside the Three Broomsticks reveals startling information about his past. But it also reveals some exciting new beverages for us to make:

"Next he saw another pair of feet, wearing sparkly turquoise high heels, and heard a woman's voice. 'A small gillywater--' 'Mine,' said Professor McGonagall's voice" (Prisoner of Azkaban 202).

Gillywater is one of the many foods to appear in the Harry Potter saga that exists only in J.K. Rowling's formidable imagination. Those who have read all the books might surmise, as I do, that gillywater is possibly related to gillyweed, which appears in The Goblet of Fire. I haven't found any muggle interpretations of this beverage on the internet, so I get to make one up!

How to create a beverage that evokes thoughts of gillyweed (but doesn't turn you into a fish!), but is also something that would be Professor McGonagall's beverage of choice at the Three Broomsticks? I'll let you decide if I got it right.

You Will Need:
A mild juice of your choice (I went with Alo Appeal, and it was a very good choice)
A cucumber, skin removed
Vodka, if you so desire

1. After peeling your cucumber, use a lemon zester (the kind with the tool to make rind twists for drinks) to create strips of cucumber. One of these strips will need to be as long as the entire cucumber itself.

2. Make a little pile/ball of the cucumber strips, and use the longest strip as a string to tie everything up into a little gillyweed ball. Be gentle, or the strip will break!

3. If you're going with the alcoholic version, add a shot of vodka to the glass of your choice.
4. Pour some juice into the glass and plop in the "gillyweed."

5. Add a few ice cubes and enjoy!

The longer you leave the cucumber ball in the juice (or even better, in the vodka itself), the more cucumber-y your drink will taste. Truly, the taste of this beverage depends on the juice you choose. I chose wisely :) This gillywater would definitely be a cute option to serve at a Harry Potter themed party or a get-together with fellow fans :)