Upgrade Store-Bought Applesauce With a Bit of Maple Syrup

If you have no love for plain applesauce, don’t give up on it as a topping for latkes, a partner for seared pork chops, or even layered with Greek yogurt for a breakfast parfait. Instead, use one of these simple tweaks to transform that innocent apple flavor into something way more deliciously adult. Each of these strategies will upgrade one cup of unsweetened “natural” applesauce…

Source: How to Make Store-Bought Applesauce Taste Amazing

  • If you want a sauce that’s sweet and a bit sour, add a splash of apple cider vinegar in there too.  This combination is particularly tasty with a ham.
  • If concerned about already-sweetened/HFCS applesauce, use fake maple flavour.

The Best Way to Bake Your Pies Isn’t With Vodka—It’s Like This

We’ve entered pie season—and with that also comes the season of people telling you their secret pie crust ingredient. For most people, that secret ingredient means one thing: vodka. I know because I used to be one of them. Until I found something much, much better.

Source: The Best Way to Bake Your Pies Isn’t With Vodka—It’s Like This

One of the store I shop at sells vanilla vodka, so I use that in the crusts. It adds that extra bit. But it seems to me that the best crusts have a long flake to them that you get from hand-mixing. The vodka crust is flaky but crumbly, like cheesecake crust. Still, I’m glad the vodka crust is so reliable.

I have a pie crust recipe that doesn’t use any alcohol, including vanilla extract.  It’s served me well.

Save Money by Making Your Own Pumpkin Spice Mix

As the leaves start to change color and cheery pumpkins show up on doorsteps, summer seems like a distant memory and we’re smack-dab in the middle of fall. And while pumpkin spice-flavored treats make their appearance just about, well, everywhere, do you even know what it contains? Here’s what it is and why you should make it at home. (Hint: It’s as easy as it gets!)

Source: How To Make Pumpkin Pie Spice

I spice my coffee with an equal parts mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. It’s so good!  Very popular with tea and coffee in India. Crushed Black peppercorns are awesome in them.

How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavor and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.

I urge you to think of bitters as a sort of “cocktail spice rack”, and to think of every cocktail as a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. Homemade bitters are so easy to make (you just throw stuff in jars) that there’s no reason not to have a bottle to suit each and every one of your whims. Plus, they make great, super thoughtful gifts. (It’s September, everyone, which means it is just about time to start stressing about the holidays.)

Source: How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

No matter how good you think they would be, never try to eat the fruit soaked for bitters. 😉

If you find yourself at a bar unable to afford decent bourbon (or the well sludge is on happy hour) ask for a splash of aromatic bitters with your drink. Turns a really crappy bourbon into a mediocre-to-poor bourbon, and they’ll never upcharge you for it.