Recipes: Mulled Apple Cider

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If there’s nothing more American than apple pie, then apple cider must be the quintessential American drink. On it’s own, apple cider is delicious… but when you smell the spicy fragrance of mulled apple cider and take a sip of the warming beverage, you’re in for a whole new treat. It brings to mind autumn colors, fresh apple harvests, and curling up by the fire with a nice, hot drink.

Traditionally, mulled apple cider contains alcohol, and so does this recipe. But it’s very easy to make a nonalcoholic version of the drink: just omit the alcohol.

Mulled Apple Cider

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves 12

Ingredients

4 pints apple cider, fresh-pressed if possible
1 apple, large
12 cloves, whole
1/2 unpeeled orange, sliced
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 cinnamon sticks, medium
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup Calvados (apple brandy)*

Directions

First, you must prepare your apple. Wash it under the faucet, but don’t peel or cut it. Once it’s clean, pierce it in twelve places and insert the cloves into the apple.

Next, you want to prepare the cider. In a large pot, combine the cider with your clove-filled apple, the sliced orange (remembering to leave the peel on), the maple syrup, the sticks of cinnamon and the allspice. Stir the mixture together and put the pot on your stovetop over high heat. When the mixture begins to simmer, turn the heat down so that it’s just barely simmering. Let it simmer like this for fifteen minutes.

After that, take the cider off the burner and use a strainer, slotted spoon, or mesh sieve to filter the mulled cider. Add the Calvados and stir to combine.

Now that your mulled cider is done, you can ladle it into mugs, glasses or even teacups to serve it. Make sure you serve it hot – if you refrigerate any leftover cider, reheat it on the stove before serving. To be extra festive, try garnishing your mugs with a cinnamon stick, a twirl of orange peel, or even a whole orange slice.

* If you don’t have Calvados, you can substitute brandy, whiskey or dark rum

Variations

It’s easy to alter a mulled apple cider recipe based on what spices you like. Increase or decrease the cloves, cinnamon or allspice according to your taste; leave out the maple syrup if you don’t like it. A few common and delicious additions are cardamom (around 10 pods), nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon) or ginger (a 1-inch fresh piece). These should be added at the same time as the other spices – before simmering the cider.

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Visiting Roadside Attractions While Out On The Road

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You’re planning a long road trip and you want to break up the monotony. You could plan on taking along a few dozen games for the kids, but you might enjoy some roadside attractions more. What could be more entertaining than stopping to see the world’s biggest ball of twine with your Airstream? You laugh now, but your children will be laughing as they tell their friends about their hilarious time viewing the incredible ball of yard and marveling at how it got rolled up and put in place. Even if you aren’t keen on visiting the strange and bizarre, there are plenty of roadside stops that are impressive, humbling and even educational. Here are a few tips on finding them, stopping at them and making the most of these fun little roadside destinations.

Allow Extra Time
Stopping at these little places, like caverns and animal parks, is only entertaining if you have the time for a pit stop. Otherwise, you’re going to be frustrated at the time you’re losing. A single roadside stop can pull anywhere from an hour to an entire day of your time, so plan ahead and pad the schedule.

Take Extra Cash
The tourist traps are there to make a little money, so admission is rarely free. The cost to see something amazing or strange can be $10 a person or more, so take a little extra money along with you. While you’re there, the family will probably want something to eat or a souvenir, and that has you reaching for your wallet. Before you start feeling resentful at the extra expense, remember that the trip is truly half the journey and there are ways to Save Money While On The Road. Today, you’re grumbling about the money dropped at that little hole in the wall, but you’ll look back on the adventure someday and enjoy the fond memories.

Plan the Stops
Roadside attractions are usually advertised on billboards, but that doesn’t mean you want to stop at the last minute. Part of planning for the stop means knowing what’s available. Check out Roadside America or Budget Travel Online to find out what roadside attractions are going to be passed along the way. It’s a chance to let the family have some input into whether they want to stop in Corning, NY, for the Corning Glass Museum or if they’re going to hit the Beer-Can House in Houston. Some of the most amazing sights in the nation started out as humble roadside attractions and grew into massive resorts, like the House on the Rock in Green, Wisconsin.

Once you know where you want to stop, you can plan the budget and calendar around the extra attractions. It will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. You’ll have a chance to stretch your legs, get a bite to eat, and you might even see something memorable that your family will enjoy and laugh about for years to come.

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Tips For Saving Money While on the Road

Hitting the open road without a care in the world may offer memorable experiences and an unforgettable vacation, but lack of planning can also make the adventure very expensive. A few smart decisions before the departure date may mean a couple or family has enough money left in the budget, to stay an extra day or two at the destination.Route66Road

Visit the Grocery Store

Most families will pack lunches and food for the first day of travel; however, very few people think to visit a grocery store while on the road. Eating out represents a tremendous expense on vacation, and anything at a restaurant is also available at the grocery store.

Get in Touch with your Inner Mechanic

Proper tire pressure has a dramatic impact on fuel economy. The federal government suggests that proper tire pressure may offer an increase of up to 3.3 percent for gas mileage. Additionally, tires that are inflated properly also offer a safer driving experience and the tires will also last longer.

Driving around wasting gas to save money on gas is no longer necessary in today’s internet-connected world. There are smartphone apps that will list gas prices in the vicinity, which means you’ll never need to waste gas to save gas.

Leave the Credit Cards at Home

Going on a vacation with a pocket full of credit cards is a terrible idea. The best way to ensure a budget-friendly vacation is to save money for the trip before it starts. Paying high credit card interest rates for years after a vacation ends may represent hundreds of dollars in fees.

The exception to this rule is a rewards card that offers cash back or special perks related to travel. However, it’s still important to save money before the trip so that the credit card bill may be paid immediately upon returning home so as to avoid potential interest charges.

Make some memories and have some fun on the road instead of paying huge fees for travel with these simple steps to a less expensive vacation.

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Larry Hagmans 1984 Airstream Motorhome Auctioned Off

LarryHagmanAirstreamLarry Hagman’s beloved 1984 Airstream Motorhome has been auctioned off. Hagman’s Airstream was the rare 345 model and it is estimated that he spent more than $100,000 in renovations and upgrades. Hagman also modified his Airstream to be powered by solar panels, as befitting his interest in solar energy. In fact, Hagman often drove this RV to various solar energy conferences. It was also used as his dressing room for the 2012 revival of “Dallas”, which currently airs on TNT.

Hagman was born on Sept. 21, 1931, in Fort Worth, Texas. Although he is best known for playing oil baron J. R. Ewing in the 1980s soap opera “Dallas” and its 2012 revival, his first major television role was Air Force Captain Anthony Nelson in the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie”. Hagman also made guest appearances in many other television shows such as “Desperate Housewives”, “The Rockford Files”, “Knots Landing” and “Nip/Tuck”. View full post…

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