Got Shrub?

What is Shrub? The word Shrub comes from the Arabic word sharab, which literally means to drink. In the dictionary, Shrub is defined as an acid fruit drink.

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Good Stuff Pick: Fruit shrubs are based on Colonial era recipes and are drink concentrates made with fresh fruit vinegars, organic unbleached cane sugar and spices. They can be mixed with sparkling water (1 part Shrub to 8 parts water) to make festive non-alcoholic drinks, also to flavor wine and champagne. Just as refreshing to serve for a brunch or a festive backyard BBQ, like my Fresh Squeezed Mimosa.

Today's refreshing beverage is perfect for a steamy hot day, like today. Cheers!

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George's Berry Shrub Fiz

Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1/3 cup fresh lime juice + 1 lime sliced thin

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups de-seeded watermelon + 1 cup of melon balls for garnish

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar, variable depending on how sweet the berries are & how tart/ sweet you like it.

1/2 cup ice, shaved or cubes 

1/4 cup seltzer per glass + sprig of fresh mint

In a blender, blend the lime juice, watermelon, berries with juice, sugar, ice cubes until slushy. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice; pour 3/4 of a glass with fruit juice and top off with seltzer.

*To Spike: You can add 1/2 ounce of vodka, Or rum, Or tequila to each glass over the ice.

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Sour Cream Apple Pancakes

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A great idea to surprise DAD this Fathers Day with Sour Cream Apple Pancakes!

So enjoyed my time with Msgr. Jim, host of Telecare's Real Food chatting up my features from GHL and all my creative friends! Enjoy my apple pancake recipe inspired from fresh picking..

Msgr Jim Vlaun, George Hirsch on GHL set for Telecare's Real Food, image Alex Goetzfried

Breakfast? Brunch? Easy Dinner? or Dessert? ans. all 4

Pancakes are one of the earliest forms of bread and are served up geographically in different ways. Be all traditional with baking powder, or try prospecting with sourdough pancakes like the early pioneers. Flip ‘em with oatmeal or buckwheat when in Vermont; or for a Dutch Style treat serve with lemon, powdered sugar and jam.

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from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series, apple picking Halsey Farm

Sour Cream Apple Pancakes 

Makes eight pancakes | chefgeorgehirsch.com

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon pure cane sugar

3/4 cup milk, variable

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, beaten

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

*1 cup mixed sour sweet apples, peeled cored, and chopped

Additional butter to grease griddle

In a large bowl, mix together well with a whisk all dry ingredients the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients the sour cream milk, vanilla, egg and melted butter. Yes, use two bowls so the dry and wet ingredients blend better when combined. Add the wet to the dry and just strip with a large spoon or spatula until the dry ingredients have absorbed the wet. There may still be a few lumps, hats OK. Do not over mix, or pancakes will become tough.

Pre heat a non stick pan or lightly grease a griddle over medium high heat at 375 degrees F. Test the temperature by dropping a drop of water on surface of pan. Water will dance across the surface when at the correct temperature. You can test one cake before proceeding.

Check consistency of batter with a sample test pancake, if too think adjust with a few drops of milk. Pour one 1/4 cup scoop of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Add apples at this time. You will begin to see bubbles form on the top side when brown on bottom, flip and brown on second side. Serve hot with syrup or favorite topping eaten immediately right off the griddle.

Finish off your stack with honey, molasses, can syrup, Nutella, or Maple Syrup.  Top with toasted nuts and powder sugar. If serving apple pancakes for dessert sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon sugar on top of sliced apples prior to flipping. 

Note: After peeling apples maybe chopped or sliced thin depending on your own preference and taste. Chopped apples can be added to the batter or placed on top of raw side of pancake while on the griddle. Sliced apples should nay be arranged on raw side of pancake while on griddle before flipping. And If making batter ahead the night before, add apples just before cooking. 

Tip: When using double acting baking powder (the most common available today) prepare my batter the night before, cover bowl and refrigerate. This not only saves time but more importantly allows the gluten to relax from mixing the batter, which makes for a more tender pancake. When you are ready to cook pancakes just gently stir the batter, do not mix too much or they will be tough. 

Test Your Baking PowderHow old is your baking powder? 

Replace baking powder every 6-12 months after opening. The exact amount of time is determined by how much moisture gets into your container of baking powder. Do you immediately recover the cap; as you should, or do you leave the top off and cover it later when cleaning up? Store in a cool dry place. 

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Affogato

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Affogato literally means "drowned" in Italian. This Italian dessert with espresso + gelato is the perfect combination of bitterness and sweetness. Some might say it's a sophisticated version of an Gelato Domenica.

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Affogato

4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

4 cup premium vanilla gelato or ice cream  

4 2 ounce servings of fresh brewed espresso

Brew fresh espresso. Dish-up four servings of ice cream or gelato. Pour hot espresso over the ice cream and serve immediately.

Optional: Add a tablespoon of your favorite liqueur, or crush a few of my favorite biscotti on top! 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

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George Hirsch Muffin Mondays

Would you like a bite of old-fashioned-style cake that is equally as good for a morning coffee break, mid-day snack and even dessert? If so, then this is it. 

What I really like about this coffee cake recipe is it isn't overly sweet. I created this recipe using all purpose flour, not cake flour, which makes a denser crumb with nice texture. The dairy mix of sour cream, yogurt, and milk is a harmonious trifecta in achieving a light and flavorful addition to every slice. Use good fresh eggs + butter and you'll have a hit. 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

Makes about 18 muffins

For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sweet butter, softened

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Place the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl and crumble together with your fingers until it forms a crumb mixture. Add in the nuts. Reserve and mix muffin batter.

For the Cake:

1/2 cup sweet butter, one stick softened 

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange rind

Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C). Note: If using a dark colored muffin pan, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Dark colored pans absorb more heat while baking in the oven and become hotter and carry heat faster than light colored pans. 

Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in eggs, vanilla and orange zest, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt and milk together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately in three stages with the sour cream, yogurt, and milk mixture; stirring and scraping the bowl with spatula after each addition. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix.

Add half the batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. With the back of butter knife swirl the batter slightly to mix the crumb mixture slightly into the bottom of muffin cups. 3/4 filled. Add remaining batter, then the crumb topping and bake.

Bake muffins in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins tests done. Cool for 15-20 minutes, and then remove muffins from pan. 

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