Lemon Ginger Simple Syrup…..

If you don’t know what simple syrup is, it’s just a mixture of sugar and water….equal parts. So, in other words, if you use 1 cup of sugar, you would add 1 cup of water. Many restaurants and bars use it to sweeten drinks, rather than adding sugar. Sugar granules take awhile to dissolve, whereas simple syrup mixes right in, since its liquid. Bakeries brush it on cakes to keep cakes moist. You can flavor (infuse) the water sugar mixture with just about anything. Some of the flavors that I have made, are coconut, lime, lemon, raspberry, cinnamon, chili, and my all time favorite…….ginger…..fresh ginger. If you follow my blog, I guess you know by now, how much I LOVE ginger. This batch that I just made, is lemon ginger. Oh yummmm. I love to mix it in my iced tea. So refreshing and delicious. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for about a month. But you will use it long before that!

So, let me give you some ideas as to what you can do with simple syrup.

– add it to hot or cold tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages
– drizzle over fresh fruit or salad
– moisten cakes…poke holes all over a cake and drizzle on the simple syrup, or you can brush it on. Gives the cake great flavor and keeps it moist
– brush over chicken or fish
– did I mention mixing it with alcoholic beverages? oh, yeah, I guess I did. 🙂
This makes great gifts too. Pour it in some pretty little bottles and add some ribbon. Pair it up with a bottle of vodka, rum, or even a box of tea, in a gift basket.
It’s really great stuff.

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Lemon Ginger Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar
2 cups of  water
Zest of 2 or 3 lemons (depending on size of lemons)
2 Tblsp fresh grated  or sliced ginger

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook on medium heat, just until the sugar is dissolved, turn off heat.  Allow to sit covered, for a few hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor is. But you don’t have to flavor your simple syrup at all.


Oatmeal Shortbread………..

If you are a fan of shortbread, you know how you get that buttery crunch when you take a bite. I love shortbread. It’s delicious and so easy to make. I have made so many kinds of shortbread….orange, cranberry, lemon, chocolate chip, pecan, pistachio…..oh wow, so many kinds. But my most favorite is oatmeal shortbread. If you are not a fan of oatmeal, don’t be turned off by this…don’t wrinkle your nose. You’re not going to get a mouthful of gooey, mushy oatmeal. Instead, you will get a mouthful of toasty, buttery, crumbly cookie with a bit of oatmeal crunch. You will love it! I just know you will. You may want to even drizzle some melted chocolate on these buttery little wedges of yumminess.

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee to go with your shortbread and sit back and spoil yourself.

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Oatmeal Shortbread

1  1/2 sticks of cold butter, cut up in cubes
1  cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oatmeal, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
3 Tblsp brown sugar
3 Tblsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

In a food processor, add the flour, oats and salt. Pulse until finely ground. Add the sugars and give it a quick pulse. Add the butter and extract and pulse until you have a clumpy mixture. Dump it all into a  lightly buttered cake pan or 8×8 square pan. Gently press it down evenly until the mixture reaches the edges of the pan.  Sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of oats and about a tablespoon of sugar.

Bake at 325 deg, for 35-40 minutes, or until its golden brown. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, cut into squares or wedges.