Can Nutmeg be poisonous??

Here is an article title you don’t read everyday – Nutmeg Overdose Blamed for Swedish Man’s Spitting Attack. What the what?

Yes. You read that right. And what’s more – it could happen! Nutmeg is such a common spice that few people realize it contains myristicin, a natural compound that has mind-altering effects if ingested in large doses that can land you in the hospital.

While some people report a kind of out of body experience from ingesting too much nutmeg – more often the symptoms are nausea, dizziness, extreme dry mouth, and a lingering slowdown of normal brain function. According to a New York Times article called “A Warning on Nutmeg”, it is like a two day hangover. Fun.

How much nutmeg is dangerous? While the actual amount varies from person to person, it is often stated that 2-3 tsp start a “nutmeg intoxication” with more than two tablespoons being potentially fatal. That is a whole lot of nutmeg – but a very good reason there should never be a Nutmeg Challenge. (Though there shouldn’t be a Cinnamon Challenge either – but that’s another blog post).

The dangers of eating a massive amount of nutmeg has been known for ages.  According to Delish, as far as the 12th century, nutmeg has been used in waves as a drug, snorted, smoked, and eaten in large quantities to produce a hallucinogenic high. In that same NY Times article it spoke of using nutmeg for abortions and its ability to fight infection like the Black Plague.

Should you stop eating nutmeg? No. That’s not necessary. Most recipes call for a maximum of 1/4 tsp for the entire dish. And it’s a delicious and complex spice that also has several amazing health benefits (again, another post).

But please don’t eat an entire nutmeg in a sitting – no good will come from it.

 

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Roasted Asparagus with Herbed Hollandaise

asparagus

Roasted Asparagus with Herbed Hollandaise

12 TBSP unsalted butter
4 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
3 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 TBSP C&C Pot des Herbs
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh asparagus
Good olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper, C&C Pot des Herbs and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. With the blender running, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick. (You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 TBSP hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.)

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they’re thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Pour the hollandaise sauce over asparagus and serve.

Dirty Chai Latte

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Dirty Chai Latte

2 cups water
2 black tea bags
1/2 TBSP C&C Chai Spice
3 TBSP maple syrup
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strong coffee or 2 shots of espresso

Prepare coffee or espresso.

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water and C&C Chai Spice to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and allow the spices to steep in the water for 5 minutes. Turn heat back on and add the black tea bags and maple syrup. Return to a slight boil then turn off the heat.

Allow the tea bags to steep in the water and spices for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside 1 cup of Chai tea. Store the rest of the chai tea in the fridge up to two weeks.

In the now empty pot, add milk and heat over medium heat, use a milk frother if you like or the attachment on your espresso machine to heat and/or froth the milk.

In two mugs layer coffee, chai tea and milk. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Strawberry Apple French Toast

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Strawberry Apple French Toast

6-8 cups day-old bread,cubed
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp C&C Apple Pie Spice, divided
3 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into wedges
1 cup strawberries sliced
2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Add bread cubes to the baking pan – enough to generously cover the bottom and up about half way.

In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk, and 1/2 C&C Apple Pie Spice. Pour over the bread and press down with spoon. Add more bread if there is additional egg, remove dry bread pieces if there isn’t enough.

To a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the apples and butter. Sprinkle with remaining C&C Apple Pie Spice, stir and cover. When they start to get tender – about 4-5 minutes – add strawberries and brown sugar to taste.Continue cooking with cover off for one more minute.

Make sure bread has soaked up all the egg. Sprinkle top with remaining brown sugar. Spoon fruit over the top of the bread and push them down into the cracks with your fingers. Bake on center rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour until bread and fruit is golden brown and is set in the middle.

Home Made Ketchup

Ketchup
1 1/2 cups tomato paste (2 cans)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup raw apple cider
3 to 4 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp C&C Ketchup Blend
Pinch cayenne pepper

In a small saucepan add the sugar and water.  Over very low heat stir until sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in all the other ingredients and cook over very low heat for 2 to 3 minutes to mix the C&C Ketchup Blend with the tomato paste.

Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings if necessary.  Pour into a clean glass jar, cover and store in the refrigerator where it will keep for months.

Herbed Sandwich Spread

Herbed Sandwich Spread
1 1/2 cup diced sweet yellow onion
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBSP C&C Herb Dressing & Dip blend
Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauté pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and salt. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Mix the rest of the ingredients including the Herb Dressing and Dip blend, and then add the cooled onions.

Refrigerate for at least one hour. Stir before serving as a chip or vegetable dip or as the spread on your favourite grilled chicken sandwich.

Jamaican Coconut Toto

Jamaican Toto

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp C&C Mixed Spice Blend
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup coconut milk

Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat for about 2 minutes longer.

Sift together flour, baking powder and C&C Mixed Spice Blend. Add flour mixture, and coconut to butter and sugar mixture. Stir to combine and add coconut milk, stir until smooth.

Spread the batter evenly in a greased shallow cake pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm with powdered sugar or additional coconut.