• Zest of one orange
  • 10-12 leaves sage
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water

sometimes the kitchen where i work is very quiet. there is lots of chopping, there is music and the occasional person singing or dancing while they are manning the ovens…sometimes there is lots of chatter. chatter about stuff…sometimes it’s interesting, restaurants, meals they ate over the weekend, jobs they catered…since i’m not technically “in the kitchen” i just hear bits and pieces. there are somethings i just hear, somethings that i shake my head at and smile and somethings that just make me laugh out loud.

last week i found out i’m not the only blogger. there was another one. i loved it. i couldn’t help myself, another blogger in the kitchen (i nearly hugged him)! we worked the 4th forth together…we got to chat all day. i didn’t realize this was him and that we had something like food blogging in common. so when i decided to take the kids to the beach for a couple days i asked him to fill in.

this is hugo…enjoy (i know i will be making this at the beach).

•   •   •

Hugo Alvarez is currently studying comparative literature at Beloit College, in Wisconsin. However, he has an overwhelming passion for food. Recently, he’s been interested in anything that takes a long time- homebrewing, curing, rising, and fermenting. He has an occasionally updated music/food blog at www.beetsandbeats.tumblr.com.

In the food yenta’s absence, I thought I would do something fairly easy- flavored simple syrups. You can mix them with water or seltzer as a “soda” for kids, cocktails for adults, or pour a little bit over vanilla ice cream for everyone. Excellent for a humid summer!

Sage-Citrus Simple Syrup

  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add sage and orange zest wrapped in cheesecloth or a spice bag.
  2. Simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, then remove spice bag.
  3. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce has reduced by half.

Of course, this can be amended as much as you’d like. If you’re attempting to be healthy (ha) you can use honey or agave syrup- just beware. Honey can be overpowering. These are super easy syrups. You’re pretty much making a super-sweet tea, then reducing it. I’ve brainstormed a few others:

Peaches n Cream (cream being a drop of vanilla extract)

Blueberry Mint


& Whatever you can come up with!


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