Archive of ‘Beverages’ category

Organic Ginger Simple Syrup

DIY Ginger Simple Syrup

I think simple syrup is an overlooked ingredient at the moment. It appears in recipes for cocktails and mocktails alike, is a standard stock item for any bar, can be used to sweeten lemonade, or hot or iced tea, and yet I feel it’s often looked over as “just sugar water”.

First of all, yes, it is sugar and water, but the syrup provides a huge advantage as a beverage sweetener because it allows you to do more with less. You don’t have to add as much simple syrup as you would sugar to say, cold lemon water to make lemonade, because the sugar is already dissolved and you won’t have that natural separation that happens where the top of your lemonade is bitter and the bottom is super sweet.

Make Your Own Simple Syrup

The basic recipe for simple syrup is 1 cup filtered water to 1 cup sugar. I chose to use organic sugar for two reasons. One, certified organic foods cannot be genetically modified and two, it is less processed than it’s ultra-refined counterpart. Also, I’m very very lucky to be able to find it easily in bulk at my local warehouse store. 😉

When making the syrup it’s easy to add all sorts of flavors depending on how you plan to use it. I made a mint simple syrup for lemonade last year, but I’ve really been into ginger recently and decided to make a version with fresh ginger today. It’s so good to use a drop or so to sweeten a spicy black tea, or make a ginger lemon or lime-ade, and the Godfather used it to make a delicious happy hour concoction coming to the blog soon.

Organic Ginger Simple Syrup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Make your own gourmet simple syrup using organic sugar and ginger
Serves: 1½ cup
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2½ inches fresh organic ginger, peeled and chopped into 3-4 chunks
  1. Combine the sugar, ginger, and water in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar or other container for storage in the refrigerator. Keeps for one week.
For a mild ginger flavor, remove the fresh ginger from the syrup for storage. For a stronger flavor, leave the ginger in and the flavor will get stronger with time.


Hot Chocolate for Two

Happy Monday lovelies! It’s been quite a celebratory weekend in the world of the Godmother, culminating with Princess A’s first birthday party yesterday. Can you believe it’s been almost a year already? We were so blessed to celebrate the day with family and friends-who-basically-are-family, and one birthday girl who was awake for most of the party, but never actually made it through a singing of Happy Birthday. 😉

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

We were so exhausted after the party and very glamorously crashed on the couch at the late late hour of 5:45 pm. In my mind, I had envisioned a slightly different itinerary more along the lines of a relaxing evening around the Christmas tree with some homemade hot cocoa. I love homemade hot cocoa made with real chocolate. I can control the sweetness and the kind of chocolate we use and it always tastes incredible.

Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch on Goodie Godmother

My only problem with making hot cocoa from scratch at home has always been scaling. There are some fabulous slow cooker hot chocolate recipes on various website that are great for parties, but our tiny household where we even share mugs doesn’t lend itself well to a crock pot full of chocolate, and I rarely plan hours ahead for hot chocolate anyway. So a few years ago, with a little scaling, I simplified to three ingredients which I usually just eyeball, and started making our hot cocoa in minutes on the stove top.

The trick to making perfect hot cocoa on the stove top is heating the milk over a medium low heat, not letting it ever come to a boil (that way you avoid that icky milk skin), and not using chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have a coating that helps them keep their shape during baking, but that makes them less-than-ideal for melting. You’ll want to use baking chocolate, also called coverture chocolate, instead. This is the same kind of chocolate used for making ganache, and is designed to melt beautifully. In a pinch, I have also used a good quality chocolate bar (plain of course). Over the past two years though, I’ve been stocking either the Callebaut callets or the Guittard wafers in our kitchen because I don’t have to chop them before melting. If you use a bar, be sure to chop it since big chunks don’t melt well and you’ll have to maintain the milk temperature longer, which increases the risk for scalding.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe on Goodie Godmother

Once the chocolate is melted, you just sweeten to taste, pour into mugs, and enjoy! We really enjoyed topping ours with homemade vanilla bean marshmallows (recipe here).

Hot Chocolate for Two
Prep time
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Total time
Make homemade hot cocoa in minutes with an easily scaled stove top recipe.
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2 servings
  • 12 oz milk
  • 4 ounces melting chocolate of your choice
  • 1-3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  1. Place the milk and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally to allow even heat distribution, for 4-5 minutes until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and sweeten to taste with the condensed milk.
  3. Pour into serving mugs and enjoy warm.
*We typically use organic 1% milk, dark chocolate, and 1.5 tbsp condensed milk for our hot cocoa.
*I have made this with almond milk too, and the same caveats about temperature apply, although you won't get a skin on the almond milk. The texture just becomes grainy. So keep it low.


You can find this post featured in this week’s Evolution of Mom Link Party! Hop over for fabulous DIY inspiration, recipes, and advice from mama bloggers around the web:

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Disclaimer: This post is not in any way sponsored by Callebaut or Guittard, but it does contain affiliate links to Amazon from which I would make a small commission should you choose to purchase. Any commission made helps defray the cost of operating the Goodie Godmother blog and I thank you for your support.

On another note, should you know anyone at the community partnership department of either chocolate company looking for blog partners, please pass along my information because I would love to work with them! 😉


Homemade Caramel Latte

Greetings from North Carolina my lovelies! We are *almost* to our new town in Virginia and will spend the rest of the week driving from appointment to appointment to find just the right home. Wish us luck!

Once tomorrow’s drive is complete, we will have driven two thirds of the United States in just four days, and imbibed our fair share of caffeinated beverages, so this recipe seemed very appropriate for the week. More will come once we settle as I have a small backlog, but I do appreciate your patience during this transition. Thank you! And now… let’s have some coffee!

Stovetop Espresso Goodie Godmother

I’d like a short, double shot, caramel latte please, no foam.

Homemade Caramel Latte Recipe by Goodie Godmother

I want no judgement from you coffee house snobs either. I cannot abide piles and piles of bubbling milk foam on my coffee. It’s a texture thing, and in my family, it’s just me that apparently has the foam sensitivity. My mom LOVES the stuff. She’ll actually eat the foam with a spoon and skip the coffee, which I find so incredibly cringe-inducing. My sister (the one that drinks coffee) and the Godfather also have no issue.


For the record, to me, foam is different that that beautiful crema you find naturally occurring on a perfectly pulled espresso. That is acceptable. A bubble bath floating atop my coffee is not. So we do not own a milk frother, and that is fine by me. But to get you pretty pictures, I had to top these lattes with something, so we opted for homemade whipped cream. It must be homemade because I detest that waxy-scary-squirt-out-of-a-can stuff even more than I dislike foam. If you’re going to indulge, keep it real. I will have a “recipe” for this later when I make some of my fabulous hot chocolate for you. It’s perfect for chilly weather and sitting around the Christmas tree!


We also don’t own an official “espresso machine” because we like our little stove top espresso maker and use it regularly for Cuban coffee (I’ll post a tutorial later). Actually, we own three – two little ones (like this one) and a big one (like this). In our defense, the second little one is red and white with little hearts, so it makes me happy to use it around Valentine’s Day. And the mugs in the photos aren’t ours either, they’re the plain utilitarian mugs offered in our temporary base housing. But it did get me thinking about mugs and I think I “need” a set of glass mugs like these or something similar… for “work”. I should probably be sure we have kitchen storage space first in the new place. Wouldn’t they just make for darling photos or add a cute touch to a weekend brunch though?

Goodie Godmother Caramel Latte

I used a homemade caramel sauce for the lattes, but a store bought sauce will do just fine. If you do choose to make it at home, be sure you make a thinner sauce so you can drizzle easily and not end up with unwieldy clumps of caramel in your coffee. It sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t work out so nicely in practice. Pinky promise.

Homemade Caramel Latte
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Bring the coffee house to your kitchen with a homemade caramel latte
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2
  • 2 to 4 shots brewed espresso
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tsp caramel sauce, divided
  • extra caramel sauce for drizzling, if desired
  • whipped cream for topping, if desired
  1. Brew your espresso and set aside. I used a 3-cup stovetop espresso maker to make two lattes.
  2. Heat your milk in the microwave or stovetop until warm, but not boiling
  3. Put 2 tsp caramel sauce in each mug, add the desired number of espresso shots, and a ½ cup of milk. Stir
  4. If adding whipped cream, float the whipped cream on top of the latte and drizzle with additional caramel.
  5. Enjoy!


Marvelous Mint Lemonade

This post for Marvelous Mint Lemonade has been updated September 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better photos to already delicious recipes! Enjoy!

Marvelous Mint Lemonade Recipe *

My mint plant is indestructible. It always seems that just when I think my black thumb has finally gotten to it because the pot is just a forest of small sticks, a few tiny green leaves emerge and then… MINT EVERYWHERE!  (more…)

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