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Posts from the ‘Non-alcoholic’ Category

A Green Smoothie-Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge

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Every Friday Angie, you all know Angie right, hosts the virtual party Fiesta Friday.  We all link our recipes on her site and you can bring whatever you want,  well this is a little different, she gave all of us that participate in Fiesta Friday a challenge. She listed two ingredients, leafy greens and pineapple and asked us to make something using them. This recipe has never posted on the blog before only a photo. I found this on Williams Sonoma website and searching it’s no longer there but luckily I had posted it on Instagram,  I put my own spin on it, adding some different ingredients and it turned out great, it’s delicious and healthful and uses both leafy greens and pineapple. I am so glad that Angie gave us this challenge because this smoothie hadn’t been on my radar and I am happy to have rediscovered it because it’s delicious, easy to make, nutritious and such a pretty color green.  There will most likely be dozens of green smoothies and they will be very similar but thats ok, here is mine and I love it. You can use whatever leafy green you like. I actually mixed kale and spinach. You get great results when you freeze your pineapple and banana, the smoothie is cold and thick and creamy. Oh I also should add that there are GREAT prizes for the winners of this challenge, yes first, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of judges. How exciting is this! You can submit as many recipes as you like. Hope you all enter.

A Healthy Green Smoothie

adapted from a recipe on Williams-Sonoma

makes 2 generous portions

1 cup cleaned baby spinach

1 cup kale, leaves only and tender stems – discard the tough ones

1/2 ripe avocado

1 cup frozen cubed nicely ripe pineapple

1 ripe banana cut into chunks and frozen

1-1 1/2 cups coconut water (freeze your coconut water in ice cube trays for a colder creamier smoothie) start with one cup and add more if you like a thinner smoothie

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk or 1/4 cup of the coconut cream scooped off the top of cold canned coconut milk

1 tsp fresh ginger grated or finely chopped

1 tbs fresh mint leaves chopped (or just throw in a few mint leaves)

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp matcha powder (optional)

Put all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Enjoy immediately.

 

 

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Coconut Lime Slushy Happy 4th Of July

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This is one of my favorite summer drinks, I posted it a few years ago and decided to resurrect it for the 4th of July Holiday as part of my frozen treat series.  This drink is reminiscent of a pina colada but it’s not one exactly. I make it with more lime than pineapple and use unsweetened coconut milk and lime simple syrup so that I can control the sweetness. Rather than use crushed ice which I feel waters the drink down,  I freeze the coconut lime mixture in an ice cube tray. The cubes are solid but easy to break up in the blender. You can add as much rum as you like or make it virgin, it’s equally as delicious. One other cool thing about this drink is that because the drink base is frozen into cubes you can make 1 or more and leave the rest in the freezer for use later on. Remove the cubes place in freezer bag and store in the freezer. I love making multiple batches so I always have some of the cubes on hand. I double and triple this recipe so I always have some of the drink base on hand. It’s so easy to make and very convenient to have on hand.

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This recipe won a whole foods recipe contest, as a matter of fact it was the last contest sponsored by Whole Foods. I miss them, it was a lot of fun.  I am celebrating the 4th of July, Independance Day with my good friends at a backyard BBQ! Have a wonderful Day Everyone.

Coconut Lime Slushy

Lime Simple Syrup:

1 Lime peel removed (Use the peeled lime for the drink base)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water
In saucepan add sugar and water, bring to a boil let boil for approximately 2 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved take off heat, add lime peel. Cover and let sit until cool. Remove the lime peel. Store in jar in refrigerator. You can easily double this to make more simple syrup.

Remove all the pith

Remove all the pith

The Drink Base:

1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1 Lime peeled and all of the pith removed and quartered (Use the lime you used for the simple syrup)

4-6 tablespoons lime simple syrup (Make it as sweet as you like)

2 -3 ounces Pineapple juice (unsweetened) Start with two and if you need a little more liquid to break up cubes in blender add another ounce.

1 ounce Rum (Add more if you like it stronger)

To your food processor add the quartered lime and coconut milk. Process until lime is pulverized. Strain into measuring cup. Add 4-6 tbs of the lime simple syrup. (Adjust the sweetness to suite your taste. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze.
When the coconut lime is frozen, remove from ice cube tray, place in blender,  add pineapple juice and rum and blend until the cubes are broken up and it’s a slushy consistency. Pour and serve. Garnish with lime and pineapple.

Creamy thick and ice cold

Creamy thick and ice cold

Image from Google

Image from Google Happy 4th of July

The Garden, Pretty In Pink A DIY Rhubarb Cordial And A Smoothie

This post is just for fun, nothing earth shattering but I have to say I am so proud that my tomato plant is doing so well, as is my basil, the zucchini is questionable but it’s living. As I have mentioned before I am not a gardener, I am pretty much the opposite, I dislike working in the backyard in dirt, I don’t like the heat or the sun beating down on me so working in my garden except on cool overcast days is out of the question. It’s torture watering in the blazing hot sun for me. Now that I got that out of my system, I am so happy that my tomatoes are doing so well. I even have cute little tomatoes. This morning I staked them because they are getting so tall. I can’t wait until they ripen,  I am just hoping the squirrels don’t abscond with the fruit of the vine. If anyone has suggestions for some sort of protective device that will keep the pesky rodents out let me know and I will buy it forthwith.

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My zucchini is a disaster waiting to happen I’m afraid. I planned on planting it in the ground but never got around to it and it has been somewhat comfy in the large pot don’t know what will happen and the jury is out as to whether or not I actually get a squash.

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The leaves are drying and I am not sure whether or not thats supposed to happen, I think I need to do some research, but no sooner than one leaf dries new ones pop up.

My basil which I figured would never grow and looked awful is huge now. Even my Thai basil came back from the dead, I named it Lazarus.

Big basil

Big basil

This rose bush I bought at the supermarket to put in my air bnb room for a Valentines Day guest. This summer it was planted in a pot outside and has tripled in size and has multiple blooms.

Grocery store rose bush

Grocery store rose bush

When Nando passed a kind and thoughtful neighbor brought me a red geranium which didn’t last the winter so now it is a ritual for me to plant a red geranium to honor my sweet Nando and Izzy. Maybe I will try bringing it in this winter and see if it survives.

Izzy and Nando's geranium

Izzy and Nando’s geranium need to dead head that wilted stem.

Almost a month ago I got almost 2 pounds of rhubarb in a CSA box, I decided to try this Rhubarb Cordial that I saw eon’s ago on Food 52, I thought that it would be a great addition to summer cocktails. All you need is rhubarb, sugar and vodka, put into a clean glass jar, give it a good stir and aside from shaking it periodically to make sure the sugar dissolves it’s something you can make and forget about until the sitting time is up.  I am short on patience and couldn’t wait to try it so I strained and bottled it about a week early. It is really delicious and I plan on making some cocktails and also incorporating in some dessert recipes which will be posted once I figure out what I will make. My bartending skills are about equal to my gardening skills, pretty much non existent but I will try to come up with something nice and refreshing.

rhubarb cordial

rhubarb cordial

In the photo you can see in the corner a sweet little pink cake stand and some peaches which are from frog hollow farm, all from the Food52 shop. I feel like I am esconced in pink kind of like George Costanza was in velvet (If you watched Seinfeld you may get it).

I can’t forget Fiesta Friday #124 and this ice cold rhubarb cordial will be a great addition to the festivities. This weeks party is going to be great Angie’s co hosts are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.  Along with the cordial I will bring some club soda and a few bottles of prosecco some strawberries and peaches!!

Since I was thinking pink I had some farm fresh strawberries I needed to use and some buttermilk so I made a smoothie, summer is a great time for smoothies, light, refreshing, healthful and delicious. I like to use coconut water in smoothies an easy and convenient way to store your coconut water is to pour it in ice cube trays and freeze, once frozen simply remove the cubes and store in zip lock bags and you have  coconut water ice cubes whenever you need them.  I added a little bit of stevia to the drink because it was a bit sour, the strawberries were not super sweet.

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

I quickly wanted to mention what fun I have on the new Food52 app, #notrecipe or #norecipe the app is free in the app store and is available for iphone and iPad. It’s the way so many of us cook and it’s a wonderful platform for homecooks to hone their creativity in the kitchen without the confines of a recipe. I have submitted photo’s of a number of dishes, here are a few. Top left to right, zoodles in garlic and oil with shrimp and scallops in butter/garlic/parsley sauce) Seared scallops with a persillade (thanks Mimi) individual skillet with micro potato, avocado, kale, tomato and sunnyside up egg with gruyere, smoothie with kale, avocado, pineapple, banana, coconut water, ginger no added sugar.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all the Dad’s a Happy Fathers Day, I hope you have a wonderful day today!!

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Persian Cantaloupe Drink- Ab Talebi For Dessert

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I used to make this drink years ago but have not made for such a long time. It’s really delicious and refreshing and chock full of vitamins and minerals. I think I have mentioned before my love of Persian Food and I  follow several blogs  that have wonderful Persian recipes Fae, Azita and one I discovered recently through Instagram is  Ahu Eats, Ahu knows a thing or two about Iranian or Persian food and I love perusing her blog, her photographs are amazing and the food is too. When I saw this drink on her site I knew I needed to make it again, I used to often serve it as dessert with ice cream, it’s wonderfully cool and refreshing in the heat of the summer . There really is no recipe required, all you need is ripe canaloupe, ice and sugar or honey. You put it in the blender and voila a cantaloupe smoothie.

I am bringing this cool and refreshing dessert/drink to Fiesta Friday #121.   I hope everyone enjoys. It’s exciting that we will all be celebrating Memorial Day with Angie and her wonderful co hosts are all of us, yep we all get a chance to vote on the features for this party.

Happy Memorial Day to Everyone!!

Persian Cantaloupe Drink- Ab Talebi

One cantaloupe makes approx two or three 8 oz glasses (depending on size)

1 cantaloupe flesh removed and cut in pieces

1 cup crushed or cubed ice

1-2 tbs sugar (optional) depending on the sweetness of the melon and to taste

Place everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnish with a sprig of mint.

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A Gift, A Giving Community, Announcing A Holiday Giveaway And A Hot Cup Of Chai

From Sonal-Simply Vegetarian 777

From Sonal-Simply Vegetarian 777

I follow many blogs, I love them all and try my best to read and comment or at least like every one or as close as I can get to acknowledging them. One blog I love and follow is Sonal’s beautiful Simply Vegetarian777, chock full of delicious recipes and gorgeous photography it is one of those blogs that takes your breath away. Sonal also happens to be one of the sweetest and kindest individuals you will ever know and although we have never met in person I feel like we are close friends albeit virtual, she has touched my life and my kitchen with her generosity. This is the second batch of spices she has sent me, thank you my friend. I saw this recipe on her site a few weeks back and immediately commented how I had to make it it just sounds incredible. It’s an Indian breakfast dish called Bread Poha. Now I am challenged in the spicing department, I notoriously underspice and have become befuddled when faced with a recipe that uses many different spices in one dish. Sonal knowing me and seeing my plight sent me pre measured spice packets, everything the spicing challenged will need to put together a scrumptious meal and I must add that she included detailed instructions. Sonal, market these please I will be your first customer.

I was the lucky recipient previously of some of her genius spice blends and made this Kofta Korma which literally knocked my socks off, I followed her basic recipe for Korma adapting it to use meat.

How wonderful is our community of bloggers, most of us have never met each other, we visit and comment on each others blogs and become online friends and if we are lucky we get to meet each other. We lift each other up and encourage and in the case of dear Sonal, without asking or expecting anything she sends me the spice packets, but not just spices everything I need for pilaf incuding the rice and dal with the spices. I will be making dishes from each item she sent me and posting it here. The first will be the bread poho, it uses day (s) old bread which I don’t have so I am letting a baguette sit for a few days.

In the spirit of giving I wanted to announce that the last week of November there will be a giveaway which I am very excited about. It’s wonderful I won’t say what it is (surprises are fun) but I am sure you will all love it and it will be my gift to you, or at least one (or two) of you.

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Chai Tea

Sonal-Simply Vegetarian 777

1 cup water

3 tbs milk (I used half and half)

a good pinch of Sonal’s Chai Spice (it was about 1/2 tsp)

Black tea (either tea bag or loose tea

Sweetener of your choice

Bring the water, milk and spice to a rolling boil, add the tea and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Strain into a cup and enjoy!! Sweeten if you like. I added a spoonful of honey to mine.

As I type this I am enjoying a hot cup of chai and it’s absolutely delicious, the spices are perfection.  I usually use a prepared chai tea but have to say making it this way with the spice mix produces a superior cup of chai. There is nothing like a hot cup of Chai to warm you on a cold day.  Thank you Sonal!!

Coco Lime Slushy – I’m A Whole Foods Finalist!!

Cubes

Cubes

Sorry I am doing this twice, wordpress totally messed up this post back dating it and when I tried to correct it, I kept getting error  messages so I am doing it again, sorry for the redundancy!!

This is one of my favorite summer drinks, I posted it a few years ago and it’s such a great drink I decided to resurrect it.  It’s cold and refreshing, creamy and delicious. I make it with more lime than pineapple and use unsweetened coconut milk and lime simple syrup so that I can control the sweetness. I also do not use crushed ice I find it waters it down so instead I freeze the coconut lime mixture in an ice cube tray. The cubes are solid but easy to break up in the blender.  You can add as much rum as you like or make it virgin, it’s equally as delicious. One other cool thing about this drink is that because the drink base is frozen in ice cube trays you can make 1 or more and leave the rest in the freezer for use later on. Remove the cubes place in freezer bag and store in the freezer. I love making multiple batches so I always have some of the cubes on hand.

I entered this recipe in a whole foods contest for Best Drink for a Crowd and I was lucky enough to be picked as a finalist. If you don’t mind voting for my recipe I would be very grateful!! Thank you everyone. http://boulder.wholefoodsmarketcooking.com/contests

Lime Simple Syrup:

1 Lime peel removed (Use the peeled lime for the drink base)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water
In saucepan add sugar and water, bring to a boil let boil for approximately 2 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved take off heat, add lime peel. Cover and let sit until cool. Remove the lime peel. Store in jar in refrigerator. You can easily double this to make more simple syrup.

Remove all the pith

Remove all the pith

Pour into ice cube tray, makes exactly 16 cubes

Pour into ice cube tray, makes exactly 16 cubes

The Drink Base:

1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1 Lime peeled and all of the pith removed and quartered (Use the lime you used for the simple syrup)

4-6 tablespoons lime simple syrup (Make it as sweet as you like)

2 -3 ounces Pineapple juice (unsweetened) Start with two and if you need a little more liquid to break up cubes in blender add another ounce.

1 ounce Rum (Add more if you like it stronger)

To your food processor add the quartered lime and coconut milk. Process until lime is pulverized. Strain into measuring cup. Add 4-6 tbs of the lime simple syrup. (Adjust the sweetness to suite your taste. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze.
When coconut lime is frozen remove from ice cube tray, place in blender (depending on the proficiency of your blender you may want to break up the cubes) add pineapple juice and rum and blend until the cubes are broken up and it’s a slushy consistency. Pour and serve. Garnish with lime and pineapple.

Coco-Lime Slushy

Coco-Lime Slushy

 

Eggnog- The Quintessential Holiday Beverage

Eggnog

Eggnog

Creamy, sweet, delicious eggnog, I love it and it’s been a part of my holiday repertoire for as long as I can remember. I make it with and without alcohol. I also use a cooked custard because there are children drinking this and don’t want to take any chances with raw egg. The recipe I started out with is Martha Stewarts from quite a few years ago. She did not cook the eggs. The recipe calls for separating the yolks from the whites, using the yolks in the base and whipping the egg whites with some sugar and folding it into the base. It’s frothy and creamy and sweet and really delicious. I have changed it over the years and no longer fold egg whites into my custard, I’ll save those for something else like angel food cake. After cooling the custard before serving I add a pint of vanilla ice cream or Haagen Daz makes an egg nog ice cream which is delicious. This is not a diet drink and it’s loaded with cream and sugar and is very rich. The final presentation is with lightly sweetened whipped cream on  top and a generous grating of nutmeg. I usually make a very large batch using a dozen eggs, divide and add the alcohol to half and leave the other virgin. I like to use rum and cognac or brandy and in the non alcoholic version I add pure rum flavoring which I make myself by simply boiling some rum for 15 minutes to remove almost all of the alcohol. The recipe below makes a quart of egg nog base, add or deduct you really don’t need a recipe.

Makes 1 quart eggnog base

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

6-8 egg yolks (I use 8)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl and either whisk or use electric mixer to combine the yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Place milk and cream on stove and heat until scalding (not boiling) add half the hot milk/cream to egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour back into pan with the remaining milk, cook on medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You are making a custard, check frequently when the custard starts to thicken by dipping the spoon in the custard, swipe a line on the back of the spoon and if it stays intact the custard is done. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and transfer to a heat proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, it should sit directly on the custard and refrigerate at least 4 hours preferably overnight.

custard is done

custard is done

Making the eggnog

1 quart egg nog base

1 pint vanilla or eggnog ice cream (optional)

1 cup heavy cream whipped

fresh nutmeg grated

rum extract to taste

To make boozy egg nog omit rum extract and add rum or I like to add rum and cognac or brandy. You decide how much,  I like to add 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup brandy.

Pour the eggnog base into serving container, whip the cream adding just a little sugar. Soften your ice cream and add in scoops to the eggnog, let it melt, it’s ok. Top with whipped cream and generous grating of nutmeg. If you don’t use ice cream divide the whipped cream and fold half into the eggnog base and top with the other half.

Christmas in a bottle

Christmas in a bottle

Blood Orange Simple Syrup

Blood Orange Simple Syrup

Blood Orange Simple Syrup

When I was at the store buying fruit and vegetables I saw some beautiful blood oranges, I love them, juiced, in baked goods or straight up. After using all but 2 I wondered what I could do with the last of my oranges. Simple syrup is something I always keep in the refrigerator, I use it for baking, drinks or spoon on fruit salad. It’s a staple item for me. The blood oranges made a beautiful and delicious syrup, a gorgeous color, and that unmistakable blood orange flavor. It’s so simple to make, taking only a few minutes. I’m saving some of it for the Semolina Olive Oil Cake, I think it would make a delicious soaking syrup. Mix it in sparkling water to make soda, you control the sweetness, it’s great in mixed drinks, Sangria, there are so many possibilities.

2 blood oranges juiced it yielded  a little over 1/3 cup

zest of both oranges

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

2 tbs honey

Place everything in a medium size saucepan, bring to a boil on high heat, when there is a rolling boil, reduce to medium/high and cook on a low boil uncovered for 10-15 minutes. The syrup will reduce a little, for a thicker syrup you would have to boil longer, 20-25 minutes.  Remove from heat, let cool and pour into a lidded jar. Refrigerate.

DIY Almond Milk

Almond Milk

Almond Milk

I know this is probably nothing new to many of you but for me if was a revelation, making your own almond milk is easy and yields (IMHO) a product so superior to the commercially prepared milk, I honestly was blown away. It’s my new obsession and I use it everyday in shakes or on cereal or as a snack. I researched several websites to see how it is done and tried a few different methods, I made a few changes to the recipes I saw online. You need raw almonds, bottled or filtered water, a sweetener is optional, as is flavoring and salt (preferably sea salt). I decided that I like it with just a touch of sweetener and vanilla. I probably use a little less water to make it than other recipes because I like it rich and creamy. It is delicious, nutritious and a real treat. I always used soy milk in my morning shakes but not anymore. This morning I had a banana, date shake made with the almond milk and it was heavenly. I used the leftover pulp to make some granola this weekend and it was great I have to try to think of ways to use it right now it is sitting in my freezer in ziplock bags. If any of you have any ideas on what to make with the pulp please let me know. You will need raw almonds of course, filtered or bottled water, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and thats it. There is no real formula you can add or subtract from the amounts in this recipe. This is how I like to make it.

Preparation:

3 cups raw almonds

6 cups filtered water

Place almonds and water in a lidded container and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

Making the Milk:

drained almonds

5 cups water

sweetener (Optional)

Flavoring (Optional)

pinch of sea salt

Drain the almonds in a strainer, add to vitamix or food processor, add 5 cups bottled or filtered water, sweetener (I used 1 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar) optional flavoring (I added a tsp of vanilla), and sea salt, blend or process, If using a vitamix 2 minutes will do and if using a food processor 3-4 minutes.

Have doubled cheese cloth or nut milk bag ready over a large bowl, pour into cloth or bag and squeeze, until it is dry. Pour into container and refrigerate until ready to use.

NOTE: My first batch I used cheese cloth doubled, it worked pretty well but I found it was not completely strained, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a few errant pieces of nuts in your milk. The second batch I used a clean cotton tea towel and it worked like a charm, no nut pieces and it was large enough that I was able to really squeeze it and get every drop of milk. I am going to invest in a nut milk bag very soon.

Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Spice White Hot Chocolate

Spiced White Hot Chocolate

When I lived abroad one of my friends made a very simple drink on cold days before bed, it was treacle and hot milk. I grew to really love it, dark treacle has a similar flavor to molasses, I took this drink and changed it a bit, I used white chocolate, molasses, ginger and nutmeg. It is delicious, a little spicy, sweet and creamy. I topped it with some unsweetened whipped cream with a sprinkle of nutmeg. You can add a nip of brandy or cognac to make it a bit more joyful!

Serves 2 cups

  • 16 ounces whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • unsweetened whipped cream
  • sprinkles of nutmeg

Add milk, molasses, ginger and nutmeg to small saucepan. Heat to scalding but don’t bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the white chocolate, whisk until chocolate is melted. Whip your cream. Pour into mugs, top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg