Tag Archives: Beverages

White Summery Sangria

Happy Memorial Day!  It’s also my two-year anniversary with Fritz, and his sister Eber’s birthday.  A giant day of celebration all around.  Even though we are hundreds of miles apart, Fritz still managed to be his adorable self and texted me a picture of pancakes that he made “for me”, but sadly, had to eat alone.  Is that cute or what?

We are also celebrating around these parts by having a backyard summer BBQ–I made my standard summer picnic pasta salad which my family has never had before!  Weird, because I’ve been making it for years–just never made it around here, I guess.  Dad went fishing and brought home some lovely rainbow and brown trout this morning, and I made a tarragon/lemon/garlic mayonnaise to grill it with–you’ll see that tomorrow.  Most importantly, Mom and I decided to make a summery white sangria to celebrate.

It started off being red (cherry, strawberries), white (wine), and blue (blueberries) for Memorial Day, but we wanted to add some citrus, too, so now it’s just a gorgeous rainbow.  You can admire mine, or there’s still time to run to the grocery store and get the stuff to make your own.  Up to you!

White Summery Sangria

  • 1 bottle dry white wine (chardonnay, pinot grigio, etc)
  • 1-2 C of orange juice
  • 1/2 L of club soda (or one or two cans)
  • 2 T sugar (adjust to taste–it all depends on how sweet you like your drinks!)
  • Fruit–whatever you like!  We used 2 lemons, 1 lime, 1 C blueberries, 10-12 big strawberries, and a handful of cherries

Wash and slice the fruit, layering and arranging them in a large pitcher (we actually used a small 1-L pitcher for the table, and a large plastic one for “refills” later). 

Pour the orange juice and wine over the fruit and gently stir.  Add sugar according to taste. 

Chill the sangria in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.  Right before, pour the club soda over the top, give it a mix, and enjoy.  All these pictures are pre-club soda, since we haven’t had dinner yet!

It is so refreshing, light, and delicious.

A perfect summer drink that also makes a beautiful centerpiece for a nice dinner–you can arrange leftover limes and lemons on the table for gorgeous look, too.  We’ll be slicing lemon to be served with the fish, and it’ll look great next to the sangria.

I also like the white sangria better than the traditional red–it just feels lighter and brighter.  It reminds me a bit of Fritz’s favorite summer drink, a gin and tonic (or a G&T, if you’re in the know).

We also celebrated Memorial Day by going to my hometown’s parade this morning, and we ran into some friends there.

Hi Sarah, Josh, and Cora!

I love this parade because it goes by literally in a flash–small town, small parade.  I used to march proudly in this parade with my girl scout troop–go Brownies!

Hope you have a beautiful Memorial day, and happy anniversary to the best husband, student, dentist, brother, son, friend, cat owner, and all-around good guy I have ever known:

And of course, happy birthday to Eber:

Advertisements

79 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Gingery Green Monster

I’m so glad that I reintroduced myself to green monsters a while back, because I have a feeling that they are going to be a big, big part of my life this summer.  And today it was hot!  Perfect day for a cold green monster with a serious kick.

Gingery Green Monster

  • 1 C cold water
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • 1/2 -1″ piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 -1 1/2 C frozen fruit (I used pineapple, mango, and peach)
  • 1 t sugar

Layer all of the ingredients in the blender as listed (except for the sugar, which you can decide if and how much to use), and give it a go!

I started off without using any sugar, but I decided to add a bit just to cut the bite of the ginger a bit.  If I had a really ripe banana around, I would have used that and I’m sure it would have been just perfect.

Pour into a glass and you are good to go!  This actually made about a serving and a half, but because it’s so low-calorie (no milk or protein powder in this one), I drank both–the small glass as I was getting ready and the travel mug once I got to school.

Now, please don’t say that I didn’t warn you!  This drink is not for the faint of heart–and if you don’t like ginger, you might want to run in the other direction.  But if you’re like me, and there’s never too much ginger, than go for it.  Plus, ginger is nature’s Pepto Bismol, so if you have upset tummy problems, you might want to try this!  When I took the first few sips, I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it or not, but by the time I got to school, I downed the whole mug in about 30 seconds.  It was really, really good, and so refreshing.

Tomorrow’s green monster might involve coffee–I’ve been thinking of other flavors to make so that I don’t get bored!

Fritz just finished dinner–he made grilled turkey burgers with charred pineapple rings and grilled corn on the cob.

Does that sound good or what?

And tomorrow is my last day of case studies week, then I have a week off.  I’m going to see some friends friday, then head to my parents house for most of the week.  When I come back, Fritz will have picked up our very first CSA box!  Can’t wait!

What’s coming up in your life that you are excited about?

6 Comments

Filed under Beverages

Rooibos Chai

Nothing like a spicy, warm, and smooth mug of tea to start the day–especially when you are on vacation.

While searching for recipes that I thought looked good, I read a blog post about how saying “chai tea” is redundant and incorrect, so I’m trying to say it right–but it goes against years of Starbucks training.

So what to call this?  I really wanted to say rooibos chai tea, but I know that’s not right!  Chai rooibos?  Rooibos chai? Chai tea rooibos?  Masala (the blend of spices I used) rooibos chai?  Chai masala rooibos?

I’m just gonna stick with the simple version:

Rooibos Chai (serves 2)

  • 1 heaping t rooibos tea
  • 2 C boiling water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 whole peppercorns
  • 6 fennel seeds
  • milk and sugar to taste

Most importantly–you must toast the spices!  I used the toaster oven at 350 and toasted for 4-5 minutes, until they were touched with golden color and smelled amazing.

Next, crush ’em up with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder–but don’t go too small.  You just need to release the flavor, not grind them to a fine powder that can fit through a tea sieve.

Make the rooibos tea–I used a Bodum, which was perfect for straining the spices later.  You can make the tea (just boil the water and add the tea) while the spices are toasting and let it steep.  The awesome thing about rooibos tea is that you can let it steep all day long and it will never get bitter, just nice and strong.

Now we don’t have to go all day, but a good 15-20 minutes would be nice.

Once the spices are crushed, toss them in with the rooibos tea and let it continue to steep–like I said before, 15-20 minutes is good, but feel free to go longer.  I did about 20 minutes and it had a nice assertive flavor that was still so smooth.  Warm up some milk (I used about 1/6 C) and add the tea (and sugar if you want).

Breathe in deeply.

Melt.

Swoon.

I love this tea.  I want to make it every day. 

You can mix up a big batch of the spices, toasted and crushed, to have on hand and use when you get a craving.  Which, after you try this tea, will probably be often.  You can also get creative–use the spices I used, or take some out, or add more–for instance, adding a few more peppercorns will make a more intense and spicy tea.

It’s worth the prep.

For breakfast everyday I’ve been eating some variation of a greek yogurt parfait: plain greek yogurt, fruit (bananas or clementines), Ancient Harvest cereal, and raisins.  Mason jar=perfect height for a filling breakfast that’s fun to eat, too.

I’m going to go out for a quick run, then it’s time for a late lunch and board game playing with Mom, Fritz, and Jordi.

Sorry you can’t be here for this, Dad.

I know how you love board games.

(Not).

6 Comments

Filed under Beverages

Apple Pumpkin Pancakes and Rum Spiced Apple Cider

Sick of fall inspired foods yet?  Me neither.

I did really well on my two practicals this week (thanks for asking), and am now preparing for a test on Monday and one on Tuesday.  And by preparing I mean Fritz and I made a scrumptious breakfast, did laundry, cleaned the house, I’m blogging, and making a yummy navel orange, avocado, and shrimp salad for when our good friends Bre and Zev come to visit this weekend!  So not really preparing for my tests at all.

But back to the food.  I had some pumpkin puree left over from the muffins I made, and I got to thinking about how I can transform my favorite fall squash into a breakfast food: pancakes!  I also decided to toss in some apple for a sweet twist.  And I hate to admit it, but because it was 8:00 on a Saturday morning I cheated and used Bisquick for the pancakes–but next time, I’d definitely make them myself and go whole wheat.

Apple Pumpkin Pancakes 

  • Pancake mix (for two), made according to directions
  • 1 empire apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon sugar and maple syrup to top

 

Prepare the pancake mix as directed according to package and set aside (I used half skim milk and half water for my mix).  Next, peel and dice the apple.

Add the chopped apple to the pancake mix, then stir in the pumpkin puree.  At first I planned on leaving it swirled,  but I thought it would cook better (and look prettier) thoroughly mixed in.

 

When it came to cooking the pancakes, the first one I tried had a really irregular shape due to the apples, so I pulled out some of Fritz’s egg shapers (?! what are those things called?), which made perfectly shaped small pancakes.

 

Because of the pumpkin and the apple, these pancakes come out very moist and sweet and need very little butter and syrup to finish them off.  I just put a tiny pat of butter on Fritz’s, then sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar and a dash of maple syrup.  So good!

You really should make these.  I love finding delicious ways to use up leftovers!

On a completely different fall inspired note, when I was deep in the midst of studying this past week I made some spiced rum apple cider drink to keep me from collapsing into a orthopedics-induced stupor.  This was mostly inspired by my friends Angie (all the way from South Korea!) and Drew, who jokingly but seriously encouraged me to add alcohol to my favorite warm beverage.  What an excellent idea.

Rum Spiced Apple Cider (serves two)

  • 3 C apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1/2 T butter

 

Combine the apple cider, sugar, and spices in a saucepan over medium heat until hot.  Divide the rum and butter between two mugs while waiting for the cider to heat.  The butter (even though it seems weird) gives the cider a caramelly buttery taste that is perfect for cold weather.  It also made me feel a little bit like I was drinking butterbeer with Harry Potter.  Pour the cider over the rum and butter, and put one cinnamon stick into each mug.  Enjoy!

Thanks Ange and Drew–this helped me make it through those two tests! Now I need a new drink for the next two…

Today Fritz and I put our dual-control heat blanket on the bed, and actually set the thermostat to turn on at 5:00 in the morning so we no longer need to wake up in 55 degree weather.  Nothing like a heat blanket to make reading on a weekend feel like the most. amazing. thing. ever.  I might go do that right now!

4 Comments

Filed under Beverages, Breakfast