Tag Archives: Drink

Peppermint Patty Green Monster

Ever since coming back from vacation, I have been craving fruits and vegetables like whoa.  I think it’s because it’s hot back here in New York (not crazy hot, but it’s definitely not fall weather like Canada).

I had a beautiful salad for lunch made from a bunch of locally grown veggies (including the reddest tomato I have ever seen), and then an apple (golden and delicious, as the name implied), and then I was still dying for vegetables.

Green monster it is.  ‘Specially one that has a fresh and cooling taste thanks to some chocolate mint from my herb garden.

Peppermint Patty Green Monster Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 ripe banana, frozen
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 10 small chocolate mint leaves (you can use regular mint, too)
  • 1/2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 C skim milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • honey or chocolate syrup to taste (optional for those of you who want a sweeter drink)

Layer the ingredients in a blender in this order: spinach, mint, cocoa powder, banana, ice, and skim milk poured over the top.  Putting the heavy stuff on top helps to press the light stuff down into the blender mechanism.

Blend for a few minutes until smooth.  Pour into a glass and serve immediately (makes one smoothie).

I actually couldn’t believe how much this really tasted like a peppermint patty.  Sweet, a bit of chocolate (how good would this be with chocolate pieces stirred in?), and that perfect cool minty finish.

As always, you can’t even taste the baby spinach.  If you use a heartier green like kale or chard, you’ll be able to detect it–that’s why I went with spinach on this one.

Vegetable and fruit craving satisfied.

Now on to more important things:

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Agave Julep Cocktail (because it’s 5:00 somewhere)

As my first post-finals blog, I figured it’s gotta be time to celebrate having over a month off from school by having a drink.  A really good drink.

I ran a lot of errands all morning, did some crafty things, and by then I had waited long enough.  And I found a recipe for an agave julep, which is basically combining two of my absolutely favorite cocktails–a margarita and a mojito.  Bring on the lime, mint, and tequila!

Agave Julep adapted from Hamlyn’s Cocktail Printable Recipe Card

  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 T basil simple syrup
  • 1 1/4 measures tequila
  • 1 1/4 measures lime juice
  • crushed ice
  • mint to garnish

This drink went from just average to the best beverage to ever grace a glass by the swap of basil simple syrup for plain ol’ simple syrup.  You can see how to make it here.

Muddle the syrup and mint leaves in the bottom of the glass. 

Add the tequila, lime juice, and crushed ice and mix well.  Garnish it with a mint leaf or a wedge of lime and enjoy!

Sadly, since Fritz is still studying, he only got to taste a sip of mine. 

I loved this a lot, but I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows about my fondness for a mojito.  I mean, that’s why I grow mint, after all.

Just in case you were wondering, this drink is called an agave julep because tequila is made from agave plants.  If you use gold tequila, it has been aged longer for a more intense flavor.

While some of us are off drinking, Henry has had some intense play goin’ on over the last few hours.  Yesterday I saw him catch a fly from midair (and was sufficiently grossed out when he ate it!), and today we witnessed a faceoff between him and his new favorite toy.

This dinosaur has been lying around for the past few years, and Henry found it and named it his worst enemy.  Since then, several battles worthy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 have been fought on our home turf.

Don’t you just love the look on the dinosaur’s face? Ha!

And of course, CSA box number nine was picked up yesterday:

I plan on using the week off that I have in between now and vacation to completely clean and reorganize the house like it’s never been done before–I’ll be sure to treat you to some photos.

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Mint and Lemon Iced Green Tea

I actually made this a few days ago, when it was 95 degrees and humid outside (and inside).  Today it’s more like 60 degrees and cold, and raining, and I’m wrapped in a blanket drinking tea of the hot and English breakfast variety.  But because I know it’s going to rapidly return to the boiling point, I’m going to post this anyway.  We’ll be better off prepared for what’s coming.

This is an iced tea recipe I found online a few years ago and wrote down on a notepad.  That was pre-blog, when I was unaware that I would be posting my favorite recipes for the world to view, and I should probably be able to cite from whence they came.  So if this is your recipe, please tell me and I’ll gladly let everyone know!  I’m sure I’ve changed it a bit since I originally found it, so it may be unrecognizable by now, anyway.

Sorry.

Mint and Lemon Iced Green Tea (serves 6-8)

  • 6 bags of green tea
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 bunches of mint (10-12 good-sized leaves)
  • 2 quarts boiling water
  • 10-15 ice cubes

This is a pretty simple recipe, and I’ll warn you–I used to add sugar into the boiling water, but this year Fritz and I stopped adding sugar to our beverages.  It took a little getting used to, but now everything tastes just as good as it used to.  Amazing how sugar feels absolutely necessary until you just stop using it.  But if you want to, you still can.  I think the original recipe called for 1/3 C? Maybe even 1/2 C of sugar.

Anyway, heat up the two quarts of water until boiling, then add the tea bags and take it off the heat.  That’s important–don’t boil the tea bags, ’cause it won’t taste good.  Just let them steep in the hot water for eight minutes.

While the tea is steeping, slice the lemons in half.  I usually cut off a few thin slices to put in the pitcher, and juice the rest.  Rinse the mint leaves and tear them in half.  Toss them in the bottom of the pitcher, along with the ice.

Once the tea is ready, remove the tea bags and pour the green tea over the ice.

This is also important–let this tea rest for a while!  It’s really good the next day, when it’s icy cold and the mint and lemon flavor are really strong.  You should probably make this tea the day before you want to use it, but at least a few hours.  The mint is what makes this perfect for a hot summery day, so it’s worth the wait.

Enjoy with a barbeque, or day by the pool, or you can take it to class like I did so you can imagine you are at the beach.

This recipe is also easily doubleable, and it looks very pretty at a party with the mint and lemon in the pitcher.  You could also put a little sprig in each person’s glass.

And hey, you could spike it with a little spiced rum, too…if you wanted.  Just sayin’.

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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?

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Peanut Butter Green Monster

Oh. Em. Gee.

This is the best Green Monster I have ever had.  I’ve had it two days in a row–it’s a fresh, filling, delicious, creamy, peanut buttery, hit-the-spot breakfast.  Need I go on?

If you like peanut butter, you need to trust me and make this.  It doesn’t need to be for breakfast.  Have it after the gym or as part of your lunch.  Just find a way to do it.

Peanut Butter Green Monster

  • 1/2 C skim milk
  • 1/2 C water + ice cubes (5 or 6)
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1-2 T Carnation Instant Breakfast powder, chocolate flavor (or cocoa powder, or chocolate protein powder, or nothing!  Experiment!)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced

I have a box of Carnation Instant Breakfasts leftover from when I used to hate eating breakfast (my, how things have changed).  Now that I eat big healthy breakfasts, rather than instant, powdered, sugary breakfasts, I’ve tried to find ways to get rid of them without just tossing ’em.  Looks like I may have found a solution, one tablespoonful at a time.

Waste not, want not!

Layer the ingredients in the blender as usual (water, PB, ice, and powders first, then spinach, then banana on top) and blend away until smooth. 

 

The last few days I’ve made these first thing in the morning, then stuck them in a mug in the freezer until I left for school just to save myself a little time in the morning.  Another nice thing about Green Monsters for breakfast?  All you need is a travel mug and your breakfast is transportable.

This particular monster isn’t as vivid green as some of its counterparts–I think it’s partially from the peanut butter and because I may have used a little less spinach (we were running low!).  It’s still definitely green, though.

I found something exciting today–my baby lilac tree (which is now two years old), transplanted all the way from my parents’, is flowering for the very first time!  Isn’t she a beauty?

I’ve said this all week, but I really need to buckle down and study all weekend.  I definitely won’t have time to do much baking, but I’m sure I’ll find something worth blogging when I need a study break.  What are you doing this weekend?

 

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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).

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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!

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