Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

To wrap up my lemon frenzy this last month, here’s a quick recipe for a simple and easy lemonade.

This lemonade is perfectly tart and sweet without giving you a toothache; just the drink for a hot summer day which we’ll have plenty of coming up.

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
 
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Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (around 5 lemons)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 8 cups water
Instructions
  1. In a small pot boil 1 cup of water and add the sugar, stirring, until completely dissolved.
  2. Place sugar-water and lemon juice in a quart jug or pitcher and stir in the remaining water.
  3. Taste and adjust to your preference if needed.
  4. Place in the refrigerator and chill (I recommend for at least four hours) before serving.
  5. Serve over ice and enjoy!

 

Fresh Mint Tea

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I managed to throw my back out last week (way to start feeling old!). As a result, I have been kind of mopey and in need of some comfort food. We’re pretty fond of comfort food around here (have you seen this?), but it doesn’t always have to be full of fat, carbs, cheese, and really, calories.

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That’s where fresh mint tea comes into play for me. It takes the edge off of the cold weather we’ve been having, throws some color into my life, and is simultaneously comforting and refreshing.

It’s also ridiculously easy, and I happened to have some mint leftover from the weird-looking strawberry pie I made the other day.

So – let’s make some tea.

First, go get a bunch of fresh mint (usually available in the veggie aisle at your local supermarket).

Next, tear it to pieces and put it into two medium-large mugs.

Then, pour in some boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes.

There ya go! There’s your tea!

Okay, fine, you CAN add some honey if you’d like. But it’s already pretty sweet. I swear. :)

You can also serve it hot or let it sit awhile in the fridge and serve it cold. Either way, it is delicious.

 

 

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I love smoothies, I used to drink them a lot more as a child (they were a favorite of my mom’s), but I don’t make them as often any more. Somehow I just forget they exist!

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When I do decide to break out the blender, this smoothie is what I’m usually craving.

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It’s thick and creamy and great for breakfast on the go.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
 
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Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • 3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups milk
Instructions
  1. Break up the banana into chunks and place in a blender with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Blend at a high speed until smooth.
  3. Adjust thickness with additional milk or peanut butter if not at your desired consistency.
Notes
Can add protein powder or other supplements in recommended doses.

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Butterbeer Lattes OR How to confuse your local Starbucks Barista

Butterbeer Lattes OR How to confuse your local Starbucks Barista

You’ve read Harry Potter, right? I’m judging the “no”s out there. Seriously, go read and enjoy the books post haste.

ANYWAY…

Today’s topic is butterbeer. Which, in case you have forgotten, is a fictional concoction in the Harry Potter series, written by the ever-so-brilliant J.K. Rowling. There are hot and cold versions and it is described as tasting a bit like butterscotch. You can learn a little more about it here.

The very same day my good friend Alex posted this article on Facebook, I sent Mark off to Starbucks to fetch me my very own butter beer latte (clearly he’s a keeper, and I’m a lazy bum who makes people fetch me things).

I am eternally impressed by that mermaid's flexibility.

I am eternally impressed by that mermaid’s flexibility.

Go figure – the barista had never heard of butter beer lattes and looked very puzzled when Mark requested it. (NEWSFLASH: THE INTERNET LIES).

Thank goodness the rumor mongers provided instructions for how to make it:

  • Whole milk steamer
  • Caramel syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Toffee nut syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Cinnamon Dolce syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Top with whipped cream and salted caramel bits
  • Optional: 1 shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)
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Mark tells me those archaic scribblings are Starbucks code, but I am pretty sure they’re a magic spell invoking the gods of fictional beverages.

I don’t really buy into the Pumpkin Spice insanity of the holiday season, but I did find this version of butter beer to be pleasant. It’s overly sweet in your typical Starbucks kind of a way, but the Toffee Nut syrup really goes well with the colder weather we’ve been having.

I’ve also been eyeing this recipe on Mugglenet that involves cream soda, butterscotch topping, and actual butter, but have been a little too wimpy to try it.

I’m also tempted to try an adult version with butterscotch schnapps and cream soda. Next time I find butterscotch schnapps, perhaps.

Have you tried any versions of butter beer (or made your own)? What did you think? Share your recipes and experiences in the comments!

Thai Iced Coffee

Thai Iced Coffee

Rich, creamy, and totally diet-busting, this icy beverage is one of my favorite things to order while eating out. Thankfully, it is blissfully easy (and cheeeeap!) to make at home.

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And yes, I totally took these pictures outside because the light showed off the coffee better. Pretend you don’t notice that, kay?

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If you don’t count the optional ice cubes, it only requires three ingredients: coffee, sweetened and condensed milk, and heavy cream.

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You don’t have to serve it over ice (though it is prettier that way), but do make sure it is very, very cold. Add a bendy straw for extra fun!

Thai Iced Coffee
 
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So creamy! So tasty!
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 4-8
Ingredients
  • 8 cups of homebrewed coffee
  • 1 can of sweetened and condensed milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Pour coffee, sweetened and condensed milk, and heavy cream into a large beverage container.
  2. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours (overnight is better).
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Crockpot Yellow Curry

Crockpot Yellow Curry

Sometimes the only thing that will hit the spot is a good bowl of curry. Hot day, cold day – I just have a craving once in awhile and it doesn’t go away until I’ve gotten my hands on some.

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If you’ve never made curry before – never fear! This is just as easy as any other crockpot recipe – just assemble your ingredients, drop ’em in the crockpot, and it’s good to eat in just a few hours.

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I like to serve this with basmati or jasmine rice. It’s not only a good way to stretch the serving size if you have unexpected guests, it’s also just plain yummy.

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Feel free to adjust the amount of heat (Sriracha) as you see fit. Mark likes it spicier than I do, while Brie prefers things as mild as possible.

Whatever you do, get this creamy, melt-in your mouth flavor-bomb of a comfort food into your life as soon as possible. You won’t regret it. :)

Crockpot Yellow Curry
 
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Adapted from Stephanie O'Dea's recipe from HERE.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Crockpot liner
  • 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (the creamy, thick kind - make sure that you don't accidentally pick up coconut water)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 frozen chicken breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 Tablespoons squeeze bottle ginger
  • 4 Tablespoons squeeze bottle garlic
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ chopped eggplant
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
Instructions
  1. Line your Crockpot with a plastic liner for easy cleanup.
  2. Combine spices, coconut milk, and tomato paste in the bottom of the crockpot - stir well.
  3. Add the chicken and flip it a few times to coat it with sauce.
  4. Cover with garbanzo beans and vegetables.
  5. Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
  6. Shred chicken and stir in heavy cream.
  7. Serve over rice and enjoy!

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Virgin Peach Bellini

Virgin Peach Bellini

This recipe is part of Feeding A Crowd: French(ish!) Birthday.

This is a really tasty option for folks who don’t drink alcohol, but still want something festive.

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Just put 1/4 cup of peach juice into a tall glass, then fill it the rest of the way up with sparkling apple cider.

Delicious!

Wanna check out the rest of the French(ish!)-inspired menu? Try one of these!