Hello again, I’ve been off the radar for awhile because of a cute little fella that has been taking up all my time. The little fella I’m talking about weighs in at 6 pounds 15 ounces and is 19.5 inches long. He is the cutest of all cute babies. I’m a bit biased because he is my son 🙂 He is six weeks old and has been an absolute joy. Now back to blogging….
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the summers. It is hot hot hot. Technically it isn’t summer yet, but once temps hit the 90s it’s officially summer by my standards. To beat the heat I have single handedly been keeping the watermelon farmers in business. I can’t get enough of it. After day 7 of drinking straight watermelon juice, I decided it was time to fancy it up a bit. Just how did I do this? By juicing half a watermelon, adding soda water, honey and mint and wa-la… watermelon honey soda was born. After a while that plain watermelon juice can start to feel pretty boring. Enjoyable but nothing too special. By adding just a bit of honey, soda water and a touch of mint it transforms the watermelon juice into the swankiest of swanky drinks. Just having this drink in your hand multiplies your cool factor by 100. You’ll go from feeling normal to feeling like a rock star in one sip. I’m not sure how it does this, but it does. It may be the pretty pink hue, perfect balance of sweetness, the uber refreshing taste or a combo of all three. Whatever it is, it works.
This drink is fit for a crowd. At your next summer get together, whip this up for your guests to enjoy and they will experience that fancy and luxurious effect. I mean really, who doesn’t want their cool factor to be multiplied by a 100 all while sipping on a pretty pink drink on a warm summer night. I know I do!
As I mentioned in my last post I was in Disneyland last week with my family. There is one thing holding Disneyland back from actually being the happiest place on earth…a juice bar. Ok, I admit I may be the only person in the world who thinks a juice bar is the one thing holding Mickey Mouse’s motherland back from being the happiest place on earth, but I’m pretty sure there are many people who would enjoy this service. Eating a nutritionally balanced meal is hard work at Disneyland. There aren’t many options. Which makes sense…I don’t think there are many kids who think broccoli and beets belong in the happiest place on earth. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed some traditional Disneyland fare. Who can resist an ice cream bar shaped like Mickey Mouse? But I was craving some liquid nourishment. Immediately upon my arrival home, I broke out my juicer and made a big batch of Green Lemonade. It was a great welcome home.
Hosting a ladies brunch? This would be delicious with a splash of champagne. A green juice mimosa…hmm maybe Mr. Walt should consider adding that to the Disneyland menu.
Thursdays are like the middle child of weekdays. The anticipation of Friday and hump day Wednesday steal the spotlight causing it to get lost in the mix. This morning I woke up wanting to acknowledge the excitement of Thursdays. It is one day away from Friday, which means one day closer to the weekend. So what better way to honor a Thursday than to start the day off with a chocolate coconut shake. Special right? It’s not everyday I kickoff the morning with a smoothie that tastes like dessert. It is highly likely it will become my new Thursday morning trend. Although the smoothie tastes like a sweet treat, it is packed full of essential nutrients to start your day off right. Avocado, hemp seeds, banana, almond milk, raw honey…major benefits!
I should add that I love middle children. I don’t think they get lost in the mix, it’s just an old theory. My middle sister is my BFF. If you are a middle child you should feel pretty excited about being compared to a Thursday. Thursdays are awesome, you are awesome and this smoothie is awesome!
Feel free to skip the honey and just use dates to sweeten the chocolate shake. I prefer to use the honey for a nutrient boost, especially the allergy fighting properties it offers. Allergies are killer this time of year in Texas. Another option is to use only honey as a sweetener and skip the dates. Up to you.
There are two reasons this peanut butter and jelly smoothie is a current favorite of mine.
#1- It transports me straight back to my elementary school days. Remember the good old days when all that mattered was how well you played in the tether ball game at recess? Yea, those days were the best. So were the PB&J sandwiches my mom would pack in my lunch every so often. She mastered the perfect ratio of peanut butter and jelly, which is essential for a good sandwich. Too much jelly results in it squirting out the sides of the bread causing a big sticky mess. No good. So, thanks mom for keeping my lunches mess free.
#2- It looks like cupid’s heart exploded in my cup. Valentine’s Day doesn’t top my list of favorite holidays, but I am a sucker for the pink hearts and lovey dovey decor. It screams happiness and makes you instantly feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Who doesn’t love that? A bright pink smoothie goes perfectly with the love that is in the air this week.
Flu season is in full swing and it isn’t pretty. I know this first hand because earlier this week it hit me like a wrecking ball. Let me tell you, Miley Cyrus is right…wrecking balls hurt. One minute I was fine the next I was hugging the toilet. Ok, enough details. You don’t need to picture me embracing the porcelain god. I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water, but knew I needed liquids with electrolytes and needed to steer clear of straight water, because of the hard minerals. I had my husband pick up some watermelon juice from my favorite juice bar on his way home from work. He transformed into a nurse and fed me drops of watermelon juice every 5 minutes the rest of the night. I felt and looked like a little baby bird.
Thankfully, the bug only lasted 24 hours and by the next morning I was able to keep my stomach in check. I went straight to the kitchen and made one of my immune boosting teas to help bring my system back up to speed. I made a Peppermint Ginger Lemon Tea. The list of health benefits goes on and on (and on and on). If I listed all of them this blog post would go on for days, which is a big no-no in the blogging world. Below is a run down of the health benefits of peppermint, ginger and lemon.
Please drink this tea to help ward off a stomach bug, flu, cold or just because it taste good. At one point during my 24 hour battle with the bug I am pretty sure I asked to die. It sounds dramatic, but the thought definitely went through my mind. I don’t want any one else to go through it.
Peppermint– aids in digestions, cold and flu remedy, protects against cancer, helps skin conditions, aids in IBS.
Ginger– cold and flu treatment, helps with nausea, migraine relief, heartburn relief, reduces menstrual cycle cramps.
Lemon– high in vitamin C, helps soothe sore throats, immune boosting, fights bacteria.
The entire country seems to be jumping on the cold weather band wagon. I think it is safe to say we could all use a break from the bone chilling weather. Lucky for you I have a way you can bring a tropical vacation into your kitchen, no airplane ticket or packing required. My Piña Colada Green Smoothie will take you from the numbing cold to white sandy beaches in seconds. It tastes like a vacation.
There are a few reasons this green smoothie has become a favorite of mine. Number 1- It tastes like a vacation. Number 2- it is the smoothie that turned my husband into a green smoothie lover. He is always a bit reluctant to drink my smoothies, but this smoothie was different. He smelled it, took a sip, took another sip and then finished it off in one big gulp. It was a proud moment of mine when he told me he could drink it everyday. I could too.
Swap kale for spinach or any other greens you have on hand. You’ll still achieve the full tropical vacation effect. If you don’t have any hemp seeds, feel free to use flax seed, chia seed or a mix of all three. They all blend well into this recipe
Our house is officially ready for Christmas. This past weekend I bought Target, Hobby Lobby and Michaels out of all their Christmas décor and pasted it all over our house. Nothing makes me happier than walking through the door to a festive house. Actually, there is one thing that makes me happier than walking through the door to a festive house…that would be sitting on the couch, watching Home Alone while sipping on a holiday inspired smoothie. That is exactly how I spent my night last night. It was awesome. I put a festive holiday spin on my usual green smoothie by adding fresh mint leaves and dark chocolate. It tasted more like a milkshake than a smoothie. Very indulgent without being super heavy. A green mint smoothie is the perfect addition to a cozy night in or a great way to start a day of holiday shopping.
I used hempseeds in my smoothie. Flax seed or chia seed would also work well.
The other day I was roaming the grocery store when I passed an entire section dedicated to flavored milks. That’s right, an entire shelf! Pumpkin, eggnog, peppermint, hazelnut…the list goes on. Those flavors sound great, especially for the holiday season, but it got me thinking…if I were to drink a flavored milk what would I choose? I settled on honey, cinnamon and vanilla almond milk. Once an idea is in my head I get a bit obsessive. It’s all I can think about until I make it. Thankfully this recipe idea conveniently came to me while in a grocery store. Which meant I could buy the ingredients, head home and have the almond milk made before sunset. Oh boy, was I wrong. I got so caught up in my excitement that I forgot almond milk takes time and patience. The almonds need to be soaked for 24 hours before transforming them into milk. I did have the almonds soaking in water by sunset, but would have to wait until the following day to turn them into honey, cinnamon and vanilla almond milk.
The wait was worth it. This milk is happy dance material. The kind of yumminess that automatically makes you shake your booty. You can drink it straight up, in tea/coffee, or blend with some ice and a banana to make a bomb milkshake. Using a vanilla bean made the milk taste (and look) extra special. Vanilla beans are pricey so feel free to substitute vanilla extract for the bean.
Using a nut bag is the easiest way to drain the almond milk from the almond pulp. They can be found at most grocery stores. You may also use a few layers of cheesecloth.
With November in full swing and December around the corner, there is good chance your weekends will soon be filled with holiday parties. Which also means your weekends will be filled with sugary cocktails. Those drinks taste good going down, but usually make you feel a bit bloated and headachy the following day. Bloated and headachy…not the best way to spend your weekends, especially when you are wanting to rock a small sparkly dress. Don’t fret, there is a way to stay Merry during the holidays and still enjoy a few cocktails. It requires some seasonal fruit, coconut water and a blender. That’s all you need to stay healthy during the cocktail party season. Sounds pretty easy, right? It is. I blended fresh pomegranate seeds with an orange, coconut water and some fresh ginger. Gave it a whirl in the blender and wa-la a healthy holiday cocktail. Add your alcohol of choice or drink it in the virgin form. Both will leave you feeling Merry and Bright.
You may want to start off with a 1/4th inch piece of ginger and add more to your liking. I like the spice the ginger adds so I used a 1/2 inch slice of ginger. If you are feeling extra bold, add even more.
OMG…buy some apples, get out your juicer and make this cider right now. Or even better, make this cider, put it in a to-go cup and head straight for the pumpkin patch. If you follow these
commands directions, your Fall will be complete. I promise. There is something so nostalgic about apple cider. It transports me straight back to the days hyper color t-shirts were still cool (I am afraid they will make a comeback), when my mom would bring home jugs of freshly pressed apple cider. It was the perfect way to warm up after a crisp fall day. To this day, she still has the fridge stocked with apple cider during the holidays.
If you don’t have a juicer, please don’t turn your back on this recipe. You can still make homemade apple cider by using the old school (and flavorful) boiling method. Quarter your apples and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the apples. Add the spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for an hour or until the apples are very mushy. Once apples are mushy, mash with a potato masher. Place a very fine colander over a large bowl. Drain the apple mixture. And there you have it- apple cider without a juicer.