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Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

Texas Rio Star Grapefruit (1)

TexaSweet sent me six huge grapefruit to play with.  I had ideas whirling before the package landed on my doorstep.

The juice was so sweet and my kids devoured the first two grapefruits before I could do anything with them!  I managed to keep one to prepare a bright and refreshing mojito.

Like your traditional mojito, I muddled 3 or 4 fresh mint leaves with a teaspoon of sugar in the bottom of a glass.  I juiced half a grapefruit and added it to my glass.  Plenty of ice cubes and 2 oz. of rum, then ginger ale.  To make it fancy, if you were entertaining friends, save strips of the peel and the tip of the mint sprigs to garnish the drink.

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JAK, as foodies affectionately call Jack Allen’s Kitchen, is always a good place to try something interesting without completely blowing your budget.  The kids menu has full size burgers, neither of my minions could finish their plates of cheeseburgers and fries.

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I tried the Prickly Pear Mojito and was so glad I did!  This is perfect for summer.  Fresh mint, tart lime, and the peculiar cactus fruit juice that gives a blush to the foundation.   A small splurge for myself that was refreshing and exciting.

Prickly Pear Mojito (Jack Allen's Kitchen, Round Rock)

For dinner I chose the Sloppy Jack, a beef short rib shredded like pulled pork and piled on a bun.  Messy and delicious!  If you like sweet BBQ sauces on your meat, this is highly recommended.  And yes, there is a large amount of onion rings on the short ribs, but trust me there is a good amount of meat under there!

Sloppy Jack

 

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2013 refreshing strawberry lemonade

Making use of the five-pound bag of lemons I bought at Costco (why do I do this to myself?) I decided to make lemonade.  Those bright yellow puckers looked so lonely, so I added strawberries to the jug.  The lemon is front and center, but I love the pink hue the strawberries added.  Bonus is the pieces of fruit in the bottom of your glass!  This can be easily scaled up to serve a larger crowd for a back yard gathering or picnic.

Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade

  • 1 cup organic coconut sugar (more to taste)
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 2 large organic lemons
  • 6 large organic strawberries

In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water, bring this to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.  Slice the lemons in half and take a slice off each half, place these perfectly round slices in your lemonade vessel of choice.  Juice the remaining lemon, catching the seeds or strain afterwards.  Add the lemon juice to the vessel.  Add the sugar-water and stir to combine.

Chop the strawberries and cook them down until their juices are released, use the same little pot to save washing two!

Add the strawberries to the vessel.  Add the remaining 4 cups of water and stir well.  Cover and chill until ready to serve over ice.

Another idea is to make a more concentrated version by only adding 1 more cup of water then adding it to fizzy water to make a sparkling strawberry lemonade!

Cocktail time by adding vodka or gin to the sparkling version.  Although you may want to reduce the berries further and strain the seeds if you are making hard strawberry lemonade.  Seeds floating in your cocktail is not classy.

Have fun with it.  Enjoy and be refreshed.

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Prickly Pear, also called tuna, is the fruit of the Opuntia ficus-indica cactus.  You can see it growing on the roadsides in South Texas and other areas of the South through to Mexico.  I don’t recommend picking them by the road, instead find them at the grocery store or possibly at local farmer’s markets.  There are spines on the fruit just like the green pads of the cactus, be careful that these have been removed before handling the fruit.

I cut open the fruit and scraped out the seeded pulp.  Then I squished the pulp to release the juice in a fine mesh strainer.

Strain the pulp twice to get a juice that is clear and sweet.  I didn’t have any alcohol to make a prickly pear potations true to the name, but you could certainly try adding a shot of tequila or vodka over ice.  I added watermelon juice prepared in the same way using my fine mesh strainer.

The cactus fruit tastes sweet and succulent, a little grassy too.  It’s a different but refreshing drink for summer.

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OK, I’ll admit this is more of a milkshake than a smoothie since there’s no yogurt and several scoops of ice cream.  But hey, I call it as I see it, and this is a smoothie. I think they should teach milkshake-making in culinary schools, if they don’t already then y’all need to call me to teach it.

For 2 small servings

  • 2 cups strawberries, washed
  • 1 cup milk
  • about 1 1/2 cups chocolate ice cream

Hull and roughly chop the berries.  Add the berries to a blender.  Add the ice cream and half the milk.  Pulse the blender to combine the ingredients, add more of the milk to reach the desired consistency.  Serve immediately.

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Since reading more about High Fructose Cornsyrup, I’ve slowed down consumption of pop.  A health-conscience choice to treat my body with more natural foods and less chemicals and altered ingredients.  If I buy juice boxes for lunches and excursions for the kids, I’m looking at the ingredient list searching for those with no HFC and 100% fruit or vegetable juice.  Manufacturers are listening to consumers, or rather watching what smart consumers, um well, consume.

I know IZZE has been around for a while (2002), but I just noticed the box at Costco today.  It reminded me of Koala sparkling juices from my childhood, the best thing since homemade root beer.  I can’t find Koala drinks down here.  After careful inspection, no HFC, I took a case home.  The kids loved it, and the cans are small (8.4 fl oz) so it’s a nice little treat.  The treat was really for me and my nostalgia.

While trying to take this picture, little hands were just out of view.  It’s hard to keep these guys a secret for long.   “These are for Mommy!”.  They know I will share no matter how much I protest.

Sigh.  Yes, I am a sucker for bright shiny packaging.  However, if you have a look at IZZE.com to see what the company is doing, you will feel even better than having a craving fix for sweet fizz.  IZZE is partnered with Global Education Fund sending children to school who could otherwise not afford to.  I think this is just fantastic!

What products have you found and love who partner up with charity?

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In Canada the summers are short and typically rainy.  During the few stints of sunny days, the kiddy pool was filed and my brother armed himself with the water hose.  Our deck off the living room was stained a dark chestnut-brown.  The sun would make the wood incredibly warm.  We would soak our feet in the pool on the patio then make footprints on the deck, how fast they faded told us how hot the day was.  Besides the cool water to douse each other with, my mom would make us floats to cure us from the heat.

The floats were commonly made with homemade root beer and vanilla ice cream.  I remember how sweet and creamy they were, and my brother and I asked for seconds.

This summer was a revival for the float.  I don’t have home-brewed root beer, nor do I have vanilla ice cream.  That didn’t matter one bit though.  I used what we had on hand: Sprite and sherbet.  The kids loved it, albeit Big Brother didn’t understand at first why we were putting sherbet in a cup instead of a bowl.

I liked the strawberry sherbet with the citrus of the pop.  Ice cream, since moving to the south, is reserved for winter.  The lighter fruity sherbet (or sorbet) are better for 100 degree weather.  I will have to make the original float with root beer and rich vanilla ice cream for the kids at some point.  It’s a classic.

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