Cherry Jam Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade

Jam Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade

I have this weird affinity for remembering recipes bloggers post from a long long time ago.  Not all recipes, just random weird ones, not even ones that I necessarily was super into as soon as I saw them, but some just get stuck in my brain and don’t leave for a while. One of these was the Continue reading

Mango Lime Agua Fresca

Mango Lime Agua Fresca

This is a little late for Cinco De Mayo, but nonetheless, it’s perfect for the weather warm up (75 today, yes!).  I try to drink as much water as possible throughout the day, partly to keep hydrated and partly to give me a reason to get up from my desk and walk around so I don’t turn into a hermit who doesn’t see the light of day all day.  But sometimes, I need something a little outside of regular ol’ water, enter agua fresca!

I never really encountered agua fresca until recently either, when I started frequenting a taco place one block (!) from out house.  Besides for the amazing roasted veggie taco and cheap beers on tap, this restaurant has pretty killer agua fresca too. Sometimes, they run out before dinner is over and I miss out on getting the fancy fruity water with my tacos.

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Agua fresca can really be made with any fruit that has a high water content; watermelon, cucumber, etc., but I love that the mango has a bit of substance to it outside of the water content.  The proportions in this recipe make a thicker agua fresca, but feel free to add a bit more water to lighten it up a bit.  Also, the sugar is optional, but I think it’s necessary to contrast the tartness of the limes.

p.s. Let’s add rum and make a dacquiri, cool?

 

Mango Lime Agua Fresca

 

Mango Lime Agua Fresca

Ingredients

  • 1 mango, diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • juice of 2 limes

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly blended. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
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Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice {Or Little Bit Of Everything Juice}

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice

Remember how this granola was kind of a clean-out-the-cabinets situation?  This juice is the same deal! Except we are talking clean-out-the-fridge situation, which means ‘I’m going away on a long weekend and don’t want these things to go to waste’.  Even of some of your produce is getting to the icky/iffy stage, juice is a good way to squeeze some of the nutrients out, while using them up.  The best part? You don’t need a juicer! I contemplated adding a juicer to my small collection of small appliances but I a.) didn’t have any room (unless I turn the guest bedroom into a a kitchen pantry) and b.) didn’t want to drop the cash on a juicer.  Good thing the smarty pants bloggers out there introduced me to juicing with a nut milk bag. Yep, the nut milk bag again. Really, you should have one, it’s a worthy purchase and gives you reason to use the phrase nut milk bag.  (Here is the one I have and I love it).

I used a combination of beets, leftover greens, carrots and mixed berries in this juice, but I also added in a bit of orange juice for sweetness and to get things going in the blender.  The basic rule of thumb is to balance out the greens and veggies with berries and sweetness, to prevent your juice from tasting like drinking the inside of the lawnmower bag. Blend, squeeze through the bag, and you are good to go! The juice is best the day of, but I’ve found they are still good within the first few days of preparation.

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice

 

I’m also playing with dark backgrounds for photos, so bear with me while I figure out what works best!

p.s. I was in Columbus this past weekend and it’s a great city! We were in town for the Chicago Blackhawks game, but ate here and loved it.  We, of course, also ate a good share of Jeni’s Ice Cream (sorbet too!), and toured the Ohio State campus (pretty!).

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice {Or Little Bit Of Everything Juice}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beets, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups berries (any variety)
  • 2 cups greens (I used spinach and kale)
  • 1-2 cups orange juice ( I added a bit of cherry juice too)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until somewhat smooth. It will still be pretty chunky, but keep blending until most of the solids are blended. If needed, add a bit more juice to keep the mixture going. Place the nut milk bag over a large bowl, pour the mixture through the bag and squeeze until all the juice has been extracted. Discard pulp.
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Vanilla Sugar + Lime Lemonade

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Everyone is getting sick, right? It seems like this time of year is the blah time, it’s no longer fun for the weather to turn to snow because Christmas is way over and spring is juuuust close enough to tease us with a few 40 degree days that make me want to lay outside for a tan.  It feels like I have been (and everyone else!) fighting off a carousel of sicknesses, blah feeling and overall yearning for the weather to turn and for things to change.  Although I don’t mind snuggling in with my cat and finding excuses to drink hot toddies, I’m really just ready for a little bit of warmer temperatures and opportunities to spend time outside.

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If you know me in real life, you will know that I am a really sweaty person (too much? Sorry!).  I can basically sweat in any situation, even if it’s freezing but I get nervous or something of the like, I will start to sweat and it (unfortunately) will keep going throughout most of the day.  Also, sorry if you’ve ever given me an unexpected high five in August. Oops. Needless to say, summer isn’t my best friend as far as comfort goes sometimes, but I will take a little more sunshine over snow and below zero wind chills.

The moral of this gross story is that I do love the warmth and sun, but sometimes I need a little something to cool off with (or to remind me to drink more water).  The vanilla sugar in this lemonade is a perfect touch to an already perfect drink and isn’t completely necessary if you don’t have it around, but it just takes it to the next level.

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Also, don’t drink this with anyting super spicy or tart, it’s not really a great combination, word to the wise.  (aka I tried to drink this while eating some realllly spicy jalapeno salsa and it was NO good).

Also also, add a little rum to this, plop in a tiny umbrella and let’s go to the beach, deal?

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Vanilla Sugar + Lime Lemonade

Ingredients

  • For the simple syrup:
  • 1/3 cup vanilla sugar (1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Juice of 3-4 lemons
  • 1-2 lemons, sliced
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 4-6 cups water
  • Extras Add Ins:
  • Sliced kiwis
  • Sliced Oranges
  • Any extra cut up fruit will work!

Instructions

  1. For the simple syrup: In a microwave safe bowl, combine the water and vanilla sugar, stirring until sugar is partially dissolved. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until sugar can be stirred into the water and dissolved thoroughly.
  2. In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, sliced fruits, water and a little extra vanilla extract (if desired). Adjust according to taste, adding more sugar if necessary. Start out by adding 4 cups of water, add more if desired.
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Strawberry and Summer Fruit Sangria

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I was going to call this “End of Summer Sangria” but I’m holding onto this season a bit longer, ok? Let’s not talk about the sun going down earlier yet, because I’m just now quite in the headspace for that nonsense.  This sangria is one of my favorite recipes over the last few week, one I’ve made at least 3 times over the past few weeks, Continue reading