Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Drinks: Tropical Green Tea Cooler

I've found my drink love for the summer. 

I was wandering around the mall parched from all the shopping, when I stopped in a random coffee house to get something to quench my thirst.  They had a wonderful array of cold drinks.  Typically I gravitate to iced tea.  That's my main stay.

But today something came over me and I decided to try their Green Tea Specialty Drink.  I was blown over by the light refreshing taste.  So much so that I new I had to try and recreate this at home.  After several tries I got it down.  I dare say, mine is even better!

You don't need a fancy blender for this recipe.  Nope!  Just a couple ingredients, a tall glass and some ice and you are set.  This will become your drink of the summer as well.  Just one taste and you'll be hooked.  Promise.

This is the perfect non-alcoholic drink, so it's kid-friendly.  Serve this at a BBQ, picnic, or a potluck.  It's versatile and oh so tasty!

Kitchen Note:  This recipe is based upon a ratio of liquids instead of exact measurements.  This will allow you to use this ratio for a glass or a pitcher of drinks.  Also, I used a sweetened ice tea.  If you use one that is unsweetened you may need to add 1 tsp of sugar to the drink.  Try it first unsweetened and then add to taste.


Tropical Green Tea Cooler

serves 1

Ice cubes
Green Iced Tea ( I used Gold Peak Green Iced Tea)
Mango Puree ( such as Kern's)
1 tsp lime juice
optional:  sugar to taste, if not using sweetened tea

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.  Pour in 2/3 of the glass with Green Iced Tea.  Fill in the last 1/3 of the glass with Mango puree.  Add the lime juice and stir to combine.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fruit Salad with a Red Currant Raspberry Sauce

Summer fruit is everywhere and what a better way to use it than in a cooling fruit salad.

This salad isn't any old fruit salad though.  No, it is one that is tossed in a wonder sauce.  Yes, a sauce that just lends another layer of fruit flavor to the mix. 

Recently I had the leisure of attending  a Cool "No Cook" Sauces cooking class taught by Phillis Carey (one of my favorite chefs) down in San Diego.  She made some fabulous sauces using oils and vinegars from Vom Fass.  I love them all but new that I would make the Red Currant Raspberry Sauce first.  She placed it on a fruit salad and I loved it so much that I kept my dish simple as well.  

We had this for Memorial Day, but guess what?  The 4th of July holiday is coming up next week and this would be the most PERFECT dish to serve at any BBQ festivities you may be having.  Perfect for a picnic, grill, potluck, outdoor concert, beachside, lakeside...you name it.  Everyone loved this fruit salad so since it was such a hit, I wanted to share it with you today.

Kitchen Notes:  This uses a Red Currant Jelly.  Bonne Maman' make a good Red Currant jelly.  You also may find it from Knott's jelly.  If you can't find the red currant use a good grape jelly.  It tastes delicious as well.  This also uses raspberry vinegar which I've seen at most major grocery stores as well as Walmart.  You can also get one here. It's also perfect in salad dressings.  The 3rd item is that she uses grapeseed oil.  This is a great base to the dish as it a healthy choice and has a clean, light mild taste which is perfect for a dish where you want the fruit flavors to shine.  This can be bought at most grocery stores, Walmart, and Trader Joe's.

This serve a crowd but you can adjust this to suit how many you are serving.  I used little ice cream cups to serve our in.  They look adorable!


Fruit Salad with a Red Currant Raspberry Sauce

5 cups of mixed fruit ( I used watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew melons)

1/4 cup red currant jelly, melted and slightly cooled
2 T raspberry vinegar
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup grapeseed oil

Place the mixed fruit into a large mixing bowl.  To make the sauce, whisk together the melted jelly, vinegar, sugar, mustard, paprika and salt until well mixed.  Slowly whisk in the oil.  At this point the sauce may be chilled until serving time.  When ready to serve, pour over fruit and toss to combine.  Serve immediately or may be refrigerated up to 4 hours before serving. 

Source:  sauce if from Phillis Carey Cool 'No Cook' Sauces cooking class

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Side Dish Galore: Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil & Pine Nuts

It's summertime, the zucchini is plenty and I need a side dish!

This dish is so fresh and light that it's one of the best I've made in a long time. 

The original recipe is from Food 52 but I found an adaptation that I liked on Alexandra's Kitchen.  The dish uses a great gremolata of garlic, mint, and basil, and then is topped with pine nuts.  Add this to sautéed zucchini and you have a wonder light side dish.

I changed up the recipe just a tiny bit by using all zucchini where she used a combination with summer squash and I left out the capers since I didn't have any handy.  I'm sure they would be fantastic in this dish so add them if you like.

The dish was wonderful.  MGG loved it and so did I.  We served it along side a nice grilled chicken, but would go great with pork, beef, or fish as well.

Another hit found on Pinterest.  Love that site!


Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil & Pine Nuts

1 pound zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
3 tablespoons (or less) olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic
10 mint leaves
5 basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Garnish with additional mint and basil

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add half the zucchini and sauté, flipping and turning every few minutes, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile chop the garlic, mint, basil, and place them together in a small bowl.  Remove the 1st batch of zucchini and cook the remaining batch adding another tablespoon of oil.  

Once the 2nd batch is done add the 1st batch back into the pan.  Add he mint mixture along with the vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss together.  Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with nuts. 

Garnish with additional herbs if desired and serve warm.


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