Category Archives: beverage

my favorite green juice

green juice and me

I mentioned a few posts back that I bought a juicer.

I know what you’re thinking…  They’re kind of trendy right now.

But the the thing is this:  I am, without a doubt, the top consumer of vegetables in my house and even with all of the creative, wonderful ways I have found to cook vegetables since joining the CSA two years ago, sometimes I can’t keep up each week.  Although I add the green leafy veggies to breakfast smoothies, I couldn’t use up my weekly share of kale and spinach.  I even attempted to blend vegetables in my blender with a bit of water and then strain it (a suggestion from a few fellow bloggers)-gross and messy!

Enter the juicer.  I did my research, and you should too, if you’re considering buying one.  One of the great things about a juicer is that there is minimal prep time in getting the fruits and vegetables ready.  Sure, you have to wash everything, but if you eat organic you don’t have to peel a lot of things (depending on the type of juicer you have). Whenever I juice, I’m still in absolute awe at the sheer number of vegetables and fruit I consume in one tall glass!  Several people have told me that they know someone who even uses the pulp in muffins and cakes, but I’m not quite there yet.

The first couple of times I followed some of the green juice recipes out there it tasted, well…less than awesome.  I let my husband try a sip. He scrunched his face up. “Tastes like I’m drinking the ground”, he said.  I had to agree.  After doing a bit more research on flavor combinations, along with  distinguishing the flavors in juice that I liked and dialing back the flavors I didn’t like so much, I came up with this recipe after some tweaking.

Bottoms up!

fav green juice

my favorite green juice

5 kale leaves (at times, I have replaced half of this with other green leafy vegetables-spinach, collards, chard, etc.)

1 medium cucumber

1 apple, cored

1 lemon (some recipes and web sites say you can use the lemon whole, but I prefer to peel it and remove the pith, which gives it a bitter taste)

a knuckle of fresh ginger root, unpeeled (about an inch)

Cut vegetables down to size to fit your juicer.  Pass through a juicer and enjoy over ice.

my juice

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happy new year!

photo

Did you make any resolutions?

I’m not a fan of resolutions, just like I’m not a fan of big New Years Eve parties.  There’s something about the forced sentiment doesn’t appeal to me.  All the expectation and build-up and if it doesn’t measure up, the letdown hits even harder.

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the cocoa martini

We aren’t really cocktail drinkers.  It’s not that we don’t like them, because we do.  We really, really do.

There’s nothing like a cold Margarita in the summertime (on the rocks, with salt).  Ditto for an Absolute Citron and tonic with a twist of lime.

Lacking the space for a fully stocked bar, we always seem to be missing the one ingredient we need for whatever we suddenly have the urge to make.  Beer and wine are so easy.  Just pop the top or cork and you’re good to go-no mixing or measuring required.  Easily transportable libations for tailgating or picnics.

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limoncello granita with blueberries and mint

Lest you think I forgot that I started the process of making limoncello  here and here…well, you would be correct!  A few days ago I was rifling around in my freezer and lo!  there it was-the yellow liquid shimmering in the bottle hidden away in the bottom basket.

My thoughts:

First, it was very sweet  or, at least, much sweeter than the store bought type I’ve tasted.

Second, it was hellfire strong!

When I make it again (next time Meyer lemons are in season), I will make a few modifications to correct these things (on a side note, my daughter served it straight up to some guests, one of whom was Italian, and he really liked it).

I’ve read several other recipes that called for vodka instead of Everclear when making limoncello.  Never mind that asking for Everclear from the cashier at the liquor store (it’s kept on the shelf behind the register) made me want to go home and shower immediately.  Vodka and I like each other, so vodka it shall be.

My began my search for a cocktail or creation that used the limoncello without overpowering the taste with other ingredients.

Due to my disdain with white granulated sugar, I initially attempted this recipe with raw sugar; however, it turned the simple syrup into a mucky, tea-colored liquid.  Not very pretty at all.

limoncello granita with blueberries and mint

350 ml of limoncello (homemade or store bought)

1 cup water

1 cup white granulated sugar

juice and zest of 2 lemons

2 tsp chopped fresh mint

1 pint blueberries

Combine sugar, water, and mint in a medium saucepan and heat over low flame until sugar is dissolved.  Remove pan from heat, strain and cool.

Pour limoncello in a shallow pan (a 9 x 13 glass dish works perfectly).  Add lemon juice and zest.  Add cooled simple syrup and stir to combine.

Place in freezer for 1-2 hours.  Remove and, using a fork, scrap mixture until slushy.  Replace in freezer and repeat scraping processing one more time before serving.

Serve with fresh blueberries and additional mint.

limoncello-part 2

If you remember, I started the lengthy process of preparing homemade limoncello over a month ago.  Initially, I was very diligent about giving the bottle a good shake once or twice a day, but as the weeks passed I forgot about it until the day my husband said “what’s this bottle of lemons sitting on the floor by the hutch?”

Hopefully, liquer gets better with age like wine.  Time will tell.

On to part 2…

Make simple syrup:  dissolve 3 cups of sugar in 3 cups of water in a stockpot on the stove top.  Only heat until fully dissolved, then remove from heat.  Strain the solids as you pour the liquid from the bottle into the stock pot with the sugar mixture.  Pour mixture back into bottle and cap tightly.  Repeat process for next 2-3 weeks of giving the bottle a shake once or twice a day.

SEE YOU IN A FEW WEEKS.

meyer lemons: dessert and liqueur

Does everyone have a lemon bar recipe?

It seems so, but most people think of them as a summer dessert.  Peak season for this fruit is the same as other citrus varieties-November to early March-and while it may not be seasonal exactly where I live, it is grown slightly south of here.  The Meyer lemon was named after Frank Meyer, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the early 1900’s and brought this fruit back from China.  It is more of a cross between an orange and a lemon, making it less bitter.  Also, the rind is supposedly edible (a fact that I haven’t verified personally).

Aside from cheesecake, these lemon bars are the only non-chocolate dessert my youngest daughter will eat.

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earthquake, hurricane, back to school…

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

First, an earthquake during the day when my son and I were the only ones home.  This was  the second earthquake I’ve experienced, so I wasn’t even certain that it was, in fact, an earthquake.  We live fairly close to the airport and I thought the first rumblings were a low flying airplane.

As I later found out, my catastrophe response skills are messed up…my son and I ran into the basement instead of outside.  By the time we experience the next earthquake, I will have forgotten this little fact and will most likely run into the basement again.

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