Green Grasshopper Smoothie

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Today I had some exciting plans to make you guys some outlandish cinnamon rolls and more marshmallows. I even laid out all of the ingredients the night beforehand as to help entice me this morning to get the yeast going early on, let the marshmallows set for several hours… but I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t get my butt in gear. Blame it on the weather (it’s been totally gorgeous in Portland the last few days… like, unbelievably so) and I wanted to get outside for some fresh air and take in all of the premature cherry blossoms and tulips that are blooming. Plus my skin needed some vitamin D… like really badly. I’ve always been a pale one and generally avoid the sun, but when it decides to shine in Portland during the winter, you definitely have to take advantage of it–especially if you work indoors 10 hours a day, arriving to work when it’s dark and leaving when it’s dark.

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St. Germain Grapefruit Margarita

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I have a confession to make… this cocktail recipe was something my mom and I put together last summer. I completely forgot to post it, which is a total shame because it’s one of the best drinks I’ve ever made and tasted! She came to visit over Fourth of July weekend, we saw Huey Lewis & The News, and it was stinkin hot. So we obviously drank tons of beer and made up a few cocktail recipes. We had a ton of fun making it up! So, I suppose in spirit of Mother’s Day, it’s an appropriate time to finally post this. Fortunately, since I live right behind a liquor store, we just ran over there and grabbed a few essentials (more St. Germain…ALWAYS) and came up with this concept of pairing pink grapefruit juice with St. Germain (because it already has those wonderful florally citrus/grapefruit notes) instead of the usual Triple Sec, and limes go with grapefruit and tequila so well, so this was practically a no-brainer. Everything compliments each other perfectly.

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Now, I have never been a huge fan of eating straight-up grapefruits, the kind you peel and all. No matter how much I try to let them ripen and sweeten up, they always seem to be too bitter and sour. I can’t stand them juiced. So I just buy the pre-packaged 100% ruby red juice and it is spot on. Every now and then I get a rare hankering for grapefruit juice, which always puts me off guard. Sometimes it’s all you need to quench your thirst though. But after making up this cocktail, I have definitely kept it on hand more often. If you love St. Germain, aren’t afraid of tequila, and want a summery/springtime (heck, even winter) refreshing seasonal cooler, you’ve met your match. Just make sure you squash the rim of your glass in salt and sugar. DONE.

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St. Germain Grapefruit Margarita
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: One 12-16oz cocktail
Ingredients
  • 2 oz good-quality tequila (I love Espolon 100% agave)
  • 1.5 oz St. Germain liquor
  • 1 fresh lime, halved and squeezed for juice, plus extra lime wedges for garnish
  • 8-12 oz ruby red 100% grapefruit juice
  • ice cubes
  • equal parts granulated sugar & sea salt
Instructions
  1. Slightly dip the rim of your desired drinking glass into a shallow bowl of water, then "smash" into the sugar & sea salt mixture to coat the rim. Set aside.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full of ice (I like the kind that you cap with a pint glass and shake). Add the tequila, St. Germain and lime juice (a jigger is helpful for measurements), and shake shake shake for at least 20-30 seconds.
  3. Strain into your rimmed glass, and top with grapefruit juice to fill glass/to taste. Garnish with a lime wedge. So yummy!

Vegan Creamsicle Smoothie

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So, recently I went through on a big/major adult appliance purchase that I have been holding off and saving for for awhile now. I’m talking about a VitaMix! I had heard so many wonderful things about the magical powers of VitaMix-ing so it was only a matter of time. After some hemming and hawing, having a hard time deciding between the 2-speed, 64 oz with an additional dry container versus the variable 10-speed with the 48 oz wet container (only), I went with the 64 oz first and was slightly disappointed. The container was ridiculously HUGE and did not fit under the counters in my kitchen at all. Plus, I like having more control over the speed, so I returned it for the 48 oz and I LOVE it. I’ve owned a little vintage Osterizer ever since I moved out on my own and it has been a wonderful blender. It got me through a lot! But it was time to upgrade and not deal with the awful “overheating” smell.

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Vegan Maca Almond Joy Milkshake

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Super seemingly indulgent yet healthy/no-guilt treat up ahead: a dairy-free “milkshake” made strictly from coconut milk, ground almonds, dates, coconut, and cocoa. Plus it’s good for enhancing energy, fertility, hormonal stabilization, combating depression and great for immunity. I think I’ve found my favorite super food smoothie… erm, milkshake. Maca Almond Joy Milkshake. And it’s vegan, too. Say what?!
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I discovered the original recipe on Edible Perspective‘s blog recently and have had the tab up in my browser for the last week, drooling over the yumminess before my eyes every time I accidentally clicked on it. (I’m the girl with 30 tabs open in a window at a time…recipes stay open as “to-do lists”, projects I will eventually get to this week…or sometime relatively soon/within the next year. Ha!). Well today I had a nice day off. It was treat-yo-self day. I didn’t have my Italian class to attend to. I went trail running in Forest Park, splurged an overpriced eight dollar pressed green juice at a co-op, purchased a new nail polish color, bought a new shower curtain liner (so fancy, I know), baked some chocolate donuts (that’s coming soon!), and carved out some time to make this shake. With a few slight modifications, I can tell this is going to be in regular rotation from here on out. Do yourself a favor and get to freezin’ those coconut milk ice cubes. You won’t be sorry.

Also- have you heard of maca root powder before? My guy is really into taking the supplements and recently bought a tub of the powder to add to smoothies, and I’m really enjoying it. Maca that I’ve had in the past turned me off with it’s chalky-like texture, but this stuff we’ve got right now by Gaia is pretty bomb and tasteless. I won’t go into all of the benefits here, but you can do a little research yourself and see how it can be beneficial in several arenas. I’m trying to get in the habit of adding it to my routine regularly to see a difference. I’ll keep you posted. Needless to say, this is a great and super tasty way to get some maca into your life!

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Vegan Maca Almond Joy Milkshake
 
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: 1 vegan milkshake
Ingredients
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk, divided into ½ cups
  • 3 Tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons smooth unsalted almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon maca root powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. Prepare ahead of time (night or few hours before): rapidly shake can of coconut milk so that the liquids and solids are combined, then measure ½ cup of the milk and pour into ice cube molds (if you have square molds, it should make about 6 ice cubes).
  2. Once ice cubes have frozen, place ice cubes, ½ cup coconut milk, coconut flakes, almond butter, maca powder, cocoa powder, dates, and vanilla extract in a blender. Add the chocolate chunks, pulsing until the chocolate is finely distributed throughout the shake with a little bit of crunchiness still.
  3. Serve topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, coconut flakes or more chocolate chips. It's super delicious, thick and creamy no matter what!

 

Boozy Key Lime Pie & Cardamom Milkshake

May 16, 2013 Cocktails-039Oh my gosh you guys, I have been dying to post this recipe ever since I made it last weekend. YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS ASAP. If you love milkshakes, key lime pie and cardamom with a kick (aka. gin), then you need this in your life. It’s super creamy, slightly sour and herbal (not to mention alcoholic) and it’s freaking deeelicious. Have it on its own for dessert, paired with a juicy burger, or really any time of day (you could make it virgin too) and you’re golden.

This is part 2 to the cocktail marathon I was on that day. The reason I was keeping it for so long was that I was waiting to hear back from a site that I was hoping to publish it with, but I haven’t heard a response so I say heck with it, here’s the darn recipe! I can’t hold out on ya’ll any longer.

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Have any of you ever heard of Imbibe? I’m kind of a little bit in love with their cocktail recipes and magazine. I’ve never purchased it, just thumbed through it at Powell’s a few times, but have definitely bookmarked more than a few of their ideas that they got from other peoples ideas. This is one of them. I modified it just a bit, so play along.

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May 16, 2013 Cocktails-028-3Have any of you ever done a “tethered” photo shoot? That’s what I did here. I had never done it before and had always been curious to try it. It’s so much fun! But it does take some preparation and finagling. It’s helpful to have a close dining chair nearby to set your computer on and a USB cord that is long enough to withstand torquing your camera in all sorts of angles and not come off. I used (and regularly use) Adobe Lightroom 4, along with VSCO Cam actions. Some software programs will easily let you tether a shoot, some not so much. So far, Lightroom has been my go-to for all photo editing. I hardly ever use regular Photoshop anymore. Lightroom is so much faster! Although for every shot I took, it took about 10 seconds to process, which isn’t a big deal, but if you have melting ice cream and want to make sure your photo looks as good as it does on your LCD screen, it can be a bit of an issue. Regardless, this was super fun to try out. I probably don’t be doing all of my future food photo shoots tethered, but when I have the extra time and am in the mood will do it. It saves future uploading time also!

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A few things I modified from the original recipe: I doubled the amount of vanilla bean ice cream (because that’s always the sensible thing to do), added some lime zest, reduced the gin a bit (I had another cocktail to make so I didn’t want to get too out of control), added some bitters (totally the best secret ingredient ever!) and a dash of cardamom spice, which I think made this absolute perfection. Honestly, this is seriously addictive. After you make this the first time, you’ll crave one every day of your life. No joke. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is the perfect summertime treat! Now get to it!

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Boozy Key Lime Pie & Cardamom Milkshake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: One 12oz milkshake
Ingredients
  • 2 cups vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1½ oz gin
  • 1¼ oz fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 3 graham cracker sheets/rectangles
  • 3-4 dashes Underberg bitters
  • 2-3 dashes ground cardamom, plus extra for sprinkling on whipped cream
  • 2 ice cubes
  • whipped cream, for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (except whipped cream) and blend until smooth. If the ice cubes don't cooperate and blend, don't worry, just let them sit in the milkshake. It'll keep it cool and frosty. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with extra cardamom. Maybe even a little lime zest too if you're feelin' it.