Coming up with this recipe may seem simple to you because that’s what I thought when I submitted this recipe concept to a client for recipe development. Honestly, I made this recipe at least six times. I kept placing the strawberries in the blender and coming out with a fizzy product. It tasted great, but was very foamy and fizzy. The kids loved trying all the versions, but they even complained about all of the fizz. I realized that maybe I was making this too complicated trying create a lime simple syrup, different sugars, etc. until I realized why not just try chopping the strawberries in the food processor first and then stir them into simple limeade? This version worked great so I hope you will like it too.
Smoothies are very popular at my house. We make them several times a week, even in the wintertime for dessert, as an afternoon snack or for breakfast. My kids love to try new concoctions, which is great because we are always using fresh, healthy ingredients such as yogurt, fresh fruits and fresh juices not from concentrate. I am thrilled to indulge in smoothies as well as providing the kids with something so healthy that boosts energy levels, fills you up and makes you feel great. Sometimes I even sneak in a couple of tablespoons of wheat germ, crushed flaxseed, and they don’t even know it. Try this recipe or make one of your own as a fresh start to the New Year.
Prep: 5 minutes
Yield: 8 cups
2 (6-ounce) containers low-fat strawberry yogurt (I used Dannon Light/Fit)
3/4 cup pomegranate juice such as Pom
1 tablespoon honey
1 pint fresh blueberries
11/2 cups cubed or crushed ice
1. Combine all ingredients in an electric blender and process until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately.
Who doesn’t love a hot beverage this time of year to beat the winter chill? This mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves spice up cranberry and pineapple juice to comfort you this time of year. My sister, Natalie, makes this punch every year during the wintertime holidays, so I thought I would share it among friends. It is very similar to a recipe I developed when I was a Food Editor with Southern Living magazine. It’s perfect to serve Christmas morning to set off the festivities in a warm cheerful tone. Cheers!
Spiced Cranberry Punch
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup water
11/2 quart cranberry juice
1 (48-ounce) container pineapple juice
1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large 5-quart pan; bring to a boil. Add pineapple juice and bring back to a boil. Serve warm.
We love hot chocolate at my house! My kids consider it a real treat when I say, “Who wants hot chocolate?” They love it in the morning, after school, and sometimes, instead of dessert, after dinner. And my non-coffee friends will stop at Starbucks for hot chocolate as fast as I will get my latte (and for those who know me, that’s a lot). So, I thought what would be a simpler and better holiday gift than the gift of hot chocolate? This recipe is a breeze and tastes great. Feel free to give a large 1-quart container or several small 4-ounce jars. Whichever you choose, I know you and your friends will love this recipe. The only thing that is missing is the milk.
Hot Chocolate Mix
Prep: 5 minutes
13/4 cups powdered sugar
11/2 cups nonfat dry milk
11/4 cups unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s)
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1. Stir together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place in a large or small airtight jars and store at room temperature.
Gift Card Enclosure and instructions: Stir 1/2 cup Hot Chocolate Mix into 1 cup warm milk, stirring well. Serve immediately.
So many friends have called in the past few days and asked me, “What are you serving with Thanksgiving dinner?” I suggest serving Prosecco and Pinot Noir since holiday meals feature a diversity of flavors. There is no single wine modeled for a certain dish. The joy comes from trying new possibilities. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine. It’s not expensive, and it’s clean, crisp and easy to drink. Pinot is the perfect table wine for the holiday season because of its low tannins, good acidity, and fruit-forward flavors. Cheers and happy holidays!
My friend, Steven, called last night and said he was having relatives in Wednesday before Thanksgiving. He asked me for a food favor. He said they were preparing a Mexican-themed menu, and asked me to help him with a recipe for a Pomegranate Margarita which was highly requested by his wife, Bridget. I thought this sounded like a really nice idea since many of us will be entertaining family and friends next week. This recipe has the right mix of tequila, Triple Sec and pomegranate juice. I just recommend using my ultimately favorite “Patron Silver” for the tequila.
Prep: 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Salt or sugar for the rim
8 ounces white tequila
4 ounces Triple Sec
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 limes, juiced (optional)
1/2 cup club soda
1. Pour salt or sugar onto a plate or shallow dish. With a lime wedge rub along the rim of a glass and dip glasses upside down to salt the rim. Fill glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice place the tequila, triple sec, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedges, if desired.
For tequila, see www.patronspirits.com
This smoothie is awesome, and I am not just saying it because my 9-year old daughter whipped it together one morning. I am very impressed though. It’s so simple and delicious, and my older son said, “How did she make this so good?” Try it and see. Feel free to add strawberries, blueberries or whatever fruit you prefer, but if you like bananas, you will love this with just these simple ingredients.
Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie
Prep: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
2 (6-ounce) containers nonfat vanilla yogurt (I used Dannons)
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons honey
2 cup crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in an electric blender and blend until smooth.
My friend called me yesterday, and said she was having an election night party and asked me what should she serve? I was stumped at first as her ideas were muffalatas and shrimp creole or pizza and lasagna. This was going to be a casual party with friends and children so it got me thinking…
For those for McCain, I think Tex-Mex would be a great way to go so try my fajitas and guacamole with margaritas, rice or a salad, and you’re all set.
And if you’re pulling for Obama, I hear it’s Chicago deep dish pizza or chili that are his favorite foods. Since this election is so special and unique, my suggestion is to come up with something for everyone, so I hope you will enjoy some of my patriotic favorites.
This recipe is so great, and kids love it! My son decided to take this on all by himself. You may want to double this recipe as it only serves 4.
Yield: Makes about 4 servings
To make In a small bowl, with a potato masher or spoon, mash 1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.) with 2/3 cup sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher (at least 1 1/2 qt.); discard seeds. Stir in 1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups water. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses.
And the celebration begins….
Honey Chiptole Barbecue Sandwiches
This recipe yields slow-cooked barbecue flavor in less than an hour. The sandwiches need to be broiled at the last minute.
Yield: 4 sandwiches (serving size: 1 sandwich)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup canned tomato puree
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 (1 1/2-ounce) sandwich rolls
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
4 (1/8-inch-thick) slices red onion
Combine water, 1 teaspoon cumin, 4 sliced garlic cloves, and chicken in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Drain, and place chicken on a cutting board. Cut chicken across grain into thin slices; keep warm.
Remove 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 2 chipotle chiles from can; finely chop and set aside. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomato puree; cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens to a pastelike consistency, stirring constantly. Stir in reserved 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, 2 chopped chipotle chiles, vinegar, honey and Worcestershire. Add sliced chicken to sauce; simmer for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Split rolls in half; arrange in a single layer, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Remove top halves of rolls from baking sheet. Divide chicken mixture evenly among bottom halves of rolls, and top chicken mixture evenly with cheese. Broil chicken-topped rolls 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; top with onion and top roll halves. Serve immediately.
Red White and Blue Potato Salad
This recipe uses a trio of potatoes, but use all of one type if you prefer. Blue potatoes are starchier than the others and tend to bleed, so cook them separately. If you need to, prepare this dish a day ahead, but add the blue potatoes just before serving. If your potatoes are larger than the ones we call for, cut them to a uniform size.
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)
2 cups small red potatoes, quartered (about 10 ounces)
2 cups small blue potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
3 hard-cooked large eggs, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Place fingerling and red potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl.
Place blue potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Add blue potatoes, onion, parsley, dill, chives, and eggs to bowl; toss gently.
Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.