Cherry Margaritas

Cherry Margaritas

Find a handy spot to place the blender and make these Cherry Margaritas. Start with a mix of fresh sweet cherries, a little tequila and a hit of citrus, all whirled in the blender, and you will enjoy the perfect summer frozen cocktail creation. Cherries are so healthy for you!

One cup of raw cherries has 87 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Enjoy cherries now while they are at their peak.  Cherries are a nutritional powerhouse fruit with so many incredible health benefits.

Eleven Health Benefits of Eating Cherries 

1. Cherries, known as a “super-fruit”, are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer.

2. Cherries can help aid in hormonal health. Cherries are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycles.

3. Cherries contain magnesium which help regulate sleep quality, and Vitamin C which is essential for regulating estrogen and progesterone.

4. Cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A). In fact they contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries.

5. Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber.

6. Cherries are referred to as “brain food”, aiding in brain health and in the prevention of memory loss.

7. Because cherries contain anthocyanins, they can reduce inflammation and symptoms of arthritis and gout.

8. Eating cherries reduces the risk of diabetes.

9. Cherries are a good source of fiber which is important for digestive health.

10. Cherries are a great snack or dessert choice important for weight-maintenance.

11. Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, cherries are said to reduce pain and joint soreness for runners and athletes after workouts.

The Best Veggie Burgers

These Veggie Burgers are a home run. I crave more vegetarian foods in the summertime so this is the prefect time to try this burger recipe. I developed this recipe for my first cookbook 400 Best Sandwich Recipes, but it is the very first time that I’m sharing it online.

When I started testing veggie burger recipes, I tried a lot of ingredients to create the best base. These burgers start with bulgur, which is a staple used in the Middle East. Combine the bulgur with pinto beans, oats, grated carrots, soy sauce, cumin, Parmesan and remaining ingredients.

This recipe is simple to make. Often, I prepare these burgers ahead of time and reheat them prior to serving. My husband is such a meat guy, but he gave me the thumbs up on these. So, did the kids, so I’m considering these a huge win. I hope you enjoy them too.

If you need new burger recipe ideas, I have 39 burger recipes in this cookbook. This recipe is excerpted from 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved: Not to be reprinted without publisher permission. Photo by Colin Erricson.

Sangria Popsicles

Wine Sangria Popsicles

It’s supposed to be 90 degrees in Alabama tomorrow so now is the time to make these Sangria Popsicles. When the weather gets warm, I get even more creative in the kitchen. For this recipe, I used VOGA Italia white wine and organic peach juice. If you can’t find peach juice or fresh peaches yet (to juice your own), substitute orange or white grape peach juice.

These popsicles are so simple to prepare. With only six ingredients and 15 minutes of preparation time, you can prepare them several days ahead and enjoy over the weekend. I love making these for Memorial Day weekend to kick off summer! They would also be perfect for Father’s Day, July 4th and Labor Day weekend.

Other ideas for serving:

•Father’s Day

•Weekends at the lake

•Beach trips

•Poolside

•Wedding couples shower

•Engagement parties

•Patio or in your front yard

Since we can’t currently have any summer cocktail parties, I will just share with my neighbors for now.

Fresh Peach Pecan Crisp

If you’re looking for a super easy summer dessert, try this Peach Pecan Crisp recipe. In 45 minutes, you’ll have an a scrumptious dessert for friends and family to enjoy. This is fantastic dessert for Memorial Day weekend!

I love using two of my favorite ingredients—peaches and pecans. I typically purchase mine from Pearson Farms in Georgia. They’ve been in business since 1885 and are a wonderful, friendly family-owned business. I also have been buying Stone Mountain Pecans from my favorite local market Murphrees’s Market in Birmingham. I  purchased these peaches below yesterday.

We go through peaches and pecans so quickly at my house, so I try to always have them on hand while peaches are in their peak season. If you want to prepare this recipe when peaches are not in season, feel free to use frozen peaches (be sure to thaw them slightly before serving).

Peaches are so healthy for you. One fresh peach (about 21/2 inches) is only 68 calories and has zero fat. Peaches contain 10 different vitamins. A large peach provides Vitamin A, which is important to healthy vision, Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, niacin, folate and more.

I’ve been using my cast-iron skillet often for desserts lately, but if you don’t have one, you can substitute a 10-inch or 2 quart baking dish. Be sure to slightly grease it before adding the peaches and brown sugar. If you don not have a 10-inch, you can also use an 8-inch as well as a 61/2-inch if you have these smaller sizes. Have a great week ahead1!

Californian Sandwich Recipe

Californian Sandwich

We have been eating healthier than ever the past few weeks. This California Sandwich Recipe has been a go-to recipe. I have been making it often and occasionally altering it to create different variations. My kids and I have been doing a ton of outdoors exercise and at-home workouts. Because we are all focused on staying healthy, we take time every Sunday to discuss and curate our weekly menu.

After I wrote my cookbook, 400 Best Sandwiches Recipes, I was often asked in television and radio interviews which sandwich recipe was my favorite? It is extremely difficult to choose between 400 different sandwich recipes. This California Sandwich is in my top 5 favorites. I love the simplicity of the goat cheese spread combined with zucchini, squash, tomatoes, avocados and sprouts on this multigrain bread. If you can’t find alfalfa sprouts, I love using kale or broccoli sprouts, which are typically available in grocery stories. I also like to recommend adding fresh basil if you have some at home.

This sandwich is perfect for a spring or summertime lunch or dinner served with a tossed salad, corn salad and/or fresh fruit. I promise it is as good as it looks! If you’re interested in ordering a copy of my cookbook, click here.

Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto

This Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto recipe is so easy to make and takes only 5 minutes to prepare. Toss together fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It is that simple.

I am thrilled about our fresh herbs growing right now. We planted them in hanging baskets a few weeks ago, so they’re plentiful at the perfect time. They have been a lifesaver (one less thing to purchase at the store). Honestly, I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis. Friends often ask me. What do you use basil for besides on pasta or on a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad? Here are a few suggestions:

•Add to pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp

•Serve on top of grilled or roasted flounder, snapper or salmon

•Add on top of avocado toast

•Blend or puree in soups

•Use as a base for homemade pizza

•Spice up a fresh salad

Basil is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as  arthritis. Some studies also say that eating basil can help with acne and help protect the skin from some effects of aging.

Frosé A Rosé Recipe

Frose 43

Last week was National Rosé Day and I tried out a new varietal by Josh CellarsIdeal for the warmer months, the Josh Cellars Rosé is a blend of Barbera, Moscato and Syrah with aromas of strawberries, white flowers and stone fruit. It’s perfect to serve for outdoor dining, parties on the beach, celebrations with family and friends.

This recipe Frosé 43 is a perfect summer treat for every adult. It’s also beautiful and simple to prepare. Try it this summer and let me know what you think!

Frosé 43 (serves 2 -3 people)

Ingredients:

1 Bottle Josh Cellars Rosé

4 oz Licor 43

2 oz Lemon Juice

½ cup Fresh Strawberries Hulled and Chopped

Directions:

  1. Pour Josh Cellars Rosé into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least 3-4 hours, overnight if possible.
  2. Place Josh Cellars Rosé Ice Cubes, Licor 43, Lemon Juice and Strawberries into a blender and blend on medium speed till smooth
  3. Pour into glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
  • Tip: If Rosé is not well frozen, add ice cubes as needed to blender to get desired consistency.

JCELL_BottleShots_Rose

 

DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I am really into making homemade fresh salad dressings this summer. When I was out of town last month in Cabo, I came home and my husband had planted various hanging fresh herb baskets in our backyard. Needless to say I was beyond excited, and this DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe will be the first of many recipes including fresh herbs in the coming months. This vinaigrette can be drizzled over salads, fish tacos, seafood, pork and chicken. We served it last night over a big mixed salad with grilled shrimp, and it was divine! If you want to grow your own cilantro this summer, it’s super easy. It just needs good sunlight and water almost every day.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro is very low in calories, and its green leaves contain  antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s also high in potassium, calcium, folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It’s also said to be a detoxifying food.

 

Layered Berry Smoothie

layered berry smoothie

Layered smoothies take extra time, but they are so worth it! My family has been working out a ton this weekend (tennis tournament, hiking, swimming, running and golf) so we decided to make these Layered Berry Smoothie just in time for the Memorial Day holiday. The best way to make these, so the flavors don’t run into each other is to prepare each flavor at a time, and put each flavor in the freezer until ready to layer.

layered berry smoothie 2

These layered smoothies are so healthy with fresh strawberries, blueberries and bananas. They are also easy to prepare, taste fresh, are filling and are good for you. Feel free to use your favorite milk, and if you can’t have dairy, feel free to substitute coconut water.

Decadent Carrot Cake

Decadent Carrot Cake CreamCheeseFrostingSheetPan

I have been searching for a new carrot cake recipe for a while, and I finally found one. I am in love with this new cookbook 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes and this recipe for Decadent Carrot Cake by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Camilla Saulsbury and Published by Robert Rose (my publisher). Getting dinner together can be challenging, especially for those who work full time and/or have kids. Sheet pan meals are the new one-pot meals since they allow you to cook several components of your meal at one such as her recipes for California Fish Tacos with Cucumber and Pineapple, Sheet Pan Clam Bake and even Weeknight Chicken and Stuffing. Her book begins with an “extra-simple pantry meal” chapter, followed by breakfast and brunch recipes, meatless meals, recipes for seafood, chicken, turkey, beef, pork etc. Of course, I love all of the recipes I have tried so far!

Children, including those who claim an aversion to vegetables, are drawn to carrot cake. Perhaps it’s because the carrots create a moistness that plays up the sweet spices of the cake, and accent the component everyone loves most: the tangy cream cheese icing. Whether you have kids or not, this carrot cake is the perfect mix of sweetness and softness. It’s perfect for Mother’s Day, spring parties and summer gatherings. It’s also so simple to prepare. Enjoy and be sure to check out this cookbook!

Courtesy of 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

200 Sheet Pan Meals Coobkook