Monday, July 28, 2014

Jammin Gin & Tonic






I never had an appreciation for gin until now in my mid-twenties. Vodka was always the go-to when my girlfriends and I would go out. Ketel soda was our drink of choice. Now I prefer gin with its mild taste that pairs well with so many different flavors. There is a local restaurant my boyfriend and I go to where the bar offers an amazing selection of non-alcoholic drinks with great fruity and floral flavor combinations. I'll order one of those and ask the bartender if I can add gin. I was given a funny look the first time it happened but he took my request and delivered a delicious drink. The gin complemented the flavors so well.  It inspired me to make a drink of my own.
A few months back, I made a batch of cherry apricot pan jam. The batch yielded two jars so I put one in the freezer. Now I have the perfect use for it. The jam itself is on the tart side so I included a little honey in this drink for balance. The flavors of the jam pair well with the infusion of rose and cucumber in Hendrick's gin. The rosemary garnish is optional but I highly recommend it. The flavor comes out stronger as you sip your drink.

 Ingredients:

1 tablespoon cherry apricot pan jam
Juice from ½ of a lime
1½ ounces Hendrick's gin
1 teaspoon honey
Fever Tree light tonic water
Ice cubes
Rosemary sprig for garnish

To make:

In a glass, add pan jam and muddle to break up any pieces of fruit. Pour in lime juice, gin, honey and give a quick stir. Add ice cubes, top off with tonic water and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Banana Coconut Fudgesicles


Here is a super easy recipe for Banana Coconut Fudgesicles. This quick summer treat is creamy, healthy, and delicious! I love having these on hand in my freezer.


Ingredients:

2 very ripe bananas, frozen
1 can coconut cream
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

To make:

A day or two in advance, freeze very ripe bananas in a ziplock bag. You can break apart pieces or cut into slices. Heat coconut cream in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add chocolate chips and continually whisk until all the chips have melted. Pour mixture into a blender and add frozen bananas. Blend until you get a smooth consistency. Pour evenly into 10 popsicle molds and place in freezer overnight or until frozen.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Quinoa Salad




If you took a peek into my fridge, you would most likely find a big bowl of quinoa salad. I love having this stuff on hand. I used to just make a pot of plain quinoa but spending that extra time preparing the salad allows for quick lunch or dinner prep for the rest of the week. For lunch, I like to sprinkle over a salad and for dinner, I'll have it as a side with chicken and steamed veggies. Make this salad for yourself or try it out at your next get-together or weekend BBQ. It will pair wonderfully with grilled corn on the cob. This salad is gluten free and vegan friendly. It’s also a great source of protein, especially for those on a vegan diet, as quinoa contains a complete protein profile.



Ingredients:

Salad

1½ cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sliced black olives
1 cup green onions, sliced
½ cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing

¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup low sodium tamari
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin

To make:

Using a fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa to a pot along with vegetable broth and chili powder. Give a quick stir and turn heat to high. Once the quinoa reaches a boil, turn heat to medium-low. You want a slow boil. Cook for about 25 minutes or until quinoa is done. Fluff with fork and allow to cool completely. Quinoa may be made a day in advance and refrigerated. In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, and remaining ingredients for the salad. Gently mix well. In a smaller bowl, combine all your ingredients for the dressing. Whisk together and pour over salad. Stir to evenly distribute dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. I like to chill it for an hour or two to allow the flavors to meld.