7/30/11

Cinnamon-Spiked Cherry and Banana Smoothie

With the abundance of fresh fruit during the summer, JB and I have been trying lots of different smoothies.  We've tried many variations with pineapple, mango, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and cherries.  I thought I'd share this one because it is JB's favorite.  He refers to it as the banana cream pie smoothie. 

Cinnamon Cherry Smoothie

Cinnamon-Spiked Cherry and Banana Smoothie
Ingredients:
1/2 cup pitted fresh cherries (or unthawed frozen)
1 banana
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 packet Carnation Instant breakfast
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Ice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Add more milk if you like it thinner.

Source:  Adapted from Food Blogga

7/13/11

Cool as a Cucumber

This drink is cool and refreshing.  It's a nice change to sweet tea or lemonade.  My friend described it as something that would be served at a spa.

Random side note:  Did you know that people in South Carolina call cucumbers cukes?

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Cucumber Lime Mint Agua Fresca
Ingredients:
1 pound of cucumbers, ends trimmed, but peel still on, coarsely chopped (I used 2 medium sized cucumbers.)
1/2 cup lime juice (I used the bottled stuff.  Don't judge me.)
1 1/4 cup packed mint leaves (about a large handful), woody stems removed
1/2 cup sugar
Approximately 1 1/4 cup water

Directions:
Put ingredients in blender, add enough water to fill 3/4 of blender.  (I used 1 1/4 cup water.)  Puree until smooth.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the puree through it, pressing against the sieve with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.  (I couldn't find my mesh sieve, so I layered cheese cloth in the bottom of my colander.)
Fill a large pitcher halfway with ice cubes.  Add the juice.  Serve with sprigs of mint or slices of lime.
Makes about 1 quart (not including ice).

Source:  Simply Recipes

7/7/11

Salsa


I think I've mentioned to you that I'm growing herbs in large planters in my backyard.  Among the things that I am growing, I added jalapeno to the list this year.  They have been amazingly easy to grow.  I planted three plants, and so far, I've harvested about a dozen little peppers.

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Chips and salsa is probably my favorite snack.  The perfect salsa is not chunky, just the right amount of spicy, and packed full of citrusy-flavored cilantro.  Chili's has perfected their salsa, but besides the chips and salsa, I'm not a fan of the restaurant.  So, I've been on a quest to find the perfect salsa recipe.  I think this is it.

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When you find the perfect salsa, as I have, you must also have the perfect chip.  A friend introduced me to Xochitl chips.  You can find them at Publix on the "health food" aisle.  They are wonderful - thin, lightly salted, delicious. 

Salsa
Ingredients:
1 Can Rotel (14.5 oz can)
1 Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes (14.5 oz can, plus the juice)
3-4 tablespoons Jalapenos (I use fresh chopped, but you can also use canned, diced, not pickled.  If you use fresh, be sure to de-seed, so it's not too hot.)
1/4 C. Yellow Onion (diced)
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Sugar
Handful of chopped cilantro

Directions:
In food processor place jalapenos and onions. Process for just a few seconds. Add both cans of tomatoes, salt, sugar, and cumin. Process all ingredients until well blended but do not puree. Place in covered container and chill. A couple of hours of chilling will help blend and enrich the flavor.
Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips.

Source:  CopyKat Recipes
 
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