Category Archives: Beverages

Lemon Syrup with Hops and Tea

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I never know where recipe inspiration will strike.

For me, it’s one of those things that just has to happen organically. I can stare at a pantry full of food or a fresh CSA box full of veggies and have absolutely no inspiration. And, if I have no inspiration, I can’t force myself to come up with something. We eat a lot of simple sautéed veggies for that reason.

Sometimes, though, I’ll take a look at something, and my mind will be spinning with dozens of different recipes that I can’t wait to try. This past weekend, that happened while we were helping a good friend pick hops.

Yup, you heard me right. Our friend, Andy, has decided to grow his own hops. This is his third growing season, and each year his harvest has gotten bigger and better. This year, he had so many hops that it was more than a one man job. So, he decided to have a pick-your-own hops day. While my hubby and I don’t do any home brewing, we decided to join in the fun. Continue Reading

Beyond the Detox… and Apple Mango Spinach Smoothies

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Last week, I shared a little bit about my “detox” diet experience a few weeks ago. I went 10 days without any gluten, dairy, sugar, or caffeine. And, I even lived to tell about it!

Sure, I joke about how tough it was, and I had my days, but it really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I’d even recommend giving it a try! (Of course, you should talk to your doctor and all that stuff. I’m not a medical professional!)

I had my ups and downs over the 10 days. I cut sugar out a few days before officially getting started. I knew sugar was going to be tough for me, and I didn’t want to have to tackle everything else while dealing with sugar cravings (and some pretty bad headaches). Around day 3 or 4, I felt great… I’m not sure if it was a mental thing (knowing that I hadn’t had sugar in a whole week!) or not. I was optimistic, had more energy than I usually did, and just felt pretty good.  A few days later, after a busy weekend, I started to feel less than stellar. I wasn’t sick, but I also just didn’t feel like myself and had very little energy. For most of the 10 days, I fluctuated between feeling fantastic and having no energy at all.

The surprising thing to me was that, while I didn’t always have energy, I also didn’t have a lot of cravings for sugar. I honestly think that is what kept me going. Knowing that I was overcoming my sugar cravings was a huge for me.

My 10 Days Are Up… Now What?? Continue Reading

Ginger Mint Syrup

I know gin and tonics are all the rage right now… Seriously, all the cool kids are doing it. And, I want to like them. But, I’m really just not into gin. Or tonic.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be sitting at the popular table in the cafeteria any time soon… Though, I’m hoping I can bribe my way in with some of this ginger mint syrup.

I’ve always been a fan of mojitos. My taste for alcohol bloomed a while after I was in college (yes, I know… I’m not helping my reputation any by telling you this), and one of the things that won me over was a frozen mojito. Since then, I have become a fan of cocktails (as long as they aren’t too sweet…), especially those made with rum, vodka, and tequila. In that order. Continue Reading

On Sleepless Nights and Parenting Advice… Healthy Strawberry Orange Smoothies

I’m tired. Despite my greatest intentions, I don’t get as many things done during the day as I’d like to. I haven’t written as many blog posts over the last few months as I feel I should. Some nights, scrambled eggs or a smoothie are about the only thing I have the energy to make for dinner. And, even then, I rely on my husband to wash the dishes. Let me just say, for the record, that I have no idea how single parents do it. You are my heroes.

In my head, I know that this is probably normal for a new mom to a sweet 5 month old baby. And, she is sweet and adorable, and we love her to pieces (though, we much prefer her in one piece). But, when she doesn’t sleep at night (which has been almost every night for almost 8 weeks now) and refuses to take naps during the day (since she was born!), I blame myself. When I don’t get things done during the day because I’m too exhausted, I blame myself.

When I’m completely honest with myself, most days I feel like a lousy parent. I know in my head (or at least I hope) that it’s not true, but those feelings constantly come creeping up. Perhaps if we had the right bedtime routine, she would sleep better at night. Or should I be giving her more to eat? Less to eat? Maybe she’s too cold or too hot? Maybe I should hold her less? Or more? Should I carry her in the Moby Wrap? Or, wait, some people think that will make her too clingy… And it goes on and on. Continue Reading

Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Frappuccino

Last week, I shared my recipe for spiced caramel sauce… And, I also promised you that it is fabulous for coffee drinks. So, today I am making good on that promise.

Sure, you could simply add some of the caramel sauce to a latte, and you’d have a very tasty drink.  But, I am one of those people who tends not to drink hot coffee drinks when the weather is warm. So, as much as I know I’d love the flavor of a spiced caramel latte, the weather hasn’t cooperated yet.  Instead, I turned to a frozen drink… It’s the best of both worlds. I got the fabulous fall flavors I was craving and cooled off from the warmer-than-I’d-like weather.

So, if you are craving fall flavors and still waiting for crisp fall air to arrive, you have to give this homemade spiced caramel pumpkin frappuccino a try.  It’s basically a blend between a caramel frappuccino (which happens to be one of my favorites) and a pumpkin spice latte.  Once you have the caramel sauce made (and you have already made that, right?), it is fast and easy to make at home, and you have complete control over the ingredients (for me, decaf with organic milk and no whipped cream, please!).  Plus, you won’t have to shell out $5… Win!

My version of the recipe yields a slightly sweet drink that’s not too over the top.  I like flavors in my coffee, but I don’t like it too sweet. I recommend using this as a starting point, and adjusting the flavors to your tastes.  You can easily add a bit of sugar or more caramel sauce to sweeten it up a bit more! Continue Reading