Jul
03

red, white, and blue sangria

Oh HEYyyyy Holiday Weekend, is that you approaching?
YOU, the one weekend that has everyone out spending all of their money on unnecessary red, white, and blue garb JUST FOR FUN!! Do you even KNOW how long I have been searching for a pair of red shorts to wear on the 4th?? 

Anyway, I love this time of year. Friends, family, cabins, lakes, fireworks, grilled eats, watermelon, being outdoors – it’s all so good. I’ve taken the entire week off work for some solo enjoyment and relaxation – as far as I’m concerned, the Holiday Weekend is already here – my “weekend” just happens to be longer than most. Ha! 

red, white, and blue sangria

To get in the spirit of red, white, and blue, I’ll probably get out my American Flag Shorts, have my nails polished in red, blue, and glitter (!!), AND I’ve got an entire batch of red, white, and blue sangria waiting for me, calling my name. I’m thinking this first batch will disappear by the end of the day and the second batch will makes it’s way to the cabin in the mountains this weekend. We’ll see what happens :)

red, white, and blue sangria

red, white, & blue sangria
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 bottle sparkling water
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, combine the strawberries, blueberries, and white wine. Allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the agave nectar.
  3. Serve chilled, and when serving, fill the glasses ¾ full with the fruit & wine mixture and top off with a splash or two of sparkling water.

red, white, and blue sangria

Love

Crista


May
22

lemonade

lemonade

lemonade-4

lemonade-2

i’m ready for the weekend.
the holiday weekend that tends to feel like the begin of summer….
it could potentially rain in Denver all weekend but i don’t care. i’ll be out enjoying it.
rain and snow didn’t hold me back two weekends ago, why would i allow rain to hold me back this weekend?
i’m ready to be out more than i’m in.
i’m ready for the late nights, that feed my summer spirit
i’m ready for outdoor dining and fresh squeezed lemonade. 
homemade lemonade = so easy
mix together: water, fresh squeezed lemons, & agave nectar – that’s it.
blend it with fresh brewed ice tea and you’ve got a (super summery) Arnold Palmer….
*cheers* to the upcoming (extended) weekend

Love

Crista


Mar
10

Green Smoothie Series

I’ve always been a smoothie maker, but I haven’t always been a GREEN smoothie maker. I can prove it: Cherry Chocolate Sundae. One of my girl friends mentioned that we need to start making more green smoothies so I took it upon myself to come up with 4 different GREEN smoothies that taste good. Mission accomplished. I’m feeling so healthy lately! 

In the next 4 days, I will share the ingredient mix for each of the 4 green smoothies I have been sipping on lately: 
Avocado Pear
Strawberry Spinach Kiwi
Orange Greensicle
Tart Green Apple

Many people are turned off by green smoothies simply because they can’t wrap their mind around adding kale and/or spinach to their morning sweet treat however green smoothies can taste really really good if you can find the right mix of ingredients…. which I will offer inspiration for over the next few days.

Love

Crista


Feb
19

blood orange cocktail

Blood Oranges are in season! My favorite!
When I moved in to my new apartment here in Denver, Blood Oranges were some of the first fruits I purchased to stock my kitchen. 

After moving and unpacking, a cocktail or two is in order. I don’t drink much at home (almost never) but I’ve made this cocktail several times, especially when neighbors/friends have come over to visit.

juicing blood oranges

Making this cocktail is super simple and only requires 3 ingredients:

1. Blood Oranges
2. Orange LaCroix Sparkling Water (the Berry works well too)
3. Vodka (I prefer Prairie Organic Vodka)

(basically, I took the sparkling blood orange spritzer and added vodka to it)

juicing blood oranges

Most grocery stores stock LaCroix Sparkling water, but the Prairie Vodka is more difficult to find. I found it at Whole Foods in Chicago, but grocery stores in Denver don’t stock liquor soooo I’m not sure what I’m going to do…. I’ll be in Chicago over the weekend, so I’ll have to stock up. 

a blood orange cocktail

It’s easy to craft this cocktail:
Juice 2 blood oranges.
Add 1 shot of vodka to the juice and top off with about 2 ounces of Sparkling Water. 
Serve ice cold.

This amount will make one cocktail.

Love

Crista


Dec
22

Indian Tea

Just recently, I blogged about my visit to the Vegetarian Fast Food restaurant, where a little Indian guy and his wife serve up some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. I mentioned the Indian Tea that I was served while waiting on my food to be prepared. The little Indian guy could tell I really, really liked the tea so he hooked me up with (almost) everything I need to make it at home.  

Making this Indian Tea is easy and only requires a few ingredients. The hard part might be finding the ingredients… maybe not though. Assam Tea is the type of tea the little guy recommended I use. I bought a box of 100 loose-leaf bags from him for $2.50. He gave me a little cup of the spice he uses in the tea, from what I understand it includes a mixture of ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorn. When I got home, I found a container full of ground spices labeled “Masala Tea” and I realized that it’s the same mix of spices that the guy had given me! (score!) I must have purchased the ground spice mix at an Indian Store at one time, but never really knew what to do with it. 

There is no fixed recipe for the preparation of this tea, and I can imagine there are several different ways of going about it. On Wikipedia, I found this common Maharashtran practice for preparation:

First combine one half cup of water with one half cup of milk in a pot over heat. Sugar may be added at this point or after. Ginger is then grated into the mixture followed by adding a “tea masala”. The mixture is brought to a boil and 1 teaspoon of loose black tea (Assam) is added. The chai is immediately taken off the heat, covered, and allowed to sit for approximately 10 minutes to allow the black tea to infuse into the chai. The chai is then strained and served.

I have made this tea several times now, it doesn’t quite taste like it did when the Indian guy made it, but it is still so good, I’m obsessed.

Indian Tea

Love

Crista


Dec
19

Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea

I am going to name this Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea my Official Holiday Drink for 2013.
Christas Trees, Gift Wrap, Holiday Music, Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea
It fits right in.

Recently, I was introduced to Rumchata, everyone seems to love that stuff but I wasn’t a fan. It is waaaay too heavy, sweet, and it’s full of dairy. Hangover? Blah.

This Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea offers the same flavors (vanilla & cinnamon) but is much lighter, smoother, and is easily dairy-free! I plan to make it for a friends dinner party on Christmas Eve and at the New Years Eve party I’m attending…

Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Chai Tea, strong brewed and cooled
  • 4 ounces Vanilla Soy (or Coconut Milk) Creamer
  • 3 ounces Vanilla Vodka
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine ingredients and shake.
  2. Serve over ice.
  3. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.

Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea

Love

Crista


Jul
18

Chris & I have indulged in country living lately, with our big garden, thriving compost bin, and back country camping trips. We’ve even gone to DC’s Country Junction for country line dancing. There are definitely still a few things that we haven’t indulged in YET though… like… homemade peach ice cream… and sweet tea (again, like I hear about in country songs) so…. I FINALLY made some Sweet Tea!! Of course, I tweaked the traditional recipe to fit my liking.
(I hope to make {vegan} peach ice cream before summer comes to an end). 

sweet tea

Sweet Tea
 
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • tray of ice cubes
  • 6 teabags orange pekoe tea
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, boil the water.
  2. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat off and add the teabags. allow the teabags to steep for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the teabags and discard. Pour the raw sugar into the tea and allow to dissolve.
  4. After cooling for another 10 minutes, transfer the tea into a pitcher full of ice. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour prior to serving.
  5. Serve ice cold, garnish with lemon slices.

sweet tea

This tea is AMAZING. It’s refreshing and sweet – but not too sweet.

Love

Crista


Jul
14

ginger mint iced tea

Cute. My friend, Melody made this tea and shared the recipe with me via Instagram. (I LOVE when people share food & recipes with me!!) I knew instantly that I wanted to make this flavorful iced tea and share the recipe on this blog. (plus I was excited to use mint from the garden!!)

mint plant

First thing when I woke up this morning, I made sure I had all of the ingredients needed -and I did! I made sure to get the tea started early so that it would be ice cold by the time I was ready to lay by the pool.

This tea takes about one hour to prep and another hour to chill. But trust me, it is worth the patience it takes to wait for it, especially because it’s super easy to make…and refreshing …and TASTY!

ginger mint iced tea

Ginger Mint Iced Tea
 
Ingredients
  • 4 inches of ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 bags of green tea (chamomile tea works as well)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • the juice of 1 lime or lemon
Instructions
  1. Boil the ginger in a pot of water for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat off. Add 2 sprigs of mint and lime juice to the pot. Then add the 6 tea bags.
  3. Cover the pot and allow the flavors to steep together anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how strong you want your tea to be. (the longer you steep, the more robust the flavor)
  4. Uncover the pot and add honey to taste. I like my tea on the sweeter side.
  5. Strain the ingredients out of the tea and pour the liquid in to a pitcher. Add a few pieces of ice.
  6. Allow the tea to cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  7. Serve ice cold, garnish with a sprig of mint.
  8. If necessary, add a sweetener of choice.

ginger mint iced tea

Melody and I agree, this tea would be amazing with added peach or apple.

THANK YOU for the awesome recipe Mel!!
xoxo

Love

Crista


Jul
04

4th Of July Floats

4th Of July Floats

4th Of July Floats

4th OF July Floats

4th OF July Floats

If you like the looks of these and you must make them for yourself, the process is quite simple:

1. Find a few fancy glasses (ones that scream “I like to party”)
2. Put a few scoops of Coconut Milk Ice Cream (keep it vegan, yo!) in each glass, then a few ice cubes.
3. Pour COLD Jones Soda (my personal favorite flavor is the Berry Lemonade) until the glass is overflowing.
4. Lick the excess fizz off the side of the glass and sip your blue or red drink through a fancy straw.
5. Show off your colored tongue.

Love

Crista


Jul
03

Watermelon Shooters // peace. love. quinoa

If you’re American, there is no doubt that you will be involved in a celebration on Thursday, Independence Day. This country is obsessed with red, white, and blue this time of year, and I’m certainly no exception. Watermelon just so happens to be (red) AND one of my all-time favorite foods to eat during the summer. Because it’s naturally sweet, you don’t have to add sugar or sweeteners to make it an enjoyable treat.

Watermelon Shooters // peace. love. quinoa

Using only 3 ingredients, these little watermelon shooters are quick & easy to make. (no one wants to spend time crafting cocktails during prime daylight hours when they could be in the pool or the lake.) Serve these shooters poolside, next to the keg stand OR you could very easily make these while on a camping trip, at the lake, or on a picnic if you pureed the watermelon ahead of time and stored it in a cooler alongside the berry soda.

Watermelon Shooters // peace. love. quinoa

Watermelon Shooters
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ seedless watermelon, chopped
  • 1 can ​Berry LaCroix Soda, chilled
  • ice
  • handful of blueberries, washed
  • shooter glasses (any small glass or shot glass will work)
Instructions
  1. Puree the watermelon in a blender.
  2. Put 2-3 pieces of ice in each shooter glass.
  3. Fill each glass half full with the watermelon puree, then fill the rest of the glass with the berry soda.
  4. Top with fresh blueberries.
  5. Serve immediately.

 Do you remember the ice cream man? I used to get that ice cream cone (or was it a slushie??) that had a gumball at the bottom. Well, one of the best part about these shooters are the little blueberries that fall to the bottom.

And for the record, this beverage does not have to be served in shooter glasses. You could serve these in tall glasses if that’s what makes you happy.

Love

Crista