The summer was halfway over when I finally had my first glass of white sangria at a local Boston bar. And sadly, when I ordered a second glass, the waitress informed me that they had run out. So what’s a girl to do but concoct a pitcher of white sangria the following weekend? This was literally a game of “Let’s Check the Liquor Cabinet” followed by “Let’s See What’s in the Fruit Basket”. The final game was the most difficult: “Let’s Wait For the Flavors to Blend”. We lasted about 30 minutes before glasses were poured. It was really hot out! Here’s the final recipe:
4 c. white wine (nothing fancy, the kind from a box)
1/2 c. triple sec
1/4 c. brandy
2 c. club soda
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled and diced
1 ripe necatrine, pit removed and diced
1 ripe plum, pit removed and diced
1 tray ice cubes
The sangria was light and refreshing, and the perfect way to kick off a summer evening. Cheers!
Oh, how things change. Last week I was enjoying this smoothie after a dip in the pool, and this week I was back to work and school and snow! So much for March going out like a lamb….
The smoothie was made at my Mom’s request, but then I suggested we thrown in the surprise ingredient – spinach. With the strawberries and banana, it was still plenty sweet, and you couldn’t taste the spinach at all. It just added a little bit of extra nutrition, and well, I do love spinach. The mix below made 3 small smoothies, just enough to tide us over to one of my favorite dinners, homemade manicotti
. This is my last post from this year’s trip – next week we’ll be back to the regular programming.
5-6 strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1 ripe banana
1 c. raw spinach leaves
6 oz. nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. ice
Blend until smooth.
I tried something new at this year’s cookie swap by making spiced red wine in the crockpot. Crockpots are especially handy for parties, because they work quietly while you run around getting everything else ready.
I loosely followed this recipe, and I have to admit that I used pretty cheap red wine. I don’t think there’s any point in using good wine if you’re going to cook it for 4-6 hours in a crockpot. I cut back on the amount of sugar in the original recipe, and used an extra cinnamon stick. The end result was great, and one guest commented that it tasted like warm sangria. And on a rainy December day, who doesn’t want a glass of warm sangria?
1 1.5L bottle red wine (or 2 750ml bottles)
2 large apples, peeled and sliced thinly
3-4 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1/4 c. white sugar
1 t lemon juice
I have to admit I am not a fan of plain water. If I am exercising, it’s fine, but otherwise I do prefer hydration with flavor. Since I am convinced I am meant to be a Southern girl, I decided to make homemade iced tea one day. But instead of using just my standard Lipton bags, I also used Trader Joe’s Blackberry Herbal Tea. I had to patiently wait for the tea to cool, but once it did I poured a tall glass and enjoyed it. The herbal tea really added a unique flavor and almost eliminated the need for any sugar.
I wish I could have taken a photo on my front porch, but since I don’t have one, the windowsill will have to do!
4 black tea bags, such as Lipton
2 fruit-flavored herbal tea bags, such as Trader Joe’s Blackberry Infusion
Heat about 4 cups of water to boiling in a medium pot and remove from heat. Add tea bags to water, and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow concentrated tea to cool. Mix with cold water and ice to fill a 2 quart pitcher. Sweeten with sugar or an alternative if desired.
Now, you know I don’t usually post things I haven’t tried, but I so wanted to share this recipe for homemade cranberry liqueur. It really seems like a fabulous idea! You could serve it at a party, or make holiday gifts. This is definitely on my list of upcoming projects, but since it takes three weeks to finish, I decided to tell you about it today. Have a great weekend!
Angela at Oh She Glows likes to make fun drinks like this creamsicle. Based on her suggestion, I made a creamsicle cocktail. While I liked the cantaloupe flavor, this drink was a bit too sweet and would have been better with some crushed ice. So I guess I will need to try this one again soon!
1 c. cantaloupe cubes
1/2 c. water
2 shots vodka
2 T honey
Mix all ingredients in a blender, and pour into a cocktail glass.
Watermelon is one of the best foods of summer, and seemed like a good candidate for a frozen drink. I made this recipe up as I went along, and it came out pretty well!
1 1/2 c. cubed watermelon
2 shots vodka
1/2 shot grenadine
6 ice cubes
Add ingredients to a blender, give it a whirl. Pour into two fancy glasses and enjoy!