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Category Archives: Beverage

Spicy Peach Smoothie

I know this blog has been quiet for quite awhile. I think of it often, but haven’t gotten my butt in gear to write. But then I made this, and I knew I had to share it with the rest of you:

Spicy Peach Smoothie

Spicy Peach Smoothie

I recently started a fruit share from Blades Orchard and it’s peach season. This week, we got white peaches and regular (if by regular, you mean huge) peaches. They’re great to slice up and eat, but a coworker suggested that I make a peach smoothie.

Genius.

So I combed the interwebs for smoothie recipes. All called for either dairy or a non-dairy milk (meh). I then happened upon a couple of recipes that called for coconut milk (the real stuff, not that sweetened liquidy cereal-milk replacement).

And so I was inspired. Lately, I’ve been adding a lot of ginger and turmeric to stuff. The benefits of doing so are many (anti-inflammatory, tasty, etc.). This smoothie is no exception. The ginger really gives this smoothie some bite and the turmeric helps boost the yellow color.

I’m weird and don’t like to drink super cold stuff. You could make a cold smoothie by adding a few ice cubes to the following or freezing some of the fruit before blending it.

Spicy Peach Smoothie
Serves 2 (or 1, if you are me and not willing to share)

2 large peaches, pitted and sliced
1 banana
1/2 can coconut milk
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
1 scant teaspoon ground turmeric
1 scant teaspoon honey

Blend it all until smooth and enjoy!

Gin and Ginger Toddy

I’ve been battling a sore throat since yesterday afternoon, mainly by drinking lots of hot liquid. The effects of hot tea and honey cannot be discounted when you are sick. Then there is the hot toddy. I’m not exactly sure what the benefit is of adding alcohol to tea, but far be it from me to question years and years of home remedy knowledge.

Most hot toddy recipes also call for adding lemon juice to the tea. I’m not the biggest fan of this. But then I came across the instructions for a concoction in Washingtonian Magazine that sounded pretty palatable and gave me inspiration for the following.

Gin and Ginger Toddy

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4-1/2  tsp freshly grated ginger
  • tea of your choice (I used mint for this)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • shot of gin (or your spirit of choice)

Boil the water and the ginger together (I nuke mine; sneer if you will). Steep your tea. Stir in the honey, lime juice and gin. Sip and inhale the vapors.

I chose gin for this because I have Tanqueray with lime in more abundance than I do whiskey or rum right now. I wouldn’t normally have thought to put gin in a hot beverage, but found precedent for it while doing a bit of hot toddy research yesterday.

The Haul: Hot and Buggy Edition

Boardwalk Fries (with malt vinegar, of course) at the beach!

I took a break from blogging last week while I was on vacation at the beach. It was splendid. But I returned home late Friday night and was back at the markets yesterday. Here’s what I got:

  • 1 quart peaches (for grilling/broiling; I’m allergic to them raw)
  • 1 eggplant (also for grilling)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 canary melon
  • 3 pints blackberries (the farmer asked if I freeze them for the winter and I said I hadn’t been able to yet because I eat them so fast!)
  • 2 peppers (1 purple and 1 very light, almost white one)
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 pint honey yogurt (!)

Isn’t this such a pretty eggplant?

Then I headed to the Amish market and bought one pound of ground turkey (a mix of light and dark meat) for making my own breakfast sausage (see my next post on that) and some chicken breasts for grilling. I also stopped at the seafood market and bought shrimp salad (!), flounder and salmon.

Garden Update

The garden tomatoes awaiting me when I returned home.

Here’s where it gets hot and buggy. I didn’t bother having my neighbors water my plants while I was gone. The stinkbugs have completely taken over. They don’t seem the least bit bothered by the lavender oil I sprayed on them and they mocked my marigold efforts by taking up residence in one of the pots and all but killing that plant. WTF? I guess I should have suspected that if either were really a tried-and-true solution, stinkbugs wouldn’t be the scourge that they are.

I resorted to buying a stinkbug trap, despite the bad ratings I found about them. I need to try something, otherwise, I’m afraid the stupid things will set sights on my house when the weather turns colder. Blargh. So far, the trap has only caught one bug (and not a stinkbug). Double blargh.

Despite not really getting watered (I think Easton had some rain while I was away though), my tomato plants produced quite a few ripe, red fruits (and a couple mushy/half-eaten ones too — thanks, stinkbugs). These may be among the last as the plants are yellowing and brown now and there are no new flowers budding.

The pumpkin plant continues to grow while the stinkbugs eat and lay their eggs on it. I suspect that I should have developing fruit by now though and none have appeared yet (and I’m sure they’d be devoured anyhow). Sigh.

The remaining squash plant is all but dead. Ah well. I have better plans for those plants next year. Now I can clear it and the spindly pepper plant out to seed some broccoli, kale, carrots and arugula for the fall. The stinkbugs appear to be leaving the remaining kale plants alone.

Allergy Update

I experimented while on vacation and the results are muddled. Wheat and/or gluten appear to be another issue for me. I can drink most beer without a problem, but had issues after drinking a wheat beer one night. I tried funnel fries on the boardwalk one day and also had issues with that. I’m going to look into what wheat-free baked goods are available to me at the “crunchy grocery” later this week and see if there’s a way to test things out further. I’m also going to give the wheat beer another chance (it happens to be my favorite type of beer). Triple blargh.

My dairy experiment, on the other hand, seems to be going well. I have eaten small quantities of cheese without issue and had yogurt for the first time in months this morning, also without a problem. The seafood market shrimp salad also went down nice and easy. Yay! Ice cream next! 🙂

Elimination Round

Scrambled eggs with arugula and Old Bay.

This blog’s going to be taking a bit of a different tack over the next few weeks. I’ve been advised to try an elimination diet to rule out any food allergies that may be causing me problems. I am already aware of several allergies that I have to some tree nuts and fruits. I’m going to start out this diet eating only meat, veggies and a little fruit (no grains, no caffeine, no alcohol). I’ll have to stick to it for a few weeks before I can gradually start adding things back in.

Earlier this weekend, I lived it up, eating pizza, drinking beer and sangria. I gradually weaned myself off of my daily green tea and so far, so good. I haven’t had a headache yet today. I did allow myself two glasses of decaf iced tea.

Herbed grilled chicken.

Breakfast was three scrambled eggs with arugula and chives and a sprinkling of Old Bay (above). Lunch was an Italian tuna salad salad from Piazza Italian Market. I picked up some raw pumpkin seeds and roasted them for an afternoon snack. Dinner was herbed grilled chicken and grilled veggies. I nursed a lemonade throughout the day (yep, I’m counting that as fruit).

Herbed grilled veggies.

All told, it was pretty easy to follow the diet today. I’m concerned about sticking with it at work. I cooked enough chicken and veggies to take some with me for lunch tomorrow. I hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, which I’ll have with some strawberries on the side. I picked up some green grapes and carrots to snack on, along with the pumpkin seeds. Here’s hoping I can resist the temptation of all the processed foods at the downstairs cafe of my building.

Garden Update

My squash plants are gigantic and there’s already several buds on both. The zucchini plants are doing much better. Three of my tomato plants are thriving. The fourth is the runt of the litter, but I hope it will still do well. I scored a pumpkin plant from friends over the weekend, though I’m not sure it’s going to make it. The large leaves wilted on the drive home. I planted it and watered it right away, but only the baby leaves appear to be surviving. Fingers crossed. It would be so cool to grow pumpkins. I planted it in front of my tomato planter, dislodging several spring bulbs in the process. Ah well…

The Haul: Sweet and Sour Edition

I didn’t make it to the markets this weekend because I was visiting friends, but they happened to have a sour cherry tree that was ripe for picking in their backyard. I scored enough cherries to make a pie or crisp at a later date. It was a lot of fun picking the cherries with their fam (pitting them, a little less so). We probably picked enough cherries for 10 pies and the tree was still laden.

Smoothie Update

I had much more luck this morning, making up an Oatmeal Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie. I brewed the tea (8 oz) and sweetened it with honey and then poured it over ice to cool it down. I added that to about a cup of whole strawberries, 1.5 cups ice, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/4 c. oatmeal and 1 tbsp ground flax seed. Blended that all up and added a bit more ice to get the consistency right. It still wasn’t as smooth as it might of been with some banana added in, but the flavor and color were much better than yesterday’s experiment with a kale smoothie. I might try adding in a small bit of kale next time. I still think mint would be a nice addition, but didn’t try that today.

Adventures in Smoothie Land

Well, I *tried* to make kale smoothie this morning. Actually, I did make a kale smoothie, it just wasn’t very good. I have a bumper crop of kale right now and had been wanting to try using some in a smoothie because that just seems so wholesome. I also had strawberries, vanilla yogurt, and of course, ice. Seemed like I was on the right track.

I also wanted to add in some ground flaxseed and possibly oatmeal too. I found an oatmeal smoothie recipe online and started to follow it, throwing in the kale too. I didn’t have the coconut water called for, so I poured in some cranberry juice instead. I didn’t have a banana. I also added some fresh basil, as that pairs well with strawberries.

The mixture had the right consistency, but was too tart and earthy. I tried adding some honey, which I’d forgotten to add in the first place. That helped a little, but not quite enough. The mixture also had a slightly unappetizing mud color, with specks of green and red from the strawberries and kale.

I then decided to look up kale smoothies online. I found a recipe that was very similar to what I had started with, except it also included a banana. I don’t typically buy bananas because they’re not local to here at all, but that flavor certainly would have balanced out the smoothie I made today. Hmmm…

I’ll probably try again, but without the basil, which was a little too strong — I might try adding mint though. Still not sure what I’ll use to try and provide more natural sweetness — any suggestions would be appreciated!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I had to make nachos for lunch today. It’s Cinco de Mayo!

I used the tomatoes, onions and scallions I bought this morning to make the topping, a sort of lazy girl’s salsa. I didn’t have plain tortilla chips, but I did have jalapeno cheddar chips made by Food Should Taste Good. I topped these with some pieces of rainbow longhorn cheese and popped them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. The flavor combination ended up tasting like a really fresh version of Cool Ranch Doritos. I probably won’t make this particular combination again, but it sure looks festive!

My other concoction of the day: a honey-mint green tea Arnold Palmer. Served in a beer glass.