Category Archives: Drinks

Blueberry Lemonade

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

My summer has had painfully little pool time and absolutely no beach time. I haven’t had a sunburn all summer. A weekend or two ago I had two missions, get some serious tan lines and make some killer lemonade.

Let me just tell you, mission accomplished.

I sported my wide brim sun hat and my Audrey Hepburn sunglasses for two days straight. I didn’t get anything accomplished except a tan. And of course, this lemonade.

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

At first I planned to make regular old lemonade. Why mess with something so perfect? But leave it to me to trash up a classic. I ended up making a blueberry syrup infused with lemon zest, added it to freshly squeezed lemon juice and ice cold water. The result? A super refreshing summertime drink.

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

If you glance at the directions they may seem like this is complicated. It really isn’t. It just has a couple different steps. You start by juicing about a half dozen lemons. Then combine water, blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a small skillet. Let the blueberry mixture simmer until your blueberries fall apart. Let your blueberry syrup cool and pour it in your blender and blend until everything is a smooth consistency. At this point you can start adding the lemon juice, blueberry syrup and water together. Or you can strain the blueberry syrup through a small mesh strainer (this is what I did) either option will work great!

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

So next time you’re planning to spend a day pool side whip up a pitcher of this fresh Blueberry Lemonade. You won’t be sorry!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Lemonade
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups blueberries (divided)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar*
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Additional water (see directions)
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan combine the water, sugar, 1 cup of blueberries, and the lemon zest over medium to medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook until the blueberries begin to fall apart. (I let this simmer about 10 minutes)
  2. Remove mixture from heat and let cool
  3. When the blueberry syrup is cool pour into a blender and blend approximately 30 seconds. At this point you can strain the blueberry mixture with a fine mesh strainer if you wish.
  4. Juice the lemons until you have ¾ cup of juice, being sure to remove any seeds.
  5. Grab a one gallon container. Pour in the lemon juice, blueberry syrup and fill the pitcher the rest of the way with water and ice.
  6. Add the reserved one cup of blueberries.
  7. *If you like really sweet lemonade increase to 1 cup.

 

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

A couple weekends ago I was at Starbucks with a friend. I ordered my usual caffeine filled macchiato and she ordered a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. I can honestly say it had never crossed my mind to order something at Starbucks that didn’t have any coffee! But I was intrigued, it looked delicious! I tasted it and was totally in love. It is a super fantastic vanilla loaded ice cold drink. I immediately knew I had to recreate it.

Skinny Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

I did some quick googling and figured out most homemade versions of the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino include loads of ice cream. I really wanted to keep this drink on the lighter side of things so I tried a couple different mixtures of milk/yogurt/honey/vanilla and none of it was quite right. Ultimately, I decided the key to this drink is frozen fat free cool whip! Weird, I know. But it totally works. It mimics ice cream in that it adds a great creamy texture but without the calories.

This version is super simple and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes! The only thing even slightly tricky is the vanilla bean. If you haven’t ever used them before, just slice it lengthwise and you will see all of these little black “seeds” (I know they aren’t really seeds, but I don’t know what else to call them) just grab a small spoon and scoop them right into your blender.

And just in case you end up as addicted to this drink as I am and don’t want to spend all your money on vanilla beans look in the ethnic food section at your grocery instead of the baking aisle. They are likely much cheaper! And If you happen to have a World Market near you, they are even cheaper!

Skinny Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

What are you waiting for? Drink up my friends!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2+
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1½ cup frozen fat free cool whip
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and inside scooped out
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a bender and blend for one minute or until ice is totally crushed.
  2. This makes 2 large cups or 4 small cups

 

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Continuing our week of girl food, what is more girly than a bright pink smoothie? Nothing I tell you, not a thing!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

I have been making smoothies like a mad woman lately. I just cannot get enough! There is so much perfect fresh fruit this time of year it is pretty much all I want. And now that I have mastered adding greens to my smoothies I have decided that by adding ginormous handfuls of spinach to smoothies means that I am basically just drinking salad, right? This means it is surely okay to forgo my daily salad for lunch in favor of pizza, right?

Yes! Thank heavens we are all on the same page.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Today’s smoothie doesn’t have any spinach in it, but it is full of sweet strawberries, banana, yogurt, milk, and honey. It is thick, sweet, and ice cold! What more could you ask for?

I really like making this smoothie for breakfast. All of the fruit, with the addition of yogurt and milk really helps to fill me up, and keep me full.

But I am so bad about making more than I can actually drink. When I do that, I just pour any extra smoothie into ice cube trays and let it freeze. Then you can just pop a couple ice cubes and a liquid of your choice (milk or any juice will do) in the blender and you have a super fast snack without any measuring or getting out a bunch of different ingredients. I imagine this would be especially convenient  if you have hungry teenagers in your house this summer. It only dirties up a blender!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

5.0 from 2 reviews
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 6 ounce container yogurt (vanilla, strawberry, or strawberry banana would be great)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend for 30 seconds to one minute or until it reaches a smooth constancy.

 

Blended Coconut Mocha

Blended Coconut Mocha

Growing up my family was split into two teams.

Team Mom, Team Dad, Team Brown eyes, Team Blue eyes, Team gimme-all-the-coconut, Team I-will-die-if-I-eat-one-shred-of-coconut. As I sit here writing this, sipping a Coconut Mocha can you guess which team I am on?

Yep, team leader for the brown eyed, coconut lovers right here. My blue eyed, I-prefer-a-coke-float counterparts are rolling their eyes.

Whatever. More for me :)

I have shared my love for the combination of coconut, coffee, and rich dark chocolate before when I shared the Coconut Mocha Snack Mix. That was earlier in the year when it was too darn cold to be walking around drinking icy drinks. Lucky for us, summer is in full swing which means it is all but required to make this ice cold chocolaty drink to bring in the new season.

Just in case you have never had it this is a knock off of Starbucks Coconut Mocha Frappuccino. I tried this drink for the first time years and years ago in Hawaii, and fell head over heels in love. Since then they have occasionally brought it back during the summer. The last couple years I have eagerly waited for summer to come around to see if they would bring back my beloved drink, but no such luck.

Blended Coconut Mocha

That is why I had to come up with my own version, which has probably saved me a ton of money and calories, so I should probably be grateful. I like to keep things simple so no crazy ingredients here, just coffee, milk, coconut extract, vanilla syrup and some chocolate. But the key is to add some toasted shredded coconut to the top. So. Good.

You can use this recipe as a base and adjust to your preferences. Want more chocolate? Do it! Want more coconut? By all means, go for it! One thing is for sure, you have to give this one a try. It is the best way to beat the heat!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blended Coconut Mocha
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • ¼ cup milk or fat free half and half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup
  • 5-7 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder*
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ⅛ cup shredded coconut for toasting
Instructions
  1. Heat your broiler to low and place the coconut in a oven proof dish, let it sit under the broiler 30 seconds to one minute or until golden brown. Let the toasted coconut cool.
  2. Combine cold coffee, milk, vanilla syrup, cocoa powder and coconut extract in a blender. Add ice cubes and blend approximately 40 seconds until ice cubes are totally crushed.
  3. This makes one large drink or two small drinks as pictured.
  4. *For a sweeter more chocolaty version use a tablespoon of chocolate syrup in place of the cocoa powder.

I used the cold brew method for the coffee, you can find that here.

Strawberry Milk

I know what your thinking…”Um..how old are you?”
The answer is, probably too old to be drinking strawberry milk.

Strawberry Milk

But this is sooo good! Like crazy wonderful fantastic good!

This whole thing started because I realized one day, as I was staring into the fridge trying to decide what I wanted, I couldn’t remember the last time I had a glass of milk. I mean I cook with it and I pour it over my cereal, I add it to smoothies, but just drink a big glass for the heck of it?
Nope. I have no idea when the last time that was.
And I am not anti-milk or anything like that, we had a dairy farm just down the road from the farm I grew up on so I actually have an appreciation for the stuff. Or at least for the little farmer man next door. :)

I am getting off topic. Anyway, strawberries, milk, honey, vanilla. DO IT! These four simple ingredients make such a wonderfully refreshing drink you will be wondering why the heck the grocery store version has so many chemicals and preservatives.

Strawberry Milk

As a big bonus this same recipe makes a mean strawberry smoothie if you just use frozen berries instead of fresh. Either way, you absolutely cannot go wrong!
So grab your blender and give this a whirl!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Milk
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 heaping cups of chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large blender, blend approximately one minute until strawberries are completely crushed and incorporated, Serve ice cold!
  2. This makes approximately 40 ounces. So 2 large servings or 4 small servings.

 

Simple Iced Coffee

Today we are talking coffee.

Simple Iced Coffee
I find people fall into three distinct categories when it comes to a cup of Jo. They love it, hate it, or load it with sugar, chocolate, and various syrups and whipped creams until it no longer actually tastes like coffee.

Which one are you? I fall firmly into the first category. I go to bed at night looking forward to my piping hot cup of heaven every morning. I used to use fabulous sweet creamers, especially those fancy seasonal ones, but over time I have become a purist and drink it black or with just a smidgen of cream. I told you I take my coffee seriously.

Every year I run into the same predicament, I live in the South where summers are knock your socks off hot and humid. There is no way you can gulp down a regular cup of coffee when it is 100+ outside. There is just no way. So, I had to perfect my version of iced coffee. Of course, you can just brew coffee and let it cool, but it was never strong enough for me. So I opted for the cold brew method. You have probably seen this before, the concept is simple, just pour 12 ounces of coffee grounds into a large pitcher, cover with one gallon of water, let it sit overnight then strain. Voila! Perfect, bold cold coffee!

Iced Coffee

I let my coffee sit overnight or about 8-10 hours. This gives you a medium boldness. What I mean by that is it is similar to the strength you would find at Starbucks. If that is too dark for you just adjust your time to around 6 hours. If that isn’t dark enough just let it sit longer.

Iced Coffee

So a couple tips:
-Quality of coffee matters, choose at least a medium roast. But remember, the bolder the better!
-Flavored Coffees work really well. I like the hint of chocolate or cinnamon from some of the flavored coffees. They normally aren’t strong enough to over power your drink. They just add a little something extra. My favorite is the Iced Mocha Coffee from Archer Farms at Target.
-Stir it around for a minute or so as soon as you mix it to make sure the coffee grounds are completely saturated.
-When you strain the mixture use cheese cloth and a wire mesh strainer. I triple layer my cheese cloth.
-I normally strain my mixture twice, but when in doubt do it again. Nobody wants coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup!

Iced Coffee

Holy Moses, I told you this was simple but I am making it sound so complicated! :)

The great thing about this method is it gives you a whole pitcher of ready to go iced coffee which makes grab and go mornings so easy. I generally use 6-8 ounces of iced coffee, 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup, 3 tablespoons fat free half and half to make my iced coffee, but you can definitely adjust that based on your own preferences.

Simple Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 12 ounce package of ground coffee
Instructions
  1. Combine coffee and water in a large pitcher, stir coffee several times to make sure all grounds are completely saturated. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. Using a mesh strainer and a triple layered cheese cloth strain the coffee into a clean pitcher. If needed pour the coffee through the strainer twice, to ensure all of the grounds have been removed from the coffee.
  3. Discard cheesecloth and the coffee grounds.
  4. Enjoy!

 

 

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Iced Coffee

Sunshine Shake

This…this little beauty is an all time favorite.

Sunshine Shake

Growing up, it wasn’t a real breakfast unless a pitcher full of Sunshine Shake was passed around the table. You just had to be sure you poured your glass before my brother got to it, once he got a hold of it you were out of luck.

I have no idea where my Mom found this recipe but she has been making it for as long as I can remember. It tastes just like an orange cream-sickle and only has a handful of ingredients you probably already have on hand. Just grab a can of frozen orange juice concentrate, add some milk, water, ice and a little bit of vanilla give it a whirl in the blender and you have something magical on your hands.

This is the perfect addition to your breakfast table to help round out the meal. Speaking of breakfast, here are some of our favorites to enjoy with Sunshine Shake!

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls

These Spicy Sausage Balls are great. They have cream cheese blended in so they are super moist. We love them with honey mustard!

Steak and Eggs

Steak and Eggs

Or how can you go wrong with a big plate of steak and eggs! Perfectly toasted bread topped with a heaping pile of pan seared steak covered with a fried egg! Perfection!

Spicy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Spicy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This overnight casserole not only tastes amazing because it is loaded with peppers, onions, cheese, tortillas, and green chilies but allows you to do all the prep work the night before! Just pop this baby in the oven for a fuss free morning.

Sunshine Shake

There you have it, the perfect breakfast drink and a couple of my favorites. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 ounce can of frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2-2 1/2 cups ice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend 30 seconds at a time until it reaches desired consistency. I normally add 1 1/2 cups of ice, blend, then add another cup of ice for a smoothie texture.