April 28, 2016

Sweet Rice Drink



If you're lucky enough to live near a Public grocery store then you'll understand me when I say, their Apron's meals are amazing.  They make some for you to sample, then have all of the ingredients that you need right there next to the display so you don't have to run around the grocery store searching for it all, and they give you the free recipe card to keep.  I love it.  

This recipe was paired with a yummy Baja Shrimp Taco recipe that was delicious and I do plan to make it eventually, however, this drink had my attention quickly. It's so dreamy.  The cinnamon really sets it apart. It reminds me of a drink for the holidays probably because of the cinnamon but I had to run home and whip it up.  

It's easy to make and comes together quickly (30 minutes) and all you need is a blender and a fine mesh strainer. I loved it.
Sweet Rice Drink
Recipe from Publix Aprons


Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. In a blender, combine the rice and water and blend for 1 minute.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together with a spoon until combined.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.

April 20, 2016

Kids Favorite Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese


As some of you may know, I struggle to find a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe that my daughter actually likes. Well, I finally found one.  It only took 7 years.....

I literally have tried ton's or recipes to come to this moment. I've blogged about the one's I loved even though she hated them.  See the problem was that for the first portion of her life she was in daycare.  They aren't making homemade macaroni and cheese at daycare as you know. So she grew up eating boxed macaroni and cheese and it sort of ruined her for all others.  Eventually we were able to get her to eat and like a frozen variety in a red box.  Then after many trials we found two restaurants that she would eat theirs.  Of course I couldn't find a copy cat recipe for either of those two restaurants.  

So, I began with whittle down her favorite cheese options.  This was actually quite easy considering she seems to have her mom's love for cheese.  So I ended up using two cheeses, mild cheddar and Munster.  I think it's important to use at least half of a soft cheese to achieve that creaminess.

I'm happy to report that she loved this one.  It had the look she loves (she doesn't like melted cheese or bread crumbs on top), it had the creaminess she loves, and it didn't have any strange specks of pepper or herbs in there.  Win Win!  Oh yeah, and she loved the taste obviously.

I hope your picky eaters like it too .

Kids Favorite Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe from The Kitchn


Ingredients
  • 1 pound pasta, any shape
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cheese like Colby or Monterrey Jack
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
Cooking Directions
  1. Boil the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, use another medium saucepan to warm 1 cup of the milk.
  3. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and flour so there are no lumps.
  4. When the milk in the pan starts to steam, pour the flour/milk mixture in and whisk until smooth. Cook 3-4 minutes, until thick.
  5. Turn the heat to low and start adding the cheese, little by little. Also add the salt and ground mustard and whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir half the cheese mixture in with the cooked pasta until fully coated and then add the remaining sauce.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. When reheating leftovers, just add a splash of milk to make it creamy again.

April 12, 2016

Orange Cream Frozen Yogurt


More Greek yogurt deliciousness.  This one is so good for the hot summer days that are quickly approaching.

This yogurt is so fresh tasting, yet creamy.  I loved how I felt guilty for eating it until I realized it's not that bad for me.  It's WAY better than the store bought alternatives.  The orange flavors are blended perfectly with the vanilla yogurt.  It's not too sweet, it's just perfect.

Very much like those orange creamsicle's we had as kids, only healthier.


Orange Cream Frozen Yogurt
Recipe from Food Network magazine


Ingredients
  • 3 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturers instructions until soft-serve texture is reached.
  3. Freeze

April 4, 2016

Sint Maarten 2016


I took a little break from food blogging last week to head down to the Caribbean for a while.  We went to St. Maarten (Sint Maarten) and did our best to relax.  

I think we did a pretty good job of it. 

The picture above was the view from our resort apartment.  Not bad huh? It was 82º every day we were there and if it rained at all, it only lasted for like 5 minutes. 

I have been wanting to go to the Caribbean for a very long time, so when this opportunity presented itself to us we had to jump on it. My daughter had never been out of the country before, so this was a great chance to show her new places. It also helped that every time I asked my daughter where she would want to visit she would always say "somewhere where the water is crystal clear and turquoise blue". Luckily we accomplished most of that.  The water wasn't always crystal clear but for the most part it was. 


Above is a small sampling of the drinks I tried while there.  I kept myself in check and only had one but man were these good.  Exactly my type of drink, fruity, sweet, and can't taste the alcohol. Just what the doctor ordered. I brought home a bottle of rum and a recipe book so I'll be recreating these soon.


The sunsets were amazing every night.  I probably took 100 pictures of sunsets.


Our resort had a sister resort that we decided to visit one day.  Their beach wasn't sandy like ours was but they had these amazing tide pools that my daughter loved exploring.


Eventually we went up to the North side of the island which is also the French side of the island.  We had decided to try a submarine boat ride, or glass bottomed boat which left out of Grand Case.  The water here is so extremely beautiful and all I wanted to do was just dive in.  All beaches are public, so I could have, but, I wasn't dressed for swimming.  I did get to walk around on the beach and that was nice as well.


We saw this turtle and a bunch of fish, cool coral, and some other sea creatures while on the boat.



Yeah, we got sidetracked at this French Bakery on one of our walks to explore the area.  This one is on the Dutch side near the resort we stayed at (The Royal Palm Beach Resort) at Simpson Bay.  We sampled some there at the bakery on a beautiful outdoor patio that overlooked a marina.  The rest I brought home and we snacked on for the next couple of days.


We did night walks on the beach almost every night.  This little hermit crab was so small and adorable.  We put him/her right back where we found it and went on our way but this moment was one of the highlights for my daughter.


This moment was another highlight for my daughter, and for me too.  This particular iguana scared me to death when he whipped around to face us after I took this picture.  I thought he was going to charge us and yes, I would have run screaming.  Luckily he just stayed where he was and stared at us before heading down into the rocks.

Excellent way to spend our spring break!  All other spring breaks will probably pale in comparison.

March 22, 2016

Homemade Greek Yogurt


We all know what a craze Greek yogurt has become, right? Well, did you know that most of the large store brands have tons of sugar and artificial stuff you don't need, or want?

I decided to try to make my own, and luckily I found a recipe on Pinterest that was just perfect.  I mean, I need easy.

If you've got some time and a large slow cooker you can easily make this recipe.  I do have to warn you that this recipe makes a lot.  So, I've been making recipes from Pinterest and I have yet to find one that I don't like.  Greek yogurt recipes are amazing. I would gladly make this amount of yogurt again, specifically so I can make other recipes with it.

Don't get me wrong, I love it for breakfast.  I've been trying all sort of different combinations.  Fresh and frozen fruit, granola, honey, peanut butter, maple syrup, etc.  I love them all.


(pictured above with blueberries, honey and cinnamon)

This is one of my best discoveries on Pinterest. Easy to do during the week while I'm homeschooling our daughter and easy to let culture while I'm sleeping.  Did I mention easy? No sugar added, no processed junk, no weird colors.

I'm in love with this one. I hope you can try it soon.



Homemade Greek Yogurt
Recipe From One Good Thing


Ingredients
  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2-3 cups powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup live culture yogurt
Cooking Directions
  1. Pour the milk into a large slow cooker (mine was 6 quart).
  2. Add the powdered milk (to up the proteins) and whisk to dissolve.
  3. Heat on low until it reached 180º.
  4. Turn the slow cooker off and let the milk cool to 95-115º.
  5. Put 1/2 cup of live culture yogurt into a small dish and add some of the warm milk to it, whisk until smooth and then add back to the slow cooker and whisk in.
  6. Put the milk into storage containers of any size you like. I used multiple sized mason jars.
  7. Place the jars in a cold oven with the oven light on and let sit for 8-12 hours (I did it overnight).
  8. Now place the yogurt into the refrigerator and let chill before using.

March 15, 2016

Greek Yogurt Fudge Pops


This past weekend I decided to try making my own Greek yogurt, and guess what? It worked.  It also made PLENTY of yogurt.  I've been searching for recipes where I can use some of it up (since I read that freezing yogurt changes the texture and makes it separate).

I'll post the recipe for the yogurt soon, but I wanted to share this one with you since my daughter totally loves it. It might help that I used these cute Popsicle molds, but she loves the flavor too. What a great way to use up some extra yogurt!

Creamy, not too sweet, with lots of chocolate flavor.  I think I'll make yogurt again soon just so I can make some more of these for summer. :)


Greek Yogurt Chocolate Fudge Pops
Recipe from Baker By Nature


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt (full fat is best)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate chips over low heat until smooth and completely melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the almond milk until smooth.
  3. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly before adding the vanilla extract and Greek yogurt. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Pour the strained mixture into your Popsicle molds and freeze for several hours. 

March 7, 2016

Pink Lady


A little while ago my friend came over to my house and made me this fantastic drink, which was created by another friend of hers, at NewEnglandLiving.org. This is such a pretty drink, a very soft pink color, yet packs a punch.  So smooth going down, then you try to stand up and look out!

New England Living does a cocktail Friday each week so please check out her website below for beautiful pictures of New England and fantastic drinks on Friday.

This drink is easy to make, just throw it all together and shake it up with some ice so it's nice and cold.  Perfect for Valentines Day or a girls night out!


Pink Lady
Recipe from New England Living


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz. applejack
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. grenadine
  • splash of fresh lime juice
Cooking Directions
  1. Pour all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.