Tag Archives: Drink

A Taste of Summer

Hey everyone!

Want to know what I’ve been up to lately?

Yeah, I haven’t been posting as frequently as desired. Life happens.

For example, a big chunk of my non-work life is spent reading Harry Potter. Edgar has demanded that I must read the entire series before we see Deathly Hallows Part II. Thing is, I’m sorta behind. At the beginning of May, I was still on Chamber of Secrets. Shame on me.

Anyway, I’m now about a third of the way into Order of the Phoenix, but I’ve still got a ways to go before next weekend. Eeps! It can be done, though.

Another thing that took up our long holiday weekend was prepping for our fall garden!

We spent all of Saturday outdoors planting pumpkin seeds and digging up a chunk of yard. It’s nothing to look at right now, but the ground is at least broken so I can start planting seeds in about two weeks.

Edgar also spent the day washing his truck with a natural soap product we picked up a few weeks ago (Dr Bronner Sal Suds. Smells AMAZING). I caught him through the back window. Winking smile

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I also picked the one tomato that has yet grown on my heirloom tomato plant. It’s a late bloomer. I blame the scorching heat and arid climate.

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Edgar and I shared it. I’m not one for raw tomatoes, but this was pretty good!

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Let me share a recipe I served for our 4th cookout!

Blackberry Sun Tea!

 

First, I tossed some frozen blackberries into the bottom of a pitcher. Just enough to sort of cover the bottom. I chose frozen instead of fresh because the frozen will better release their juices when thawed.

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I filled the pitcher with water and drizzled in about 1/4 cup of agave nectar. I would have used honey but mine is crystallized and I was too impatient to deal with it. Plus, agave dissolves in cold water, unlike honey or table sugar. That alone is enough reason for me to keep it around.

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Drop in four regular-sized iced tea bags and sit in the sun for a few hours or until the color is dark.

As luck would have it, this was the first day in many, many months we weren’t being blinded by the sun. In fact, it was rather cloudy. As I was taking this picture, I felt a raindrop, so I moved the pitcher to a shaded spot. However, that drop may have been the only thing to fall from the sky in Plainview that day. Figures.

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After a few hours, take out the tea bags and give the pitcher a good stir. Then serve over ice!

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I love it because it’s very lightly sweet (just enough to take off the bitter tinge of unsweet tea), and has a subtle berry flavor. Great for a blistering hot day when you need a cold refreshment with just enough sugar to keep you functional. Winking smile

 

 

Have you ever tried sun tea?

What did you do for the 4th?

Bacon and Avocado go together like Peanut Butter and Banana. Plus! The Question of Alcohol

 

Speaking of bacon…

It makes the perfect salad.

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I’ve said before that I’m not big on salad, but just like I prefer nutty/fruity/cheesy salads, I LOVE avocado-y/bacon-y salads!

This baby had romaine, spinach, a boiled egg, BACON, avocado, some bits of deli turkey, parmesan, and some pomegranate arils for a sweet crunch.

I guess some would call this something of a cobb salad. Or a turkey club sandwich. I call it an awesome lunch. Fo shizz.

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30 Day Challenge
Day 3: What are your views on drugs and alcohol?

Hmm, well this being a healthy living-oriented blog, I would imagine my response to drugs would be pretty cut-and-dry. Obviously anything illegal I’d consider a no-no on many levels.

I also try to limit any other pharmaceuticals. It’s not that I have a moral issue with them, but I don’t think they should be the primary fix for a problem. I’d rather address health issues by natural means than pop a pill. Plus, (and I’ve heard rumors that it’s because I’m a redhead) I build resistance to medications VERY quickly. If I take ibuprofen three times in one week, by the third time, it doesn’t really work anymore. And acetaminophen and asprin have never really worked on me. I like to look at pharmaceuticals as “last resorts” or “supplements” when natural means (nutrition, rest, etc.) aren’t enough.

When it comes to alcohol, I see things a little differently.

I grew up in a family that didn’t drink ever. And that’s alright. I never felt the urge to drink growing up. I don’t believe that drinking is a sin, but drinking can be a habit that spirals out of control quite easily. It can be controlling without really taking on the title of an “addiction.” Just like I easily go overboard with sugar and “dry carbs,” someone else can go overboard on occasion with alcohol. Or just like someone who eats emotionally, one can drink to drown their sorrows. Neither of which I recommend.

C.S. Lewis wrote a book called, The Screwtape Letters, which is entirely written in the form of one “head demon” (Screwtape) writing letters to a lesser demon (Wormwood) as to how he can successfully derail a particular man away from God. When I first read the book, this particular passage struck me as uniquely profound, and I still refer to it when explaining my stance on the use of alcohol:

“You are much more likely to make your man a sound drunkard by pressing drink on him as an anodyne when he is dull and weary than by encouraging him to use it as a means of merriment among his friends when he is happy and expansive. Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on [God]’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it was His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable.”

I had my first “drink” while visiting an Episcopal church while in college. They held communion every Sunday and always used real wine.

I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to “swig” wine, and my throat burned for quite a while.

Besides that time, when I first started getting interested in cooking I decided to start experimenting with cooking wine. Yes, the vile, sodium-laden abomination toward grapes. But hey, we start somewhere, right? I didn’t care to drink before the age of 21, and when I did turn 21, I make it my personal mission NOT to go drinking to celebrate my birthday, simply because I think that’s overrated and cliché. I did have my first “real” drink about 2 weeks before my 21st birthday while hosting a fancy roast beef Sunday dinner with my roommate. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon to braise the meat, and we also served it with dinner. I could barely drink it. I forced down four tiny sips and gave the rest to Edgar! The roast was amazing, though. 😉

Since then I’ve had and enjoyed various different types of wines and tasted a few weird beers (pumpkin ale, anyone?) more out of culinary curiosity. I have developed a bit of a taste toward some wines, but I usually can’t finish a whole 6 oz glass, and that’s perfectly alright with me. I think I prefer cooking with it, but I do enjoy it occasionally as a drink when the mood strikes, which happens maybe once a month. And in the spirit of my C.S. Lewis quote, it’s only when I’m enjoying relaxed merriment with a very small group of very close friends or in the comfort of a cozy evening with Edgar. If anything, having to sip a drink slowly helps me slooooow dooooown and enjoy the moment instead of being a spastic hostess. Hah!

 

Did you grow up in a house where alcohol was tolerated? Encouraged? Discouraged?

An Acquired Taste

In our house, Edgar is the coffee drinker and I drink tea. I say that loosely because I typically don’t drink much hot tea, and never at breakfast. To me, drinking something hot in the morning takes too much effort to brew and even more time to drink. Plus it doesn’t make my tummy all that happy. I like my morning drinks to go down quick and refreshing. I generally reserve hot drinks for the evening.

I’ve never really liked coffee. I tried numerous times when I was younger to drink the muddy liquid that dripped out of the Mr Coffee, and attempted to disguise the bitterness with excessive servings of creamer to no avail.

But as they say, it’s an acquired taste. Until recently (and still largely still currently), my taste for coffee was limited to super-sweetened, dessert-like cold, creamy applications. Like tiramisu. Or a Mocha Java Shake from the Broadway Brew, which, to be quite frank, is a tiramisu milk shake. Occasionally I’d find the seasonally flavored brews of cappuccino (which were undeniably a powdered mixture blended with hot tap water) found at convenience stores significantly more pleasant than their Starbucks counterparts.

But recently I’ve found a friend in an iced mocha.

In an effort to increase my liking of coffee without adding mountains of sugar an cream to the tiniest shot of espresso, I’ve resolved to this blended recipe. I can’t say that it’s as quick as pouring a glass of milk, and it still requires the brewing and chilling of coffee before I can even begin to throw anything in the blender, but perhaps in time Edgar and I can work out some system…

  • Handful of ice cubes, pre-crushed a bit in the blender
  • ~ 1 cup of good quality brewed coffee, room temp or chilled
  • ~2/3 cup of milk (I use 1%)
  • ~3 tbsp of chocolate syrup. (Yes, I still use sugar free Hershey’s)

This recipe approximates 100 calories. A cup of milk brings in about that much, but with this I can get twice the volume of beverage. And I’m all about value!

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