Category Archives: Drinks

Drink of Choice

During these HOT summer days I always have to have coffee when I wake up in the morning, and even though it may be hot out, I still need my cup of hot coffee every morning. Come the afternoon though, I’m begging for an iced coffee. 4-Bucks has become the name of Starbucks in our household. Every drink no matter what it is, comes with a high cost. Surprisingly even iced coffee has a price tag with it that adds up on a regular basis. We LOVE iced coffee and since I drink it every day, I had to start making it myself. Cheaper and actually, really good!

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The weekends are our favorite time to go on morning walks and get coffee and pastries. This has become our “thing” as husband and wife. We love our coffee but we love our walks, conversations and yummy pastries to go with it. I come from a family (parents and sisters) who also live on coffee. Our motto is: Coffee is not a drug, it’s a vitamin. And boy do we believe that’s true. Even my son got into my iced coffee a couple times when I misplaced it not realizing he would actually drink it. And that little man himself, sucked it right down. Crazy.

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So, now that you have gazed at the picture for a few minutes, don’t you think it’s time to go make your own cup of excitement?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brewed coffee**
  • Cream
  • Honey (Sugar)

It’s pretty simple and delicious. We often serve ours just after it brews (as you would an americano) while still hot. First, pour a little coffee into your cup, just enough to melt the honey. Than add ice to the top of your cup and pour coffee over ice. Leave a little room for cream and viola, you have the perfect iced coffee.

** The key is to make the coffee stronger by adding 2 cups water to 2 heaping scoops coffee grinds. Once the coffee is brewed you can serve immediately over a full cup of ice to cool it down or simply refrigerate for later. Sometimes I make a large pot and keep it in the fridge throughout the week. The ratio for coffee is 1 large scoop to 1 cup water.

Fruity Smoothie

I was at the grocery store yesterday and the clerk asked me if I was enjoying summer. I looked at Cooper and with a big smile I said yes. My little man has made this summer incredible. Spending time traveling as a family, park dates, family pool time and just hanging out has been all I could ask for.

The lady behind me spoke up and said “this heat is a killer though!” As I agreed, I also explained that we can’t seem to be happy here in Oregon with it’s extreme weather changes. If we all had AC, there would be no question about it. She nodded and said she it glad she lives here but definitely wishes the weather to be mid 70’s-80’s so people would stop complaining.

I thought it was funny as we can’t ever seem to be happy. Either it rains or it scorches. I love the sun, so I am not too worried about it and our house stays really cool. :) I’m thankful for beautiful weather and a beautiful backyard to enjoy it in.

So since summer is here and will be over before we know it, take time to enjoy the sun and relax with your family while doing something exciting. And don’t forget to drink a protein packed smoothie full of vitamins and nutrients your body is craving in this hot heat.

IMG_5108Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed fruit; mango, pineapple, guava
  • 1 apple
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 spoonful protein powder (almond butter is a great substitute)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Compile all ingredients into a blender and ENJOY!!!!

These hot weathered days must enjoy a healthy snack.

Blackberry Lemonade

I’ve been addicted to this drink lately and it’s so refreshing. Part of my problem is I can drink coffee all day long, but too much caffeine will give me a headache. As summer has officially begun I started making this delicious blackberry lemonade and it’s been a great afternoon replacement to my usual coffee.

I love to make homemade Iced Tea come summer. When using a fresh tea and a little lemonade for sweetener, your hot day just got better.

You can use any tea for iced tea but to be completely honest, any form of black tea is the best.

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 Blackberry Black tea bags
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Lemonade

In a large pot bring water to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat off and add tea bags to the pot. Set aside and let sit for 2 hours. If it’s a beautiful day out, place your pot in the sun for 1-2 hours.

Squeeze any remaining water from tea bags and remove. Pour tea into a large pitcher and refrigerate.

When you are ready for your Blackberry Tea Lemonade, fill a mason jar full of ice, pour iced tea over and leave about 1-2 inches to splash with lemonade. Mix and enjoy!

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Homemade iced tea is really simple. There are many different forms to iced tea as well. You can sweeten your tea while the water is still hot, or leave it as is and sweeten with each drink.

Coffee Creamer

I love coffee! I am a HUGE coffee fanatic. Many of you probably already know this about me, but I LOVE coffee!

I do like a lot of the fancy flavor coffee creamers but when I try and read the ingredients it simply isn’t in my vocabulary. When you have a number next to an ingredient than I get kind of scared. Red 50. Yellow 102. Blue 24. You get the picture? It’s not good.

I’ve made my own creamer for quite some time but I must humbly admit when Fall and Christmas approached I get very excited for the holiday creamers; pumpkin spice, eggnog, peppermint mocha, and York peppermint paddy. I had succumb to the yellow color 60 for three months and my body is probably filling itself with cancer as we speak. HA okay probably not but my homemade creamer is by far better than these coffee creamers.

I have made peppermint mocha, brown sugar cream, and French vanilla. These are just a couple of the ones I enjoy. But the basis of the creamer is pretty standard and can be used with any flavor you like.

Ingredients:

Brown Sugar Sweet Cream

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups milk

In a saucepan over medium heat, add condensed milk and brown sugar. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly.

Add vanilla and milk and heat until it begins to steam, do not boil.

Store in a glass container in the fridge!

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You can simply use sweetened condensed milk and regular milk as a staple base for any other flavor you desire. Here are a couple more options:

Peppermint Mocha

  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

Peppermint Patty

  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

Raspberry Almond

  • 2 tsp raspberry
  • 2 tsp almond

Does your child hate veggies?

Are you having trouble getting your kids eat their veggies? I know I do. Cooper refuses to eat vegetables unless it’s corn. Now and again he will eat cooked vegetables mixed into his dinner, but I have found the older he gets he judges the ‘look’ of his food before he tastes it. That is a sore subject for me. :)

I have mentioned my spinach shake previously and will go back to that again. The last couple days my husband has been talking about doing a juice detox. He and I have been watching a lot of food documentaries and he really has had stomach issues for quite sometime. He wants to detox and see if he begins to feel better. Due to this, I made a spinach shake last night for all of us pre dinner. This helps you eat less for dinner but also is packed full of the nutrients our body is lacking.

Note to ALL of you who say spinach in a shake sounds absolutely terrible: It isn’t bad, if you make it right, you honestly can’t taste the spinach. You could leave the spinach out but why if you can’t taste it? It has so many vitamins we need!

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Cooper drinking the green monster! :)

Please try it before you judge it! I wont steer you wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 orange
  • ¾ cup blueberries (frozen fruit works great)
  • 1 pear
  • 1 large apple or 2 small apples
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup orange juice

If you get brave once you decide you like the shake add in more vegetables such as:

  • Snap peas
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • peanut butter/almond butter
  • ginger

Yes, I have add all of these vegetables and I do this on a regular basis. Ginger helps with the stomach and very helpful for digestion. If you use protein powder add one scoop to the entire shake.

This serving size serves my husband, me and cooper.

Lemon Julep

I do not drink alcohol anymore. Now that I’ve had my baby I completely went 180. I knew that was the moment of truth; I needed to grow up in more ways than one and alcohol was clearly leading by far hence the fact that I was pregnant. After I gave birth I really had no desire to drink and haven’t since. To be completely honest I truly can’t explain how I feel physically and mentally but my body feels so healthy. I drank more than I should have but looking back I realized I abused what the whole point of alcohol is; to be social and not be drunk. (I definitely have my perspective on alcohol, but won’t divulge that information today) Getting pregnant was an immediate turn around in my life for many things. I saw things way more clear once I started to grow my little bun in my oven. Things changed and changed for the good; I’m blessed and thankful that this little man in my life had such an impact on me that I could have never experienced without him.

 

The reality of health is what you put into your body will come out whether good or bad. Hind sight is always 20/20 so they say; and having a glance back I realize how important it is to take care of our bodies. I see young kids, actually really young kids abuse pain killers, alcohol, and drugs. These kids are literally destroying their bodies before they even finish their growth spurt and development into womanhood or manhood. Who are their examples, are we as their parents helping or hindering? Leading by example, or leading by our words?

 

Enough of my tangent, this afternoon I really was longing for a delicious, tasty refreshment and was at a loss of what to make. As I left the grocery store realizing I have so many fresh herbs I decided I would attempt some sort of a concoction hoping for the best.

 

I made “lemonade” with some mint and basil. It was so refreshing and my husband even loved it. (He’s my yay or neigh for my creativity) He put himself on a “two drink maximum.” J

 

Ingredients

  • All natural lemonade (Newman’s Own or frozen works too unless you want to avoid HFCS)
  • Mint Leaves
  • Basil
  • ¼ cup Lemon juice
  • Lemon slices
  • Honey (optional)

 

Mix lemonade, lemon juice and lemon slices into a pitcher. Do not add ice to the pitcher because it will dilute the taste. Mix honey with a smidgen of water to help with the consistency to mix better. Crush the mint leaves and basil leaves enough so you can smell them from afar. If you don’t have anything to crush them with you can use the back of a large spoon and press firmly damaging the leaves slightly. Add the whole bushel to the pitcher and mix well. Pour over a full glass of ice and top with a lemon slice.

 

We got a new patio set and BBQ and decided to enjoy the evening with dinner and our nonalcoholic drinks while cooper sat in his highchair eating cheerios and enjoying the sips of lemon julep his daddy and I were giving him. Life is beautiful!