Raspberry Lime Rickeys

During high school, I worked at an ice cream stand and it was a blast! It was some of the most fun I had as a teenager.  I know, it’s pathetic.  But while I worked there, I discovered my love for raspberry lime rickeys. But rather than using soda water, I had them with Sprite.  Since I stopped working there years ago, I think I had one or two raspberry lime rickeys, and then I discovered them again at Mann Orchards.  So then I thought, rather than buy a bottled version, I can certainly make my own.

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I found a recipe for homemade raspberry lime rickeys on the blog Mel’s Kitchen Café.

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Making the raspberry syrup is incredibly easy.  The hardest part is having to wait for it to cool so you can make the drink!

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This makes a perfect summer drink.  And what’s great about making it yourself is you can add the amount of syrup you desire to an ice filled glass of seltzer.

 

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Although I would have loved to have Sprite, I need to stay away from soda because I am pregnant.  However, the seltzer is just as delicious!

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Another refreshing summer drink that I recently made is strawberry lemonade with fresh picked strawberries.  I did not take any pictures, but check out the recipe here!

I hope everyone’s summer is off to a good start.  Enjoy these refreshing drinks to keep cool!

Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade and Mozzarella Sticks

Take out for dinner.  I love it.  It is my weakness.  I will come up with any possible excuse I can to get take out.  Matt and I will usually get it once a week.  So when my sister-in-law and brother-in-law came over for dinner the other night, I thought it was perfect to get take out again.  Nice and easy.  But I still used this as an opportunity to make a couple of recipes I have been wanting to try.

I had a watermelon in my fridge that was in need of cutting and I remembered seeing a watermelon strawberry lemonade recipe on good old Pinterest.  A great recipe where you can just throw everything in the blender.  This recipe can be found at the blog Frosted Bake Shop.  I adjusted the amounts just a tad based on what I had at home.  I don’t think this is something you can really mess up and you can adjust the ingredients to your liking.  You can find the original recipe here, but here is how I made mine:

Ingredients:

  • About 7 cups of cut up watermelon (about 7 pounds)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups water

Divide all of the ingredients in half.  Put one half of all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Take the second half and do the same.  (You should do it in two batches because it all won’t fit into the blender.)  Combine, give it a good stir and put it in the refrigerator to chill.  I bet this would be great if you blended it with some ice for a slushy type drink.  And if you need to, a little vodka may not be so bad either.

Since we planned on ordering dinner from a pizza place, I thought it would be good to make mozzarella sticks for an appetizer.  This is another recipe that I came across on Pinterest.  Again, it is very easy to do and quick.  I put them in the oven when Chris and Rob arrived and they were ready to go in ten minutes.  I also made a homemade marinara sauce for dipping.

The website that I got the mozzarella sticks recipe is called Skinny Taste and the original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 12 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp regular bread crumbs
  • 5 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • Cooking spray

Cut the cheese sticks in half so you have 24.  Place them in the freezer until frozen.  Next, put the egg in one small dish and the flour in a second small dish.  Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and parsley in a 3rd dish.  Put the cheese sticks in the flour, dip it in the egg, then roll in the bread crumb mixture until covered.  Do this with all 24.  Once you are done, put them back in the freezer until ready to bake.

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Put a piece of foil on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Place the cheese sticks on the baking sheet and give them a coat of cooking spray (of course I forgot this until about 2 minutes left).  Bake for 5 minutes then flip them and bake for another 5.  Be careful not to leave them in too long because they could melt.  I was afraid of this and I think I took them out a minute too soon.  They were still delicious!

For the marinara sauce, I thought about just opening my jar of pasta sauce for dipping.  But that didn’t seem right since I made the mozzarella sticks.  I found this recipe at Add a Pinch and you can find the original recipe here.  I didn’t need a lot of the sauce so I cut the recipe in half.  And I will still left with a ton.  Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (I was horrified that I had no garlic or even minced garlic!)

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low-medium and put in the remaining ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken.  Will last in the fridge for about in a week.

That’s it!  Two great recipes, actually 3, that are very quick an easy for a night in with takeout.

         

PS – I baked the mozzarella sticks, so that counts for this baking blog 🙂

My Coffee Addiction

About two weeks ago I told myself I was going to quit drinking coffee.  I think I had a mini panic attack laying in bed the morning I was supposed to start.  So then I told myself I would slowly decrease my coffee intake until no more.  I think I have done this, a little.  I definitely don’t stop at Dunkin Donuts as much as I used to.  Since being home for the summer, my daily routine has changed, and that includes drinking more coffee.  I’m afraid that I will still drink this amount when I return to school (“sigh”) next week so I have to do something.  So what would I like to talk about today?  Iced coffee!

I do make my own iced coffee at home.  I brew a pot and put it in the fridge.  But this week I downloaded the cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Lee Drummond, who also has a blog/website and a show on the Food Network.  Lee Drummond lives on a ranch and I want to live there too.  And we can bake together.  If you check out her website or watch her shows, you can see what it looks like.  It must be absolutely amazing to live in a place like that!  (By the way, if interested, it was only $3.99 on Ibooks and has recipes for every meal…definitely worth it!)  Ok, the coffee.  In this book is an iced coffee recipe that I had to try.  This recipe is to make it a coffee concentrate.  Interesting.  It is very simple to do so I gave it a shot.  Although I got the recipe from my book, I also found it here.

Back to the quitting of drinking so much coffee for a second.  I made this batch of iced coffee decaf to help me decrease my need for the caffeine.  We will see how it goes.

The original recipe calls for one pound of coffee and 8 quarts of water.  Since I am the only one who drinks the iced coffee and because I don’t have a container that big, I cut the recipe in half.  The containers I have to do this recipe were just big enough.  I’m also glad I cut this in half because that’s a ton of iced coffee to finish before winter hits if I am trying to cut down.

Iced Coffee (my version)

Source/adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

You will need:

  • ½ lb ground coffee (I used Chock Full o’Nuts Decaf)
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 2 really large containers (that hold a little more than 4 quarts) – 1 for the coffee and water to steep in and 1 to store the coffee in
  • Cheese cloth
  • Fine mesh strainer

Put the coffee into a large container.  Pour the cold water into the container with the coffee.  Stir it to make sure that all the coffee gets wet.  Cover it and allow it to steep for 6-12 hours.  (I think I did mine for about 8.  I was impatient).

Next, put the strainer on top of the container you will store the coffee in.  Put a piece of cheese cloth on top of the strainer.  Pour the coffee through the strainer.  When you are done pouring, use a spoon or spatula to push any additional liquid out of the coffee grinds.  Throw away the cheese cloth.

When the coffee is nice and cold, prepare it however you like!  One thing I found very interesting in the book was using condensed milk in the iced coffee.  This sounded really good so I gave it a shot along with my Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Vanilla.  I usually always have to have my coffee flavored somehow.  Or as Matt puts it, to make it so it doesn’t actually taste like coffee.  So then, I put in about 2 tablespoons of the condensed milk (fat-free because that makes me feel better).  I liked it.  But I like it more as a treat.  The best word I can use to describe it is “heavy.”  And I am not sure how I can describe the taste.  It is definitely a sweetener but I thought it took away from the vanilla flavor.  Maybe I should have put in more vanilla then.  Anyway, I think condensed milk in iced coffee is good to have once in a while, not every day (or 2-3 times a day).

What’s great about making your own iced coffee at home is you know exactly how it is going to taste every time you get it.  Not to mention it will save you tons of money!  I hope after reading this you will want to give it a try and make your own!