drinks

watermelon juice — detox from too much fun and sun

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Happy National Watermelon Day! I happen to think that watermelon is one of the more versatile fruits. It can take so many forms, and everyone likes watermelon. Side note: our goats refuse to eat watermelon, which we all just find bizarre. It is delicious by itself, the perfect side for any bbq (cut into fancy shapes of course) or makes the most refreshing juice.

So in honor of National Watermelon Day, here is a super simple recipe for watermelon juice that is perfect for an early week detox from too much fun and sun!

ingredients

  • a medium sized seedless watermelon
  • your choice of sparkling water
  • ice-cubes
  • large knife
  • blender of sorts

instructions

  1. Cut the watermelon in half and continue to cut the watermelon off of the rind into small chunks. Discard the rind.
  2. Place the small chunks into your blender. My blender didn’t recognize the weight of the watermelon until I smashed it down a bit….
  3. Blend the watermelon until well blended and frothy. You can strain the juice at this time if you don’t love pulp.
  4. Pour the juice into a large pitcher or glass bottle.
  5. Serve over ice with a splash of sparkling water.
  6. Enjoy on a hot summer day, preferably with a straw!
ready to blend!

ready to blend!

the handiest cuisinart blender my lovely mother got me

the handiest cuisinart blender my lovely mother got me

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my favorite la croix at the moment

my favorite la croix at the moment

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delicious!

ready to enjoy!

love how frothy this juice is

love how frothy this juice is

taylor brass

brass blossom

red wine of summer — tinto de verano

The first time I tasted “tinto de verano” (literal translation=red wine of summer) I was sixteen and in Spain, and I instantly fell in love. Granted, this was also during a time when Keystone Light was my drink of choice, which is a questionable one at best, but don’t let that deter you! It is refreshing, delicious, and the perfect drink for…summer!

first tinto de verano in Ronda, totally out of focus

first tinto de verano in Ronda, totally out of focus

This cocktail is easy on the budget, easy to make, just the right bit of sweet, and, of course, pretty. It’s essentially a red wine spritzer, which may sound wrong  — when I was pouring red wine over ice cubes for the blog post, my 6-year-old “neice” exclaimed “what are you doing?!” Great question, Isla Bean, but she’ll understand one day!

This cocktail also carried Kacie and me and our very strict budgets through our backpacking adventure in Europe in 2011. It’s super easy to improvise — all you need is ice, cheap red wine, and something bubbly and lemony like sparkling lemonade, soda water and straight lemon, or even Sprite or Fanta! They also serve this on tap all through Spain, which tastes especially delicious at chain restaurant with local feel 100 montaditos (100 little sandwiches, insanely amazing and delicious). I think I officially fell in love with the boy over some a couple jarras of tinto de verano and little sandwiches while it poured in Madrid. This stuff is magic!

servings

 

One drink

prep:cook time

 

5 minutes

ingredients

 

  • red wine — cheap is fine, and bonus points for Spanish wine!
  • sparkling lemonade (like Lorina or Pelligrino)
  • sparkling water (like La Croix, Sodastream, or anything else)
  • lemon (wedge and slice)
  • ice

instructions

 

  1. Fill a glass of your choice 2/3 of the way with ice
  2. Fill the glass halfway with red wine
  3. Fill the next 1/4 with sparkling lemonade
  4. Top it off with bubbly water
  5. Squeeze a wedge of lemon into the drink, stir
  6. Garnish with an additional lemon slice
  7. Perfect to taste — after I made one of these for my aunt last summer, it became her official cocktail of the summer and she even added some Limoncello for edge…
  8. Cheers! You can also mimic these quantities in a pitcher as a festive and refreshing drink to share at a party!
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aquí está!

aquí está!

a fun straw makes everything better

a fun straw makes everything better — cheers!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

taylor’s big 2-5 — harvest inspired feast

the birthday girl!

the beautiful birthday girl!

In honor of my dear co-author’s quarter-century birthday, Rachel and I wanted to return the favor of a great dinner party in her honor. Honoring her favorite season and her vegetarianism, we set out to create a heart vegetarian feast, complete with pumpkins, vodka, and gold.

Here’s a look at the night!

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Though it was a small, all-girls gathering, we couldn’t not send a Paperless Post…We went for the ever classic black and gold template that added a little “hunter-gatherer” flair.

paperless post

paperless post

decor

It was perfect autumn weather for a cozy night. Here’s how we decorated:

  • Pumpkins and more pumpkins
  • Sunflowers and mums in mason jars, wrapped with raffia
  • Mason jar cocktail glasses with orange striped straws
  • Lots of candlelight — in our gold glitter mason jar votives, and with tall white column candles
  • A burlap, gold-painted table runner

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menu

I have to say, cooking a vegetarian meal is quite lovely and stress free — no incessant hand-washing, no fat trimming, no gross bloody packaging…That being said, I couldn’t help but slip some bacon in there! Rachel and I must have exchanged about a dozen emails plotting and plan this evening. Here’s what we decided on, and what our dear friends contributed:

  • A vanilla, pear, and vodka cocktail with a rosebud sugar rim — sweet, but very yummy!
  • Burrata (you can never go wrong with burrata) and an antipasto platter with salami, cheese, and olives
  • Homemade bruschetta from homegrown tomatoes from Sara’s garden
  • A whole roasted head of cauliflower — both cool to look at and totally delicious. The marinade was so good that I dipped celery sticks in it for the next couple days
  • An artichoke, green bean, squash, sunflower seed, roasted garlic, and quinoa salad — this provided a nice light balance to our meal, but we added some champagne vinegar to tarten it a bit
  • Brussels sprouts, Enoteca style — thinly shredded and sautéed with goat cheese and (bacon)
  • The main event, butternut squash soup — a delicious concoction that Rachel made from a fax recipe. That’s legit!
  • Mini mason jar pumpkin cheesecakes — also gluten free, the boy has devoured one of these every night for the last week (I made some extras)
delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

a perfect plate!

a perfect plate!

harvest dinner

roasted cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

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vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

Happy Birthday, Taylor! We love you so much, and we had so much fun celebrating your big birthday!

cheers krista

brass blossom

cold buster — erica’s ginger tea

My lovely cousin Erica always has some new crazy trick up her sleeve. When she offered me “wine, vodka, or ginger tea” a few months ago, I have to admit, I definitely had my doubts. Now, I’m addicted to ginger tea.

The health benefits of ginger are no joke either — ginger can help with nausea and migraines, reduce inflammation, and maybe even help prevent certain kinds of cancer.

Whenever I can feel my immune system taking a dive — like right now — I make large batches of ginger tea. It’s delicious, invigorating, and I swear it helps bring me back to life. I work in a school, which means I’m constantly exposed to a clusterf*** of germs. This stuff saves me!

There are several ways to make ginger tea, but my favorite is based off Erica’s super easy recipe.

SERVINGS: 8

PREP AND COOK TIME: 1.5 hours

INGREDIENTS:

  • one large ginger root
  • water
  • lemon
  • honey
  • ginger infused tea (like “lemon ginger” or “green tea ginger”)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel the ginger (optional) and cut it into 1/4″ slices or thinner.
  2. Put the ginger in a large pot with water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer the water for approximately 80 minutes. The water should turn a golden yellow color.
  4. Add honey, lemon, and a tea bag to your mug if you’d like, and enjoy!
  5. Store extra ginger tea in a tupperware or mason jar in the fridge and reheat as necessary. You can even keep the ginger pieces in the container with the water to continue the infusion in the fridge.
the bigger the root, the better! :)

the bigger the root, the better! 🙂

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roughly slice the ginger

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fill the pot with more water than you might think — it evaporates quickly!

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store your extra tea in the fridge — it should be a nice golden color

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serve with lemon, honey, and tea if you’d like

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yum!

cheers! krista

brass blossom