Category Archives: drinks

Budget Juicing!

One of the things that keeps me from juicing on a daily or at least several times a week basis is the cost. It takes sooo much produce to make juice and quality, organic produce ain’t cheap. (the other thing that keeps me from juicing all the time is the mess…) Anyway…

I went to the 99 cent store on my lunch break recently because I remembered they have lots of produce now and I wanted to check it out. (I can also get local french bread, soy milk, and other goodies there)

I was so excited to find some good stuff! First off I got two big bunches of very ripe bananas. I won’t be juicing these. I’ll be freezing them in halves and using them in smoothies and raw banana soft serve! I can’t wait to have a freezer full of bananas!

And then I found local celery and carrots. And ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES!!!! Beautiful organic blueberries! I got three pints, but there’s only two in the picture because I inhaled one of the pints at my desk after I bought them… And then there were cucumbers. And these were actually two for 99 cents! Now, they aren’t organic, but I will peel them before I juice them and they will be almost as good as the organic cucumbers I pay $3 a piece for normally.

Check out this beautiful bounty that only cost me $12.00!

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Happy Hour: Cocktail Infusions

I was planning to write this post about detox smoothies filled with yummy “super foods” because that’s what one does in January, no? But then I decided that
A: Everyone knows how to make a smoothie, and
B: Cocktails are WAY less boring than smoothies. (not that smoothies are boring, but cocktails are fun!)

In my Christmas stocking I got something very interesting: A box of Tea Forte Cocktail Infusions. They look like fancy tea bags and I had never seen anything like this before. The box says, “These revolutionary pyramids infuse directly in spirits.”

The  infusions flavors are Lemongrass Mint, Lavender Citrus, and Silkroad Chai. There is a little  booklet with recipes for cocktails and mocktails, too!

So you just put the ‘tea’ bag in a glass and pour alcohol over it and steep for three minutes. Just like tea! But you can add different ingredients to make all kinds of cocktails. The recipes for the Lavender Citrus infuser include: Cosmo de Provence, Lavender Pear Martini, and Lavender Lime Rickey. The Chai recipes include: Peach Chai Crush, Chai White Russian (sounded amazing!), and Bombay Chai Rum & Tonic. The Lemongrass infuser recipes are: Bali Breeze, Lemongrass Gin & Tonic, and Wild Mint Mojito.

The mocktails include Lavender Fizz- Lavender infuser with lemon/lime soda; Virgin Sunrise- Lavender infuser with orange juice and seltzer; and Chai Cooler- Chai infuser with ginger ale! They all sound so refreshing!

cute little infuser bag filled with chai goodness

I decided to make the Chai White Russian because I had the ingredients on hand and I love chai AND white Russians! The recipes says to infuse the chai bag with 1 1/2 ounces of vodka (I used vanilla vodka), then add 1 ounce simple syrup and 2 ounces of light cream ( I used soymilk) over ice.

Santa Claus- where did you find these??? A quick internet search revealed they are available at specialty stores and fancy department stores and also online through their own website, amazon, etc.

infuser steeping in vanilla vodka

I steeped 1 1/2 ounces of vodka with the infuser, but I only used 3/4 ounce in my cocktail (saving the rest for another drink). I ended up steeping it for about 10 minutes because I wanted to get as much flavor our of the infuser as possible and it seemed like it needed much longer than three minutes. I made a quick simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, heat in a small sauce pan till sugar dissolves). Then mixed according to the instructions.

the final product- perfectly spiced

WOW! The Chai White Russian was easy and fun and super tasty. I loved using the pretty little bag, too. It was definitely a ‘craft’ cocktail as it almost took me longer to make it than to drink it, but that was mostly due to the fact that I needed to make the syrup. I definitely plan to enjoy an infused cocktail again! I’ll be sure to let you know what I make next.

Cheers!

Partying- Pumpkin Style!

This past weekend I hosted a little party. The Second Annual Punkin’ Potluck Par-tay to be exact. The point of this soirée is to get together with a few friends and family members before the holidays and enjoy each other’s company and, umm, gorge ourselves on all things pumpkin!

Pumpkin Fun!

I kept the party of little smaller this year but there was no shortage of pumpkin deliciousness! My friends outdid themselves! And almost everyone made an effort to bring something vegan, even though there were only three actual vegans at the party.

I made a main, savory dish, the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions from Veganomicon. This dish is always a hit with vegans and omnis. I made it for a yoga potluck once and people were freaking out about how good it was! I made this last year for the Punkin Par-tay too and guests were anticipating it again this year. I couldn’t disappoint. Plus, I made an extra smaller dish of it so I’d be sure to have leftovers the rest of the week.

so much fun!

I also made a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting (veganizing a recipe I found online using a box of spice cake mix), chocolate pumpkin cupcakes (recipe from Cupcakes and Kale) and pumpkin scones.

cuppies!

The guests brought an array of awesome: pumpkin-cream cheese-chocolate brownie bites, pumpkin cranberry cookies, and chocolate spice cake with the most insane chocolate icing that tasted like chocolate donut icing! There was a pumpkin brownie cheesecake, and my mom made a lovely Autumn Harvest soup that had pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Another friend brought some homemade spicy pumpkin butter! And I’m sure there’s a bunch of other stuff I’m forgetting!

super creamy!

I served hot apple cider (spiked with Buttershots and, I swear, it tastes just like a caramel apple!), and the Great Pumpkin Martini made another appearance. Although, without the spooky friends hanging on the side of the glass.
I had so much fun noshing all afternoon on pumpkin goodies. Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Vegan MoFo 2011 Comes to an End

I signed up at the VERY last moment for MoFo (Vegan Month of Food) this year. I’m so glad I did! Even though I took a couple weeks break in the middle due to a work trip (read about my food adventures in Los Angeles here and here), I really enjoyed writing about food (especially NACHOS) for the month of October. I can honestly say that I never got tired of eating nachos this month. I even ate nachos multiple times without taking pictures or blogging about them. I just really do love nachos that much!

I discovered tons of new and interesting blogs and made some new bloggy friends! And of course I kept up with my regular vegan food blog reading.

I especially enjoyed the testing of Creepy Cocktails, masterminded by SnarkyVegan. This was a perfect Halloween activity for me. Cocktails, creepy toys, butterscotch schnapps…

I will definitely participate in Vegan MoFo again next year. I’ll be thinking about my theme for the next 11 months or so… but it will probably end up being Nachos again- I mean- why not? A few of my friends have crowned me “Queen of Nachos”, so I think I’ll roll with it!

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