Watermelon Sangria

A refreshing twist on an old classic drink.  I especially like to make this for parties by the pool.  The fresh lime juice added to the watermelon gives it a unique kick!

Ingredients:

7 cups watermelon cubed (keeping 1cup separate for later)

2 bottles (750ml each) white wine

2 cups watermelon vodka

3 cups lemon lime soda                                                                               

3 tbsp of fresh lime juice

Fresh mint (optional)

¼ cup sweetener (optional)

Directions:

Add watermelon and the juice of one lime to a food processor or blender.  Blend on high until well pureed.  The Kitchen Ninja works perfectly for this

Using a cheesecloth, pour the watermelon puree and squeeze as much juice through.  Discard the pulp

Add white wine, vodka and lemon lime soda.  I use Sprite Zero to cut down somewhat on the calories

Add sweetener and stir well (I use stevia but any sweetener will work just fine)

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours

Serve over ice with fresh mint and a few pieces of the remaining cubed watermelon

The Sangria may separate, just stir and serve

Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies!

There are tons of chocolate chip cookie recipes to choose from.  I particularly like this recipe as it calls for the use of cold butter rather than soften or melted butter.  Besides it’s taste, cold butter will help provide structure to the cookie.  Given that this recipe calls for (2) cups of chocolate chips and (1) cup of nuts, you will want a hearty cookie that can hold its on own in terms of thickness and texture for all the goodness baked inside.

Ingredients:

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into approximately 16 pieces (1 cup = two sticks)

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of baking soda

2 cups of chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk) I prefer milk chocolate chips

1 cup of macadamia nuts, sliced

Directions:

Combine sugars until completely mixed

Add butter pieces and beat on high (scraping down the sides as necessary) until completely combined and a grainy paste is formed (approximately 5 minutes)

Add vanilla and eggs.  Mix thoroughly until the ingredients are incorporated

Add flour, baking soda and salt

Add chocolate chips and macadamia nuts mix until just blended.  You don’t want to over mix the dough

Using a cookie scoop, or spoon, scoop approximately 1/4 cup dough onto a large plate (approximately 15-18).  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  You want your dough to be cold in order to reduce the dough from spreading and becoming too thin while baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place dough on a greased cookie sheet (if using parchment paper, I like to spray as well just to ensure the cookies don’t stick)

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown

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Hydrangeas Anyone?

Photo cred goes to GP. Thanks for sending.

Those of you who know me well, know that my favorite type of flower, taking first place over the long standing favorite tulip, is the hydrangea. These gorgeous pom pom like flowers make me smile from ear to ear.

I can’t remember exactly where I was when I first fell in love with it’s beauty. Since then, each year I look forward to placing several arrangements in my home in many different colors. The bright blue is a favorite of mine but I do not discriminate. Hydrangeas in all colors are welcomed.

Here is an interesting fun fact regarding these beauties. The pH level in the soil defines the color of each hydrangea. Meaning, the more pH level in the soil will yield pretty pinks and reds. Soil with lower pH levels tend to create blue or lavender hues.

You can change the color of your existing hydrangeas by increasing or decreasing the soil pH level or by replanting in an area where the soil pH levels are much different.

Regardless of the color, you cannot go wrong with introducing these beauties to your home.

Enjoy!

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Food…Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts

For my kids, I bake all kinds of treats. Mostly, I try to make a more healthier version of their favorites that’s just as yummy. Therefore, this recipe calls for the donut itself to taste as close to a cross between a Krispy Kreme glazed donut mixed with all the goodness of a Chocolate Glazed Dunkin Donut.

And viola….the Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donut… dipped in milk and white chocolate covered in sprinkles is born.

I suggest doubling the mixture as some gets lost in the piping bag. It also allows for one extra swirl per donut making for just a slightly larger donut.


Ingredients:

(Donuts):

1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

5 Tbsp milk

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Glaze:

3 cups milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided into 1 cup per bowl) if you plan to use different chocolates. For just a chocolate or a white chocolate glaze, 1 cup of chocolate chips is sufficient.

1 tsp coconut oil per 1 cup chocolate chips.

Rainbow or chocolate sprinkles (optional)

To Make 6 donuts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Coat a six count donut pan using cooking spray making sure to thoroughly spray the donut well.

In a bowl combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.

Next, using a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, milk, oil and vanilla.

Slowly begin to incorporate the dry mixture into the wet ensuring to break up any lumps that begin to form until combined.

Fill a pastry bag or ziplock bag (remember to cut a small hole on one corner) with the batter.

Pipe four (4) swirls of batter for each donut being careful to stay neat. This is important as the donut will set just as it appears in the pan with little movement. You can use a small spatula to clean up and/or trim the donut before baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. You don’t want to over bake and dry out the donuts.

Remove from the oven and let the donuts cool completely in the pan for approximately 30mins. Turn donut pan upside down, give it a couple of taps and your donuts should fall right out of the pan.

To make the glaze:

Using 3 microwave safe bowls, divide your chocolate chips into 1 cup each per bowl.

For each 1 cup of chocolate chips, add 1 tsp of coconut oil.

I prefer to use three (1) cup bowls of milk chocolate, white chocolate and white chocolate chips with two drops of red food coloring for a pink glaze.

Microwave each bowl for 60 seconds at 50% power. Stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Still until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the chocolate sit for approximately 5 mins.

If using more than one type of chocolate chip, repeat this step until all chocolate has been melted.

Once ready after the donuts have fully cooled, take each donut and dip and swirl the top of the donut (this is the side that was face down in the pan) until the top is completely coated.

Next, dip the chocolate side down of the donut into the sprinkles.

Let the chocolate harden a bit before indulging.

Enjoy!

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