Archive for the Drinks Category

Superfood Avocado Smoothies

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Drinks with tags , , , , on August 15, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

My stash of avocados has now been depleted. My mission this day is to find cheap avocados once again and stock up, or they will truly be missed.

I have always been curious as to what sweet avocado desserts or drinks taste like, and yes, they are out there! I used to work in a Mexican ice cream parlor when I was 15 and they had an avocado flavored popsicle, which was surprisingly popular. I always judged the people who ordered it and thought to my self “you gross bastard, why would you eat an avocado popsicle?!?” But I was a naive closed-minded teenager who knew nothing of the world, so don’t judge me.

It was in China where I tried my first avocado smoothie…by accident. China really forced us to be more courageous with what we ate, since most of the time we didn’t know what we were ordering.  If a restaurant had pictures, we would point at what looked appetizing, although we found many times pictures can be deceiving. If there were no pictures on the menu, most of the time we would say “xie xie” and walk out.  One morning Mark and I woke up really early to get some alone time and we strolled the streets of Shanghai.  For breakfast, we stopped by a “bubble tea” stand with pictures. However, the pictures were on the other side of the stand preventing me to go right up to the picture and point at it. I wanted a coconut smoothie and played charades with a girl hoping she would guess exactly what I wanted. She seemed very confused, but after a minute she said “ah” and nodded her head like she finally understood.  But I didn’t receive a white smoothie.  I forced an awkward smile and took my green drink reluctantly, but never did I think it was avocado. The taste was different at first, just because I was expecting it to be kiwi or cantaloupe.  But with every taste it got better. Half way though I realized it was avocado, but by then I didn’t care. It was too good.

I’m pretty sure that bubble tea in China was made using avocado, condensed milk, coconut milk and tapioca pearls. I got the idea to make this drink when I saw big green tapioca pearls at the asian grocery store–I almost screamed with happiness!  Then as I was walking around I saw the big bubble tea straws. It was a sign from the gods that I was meant to make this drink.

For almost an entire week I made avocado smoothies for lunch. And every time I had one of these I didn’t feel hungry for the longest time. Avocados are considered a “superfood”. Superfoods are packed with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result. They may help reduce cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and can even put you in a better mood. They are rich in antioxidants, and essential vitamins, and can even help you have better skin!  Yes, avocado also have a good amount of fat, but it’s the good kind of fat so there is no need to worry as long as you don’t go overboard. Other “superfoods” include kiwi, berries like blueberries and raspberries, green tea, and many others.

My favorite smoothies below were the kiwi and the raspberry.  I found that the more fruit you add the less you can taste the avocado–which might be good or bad depending on your taste.  I also think psychologically, changing the color (by adding something like raspberries) completely takes the avocado taste out, which might be good to keep in mind with picky eaters like kids…or Mark.

Enjoy!

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1. GREEN TEA AVOCADO BASIL “BUBBLE” SMOOTHIE



Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp avocado
  • 3 frozen coconut milk ice cubes (or
  • 1/4 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp green tea, cooled
  • 2-4 basil leaves
  • Sweetness (agave nectar, honey, sugar, or condensed milk)
  • Green tea tapioca pearls (use the big pearls, found in asian markets)

Directions: Blend together. Adjust ingredients to you own liking.

Tapioca Pearls Directions: follow instructions for quick 5 minute tapioca. When ready, place in simple syrup for 5 minutes for sweetness. (Simple syrup: boil water and add equal parts of sugar until syrupy).

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2. AVOCADO MANGO SMOOTHIE


Ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Frozen mango
  • plain yogurt
  • frozen coconut milk ice-cubes
  • White cranberry juice
  • Agave nectar

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3. AVOCADO MANGO RASPBERRY SMOOTHIE


Ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Frozen Mango
  • Frozen raspberries
  • plain yogurt
  • Coconut milk ice-cubes
  • White cranberry juce
  • Agave Nectar

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4. AVOCADO KIWI SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Kiwi
  • White cranberry juice
  • plain yogurt
  • coconut milk ice cubes
  • Agave nectar


Frozen Mango & Raspberry Mojito

Posted in Drinks with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Beat the heat with a perfectly chilled, slushy raspberry mango mojito. This drink was so good I am almost drooling thinking about it. It is midnight right now and I want to pull out my overly abused food processor covered in duck tape and make one…hmmm strongly considering it. Anyways, I had this drink ready for Mark when he got home from work and his response was “wow, I didn’t think Mojito’s could get any gayer”. This might sound like an insult if you don’t know Mark. But you see, Mark is not a big drinker, and when he does drink he likes to go for the “gay” or “girly” drinks.  This works out perfectly for me because I can make the fruity yummy drinks for the both of us and then drink his leftovers. If it was whisky straight up, I would be pouring it down the drain.

I love that he can admit to preferring the girly drinks. I didn’t feel like this always. In fact, I still get a bit embarrassed. When we are invited to go to someones house for a party or for poker night, instead of getting the “cool” beers he gets the Mike’s hard or wine coolers. I used to ask him if he would rather take something like Coronas or Heinekens just to spare him the criticism. Surprisingly, however, he openly admits to liking the girly drinks, takes the few moments of guy bashing courageously and proceed to enjoy his drinks. Cheers to all the honest men out there who like the appletinis, mojitos, long islands, and anything pink!

For some comedic content, here is Brian from Family Guy’s take on Mojitos.

And now, for the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Sugar
  • Frozen fruit
  • Mint leaves
  • Sparkling soda
  • Ice
  1. This video has great info on how to make a successful mojito. Start by watching this Youtube Mojito video.
  2. Now to make it a fruity mojito, blend some fruit (frozen fruit = partially frozen drink) into the lime and alcohol mixture
  3. Finish off with sparkling soda

Salud!

Vodka Sangria–Cheers and Happy 21st Birthday to my Little Sister!

Posted in Drinks with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

After more than a month living in Seattle I finally found my neighborhood liquor store.  I was on a mission today to pick up some Bombay Gin to mail to my little sister who is turning 21 years old.  Not only did I find a big bottle of Bombay Gin, it was packaged in a gift set with a pitcher (and in a really cute box, might I add)–it was perfect!  I was so ecstatic and ready to make the purchase when Mark, the voice of all that is legal, brings to my attention that it is a federal offense to mail liquor.  Actually, he told me this in the car before I entered the liquor store but it was my intent to not listen to him.  After all, I had to buy my little sister her first drink on her 21st birthday, right?  After many awkward minutes standing in line and jumping out, I decided to listen to my ethical side, Mark.  I mean, I should uphold the law now more than ever… I guess.  Even though I was disappointed, I didn’t leave empty handed (reference to this yummy drink). Plus, Mark and I were able to come up with a better (and legal) alternative to my sister’s birthday present.  This, however, must remain a secret, so all of you (including you, little Karina) must remain in suspense.

I made this drink for Mark and I tonight, and dedicated it to my little sister.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARI! May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face, and may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars. Cheers! I wish I could be with you to buy you your very first (legal) drink, but when you come out here to Seattle, I promise to take you out and buy you many drinks 🙂

Now, for the tasty and tipsy recipe:

Spanish Sangria is traditionally made with brandy, orange juice, and red wine. Fruit is added, such as apples, oranges, pears, and lime. The Sangria is refrigerated with the fruit for several hours, which enhances the flavors while the fruit absorbs all the alcohol–which makes for a good appetizer!

My version is a little different, and can be consumed right after making it. I used Passion Fruit Vodka, but you can use your favorite alcohol. I added pineapple at the bottom, and a mixture of the vodka, orange juice, pineapple juice and a bit of lime. I cut a round piece of orange and lime and let it float. Then I topped it off with a bit of red wine and blueberries.  As you can see in the picture, the orange slice helps the blueberries stay in the top of the drink making it look super awesome.

You can use any fruit you have on hand, as well as any juice and alcohol. To keep it in the Sangria category though, you might want to stick with a bit of orange juice and red wine.  Enjoy!