Category Archives: Beverages

Refreshing Summer Drinks

Basil is a nice addition to plenty of easy cocktails: add a torn leaf or two to your gin and tonic, or tap a little into the bottom of a mojito. But these drinks are a change of pace from the classic and the ordinary that feature the fresh green flavor of this herb, and are just right for summer sipping.

Honey-Basil Lemonade

Honey-Basil Lemonade Recipe

 

This simple lemonade combines fresh basil with a touch of honey.

Makes 1 Quart, Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh juice from 10 to 12 lemons
1/2 cup honey
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
Pinch salt
3 cups cold water
1 quart ice
Basil leaves for garnish

Directions:
Combine lemon juice, honey, basil leaves, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Discard solids. Add cold water and whisk to combine. Add ice. Serve in ice-filled glasses garnished with basil leaves.

Cucumber and Basil Slush Cocktail

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(Photo Credit : Kelly Carámbula, Serious Eats, 2012)

As temperatures and humidity rise, having some frozen drinks in your arsenal becomes more and more essential. This one offers double-cooling action with loads of ice and a soothing cucumber in the mix, plus fresh lime and basil. Vodka’s an easy partner that won’t dominate the flavor—try Karlsson’s Gold, which has a slightly floral side and rich texture—but if you prefer another spirit, feel free to experiment.

Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
1 kirby cucumber, sliced
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups ice
Garnish: cucumber slice

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in the blender. Using the ice crush setting, blend until all the ingredients are even and finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Pour the slush into a glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a straw.

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Cherry Bounce

Slàinte Mhath!

With the last of the Summertime Harvest, we have Cherry Bounce in the making….just in time for Thanksgiving!

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

NFL: Super Bowl L (50) Party

 

The NFL Super Bowl is special this year with the 50th Anniversary and a long way from the historic “Ice Bowl”. Listed below are a few of our favorite recipes for some amazing chicken wings, easy game day snacks and desserts to help you  celebrate  the day with great food!

 

 

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Let The Eating  Games Begin !

 

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Cheyenne Bacon Cheeseburgers

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Poutine-Style Twice-Baked Potatoes

 

 

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Tomato Salsa with Cucumber Chips

 

 

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 Avocado-Hummus Dip

 

 

 

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 Crab Imperial with Red Pepper Dip

 

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings,  Shrimp  and Grits Hushpuppies,  and  Korean Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

 

 

 

Pulled Pork Nachos

 

 

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Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

DSC05438 Kung Pao Chicken Wings

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Rum and Coke Chicken Wings

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Firecracker Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dressing

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Fried Apple Pies   

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Churros: Perfect for dipping into hot chocolate

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

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Cajun Lemonade

More recipes for Super  Bowl Parties

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

 

Cater to your lactose-intolerant guests at your next holiday party with this dairy-free egg nog. This quick and simple recipe is sure to impress!

Adapted from  Chef Aaron Sanchez

Makes 8 Servings

Ingredients:
2 cups almond milk (click here for homemade almond milk)
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large pastured egg yolks
8 cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
In a blender or food processor, process all the ingredients on high speed for 2 minutes, until the egg yolks are fully incorporated. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until chilled, for about 30 minutes.

Pour into glasses and serve chilled with freshly grated nutmeg sprinkled on top. Add a cinnamon stick, for garnish, if desired.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Jack Frost Martini

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“JACK FROST NIPPING AT YOUR NOSE…….”
A festive chilled cocktail that is just slightly above the ordinary martini. Serve this at your next gathering…..it is perfect for Holiday parties right through New Year’s day……your guest will be amazed at the presentation.

Makes 4 Drinks

Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup (4 ounces) light rum or vodka
½ cup (4 ounces) Blue Curaçao Liqueur
½ cup (4 ounces) Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut 
(not coconut milk)
10-12 ice cubes

Garnish:
Honey
Shredded Coconut

Directions:
To dress the  rim the martini glasses, dip the top of each martini glass into the honey and then dip the glass in the shredded coconut to coat the rim of the glass.

Add all the liquid ingredients and the ice to a shaker.Mix vigorously together  and strain into the prepared  martini glasses and serve.

Bartender’s Notes:
Chill your vodka before mixing to keep your martini extra cold.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Apple Cider Mimosas

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Photo Credit: Becky Hardin, 2014
This is a perfect cocktail and  this recipe is just in time for those Fall and Winter Holiday Brunches!
Enjoy!

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 gallon  good quality of Apple Cider
Light Brown Sugar
1/4 cup water
One 750-milliliter bottle Champagne or Prosecco sparkling wine, chilled*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Apple slices, for garnish

Directions:
Dip the top of each champagne glass into water and then dip in the brown sugar to coat.

Dip each apple slice in the lemon juice to prevent browning.

Fill each champagne flute with ½-3/4 full of apple cider.Top with champagne. Garnish each flute with an apple slice and serve immediately.

*Bartender’s Notes:
For a non-alcoholic option, substitute  two 12-ounce cans ginger ale or lemon-lime soda or Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider for the champagne.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

 

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Lattes with Honey Whipped Cream

Starbucks debuted it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte in the Fall of 2003 Vancouver and Washington, D.C.  By 2004, it was in all the Starbucks Coffee Shops and the public has been addicted to it ever since. Over 200 million cups of this seasonal beverage has been sold since it was introduced in 2003.

If you are a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte drinker, you do not have to wait in line to get this popular drink, especially if you can make it home and have it any time you crave it. I tailored the drink to my own taste by adding  cayenne pepper for a kick and cardamon and a little bit of whipped cream with just a touch of honey.

Enjoy!

Makes 2 drinks

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish (click here for the recipe)
Ground cayenne pepper, to taste
Ground cardamom, to taste
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon honey

Directions:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice, cardamom and dash of the cayenne pepper for 2 minutes and is fragrant. Stir constantly.

Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup.

To warm the milk, whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Warm gently over medium heat, watching carefully to make sure it does not boil over.

Carefully process the milk mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender. If you are using a traditional blender, hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels to prevent scalding or burning your hands. Blend the milk until it is  frothy.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and honey until firm peaks form.

To serve the lattes, add the espresso to  the pumpkin mixture; stir  and divide between two mugs and add the frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cardamom or nutmeg if desired.Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes:
Espresso Substitute:
If you don’t have espresso on hand, you can use strong brewed coffee instead. Increase amount to 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

Make a big batch of pumpkin spice mix-in: If you like, you can make a big batch of the pumpkin spice base, and refrigerate.

To make 8 full servings, cook 1/2 cup pureed or canned pumpkin with 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup vanilla extract. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired. To serve, blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice mix-in with milk until frothy, and add 1 or 2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Frosted Lemonade

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If you have not heard……..Frosted Lemonade is a recent addition to the Chick-Fil-A menu as a spin off of their classic and delicious lemonade.

This recipe is a little different than most of the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade Recipes that you will see. I found the original a little sweet and I wanted something easy to make and that was kid-friendly. This recipe still retains the creamy milkshake like texture with just the perfect amount of lemon juice for  tartness, making it a perfectly cool and refreshing beverage for the summer.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen concentrated lemonade
7 to 8 scoops of Edy’s Slow Churn Original Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions:
Shake the can of frozen concentrated lemonade vigorously. Open the container and measure 1 cup of the concentrate using a measuring cup. Add the concentrate and 7 to 8 scoops of the ice cream to blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a glass and garnish with lemon slices and serve immediately.

Lime and Coconut Cooler

“You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em both together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em both up”

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You can find the inspiration for food and drink from just about anywhere, especially if you are foodie.

Photo Credit: RCA Victor, and Acy Lehman and Dean Torrence, 1971

This drink may not be original, but I was inspired by “Coconut” which I just recently heard on the radio the other day.It is rarely played on commercial radio these days and hearing it brought back fond memories of my childhood.”Coconut” is a novelty song written and first recorded by Harry Nilsson in 1971 and released on his album “Nilsson Schmilsson” in 1972.

The song was also used as jingle for the 1970s “uncola” ad campaign for 7-Up featuring the late Geoffrey Holder, with his “hearty laugh” and memorable heavily accented bass voice, made it one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time. He  was the pitchman for 7-Up right through the mid 1980s, with the  “crisp and clean, and no caffeine” and “never had it, never will” advertising campaigns. Holder reprised his role as the 7 Up Spokesman in the 2011 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, where he appeared as himself in a commercial for “7 Up Retro” for Marlee Matlin‘s team.

Those were the days………………..1970s………………….

Serves 4

Ingredients:
One 14- ounce can coconut  milk with the cream
1 cup filtered water
Juice of 2 fresh limes
3 Tablespoons honey (or agave), or to taste
Ice, for serving
Whole fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Lime slice, for garnish

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and stir.  Serve in glasses over ice. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of lime.

Ahhhhh, so refreshing! Enjoy!