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Apple Cider Sangria

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If you are in need of a signature cocktail for the holiday, or just in need of a cocktail, you are going to want to make this. I had first tried this at a company happy hour and knew that I was going to recreate it immediately. I had to share this cup of seasonal joy with my husband. The result was exactly what I was looking for and dare I say more delicious than the original?….. Yea, it was more delicious. I’m not much of a deep red wine drinker and malbec can be robust, but it’s a must. The cider balances it all out and the rum…. game. changed. It’s a simple cocktail to assemble that would make the perfect addition to your holiday menu. I might just argue that this could be the new adult psl, but let’s not rush into making this basic just yet. Bonus – red wine is good for you in moderation – and there is fruit, so. The cinnamon sugar rim is also really important here. I fancied mine up a bit and incorporated brown sugar. The whole ensemble is just complimentary. If you make this, I would love to know what you think! It’s one of my favorites.

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria

Ingredients

For the Sangria

For the garnish

Instructions

  1. To make the sangria, add chopped apples, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks to a pitcher. Pour in the apple cider, malbec, and rum. Mix together. Place in the fridge for at least an hour (I will say it's pretty darn good at first, but gets so much better as it sits a bit).
  2. For the garnish mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a shallow dish. Rub an orange slice around each rim and dip the top of the glass into the cinnamon sugar mixture. When the sangria is ready spoon some of the fruit into each glass. Pour sangria over the top. Add orange or apple slices to garnish.

Notes

Original Recipe

Oatmeal Latte

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I’m one of those weird people that loves the colder weather. I live in New England, how could I not, right?! The colder weather makes me crave a warm, slightly more indulgent breakfast. This oatmeal latte absolutely satisfies that craving. It’s a hearty oatmeal made with milk, with more milk, and coffee. If you’re like me, at first glance you’re like oh! ….. then slowly transition into that Brittney Spears GIF which is more like a whaaat ….

Spoiler alert – it’s delicious. I will say it’s involved. For those of us who do not have a fancy milk frother (or melon baller, see this post for more on that), you do have to get creative. But I promise, cross my heart, it’s worth it. Not only does it satisfy that warm indulgent breakfast, there is coffee involved. Any way that I can ingest extra coffee is a win for me! I sweetened mine with maple syrup to give it a more New Englandy flair. I must say it was rather delightful.

Oatmeal Latte

Oatmeal Latte

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place oats and milk in a saucepan and heat over medium low heat. Add in the salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Meanwhile, froth the milk. To do that, pour some milk into a mason jar. Cover and shake (sing Taylor Swift's Shake it Off while you do this) Remove the cover and microwave for a few seconds (like 20). Cover and shake again until you have mostly foam.
  2. When the oats are done cooking, remove from the heat. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and some of the frothed milk. Spoon into a mug and top with remaining foam. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and then top with granola or cereal of choice.

Notes

Slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats.

Spooky-rita

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This time of year is my favorite, so I was pumped to share some fun and seasonal recipes. Also, NONE of them contain pumpkin spice. Not that I am ashamed of being basic, but it’s literally everywhere and I needed a break. My excitement quickly turned into anxiety when I was thinking about what to share first. I almost landed on ALL OF THE ABOVE but then decided several recipes in one sitting doesn’t do anyone any favors. Since Halloween is just around the corner, I decided to kick off with this spooky-rita. The original recipe was based of a virgin martini, but I only had margarita glasses to use, thus the refreshed name. I had to look for a kid friendly drink when my son really insisted that he try the sangria I made. Since that was a solid No, I had to get something kid friendly made immediately. It’s such an easy, fun drink to throw together. The blueberry sauce is the most inclusive….scratch that, the eyeballs made out of melon are the most inclusive part of the recipe, but worth it! This was purely based off the fact that I don’t have a melon baller and used a small dough scoop resulting in less than perfect melon eyeball shapes. It’s Halloween and my eyeballs have character ::insert shrugging emoji hear – followed by facepalm  emoji::

Spooky-Rita

Spooky-Rita

Ingredients

For the Blueberry Sauce

For the eyeballs

Additional Ingredients

Instructions

  1. First, make the eyeballs. scoop out melon with melon baller, or if you don't have one, use a small scoop. Using toothpicks, first place the melon then a blueberry on it like a skewer. Place in the freezer.
  2. To make the blueberry sauce, Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the blueberries begin to burst. When that happens, simmer for about 1 minute more. Your sauce should have thickened but still be liquid. (saucy)
  3. To make the lemonade combine 1/2 cup of the blueberry sauce and 2 cups of the lemonade in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses of choice. (You can use a strainer when pouring to remove the skins of the blueberries if you want) Place an eyeball or two into each glass.

Notes

Original Recipe from Everyday Annie.

Farmer’s Market Salad

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A while back I posted a picture of this salad. It was so meaningful on so many levels. I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that has put selfcare on the backburner. I always have selfcare on the brain, but when I finally get a chance to do a little something for myself, I’m exhausted. So selfcare essentially means falling asleep early, usually in my son’s bed, and still feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s easy for me to get to that point, I have anxiety and try to work through it rather than medicate. Most of the time, it’s ok, but certain things trigger it. My son getting sick just happens to be one of those things. I’ve gotten better, but I still panic. Also, I work full time, so finding care when he’s ill isn’t often easy and honestly, I want to be able to take care of him. I love being a mom! So in typical fashion, I tested his temperature about 500 times – I’m sure, I barely slept, I didn’t eat, and I basically sat there monitoring his fluid intake and staring at him. It’s weird, I know. Also, he’s 4 and insists that I worry too much. Guilty! Thankfully, I was able to somewhat pull myself together and I spent time in the kitchen making this absolutely beautiful and equally delicious salad. I have so many tomatoes from my garden and I needed to use them up. Healthy, a bit fancy – sounded like the perfect selfcare moment to me! It’s so simple and have I mentioned delicious….because it was….

For the dressing, I used the immersion blender as the original recipe suggested. It won’t combine everything fully, at least is didn’t for me, but it definitely chopped the basil up nicely. Then you have the rustic croutons, that are literally so good I had to stop myself from eating them all before they made it to the salad. I cannot recommend this enough. I would describe it as a heavier caprese salad perfect for a main dish but also great as a starter.

 

Farmer’s Market Salad

Farmer’s Market Salad

Instructions

  1. To make the crostini, heat your oven to 400 degrees F (alternately, you can heat a grill and grill the toast). In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix until evenly combined. Spread some of the butter mixture on each side of the bread slices. Place the bread on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the bread is toasty., flipping halfway through.
  2. To make the vinaigrette, combine the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil leaves in a liquid measuring cup. Blend until mostly smooth with an immersion blender. If you want a more smooth vinaigrette, you can use a food processor.
  3. Place the tomato wedges, in a medium bowl. Drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper, set aside. Place the cheese in the center of a serving platter. Arrange the lettuce leaves around the cheese on the platter. Add on the toasted bread slices and the tomato wedges. Sprinkle with the additional chopped basil. Pour as much vinaigrette over the entire platter as you would like.

Notes

Original recipe from Everyday Annie.

So. Much. Zucchini.

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So your garden has most literally exploded with zucchini and now you’re wondering what to do with it. I have rounded up some of our favorite recipes to use up that zucchini.

First, is not quite a recipe but more of a suggestion. Give. It. Away. Bring it to the office and leave it in a common area for people to take. Or, give it to family and friends, though in our experience they have probably already received so much of it from you anyway, you may want to revisit option one. When that doesn’t work, and you are stuck eating zucchini for days (and days…and days…..and days……) you are going to want a variety so you don’t get sick of it. If you search for zucchini here, I have a couple of recipes that I love. Classic zucchini bread, a buttery casserole, and some summery risotto.

We planted so (ie too) much zucchini which resulted in what felt like one million zucchinis. To help use them up, I had to go beyond the usual and I wanted to share some of our new favorites.

ZUCCHINI FRIES

Photo Credit: Chrissy Teigen “Cravings”

I love fries and I love Chrissy Teigen, so when I saw this easy to make zucchini version in her cookbook, it was one of the first things that I tried. I mean it’s a recipe from Chrissy Teigen so it’s going to taste good – amazing actually. If you don’t have her cookbook, get it. If you want a similar recipe now, you can just go here.  But really, buy the book, there are so many good recipes.

 

SAUTEED SHREDDED ZUCCHINI

Photo credit: Everyday Annie

Another one of my blog favorites is Everyday Annie. She was the first blogger I discovered when I Got more into cooking. Literally everything I made was delicious. Now her blog is so much more, which I still love, and the recipes are still fantastic. This one is so so simple and unbelievably delicious. It’s a great way to use up your zucchini, left overs are great and you can also scramble it into some eggs or an omelet in the morning. Mind. Blown.  You can find her recipe here.

 

ZUCCHINI GRATIN

Photo Credit: Smells Like Home Blog

Another favorite blogger is Tara, from Smells Like Home Blog. I absolutely love her recipes. This recipe here, though. Any time I have an opportunity to combine cheese with anything, it’s like I’m experiencing love at first sight. I made this recipe and served it with some rice as a meatless meal. It was amazing.

 

TACO STUFFED ZUCCHINI

Photo credit: SkinnyTaste Blog

I slightly adapted this recipe for dinner one night. What I love about stuffed zucchini is that you can really do anything and it will likely come out great. I substituted ground beef and added corn and black beans to mine. I served alongside some tortilla chips and it was seriously delicious. I had no problem eating this for lunch and as left overs for dinner it was seriously good.

 

ZUCCHINI BREAD COFFEE CAKE

Photo credit: How Sweet Eats Blog

Honestly, enough said. I had to end this post on a high note. I love baking, I love sweets, so to incorporate a vegetable into that is amazing. I made this quick bread and I was not sorry. The minute I put it into the oven it made the house smell so good. I basically sat on the kitchen floor waiting for it to be done. I will say there was a lot of streusel topping here. I did make mine in a bread pan, but you could easily use a baking dish rather than the bread pan. This bread takes breakfast…and snacking… to a new level. Life changing.