Banana, Carrot and Cantaloupe Smoothie Kids will LOVE

I love trying different smoothie recipes.  It’s such a great way to pack in those extra nutrients and use up leftover ingredients.  I found this recipe in my Vitamin book and tried it in a recent kids’ culinary class I was conducting (I did add a small amount of honey to be sure they would like it!)  It was a huge hit.  I mean every single kid liked it.  Give it a whirl for yourself this summer![amd-zlrecipe-recipe:8]

Russian Tea… one of my favorite winter treats

Smell is a powerful thing.  There are certain smells that transport me back in time the instant they hit my nose.  One of the smells that reminds me of winter days in my mother’s kitchen is Russian Tea.  It was usually made on holidays, but occasionally my mother would create a pot of this magical brew on a regular winter day.  As a child, I thought there must be something very special and complicated about Russian Tea.  After all, anything that tasted like all the winter holidays swirled together had to be elusive, right?  Turns out, it’s pretty simple to make this soul-warming treat, so don’t wait for a special day on the calendar.  Make it just because it’s cold outside and you are in the mood for something yummy.  Bonus:  It makes your kitchen smell amazing!  I don’t know how long leftover tea lasts in the fridge because it never hangs around more than a day or so.  Just too good.

How about a Cable Car for tonight’s cocktail?

One of our favorite local restaurants is MJ’s Steak & Seafood on Dolley Madison Road in Greensboro.  The ever-changing menu is always creative and delicious.  We are some of those weird people that enjoy eating dinner in the bar.  Don’t ask me why, but the food is just better there.  Hubby and I can sit close beside each other without attracting giggles and stares, we usually meet interesting people, and it’s fun talking to the bartender.  I love trying out new cocktails and one night at MJ’s I had this drink called the Cable Car.  It was different and addictive!   The bartender said it was an old timey drink and tried to tell me how to make it. I think I remembered most of the main ingredients.  So, I went home and made a few versions until I found the proportions that I liked the best.  Here it is!  You gotta taste this one!  Even my sister who doesn’t like a lot of mixed drinks loves this.  Note:  I usually make a big batch of simple syrup and keep it in the fridge since it’s the base for quite a few of my favorite drinks.  To  make it, just combine equal parts sugar and water, heat on low and stir until the sugar dissolves and chill.
cable car


Ultimate Flying Mojito

Along with Champagne cocktails, different variations of Mojitos comprise my favorite cocktails list.  I also love Rain Cucumber Vodka mixed with cranberry juice and a little lime juice.  Hubby brought home a sample bottle of Firefly Mint Tea Vodka.  It smelled so good I just had to figure out a mixer for it.  I found this terrific drink recipe on the Firefly website.  If you’re a mojito fan, you’ll love it too!   Manufacturer’s websites are often great sources of tested recipes for their products.

Mariann’s Ultimate Flying Mojito

  • 3 oz. Firefly Mint Tea Flavored Vodka
  • 2.25 oz. Soda
  • 4 tbsp Lemonade
  • 1.5 tsp lime juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • 12-14 mint leaves
  • Muddle brown sugar and mint leaves with lime juice in a highball glass. Pour muddled mix into Firefly and soda mixture. Add ice, stir, and add 4 tbsp lemonade