Y’all. This is the crazy power smoothie you need to fuel your next super workout.
Cotton Candy. Ice Cream. Booze. Are you ready for the best 4th of July ever?
I’m so in love with this milkshake that I don’t even care that it’s my third less-than-healthy post in a row. My next few posts are a lot more wholesome, I promise.
I love it because it’s made of fair food, and because of the firework-themed colors, and because it’s fun to make, and OH, of course….because it tastes awesome.
I know that I’m supposed to be posting red-white-and-blue desserts. I wanted to. But then I thought of this and realized that it’s just as Fourth-of-July-y (that’s a real adjective, I just made it up) as any RWB food you got. Like I said, it’s made of fair food, and who doesn’t love a Fourth of July fair? And um, it totally looks like bombs bursting in air, doesn’t it?
I decided to call this a magic milkshake because when I was a kid, I totally thought cotton candy was magic. I mean, I knew it wasn’t actually magic, but I was fascinated by the fact that you could take simple sugar crystals and spin them into something so pale and fluffy. And I loved how those wispy strands just dissolved the moment they came in contact with my tongue.
Those wispy strands also dissolve the moment they come in contact with vodka.
You absolutely must use whipped cream vodka in this, and no other vodka. You wouldn’t use tequila in an old fashioned, would you? Then please please don’t use non-whipped cream vodka in this. Well, no, I take that back. If you can’t find whipped cream vodka, toasted marshmallow or vanilla would probably do.
If you want, you can make a big pitcher of this in advance, but that wouldn’t be as fun. Set up a little bar so your guests can make their own. And then garnish with more fluffy stuff, obs.
Just a few notes:
- if you’re not going to a fair, you can find big bags of colorful cotton candy at Party City.
- the recipe, as written, serves just one. I wrote it this way so it could be easily multiplied to the size of your party/gathering/whatever
- the recipe calls for 3 oz of vodka, which is essentially two shots. Just if you like to keep track of how much you’ve consumed.
- 1/3 cup vanilla bean ice cream
- softball-sized boll of cotton candy
- 3 oz of whipped cream vodka
- Scoop the ice cream into the serving glass and top with the cotton candy.
- Slowly pour the vodka over the cotton candy, until completely dissolved.
- Give it a quick stir and garnish with more cotton candy if desired.
- Serve with love.
Oh ice cream and rhubarb and peaches, it’s almost summertime!
I never realized how much I missed the hot sultry days until they arrived. And the really sticky days haven’t even hit yet. There’s so much I love about summer, but since this is a food blog, I guess I’ll stick to talking about food.
🌽 🍅SUMMER PRODUCE, Y’ALL!!!! and yes, that deserves all caps. I’m yellin’. 🍑🍒
A bit ago I posted some rhubarb-peach thing on instagram. I’m gonna call it a smash. Peach Rhubarb Smash! The combination is sweet and tart, you taste the peaches at the beginning and the rhubarb at the end. Swirled into vanilla ice cream, it creates a velvety summery dessert. The vanilla is distinct from the fruit, creating a happy contrast reminiscent of an creamsicle. If creamsicles has peaches and rhubarb instead of orange.
The smash also pairs well with booze. Specifically, gin. I used to dislike gin, but a few summers ago, Jason started making me some gin and tonics and they were the perfect summer drink. They weren’t technically g+t, as neither of us like tonic, but they were g + fizzy water with a lot of lime. Even my mama, who doesn’t really drink, relished them when we got a cabin up in the mountains for my cousin’s wedding last summer.
For this frothy marvel, I simply subtracted the lime and added peach-rhubarb smash. I am not a cocktail mixer by any means. I really wish I was. Two of my favorite blogging ladies, Danguole and Meghan, are simply cocktail masters. Cocktail mixing is a delicate science, don’t y’all agree? But if you are an unlearned cocktail explorer such as myself, do not fear. This drink takes no skill. Just a long spoon and a slow hand — churn it too fast and it will fizz all over the place.
It’s a marvelously refreshing drink, and it’s fun. That fizz is just so happy. If you don’t like gin, just leave it out. This drink can be made completely non-alcoholic without making it non-fun. Um, I know that sounds like a poster you’d see in a freshman dorm, but it’s true. 💁 Enjoy!
P.S. This peach rhubarb smash comes out different colors each time I’ve made it. The redder the rhubarb, the redder/pinker the smash. Obs. It’s also brighter and prettier with yellow flesh peaches. White peaches don’t yield the same sunset colors. However, if all you have is white peaches and you must have the bright colors, add a drop or two of food coloring. Ifin you’re not opposed to that sort of thing. This smash is also wonderful at breakfast time. Swirl it with yogurt and stud it with cherries and toasted oats. The possibilities!
Peach Rhubarb Smash
5 yellow flesh peaches
5 stalks of rhubarb (should yield 4 cups chopped)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (if your peaches are extra sweet, reduce to 1/3 cup)
- Chop up the rhubarb and slice the peaches. Keep the skin on the peaches.
- Place all the ingredients in a large, deep, flat-bottomed skillet. (mine was 1.5 inches across and 3.25 inches deep).
- Cover and set over medium heat for 18-20 min, stirring once or twice.
- Remove lid, lower heat just a notch and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool, and puree till smooth.
Yields just over 4 cups. I called it a smash, but it’s very similar to a puree. It also tastes wonderful in smoothies, or with a bowl of granola.
Peach Rhubarb Milkshake
1/2 cup of Peach Rhubarb Smash (recipe above)
1/2 cup of softened vanilla ice cream
Swirl together the softened ice cream and the cooled smash. If you want it a little thinner, throw in a tablespoon or two of milk. I like my milkshakes thick.
Peach Rhubarb Gin Fizz
10 oz club soda
1/3 cup peach-rhubarb smash (recipe above)
1.5 oz gin
- Place the smash in a large glass.
- Stir the gin into the smash.
- Gently pour the club soda in. Very slowly stir it with the gin+smash until you get an even color throughout. Enjoy!
I once knew a girl from New Orleans. She was spunky and smart and worked at the zoo, but what I remember most about her is that really knew how to have fun. Once, she had a little Mardi-Gras get together, but instead of calling it Marti Gras, she called it Stephanie Gras. It was funny because she was the teeniest person, and in no way gras. She’s probably forgotten about it, but it still makes me chuckle. I like to use it as a somewhat annoying term of endearment — Jason Gras. teehee
Mardi Gras may still be a few weeks away, but I am totally ready for spring party colors right now. Tout de suite. That, and I have a few deliciously gras-ening recipes coming up, so I thought I’d preempt them with this nice, clean, fruit bowl. Bright blueberries, tart little raspberries all topped with sweet sliced mangoes, carambola, and kiwi. Doesn’t that make you want to throw confetti up in the air? Okay, well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But it is refreshing and energizing, which is kinda the same thing.
Speaking of throwing confetti up in the air, I realized it’s been a while since I’ve done a round-up of interweb goodies that have made me cheer. Thus, I present Vol IV of Cookies and Coffee with Friends:
Shelly’s unicorn bars! Sprinkles and sugar cookies are the absolute magic cure for the winter blues
Sally’s Salted Maple Roasted Almond Butter This is how I feel about it: 😮! 😍 😛!
Speaking of almond butters, I admired Erin’s Dreamy Almond Butter Chia Pudding. Chia pudding is back with a vengeance, and if you need further proof, just take a look at this citrusy dream from Jeanie & Co: Sunshine Citrus Chia Bowls. After seeing Erin’s pudding, I ended up making chia pudding for breakfast for the next three days. Using her approximate proportions, I made something wonderful. I mixed 3/4 cup of almond milk with 3 tbsp chia seeds, and added a little almond extract and brown sugar. Then I defrosted 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1/2 cup of raspberries, and mixed 1 tbsp into each of those. Layered it into a jar and popped it in the fridge. Yum. But……I didn’t really like the way the picture came out. ⬆️
Which leads me to Kristen’s 366 Imperfect Photography Project. I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but this post gave me a little sense of solidarity. I only just got my camera at Christmas, so I’m still learning how to use DSLR . Before, I used my phone or Jason’s old point-and-shoot. This means my photos are going to be imperfect. I will strive to improve them. One day, I will be pleased with them. It’s okay if today is not that day.
I have got to try Karen’s 5-ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Quick, practical, and thrifty.
Carla’s cheery Lemon Drop Cream Soda is just plain wonderful. This is what I want to be sippin’ on this weekend, and the weekend after that too.
Y’all know I can’t say no to roasted cruciferous veggies. I will stink up my kitchen all day for Beth’s Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Garlic Tahini.
What goodies did y’all like this week? Share something that you made that you’re proud of (or share someone else’s treats, if you’re so inclined)
- no soy
- no weird ingredients
- works great in non-dairy milks (almond milk pictured below)
We went to dinner at the in-laws’ a few nights ago and the kids (my niece and nephew) broke out the chocolate milk. It looked so sweet and cool and tempting an pretty soon the ankle-biters weren’t the only ones drinking it. Don’t you miss the days when you could have chocolate milk next to your broccoli and mashed potatoes?
I very much wanted some, but couldn’t have any. Many chocolate milk mixes contain soy, and I’d already gotten a few allergy attacks from eating leftover Christmas candy. I knew shouldn’t have it, but I eat it anyways and then I pay. I needed to get my soy-sneezes back under control. That chocolate milk looked so good, but luckily there was some wine there to distract me.
A few days after that, I was restocking Jason’s snack cupboard an a tin of Carlos V milk mix fell out onto the counter. Tempted again! Speaking of his snack cupboard, can I just go on a little tangent for a sec?
He likes to mix chocolate power and protein powder into milk for his breakfast and it rather grosses me out. It gets gloppy and lumpy and the powder never fully dissolves into the milk. I don’t know if this is actually gross, or I just think of it as gross. But I can’t be in the room when he makes his breakfast. Maybe it’s that he puts protein powder into milk, which I dunno, I imagine would feel like a rock in your stomach. Aren’t you supposed to put protein powder into water? Am I crazy? Why are so many of the paragraphs in this post ending in questions?
Are you tired of hearing my talk about Jason’s weekday breakfast habits?
Let’s talk about leche instead!
I recipe tested this a over a few nights, mixing individual glasses here and there to get the ratios right. Testing chocolate milk….whew…hard work.
So..you’ll notice that there’s quite a bit of powdered sugar in the recipe. Whoops? Yes, it tastes more sweet than chocolaty, but I have a firm belief that that is how cold chocolate milk should taste. A little trashy, a little nostalgic, and a lot comforting.
I really love simple things. Especially lately. I feel crazy with planning, crazy with visiting relatives, crazy when I get home from work at 11 pm and have to be back at 6 the next morning. The only time that I’ve felt calm this past week is when I went for a night run on Wednesday with a bunch of people I’ve never met before. It was good. Just sweat and headlamps and easy conversation.
This recipe is easy too. It’s not papaya juice, it’s papaya water, which is exactly what it sounds like. Fruit waters are just as good as juices…maybe even better, because they last longer and you have better control over the flavor balance.
Aside from peeling and chopping the papaya, this recipe is rather effortless. It’s pretty prefect for a Friday in early spring, when you want to spend less time cleaning the kitchen and more time enjoying the warm sun on the trail.
If you love granny smith apples and grapefruit, this juice is totally for you. Even with the added honey, it’s refreshingly tart. It’s made with the same kitchen-cloth method I used in my beet post.
6 cups of fresh cranberries, rinsed
5-8 tbsp honey
1 cup of warm water
Combine honey and water. This will prevent the honey from sticking to the sides and blades of your blender.
Combine honey-water and cranberries in blender. Blend until an even consistency is reached.
Dump into a kitchen cloth and squeeze into a bowl.
You’ll end up with about 2.5 cups of a somewhat syrupy concentrate. Combine concentrate with cold water to taste.
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Sometime ago I read an article about beets boosting your performance and recovery. This video explains it pretty well. Basically beets make your body’s energy production more efficient. The more I researched, the more I found people talking about how they felt their running/biking/whatever improve. Cool. I went out and got some beets and made myself a salad. Delicious. Then I tried roasting them. Delicious. I stopped making them after that because BGE wouldn’t touch them and I didn’t like making two meals.
They weren’t lying about the recovery benefits. Last year, it took me forever to recover from my fall marathon. I spent a lot of time in the pool doing laps, or on the recliner grumbling. This year, my recovery was a lot less painful and it didn’t take as long to get back up to my pre-race milage.
Beet juice is great, but it’s expensive. It’s seven dollars for a bottle that claims to contain 3 beets. Yikes. Beets are about $2.25 per bunch…that’s a more than a 3x markup!
Well, I decided to make my own. It turned out to be pretty easy, if slightly it is time consuming. It’s a great project for a non-training day.
You’ll need: some beets (I use about 12 each time I make it), water, a blender, and a thin (clean!) kitchen towel **
disclaimer: roll up your sleeves and wear an apron, this stuff stains if you spill or splash.
1. Scrub the beets really well. Then cut off the tops and bottoms and peel. I guess you can cook and keep the greens if you want, but I don’t want. Then chop them all up into a big bowl. The smaller pieces, the better, but you don’t have to be super precise.
2. Place the kitchen towel over a separate bowl.
3. Working in batches, blend up all the beets with enough water to make the blender move smoothly. As you work, pour each batch into the bowl and towel.
4. Once all batches are in the covered bowl, gather up the corners of the kitchen cloth. It will resemble a murder scene. That’s fine. (thanks to BGE for holding the cloth while I took the picture!)
5. Hold the cloth with one and and just start squeezing like crazy with the other. Squeeze squeeze squeeze and when you can’t squeeze any more, squeeze again. The only thing you want left in the cloth is a very dry pulp. Store the pulp in an airtight container for later use.
6. Transfer all the juice into a huge pitcher and store in the fridge.
You can drink it straight up or mix it with something else. My favorite is: 1/2 a glass of beet juice, 1/2 a glass of seltzer, topped off with ice and the juice of a small lemon. It’s a very refreshing post run drink. Enjoy!
**You can use cheese cloth, or cheap cotton yardage from Jo-ann, or any thin kitchen towel. I like the kitchen towels because they’re reusable. The ones I found were called “kitchen sack towels” and they were $1.97 for a set of two. Just rinse them really well and toss them in the washer when you’re done juicing. I’m serious about rising. If you don’t rinse, whatever else goes in that load will get stained. You can find all this stuff at a grocery store or at any discount store.