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Archive for June 1, 2013

COCKTAIL: Peach Margarita (Peacharita)

Peaches in season, from a good grower, are one of those special annual treats. Georgia and California peaches should be in your market now, so plan your strategy: hand fruit, fresh peach salsa, peach pie, peach ice cream…and a Peach Margarita.

In the U.S., the peach harvest typically begins in early May from Georgia to California. The fruit ripens later in northern states, like Idaho and Michigan—often in early August when the peaches from the warmer climates are ending their run.

This recipe, courtesy of Sauza Tequila, can be made year round, but it’s nice to have a tasty, fresh peach wedge garnish.

RECIPE: PEACH MARGARITA or PEACHARITA

Ingredients For 6 Cocktails

  • 8 parts silver/blanco tequila
  • 4 parts peach schnapps
  •  

    A Peach Margarita, or Peacharita. Photo courtesy Sauza Tequila.

  • 2 parts orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, triple sec, etc.)
  • 6 parts fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 12 parts peach nectar (juice)
  • Ice
  • 1 peach for garnish, cut into wedges
  • Optional sugar/salt mix for rim
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE glasses with a half sugar-half salt rim, if desired. (You can use all salt, too.)

    2. FILL a pitcher with ice, tequila, peach schnapps, orange liqueur, lime juice and peach nectar. Stir to combine.

    3. CHILL and serve over ice in prepared glasses. Garnish with fresh peach wedge

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE MARGARITA RECIPES.

      

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    RECIPE: Bacon Guacamole

    A double hit: bacon guacamole. Photo
    courtesy />AvocadoCentral.com.

     

    Looking for something special to serve on Father’s Day? Try this Bacon Guacamole Recipe, created by “Sam the Cooking Guy” for Avocado Central. The recipe is pretty simple; so if you prefer, you can just add crumbled bacon to your own guacamole recipe.

    Large Hass avocados are recommended for this recipe, about 8 ounces each. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

    The prep time is just 15 minutes.

    BACON GUACAMOLE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded and peeled
  • 1/2 cup chunky red salsa
  • 1 ounce bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Chips or tortillas
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE avocadoes in a bowl. Mash with the back of a fork.

    2. ADD salsa, bacon and lime juice. Mix well and serve with chips or soft tortillas.

    A Bloody Mary sounds great with bacon guacamole!

    FIND MORE GUACAMOLE RECIPES AT AVOCADOCENTRAL.COM.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: 10 Cool & Healthy Summer Snacks

    In one week, we’ve gone from sweater weather to heat wave. While the temptation is to cool down with ice cream and frozen yogurt, we’ve put together a list of healthy summer snacks that are both good for you and hydrating. The key is to prep everything in advance so that when you come indoors, hot and parched, you have immediate succor.

    FRUITS

    1. Fruit Salad

    Cut up your favorite fruits—bananas, berries, grapefruit, melon, oranges, pineapple, whatever—and keep them in the fridge for cool snacking. Mix blueberries, blackberries, grapes, raspberries and strawberries for a salad packed with antioxidants. You can top it with a drizzle of honey, plain Greek yogurt, fruit or vanilla yogurt.

    2. Frozen Grapes & Bananas

    Just wash and dry ‘em (grapes), slice ’em (bananas), stick ‘em in the freezer and pop ‘em in your mouth. Frozen grapes and bananas take more time to eat, so the snack lasts longer. The frozen fruits are more lush and creamy than they are at room temperature.

     

    Melon and berries are high in nutrition and fiber, low in calories, and hydrating. Photo courtesy CaliVirgin.com.

     
    Did you catch our recent review of Dole Chocolate Banana Dippers?
     
    3. No Sugar Added Ice Pops

    Low calorie, “no sugar added” ice pops are perhaps our favorite cool-off snack. Popsicle makes them in Sugar Free Orange, Cherry and Grape (15 calories); Sugar Free Tropicals (15 calories); Creamsicle Sugar Free Pops (40 calories) and Fudgsicle No Sugar Added (80 calories).

    You can make your own lower-sugar ice pops by diluting your favorite juice with fruit tea or spice tea, unsweetened or with a noncaloric sweetener.

    4. Melon

    Don’t have time to cut up a fruit salad? Any melon, chilled in the fridge, hits the spot. Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon are packed full of vitamins, fiber and water. While you can cut a quick slice whenever you need refreshment, we like to cut them up in advance and keep some in snack backs in the freezer for grab-and-go.

    VEGGIES

    5. Ants on a Log

    This kiddie favorite can be made more sophisticated for grown-ups, filled with goat cheese, seasoned cottage cheese or seasoned Greek yogurt instead of peanut butter or other nut butter.

    Cut celery in 3-inch long pieces, fill with the spread of your choice and top with a row of 3 raisins, dried cranberries or other dried berry, pistachios or peanuts.

     

    Hummus with crudités and hard-cooked
    eggs. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk
    Marketing Board.

     

    6. Crudités & Hummus

    There are so many different vegetables and so many different flavors of hummus, that this one never gets old.

  • Standard crudités include bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherry tomatoes, green beans, green onions (scallions), mushrooms, radishes, yellow squash and zucchini.
  • Add something less expected: asparagus, endive, fennel, jicama, snap peas, sugar peas or wax beans.
  •  
    7. Cucumbers With Dill-Yogurt Dip

    The phrase “cool as a cucumber” comes from the fact that the inside of a cucumber is 20 degrees cooler than the outside. Slice them and serve with a nonfat Greek yogurt (lots of dill and garlic to taste, lemon zest, mint or basil if you have it, seasoned with salt and pepper). Look for different types of cucumbers and serve a fun assortment—you can find some real beauties in farmers markets (check out these heirloom cucumbers).

     

    You can use the same ingredients to make Greek tzatziki and Indian raita, cucumber and yogurt salads. Eat them from the spoon or as a dip with the crudités.

    8. Barley Or Quinoa Salad

    Chilled whole grain salads are great for summer snacking. Combine cooked barley or quinoa with chopped fresh or cooked vegetables (bell peppers, corn, edamame, onions/scallions, mushrooms, peas, zucchini, etc.), nuts, seeds, even berries or chopped fresh or dried fruits, including raisins. Dress with a light vinaigrette, or a citrus-olive oil dressing. Here’s a barley salad recipe; you can substitute quinoa for the barley. Eat with a spoon or in a lettuce leaf wrap or endive leaf.

    DRINKS

    9. Homemade Lemonade

    While a cold jug of Crystal Lite lemonade can slake a thirst, homemade lemonade with zingy fresh lemon juice is a real treat. When you make your own, you not only spare the environment from bottle landfill; but you can use noncaloric sweetener including stevia or agave nectar instead of sugar. More about the different sweeteners.

    For fun flavored lemonade, add grated ginger, fresh mint, lavender (here’s a lavender lemonade recipe), muddled berries or savory fresh herbs (basil, rosemary or thyme—crush gently to release the oils before adding to the drink).

    A pinch of cayenne creates chile-accented lemonade: Add it pinch by pinch to the glass until you get your desired level of heat; or start with 1/2 teaspoon in a pitcher. (We prefer the more flavorful heat of ginger.)

    Or make an Arnold Palmer: half lemonade, half iced tea. If you haven’t tried this combination, you’ll be delighted with the taste.

    10. Iced Tea & Iced Coffee

    There’s nothing like an ice-cold glass of iced tea or iced coffee to help cool down. Brew up decaffeinated versions if you like to drink lots of it but prefer to limit your caffeine intake.

    To keep your drink even tastier, make ice cubes from iced coffee or iced tea—just pour it into the ice cube tray and freeze. Then, you won’t dilute your drink while keeping it cool; and adding ice cubes to a refrigerator-cold drink makes it super cold and refreshing.

    We repurpose 64-ounce empty drink bottles to hold our brewed teas, and fill some repurposed 16-ounce drink bottles for grab-and-go.

    Keep cool!

      

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