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Recipes

Cucumber Mint Iced Tea

RecipesStephanieComment

Mmm. Iced tea.

A twist on boring iced tea. This homemade cucumber mint iced tea is perfect for staying cool when it gets hot outside.

It makes me think of summer. And the South. And my mom, for some reason. I don’t know if these associations are based on actual memory or just some story I’ve built in my mind over the years, but nevertheless, iced tea reminds me of my childhood catching tadpoles and camping and generally running amok outside in the balmy Virginia heat. I’m almost 100% certain none of those things actually took place around iced tea, but I like the association just the same.

Now, my version of iced tea is not to be confused with southern sweet tea. Sweet tea is an art. A bragging right and a dietary staple reserved for anyone born and raised below the Mason Dixon. I originally thought about making this a sweet tea tutorial (kind of like my cold brewed coffee post here), but after doing a bit of research I realized sweet tea is embarrassingly easy and not deserving of a whole post (although some Southerners might disagree).

But if you reeeally want to know the secret to sweet tea, I’ll tell you anyway. Ok, are you ready? You sure?

A twist on boring iced tea. This homemade cucumber mint iced tea is perfect for staying cool when it gets hot outside.

Baking soda.

 

There’s something about the alkalinity of baking soda that cuts down on the bitterness of the tea and gives it a more full-bodied flavor. That’s it!

See? Nothing fancy. I’m sure you’re even a little let down, no?

And now that I’ve spoiled the mystery, let’s move along...

We’ll be making Cucumber Mint Iced Tea. This is a simple twist on traditional iced tea, only lighter and more refreshing. Instead of using black tea, I used a white tea to freshen things up. And once the tea finished steeping, I added cucumber and mint to give it a fancy spa water vibe. Not only is it refreshing but it’s also chocked full of minerals and antioxidants. Add a little bit of raw honey while the tea is steeping if you like yours on the sweet side and you’re good to go.

A twist on boring iced tea. This homemade cucumber mint iced tea is perfect for staying cool when it gets hot outside.

And just like my cold brew coffee, this can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to drink it. Since I have little patience for kettles and the stove when it’s 90 degrees outside, I like to make enough to last me a few days and then pour a glass whenever I get the itch.

Perfect for lazy summers and impromptu guests and mid-afternoon caffeine fixes.

A twist on boring iced tea. This homemade cucumber mint iced tea is perfect for staying cool when it gets hot outside.

Cucumber Mint White Iced Tea Recipe

Ingredients

6 white tea bags (I used Twinings)
4 c water
1/2 medium cucumber
1/8 c fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp raw honey
 

  1. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Pour boiling water into a large, heat-resistant glass container and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Once the tea has cooled slightly, add cucumber slices, mint leaves, and honey. Stir. Then continue steeping for another 2 hours.
  4. Remove tea bags and strain tea through a mesh strainer to remove the mint and cucumbers. Pour over ice and serve with fresh cucumber slices and mint leaves for garnish. Add more honey if desired.
A twist on boring iced tea. This homemade cucumber mint iced tea is perfect for staying cool when it gets hot outside.
A twist on boring iced tea. This homemade cucumber mint iced tea is perfect for staying cool when it gets hot outside.

All You Need Is Sun, a Breeze, and this Summer Berry Sangria

RecipesStephanieComment

Warm weather means one thing...

Summer Berry Sangria Recipe

 Outdoor drinking.

And there’s nothing more suited to be sipped on a patio than this insanely delicious berry sangria.

Summer berry sangria recipe

While I'm not opposed to traditional sangria, in fact it's one of my favorite go-to summer cocktails, it can be a little heavy on the brandy and citrus (duh). Instead, this sangria is lightened up with a sweet honey wine (which we happened to get as a gift from the hub's brother and sister-in-law and is deeelicious) and infused with berries for a little extra flavor. Then it's topped off with kombucha instead of Sprite or sparkling water to give it the requisite bubbles.

This berry sangria recipe is perfect for those warm summer nights.

Just in case you're not familiar with kombucha, it's a naturally fermented beverage made from sugar water that tastes a lot like soda, only less sweet. Because it's been fermented, it has lots of the good probiotics that are so crucial for healthy digestion and clear skin.

And since kombucha is naturally less sweet than traditional soda, it pairs great with a sweet honey mead without going overboard.

Summer berry sangria recipe


Summer Berry Sangria Recipe
 

Ingredients

1 bottle berry kombucha
1/2 bottle honey mead
1/2 c each strawberries, black berries, raspberries
A patio

Mix the kombucha and wine in a large glass container. Add the berries and stir. Find the nearest patio. Sip. Repeat.

This berry sangria recipe is perfect for those warm summer nights.

^^Pssst. Don't forget the fun straws!^^

This berry sangria recipe is perfect for those warm summer nights.
Summer berry sangria recipe

A Recipe for Roasted Grapefruit {with Honey and Coconut Cream}

RecipesStephanieComment
Roasted Grapefruit with Honey and Coconut Cream

Grapefruit is for elderly people. I mean – I think I can say that because I eat it regularly and with gusto.  It’s also an acquired taste. I know this because the grapefruit stand at our local Whole Foods always has an empty 5-foot radius around it. And if you’ve ever been to a Whole Foods in DC you’ll know that that’s ca-ray-zy. There is not one single iota of space at WF that doesn’t have like a million people in it at any given time.

The day I realized this is also the day that Chuck and I started eating lots and lots of grapefruit.

Roasted Grapefruit with Honey and Coconut Cream

Anyhoo, I believe there are two types of grapefruit people in the world. The minimalist and maximalist. My hubs is a grapefruit minimalist. He eats his straight up with no sugar, no honey, no sass. I on the other hand, think that’s crazy talk and have plopped myself down at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I like to pretend I’m eating an ice cream sundae with a grapefruit at the bottom.  

Lately I’ve even upped the ante and started roasting the grapefruit to bring out a bit more sweetness. Sprinkle a little coconut sugar on top so it gets all golden brown in the oven and add a heaping spoonful of coconut cream, and I swear you guys are going to want to inject it into you veins.

Roasted Grapefruit with Honey and Coconut Cream

Roasted Grapefruit with Honey and Coconut Cream Recipe
 

Ingredients

2 medium sized grapefruits
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight and whipped
1 tbsp honey, melted
Slivered almonds

  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Cut grapefruits in half and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle each side with 1/2 tsp coconut sugar and broil for 12 minutes, checking regularly to make sure they aren't burning.
  4. Once the grapefruit has browned slightly on top, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Top with a heaping spoonful of coconut cream, a handful of almonds, and a drizzle of honey.
Roasted Grapefruit with Honey and Coconut Cream