i seriously have no clue where march went.
we have been traveling a lot and have had so much on our plates during the last several weeks, i feel like it came and went before we knew it. because of all of the traveling i confess i haven’t cooked much at all lately, making me miss time in the kitchen both on my own and with the little she.
during those months when we are stuck inside so much because of the cold outside, we often find ourselves making smoothies to go with nearly every lunch, the kind that are super thick and creamy. this one was our favorite of all our new concoctions this year, and pretty good for you too. dates have high levels of folate and vitamin A, while almond butter is rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
if you have a high-speed blender, like a blend-tec or vitamix, A} i am super jealous of you, and B} they’re perfect for this smoothie because of the chopped dates. if you are able to completely puree them, all the better. if you don’t have a high-speed blender, you’ll have little bits of dates in the bottom of your smoothie, which i still kind of love.
banana, date, and almond butter smoothie
makes 2 smoothies
1.5 cups milk (whole, 2%, almond, or soy)
1 frozen banana, halved
3 tbsp almond butter
2 pitted dates, chopped
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup ice
1. blend all ingredients completely in a blender, until ice and dates are completely blended.
my mother-in-law found this gem of a recipe and brought them over for one of the many desserts we had for thanksgiving this year.
i don’t have much to say but PUMPKIN. and BOURBON. and ICE CREAM.
need i say more?
pumpkin bourbon milkshakes
recipe via sunset
4 1/2 cartons – 14 oz each – vanilla ice cream
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (can be omitted, if desired)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
fresh whipped cream
1. blend a third of the ice cream, pumpkin, milk, and bourbon at a time in a blender until smooth, adding sugar and spices to the last batch. pour into a large bowl and stir to combine.
2. ladle milkshake mixture into 8 tall glasses and top with whipped cream, if desired, and a dash of nutmeg on top.
note: to make ahead OR if you are wanting a thicker milkshake – do step 1 up to one hour ahead & freeze in an airtight container. stir well before ladling into glasses.
summer is meant for relaxing out on the back deck with a cold drink in your hand.
and this is becoming one of my new favorites.
i made these for the little she’s 2nd birthday brunch party last weekend and they went pretty fast. they are simple (with only 3 ingredients) and super flavorful – perfect for a day out by the grill or makes an ideal all-ages brunch cocktail.
minted mandarin & strawberry coolers
2 pints strawberries, hulled & cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch fresh mint
2 quarts fresh mandarin juice, strained (from about 32 mandarins)**
1. set out 8-10 small glasses and place a handful of ice cubes (not crushed) in each one.
2. place the strawberries in a bowl and gently mash up with a large fork or a potato masher. divide into the glasses. add 2 mint leaves to each glass. (here you could also chop up the mint, if you prefer, and mix it in with the strawberries: total personal preference.) then fill with the mandarin juice and garnish with mint sprigs.
**if you are unable to find mandarin oranges, that’s ok. you can substitute fresh tangelo, tangerine, or even good ol’ orange juice if you need to.
photo from & recipe adapted via
it seems like everyone around town is getting sick these days.
and it’s a bug that’s super dehydrating, especially for the little ones.
i just passed this recipe, from my toddler 411 book, on to a dear friend who has a sick little guy who can’t keep anything down and doesn’t have any of the hydrating solution on-hand.
when you have a sick little one, the last thing you want to do is go to the store, so hopefully this comes in handy for you and your family this winter season!
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp jell-o powder
mix all ingredients well.
pour into sippy cup.