Red Wine Sangria

All this sunshine has me CRAVING sangria. My friend was having some people over, so I decided to make a pitcher for all of us to enjoy. I raided my fridge and used the fruit I had on hand. You could definitely mix up the fruit, and use whatever you think would pair best with the wine you are using. I had a bottle of Merlot, and decided to include the following ingredients:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 can club soda
  • 1 can ginger ale

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    I cut up all of my fruit and arranged them in my pitcher. I then poured in the bottle of red wine and the sugar, and let it sit overnight in my fridge. I added the club soda and ginger ale at the last minute to make sure my Sangria was nice and bubbly ๐Ÿ˜€

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    It was SO refreshing! I’m looking forward to trying some white wine sangria recipes this summer.

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    Brown Butter and Sage Sweet Potato Gnocchi

    Sweet potatoes are simply the best. I love them, and eat them at least twice a week. That being said, when I saw a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi I went wild!! I knew I had to try it. Busy season had kept me tied up during the week, but I finally had a bit of free time on Saturday. I went for a BEAUTIFUL training run Saturday afternoon, and built up quite an appetite.

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    So I invited my friend Tia over, and we got to cooking. I gathered the following ingredients:

    • 2 large sweet potatoes
    • 2-3 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
    • 1 T Freshly cut sage

    The first step was heating my oven to 350 degrees, and baking the sweet potatoes for an hour. I cut them in half to help them bake faster. Once they were soft and baked all the way through, I pulled them out and let them cool for a half hour. When I was able to work with them, I peeled off the skins and mashed them with a fork. I added the egg, nutmeg and cinnamon, and then Tia and I slowly added the flour, a half cup at a time.

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    Once the dough was firm enough to roll out, I rolled it into logs 1/2 inch wide and cut square pieces. Tia then helped me press them flat with a fork ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Once the gnocchi was cut up and ready to be cooked, I tossed them into a boiling pot of water and waited for them to rise to to the top of the pot.

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    As I waited for them to cook, I heated my butter on medium high in sauce pan until it had browned and developed a toasty aroma. It took about 5 minutes, and I swirled it around a couple times as it cooked. Once the gnocchi had risen to the top, I let them cook a couple minutes longer, then poured them into my sauce pan. I tossed them in the browned butter and added the sage at the last minute.

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    I then plated the gnocchi and paired it with an arugula salad dressed with lemon, oil, salt, and pepper. I was surprised by how sweet the gnocchi turned out, but liked the overall product. I think the next time I make this, I’ll add a little maple syrup to the sauce and play up this sweetness. I also would cut the pieces a bit smaller. I can’t WAIT to make/eat this again.

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    Blood-Orange Strawberry Sorbet

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    I have wanted to try out this recipe for a while now, but I was waiting for warmer weather. Today the sun was shining, strawberries were on sale, and I realized-it was time. I changed it a little to give a bit more pizazz. I think blood oranges are so much more fun than regular oranges, and their color is SO beautiful! I also added in some mango juice along with my orange juice. The modified recipe uses:

    • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice plus the zest
    • 1/2 cup mango juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar

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    I put the sugar, orange juice, mango juice, and waterย  in a pot and brought it to a boil for about 3 minutes.ย  This lets the sugar dissolve. I then added the strawberries and the orange zest and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.

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    I let the mixture cool down before blending it, then pureed it until it had a smooth consistency.

    I then poured it into a little bread loaf pan and froze it.

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    The rest is history! I really liked how the flavor turned out! It was bright and clean, and just the perfect level of sweetness! Can’t wait to make this again this summer ๐Ÿ˜€

    Healthy Gummy Bears

    Gummy bears…such a playful, yummy treat! I’ve always loved gummy bears, but haven’t had any in a while since I’m trying to cut back on my candy consumption. But when I saw this recipe for HEALTHY gummy bears, I realized that I no longer had to resist! I still can’t believe how healthy these gummies are:

    Per Serving: 20 Gummy Bears

    22 Calories, 0g Fat, 6g Sodium, 28g Potassium, 3g Carbs, .07g Fiber, 2.2g Sugar, 2g protein

    I got a little creative with my flavors, and opted to make blueberry-grapefruit, banana, mango-strawberry, and cherry-pomegranate. I never would have guessed, but banana actually turned out to be my favorite!ย  You can really make whatever flavors you want as long as you stick to this basic formula:

    • 1 Cup (preferably fresh squeezed) Fruit Juice
    • 2 Cups Fresh Fruit
    • 5 Packets (or 5 tbsp) Unflavored Gelatin
    • 2 Packets Stevia (or tbsp honey).

    So I went to the store and bought and excessive amount of fruits and gelatin, and began.

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    The first flavor I made was grapefruit-blueberry. I’m a BIG grapefruit fan, and couldn’t wait to try this one! To make this flavor I used these ingredients:

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    I squeezed an entire grapefruit into a mixing bowl, along with the juice of half a lemon and lime, and added two little containers of blueberries. I heated this mixture up on the stove until it boiled, then let it simmer on medium until the berries seemed thoroughly cooked through. I let the mixture cool down for about ten minutes, then beat it in my blender until it was smooth. Once the mixture had the right consistency, I added the stevia and gelatin packets, and whipped the mixture up one more time to evenly incorporate the gelatin.

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    At that point, I poured the mixture out onto a cookie sheet and popped it in the fridge.If you want thicker gummy bears, use a glass baking tray or a smaller piece of tupperwear. When using a cookie sheet, the gummy bears were about a half a centimeter thick. I experimented as I went, and used a cookie tray, plastic tupperwear containers, and 9 inch circular cake trays.

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    While taste testing later in this process, I discovered I like my gummy bears a little thicker, and in the future would choose to use the plastic tupperwear.

    I then made my other three flavors, using a cherry-pomegranate POM juice, Mango Naked Juice, Bananas, and a ton of strawberries. I followed the same process. I noticed that each flavor took about an hour to congealed. Once they were all ready to be cut, I spread them out across my kitchen table and went to work! I had three different sized gummy bear cutters, so I made a variety of sizes.

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    They turned out great!I love how versatile this recipe is, and think that next time I want to try a strawberry-kiwi and tropical pineapple flavor ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Shrimp Ceviche

    In my quest of clean eating, I came across this recipe and knew i had to try it. It is such a perfect recipe for a warm, sunny day!

    • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 small cucumber, quartered and sliced
    • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 minced jalapeรฑo (WEAR GLOVES WHEN CUTTING)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper

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    I cooked the shrimp in a pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes until it was just done. Then I rinsed them with cold water to stop the cooking process, and combined the shrimp with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

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    I let the mixture chill for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together. This is such an easy recipe, and it’s packed with protein and flavorrrrrrrrr! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    DISCLAIMER: WEAR GLOVES WHEN YOU CUT THE JALAPENO!! I make the rookie mistake of using my bare hands…and my entire left hand swelled up. It burned like HELL for six hours, and kept me up all night. Pleaseeeeeeee wear gloves, or at least coat your hand in oil before you cut into the jalapeno. I tried EVERY remedy suggested online, and none of them helped. Learn from my mistakes.

    Sweet Potato Fries

    Today was simply a wonderful day. The trees are in full bloom, the sun was shining, AND I got to play touch football! After sprinting around all game, I worked up quite an appetite.

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    When I got home, the first thing I saw was sweet potatoes. And what better way to eat sweet potatoes than cutting them up and making some fries ๐Ÿ™‚

    You will need:

    • 1 sweet potato
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 T Cornstarch
    • 2 T Olive oil

    First I preheated my oven to 450 degrees, and washed and cut up the sweet potato into uniformly sized pieces.

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    I then tossed the pieces in a bowl with the olive oil, cornstarch, and seasonings.Once they were evenly coated, I spread them out onto two cookie sheets, and let them bake! It’s important that none of the fries overlap, or else they won’t get crispy.

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    I let them cook for about 15 minutes, then flipped them and let them cook about 10 more minutes. They turned out great! If you are craving something a little sweeter, you can always season them with just a pinch of salt and some cinnamon!

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    Baking Soda Face Mask

    I was really tired after work today, so I decided to stay in….and of course I ended up on pinterest. As I was browsing around, I saw a pin about a Baking Soda Face Mask. After performing a little research, I learned that baking soda is a natural way to cleanse and exfoliate your face. Baking soda is made from naturally occurring sodium bicarbonate, which is a mild abrasive that is actually used in a lot of commercial skin care products, since it helps gently remove dead skin cells and impurities. The ingredients include:

    • 2 Tbs Baking Soda
    • 1.5 tsp Water

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    I mixed the water and baking soda together, then applied a thin layer all over my face.

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    It felt kind of tingly at first, then it started to kind of burn about three minutes in….and that’s when i rinsed it off! My skin definitely feels clean and refreshed. This is such a simple, easy way to get that deep, clean feeling ๐Ÿ˜€