Saturday, April 4, 2015

Minty Strawberry Orangeade with Ginger Syrup

Strawberry drinks, with or without alcohol, need to happen this weekend especially on the Easter Sunday.  Why?  Because it’s spring; it’s strawberries season; and making strawberry drinks will make you feel like an expert entertainer of the day.  Just look at the drink I made.  Doesn’t it make you want to take a sip, especially when it’s a hot sunny day?   Alternatively, you can use sparkling water or soda instead of water to make it bubbly refresher for both kids and adults.  But those who cares for something wilder to sip, add some tequila and more lime juice for awesome strawberry mojito! 

Did I ever mentioned that I can’t get enough of strawberry from the last post?    Well then, I have nothing else to say.  

What you need:
5 cups filtered water
1 cup simple ginger syrup (make simple syrup and add 5-6 thinly sliced of ginger into the syrup and left it overnight in the refrigerator) – adjust the sweetness as you preferred
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 small lemon (I used Myer lemon) juice
1 cup fresh strawberry sliced
1 handful mint leaves
1 medium orange sliced

1. Stir water, syrup, and orange juice in a big pitcher
2. Use a wooden spoon gently crush the mint leaves with lemon juice and stir in the pitcher
3. Add fresh strawberry and orange slices in the pitcher

4. Chill at least an hour before serving over ice

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Pasta and Shrimp Salad with Lemon Basil vinaigrette and Blue Cheese Crumbles

Weeknight dinner doesn’t have to be complicated.  Right?  After having too much pasta dinner the nights before and had some cooked pasta left, light refreshing pasta salad is just a perfect idea.   Honestly, it’s just my excuse when I’m too lazy to cook.  Nahh… I just want a break. That’s all.  

This salad is basically just opening the can of garbanzo beans, cutting some vegetables, using frozen salad shrimp, and tossing in leftover pasta.  Done!  The dressing is too easy to call it a recipe when it’s nothing into it but the sense of your own taste plus the feeling of hunger for some good food.  The blue cheese is, however, a highlight of this refreshing salad.  It gives the salad a sharp tangy flavor that help lifting the dish up to another level.   Be careful though because you wouldn’t be able to stop eating it. 

The dressing
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp. EV olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. finely minced basil leaves
A pinch of dried red chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
: Whisk all the ingredients until the honey is dissolved and set it aside.

The Salad4 servings
2 cups cooked bow tie pasta
1 cup cooked salad shrimp
1 medium Persian cucumber, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
3-4 small sweet peppers, seeded and finely cut crosswise
1/4 cup blue cheese

1. In a large bowl, add everything, except blue cheese, pour the dressing over, and mix well
2. Let all the favor mingle by chill the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or longer
3. Sprinkle the blue cheese crumbles just before serving 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Strawberry-Honey Yogurt Pops

I can’t get enough of strawberry because there are strawberries everywhere keep calling me, “pick me, pick me.”    Who can say no to that?   And when I have lots of fresh strawberries, I tend to be more, somewhat, creative (or sometimes overthinking) about what to do next with those gorgeous red with a little green hat.   The hubby, on the other hand, prefers fresh cut sugarcoated strawberries with cool whip.  And he’d so happy about it.

The weather in L.A. is getting warmer and hotter during the day since last week.  But when the sun goes down, the temperature would drop by 20 degrees to the point that you would need a light sweater if you go outside.  Personally, I don’t like that.   It’s just weird.    Well, I think the summer weather in spring just needs a little love from fresh strawberry since it’s in season right now.   And the warm sunny days in L.A. is pretty much a perfect day for popsicles.  With only 4 ingredients that include yogurt and honey, I guarantee that you would have more than one because the tangy of yogurt combined with honey and strawberry is so refreshing! 

What you need:  make 8 popsicles
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt (or yogurt of your choice)
2 cup strawberry, diced
1 medium orange or 1/4 cup orange juice
3 tbsp. honey

1. Add a cup of strawberry, yogurt, honey, and orange juice in the blender and blend until smooth.  Like making smoothie.
2. Fill the popsicles molds about 1/4 with the blended strawberry-yogurt and put in the freezer for 25 minutes or until the liquid is harden but not too hard.  Take them out and fill each popsicles evenly with fresh diced strawberry and fill in the rest of the blended strawberry-yogurt.
3. Freeze the popsicles at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.

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