Beverages

Hazelnut Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Hazelnut Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Smoothies and summertime go together like...chocolate and bananas :) Today's crazy easy recipe is for a refreshing smoothie that will satisfy your sweet tooth while remaining on the healthier side. 

Nutiva is one of my favorite organic plant-food companies. Their products are well-priced, delicious, and their brand is transparent. Recently, Nutiva sent me some samples of their new Organic Hazelnut Spread, which comes in Classic and Dark flavors. Despite the rich, decadent flavor, it contains 40% less sugar than the leading brand, and comes in jars or packets for on-the-go snacking! I love the individual packaging because they're so easy to use and help with portion control. On top of all that, they're gluten free and vegan :) 

Today I decided to whip up some smoothies - all you need to do is blend your favorite milk, some ice, a banana, and some Nutiva Organic Hazelnut Spread together and you're in smoothie heaven. Add in some chia, honey, other fresh fruit, or chopped chocolate to make it extra decadent. Let's get blending :) 

Dairy Free Red Bean Ice

Dairy Free Red Bean Ice

Hong Kong is a food paradise - a mix of world class high end restaurants, modern fare, and local eats. Cha Chaan Tengs (tea-houses) are where Hong Kongers can satiate their appetites at virtually any hour of the day. Known for their incredibly affordable and eclectic menus, cha chain tengs serve food that came about after the Second World War, when Hong Kong culture was influenced by British culture. The menus are endless and barely have parameters, including everything from wonton mein to curry, Hong Kong style French toast, and steak. Besides Hong Kong-style milk tea, one popular drink is the Red Bean Ice. 

I am a huge fan of red bean desserts, in all forms. The Red Bean Ice is so refreshing; especially in the humid HK summers. Crushed ice, tender red beans in a sugar syrup, and coconut milk are the most delicious cool-down treat on a hot day. Adding a scoop of ice cream makes it a popular dessert. Stirring it all together makes a sort of slush that is enjoyed with a long spoon and straw. 

Another wonderful thing about the Red Bean Ice is that it's dairy free! It's nice to be able to enjoy a sweet treat without sacrificing any flavor. In this version of Red Bean Ice, you'll be combining red beans cooked in coconut sugar, layered with creamy, rich coconut milk, and ice cold almond milk. Top it off with ice and a scoop of your favorite dairy free ice cream! I'm using Happy Cow Dairy Free Ice Cream, made from coconuts. I've tried this with recipe with both their Vanilla and Red Bean ice cream, and it's amazing either way. It adds the perfect creaminess to the drink. Watch the recipe video below to learn how to make your own Red Bean Ice at home! 

Lychee Ginger Mint Fizz

Lychee Ginger Mint Fizz

I had a delicious Lychee Smash at a Vietnamese restaurant with my girlfriend Tracy, and it inspired me to recreate the drink at home. These flavor profiles are perfect with each other; fizzy ginger and bright, fresh mint, tart lime juice and sweet lychee fruit. This drink can easily become a cocktail with 2 oz ounce of rum, making it a twist on a Mojito or Caipirinha. Let's get drinkin :) 

Refreshing Detox Juice

Refreshing Detox Juice

If you're just getting started juicing at home, it may seem daunting. Just keep in mind that it’s all about experimenting. My favorite juice is as easy to make as A-B-C: apple, beet, carrot. I like adding different fruits and veggies to this base juice, depending on what I’ve got at home. Apples, beets, and carrots are great to buy in bulk and have on hand. As usual, organic fruits and veggies are best if it’s in your budget. 

Palomas

Palomas

For a little fizzy twist on the classic margarita, the Paloma is the perfect cocktail. My girlfriend Kayla introduced me to this grapefruit and tequila cocktail on an afternoon where we turned Happy Hour into a $100 outing. Needless to say, I've been ordering them ever since. The Paloma is a refreshing combination of sweet and tart grapefruit juice or soda, lime, and a nice salty rim. Top off this 5 minute cocktail with club soda for a bubbly finish. I love using fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, but you can also use Squirt or Grapefruit Jarritos! :) Let's get drankin!

Spiked Freckled Lemonade

Spiked Freckled Lemonade

Fourth of July is just around the corner! I’ve never made lemonade before because I was honestly kind of confused - is lemonade just hella lemons and water? How many lemons would you need to fill an entire pitcher? I feel like it would take a ton of lemons to make some good lemonade. But then I experimented in the kitchen and can now share with you that making lemonade is super easy and in fact, is a ton of water! This recipe is really perfect for summer - the base is just a really, really delicious lemonade. But I’ll show you how adding pureed strawberries can make the most refreshing Freckled Lemonade ever. And as usual, you can spike it with booze if you choose :)

Watermelon Margaritas

Watermelon Margaritas

It’s watermelon season! Watermelon is available year round, but its peak season is May through August. Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits! It has a ton of nutritional benefits, such as a significant source of the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. It contains lycopene, and is composed of 92% water, making it great for snacking on during warm weather since it helps to keep you hydrated. 
Watermelon is soo versatile! You can make smoothies, salsas, sorbets, salads, on its own with lime and salt, or into a refreshing cocktail! This margarita is a crowd pleaser - the perfect mix of sweet and tart - with a good amount of booze that’ll get your party goin.

The Best $5 Cocktail Ever

The Best $5 Cocktail Ever

This is my one of my favorite hacks for entertaining. When throwing a party or even showing up to a potluck, a large part of the budget is generally dedicated to booze. Well, at least at any party I’d like to be at :) For large groups of people, it can get expensive to get a buzz going. I have the perfect cocktail.
This cocktail was a happy accident that came about from me experimenting with ways to doctor up cheap red wine. There are no tricks here - it’s wine & Orangina - a French Monkey! It’s the easiest little drink to throw together and tastes just like sangria with a little fizz. It’s super refreshing and you can even add fruit to it if you like! There’s not much to it - and when a bottle of wine and a large bottle of Orangina are basically the same size, there’s no annoying leftover waste. Any red wine will do; everyone knows that TJ’s 2-buck-chuck is totally passable and is actually $2.49 ;) . You can also use Sanpellegrino Aranciata instead of Orangina. Either way, you’ll have a pitcher of bright, fruity cocktails that give the perfect slow buzz for a BBQ or party. 

Tajín Rimmed Mango Margaritas

Tajín Rimmed Mango Margaritas

It’s fun to explore different recipes - I have a bunch of fun and delicious ones for your weekend’s festivities here. It’s also really fun to dream up and put your own twist on the classics! One of my favorite summer snacks is sweet, ripe mango slices sprinkled with Tajín seasoning and fresh lime juice. If you haven’t tried Tajín, it’s a tangy, spicy seasoning powder made of chili peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice. It’s amazing on fruit, and even more delicious in micheladas. Since I’ve always loved this simple and absolutely yummy flavor combo, I thought it would be fabulous when translated into a cocktail! 

Refreshing mango margaritas get the perfect salty/spicy kick from a Tajín rim. These are super tasty - a bit of a creeper, which I always love, and easy to make in large batches for a crowd. I love Cazadores Tequila Blanco - it’s 100% Blue Agave and is a smooth, easy-going Tequila. It tastes as clean as it looks, and plays well with others. The slightly sweet taste and soft finish make it highly versatile and perfect for mixing in cocktails. Margaritas also contain Triple Sec, which is a type of Curaçao liqueur, an orange-flavored liqueur. I have always loved Cointreau, perhaps because it was my mom’s favorite.  Fresh lime juice and mango puree top this baby off. Enough talking, let’s start drankin :) 

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella Hot Chocolate

I’m in looove with the cocoaa! Hahah, it’s almost Christmas! The holidays can be difficult for some, and nothing helps quite as much as a cozy cup of hot chocolate. This is the time of the year to indulge in sweets and surround yourself with loving family. This rich, decadent recipe for Nutella Hot Chocolate is the perfect thing to cuddle up with on a cold night. It kicks up regular hot cocoa a bit with the hazelnut goodness of Nutella. A pinch of salt creates a lovely balance, and you can top it off with a ton of homemade whip, marshmallows, and chocolate syrup if you wish. Easy peazy and great for entertaining :)