Sangria Slushies

As astounding as this sounds, sometimes I am faced with left over sangria.  What?! you say?  I know, perhaps my friends aren’t the lushes that they make themselves out to be…(impostors!)  Well I’m not about to pitch a perfectly good pitcher of sangria.

So what do you do when life hands you lemons?  That’s right, you make lemon drop martinis.  So when I have leftover sangria, it’s to the ice cream machine to make sangria slushies!

Start with your ordinary pitcher of left over sangria.  

Now I’ve tried freezing it just like this and you end up with some pretty chunky frozen pieces of fruit in your slushy.  Especially since the bottom of the sangria pitcher tends to be a bit heavy on the fruit.  So now I attack it with the mini chopper before throwing it into the ice cream maker.  The side benefit is the berries take on a staring role and what was once white passionfruit sangria (which is totally fab by the way, you should try it) now takes on the rich purple hue.

So there’s one obvious problem with just throwing all the fruit into the chopper – so yes, I go the extra mile and sort out the fruit that still had a rind attached – you know, those pesky oranges and lemons.  I let the green apples go, it makes for nice little flecks of bright green in the finished slushy. 

At one point in my life, I considered peeling all the rinds off of these tiny bits of fruit.

I peeled off three rinds and realized that was a really stupid idea and I switched to a much better plan.

The mega juicer.

All you need to do it make sure that you don’t have any escapees as you juice the fruit.

Now everyone into the blender – let’s go!  

So pretty.

And then just pour that loveliness into the ice cream maker and away we go! 

Then I dump the new sangria slushy either directly into my glass or into the freezer to enjoy later.

I can only hope that this post saves some sangria that might have been tragically leftover at your house too.

–Martta

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Harry Potter Food!

Well now that you already know how I did the Sorcerer’s Stone Jell-o, here is the rest of our menu for our big Harry Potter movie viewing party: 

We made our desserts first.  Pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles of all kinds for the wands. Then owl feed, which turned out to be SUPER addictive!  It was a traditional white trash snack mix.  Man do I love those Wheat Thins Stix!  And finally on to our pièce de résistance: Dragon chicken with dragon egg grapes and forbidden forrest broccoli. 

The kids love their dragon chicken with ranch dressing so I simply mixed the ranch dressing with food coloring to come up with dragon “wings” and fire breathing.  They loved it!  Caroline especially liked the fact that she could mix all the colors and turn her ranch dressing brown.  

Then to cap off our Harry Potter movie fest, a traditional glass of butterbeer for everyone!  Yum!  

I’ve tried a lot of butterbeer recipes and this one is my favorite.  Although, I don’t add the rum extract and I dash in some butterscotch schnapps for the adults.  Yum!

–Martta

Strawberry Basil Bubbly

I’m headed to Houston to do a bit of training this week and I just hate to leave leftovers in my ‘fridge.  I’ve got an obsessive need to clean out the whole thing even though I’m only going to be gone for a few days.  So what am I going to do with that basil that’s left in there?  I usually make pesto, but I was in the mood for something new and a Saturday night cocktail was calling my name….

So I dug through my freezer and came up with strawberries.  I had planned on using these for a healthy and delicious smoothie at some future point….but let’s be honest, they’ve been in there for almost three months….the smoothie just isn’t going to happen.  So I’ve got strawberries, basil and luckily enough a partial bottle of prosecco – it’s an Italian wonderland of flavors.

So let’s get started.  Step 1: Sit down.  Those strawberries need to thaw out!

After, you’ve waited just as long as you can, or 10 minutes, blitz up a strawberry puree in the blender or mini-chopper:

At this point you can stop and make granita or you can forge ahead and add the basil.  This is really to taste, but for my four cups of strawberries, I added eight very large leaves.

Blitz again and once you’re satisfied with the fine dice of the basil, spoon it into your champagne flute and pour the bubbly over top of it.  After a very thorough examination, I’ve found that adding it on top of the prosecco works just as well.  Aren’t you glad I road tested it both ways?  It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!

Give the cocktail a small stir.  It will bubble – you don’t want to break all the bubbles so don’t get too aggressive.  Top with a sprig of basil and go out to the porch to enjoy the 98 degree heat.  Aaaah Summer in Texas.

Look at those beautiful flecks of basil in there, aren’t they just gorgeous??  Now what to do with the rest of the basil….for some reason I ran out of prosecco….

–Martta

Martta’s Twisted Cosmopolitan

I do feel just a little bit like Sandra Lee ringing out “It’s Cocktail Time!” as I write this post!  But I do get asked for this recipe quite a bit so I thought I’d share my version of the cosmo.  It’s the signature drink for Oscar party and required accessory for viewing any Sex in the City episode.

You just need a few basic ingredients to whip up this dangerous cocktail

Ingredients:

1/2 C Absolut Citron

1/2 C Triple Sec

1 C Cranberry Juice Cocktail

Juice of 1 Lime

Limes and Sugar for Garnish

Combine all ingredients and mix to create three cosmos.  This recipe does not double well – you’ll need to add more alcohol and more lime if you’re making a pitcher of cosmos.

To garnish simply run a lime wedge around the top rim of the glass and dip in sugar.  Slice a wedge of lime or a wheel to top off your masterpiece.  With this much cranberry, you’ll actually get to enjoy the cocktail without feeling like you’re drinking a shot, but let me tell you – these guys will sneak up on you!

–Martta