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Thai Tea Apricot Smoothie

Thai Tea Apricot Smoothie with Mango, maple syrup (if needed), and yogurt. mjskitchen.com

 

Now that it’s spring I’m really focused on getting last year’s produce out of the freezer to make room for this year’s. A couple of weeks ago I used some of the corn and a roasted bell pepper in my Braised Red Chile Chicken and Vegetables, and then finished off the roasted bell peppers in the Roasted Bell Pepper Cheese Spread.  For several weeks I’ve been working on the abundance of frozen apricots from last year’s prolific crop.  One of the things I’ve been making is the smoothie:  apricot smoothies, apricot banana smoothies, apricot peach smoothies and my favorite – Thai Tea Apricot Smoothie.

Several weeks ago I came across a simply delicious Thai Iced Tea recipe over at my friend’s blog  – Wok with Ray.  I immediately ran out and bought a one pound bag of Thai tea, the smallest size bag the Asian market sold.  With all that tea Bobby and I have been able to mix up our afternoon tea time with Chai tea and Thai tea as well as play around with other uses for Thai tea. When developing this Thai tea apricot smoothie, I went with the orange color of Thai tea and selected apricots and mango as the fruits.  What a delicious way to get your vitamins and morning caffeine all in one drink.

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Mayan Chocolate Iced Coffee

 

In all of the years that we’ve lived in New Mexico, we’ve never been to Denver, Colorado. We’ve been all over the western half of Colorado, but Denver and the surrounding area has alluded us for some reason.  That all changed last week.  I had a conference in Denver so Bobby arranged his schedule so he could go with me and we do some sightseeing on a couple of afternoons I had off.

One afternoon we drove to Littleton, a small town (suburb) a little southwest of Denver.  It was a quaint little place and the old town area had a few shops that were right up my alley. There were two small antique shops housed in century old homes and around the corner on Main Street were two fabulous spice shops. In one of the antique shops I found this 1930’s recipe book that was written as a promotional for Worcester Salt.  I thought it to be a perfect match for the 1930’s book that my mother-in-law gave me – The Art of Cooking and Serving, a promotional for Crisco.  Both books are a hoot! I’ll be sharing some of the comments and recipes with you in the fall. Just as a teaser, the Worcester Salt book recommends boiling summer squash in salt water for 45 minutes!  Would there be anything one could call squash after 45 minutes?

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Sweet Cucumber Beverage (Cocktail)

Cucumber drink with or without alcohol. @MJsKitchen

[Jump to recipe]

I love all of the refreshing cocktails that I’ve been seeing lately so I thought I would join the party. This sweet cucumber drink is delicious both as a cocktail and as a non-alcoholic refresher.  I’ve had it both ways many times. The first time I had it was a few months ago when my brother-in-law made the cucumber cocktail for me.  I loved it then and I love it now!

My BIL acquired this recipe from “Johnny the bartender” in Austin, TX.  It was Johnny’s creation and he asked my BIL to try it. Needless to say my BIL loved it and, being the east Texas boy he is, he easily talked Johnny into sharing the recipe.  So I credit this recipe to Johnny, wherever you are.  I hope I’ve done your drink justice.

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Bloody Mary

 

Happy New Year 2012!!!!!!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend as we move into 2012. We’re bringing in the new year with my Bloody Mary which is a pretty traditional holiday drink for us.  I am the “official” Bloody Mary maker in my family, so I’ve decided to share my simple recipe with all of you. It’s about as basic as you can get, but oh so good!
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Teas of the Arabian Peninsula

Cook Around the Globe, hosted by German Mama of Arepas to Zwetschgen, invited us to explore the cuisines of the Arabian Peninsula for the month of September. I started out looking at cookies because I thought I would challenge myself and cook up some cookies, something I don’t do (story for another time).  However, one of the cookie recipes mentioned Arabian teas which caught my interest since I have been on a quest for the best of the best in teas for a few years now.

Black Tea with Sage. @MJsKitchen

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Jamaican Cooler – A Rum Ginger Cocktail

Jamaican Rum with ginger simple syrup and sparkling water @MJsKitchen mjskitchen.com

Cook Around the Globe

First of all I want to thank German Mama of From Arepas to Zwetschgen for starting “Cook around the Globe”, “a fun monthly event where we learn about the essence and character of different cuisines around the globe simply by cooking dishes.” During the month of August each participant was asked to cook one or more recipes from Bermuda & the Caribbean. I found so many new recipes I wanted to make, but time is limited so I had to make a decision – the hardest part of this event! Thanks German Mama for inspiring me to become more familiar with Caribbean cuisine!

At one point in my research I ended up at TasteofCuba.com where I found a recipe for Tostones or twice cooked plantains.  I was first introduced to tostones several years ago by a Puerto Rican acquaintance and fell in love with them. If you haven’t had them, give them a try. They are wonderful! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any green plantains so I had to change my game plan.

I returned to the Internet and very quickly, came upon the Havana Cooler, described as a refreshing drink for hot Havana evenings. I’m hosting a family gathering on Friday night, so this sounded like a perfect way to get the party started! There are a few variations of Havana Coolers, but what seems to be the standard consists of 2 cubes of ice, a shot of Bacardi rum, a sprig of mint and ginger ale or Sprite. Simple enough, but a little boring. I knew I had a 10 year old bottle of Jamaican rum (no, I don’t drink a lot!), so I decided to use the idea of the Havana Cooler and develop my version of a Jamaican Cooler.  WOW!  I don’t think that bottle of Jamaican rum is going to last very much longer!
(NOTE: If you don’t know already, to learn the difference between Cuban rum and Jamaican rum, click here.)

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Mint Julep

Goblet with a Mint Julep

Today is the Kentucky Derby so I felt that a posting of my Mint Julep recipe was more than appropriate.  To be honest, when we were drinking Mint Juleps last night, it was not because of the Derby.  We had a beautiful afternoon here in New Mexico during which we planted flowers in the pots on the front porch. To relax before a supper of Shrimp and Andouille Jambalaya (recipe coming soon), we made Mint Juleps.

It was not until I was making my second Julep that we realized – HEY – tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby!  We should post my Mint Julep recipe!   Since Bobby was already well into his second one, he was more than happy to grab the camera and take a shot.

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